2nd August - young Romany Gypsy Johnson Welch visits Auschwitz-Birkenau

18 April 2020

The 2nd of August - Short Documentary by Travellers' Times

In this short film The 2nd of August, filmmaker Charles Newland records the journey of a young British Romany Johnson Welch on his first visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Using archival footage mixed with contemporary ruminations on the trip from Johnson, the film’s title is indicative of the date known internationally as Roma Genocide Remembrance Day.

On August 2nd 1944, some 2,897 Roma people were murdered at Auschwitz. In the film, Johnson reckons with this tragedy as he contemplates modern anti-gypsyism. In fact, Johnson was just one of a large number of young Gypsy and Roma people from all over Europe who visited Auschwitz on a yearly pilgrimage organised by an educational group called Dikh He Na Bister (facilitated by GATE Herts for the UK participants). The group (whose name in Romany means ‘Look and Don’t Forget’) aims to ensure a new generation learns about the atrocities of the past and commemorates the lives lost during the Roma Holocaust.

Directed by Charles Newland

Narration by Damian Le Bas