FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2018
Montreal, QC – The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) and the Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants (CJHSD) endorsed today’s announcement by the Government of Canada that it recognizes the Nazi genocide of Roma and Sinti people.
Pinchas Gutter, Co-President of the CJHSD, issued the following statement:
“We join the Roma and Sinti communities in remembering the Nazi genocide of their people. As Holocaust Survivors, we stand in solidarity with all who were targeted for annihilation by the Nazis and their collaborators. At a time when antisemitism and bigotry against Romani peoples persists, we must preserve the memory of these genocides as a warning against the dangers of hate.”
Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of CIJA, added:
“We strongly support the government’s recognition of the Romani genocide. When Parliament returns in the fall, we will be working with the Romani communities to urge the House of Commons to pass a resolution formally recognizing this genocide. We remain concerned by ongoing discrimination and hatred against Romani populations in many parts of the world. By officially recognizing that Roma and Sinti were also targets of the Nazis’ genocidal agenda, Canada will demonstrate its continued leadership in the fight against hate in all forms today.”
The announcement took place at a ceremony held today in Montreal to commemorate victims of the Nazi campaign to annihilate Romani populations. CIJA joined various partners in attendance, including Romanipe and the Montreal Holocaust Museum. Romanipe and other Romani organizations have long advocated for Canada to formally recognize the Romani genocide.
Experts note the Nazis and their collaborators murdered at least 500,000 Roma and Sinti. Thousands were tortured and murdered in notorious concentration and death camps where many of the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust were murdered, including Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Canada has formally recognized six other genocides: the Armenian genocide, the Holodomor (the genocidal famine of Ukrainians by the Soviet regime), the Holocaust (the genocide of European and North African Jews in WWII), the genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda, the Srebenica genocide in Bosnia, and the genocide of Yazidis.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA.
The Canadian Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants (CJHSD) is a grassroots organization dedicated to advocating on behalf of its members and represents Canadian survivors at the Jewish Material Claims Conference. The CJHSD is an independent organization affiliated with CIJA.