The Center of Roma History, Culture, Education and Holocaust
This is a place for commemoration and piety for the memory of the ones who were killed brutally driven by a murderous philosophy. This place tributes to martyrs and innocent victims. Millions of souls warn us! It is not enough to say it out loud: never again. We must do against it.
It is our common responsibility to remember and to be remembered; since our past sets the mankind’s present and future. We cannot hide our history or lie to ourselves. Muteness makes everything worse. We need to face the truth bravely, even when it is grievous and shameful. We must have faith to defeat darkness that derives most of the times from our own foibles and ignorance. We must know our fellow peoples, common culture and roots so we could fight against prejudices. We can then be inclusive instead of discriminative.
Our society is built up by individuals and their fates but values are created by the society. A future that holds values can only be built on firm and pure morality. The tragedy of the holocaust and the nowadays present discrimination admonish us to keep this in mind: the future is in our legacy.
István Makai, president
Győzőné NÉMETH and Zoltán NÉMETH has donated the building to our Association in 2012. They have asked us to utilize the building in such way where the Roma will benefit from it.
The Roma Civic Association has renovated the building on own resources and with the help of donations. The construction was finished and Centre opened its doors in July, 2014.
A Center has been founded as result of civic cooperation. It is unique in Europe and in Hungary as it synthesizes the Roma culture, history, traditional professions.
The Center serves a comprehensive duty. It showcases the Hungarian Roma community's history and culture, hence help the self-determination and self-assurance of the community. We believe the best way to integration for the Hungarian Roma is to learn their ancestors legacy.
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL AND INTERACTIVE ROMA HISTORY
Today nobody could deny the fact that the Roma Holocaust has occured. We declare this as a violent attack against humanity. We know that in World War II genocide was ruthless in Hungary, as well. According to documents and the survivors’ stories more than 3000 Roma men, women and children were executed in concetration camps. The documentation of the Holocaust Memorial Room helps the commemoration and depicts the refusal of this genocide.
The Roma Holocaust belongs not only to the Roma. It is a common legacy of Hungary, Europe and the World. The documents of this memorial room helps the rememberance. They consolidate the visitors’ minds: we cannot agree with the discrimination based on origin, skin color, religion or any by any other beliefs.
FINE ART AND LITERATURE
We all feel that the old traditional Roma values fade away, our respected older generation dies out, the old tales vanish and new stories seldomly reborn. In Hungary there are many institutions where fine art creation gets the attention what they would deserve. This Centre aims to give the pride for these masterpieces and also able to help the teachers in education.
This room is able to depict masterpieces from the previous masters or contemporary art. Poets can showcase their poems and novels in this room.
There are many questions among Roma youth. We should give proper and decent answers.
What is the Roma identity? What is it like to be Roma woman or a Roma man in the city, in rural areas or in marginalized areas? What does the Roma culture mean? How to be proud of the Roma traditions? How can we transform this to improve the country’s well being? Where are our role models, heroes?
ROMA HANDICRAFTS AND PROFESSIONS
There are stil professions that are practiced in our age. Regular live presentations can help of these professions to reborn and be popular again. Such as: rug and basket weaving, ironsmith, toy and furniture making... etc. It would be possible to teach these professions with authentic tools.
You can look and touch those tools. Holding such a tool that has been going from father to son for decades is fabulous.
ROMA CIVIC ASSOCIATION
(ROMA POLGÁRI TÖMÖRÜLÉS)
The Roma Civic Association (RCA) is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization representing the interests of the Roma and other underprivileged people in Budapest and nation wide.
The RCA is dedicated to change the current Roma politics to responsible, professional representation. We focus on burning issues and making serious progress in relation to social integration. Our goal is to gain the acceptance and the confidence of the wider local community and to create a more co-operative environment. We would like to express our motivation by participating actively and contributing positively to our community, through our experiences and involvement in local and national politics.
At the RCA, Roma and non-Roma work hard to symbolize the spirit of hope, to improve communities and to make Hungary a better place to live. The Hungarian Roma issue is not simply the question of poverty; such solutions should not be simply reduced to the level of social aids.
The members of the Hungarian Roma society primarily need equal opportunities, not aids. The best recipe for integration is to encourage education, vocational training and to create a wide range of job opportunities. In the last 20 years the members of the Roma society couldn’t take their part from these wide ranges of opportunities. This is how the Roma became the members of a group where they have to face with stereotypes and exclusion.
The problem is huge. We cannot allow the gap to further deepen between the different groups of the society. We, the members and the supporters of the Roma Civic Association and all those who share our ideas about universal and civic values, we are desperate to reach our goals step by step. We believe, in the unity of people of good will and decent. We believe that we the Roma and non Roma are equal citizens of Hungary, we can create a peaceful, emerging country, which is proud of it’s values and communities.
We believe that we already have to start it now, because the future is in our legacy.
Without the knowledge of the Roma culture and society it is impossible to create successful programs. The RCA initiate clear, transparent and clean programs that are eligible, traceable by a monitoring system. We emphasize that social responsibility is not only the majority’s responsibility but an equal partnership where there is no place for hierarchy. The accumulated problems and tensions need many small and carefully planned steps.
In order to reach our goals we are looking for partners in Hungary and abroad.
dr. Tamás BÁN, Nándor BEKE-FARKAS, Dr. József BENCZE, János BUFÓ RIGÓ, Éva DANCS, Klára DEÁK, László DEÁK, János Pál CSÓKA, Annamária FALISZEK, Tivadar FÁTYOL, Zsuzsanna FÁTYOL, Pál Zoltán GÁL, Krisztina GYARMATI, László GYARMATI, Zoltán HAMZA, Gábor HEGEDŰS, Attila HÍDVÉGI BALOGH, Jenő HORVÁTH, Sándor JAKAB, Ferenc KARDOS, Dr. István KOCSIS, Balázs KOVÁCS, László MAKAI, Ferenc MOLNÁR "CARAMEL", Eszter NAGY, Lajos NAGY, Ferenc NÉMETH, Lajos PUPORKA, ifj. Ferenc SÁNTA, Alexandra SAMULEWICZ, József SZABÓ, Luz Ilia SZILÁGYINÉ ALVAREZ MARTÍNEZ, István SZIRMAI, István TÖRÖCSKEI, József TULOK, Zsolt VARGA, Endre VIRÁGH, Péter WENDL, Béla ZAGYVA, Dr. Mihály ZÁMBORI
The Center of Roma History, Culture, Education and Holocaust could be founded with the help of many individuals and companies. István MAKAI the president of Roma Civic Association shows gratitude to:
Németh Győzőné and Németh Zoltán, for donating the building
Philip Morris International, for financing the renovation of the building
PQS International Hungary Zrt., for providing and installing the info communication system.
And also we need to appreciate the help of many individuals. Without them the Centre could not be as it is now:
There is no admission fee.
We provide guided tours for groups free of charge. We, however, kindly ask you to schedule your arrival with us.
You can reach us with public transport:
At Boráros tér take H7 train to the Szent Imre tér stop. There you change to bus 148. Get off at Csepeli Mátyás utca.
Parking in the surrounding streets is free of charge.
Tuesday – Friday:
We can provide guided tours out of opening hours if we are contacted well ahead of your visit. Please, get in touch with us. So we can make the Centre available for you.
Szent István út 71.
H -1073 Budapest
+36 30 860 8021