Serbian Minister of Health Slavica Đukić-Dejanović insisted that the genocide was one of the most tragic episodes for the Roma people during the Second World War and that it should be always remembered.
She also said that crimes shouldn’t be forgotten and should never be repeated, there or in any other place.
Among the those who attended the ceremony were Pančevo Mayor Pavle Radanov and a representative of the National Council of the Roma National Minority, Mr Živojin Mitrović.
During the war, 20,000 Roma people died in the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in Poland, after Nazi Gestapo Commander Heinrich Himmler ordered for them to be deported from all occupied countries. Casualties at the end of the war recorded 1.2 million killed.
Radanov explained how the government is now implementing new strategies to help the Roma people find work through various programs and to encourage their children to finish their studies. He believes that is the right way out of poverty and they are determined to give a good example, the B92.NET reports.
Živojin Mitrović believed that the pain Roma endured during the war was too often forgotten and asked the Serbian citizens to stand up and show respect and pay their tribute for the sacrifices made. “Let us try and remember all those who gave their life for this cause and let us promise that their sacrifice and pains were not in vain, that they will never be forgotten, and let us show to everyone, both the neighbors and the international community, that being different is a virtue and not a flaw,” continued Mitrović.
The international remembrance day of the Second World War genocide against Roma was this year attended by descendants, diplomatic figures and representatives of the Roma ethnic minority.