The ROMANI GENOCIDE or the ROMANI HOLOCAUST, also known as the
PORAJMOS (Romani pronunciation: IPA: ), PHARRAJIMOS ("Cutting up",
"Fragmentation", "Destruction"), or SAMUDARIPEN ("Mass killing"), was
the planned and attempted effort, often described as a genocide ,
World War II
World War II by the government of
Nazi Germany and its allies
to exterminate the
Romani people of
Europe . Under the rule of Adolf
Hitler , a supplementary decree to the
Nuremberg Laws was issued on 26
November 1935, defining Gypsies as "enemies of the race-based state",
the same category as
Jews . Thus, in some ways the fate of the Roma in
Europe paralleled that of the Jews. Historians estimate that 220,000
to 500,000 Romani were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators, or
25% to over 50% of the slightly fewer than 1 million Roma in
Ian Hancock puts the death toll as high as 1.5 million. In
West Germany formally recognized that genocide had been
committed against the Romani. In 2011
Poland passed a resolution for
the official recognition of 2 August as a day of commemoration of the
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 2.1 Romani discrimination before 1933
* 2.1.1 The emergence of "scientific" racism
* 2.1.2 Persecution under the
German Empire and the
* 2.2 Aryan racial purity
* 2.3 Loss of citizenship
* 2.4 Persecution and
* 3 Persecution in other Axis countries and occupied countries
* 3.1 Estimated number of victims
* 4 Medical experiments
* 5 Recognition and remembrance
* 5.1 Acts of commemoration
* 5.2 In popular culture
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 Further reading
* 9 External links
The term porajmos (also porrajmos or pharrajimos—literally,
"devouring" or "destruction" in some dialects of the
) was introduced by
Ian Hancock , in the early 1990s. Hancock chose
the term, coined by a
Kalderash Rom, from a number of suggestions in
an "informal conversation in 1993".
The term is used mostly by activists and is unknown to most Roma,
including relatives of victims and survivors. Some Russian and Balkan
Romani activists protest against using the word porajmos. In various
dialects, porajmos is synonymous with poravipe which means "violation"
and "rape", a term which some Roma consider to be offensive. János
Bársony and Ágnes Daróczi, pioneering organisers of the Romani
civil rights movement in Hungary, prefer the Pharrajimos, a Romani
word meaning "cutting up", "fragmentation", "destruction". They argue
against using porrajmos, saying it is marhime (unclean, untouchable):
"orrajmos is unpronounceable in the Roma community, and thus is
incapable of conveying the sufferings of the Roma".
Balkan Romani activists prefer the term samudaripen ("mass killing"),
first introduced by linguist Marcel Courthiade. Hancock dismisses
this word, arguing that it does not conform to Romani language
morphology . Some
Ruska Roma activists offer the term Kali Traš
("Black Fear"). Another alternative that has been used is Berša
Bibahtale ("The Unhappy Years"). Lastly, adapted borrowings such as
Holokosto, Holokausto, etc. are also occasionally used in the Romani
Linguistically, the term porajmos is composed of the verb root
porrav- and the abstract-forming nominal ending -imos. This ending is
Vlax Romani dialect, whereas other varieties generally use
-ibe(n) or -ipe(n). For the verb itself, the most commonly given
meaning is "to open/stretch wide" or "to rip open", whereas the
meaning "to open up the mouth, devour" occurs in fewer varieties.
ROMANI DISCRIMINATION BEFORE 1933
The Emergence Of "scientific" Racism
Roma family in
Romania , pictured in 1904
In the late 19th century, the emergence of scientific racism and
Social Darwinism , linking social differences to racial differences,
provided the German public with justifications for prejudices against
Jews and Roma. During this time, "the concept of race was
systematically employed in order to explain social phenomena." This
approach validated the idea that races were not variations of a single
species of man and instead were of distinctly different biological
origin. It established a purportedly scientifically backed racial
hierarchy, which defined certain minority groups as other on the basis
In addition to racial pseudo-science, the end of the 19th century was
a period of state-sponsored modernization in Germany. Industrial
development altered many aspects of society. Most notably, the period
shifted social norms of work and life. For Roma, this meant a denial
of their traditional way of life as craftsmen and artisans. János
Bársony notes that "industrial development devalued their services as
craftsmen, resulting in the disintegration of their communities and
Persecution Under The
German Empire And The Weimar Republic
The developments of racial pseudo-science and modernization resulted
in anti-Romani state interventions, carried out by both the German
Empire and the
Weimar Republic . In 1899, the Imperial Police
Headquarters in Munich established the Information Services on Romani
by the Security Police. Its purpose was to keep records
(identification cards, fingerprints, photographs, etc.) and continuous
surveillance on the Roma community. Roma in the
Weimar Republic were
forbidden from entering public swimming pools, parks, and other
recreational areas, and depicted throughout
criminals and spies.
