Tech & Rights

The Week of Memory: Italy Commemorates the Romani Holocaust

Two events commemorate the Holocaust and its victims by exploring the genocide of Roma and Sinti by Nazi and fascist regimes.

by Federica Brioschi
For the Week of Memory – a series of events across Italy commemorating the Holocaust – The Italian Coalition for Civil Rights and Freedoms (CILD) has organized two conferences, beginning with one at the Italian Senate on January 27.

Historians estimate that as many as 500,000 Romani were murdered by the Nazis and other fascist regimes in the 1930s and '40s. The historical facts of this genocide can’t be forgotten, especially now that we are in a moment when hatred is being used as a weapon against the "different" and the "other," which only invites dangerous racist and xenophobic acts.

For these reasons, this year we will remember two important parts of the Holocaust: the genocide of Roma and Sinti, and the persecution of women.

The genocide of Roma and Sinti

The conference “The genocide of Roma and Sinti during Nazi-facism. A dismissed memory” will take place on January 27 at 11:00 at the Italian Senate, in the Sala dell’Istituto di Santa Maria in Aquiro (Piazza Capranica 72).

The following guests will participate during the event, which has been organized by CILD on the initiative of the Extraordinary Commission for the protection and promotion of Human Rights and the cooperation of Associazione 21 Luglio: Patrizio Gonnella (president of CILD); Robert Rydberg (Swedish ambassador to Italy); Carlo Stasolla (president of Associazione 21 Luglio); Paola Trevisan (anthropologist); and Majgull Axellson (writer, author of the book "Io non mi chiamo Miriam," which tells the story of a Roma woman who survived extermination in a concentration camp by denying her origins and declaring to be Hebrew).

Nazism against women

The conference “Hebrew women and the others. Nazism against women,” organized by CILD and Magen David Kashet Italia, an LGBT Hebrew group, will be held on January 31.

The conference will be held at the Casa Internazionale delle Donne starting from 18:00. The speakers will be: Patrizio Gonnella (president of CILD); Serafino Marco Fiammelli (president of MDKI); Anna Segre (psychotherapist and professor); Marilina Rachel Veca (writer and president of Rinascere/Amicizia Italo Serba Onlus); and Emma Halfon.

They will tell the often-forgotten story of the role that women had to assume in the Third Reich. Another forgotten violence is the one perpetrated by the Ustaše, who helped the Nazis exterminate women who were Hebrew, Serbs, orthodox, and political activists.

For the event of January 27, appropriate clothing is required, and men must wear a jacket and tie. Access to the room where the conference will be held is granted until the full capacity of the room is reached. Journalists have to sign up to participate according to the usual procedure by sending a fax to 0667062947.

For the event of January 31, access is free and it is not necessary to sign up.

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