Today marks the 76th anniversary of the uprising of the Roma people as another victim and target of Nazism, which is rarely talked about in public.
On May 15, the highest command of the Nazi police decided to kill all the prisoners in the so-called "gypsy camp" in order to free up space for the transport of Jews from Hungary.
On the night of May 16, 1944, some 6,000 Roma from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp faced extinction in a desperate attempt to save their lives and oppose the German SS.
The Roma are raising the uprising with improvised weapons, fighting the soldiers with stones, iron pipes, wooden panels, barbed wire and smuggled planks. They managed to repel an attack by hundreds of German soldiers. They manage to delay the extinction. The next day, the German army, regrouped and heavily armed, quells the uprising. Half of the 6,000 detainees were sent to other camps, and the rest were killed on August 2.
However, such forms of resistance are largely not mentioned, nor are they adequately marked in today's commemorations of the struggle against fascism. In recent years, initiatives have been launched by Roma activists, recalling the historical resistance of the Roma people in brutal Nazi camps and (following the example of other movements) by updating the topic of reparations for past and current racist violence.
However, the failure of modern Europe in terms of the Holocaust against the Roma must be noted. Various programs adopted over the years to repair Holocaust victims provide financial compensation to certain groups, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, people with disabilities, and LGBT victims - some of whom include Roma. But reparations programs for Roma victims have not yet been adopted.
May 16 is a day to commemorate the resistance of the Roma, a lesser-known and forgotten target of Nazi Germany's racist policies.