Its a beautiful September day and I am standing at the edge of a lake. It is unmarked. There is no memorial. No record of one small moment that is part of the ‘Pharrajimos’…The Roma Holocaust.
Pharrajimos: n. Romani, meaning the devouring or destruction.
My journey here started last year in London. I knew something had happened at a lake near Varpalota and finally after weeks searching through texts at the British Library I had found a picture taken in 2004. The text is Hungarian and the heading is ‘Jeltelen sírok’. Boldi, my researcher tells me it translates literally as ‘Unmarked weep’. Later I type it into Google which gives me ‘Unmarked graves’. I like Boldi’s translation better.
Here on the outskirts of Varpalota, on a snowy day in February 1945, 118 Roma women and children were lined up in front of a ditch and shot.