The 1926 "Law for the Fight Against Gypsies, Vagrants and the
Workshy" was enforced in Bavaria, becoming the national norm by 1929.
It stipulated that groups identifying as 'Gypsies' avoid all travel to
the region. Those already living in the area were to "be kept under
control so that there no longer anything to fear from them with
regard to safety in the land." They were forbidden from "roam about
or camp in bands," and those "unable to prove regular employment"
risked being sent to forced labor for up to two years. Herbet Heuss
notes that "his Bavarian law became the model for other German states
and even for neighbouring countries." The demand for Roma to give up
their nomadic ways and settle in a specific region was often the focus
of anti-Romani policy both of the
German Empire and Weimar Republic.
Once settled, communities were concentrated and isolated in one area
within a town or city. This process facilitated state-run
surveillance practices and 'crime prevention.'
Following passage of the Law for the Fight Against Gypsies, Vagrants
and the Workshy, public policy increasingly targeted the Roma on the
explicit basis of race. In 1927, Prussia passed a law that required
all Roma to carry identity cards. Eight thousand Roma were processed
this way and subjected to mandatory fingerprinting and photographing.
Two years later, the focus became more explicit. In 1929, the German
state of Hessen proposed the 'Law for the Fight Against the Gypsy
Menace.' The same year the Centre for the Fight Against Gypsies in
Germany was opened. This body enforced restrictions on travel for
undocumented Roma and "allowed for the arbitrary arrest and detention
of gypsies as a means of crime prevention."
ARYAN RACIAL PURITY
Main article: Racial policy of
For centuries, Romani tribes had been subject to antiziganist
persecution and humiliation in Europe. They were stigmatized as
habitual criminals, social misfits, and vagabonds . When Hitler came
to national power in 1933, anti-Gypsy laws in
Germany remained in
effect. Under the "Law against Dangerous Habitual Criminals" of
November 1933, the police arrested many Gypsies with others the Nazis
viewed as "asocial" — prostitutes, beggars, homeless vagrants, and
alcoholics, and imprisoned them in internment camps.
After Hitler's rise to power, legislation against the Romani was
increasingly based upon a rhetoric of racism. Policy originally based
on the premise of "fighting crime" was redirected to "fighting a
people." Targeted groups were no longer determined by juridical
grounds. Instead, they were victims of racialized policy.
The Department of Racial Hygiene and Population Biology began to
experiment on Romani to determine criteria for their racial
classification. Romani woman with German police officer and Nazi
The Nazis established the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology
Research Unit (Rassenhygienische und Bevölkerungsbiologische
Forschungsstelle, Department L3 of the Reich Department of Health) in
1936. Headed by Dr.
Robert Ritter and his assistant
Eva Justin , this
Unit was mandated to conduct an in-depth study of the "Gypsy question
(Zigeunerfrage)" and to provide data required for formulating a new
Reich "Gypsy law". After extensive fieldwork in the spring of 1936,
consisting of interviews and medical examinations to determine the
racial classification of the Roma, the Unit determined that most
Romani, whom they had concluded were not of "pure Gypsy blood", posed
a danger to German racial purity and should be deported or eliminated.
