Romani Holocaust exhibition in Auschwitz
07 November 2001
On August 2, 2001, the opening of a permanent exhibition about the Romani Holocaust in World War II took place in Auschwitz. Various state representatives placed wreaths on a memorial site in the Auschwitz-Birkenau World War II death camp. Costs for the exhibition were about one million German marks (approximately 511,000 euros). Institutions, Romani organisations and private citizens from eleven European countries contributed with photographs and archive documents. The government of Austria reportedly refused requests for financial contributions according to a representative of the non-governmental organisation Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma based in Heidelberg, Germany. For this reason, German Sinti reportedly objected to the Austrian Minister of Internal Affairs speaking at the opening. However, their objections did not succeed, and the Austrian Minister, along with the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Vice-President of the German Parliament delivered speeches, along with Romani Holocaust survivors. According to the Czech daily Lidove Noviny of August 5, 2001, despite an invitation, the Czech embassy in Warsaw did not send a delegate to the memorial in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Many Czech Roma were killed in Auschwitz.