The Forgotten Genocide event reminds about the Romani Holocaust

Finnish association for creative Roma culture, ”Drom”, organizes an international event in Helsinki this spring, dedicated to the Romani Holocaust.

The main part of the event is an international two-day seminar ”The Roma and the Holocaust”, held in Helsinki, in the House of Science and Letters, which will start on an International Romani Day, April 8. The seminar will discuss the history and faith of the Roma in the Second World War in the different parts of Europe , including Nordic countries. The present European Roma question and future challenges will also be addressed. The seminar is accompanied by a rich cultural program.

Veijo Baltzar, a Finnish Romani writer, published a novel In Love and War in 2008, which unfolds the story about the Romani genocide. The book and its subject aroused a lot of interest in Finland which created a need to tell about the sufferings of the Romani People in the National Socialist genocide to the wide audience and to discuss present Roma politics through the prism of history.

The Forgotten Genocide is a significant step for the Nordic countries and all of Europe in the Roma question. Project aims at concrete and far-reaching actions for the benefit of European Roma. The aim of the creative parts of the event is to indicate the vitality of the Romani culture and to uphold its richness.

The events of the Forgotten Genocide project:

· Barvalo Drom - the thriving Roma culture exhibition,
International Cultural Centre Caisa 26.3 - 29.4

· The Roma and the Holocaust - International Seminar 8.4 - 9.4

· Barvalo Drom - Romani Music Concerts, Tammisaari 26.3 and Savoy theatre, Helsinki 9.4

· Die Zigeuner von W, Photograph exhibition by Espen Eichhöfer, Goethe Institut, Helsinki 9.4 -12.5

Barvalo Drom (“The Rich Way” in English) is a touching collection exhibiting Romani history, art and culture. The international music concert, bearing the same name, in Savoy Theatre on 9.4 presents outstanding Roma musical artists from Finland, Sweden and Czech Republic – the latter having represented their country in the last year’s Eurovision song contest.

President of the Republic of Finland Ms Tarja Halonen is a patron for The Forgotten Genocide project. The main co-partners of the project are Helsinki City Cultural Office, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Finnish Historical Society and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also the former Prime Minister of Finland Paavo Lipponen and a deputy and the chairman of the Roma advisory council Pekka Haavisto have both actively taken part in the rearrangements and the realization of the event.

The event is meant for everyone interested in Romani history and culture, researchers, officials and decision-makers. The Forgotten Genocide project will continue also after the Spring 2010 in the form of new projects related to the topic.

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