Fidesz MEP Lívia Járóka said on Thursday that Europe owes its strength to its diversity, and its history, culture, industry and society would be poorer without its Roma citizens. The MEP made the remarks in connection with the recent Roma Holocaust Memorial Day.
Járóka told MTI that social inclusion, the fight against exclusion and promoting social integration are shared responsibilities. Almost 80 years later, it is still clear that what happened at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp was genocide and a series of crimes against humanity, she said. Innocent European citizens were exterminated on the basis of an exclusionary ideology whose only purpose was organised destruction, she added. “Millions of lives were taken away, ruined and destroyed,” Járóka said. “Though Europe faced numerous trials over the course of its history, the blood-spattered decades of the 20th century were a methodical attack on our most fundamental values, which must never be allowed to happen again.” Efforts by European Union member states must serve as the basis of the fight against anti-Roma sentiment, the MEP said, adding that this required committed governments, a supportive majority in society and vital local communities. August 2 was declared Roma Holocaust Memorial Day in 1972 based on a resolution adopted at the World Roma Federation’s Paris congress. More than 3,000 Roma prisoners killed that night in Auschwitz in 1944 are commemorated on that day.