The German Pope defends role WWII pontiff Pope Pius

by Michael Smith

Pope Benedict XVI has defended the actions of his predecessor Pius XII during World War II, saying the pontiff spared no effort to try to save Jews.

However, Pope Pius XII has long been accused by Jewish groups and scholars of turning a blind eye to the fate of the Jews. While that may be true there seems to be definitely more than just a neutral position when it comes to the Romani victims of the Holocaust who, like the Jews, were singled out for destruction because of their Race.

The Romani, or Gypsy, People were already being earmarked for genocide – in Germany – as far back as the time just after WWI. Where was the Church, Catholic and Lutheran then and during WWII? Silent if not complicit.

Pope Benedict said that Pius had intervened directly and indirectly but often had to be "secret and silent" given the circumstances.

Pope Benedict said he wanted prejudice against Pius to be overcome. Well, this is rather great from a German Pope with a questionable record during the Nazi time.

Pope Pius was rather very active, and so was the entire Vatican, and this is a fact, in helping German industrialists and worse still SS, Gestapo, and others of the hierarchy, escape with false or Church passports to South America and such locations.

Pope Benedict even seem to go as far as suggesting beatification – and may the gods help us all – of Pope Pius, claiming that Pius showed "courageous and paternal dedication" in trying to save Jews.

Pope Benedict said: "Wherever possible he spared no effort in intervening in their favour either directly or through instructions given to other individuals or to institutions of the Catholic Church.

Pope Benedict said the interventions were "made secretly and silently, precisely because, given the concrete situation of that difficult historical moment, only in this way was it possible to avoid the worst and save the greatest number of Jews".

Pius was the pontiff from 1939 to 1958 and the Vatican has begun his beatification process.

This stinks of an attempt, a very blatant one, of rewriting history by the Vatican – something they appear to be very good at. The only member of the Catholic Church who ever really stood up for the Jews in the concentration camps – note please that no one ever stood up for the Gypsy – was Father Matthias Kolbe. The rest were rather conspicuous with their silence and their “non-interference”.

Many Jewish groups criticised him for not speaking out against the Nazis, who killed six million Jews.

Pius should be even more criticised for being part of allowing the perpetrators of the heinous crimes against Jews and Gypsies to escape justice by issuing them passports to escape, often in disguise as Catholic clergy, to South America where, as we all know, they not just simply hid. Nay, they continued the work for the Nazi organizations, whatever name they chose to operate under.

When it came to the Gypsy no one of the Churches and no one of the populous, whether in Germany or Poland or elsewhere, helped the Gypsy. In some parts of the occupied territories there were groups of Gypsy partisans or Gypsy groups in the partisans and they seemed to have been the only ones that had some cover. In Poland the good Catholic farmers and burghers pointed out Gypsies to the Nazis, whether those Gypsies were settled and integrated or not, instead of helping them.

To make Pius a saint, or even to beatify him, would be the greatest injustice the Church could do to itself and its standing and the world. But, then again, I doubt they care as long as they can create another saint.

The Catholic Church and the Lutheran Church – I cannot say about the Orthodox, whether Greek or Russian, in this matter – have a lot to answer for to the gods as far as their inaction is concerned with regards to the persecution of the Romani, the Gypsy, in the Nazi era, as well as before and after. All we have seen from the church was in action of it was not actual cooperation and the cooperation still goes on to this very day in certain instances, such as the deportation of the Roma refugees from Macedonia in Germany back to Skopie and other parts of Macedonia some years back.

It remains only one way for the Rom and it is time the Gypsy People understood that and that is “Ourselves Alone”.

© M Smith (Veshengro), September 2008

Romanies who feel threatened should seek help at home - Minister

by Michael Smith

Yoy! Yoy! Yoy! What can one say to that?

The Romanies, from the Roma communities and other Gypsy groups, who seek asylum in Canada should not conceal their real, particularly financial reasons of their departure from the Czech republic, by alleged persecution, Human Rights and Minorities Minister Dzamila Stehlikova has said.