No decision was made regarding the remainder (about 10 percent of the
total Romani population of Europe), primarily
Sinti and Lalleri tribes
living in Germany. Several suggestions were made. Reichsführer-SS
Heinrich Himmler suggested deporting the Romani to a remote
reservation , as had been done by the United States for its Native
Americans, where "pure Gypsies" could continue their nomadic lifestyle
unhindered. According to him:
The aim of measures taken by the State to defend the homogeneity of
the German nation must be the physical separation of Gypsydom from the
German nation, the prevention of miscegenation , and finally, the
regulation of the way of life of pure and part-Gypsies. The necessary
legal foundation can only be created through a Gypsy Law, which
prevents further intermingling of blood, and which regulates all the
most pressing questions which go together with the existences of
Gypsies in the living space of the German nation.
Himmler also distinguished between "settled" (assimilated) and
"unsettled" Gypsies. The regime never produced the "Gypsy Law" desired
LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP
The Nuremberg race laws were passed on September 15, 1935. The first
Nuremberg Law, the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor",
forbade marriage and extramarital intercourse between
Germans. The second Nuremberg law, "The Reich Citizenship Law,"
Jews of their German citizenship. On November 26, 1935,
Germany expanded the Nuremberg laws to also apply to the Roma. Romani,
like Jews, lost their right to vote on March 7, 1936.
PERSECUTION AND GENOCIDE
The Brown Triangle. Romani prisoners in German concentration
camps such as
Auschwitz were forced to wear the brown inverted
triangle on their prison uniforms so they could be distinguished from
The Third Reich's government began persecuting the Romani as early as
1936 when they began to transfer the people to municipal internment
camps on the outskirts of cities, a prelude to their deportation to
concentration camps. A December 1937 decree on "crime prevention"
provided the pretext for major roundups of Gypsies. Nine
representatives of the Romani community in
Germany were asked to
compile lists of "pure-blooded" Romanis to be saved from deportation,
but the Germans often ignored these lists and some individuals
identified on them were still sent to concentration camps. Notable
internment and concentration camps include Dachau , Dieselstrasse,
Marzahn (which evolved from a municipal internment camp) and
Initially, the Romani were herded into so called ghettos , including
Ghetto (April–June 1942), where they formed a distinct
class in relation to the Jews.
Ghetto diarist Emmanuel Ringelblum
speculated that Romani were sent to the Warsaw
Ghetto because the
... to toss into the
Ghetto everything that is characteristically
dirty, shabby, bizarre, of which one ought to be frightened, and which
anyway has to be destroyed.
Initially there was disagreement within the Nazi circles about how to
solve the "Gypsy Question". In late 1939 and early 1940,
Hans Frank ,
the General Governor of occupied Poland, refused to accept the 30,000
German and Austrian Roma which were to be deported to his territory.
Heinrich Himmler "lobbied to save a handful of pure-blooded Roma",
whom he believed to be an ancient Aryan people for his "ethnic
reservation", but was opposed by
Martin Bormann , who favored
deportation for all Roma. The debate ended in 1942 when Himmler
signed the order to begin the mass deportations of Roma to Auschwitz
concentration camp. During
Operation Reinhard (1941–43), an
undetermined number of Roma were killed in the extermination camps,
Treblinka . German troops round up Romani in
Germany in May 1940
The Nazi persecution of Roma was not regionally consistent. In
France, between 3,000 and 6,000 Roma were deported to German
concentration camps as Dachau, Ravensbrück, Buchenwald, and other
camps. Further east, in the Balkan states and the Soviet Union, the
Einsatzgruppen , mobile killing squads, travelled from village to
village massacring the inhabitants where they lived and typically
leaving few to no records of the number of Roma killed in this way. In
a few cases, significant documentary evidence of mass murder was
generated. Timothy Snyder notes that in the
Soviet Union alone there
were 8,000 documented cases of Roma murdered by the
their sweep east.
In return for immunity from prosecution for war crimes , Erich von
dem Bach-Zelewski stated at the
Einsatzgruppen Trial that "the
principal task of the
Einsatzgruppen of the S.D. was the annihilation
of the Jews, Gypsies and Political Commissars ". Roma in Slovakia
were killed by the local collaborating auxiliaries. Notably, in
Denmark and Greece, local populations did not participate in the hunt
for Roma as they did in the Baltics.
