A commemoration event was held in honor of the Roma victims of the Holocaust in Budapest on Wednesday.
Speakers at the Roma Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration organized by Phiren Amenca, a network of Roma and non-Roma activists working against discrimination, and the March of the Living Foundation agreed that what happened during the Holocaust must never be allowed to happen again. B. Attila Hidvégi, Phiren Amenca’s representative in Hungary, said that the massacre of Roma prisoners in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in August of 1944 had been preceded by the exclusion of and scare-mongering against certain ethnic groups. The event was also addressed by Erzsébet Ponicsán, pastor of the Lutheran Congregation of Rákospalota and the Bolla Árpád Lutheran Retirement Home, and Endre Várady, associate professor at the Baptist Academy of Theology, among others. The Council of Europe declared August 2 Roma Holocaust Memorial Day in 1972. Some 3,000 Roma prisoners killed that night in Auschwitz in 1944 are commemorated on that day. About 500,000 Roma are estimated to have been killed in Nazi camps, 23,000 of them in Auschwitz-Birkenau.