Postcard from... Berlin
The 1936 Berlin Olympics gave the Nazis the “excuse” they needed. The authorities in the German capital decided that they wanted a “Gypsy free” city during the event. They set up a detention camp for Berlin's Roma population in Marzahn, an eastern Berlin suburb.
Hundreds were herded into the camp for the duration of the games. But that was just the beginning. By the end of 1944, trains full of Europe's Roma families were being dispatched to Auschwitz. An estimated 500,000 were murdered in the "second Holocaust".
It was not until 1982 that the then West German government acknowledged that genocide had been committed against the Sinti and Roma. It took another 10 years to agree that a memorial to their fate was needed. Yesterday, some 20 years on, the memorial was finally unveiled in Berlin's Tiergarten park just a few yards away from the city's Reichstag parliament building. It is a circular pool of water. A triangular plinth graces its centre and a fresh flower is now placed on it every day. "Auschwitz" by the Italian poet Santino Spinelli is engraved on the pond's black stone rim.
The new reunified Germany grants Jews an automatic right of abode in a belated effort to make amends for the crimes of the Nazis. However the Roma are not afforded such privileges. Berlin still turns down Roma asylum seekers from places like Kosovo. Romani Rose, the leader of Germany's Sinti and Roma hopes nevertheless, that the long overdue memorial will remind both politicians and the public that: "anti-Roma sentiment is as unacceptable as anti-Semitism".
Wellcome Image Awards: The most striking images from the world of science, including breast cancer cells under chemical attack and a photographer’s own kidney stone
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Terrorism explanation 'cannot be ruled out', says CIA
Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
Oscar Pistorius murder trial: Athlete repeatedly sick as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's post-mortem
How climate change helped Genghis Khan: Scientists believe a sudden period of warmer weather allowed the Mongols to invade with such success
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
The quiet diplomat: Catherine Ashton - recognised and admired in all the world’s troubled countries, yet ridiculed at home
- 1 Pakistan vs Paul Smith: Sandal-wearers bemused by famed British designer's attempts to sell traditional Peshawari chappal-style shoes for the distinctly untraditional sum of £300
- 2 Family forced to flee home after discovering 'terrifying' nest of spiders in bananas
- 3 First Kiss: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 5 Bob Crow death: 'Admired by his members, feared by employers' - Tributes pour in for RMT union leader and 'working class hero' Bob Crow
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: One of the largest mobile advert...
£20000 - £23000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client specialises in creati...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Private Cli...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: Residential...