Commemoration – Roma Holocaust Memorial Day 2018

We commemorate, because we must remember! One who doesn’t remember the past will have no future. We need to know what happened, we need to make a memento and we need to remember who we really are and what we tend to do in certain circumstances. Human wickedness has no limits.

But we must not only look far, since organized genocides also happened in the recent past: remember Sudan, Rwanda, Bosnia, the massacre in Srebrenica, or today: Syria, the Middle East war zones or the wars in Africa.

Many claim that people are basically born with a good nature, but the Bible clearly states that people are inherently evil, they are born with a nature to satisfy their own desires and they will inevitably commit sins. This is shown in Psalm 51:5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.

On one of the first pages of the Holy Scripture we can already see Kain, the first murderer who killed his brother, because he was jealous of him.

Gypsies are a special people of God, since others wanted to silence them, to chase them away and to destroy them all the time. But just as the Jewish people, the more the Roma people were attacked, the stronger they became and the stronger they are.

Today, on 2 August, together with citizens of many countries we commemorate the Roma Holocaust.

Wikipedia describes that tragedy like this, I quote:

“The Romani genocide or the Romani Holocaust—also known as the Porajmos (Romani pronunciation: IPA: [pʰoɽajˈmos]), the Pharrajimos (“Cutting up”, “Fragmentation”, “Destruction”), and the Samudaripen (“Mass killing”)—was the effort by Nazi Germany and its World War II allies to commit genocide against Europe’s Romani people.

Under Adolf Hitler, a supplementary decree to the Nuremberg Laws was issued on 26 November 1935, classifying Gypsies as “enemies of the race-based state”, thereby placing them in the same category as the Jews. Thus, in some ways the fate of the Roma in Europe paralleled that of the Jews in the Jewish Holocaust.

Historians estimate that between 220,000 and 500,000 Romani were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators—25% to over 50% of the slightly fewer than 1 million Roma in Europe at the time. Ian Hancock puts the death toll as high as 1.5 million.”

End of quote.

I have mentioned the past and the future, but we also need to consider the present. I wonder how we look at our Roma fellow citizens and how what we think of them? What would we do, if there was an obvious act of violence against them? Would we remain silent, would we escape or would we rather reach out to help them? What do we do in order for them to not only hear phrases, but to experience that they are useful and respected members of society? It is so easy to judge them: it was their fault to fall into the pit, they should manage to come out of it on their own also. If we look at their history, they have always been outcasts without any rights, people in persecution or in sufferance within all the countries, yet it was us who have stolen all their opportunities and pushed them into that pit.

There is a kind of Holocaust even today: in hatred, in speech, in action and all those things can make a deadly wound on their souls or even on their bodies.

Yet, God is merciful, who turns to the Roma people today to lift them up. The Japanese or even the Chinese “economic miracle” will become small compared to what God is going to do for the Roma people. They will receive compensation here on Earth for all the bad deeds that had been committed against them.

Jesus says many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. Those who feel themselves in position, in security and very high today will be following Roma people to even touch the edge of their clothes, because God will make the Roma to be first and make the first to be last.

The future is in the Roma! The best investment today is to invest into the Roma, because the cross of Jesus Christ makes them entirely new people. The old nature dies, disappears and a brand new nature emerges and grows in them.

Let’s remember, do the right thing today and expect the good future!

May the blessing of God be on all of us!

Albert Durko
Mission Leader