Stuart Richardson

Major: German and International Studies

This summer I interned at the Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma in Heidelberg, Germany, which currently is the only museum in the world specifically dedicated to remembering the victims of the Nazi-led genocide against the Roma (known as the “Porajmos”). As an intern, I helped develop and complete a number of projects related to the Roma Genocide and the more recent Roma Civil Rights Movement in Europe. These projects included creating handouts on Roma Genocide-related topics for English-speaking museum patrons, maintaining a database of documents and photos from Porajmos survivors, and conducting research on the documentation of the Roma Genocide in American newspapers (1933-1945). In August I had an opportunity to participate in the Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative Conference in Krakow, Poland, where I helped lead a series of workshops on the German Roma (Sinti) Civil Rights Movement. This event was by far the highlight of my summer.

Today, we remember Raoul Wallenberg for his efforts to save Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary. Wallenberg’s unfailing commitment to human rights and dignity–for which he gave his life–still inspires University of Michigan students to support those who are marginalized and persecuted across the globe. Wallenberg’s willingness to help those with whom he had no ethnic, religious, or geographic relationship, proves that our differences should not inhibit our empathy. I am not Roma, but I wish to be an ally in their fight for equality in Europe. Raoul Wallenberg truly showed how this is possible.