While the fact that a number of the Gypsies fleeing from the Czech Republic wish to also improve themselves economically and one or two may be simply economic migrants the majority, in the same way as those that fled from Macedonia some years ago into Germany or those from Kosovo. However, the same is used there with regards to sending them back to the countries whence they are being persecuted.

The Minister should be ashamed of herself but then again, I assume she would not know what being ashamed even means, in the same way as Minister Cunek and others in the former Czechoslovakia, as well as in many other EU member states. Italy here comes to mind especially too.

Minister Dzamila Stehlikova said after a meeting of the Government Council for Romany Community Affairs that the Romanies who feel threatened in the Czech Republic should first look for help of state bodies, the council and NGOs.

Seeing the way the Czech police and other authorities in that country persecute the Romanies themselves and certainly from the way that attacks are never properly prosecuted and followed up and the perpetrators never have to fear any real retribution – at least not from the side of the state – I certainly doubt that going to the state for help would do the Rom of the Czech Republic no good at all. Their only option is to leave the country as refugees.

Czech Roma's interest in acquiring asylum in Canada has markedly increased over the past months.

Obviously this reflects very badly on the image of the Czech Republic as far as human rights are concerned in the eyes of the world and hence the Minister has to come up with stupid comments such as the ones that she has made.

Stehlikova said 466 of them applied for asylum in Canada from last November until mid-July.
Canada might reintroduce visas for Czech citizens if the border of 500 applications were crossed, Stehlikova said, adding she is not afraid of this for the time being, however.

Canada re-introduced visas for Czech citizens in 1997 after it lifted them for a short period, in reaction to a high number of asylum seekers from the Czech Republic, primarily Roma.

In the 1996-2000 period, 1677 people with Czech citizenship applied for asylum in Canada and 962 of them were granted it.

The government council wants to prevent further outflow of Roma by supplying them with information on their rights and defence opportunities in case they feel threatened by the majority population or by clerks and the police.

Stehlikova will visit Canada in October where she wants to meet Romani asylum applicants as well as Canadian officials.

One can only assume that she has a hidden agenda for meeting the refugees themselves. I assume we all remember well the times when British police and border agents were based at Czech airports, working hand-in-glove with the Czech authorities, to prevent Romanies from the Czech Republic travel abroad, especially to the United Kingdom.

Oh, but the European Union is good for the Rom, so we are being told. Good? In what respect?

She said she also wants to invite the officials to the Czech Republic to see for themselves that Czech Romanies do not need to fear for their lives.

Macedonia and others did the same with regards to the Roma from those countries with the German government and even the German Protestant Church, the Evangelische Kirche, worked hand-in-glove then with the German authorities, primarily in the Rhineland, to “repatriate” the refugees back to Skopie and such places. One can but assume that the Minister here has the same ideas in mind as far as the Rom currently in Canada are concerned.

© M Smith (Veshengro), September 2008

Roma Summit: a Milestone on the Road towards a Structured Dialogue?

Brussels, September 15th, 2008 – Tomorrow’s European Roma summit is an especially welcome initiative of the European Union: for the very first time a large number of Roma representatives has the occasion of meeting European decision-makers at the top level. Throughout the day, Roma, civil society, national governments and European institution leaders will work together to find an effective way to tackle the persistent discrimination that Roma still face everywhere in Europe.

At the same time, we hope the Summit will not be just a ‘fig leaf’ placed over the lack of concrete action which is needed to promote inclusion of the most deprived and largest minority in Europe. The Summit must instead be the first brick in the foundation for a solid and consistent European Strategy for Roma. We cannot wait until the next Roma pogrom springs up, alarming once again the decision-makers around Europe because they did not make a political response: a European Roma Strategy is needed now!

We also want to underline the need of a constant dialogue between Roma and the authorities from all levels. Here, we insist that all policies targeting Roma should be developed and implemented with the real participation of Roma themselves. The European Commission and Member States should build a more effective and steady relationship with Roma civil society. Roma can not continue to be passive observers of initiatives which concern them.

Finally, we hope that the results of the Summit will reinforce Roma related content within the Social Agenda. The EC policies towards Roma compiled in the Staff Working Paper are too weak when compared to the deep state of exclusion and discrimination experienced by Roma. In order to make it stronger and truly respondent to the real needs of the Roma minority, the European Commission should take the lead by adopting a European Roma Strategy and share its responsibilities with Member States. We hope the Summit will not be just another meeting, but the beginning of a concrete and effective action towards Roma inclusion.

Source: ERIO

The Romani People's Mokadi Law is right after all – proven yet again

by Michael Smith

Many Gohja believe that if some piece of food falls onto the floor and has been there for five seconds or less – the so-called “five second rule” - it can still be eaten and is entirely safe. They also believe that the Romani Mokadi code's rule of throwing away food that has fallen on the floor and not eating it is superstition and such.

However, yet again, much as with the case of not having dogs and cats indoors, science has proven that our Ancient Ones were right in the first place. There is no safe time with food falling on the ground.

It is probably not safe to eat anything that has been on the floor for even one second. In a recent experiment, food scientists contaminated several surfaces with Salmonella. They then dropped pieces of bologna and slices of bread on the floor for as little as five seconds and as long as a whole minute. In the five seconds, both the bread and the bologna picked up an alarming 1,800 types of bacteria. So unless sterilize someone's floor is sterilized and I mean sterilized on an hourly basis it is not safe in any way to eat anything that has fallen onto the floor. The same applies for anything that your shoes may have touched, too.

So, once again proof that the Mokadi Code given to us by our Ancient Onces is as valid today as it was in the days of yore. Hence, once again, we should live by it still and continue to do so.

What is the most amazing part, in my view, is that our Old Ones knew this without having the science to prove it. We do have, I know, all the means of sterilizing cutlery and such like so they do not, maybe, have to be thrown after having accidentally fallen onto the floor or the earth. Food, however, is a different kettle of fish, so to speak, and this does not just apply to fish, and with the food poisoning bacteria it can pick us to quickly by falling on the ground it just is not safe to eat anything that has thus fallen and come in possible contact with contamination.

We can now but wonder how much else is in that ancient knowledge transmitted to us via the old codes, such as the Mokadi Law, which science will, sooner or later, prove to be right and valid still to this very day. Very good reason, methinks, to keep living by it.

© M Smith (Veshengro), September 2008

European Commission OK's Italy's treatment of Gypsies

European Union gives blessing for Italy's Roma fingerprint scheme

by Michael Smith

The European Union has basically told the Berlusconi regime in Italy that their actions against the Roma (and Sinti), the Gypsies, in the camps in Italy is fine by them and Berlusconi states that he always was certain that the EU would clear his government's actions as regards the Gypsy menace.

A Commission spokesman said Brussels was satisified that in conducting a census of Roma gypsies in camps as part of its crackdown on street crime since coming to power in May, the Berlusconi Government was not seeking ''data based on ethnic origin or religion". The controversial fingerprinting programme had the sole aim of ''identifying persons who cannot be identified in any other way".

Well, did anyone think different? Yes, I know, the majority of the Rom in Europe and elsewhere had put their hopes in the EU and some, I guess, still do and I hate to say that I told you so, but I did. The European Union is the greatest danger befalling the Gypsy People in Europe since the Nazis.

This is making the fear that I have that this in Italy – and actions against Rom in other parts of the European Union – is a stalking horse as to what is in store for our People in Europe under the EU leadership at present.

The fingerprinting of minors was only being carried out ''in strictly necessary cases and as the ultimate possibility of identification,'' the statement from the Commission said. On press photos, however, that have been seen by this author and others the stains of the fingerprinting ink is clearly visible on the great majority of all children, including, so it would appear, toddlers.

Mr Berlusconi said the scheme was intended not only to stop gypsy children begging and stealing but also to help Roma people to integrate by drawing them into the Italian health and education systems. Mr Maroni said illegal Roma camps were being dismantled so that "those who have the right to stay here can live in decent conditions".

There are an estimated 160,000 Roma gipsies in Italy, nearly half of whom were born in Italy and have Italian citizenship. The rest are mainly illegal immigrants from the Balkans and Romania.

Obviously, because all of those actions by the new Duce's regime are so benign many Roma who are legal citizens of Italy have been forced to flee into Austria from the regions of South Tirol, for instance.

