Roma Dignity

Paris City Hall welcomes “Roma Memory” exhibition to record turnout

“In giving back the Roma their history, this exhibit gives them back dignity.” – Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo

screen-shot-2016-08-04-at-4-44-06-pmMayor Anne Hidalgo tours the exhibit with Father Desbois, Costel Nastasie and Pierre Aidenbaum, Mayor of the 3rd arrondissement of Paris.

On May 10, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo opened our “Roma Memory” exhibit at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) in Paris as she was guided through the exhibit by Father Desbois. Previously on display at the European Commission in Brussels, this exhibit is the first of its kind and its premiere in Paris marks the first time that it is open to the public at large.

Based on YIU testimony, the exhibit takes viewers through the history of the Roma genocide during World War II through a series of large-scale modules, archival photographs and the testimonies of survivors who are speaking about the experiences for the first time. During the inauguration, we also welcomed S.E.M. Anguel Tcholakov, Bulgarian Ambassador to France, Pierre Aidenbaum, Mayor of the 3rd arrondissement of Paris, Dr. Richard Prasquier, President of Keren Hayessod France and Vice President of Yahad, and Catherine Vieu-Charier, Deputy to the Mayor on memory and global issues.

Open to the public beginning on May 11, the exhibit was on display at Hôtel de Ville until July 2. The exhibit received over 8,000 visitors. Guided tours were offered regularly with a Yahad-In Unum team member in order to enable visitors to delve deeper into the exhibit’s content.

“Roma Memory” Exhibit Premiere at the European Commission

In January, the European Commission  recognized International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a day of recognition of the Roma victims of the Holocaust, which included the premiere of our exhibit, “Roma Memory.” With the voices of European Commission officials, Father Patrick Desbois, President of Roma Dignity Costel Nastasie, Nicolae Caldarar (a Roma survivor of the genocide) and Esma Redžepova, celebrated Roma singer, this day was a deeply moving remembrance of the often forgotten victims of the Holocaust. Below you can watch highlights from the event through a short video clip.

Tribute by President François Hollande

On April 26, 2015 during his commemoration at the former concentration camp of Natzweiler-Struthof, President François Hollande paid tribute to Yahad-In Unum’s research work, in partnership with Roma Dignity, to collect survivors’ testimonies on the Roma genocide.

Recognition by the European Parliament

Laying the groundwork for a path to dignity, on April 16, 2015, the European Parliament officially recognized the Roma Holocaust through the establishment of a unique day dedicated to Roma Holocaust commemoration.

This commemoration stands not only as a recognition of the hundreds of thousands of Roma who were killed during World War II, but also as a breakthrough in the effort to fight against Roma discrimination in Europe today.

Below, watch an interview with Roma Dignity President Costel Nastasie and European Deputy Soraya Post.

Divano Bisterdo