‘This is an internationally recognised day. A massive genocide against the Roma people took place in August. Expressing unity, support and understanding of the idea as well as its compassion with the Roma, Lithuania took a decision to mark 2nd August as the day of the genocide of the Roma people as a phenomenon that should not be tolerated with respect to any nation’, said Valerijus Simulik, Chair of the Seimas Committee on Human Rights, when addressing the Press Office of the Seimas.
The amendment of the Law on Memorable Days was adopted with 89 votes in favor, no votes against and 5 abstentions.
The Explanatory Memorandum to the adopted legal act states that International Organisations formally recognize the fact of the genocide of the Roma during the World War II and seek to ensure that this day is marked in all the countries on 2nd of August.
On 15 April 2015, on the occasion of the International Roma Day, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the anti-Gypsyism in Europe and EU recognition of the memorial day of the Roma genocide during World War II, which acknowledged the historical fact of the Roma genocide during the World War II and called on all states to mark this date and declare 2nd of August the day of the Roma genocide.
This day was not randomly chosen since on 2 August 1944 in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland, the ‘Gypsy camp’ was destroyed and around 3000 people were killed. The 75th anniversary of the liquidation of the Roma camp will be commemorated in August this year.