We are having a problem and no one wants to realize it and our problem as a People does not lie simply with one EU member state, in this case Italy, for it is not just in Italy that official anti-Gypsy actions are taking place. Our problem is with the European Union per se, as it would appear that those anti-Gypsy actions are the new policy coming our way.

I must say that I have been seeing this writing on the wall for a very long time and have written about it and issued warnings and everyone called me a scaremonger and worse even. What worries me most is that it would appear that my predictions have been right and in a way they are worse that what I thought.

The European Commission has now, basically, given the green light to all EU member states to enact their own anti-Gypsy measures under the various guises that they will be using. France is already playing with a number of ideas, as are the former Czechoslovakia and others.

Would this happen if those being the target of those measures would be Jews, whether or not involved in (small) criminal activities? It would not, of that we can all be more than certain. But, yet again, no one cares because the victims are but dirty Gyppos and as far as the great majority of EU member state citizens are concerned Gypsies are worth less than animals, even wild animals that might decimate flocks, such as wolves. While they will go to all lengths to protect such they are happy that Gypsies are being targeted by government and vigilante actions alike.

The fingerprinting and the other measures, such as the bulldozing of the “illegal” camps are 'not discriminatory' and the census is in line with European Union law, the EC said. Jesus wept! It is? What chance have our People got then for protection? None, let's face it.

We, the Rom, must learn to protect ourselves. But then again, the problem is that those in trouble there just could not possibly get off their butts to do anything themselves.

While I, in general, do not have much time for any of the churches it must be said though that, after initial silence, the Vatican seems to have found its voice.

The Vatican urged the EU to carry through on the public commitments they had made to safeguard ethnic minorities like Gypsies.

EU states should treat Gypsy communities as they would other institutions, Msgr Agostino Marchetto, head of the Vatican department that deals with migrant and traveler issues, told Vatican daily l'Osservatore Romano.

''This 'institutionalisation' brings with it the advantage of spurring EU states to become aware of the EU programmes that have been approved,'' Marchetto said at the end of the World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Gypsies in Freising, Germany.

While the Cardinal's statements are very heartening there is a problem with them and that is that the EU commitments are on paper only and they have no intention of honoring them as far as we, the Rom, the Gypsy, are concerned. In fact, everything points to just the opposite, namely that we are being targeted yet again for some assimilation program with which they hope to eliminate the “Gypsy menace”.

We would do well to remember that the police offices for the combating of the Gypsy menace still exist under a variety of guises in a number of European Union member police forces and also the over-regional and international units. Not much has changed in Europe for we, the Rom, since the time of German and Italian Fascism.

Time we did things ourselves.

AVA! Ame Shai!

© M Smith (Veshengro), September 2008

German Neo-Nazis target Hindus For using Swastika

Neo-Nazis are marching through the largest immigrant district in Berlin - Neukoelln on 23rd August 2008, targeting their venom at the site of a new Hindu temple. They claim that Indian symbolism on the new Hindu shrine attacks 'German' culture, because the ancient Indian emblem of the swastika will be used.

It is an irony of the most loopy proportions that ignores the fact that the swastika is an ancient Hindu symbol which was hijacked by the Nazi Party as its' official emblem in 1919. It is incredible then that the neo-Nazis themselves do not perceive this 'foreign symbol' as an attack on their fragile identity and may even use it during the march in their racially perverse version of ancient German folklore and pagan beliefs, which actually have a great deal in common with present day Hindu values, than with the genocidal, racist and xenophobic ideas of National Socialism.

It is also worth remembering that community of Indian descent which keep to certain Hindu ideas despite having resided in Europe for centuries. Treated since their arrival as marginalised untouchables, this community was targeted for extermination by the Third Reich: the Roma or Gypsies.

HHR Calls upon the German authorities to take immediate action against groups promoting xenophobic and racist propaganda against its minorities.

Source: Hindu Human Rights – Serving Hindus Worldwide


This is an open letter on behalf of the Romanies in Sulukule, Istanbul, Turkey

Dear Friends,

Despite all our efforts, internal and international reactions and solidarity, demolitions in Sulukule, Istanbul, the most ancient Roma neighborhood in the world, started once again on August 28th, this time at 6 am in the morning much crueler and inhumane, without any warning before.

