On 2 August, Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth represented the Federal Government at an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the so called “Gypsy Camp” in Auschwitz.
Remembering the murdered Roma and Sinti
“The attempted genocide of the European Roma and Sinti still serves as a warning that we must resolutely combat xenophobia and racism. The untold suffering of the victims of the National Socialist terror regime must never be forgotten,” according to Roth.
Even today, too many Roma and Sinti were marginalised, living on the sidelines of society despite the fact that they have been a part of Europe for numerous centuries, stressed Roth. He added that in this respect yet further joint efforts were needed to improve their situation in a tangible and palpable way.
A responsibility to protect minorities
The day before the event (1 August), Minister of State Roth met representatives of the Jewish community in Krakow and discussed European policy on minorities with young people in the International Youth Meeting Center in Auschwitz.
“The European Union is first and foremost a community of shared values. All member states have committed themselves to freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and above all to the protection of minorities. Europe will only have a good future if it is tolerant and has an open mind towards the world,” said Roth.
Yet commitments written on paper were not enough, the Minister of State highlighted, these values had to be consistently put into practice in daily life, they had to be fought for and protected, something which the member states had a joint responsibility to do. In his discussions, Roth emphasised that the best way of doing so was through engaged, European oriented youth work.