"Remembering and honoring the millions of victims of the Second World War, we must not forget the more than 4,300 Roma children, women and men who were executed in the Nazi camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau", was the message of the country's president Stevo Pendarovski on the occasion of August 2 – European Roma Holocaust Remembrance Day.
"In that terrible period of history, laws were in force that devalued human life and the inherent dignity of various groups, including the Roma.
The ideology of the time allowed the exploitation of their labor, inhumane medical experiments, forced sterilizations and finally, mass murder in death camps.
During World War II, over 500,000 Roma were killed across Europe and the Balkans."
"It is worrying that historical injustices against the Roma are still alive - genocide denial against them, racism, anti-Gypsyism, hate speech and discrimination, the intensity of which is increasing even in modern democratic societies.
All this pushes the Roma to the margins and postpones the fight for their human rights and freedoms", said Pendarovski.
According to him, the Roma are an inseparable part of the Macedonian social mosaic that shares aspirations and sacrifices in the struggle for a free society.
That coexistence must continue in the spirit of solidarity, humanity and mutual respect.