Emerging scholarship is helping to build more complete understanding of the persecution and genocide of European Sinti and Roma under Nazi rule, but many historical questions still remain unanswered and public awareness about the genocide of the Roma remains insufficient. This is why the IHRA Committee on the Genocide of the Roma works to inform IHRA stakeholders about the prejudice towards Roma and Sinti before, during and after the Second World War as well as to demonstrate the link between the history of persecution and the present situation of the Roma. 

In recent years, the Committee has taken several steps to promote education and further remembrance about the genocide of Roma and to carry out research on the topic. These initiatives include supporting the development of the educational website www.romasintigenocide.eu; organizing the May 2017 conference “50 years of Roma Genocide Research”; publishing both an annotated bibliography summarizing the ever-increasing number of publications on the topic and an overview of international organizations working on issues connected to the genocide of the Roma; and taking action to increase and improve adequate memorial sites.

The Committee acknowledges 2 August as international commemoration day of the genocide of the Roma and aims to explore if and how this day is marked in IHRA member countries, with reference to Resolution 2016/2615 of the European Parliament. Furthermore, the Committee aspires to develop a working definition of antigypsyism to provide a guideline to assist in identifying incidents and manifestations of antigypsyism, in collecting data and to support legislation and development of appropriate preventative countermeasures.

The current Chair of IHRA’s Committee on the Genocide of the Roma is Martina Maschke (Austria).

Image: Participants in the seminar “Dikh he Na Bister” at the youth commemoration at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial in 2014. Courtesy of Ternype .