An ignored resistance

resistence 545

About 6000 Roma and Sinti prisoners in the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp resisted SS officers who intended to exterminate them in gas chambers on May 16, 1944.

16 May is commemorated every year to remember and celebrate this resistance. Roma activists, however, still struggle to spread the knowledge and raise awareness about the resistance, which is largely ignored in the media and public sphere.

According to the European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network, "The Nazi intended to exterminate the Roma completely as early as May 1944. On May 15, Gypsy Camp director SS Georg Bonigut ordered the inmates to stay in their barracks. The next day, 50 to 60 SS men surrounded the camp. They attempted to force the prisoners out of the barracks, but failed to do so. The 16th of May 1944, men, women and children of the Gypsy camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, warned by the internal Resistance Network of the camp, got  organized in order to fight off SS guards who came the same night to lead them to the Gas Chambers. Fearing casualties, the Nazi withdrew in front of the rebellion of Roma men, women and children."

However, the Roma in the camp were exterminated on the night of 2-3 August.

Roma activists hold various events including marches and seminars to commemorate the date, however the resistance is still largely unknown by the general public. Activists complain abouth the lack of references to the event in history books and even the fact that it is not included in most of the Roma movements' key activities.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Related Posts

Europe's anti-minority sentiment aimed at Roma

16/06/2015

aimed 110The most pervasive anti-minority attitudes are against the Roma in Europe, according to a research by Pew Research Center.

Beirut: “World Book Capital 2009”

13/09/2007

Beirut: “World Book Capital 2009”Unesco Director-General announced on the 3rd of July the nomination of Beirut as the “World Book Capital 2009”. According to the selection committee, the city of Beirut was selected “in the light of its focus on cultural diversity, dialogue and tolerance, and of its diverse and stimulating programme.” During that year the city should undertake to organise and run a larger number of events around books, literature and reading.

When roads do not end in Rome

16/02/2012

When roads do not end in Rome14th and last post. They say all roads lead to Rome. Even that of Mussa Khan and the thousands of Afghanmuhajirins for whom Italy is just a stop in the restless and tormented search for a better life. Among the building sites along the Ostiense Station stops the story of a journey that has no end