Bulgaria and Finland, although
allies of Germany, did not cooperate with the Porajmos, just as they
did not cooperate with the
On December 16, 1942, Himmler ordered that the Romani candidates for
extermination should be transferred from ghettos to the extermination
Auschwitz-Birkenau . On November 15, 1943, Himmler
ordered that Romani and "part-Romanies" were to be put "on the same
Jews and placed in concentration camps". The camp
authorities housed Roma in a special compound that was called the
"Gypsy family camp." Some 23,000 Roma,
Sinti and Lalleri were deported
Auschwitz altogether. In concentration camps such as Auschwitz,
Gypsies wore brown or black triangular patches, the symbol for
"asocials," or green ones, the symbol for professional criminals, and
less frequently the letter "Z" (meaning Zigeuner, German word for
Sybil Milton has speculated that Hitler was involved in the decision
to deport all Romani to Auschwitz, as Himmler gave the order six days
after meeting with Hitler. For that meeting, Himmler had prepared a
report on the subject Führer: Aufstellung wer sind Zigeuner.
Jewish resistance occurred in nearly every large ghetto and
concentration camp (
Buchenwald , among many others), and the Roma similarly attempted
to resist the Nazis' extermination. In May 1944 at Auschwitz, SS
guards tried to liquidate the Gypsy Family Camp and were "met with
unexpected resistance". When ordered to come out, they refused, having
been warned and arming themselves with crude weapons – iron pipes,
shovels, and other tools used for labor. The SS chose not to confront
the Roma directly and withdrew for several months. After transferring
as many as 3,000 Roma who were capable of forced labor to
and other concentration camps, the SS moved against the remaining
2,898 inmates on August 2. The SS killed nearly all of the remaining
inmates — most of them ill, elderly men, women, or children, in the
gas chambers of Birkenau. At least 19,000 of the 23,000 Roma sent to
Auschwitz perished there.
Society for Threatened Peoples
Society for Threatened Peoples estimates the Romani deaths at
Martin Gilbert estimates that a total of more than 220,000
of the 700,000 Romani in
Europe were killed, including 15,000 (mainly
from the Soviet Union) in Mauthausen in January–May 1945. The
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum cites scholars who estimate
the number of
Sinti and Roma killed as between 220,000 and 500,000.
Dr. Sybil Milton, a historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Research
Institute, estimated the number of lives lost as "something between a
half-million and a million-and-a-half".
PERSECUTION IN OTHER AXIS COUNTRIES AND OCCUPIED COUNTRIES
Romani were also persecuted by the puppet regimes that cooperated
with the Third Reich during the war, especially the notorious Ustaše
Croatia . Tens of thousands of Romani were killed in the
Jasenovac concentration camp , along with
Serbs , Jews, and Muslims .
Yad Vashem estimates that the
Porajmos was most intense in Yugoslavia
, where around 90,000 Romani were killed. The
Ustaše government also
deported around 26,000. Serbian Romani were parties to the
unsuccessful class action suit against the Vatican Bank and others in
U.S. federal court seeking return of wartime loot.
The governments of some Nazi German allies, namely
Slovakia , Hungary
Romania , also contributed to the Nazi plan of Romani
extermination, but most Romani in these countries survived, unlike
Croatia or in areas directly ruled by Nazi Germany
(such as Poland). The Hungarian Arrow Cross government deported
between 28,000 and 33,000 Romani out of a population that was
estimated to be between 70,000 and 100,000.
The Romanian government of
Ion Antonescu did not systematically
exterminate the approximately 300,000 Roma on its territory. Some
resident Roma were deported to Romanian-run concentration camps in
occupied Transnistria . Of the estimated 25,000 Romani inmates of
these camps, 11,000 (44%, or almost half) died. See also the research
of Michelle Kelso, presented in her film, Hidden Sorrows, based upon
research amongst the survivors and in archives.
