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Silent Anti-Gypsyism: The Chair of Bulgarian Parliament disrespects Roma on 8th of April

The chair of the Bulgarian Parliament Ms Tsetska Tsacheva ignored yesterday the petition asking the Parliamentarians to hold one minute silence on 8th of April 2016 for the Roma victims of the Second World War.

The petition signed by 91 people was submitted to the Parliament on 6th of April, 2016. The petition explains that the Roma did not die only in concentration camps. Many Roma died on the battlefields of Europe as soldiers and partisans.

Roma had fought against Nazi Germany for the Soviet and British armies, as well as for the French, Yugoslavian, and Russian Anti-Fascist Guerrilla Resitstance Movements. Bulgarian Roma joined the Bulgarian army when Bulgaria turned against Nazi Germany in 1944 (Prior 1944 Bulgaria was an ally of Hitler). Some of the Roma veterans had been decorated with medals.

The father of the Roma anthem Žarko Jovanović Jagdino (1924-1985) himself was a former prisoner who managed to escape from 3 different Nazi concentration camps and joined the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia to fight the Fascists.

The petition ends with the following words: "We believe that by holding one minute silence the representatives of the nation will demonstrate their commitment to the values of humanism and democracy; it is also a way to show that the ideas of racism, apartheid and genocide are not welcome in the Bulgarian parliament. Such ideas are unacceptable in 21-st century. It is unacceptable that the petty crime, the demographic crisis, the fear from refugees and terrorism are exploited by politicians to propagate an anti-human ideology which caused the death of 60 millions people around the world. Let's remember the history and learn its lessons".

However, most of today Roma activists condemn Anti-Gypsyism only at conferences but passively observe its manifestations in the everyday life of Roma. What is the point of having all these Roma NGOs, Kings, Presidents if they are not able to defend the Roma dignity? There are many alarming signs today showing that Fascism is back in Europe. Instead of Intergation strategies Roma will need soon Survival strategies. What happened in the Bulgarian Parliament on the 8th of April is just another proof.

Link to the petition in Bulgarian language.


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