The next day, in spite of the wide reactions from the NGO’S and Turkish media, Mustafa Demir, the Mayor of the concerned municipality, Fatih, declared that this fatal “urban renewal project” will go on and the land will be handed to TOKI, the public construction company as if nobody was living there. He also announced they have signed contracts with all inhabitants, owners and tenants except 70 owners. And this is not the case, as you will see below.

In June 25 2008, Istanbul Governorship Human Rights Council Chairmanship
had announced the situation at Sulukule alarming, calling attention to the
unsanitary conditions of the residents and the danger of all rubble and
debris left over from previous demolitions, for people and specially children
of Sulukule (Attachment 1). Fatih Municipality took no notice of the Human
Rights agenda at Sulukule. Instead it seems that the Mayor is determined to drive out Sulukule inhabitants, no matter at what humane cost.

We, as members of the Sulukule Platform, ask that the Fatih Municipality should immediately:

*Stop the demolitions until an alternative project is produced on the basis of a participatory model.

*This alternative project must take into consideration the tenants who want to remain in Sulukule, most of whom have been living among the rubbles, as they don't have any other option. No alternative housing has been proposed to them till now.

There are 2 groups:

-The first group consists of those tenants whose right to house ownership in one of Mass Housing Administration's housing project sites has been recognized by the Municipality. However, many of these right holders have not been entitled to housing since there is no room left for them in Tasoluk. Even though the municipality assures that those tenants who couldn't be accommodated in Tasoluk will be sent to Kayabası (another mass housing site) construction in this location have not even begun. This effectively leaves many families homeless. In total there are 100 families of such status.

-The second group of tenants has not even been considered as right holders from the very beginning. At the beginning of August, these tenants applied to the Fatih Municipality, demanding their entitlements. As of now they are still waiting for an official response. There are 200 families in this second group.

In short, currently there are 300 families in Sulukule, who do not have any place to go. Moreover, the recent demolitions have been carried out so hastily and carelessly that the municipality demolished not only the emptied houses but also the homes of the families who belong to the groups mentioned above. The bulldozers ended up destroying even the homes of people, who signed a contract with the municipality waiting to move to their new homes in Tasoluk. (None of the right holders have yet received their keys for their homes there)

Finally we must add the 70 families (mentioned also by The Mayor Mustafa Demir in his declaration of August 29th) who are owners that refused to sign a contract with the municipality.

All of this adds up to 370 families which means that more than 1500 people have no place to go, even in the determined exile lands, Tasoluk or elsewhere. And this without mentioning that those who singed any kind of contract with the municipality or sold their homes to the speculators have been obliged to do so by fear of becoming homeless and because no other option has been given to them.

We demand that:

* All those who were tenants in the year 2005 when the project was announced must be accepted as right holders without any discrimination. So far the determination of the right holders by the municipality has been totally arbitrary.

*Public service provision in Sulukule must go on until the last inhabitant leaves. Currently, around 2000 people are living among the rubbles of the demolished houses for months, which pose major risks especially for children. The rubbles must be removed urgently. There is no water, no electricity and phone lines in some parts of the neighborhood are cut off. No sanitary precautions are taken. Rats and all kind of pests have infested the neighborhood threatening the public sanity.
All of these public service duties, which are also mentioned in the Istanbul Governor's Human Rights Report must be fulfilled very urgently by the Municipality.

*The new academic year begins on September 1st for primary school students. Children of Sulukule cannot attend schools neither in Sulukule nor in Tasoluk. They cannot do so in Sulukule, because their homes are either demolished or will be demolished soon. And they cannot go to school in Tasoluk, because they are not allowed to move to those houses yet. Thus, their right for education is being violated. And next week the secondary schools will start and it will
be the same for Sulukule youth.

Please show your reaction in solidarity with Sulukule Roma people by calling the authorities to stop demolitions and urging an alternatif project…

Viki Ciprut

In the name of
Sulukule Platform