A delegation of Gypsies from Europe will participate in commemorations to be held on Holocaust Memorial Day this year. This will be the first time that an official delegation of the European Romani Union (ERU), which represents members of the Gypsy/Romani community in the EU, will participate in Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations in Israel.
Roman Kwiatkowski, Chairman of Poland’s Romanies’ Association, a member group of the ERU, said that it was most appropriate that the group participate in official Holocaust Commemoration Day events. In a statement announcing the delegation’s visit, Kwiatkowski said that Jews and Gypsies/Roma had both shared the same fate in Nazi Europe, as the Nazis sought to exterminate both communities. The Nazis managed to destroy half of Europe’s Gypsy/Roma population, he said – a total of at least some 500,000 people, and as many as 1.5 million, by some estimates. More than 90% of the Czech Gypsy/Roma community were murdered.
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