UN Refuses to Acknowledge Romani Victims of the Holocaust at Annual Ceremony

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Roma Virtual Network

Jan 15, 2009, 4:00:14 PM1/15/09
to Roma_Da...@yahoogroups.com, Ian Hancock

On 27 January 2009 the United Nations' will hold its annual observance of the International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the General Assembly Hall in New York.   No Romani representation was sought.   Requests asking why and for inclusion from several Romani agencies, including the Union Romani and the IRU to both Ms. Mona Gillet (gil...@un.org
) of the Department of Public Information and to Ms. Kimberly Mann (km...@un.org), manager of the United Nations Holocaust Outreach Programme, have remained unanswered.  The one answer that was received consisted of a reminder that the UN had underwritten an exhibit on Roma at the Hungarian Mission, and had hosted the reception of a Romani delegation earlier in the year.

This year, the theme of the memorial ceremony will be “An Authentic Basis for Hope: Holocaust Remembrance and Education” and the keynote speaker will be Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Council. Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka will open the event, which will include a message from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Statements will be made by H.E. Mr. Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, President of the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, and H.E. Ambassador Gabriela Shalev, Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations. Ruth Glasberg Gold, a survivor of the Transnistria camps (in the former USSR) and WWII veteran Leonid Rosenberg, liberator of a concentration camp, will share their personal stories. Cantor Ya'akov Motzen will recite "Kel Ma'le Rachamim" and "Ani Ma'amin". The ceremony will also include musical performances by Elisha Abas (piano) and Yoon Kwon (violin).

The Holocaust was the implementation of the Final Solution, Hitler's genocidal programme intended to eradicate the genetic contaminants in his plan to create a master race.  Only Jews and Romanies were subject to the Final Solution; both peoples lost the same percentage of their total number.  Nothing was done to acknowledge the Romani survivors after 1945. The United Nations' decision to exclude Romanies from Holocaust remembrance only perpetuates the marginalization of our people in the historical record.
Ian Hancock
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