Oct.24 - German chancellor Angela Merkel is present at the opening of a memorial in Berlin to the half a million ethnic Sinti and Roma murdered by the Nazis. Simon Hanna reports.
Political leaders and frail holocaust survivors attend the opening of a memorial dedicated to the half a million ethnic Sinti and Roma killed by the Nazis. The dark pool of still water - located near to the German parliament building in Berlin - is intended to evoke tears for the dead but also reflection - urging new generations to protect minorities from hate. The Nazis sent Sinti and Roma to forced labour camps in the 30s and subjected them to forced sterilisation, and sent them to death camps during World War Two. Nowadays many of Europe's 12 million Roma face discrimination and social exclusion, often living in dire poverty. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in attendance and gave a speech, stressing that it was a German and European "duty" to support the Sinti and Roma. Critics though have pointed out that Germany still refuses to grant asylum to Roma from countries such as Serbia and Macedonia where they face discrimination.