Press Release

1.000 young Europeans remember the 70th anniversary of the Roma Genocide

For immediate release
Krakow, July 24, 2014

Language: English, Bulgarian, Polish, Russian

This coming August 2 marks the 70th anniversary of the Roma Genocide. On this date in 1944, 2,897 elderly men and women, as well as children were murdered in the gas chambers of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. TernYpe – International Roma Youth Network and its partners organize an international conference and youth event gathering 1.000 people from 25 countries to both honour the past and to ensure a future where the rights and dignity of Roma communities are respected.

The Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative is expected to be the biggest commemoration event to date. Karolina Mirga, Secretary General of ternYpe is hopeful that by bringing together young activists, civil society organizations and decision-makers, the current challenges of racism, hate speech and extremism in Europe can be brought to the attention of society as a whole: “70 years have passed since the tragic events of August 2, yet until this day Roma continue to face daily acts of violence, persecution and dehumanization. By refusing to recognize and condemn the past, we are allowing a similar rhetoric to occur in the present day.   It is for that reason that ternYpe is committed to advocate for the wider official recognition of the Roma Genocide. We stand up for Roma dignity.”

The event takes places under the auspices of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Thorbjørn Jagland and the Honorary Patronage of the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Martin Schulz. Moreover, patronage was granted by the Ministry of Administration and Digitalization of the Republic of Poland, the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, the Malopolska Wojewod, as well the Mayor of the City of Krakow.

On August 2, 2014 a commemorationceremony will take place at the Auschwitz Museum. A program of inspirational addresses, poetry readings, and remembrances acts will bring together survivors of a tragic past, with the future generation of young Roma leaders- paving the way for a bright future. Together they will remember the often forgotten and ignored atrocities of the Roma Genocide.

In an intensive 4 day program, participants will take part in workshops, debates, public conferences and action-oriented educational activities where they will deepen their knowledge of the Roma Genocide, and acquire the tools to become actors of change, challenging  racism, hate speech and extremism in Europe.

Keynote addresses will be made by various experts during a public conference devoted to the study of the Roma experience during the Holocaust: Rita Izsák, UN Special Rapporteur on minority issues; Lina Papamichalopoulou, Head of Unit Non-discrimination policies and Roma coordination, European Commission, DG Justice; Romani Rose, director of Central Council of German Sinti and Roma; Karen Pollak – International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA);Prof. Ethel Brooks, Rutgers University; Andrzej Mirga, independent expert on Roma.

Dikh he na bister. Remember the #RomaGenocide. End #RomaDiscrimination. Join #2August.

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e-mail: media@2august.eu          phone: +48 663335295