October 26, 2012

Remembering the Holocaust: A Community Approach

by Kate Marcal

The memorial, therefore, serves as more than a static reminder of past crimes; rather, it stands to highlight the enduring problem of racial and ethnic discrimination that continues to plague the modern world. 

In "Postmemory" and the Second Generation, Dr. Erin McGlothlin describes the ways in which memories of the Holocaust have emerged in literature written by the sons and daughters of those who experienced the atrocity firsthand. Memories of the genocide also continue to be expressed in memorial structures. One such memorial, dedicated to the Romani people killed in the Holocaust, was recently dedicated in Berlin. For the descendants of these victims, the memorial marked a long-awaited acknowledgement of their past and continued suffering and discrimination.

The memorial is called the Memorial for the Sinti and Roma people of Europe Murdered in National Socialism. According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who attended and spoke at the memorial’s unveiling, the Roma and Sinti people continue to face poverty and hardship in Europe today. Often regarded derogatorily as “gypsies,” both groups were victims of the Nazis’ attempts to purge Europe of racial impurity during World War II.
 

The memorial, therefore, serves as more than a static reminder of past crimes; rather, it stands to highlight the enduring problem of racial and ethnic discrimination that continues to plague the modern world. Perhaps the construction of the memorial will enable the people of Europe to engage in difficult conversations about historical and ongoing problems.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/world/europe/memorial-to-romany-victims-of-holocaust-opens-in-berlin.html?_r=