May 13, 2018 is a Sunday to be remembered and not for merely Mother’s Day. Today, the Roma people of the Czech Republic came together to commemorate the fallen: men, women, and children that were taken too soon by the Nazi purge during the second World War. The holocaust is estimated to have taken some 300,000 to 500,000 Roma lives between 1939 to 1945. However, after 1948 the massacre of the Roma people were forgotten from the history books and only the Jews and their sacrifice were remembered they were even given a homeland. The Roma, on the other hand received no recognition; however, this is beginning to change and after 70 are so years the nations are starting to teach in schools and museums that not only Jews were massacred from 1939 to 1945. Currently, school age children, scholars, and adults are learning that the Roma, homosexuals, religious defectors, disabled persons, and people in opposition of the government were rounded up tortured, experimented upon, imprisoned, and ultimately sent to gas chambers or executed for fun.
With that being said, a beautiful ceremony, commemorating loss was overshadowed by music, culture, and the hope for a better and brighter tomorrow for the Roma people of the world. It is an effort to fight to be heard by people who refused to acknowledge that your people were brought to near extinction. Regardless of this notion, sentiments are changing and people are striving for a more inclusive and communicable social construct. It is equated that society evolves but in reality, it doesn’t, for it is not constructed to evolve. For no matter which decade one is born in; for example, the 60s, which was a time of social reform and civil rights throughout the world, lasting from the mid 60s to the early 80s. Decade after decade promises for equality, diversity, and inclusion was made and the problems are still very much prevalent in the construct of the 21st century. Words matter for it is the driving force behind every action. Therefore, the argument implies the following, if you are born to a particular race or creed of people who are discriminated against, this is your fate.
Interesting, is it not, here are people fighting against social injustice for the betterment of its people and they are the antiquated villains of this social operatic tragedy. The law makers pat themselves on the back and praise themselves for their progressive and intellectual insight and the people cheer in awe and agreement. However, what happens to the people who worked to incur this momentous occasion they are left in the same situation; for example, everyone praises Martin Luther King for his valor and insightful vision but did things really change. The Martin Luther King model is utilized by all discriminated peoples including the Roma, turn the other cheek, endure, and press on and you shall have peace at last, it is a farce. 70 years after the peace treaty signed and the Roma are still fighting the same injustices. Truthfully speaking, societies in Europe and other places are working to come up with solutions to remedy the underlining issues directly affecting Roma communities, but trust is severed, on both sides so it is difficult to see a true resolution to mastering any solution towards Roma inclusion.
Nevertheless, 70 years later and the Roma have faced the Nazi tribulation, antigypsyism, and several exodus throughout the years and still they endure. The holocaust is not a memory of pain and suffering but one of strength, survival, and endurance against an oppressive regime that took everything except the Romani spirit or pride of being Roma.
By commemorating the dead, the Roma people are celebrating a life, a culture, and a sense of pride of being who they are which is the reason they were slaughtered in the first place no one can take that away from them not even the words of history.