According to eyewitness Mrs. de Wiek,
Anne Frank , a notable Jewish
Holocaust victim, is recorded as having witnessed the prelude to the
murder of Romani children at Auschwitz: "I can still see her standing
at the door and looking down the camp street as a herd of naked gypsy
girls were driven by, to the crematory, and Anne watched them going
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia , Romani internees were
sent to the Lety and Hodonín concentration camps before being
Auschwitz-Birkenau for gassing. What makes the Lety
camp unique is that it was staffed by Czech guards, who could be even
more brutal than the Germans, as testified in
Paul Polansky 's book
Black Silence. The genocide was so thorough that the vast majority of
Romani in the
Czech Republic today are actually descended from
Slovakia who moved there during the post-war years in
Czechoslovakia . In Nazi-occupied
France , between 16,000 and 18,000
The small Romani population in
Denmark was not subjected to mass
killings by the Nazi occupiers, instead, it was simply classified as
"asocial". Angus Fraser attributes this to "doubts over ethnic
demarcations within the travelling population". The Romanis of Greece
were taken hostage and prepared for deportation to Auschwitz, but they
were saved by appeals from the Archbishop of Athens and the Greek
In 1934, 68 Romani, most of them Norwegian citizens, were denied
Norway , and they were also denied transit through Sweden
Denmark when they wanted to leave Germany. In the winter of
1943–1944, 66 members of the Josef, Karoli and Modis families were
Belgium and deported to the gypsy department in Auschwitz.
Only four members of this group survived.
ESTIMATED NUMBER OF VICTIMS
The following figures are from The Columbia Guide to the Holocaust
and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's online encyclopedia
of the Holocaust.
ROMA POPULATION, 1939
VICTIMS LOW ESTIMATE
VICTIMS HIGH ESTIMATE
CZECH REPUBLIC (
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia
Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia )
SOVIET UNION (1939 borders)
Most estimates vary from 200,000 to 500,000 of the million Roma in
Europe, though others propose much higher numbers. According to Ian
Hancock , director of the Romani Archives and Documentation Center at
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Austin , almost the entire Romani
population was killed in
Rudolph Rummel , the late professor emeritus of
political science at the
University of Hawaii
University of Hawaii who spent his career
assembling data on collective violence by governments toward their
people (for which he coined the term democide ), estimated that
258,000 must have been killed in Europe, 36,000 in
Romania under Ion
Antonescu and 27,000 in
Ustaše -controlled Croatia.
In a 2010 publication,
Ian Hancock stated that he agrees with the
view that the number of Romanies killed has been underestimated as a
result of being grouped with others in Nazi records under headings
such as "remainder to be liquidated", "hangers-on", and "partisans".
He notes recent evidence such as the previously obscure Lety
concentration camp in the
Czech Republic and Ackovic's revised
estimates of Romani killed by the
Ustaše as high as
80,000–100,000. These numbers suggest that previous estimates have
been grossly underrepresented.
Zbigniew Brzezinski has estimated that 800,000 Romanies died as a
result of Nazi actions.
Nazi human experimentation
Another distinctive feature of both the
Porajmos and the Holocaust
was the extensive use of human subjects in medical experiments. The
most notorious of these physicians was Dr.
Josef Mengele , who worked
Auschwitz concentration camp . His experiments included placing
subjects in pressure chambers, testing drugs on them, freezing them,
attempting to change their eye color by injecting chemicals into
children's eyes and various amputations and other brutal surgeries.
The full extent of his work will never be known because the truckload
of records he sent to Dr.
Otmar von Verschuer at the Kaiser Wilhelm
Institute was destroyed by von Verschuer. Mengele's own journals,
consisting of some 3,300 pages, are likely never to be published, and
they are suspected to contain denials of the Holocaust. Subjects who
survived Mengele's experiments were almost always killed and dissected
He seemed particularly keen on working with Romani children. He would
bring them sweets and toys, and would personally take them to the gas
chamber. They would call him "Onkel Mengele". Vera Alexander was a
Jewish inmate at
Auschwitz who looked after 50 sets of Romani twins:
I remember one set of twins in particular: Guido and Ina, aged about
four. One day, Mengele took them away. When they returned, they were
in a terrible state: they had been sewn together, back to back, like
Siamese twins. Their wounds were infected and oozing pus. They
screamed day and night. Then their parents—I remember the mother's
name was Stella—managed to get some morphine and they killed the
children in order to end their suffering.
