U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues visits the Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma in Heidelberg

On 8 December 2022, Ms. Ellen Germain, U.S. Government’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, visited the Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma in Heidelberg. During the visit, Romani Rose, Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, expressed his concerns about the fact that enemies of democracy continue to relativize and deny the Holocaust crimes against 6 million Jews and 500,000 Sinti and Roma.

During the conversation, Rose stressed the importance of recognizing the Holocaust against Sinti and Roma at a time when antigypsyism, antisemitism and racism contribute to the division of society:  “The Central Council would like to see the U.S. government follow the resolution of the European Parliament, which in 2015 declared 2 August the International Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma. The visit of the U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues stands for raising awareness for this part of the Nazi crimes at the international level.”

Ms. Ellen Germain, U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, commented her visit to the Documentation Center: “I was very moved by my visit to the Center, and seeing the excellent exhibit about the Nazi persecution of the Sinti and Roma.  I think we all still have a lot to learn about this tragic aspect of World War II history — it’s very important to raise awareness about the Nazi persecution and murder of the Sinti and Roma.”

At the Documentation Center, the U.S. Special Envoy toured the permanent exhibit on the Holocaust of 500,000 murdered Sinti and Roma in Nazi-occupied Europe. The conversation also addressed the situation of the minority in Germany and in Europe, as well as the dangers of antigypsyism / anti-Roma racism, which is deeply rooted in society and is again manifested today through violent attacks and exclusion of the minority. The U.S. Special Envoy and the chairman of the Central Council agreed on closer cooperation for education, remembrance and research on the Holocaust, including on the 500,000 murdered Sinti and Roma in Nazi-occupied Europe.

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