Genocide on Rom*nija at Ukraine 1941–1944
Exhibition on an ignored genocide
International project on an ignored genocide
During the Second World War the Rom*nija became victims of a genocide planned by the Nazis. The processing and remembrance of this systematic extermination, in which at least a six-figure number of people were murdered, is handled differently in different countries after decades of repression.
The Bildungswerk für Friedensarbeit der Deutschen Friedensgesellschaft-Vereinigte KriegsdienstInnen e.V. is dedicated to the remembrance of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe. Since 2015, the Bildungswerk für Friedensarbeit has been involved in the task of bringing this genocide together with the survivors or their relatives into the consciousness of the majority societies; because these largely ignore the topic - in contrast to the Rom*njia themselves. The exhibition Genocide at Rom*nija in the Ukraine 1941-1944 wants to contribute to changing this. Because with the knowledge of this genocide and the committed crimes, it also becomes clear how important an active engagement against Antiziganism is also today.
During the Second World War the German occupying forces murdered well over 10,000 Rom*nija in the Ukraine. But this genocide is hardly anchored in the memory of Germans or Ukrainians*. Due to a lack of written records, the memory of it - at least from the perspective of the victims - is in danger of being lost. In order to prevent this, an international project consisting of German and Ukrainian participants met dozens of contemporary witnesses in Ukraine in 2018. The survivors spoke of the suffering they had suffered, but also of the resistance they or their relatives offered. They reported about collaboration but also about common resistance and experienced solidarity and through their neighbours.
To this end, the project participants interview contemporary witnesses and experts and visit the crime scenes. We learned a lot about the suffering of the survivors, but also about resistance and solidarity. We organize educational trips for young people and people who are active in NGOs from Germany and partner countries, including Rom*nija and non-Rom*nija.
The exhibition combines historical overview texts on genocide, its reappraisal and on the topic of Antiziganism as well as the personal memories of contemporary witnesses and reports of experts. These modules complement each other - the overview texts provide the framework for understanding the contemporary witness memories; on the other hand, the contemporary witness memories can serve as an (easily readable) introduction and concretization of the overview texts. This serves as an offer to readers who do not work through all 20 panels.
In addition to the historical background, the current situation of the Roma communities and the way in which the genocide is remembered today are also presented.