RECOGNITION AND REMEMBRANCE
Part of a series on
Genocide of indigenous peoples
Dzungar genocide (1750s)
Circassian genocide (1860s)
* Colonial genocides
* Selk\'nam genocide (1890s to 1900s)
* Herero and Namaqua
* Genocides by the Ottoman Empire
Greek genocide (1914–23)
Assyrian genocide (1914–25)
* Armenian genocide (1915–23)
* Soviet genocide and
Simele Massacre (1933)
* Soviet genocide of Poles (1937-45)
* Great Purge Era (1937–38)
* Occupation of
Katyn massacre (1940)
* Nazi Holocaust and genocide (1941–45)
* Nazi genocide of Slavs (1939-45)
Nazi crimes against ethnic Poles
Nazi crimes against ethnic Poles (1939–1945)
Nazi crimes against Soviet Civilians (1941–1945)
Nazi crimes against Soviet POWs
Nazi crimes against Soviet POWs (1941–1945)
* Serbian genocide (1941-45)
* Indonesian massacres (1965–66)
1971 Bangladesh genocide
1971 Bangladesh genocide (1971)
Burundian genocides (1972 padding-top:0.2em;">
Genocides in history
Khmer Rouge Killing Fields
Holodomor genocide question
Effects of genocide on youth
* List by death toll
Mass killings under Communist regimes
Mass killings under Communist regimes
Anti-communist mass killings
* Mass Killings Compilation
The German government paid war reparations to
Jewish survivors of the
Holocaust, but not to the Romani. There were "never any consultations
at Nuremberg or any other international conference as to whether the
Sinti and Roma were entitled like the
Jews to reparations." The
Interior Ministry of Wuerttemberg argued that "Gypsies persecuted
under the Nazis not for any racial reason but because of an asocial
and criminal record". When on trial for his leadership of
Einsatzgruppen in the USSR,
Otto Ohlendorf cited the massacres of
Romanis during the
Thirty Years War
Thirty Years War as a historical precedent.
West Germany recognised the genocide of the Roma in 1982, and since
Porajmos has been increasingly recognized as a genocide
committed simultaneously with the Shoah. The American historian Sybil
Milton wrote several articles arguing that the
recognition as part of the Holocaust. In Switzerland, a committee of
experts investigated the policy of the Swiss government during the
Formal recognition and commemoration of the Roma persecution by the
Nazis has been difficult in practical terms due to the lack of
significant collective memory and documentation of the
the Roma. This is a result both of their tradition of oral history and
illiteracy, heightened by widespread poverty and continuing
discrimination that has forced some Roma out of state schools. One
UNESCO report put the illiteracy rate among the Roma in
Romania at 30
percent, as opposed to the near universal literacy of the Romanian
public as a whole. In a 2011 investigation of the state of the Roma in
Europe today, Ben Judah, a Policy Fellow with the European Council on
Foreign Relations , traveled to Romania.
Nico Fortuna, a sociologist and Roma activist, explained the
Jewish collective memory of the
Shoah and the Roma
There is a difference between the
Jewish and Roma deportees ... The
Jews were shocked and can remember the year, date and time it
happened. The Roma shrugged it off. They said, "Of course I was
deported. I'm Roma; these things happen to a Roma." The Roma mentality
is different from the
Jewish mentality. For example, a Roma came to me
and asked, "Why do you care so much about these deportations? Your
family was not deported." I went, "I care as a Roma" and the guy said
back, "I do not care because my family were brave, proud Roma that
were not deported."
Jews it was total and everyone knew this—from bankers to
pawnbrokers. For the Roma it was selective and not comprehensive. The
Roma were only exterminated in a few parts of
Europe such as Poland,
Germany and France. In
Romania and much of the
Balkans, only nomadic Roma and social outcast Roma were deported. This
matters and influences the Roma mentality.
Ian Hancock has also observed a reluctance among Roma to acknowledge
their victimization by the Third Reich. The Roma "are traditionally
not disposed to keeping alive the terrible memories from their
history—nostalgia is a luxury for others". The effects of the
illiteracy, the lack of social institutions, and the rampant
discrimination faced by Roma in
Europe today have produced a people
who, according to Fortuna, lack a "national consciousness ... and
historical memory of the Holocaust because there is no Roma elite."
