Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
my name is Rita Prigmore, I am a gypsy from Germany and a survivor of the holocaust, the last survivor of my family. I was born in 1943 and I felt the horror of war with my family of gypsies. Most of them were murdered in Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen and in other camps. Others were sterilized, so they had no future for families. My sister and I were born as twins. On my sister and I medical research was done on how to change the colour of our eyes. My sister did not survive.
“Peace is the future.” We need peace so much in these times of war. One hundred years after World War One, I fear that the past will repeat itself. The signs of war in many countries scare me. As Andrea Riccardi said: “Peace is an ideal that is humiliated in too many regions of the world”
Watching the television and seeing what horrors are taking place in the name of war, what humans have to suffer, it hurts me and makes me cry: Young girls being raped! Old people being beaten, their homes and houses demolished. Little children seeing their families being murdered in front of them. They are taken away from their families and homes. The millions of refugees. They don’t know what their futures will be, or if they will ever see their families again. All the horror going on at this time in the world reminds me of the time of the holocaust. Are we aware of what’s happening?
With my experience of pain, shared with the gypsy people, I tell you: war ruins everything! Peace is the most important issue and we have to preserve, to honour and to defend it.
We have to build peace in our hearts and take care of it.
God saved my life and gave me the strength to go on living. As a survivor, I have the responsibility to speak. And through prayer, God gives me the strength and the courage, together with the community of Sant’Egidio, to speak to thousands of young people to tell them that we have to beware of any kind of racism.
Peace is the future! Let us build a future for the world in peace!!