For Sinti and Roma There are no Safe Countries of Origin
Tomorrow, Romani all over the world celebrate International Romani Day, which takes place for the 46th time. Romani and non-Romani commemorate the victims of murder, replacement, exclusion and discrimination but they also celebrate self-assertion and political fights. The 8th of April reminds of the beginning of the Roma civil rights movement, the first World-Romani-Congress in London, where 23 representatives from nine states debated cultural and social questions concerning Romani. On this occasion, the discriminating term „gipsy“ was discarded in favour of the proper name „Romani“.
Today, in a time of growing Antiziganism, it is all the more important to raise the issue of the history of this European ethnic minority. Beyond all soap box oratory still Romani and Sinti are deported to countries where they are subjected to massive persecution and discrimination. The German government declared them „safe“ countries of origin. For Romani there are no „safe“ countries of origins.
Beyond all well-meaning appellations the Porajmos, the National Socialist mass murder of 500.000 Sinti and Romani, belongs to one of the mostly forgotten chapters of the crimes of Nazism. This pertains all the more to its denial and the continued persecution in Germany. It is all the more encouraging that in the meantime many smaller and bigger Romani organisations confidently and tirelessly fight for equal rights and against discrimination.