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Roma Holocaust survivor pleads for better treatment in Europe

The Local · 27 Jan 2011, 12:33

Published: 27 Jan 2011 12:33 GMT+01:00

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Speaking before the Bundestag lower house of parliament in Berlin, Dutch-born Holocaust survivor Zoni Weisz, 73, said Europe had still failed to learn crucial lessons from the Nazi era.

"In western European countries such as Italy and France, (Roma) are again facing discrimination and exclusion and living in inhumane conditions in ghettos," he said.

"We are Europeans, let me remind you, and must have the same rights as any other resident, with the same opportunities available to every European. It is unacceptable that a people that has been discriminated against and oppressed for centuries is today, in the 21st century, still shut out and robbed of any honest chance for a better future."

Weisz was speaking on the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by Soviet troops on January 27, 1945, which Germany has marked since 1996 with official memorial ceremonies for Holocaust victims.

It was the first time that a Roma has been the keynote speaker at the commemoration.

Historians say the Nazis exterminated between 220,000 and 500,000 of the around one million Roma in Europe during World War II.

Italy and France have drawn international criticism for their treatment of Roma recently, with Paris under fire last year for rounding up thousands of Roma from illegal camps and sending them back to Romania and Bulgaria.

European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding sparked a row with Paris in September over her vocal criticism of the French government's treatment of Roma in which she drew parallels with World War II.

In October, the European Commission dropped a threat of legal action against France over the expulsions after Paris vowed to change its freedom of movement laws.

Story continues below…

About 10 million Roma live in Europe, 70,000 of whom have a German passport, according to the Central Council of Sinti and Roma in Germany.

Tens of thousands of other Roma live in Germany, most of them refugees from Bosnia and Kosovo.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

19:16 January 27, 2011 by Gretl
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
04:14 January 28, 2011 by portapotty

Your intentional ignorance regarding this subject is astounding. It is as dirty and disgusting as suggesting the Jewish people brought their trouble on themselves. People say America is racist, but it doesn't come close to the types of xenophobia expressed by your typical European fascist.
09:38 January 28, 2011 by catjones
When any member of a society is singled out and discriminated against by the State for being a member of a group, then no member of that society is free; it is an illusion of freedom.
22:25 January 28, 2011 by bjdoc425
I am able to live in Bulgaria in the summers. I have experienced both extremes in the Roma situation. On one side, when I get close to them, I learn to love them. When I see the abuse put on them as transient agricultural workers, I feel sick inside. Many labor camps are not even provided any drinking water, and I find them being forced to buy soda water, which they often have to carry many kilometers from the local village store.

One village reminds me of Rio De Jenoro in Brazil. The roma live on the east of the river and railroad in unbelievable falling down crowded circumstances with no city water or sewage. West of the tracks, the Bulgarians live in lovely houses with yards, trees, and city utilities. Images of a young girl fallowing her family done the road, were shoes that we cast aways from her father, breaks my heart. Please wake up to this tragedy and [ provide programs that will incorporate them into the modern and humane world.
22:37 January 28, 2011 by DrGideonPolya
Significant parts of the problem of anti-Roma racism are (a) entrenched European racism against Roma (as notoriously exhibited by, for example, the vile French and German Roma deportations in recent years) and (b) the obscene, false and racist identification by the genocidal racist Zionists running Apartheid Israel of the WW2 Holocaust (30 million Slavs, Roma and Jews killed) with the Jewish Holocaust (5-6 million Jews killed, 1 in 6 dying from deprivation).

The Awful Truth was that the racist Zionists (RZs) actively collaborated with the Nazis, opposed the Joel Brand Plan to save Hungarian Jews, murdered Allied soldiers in Palestine and offered official support for the Nazis in exchange for Nazi support for the Palestinian Genocide (see Joel Brand and Lenni Brenner, Jews Against Racist Zionism).

Roma need equal rights in practice and that in turn will mean equal life expectancies. Thus the huge excess deaths (avoidable deaths) in Hungary as compared to Western European countries (circa 30,000 excess deaths annually) can be attributed in part to the huge excess mortality of Hungarian Roma).

Roma circumstances will improve when there is zero tolerance for racists (e.g. the Nazis, neo-Nazis, racist Zionists, KKK) and everyone accepts t the core message from the WW2 Holocaust of Slavs, Gypsies and Jews of "never again to anyone". Unfortunately, thanks to the racist Zionists, neocon Anglo-Americans and their associates Germany is involved in the US Alliance Afghan Genocide (post-invasion violent deaths and avoidable deaths from deprivation now total 4.9 million and under-5 infant deaths total 2.6 million; Google Afghan Holocaust, Afghan Genocide, Muslim Holocaust, Muslim Genocide).
14:16 January 31, 2011 by Johnny Cash
When will Israel have a national holocaust day for the Caninites? Are these events time dependent? Could it be the Nazi leadership got their ideas from reading the old testament in Mcbible
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