I remember studying about the Holocaust in High School. It felt like we covered everything that could have possibly been covered. We learned about the reasons why Hitler did the things he did. What those things were and what he was trying to accomplish. We learned about the Jewish prisoners. Those…
As we have just finished our very own period of mourning for those we lost in the Porrajmos (Romani Holocaust), I found this post. I understand full well how much neglect that my own people have received. No, we are not included by many Jewish survivors, and neither are the many other racial minorities who lived in Nazi occupied Europe at the time.
During our Porrajmos Remembrance Day, I tweeted the National Holocaust Museum three times before getting a response. I first asked if they were going to acknowledge the Romani Holocaust Memorial Day. No answer.
Then, I asked again. No answer. Finally, I asked if they were going to acknowledge that on that day over 8,000 Romani men, women & children were gassed at Auschwitz.
Their response: “We remember the liquidation of the family camp”.
They would not even refer to us as Romani. They would not acknowledge that our ethnicity suffered genocide, too. They call the Romani section of Auschwitz, the “family camp” as if because children lived there our Holocaust was somehow less than theirs.
Our children got to live at Auschwitz because they were medical experiments! Medical experiments!
The Romani children who were not immediately killed upon arrival were almost entirely sets of twins. Dr. Mengele had a fetish for Romani twins; he sewed them together to re-create conjoined twins, put chemicals on their skin & in their eyes to study how they could change skin & eye color, they removed their genitals or did experimentation on the genitals of children!
How was our Holocaust any less. It wasn’t.
And, no, the individuals of African ancestry received no memorial either. They, like us, received no compensation. There were many people of Egyptian ancestry who lived in Central & Eastern Europe. They were murdered, too. The text books don’t tell you that.
The Romani & ethnic Egyptians have historically been very close, living in the same regions & even inter-marrying, as we are both non-white minorities who lived in Europe. There were black Africans who died at Auschwitz, who suffered with us at Lety, in Hodonin.
Our Holocaust, the genocide of persons of color under Adolf Hitler, deserves recognition, too.
You can’t own the Holocaust. You can’t exclude the Romani, Egyptians, black Africans, homosexuals, the disabled, Selesian Catholics. You can’t keep denying we were there, that we suffered alongside you. We died with you. We screamed in the gas chambers with you. We went out through the chimneys, too.
Jews may have had six million die, but many escaped to America, Britain, Israel. No one tried to help us like they helped the Jews. No one.
No country took us in.
Six million of you died, but the percentage of our people killed far outweighs yours.
Ninety percent. Ninety percent of Romani & ethnic Egyptians were killed.
I guess “never forget” only applies to some.