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October 1 2013

Rita Prigmore, a Sintisa survivor of Porrajmos: "The propaganda of the new european right is a nightmare”

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ROME - "When I listen to the propaganda of the new European right-wing parties, with their antigitanism and antisemitism, for me, is like living a nightmare": these are some of the words of Rita Prigmore, German sintisa, escaped during the Second World War to Porrajmos, the extermination of gypsies in Europe.

Speaking today at the Panel "The Suffering of Peoples and Paths to Peace", mrs. Prigmore recalled the story of her family, victim of medical experiments of Mengele’s followers, but she also insisted on the importance of memory and the encounter with the new generations.

"When I meet young people I tell them not to blame for what happened in the extermination camps, but they have the great responsibility of knowing what happened and they have to be sure it’s not going to occure again. I remind everyone that happiness is not to escape suffering, but to recognize it, to deal with it, to experience real life”.

Rita Prigmore also described the difficulty of coexistence in everydays life, "the first big disappointment after the years of the war, was when my best friend stopped talking to me: we grew up together, but she found out I was Sintisa, a" gypsy "and stopped staying with me. Since then  I note with great disappointment as people change their attitude towards me after they "discover" that I am Sintisa." The witness concluded with these words: "Hate doesn’t defeat suffering, forgiveness does!”.

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