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Thu Apr 16, 2015, 01:01 AM

Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day: The European Romani

The Romani people (often called "gypsies" have a long and interesting history in Europe. Sadly, part of that history includes being a target of the Nazi extermination of "sub-human" people, the Holocaust. Here are some excerpts of articles which describe those events:

Drawing support from many non-Nazi Germans who harbored social prejudice towards Roma, the Nazis judged Roma to be "racially inferior." The fate of Roma in some ways paralleled that of the Jews. Under the Nazi regime, German authorities subjected Roma to arbitrary internment, forced labor, and mass murder. German authorities murdered tens of thousands of Roma in the German-occupied territories of the Soviet Union and Serbia and thousands more in the killing centers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. The SS and police incarcerated Roma in the Bergen-Belsen, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Mauthausen, and Ravensbrück concentration camps. Both in the so-called Greater German Reich and in the so-called Generalgouvernement, German civilian authorities managed several forced-labor camps in which they incarcerated Roma.

On September 21, 1939, Reinhard Heydrich, head of the Reich Security Main Office, met with Security Police (Sipo) and Security Service (SD) officials in Berlin. With German victory in the invasion of Poland assured, he intended to deport 30,000 German and Austrian Roma from the Greater German Reich to the Generalgouvernement (that part of German-occupied Poland not annexed directly to Germany). Governor General Hans Frank, the top civilian occupation official in the Generalgouvernement, foiled this plan when he refused to accept large numbers of Roma and Jews into the Generalgouvernement in the spring of 1940.

German authorities did deport some Roma from the Greater German Reich to occupied Poland in 1940 and 1941. In May 1940, the SS and police deported approximately 2,500 Roma and Sinti, primarily residents of Hamburg and Bremen, to Lublin District in the Generalgouvernement. SS and police authorities incarcerated them in forced labor camps. The conditions under which they had to live and work proved to be lethal to many of them. The fate of the survivors is unknown; it is likely that the SS murdered those who were still alive in the gas chamber of Belzec, Sobibor, or Treblinka. In the autumn of 1941, German police authorities deported 5,007 Sinti and Lalleri Gypsies from Austria to the ghetto for Jews in Lodz, where they resided in a segregated section. Nearly half of the Roma died within the first months of their arrival, due to lack of adequate food, fuel, shelter, and medicines. German SS and police officials deported those who survived these dreadful conditions to the killing center at Chelmno in the first months of 1942. There, along with tens of thousands of Jewish residents of the Lodz ghetto, the Roma died in gas vans, poisoned by carbon monoxide gas.

Intending to deport them from the so-called Greater German Reich in the near future, German authorities confined all Roma in so-called Gypsy camps (Zigeunerlager). With the suspension of deportations of Roma in 1940, these facilities became long-term holding pens. Marzahn in Berlin along with Lackenbach and Salzburg in Austria were among the worst of these camps. Hundreds of Roma died as a result of the horrendous conditions. Local Germans repeatedly complained about the camps, demanding the deportation of the Roma interned there in order to "safeguard” public morals, public health, and security. Local police used these complaints to appeal officially to Reichsführer-SS (SS chief) Heinrich Himmler for the resumption of deportations of Roma to the east.

more at: Genocide of European Roma (Gypsies), 1939–1945


Gypsies in Auschwitz: Part 1



For Nazi Germany, the Roma became a racist dilemma. The Roma were Aryans, but in the Nazi mind there were contradictions between what they regarded as the superiority of the Aryan race and their image of the Roma people.

At a conference held in Berlin on January 30, 1940, a decision was taken to expel 30,000 Roma from Germany to the territories of occupied Poland.

The reports of the SS Einsatzgruppen which operated in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union mention the murder of thousands of Romas along with the massive extermination of the Jews in these areas.

The deportations and executions of the Roma came under Himmler's authority. On December 16, 1942, Himmler issued an order to send all "Gypsies" to the concentration camps, with a few exceptions...

The deported Romas were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where a special Gypsy camp was erected. Over 20,000 Romas from Germany and some other parts of Europe were sent to this camp, and most of them were gassed there...

Wiernik described the arrival of the largest Roma group brought to Treblinka, in the spring of 1943:


One day, while I was working near the gate, I noticed the Germans and Ukrainians making special preparations...meanwhile the gate opened, and about 1,000 Gypsies were brought in (this was the third transport of Gypsies). About 200 of them were men, and the rest women and children...all the Gypsies were taken to the gas chambers and then burned...

Roma from the General Government [Poland] who were not sent to Auschwitz and to the operation Reinhard camps were shot on spot by the local police or gendarmes. In the eastern region of the Cracow district, in the counties of Sanok, Jaslo, and Rzeszow, close to 1,000 Roma were shot.

According to The Institut Fuer Zeitgeschicthe in Munich, at least 4,000 Roma people were murdered by gas at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

more at: Roma Victims of the Holocaust:Roma in Auschwitz


The Gypsies of Europe were registered, sterilized, ghettoized, and then deported to concentration and death camps by the Nazis. Approximately 250,000 to 500,000 Gypsies were murdered during the Holocaust - an event they call the Porajmos (the "Devouring".

A Short History
Approximately a thousand years ago, several groups of people migrated from northern India, dispersing throughout Europe over the next several centuries. Though these people were part of several tribes (the largest of which are the Sinti and Roma), the settled peoples called them by a collective name, "Gypsies" -- which stems from the one time belief that they had come from Egypt.

Nomadic, dark-skinned, non-Christian, speaking a foreign language (Romani), not tied to the land - the Gypsies were very different from the settled peoples of Europe. Misunderstandings of Gypsy culture created suspicions and fears, which in turn led to rampant speculations, stereotypes, and biased stories. Unfortunately, too many of these stereotypes and stories are still readily believed today.

Throughout the following centuries, non-Gypsies (Gaje) continually tried to either assimilate the Gypsies or kill them. Attempts to assimilate the Gypsies involved stealing their children and placing them with other families; giving them cattle and feed, expecting them to become farmers; outlawing their customs, language, and clothing as well as forcing them to attend school and church.

Decrees, laws, and mandates often allowed the killing of Gypsies. For instance, in 1725 King Frederick William I of Prussia ordered all Gypsies over 18 years of age to be hanged. A practice of "Gypsy hunting" was quite common - a game hunt very similar to fox hunting. Even as late as 1835, there was a Gypsy hunt in Jutland (Denmark) that "brought in a bag of over 260 men, women and children."1


more at: Gypsies and the Holocaust

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Reply Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day: The European Romani (Original post)
Behind the Aegis Apr 2015 OP
AuntPatsy Apr 2015 #1
shenmue Apr 2015 #2
Warren DeMontague Apr 2015 #3
one_voice Apr 2015 #4
JustAnotherGen Apr 2015 #5
Behind the Aegis Apr 2015 #6

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Thu Apr 16, 2015, 01:04 AM

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Thu Apr 16, 2015, 01:05 AM

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Thu Apr 16, 2015, 03:49 AM

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Another important reminder of a tragedy so massive, it breaks the mind to try to contemplate.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Thu Apr 16, 2015, 12:19 PM

4. Remembering...



Rec'd

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Original post)

Thu Apr 16, 2015, 12:21 PM

5. Kick!

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