As part of Roma Holocaust/Pharraimos Remembrance Day, one minute of silence will be observed on August 2, 2012 at 12 noon at the Holocaust memorial stone in front of the Palais de l’Europe, Council of Europe, in Strasbourg in memory of over 3,000 Roma and Sinti exterminated in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the German Nazis in 1944.

With the adoption of the Chart on Roma Rights by the Plenary Assembly held on February 24 2010, ERTF has reinforced its commitments to raise awareness of Pharraimos, which is less well recognised, and frequently separated from that of the Jewish experience, especially in the teaching of the history of this period. The Holocaust commemoration also has a role in combating anti-Tziganism and other forms of intolerance.

The European Roma and Travellers Forum therefore calls on all Roma around the world as well as the entire international community, to show their solidarity on this day by observing one minute of silence and to organise commemorations in their cities, countries, mahalas, ghettos on August 2, at noon, in order to remember those Roma who suffered during the Nazi era, and whose voices has been made silent by the killing gas.

Did you know ?

Throughout German-occupied Europe, Roma were interned, and then deported to slave-labour and death camps. They were despised because of their social status. The existence of the Roma was also seen as a threat to  "Aryan" blood purity. Hundreds of thousands of Roma were killed by SS and police units in the East; more were deported and killed in camps. At Birkenau, a special camp was built to house Roma inmates, where they continued to live in Family units. Roma children were subjected to brutal and inhumane "medical experiments" by Dr. Mengele and his staff. On August 2, 1944, the Gypsy camp at Auschwitz was "liquidated". All its men, women, and children were sent to the gas chambers.