Gypsies are often referred to as the “forgotten victims of the Holocaust”. In early December 2003, in the Jewish Holocaust Museum, an exhibition opened in memory of Gypsies killed during the Second World War. The exhibition – devised by Katazhina Pollok, a Gypsy artist from Germany, and Lee Fuhler, a poet and President of the Romani Association of Australia – was dedicated to the 500,000 European Gypsies who fell victim to genocide.
Eva Justin, a specialist in “Racial Hygiene”, posed as a missionary in order to conduct a survey among Gypsies. The results of her “research” formed the theoretical basis behind the Nazis’ policy of extermination of Gypsies in the death camps. EVA Justin succeeded in evading prosecution for Nazi crimes, and in avoiding punishment.
The Permanent Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has adopted a programme to improve the lot of Gypsies in European countries, including a series of measures designed to integrate Gypsies into modern society and to fight discrimination against them. The document lists the steps that are to be taken in terms of legislative and social policy, with the aim of improving the health and living conditions of Gypsies, overcoming unemployment and financial problems, increasing the accessibility of a school education, helping Gypsies to participate in social and political life, and developing cooperation with international and public organisations.
(Based on the materials from the Dzeno Association: http://www.dzeno.cz)
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Rajko Djuric, the former President of the International Romani Union (IRU), called for the formation of a pan-European Gypsy political party. He proposed that activists from the Gypsy organisations in the various member states of the European Community, as well as those soon to become members, join together to work out party policy.