- PRESS RELEASE – “EDUCATION FOR REMEMBRANCE OF THE ROMA GENOCIDE: SCHOLARSHIP, COMMEMORATION AND THE ROLE OF YOUTH” edited by Anna Mirga-Kruszelnicka, Esteban Acuña C. and Piotr Trojański; Libron (2015).
On August the 2nd of 2014 ternYpe International Roma Youth Network gathered over 1,000 young Roma and non-Roma from 25 countries to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Roma Holocaust. The event – Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative “Dikh he na bister” (Look and don’t forget) – was the biggest commemorative event of the Roma Holocaust in history. Never before had so many people gathered in one place to reflect on collectively shared history and discuss its importance for Roma people today.
For years, the horrors experienced by Roma people during the World War II were referred to as the “forgotten Holocaust”. Indeed, for decades it was. In recent years, however, the plight for Roma Genocide recognition and remembrance has gained an unprecedented momentum, gradually becoming a better-known and widely accepted historical fact. A number of interdependent and parallel developments contributed to this process in three different spheres of social practice and discourse: scholarship, commemoration practices and Roma mobilization.
In order to critically reflect on these developments an expert conference was organized in the framework of the Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative 2014 “Dikh he na bister”, organized by ternYpe International Roma Youth Network in partnership with the Pedagogical University of Cracow. Throughout the event, the youth – as scholars, educators, multipliers and activists – were at the heart of the discussions, recognizing the strength and potential of youth agency.
The book “Education for Remembrance of the Roma Genocide: Scholarship, Commemoration and the Role of Youth” is a result of this exchange. However, rather than a report from the conference, this volume – conceived as interdisciplinary, cross-institutional and inter-generational – aims at reflecting on current developments regarding the Roma Holocaust remembrance and provides basis for further discussion. The heterogeneity of voices included in this volume reflects richness of perspectives, experiences and points of view. We invited to contribute to this book Roma and non-Roma scholars of various disciplines, senior and youth Roma activists, organizations and institutions, and, most importantly, Roma Holocaust survivors. The articles included in this book have diverse formats – scholarly articles, manifests, personal testimonies, speeches and an interview. Our aim is to provide an inclusive space which uplifts non-academic knowledge to ranks of equal importance with academic discourse. Many of those, beyond providing unique perspectives, can be treated as primary sources for further research.
Through this book, we acknowledge the intersecting fields of scholarship, institutional engagement and youth movements, which reinforce each other, and collectively contribute to Roma Genocide education. Our aim is to stimulate further discussion across different fields of engagement and disciplines, and among the variety of actors involved in Roma Holocaust commemoration and education. We hope that this book will contribute to raising awareness about the Roma Genocide, and will become an additional tool in fighting Anti-Gypsyism today.
*** The book was financed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Commission.
*** The book will be launched officially on 20th of November at the Pedagogical University of Cracow, from 16:30 – 18:30, in the framework of “Jaw siun – Cyclical Meetings about Roma at the Pedagogical University in Cracow” organized in partnership with the ternYpe International Roma Youth Network.