Episode 81: Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism

memorial sinti and roma berlin roberta caldas

Location:

Simsonweg / Scheidemannstraße, 10117 Berlin

Facts:

  • Open all day and night
  • A new fresh flower is placed daily in the center of the memorial
  • Designed by Dani Karavan

Since 1992 there were plans for the establishment of a memorial commemorating the Sinti and Roma victims of the Nazi Rule, but only in October of 2012, 20 years later, the placed was inaugurated. Located close to the memorial for the homosexual and Jewish victims, the Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism commemorates those persecuted thenas “Gypsies”.

The place consists on a central pond with a triangle in the middle. Everyday a new fresh flower is placed on top of the triangle. Every person from a group persecuted by the National Socialist regime carried a triangle on a specific color. The triangle in the middle of the pond represents the “Gypsies” triangle. The fact that the pond reflects the European Union and the German flag from the top of the Reichstag is not only ironic, but also very symbolic.

The memorial is peaceful and the only sound besides the far away tourists in their crowds is of the violin melody recorded by German Sinto Romeo Franz. The names of the extermination camps that killed 500,000 Sinti and Roma are engraved in the pavement. Around the pond, under the water, one can read in both German and English the poem entitled Auschwitz by the Italian Rom poet Santino Spinelli:

Sunken in face
extinguished eyes
cold lips
silence
a torn heart
without breath
without words
no tears.

Ready to know more about the Sinti and Roma genocide before visiting the memorial? Then listen to the talk below:

Photo and episode: Roberta Caldas

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