ACTS OF COMMEMORATION
Rome (Italy) in memory of
Romani people who died in
extermination camps Play media Holocaust by bullet, Yahad-In
The first memorial commemorating victims of the Romani Holocaust was
erected on May 8, 1956, in the Polish village of Szczurowa
Szczurowa massacre . Since 1996, a Gypsy Caravan
Memorial has been traveling among the main remembrance sites in
Tarnów via Auschwitz,
Szczurowa and Borzęcin Dolny,
gathering the Romani and well-wishers in the remembrance of the
Porajmos. Several museums dedicate a part of their permanent
exhibition to documenting that history, such as the Museum of Romani
Czech Republic and the Ethnographic Museum in
Poland. Some political organisations have tried to block the
installation of Romani memorials near former concentration camps, as
shown by the debate around Lety and Hodonin in the Czech Republic.
On October 23, 2007, Romanian President
Traian Băsescu publicly
apologized for his nation's role in the Porajmos, the first time a
Romanian leader has done so. He called for the
Porajmos to be taught
in schools, stating that, "We must tell our children that six decades
ago children like them were sent by the Romanian state to die of
hunger and cold". Part of his apology was expressed in the Romani
language . Băsescu awarded three
Porajmos survivors with an Order for
Faithful Services. Before recognizing Romania's role in the Porajmos,
Traian Băsescu was widely quoted after an incident on 19 May 2007, in
which he insulted a journalist by calling her a "stinky gypsy". The
president subsequently apologized. Monument to the Romani
murdered in the Polish village of Borzęcin
On 27 January 2011,
Zoni Weisz became the first Roma guest of honour
at Germany's official
Holocaust Memorial Day ceremony. Dutch-born
Weisz escaped death during a Nazi round-up when a policeman allowed
him to escape. Nazi injustices against the Roma were recalled at the
ceremony, including that directed at Sinto boxer
Johann Trollmann .
In July 2011 the
Polish Parliament passed a resolution for the
official recognition of 2 August as a day of commemoration of the
On May 3, 2012 the world premiere of the Requiem for
Auschwitz , by
composer Roger Moreno Rathgeb , was performed at the Nieuwe Kerk in
Amsterdam by The Roma and
Sinti Philharmoniker directed by Riccardo M
Sahiti . The Philharmoniker is a pan-European orchestra of Roma and
Sinto musicians generally employed by other classical orchestras; it
is focused on the contribution of Roma culture to classical music.
Dutch-Swiss Sinto Moreno Rathgeb wrote his requiem for all victims of
Auschwitz and Nazi terror. The occasion of the premiere was coupled to
a conference, Roma between Past and Future. The requiem has since been
Cracow , and
On 24 October 2012 the Memorial to the
Sinti and Roma Victims of
National Socialism was unveiled in Berlin. since 2010, ternYpe –
International Roma Youth Network, organizes a commemoration week
called "Dikh he na bister" (look and don't forget) about August 2 in
Kraków and Auschwitz-Birkenau. In 2014 they organised the largest
Youth Commemoration Ceremony in history, attracting more than 1000
young Roma and non-Roma from 25 countries. This initiative of ternYpe
Network was held under the European Parliament's High Patronage
granted by President Martin Schulz.
IN POPULAR CULTURE
* In 2009,
Tony Gatlif , a French Romani film director , directed
Korkoro , which portrays the Romani Taloche's escape from the
Nazis, with help from a French notary, Justes, and his difficulty in
trying to lead a sedentary life. The film's other main character,
Mademoiselle Lise Lundi, is inspired by Yvette Lundy, a teacher who
worked in Gionges, La Marne and was active in the
French Resistance .
* The 1988 Polish film,
And the Violins Stopped Playing , also has
Porajmos as its subject. It was criticized for showing the killing of
Roma as a method of removing witnesses to the killing of Jews.
* A scene in the French-language film Train de Vie (Train of Life) ,
Radu Mihaileanu , depicts a group of Romani singing and
Jews at a stop en route to a concentration camp.
X-Men 's graphic novel The Magneto Testament ,
Max Eisenhardt ,
who would later become Magneto, has a crush on a Romani girl called
Magda. He later meets her again in Auschwitz, where she is in the
Gypsy Camp and together, they plan their escape. The
described in detail.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to PORAJMOS .
And the Violins Stopped Playing
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