1 Recognition of the Genocide

1.1 Recognition, official texts

Spain observes 27th January as the official Day for Holocaust Remembrance and for the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity (Día Oficial de la Memoria del Holocausto y la Prevención de los Crímenes contra la Humanidad). The day honours Jewish victims, Roma and Sinti victims and other Spanish people deported to concentration camps during World War II. The date was officially established in 2004 following an agreement by the Council of Ministers.

1.2 Data (camps locations, Remembrance places, measures etc.)

It is estimated that 150 Spanish Roma were killed in the Holocaust.

1.3 Specialised institution, commission, research centre etc., dealing with this issue

There is neither an institution dedicated to the Genocide of the Roma in Spain, nor to the Holocaust in general.

1.4 Official initiatives (campaigns, actions, projects, commemoration days, museums)

Spain observes 27th January as Día Oficial de la Memoria del Holocausto y la Prevención de los Crímenes contra la Humanidad (“Official Day for Holocaust Remembrance and Prevention of Crimes against Humanity”). The day honours Jewish victims, Roma and Sinti victims and other Spanish people deported to concentration camps. The date was officially established in 2004 by agreement of the Council of Ministers.

The principal commemorative event is held on 27th January in a prestigious hall or auditorium. The event is organised by the Casa Sefarad-Israel on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ambassador at Large for Relations with the Jewish Community and Organisations. The Ambassador at Large co-operates with the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, with Roma organisations and with representatives of associations of deported Spanish people. The Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Culture are also involved. Holocaust survivors from Spain and abroad are invited and honoured officially by the Government. Government participation is at the ministerial level or higher, while from 800 to1 000 invitees also attend the event. From 2006 to 2010, the commemoration was held in the Paraninfo de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid, which is a prestigious and historic hall in the old town of Madrid’s city centre. In 2011, the event took place for the first time in the Auditorio Nacional, which is the most distinguished concert hall in Madrid, because the event included a concert. The commemoration was entitled “The Violins of Memory, the Violins of Hope” and featured soloist Shlomo Mintz and violins rescued from the Holocaust and restored by Luthier Amnon Weinstein.

While the main theme of the commemoration varies from year to year, the ceremonies have traditionally included the following elements: speeches by representatives of the Jewish community, the Roma and Sinti community and deportees; speeches by senior officials, possibly including the King, the President of the Government, ministers, the Vice-President of the Senate, the Vice-President of the Congress, and the President of the European Parliament; musical performances; the lighting of six candles by Holocaust survivors or their relatives, in memory of murdered Jews, children, Spanish victims, Roma and other groups, and recognising the Righteous Among the Nations and survivors who found a new life for themselves in Israel and the diaspora; and a moment of silence.

2 Teaching about the Genocide of the Roma

2.1 Inclusion of the topic in the school curriculum

The Spanish national curriculum includes teaching about the Holocaust, and the subject is taught at all levels of basic education. The Genocide of the Roma is treated within the broader subject of history under the Nazi era.

2.2 Inclusion of the topic in the school textbooks

There is no information on the inclusion of the Genocide of the Roma in school textbooks.

2.3 Training of teachers and education professionals

An international seminar “¿El genocidio olvidado del siglo XX?” (The forgotten Genocide of the XXth century”) was held on 28 and 29 November 2009 in Madrid, by the Ministry of Education. The purpose of the seminar was to open an educational process that accompanies the preparation, over a school year , memory of a trip to Auschwitz with young Gypsies and non- Gypsies.

2.4 Particular activities undertaken at the level of education institutions

Holocaust remembrance events take place in many schools around 27 January. Holocaust survivors are sometimes invited to give testimonies to pupils or students. These events are usually supported and co-ordinated by Centro Sefarad-Israel, working on behalf of the Government, with its network of almost 1,000 teachers. Other activities are held with the support of regional governments. In 2014, this included the remembrance activities held in Barcelona supported by the autonomous local government of Catalonia (Generalitat), and a school activity in the village of Trujillo, in Extremadura, that was supported by the Mayor.

2.5 Remembrance day

27th January is an opportunity to offer educational activities related to the Holocaust, including the Genocide of the Roma.

3 Official contacts and resource persons

3.1 Responsible person in the Ministry of Education

There is no responsible person for the Genocide of the Roma in the Ministry of Education.

Minister of Education and Culture
D. Íñigo Méndez de Vigo y Montojo
Sede Central y Secretaría de Estado de Educación, Formación Profesional y Universidades
Calle Alcalá, 34
28014 Madrid
Telephone: 91 701 80 00

3.2 Resource persons - list of experts and historians

4 Initiatives of the civil society

4.1 Relevant projects having a real impact on the people and/or the wide public

Federacio d’Associacions Gitanes de Catalunya (FAGIC) has organized an exhibition called "Porrajmos: el genocidio nazi del pueblo gitano" (“Porrajmos: the Nazi Genocide of the Gypsy people”) which was the first one in Spain. It was inaugurated on the Official Day for Holocaust Remembrance, 27 January 2009, in the Palace of the Generalitat, Barcelona. Since then, the exhibition has travelled throughout Catalonia, in town halls, schools, universities and other cultural centres.

The exhibition can be lent to any institution or organisation that requests it.

Asociacion Memoria Genocidio Gitano is an organisation whose aim is to gather data on the Genocide of the Roma in a eb blog so as to increase knowledge and visibility of this tragic and forgotten past. They have a youtube canal which displays videos on the history of the Roma people (but it does not go up to the Genocide of the Roma) and broadcasts a conference on the Genocide of the Roma that was held in January 2014 in Jerez, and featuring Miguel Palacios.

Memoria Gitana, a web initiative to promote Roma history, has an important bibliography about the Genocide in Spanish.

On the blog Porrajmos: Te Bisterdon Tumare Anava (in Spanish), there is information about the Samudaripen in Europe: biographies of the victims, pictures, etc.

5 Point of view of the Roma community - including survivors' testimonies