Buildings in Brno, Ostrava, Prague and Ústí nad Labem will fly the international Roma flag today at noon to commemorate the tragic night of 2 August 1944 and early morning of 3 August 1944 when the Nazis murdered the last prisoners in the so-called Gypsy Family Camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in the gas chambers. During the 17 months of the camp’s existence from February 1943 to July 1944 there were a total of 23 000 Romani children, men and women imprisoned in that particular camp.
Approximately 20 000 Romani and Sinti prisoners were murdered either in the gas chambers, or by starvation, or by lack of medical care, or by torture. “We want to commemorate this day by flying Roma flags, coming together, discussing this history and experiencing a cultural program,” said Tereza Štěpková, director of the Terezín Initiative Institute.
The Mayor of the Prague 7 Municipal Department, Jan Čižinský, announced that the Roma flag will be flown from the municipality’s future headquarters because the General Directorate of Finance, which owns the building where the Prague 7 Municipal Department is currently headquartered, would not allow the Roma flag to be flown there tomorrow.
The date of 2 August was first established in 2011 by Poland as the Genocide Remembrance Day of the Roma and Sinti. In 2013 the date of 2 August was declared by the Council of Europe to be an international day of commemoration at the pan-European level.