As part of the commemoration of the liberation of the concentration camps Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora in April 1945, the chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, Romani Rose, recalled the fate of the minority during the Nazi era on April 16, 2023, and also warned against dangerous developments in the present:
“Not only in Germany, but also in Europe, right-wing extremist and nationalist groups and parties are openly agitating against our democratic constitutional state and also against minorities. They make antigypsyist, anti-Semitic and racist arguments presentable again and stir up violence,” said Romani Rose. He added that again and again, antigypsyist violence continues to happen, as most recently in the attacks in Hanau on February 19, 2020 and in Munich on July 22, 2016, where members of the Sinti and Roma minority were also murdered.
“Remembering the history of National Socialism is an important prerequisite for us to recognize the dangers for our state in time. Last year, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the security authorities clearly demonstrated the defensibility of our state through their intervention against so-called Reichsbürger and right-wing extremist networks,” Romani Rose explained.
For this reason, the Central Council’s chairman pointed out that “minorities in particular are especially dependent on compliance with the principles of the rule of law” and called on state institutions to “take antigypsyism seriously as a danger and to counteract it.” According to the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, 145 crimes motivated by antigypsyism were recorded last year, including numerous cases of grievous bodily harm. “However, a high number of unreported cases must be assumed. For this reason, the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, with the support of the Federal Government, has begun to establish a nationwide information- and report centre against antigypsyism,” said Romani Rose.
In his speech, Romani Rose also remembered the Buchenwald and Auschwitz survivor Rudolf Steinbach, who had campaigned for information about the Holocaust against the Sinti and Roma and who recently died on March 23, 2023, at the age of 95.