„People Uncounted“ The Roma Genocide during World War II: Continuity between the past and the present

The International Day against Fascism and Antisemitism is a European-wide campaign, coordinated by the network UNITED for Intercultural Action, that takes place every year on the 9th of November, in remembrance of the first violent outbreak of the Nazi terror against Jewish people in the Kristallnacht 1938. This year, Roma Active Albania decided to take this occasion to draw the attention to an almost forgotten side of the Nazi crimes: the persecution and killing of around 500000 Roma people, and to use it as a starting point for the organization’s engagement in the broader campaign for the recognition of the Roma Genocide, which is going to be conducted by the ternYpe network, on European and local levels.

For this purpose, the four EVS volunteers of RAA worked on organizing an open event, which was dedicated to provide a first introduction to this painful topic to the young people of Tirana and give them the possibility to share their ideas, opinions and questions about the past and its connection to the present. As a result, around 30 people came together last Saturday afternoon in the workspace of “Urbanus concept store” in Tirana's city center, to follow the screening of the movie „A people uncounted“, an acclaimed documentary tracing the path from the Roma persecution in the history of Europe to their 

marginalization in today's societies. In the second part of the event, four Roma and Non-Roma youngsters from Albania and Germany shared their experiences made during their commemoration visit to Auschwitz on the 2nd of August, this year, in the context of the ternYpe conference „Dik i na Bistar – Look and don't forget“. The audience appreciated learning about the youngsters’ different perspectives and feelings based on their different backgrounds. After that, a vivid discussion arose about the reasons for the little knowledge and interest, connected to the Roma Genocide, that still exists today. This finally led us to the conclusion: we are looking forward to continuing our work against this neglect, with the purpose of raising awareness about this historical issue and its relevance for the present, in Albania and whole Europe.

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