Since November of 2010, Yahad-In Unum has worked on documenting the Roma genocide. The organization works on collecting testimonies on the massacres that took place on the territories of the Former Soviet Union (Ukraine, Belarus, Russia) by Nazi mobile units as well as the deportations to Transnistria from Romania and Moldova. It also works on the identification of mass execution sites.
Village after village, family after family, by cross-referencing survivor testimonies with Romanian, German and Soviet archives, Yahad has identified 51 execution sites of Roma in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia and interviewed 30 witnesses to the massacres of the Roma in these countries. Five research trips in Romania and one trip in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has enabled us to collect more than 150 testimonies on Roma survivors.
To this day, Yahad has collected more than 180 testimonies on the persecutions of Roma in Eastern Europe, including Romania, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, in collaboration with our partner, Roma Dignity. These testimonies have clarified the fate of the Roma as both survivors and victims. The witnesses described shootings, deportations, starvation, sicknesses, and forced labor that the Roma were subjected to by the Nazis and their allies. Yahad-In Unum works with young Roma investigators on the ground in Eastern Europe to gather testimonies from survivors. Our teams in the field and witness portraits are pictured below.
Roma Memory Openings
European Commission Headquarters.
Paying Tribute to the Victims of the Roma Genocide on International Holocaust Memorial Day.
Paris City Hall.
“In giving back the Roma their history, this exhibit gives them back dignity.” –
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo
Palau de les Arts, Valencia.
The exhibit’s was preceded by a training session for 12 teachers from CEFIRE.
Montpellier City Hall.
The premiere was accompanied by a guided visit and speech by Father Desbois as well as a speech by Philippe Saurel, Mayor of Montpellier.
Founded in 2011 by Costel Nastasie, Roma Dignity is an organization dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Porajmos — the genocide of the Roma — in Eastern Europe. The mission of Roma Dignity is to fight discrimination against Roma and to help them build a better future. Roma Dignity members actively participate in Yahad-In Unum’s research trips on the ground in Eastern Europe as investigators and translators. They also collect and translate testimonies of Roma survivors from Romani to French.
Yahad-In Unum has developed an exhibit on “Roma Memory.” The exhibit presents 8 encounters with Roma survivors. It was conceived in order to teach European people about the Roma genocide and to fight against the persistent discrimination the Roma still face today. To date, it has been exhibited at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium for International Holocaust Remembrance Day as well as at the City Hall of Paris. Take a look at the exhibition in the short video clip below:
Our thanks to the generous support of the following organizations: