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“We’re Not Coming Out!”: why the overlooked story of Romani Resistance Day still resonates in 2019

It's been 75 years since Roma and Sinti people in Auschwitz-Birkenau decided to resist an attempt on their lives. But today, Romani people across Europe are still forced to fight for their humanity

By Sydnee Wagner  

A photo of a Roma Pride rally is transposed over the Roma flag and a Romani Resistance Day graphic. Photo: PA/Prospect composite

On May 16th, 1944, the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp saw a spark. That spark set a whole continent aflame.

That day, SS Guards surrounded the Zigeunerlager, or “Gypsy Camp,” at Auschwitz II–Birkenau with machine guns, ready to liquidate the camp and murder nearly 7,000 people.

The Roma and Sinti prisoners, however, despite being engulfed by the daily reality of death in the camp, chose life. When the SS…

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