In recent days, the kick off meeting of the RemAgainstDisc (Reinforcing historical memory of the Porrajmos to combating discrimination) project was held in Rome. Funded under the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Program of the European Union, over the next 20 months it will see the Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights, the University of Florence, Sucar Drom and the 21 July Association committed to rebuilding memory of the discrimination and persecution that people belonging to the Roma and Sinti minority suffered during the Nazi-fascism and, through this, to build a more inclusive society today.
The preservation of historical memory is essential for promoting policies aimed at strengthening inclusion because it implies recognition of full citizenship. This is especially true with regard to events involving persecuted populations, including those victims of genocide by Nazi-fascist regimes.
In Europe, the persecution and extermination of Sinti and Roma by fascists, Nazis and collaborators of the Third Reich caused the death of at least 500,000 people; Auschwitz was the last stage of this path of physical elimination for racial reasons.
It is precisely by starting from the memory of the discrimination suffered by the minority in the past, that one can help fight against the discrimination that still affects them today, in the face of many of the harmful stereotypes used in that historical period, which survived despite the advent of democratic systems.
The aim of the project is to deepen the memory of that period with further research, also through the history of persecuted people, by bringing this material back to the site porrajmos.it, the first virtual Porrajmos museum in Italy which, in addition to being updated from a content point of view, will also be updated from a graphic point of view. All the materials will also be translated into English to make this museum accessible even outside Italy and thus allow for the dissemination of the historical memory of this extermination.
Starting from the research and the site, a series of toolkits will then be built for the benefit of some professional categories that have a decisive influence on the process of integration of Roma and Sinti; among these are teachers, political decision-makers, but also all civil society.
Finally, some walks will be organized in places of memory which, more than others, have marked a dramatic passage in the work of extermination of these populations.
Building memory of yesterday, therefore, to fight discrimination today.