Romania

Romania – November 2016

Production in Romania focused on several subjects:

  • Life of the Roma before WWII;
  • The genocide of the Roma in Transnistria;
  • Testimonies of the Roma survivors;
  • Confiscated and looted Roma properties that has never been returned to the owners;
  • Current challenges of the Roma communities in Romania;
  • Engagement of the Roma in political organizations in Romania;
  • Roma NGOs and activism;
  • State of commemoration and memorialization of the Roma genocide in Romania;

Participants

among others:

  • … …, …;
  • …and others, including survivors, family members, young activists…

We are currently working on post production. The finished episodes will be published according the dissemination schedule.
Follow the news on our website www.tajsa.eu !

Meet our local partner:

Cristinela Ionescu, journalist, Bucharest

For better understanding and acceptance of the Roma community

Cristinela was born 1975. She is a journalist, film producer, scriptwriter, and activist. Cristinela studied Sociology and Social work at the University of Bucharest. As a head of Thumende, a local Roma NGO in Petrosani, she produced films and television shows focusing on issues important for the Roma, and about the Roma culture. She also writes articles for various online and print media.

Cristinela’s motivation to start working with media was to foster better understanding and acceptance of Roma community. Cristinela also organizes professional trainings for the Roma communities.

Some of the recent film productions Cristinela participated in includes:
We are People/ Amen sam Roma (2009); Rubina (2008); The Judge/ O Krisinitori (2007); We are people (2009), Our bread/ Amaro Manro (2011), and The team of justice (2014).

Cristinela Ionescu, journalist, Romania

My Motivations

Justice for the Roma

by Cristinela Ionescu

Romano Kris / Dreptate pentru romi Alãturându-mã acestui proiect media in calitate de colaborator, am lucrat cu o echipã internaţionalã deosebitã iar motivaţia mea a fost clarã de la început: sã realizez un impact pentru conștientizarea publicului despre Holocaust si identitatea romilor in Romania.

Eu, Cristinela Ionescu mamã cu un baiat ,jurnalistã, Producator TV, realizator de fime, si activistã de drepturile omului, am o misiune sã-i ajut pe oamnenii zilelor noastre sã inteleagã cã in timpul Holocaustului oamenii au fost trataţi inuman. Este o perioadã a rușinii pentru umanitate când oamenii erau inspaimântati și aoameni omorau oameni la fel ca ei.

Mã folosesc de cel mai puternic instrument astãzi media și social media sã impãrtãșesc lumii importanţa educaţiei și sã fii informat despre trecutul negru al umanitãtii; toate acestea sã nu se mai repete . Trebuie sã o fac petru copilul meu Sundal (lumea) și pentru viitorii copii ai romilor . Inima mi-ar fi distrusã si nici nu as putea supravieţui durerii dacã copilul meu ar fi trãit in teroare. Cred cã in perioada Holocaustului noi ,oamenii l-am pierdut pe Dumnezeu si acolo unde nu sunt Dumnezei nu existã nici oameni asa cum stabunicul meu ma invãţa, un mare om care a intemeiat familia noastrã mixta romi și evrei.

In Romania persecuţia romilor a început cu perioada sclaviei pentru mai multe sute de ani . Dar, cel mai rãu lucru intâmplat este cã romii au fost forţati sã-si piardã identitatea inclusiv denumirea corectã . Astazi avem romi care sunt denumiţi ţigani (murdari) sau (gypsy), romi care nu stiu cum se numesc corect și din cauza acestor adevãruri și ne-romii nu știu numele corect al romilor si folosesc denumiri jignitoare. Din aceasta cauzã in Romania avem conflicte interetnice si discriminare. Doar recent in 2016 dupã 165 de ani de la eliberarea din sclavie, primul Euro-Parlamentar Damian Draghici a ridicat o piatrã funerarã in memoria victimelor sclaviei. Mai tarziu Oficialitãţile Române și Biserica Ortodoxã au recunoscut și s-au scuzat pentru perioada de teroare din timpul sclaviei.

Motivul pentru care familiile de romi au fost persecutate in perioada celui de al Doilea Rãzboi Mondial este pentru ca doar, comunitãtile tradiţionale compacte au pastrat limba si tradiţiile romilor in Romania, ca aceste familii pe care noi le-am intervievat pentru realizarea producţiei noastre in serii din Noiembrie 2016. Mai mult de 25.000 de romi au fost deportati in Transnistria de-a lungul râului Bug in Moldova, din ordinul Mareșalului Antonescu, pentru a implementa politicile de curaţare etnicã din acea vreme. Din anul 1942 panã in anul 1944 in Transnistria romii au fost forţaţi sã traiascã in tranșeie, fara apã și mâncare infruntând boli , tifosul si canibanism. Recent in Romania organizaţiile romilor fac eforturi considerabile pentru libera exprimare, Holocaustul sã fie recunoscut și pentru romi iar in manualele de istorie sã fie introdusã și persecuţia romilor. Pe 2. august noi comemorãm victimile Holocaustului în Romania.

Cristinela Ionescu, Bucharest

I joined this project as a co-producer and collaborator on the media production in Romania, together with the rest of the international team. My motivation was clear from the beginning: I wanted to to contribute to public awareness about the Roma Holocaust in Romania and worldwide, and to further explore the Roma identity.

As a mother of my son, as a journalist, TV Producer, film maker and human rights activist, I believe that it is my mission to make today’s people aware of the Holocaust, and make them understand that during the times of the Holocaust people were treated inhumanely. It is a shameful period for humanity: people were terrified, and people killed people. Media and social media are powerful tools to spread information to the world, and I use it in my work. The task of education is to spread important informed about the dark past of humanity so these crimes will not happen again. I feel that I have to do this for my child Sundal and for the future Roma’s children. My heart would be torn apart and I wouldn’t survive the pain if my child would live in terror again.

What is Holocaust? I believe (as my grand-grandfather have thought me, a great man who founded our mixed Roma and Jewish family) that during that period we – the humans – have lost the God and stopped being humans.

In Romania, the oppression of Roma people started with the long period of several hundred years of slavery. But, worst than being slaves, the Roma were forced to give up their identity, including our name – the Roma. Today some people call the Roma “Tzigane” (dirty) or Gypsy. There are even some Roma people who do not know the correct name of their own people! Also, many non-Roma are using these pejorative names for our people because of ignorance and lack of knowledge about our history and culture. This is why we still have interethnic conflicts and discrimination today. Just recently in 2016, after 165 years after the abolition of slavery, the first ever Roma Euro-parliamentary Damian Draghici raised a monument dedicated to victims of the Roma slavery. Later even the Romanian Orthodox Church officials recognized the victims and apologized for the period of terror during the slavery.

The reason why Roma families were persecuted during the WWII is because they were traditional compact communities that preserved the Romani language and traditions. We learned more about this in the testimonies of the survivors we have interviewed during the production in November 2016. As a result of Antonescu’s policy of ethnic cleansing more than 25.000 Roma was deported to Transnistria along the River Bug in Moldova. During the years 1942 to 1944 the Roma in Transnistria were forced to live in insufficient shelters, without any water and food, dying of exhaustion and illness.

Since recently the Roma NGO’s in Romania are making considerable efforts in fighting for more freedom of expression and Roma rights. One of the important goals is also recognition of the Roma Holocaust, oppression and persecution of the Roma, and incorporation of this material in the official school curricula. Every year on 2nd August we commemorate the victims of Holocaust in Romania.

Cristinela Ionescu, Bucharest