Message of Support
Message of support for the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month 2010 Roma and Sinti Holocaust Exhibition, Mile End
From Richard Barnes, the Deputy Mayor of London
'The Holocaust remains one of the darkest episodes in human history, and graphically demonstrates what human beings can do to each other when they are at their worst, and the consequences of what happens when we lose sight of our shared humanity.
For this reason we should strive to remember all the stories of the Holocaust and the suffering inflicted on so many individuals - Jewish people, gay people, disabled people, trade unionists, Black people, communists, and the Roma and Sinti.
I believe that this exhibition is important because the genocide of the Roma and Sinti has often been ignored in the myriad attempts to remember, and make sense of the sheer horror of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. This powerful display brings to light the hidden history of a perennially persecuted people, and forces us to confront the awful truth that discrimination against the Roma and Sinti continues today, and is tolerated in far too many places.
It is my hope that exhibitions such as this, as well as activities like Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month, will help us to learn the lessons of the past, and redouble our efforts to fight the racist ideas which can lamentably end in the tragedy we commemorate at this exhibition.
One of the aims of GRTHM is to counter-balance the widespread ignorance of Traveller communities that often leads to hatred and conflict. Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month celebrates our culture and history by tackling the negative stereotyping and prejudices that have led to this situation.