Marking the Day of Roma Resistance, Fidesz MEP Lívia Járóka said the Roma people have a place in Europe’s shared history.
Járóka paid tribute to prisoners of the Roma camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau who on May 16, 1944, gathered together to fight off Nazi guards who had come to take them to the gas chambers. The Roma have suffered many atrocities over the course of history, Járóka said, noting that they had been persecuted, forced into slavery and subjected to forced assimilation policies. “However, this has often been left out of the commonly known and taught historical narratives, leading to a lack of knowledge on the subject,” the Roma MEP said. This further fuelled negative stereotypes and incorrect information about the Roma as well as a lack of understanding of their experiences, struggles and contributions, she added. The Roma persevered despite the challenges they faced, Járóka said, adding that they had preserved their rich cultural identity and traditions. This is why, she said, Roma scientists, activists and artists played a crucial role in dispelling stereotypes, questioning of prejudices, documenting Roma history and promoting the policy of inclusion. Including Roma perspectives and knowledge in scientific research, cultural institutions and political decision-making contributes to a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of European history and culture, Járóka said.