Video by Jacek Taszakowski and Rafał Żwirek
In the framework of the 7th Berlin Biennale a Civil Initiative, led by The Romani Elders and coordinated by the European Roma Cultural Foundation – ERCF (www.romacult.org) advocates for the completion of the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Murdered under the National Socialist Regime.
In 1992 after years of demand by the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, the German Federal Government decided upon the construction of a Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Murdered under the National Socialist Regime. Today—twenty years after the decision—it remains an abandoned building site in the middle of Berlin.
ERCF is committed to generating a wide network of Roma and non-Roma organizations and individuals throughout Europe and is collecting their signatures in order to make an effort to impose pressure on all participants—including the political sphere, the official authorities, the construction team, and the artist—for the continuation of the building process.
The Roma community aims to communicate the urgent need to finally finish the memorial in order to celebrate in dignity the inauguration together with the handful of survivors and their families. The Civil Initiative began with the dissemination and promotion of a Call for Unity. On June 2 2012 the Romani Elders and the representatives of the younger generation of Roma activism assemble to make their public statements in front of the memorial. We hereby request all individuals and organizations who support this Initiative to join us!
It is the main objective of the Initiative to carve the memory of the Sinti and Roma victims into the European collective memory. The Romani Elders and the Roma community will complete their mission if the disputing parties look beyond their ego-wars, recognize what is really important in this project, and agree to promptly continue the building process until the memorial site is open to the public. We believe it is essential to commemorate the Sinti and Roma victims of the Holocaust and place them in history in order to acknowledge the continuing attacks towards the Roma throughout Europe today.
Photos from the demonstration on June 2, with the artist Timea Junghaus, Romani-Elder Ágnes Daróczi, the sculptor Dani Karavan and other ERCF members.
Photos: Marta Gornicka