The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth, today issued the following statement:
“On August 2, 1944, the last group of Romani imprisoned by Nazis at Auschwitz-Birkenau-around 4,000 men, women and children-were murdered in the camp’s gas chambers. Today, we remember the victims and survivors of the Romani genocide and keep their legacy alive.
“During the Second World War, hundreds of thousands of Romani were killed and persecuted in this genocide, which is known in Romani as the Porajmos-the devouring-and the Samudaripen-the mass killing. It is essential that we remember this horrific crime, its victims and those who protected them, not least because many Romani communities continue to experience prejudice and discrimination due in part to the neglect of memory.
“At home and abroad, the Government of Canada is working hard to fight racism, to defend human rights, and to promote inclusion and respect for diversity. That’s why Canada is supporting the work of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Committee on the Genocide of the Roma in its development of educational materials for teachers and policy makers on the origins, history and consequences of this mass atrocity. This is an important follow-up to the Alliance’s definition of anti-Roma racism, adopted in October 2020, and will help safeguard the record of the genocide of the Romani and Sinti by building awareness and understanding.
“Last year, because we have a collective responsibility to honour those who perished in the Romani genocide, Canada’s Parliament unanimously resolved to make August 2 an official day of commemoration. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to defending the fundamental rights and dignity of all, and to continuing to work with our partners to make sure such an atrocity never happens again.”