Hindus have welcomed the completion of the Berlin Holocaust memorial for Roma (Gypsies) and Sinti people, which is being inaugurated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on October 24.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that although memorial came very late, but it was still a “step in the right direction” for Germany. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, was, however, critical of the apparent half-heartedness of Germany to complete this long neglected memorial waiting in limbo although reportedly promised since 1965 and approved in 1992.
Rajan Zed stressed that Roma upliftment should be the first priority in Germany and Europe as their maltreatment was a dark stain on the face of the continent. It was simply immoral to continue staying apathetic and silent spectator ignoring European Roma plight, who numbered around 15-million and who reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, marginalization, appalling living conditions, prejudice, human rights abuse, etc., Zed noted.
German President Joachim Gauck and about 100 survivors will reportedly join Merkel at the unveiling of this about $3.6 million memorial designed by Israeli artist Dani Karavan in Berlin's central Tiergarten Park near Reichstag building, whose stele in the center would carry one fresh flower every day. According to estimates, about 500,000 Roma were exterminated during World War II, including many who were subjected to grotesque medical experiments. Holocaust against Roma was long denied in many parts of Europe.
This rectification of the historical injustice should have come up much earlier, Zed commented about the memorial.