The Romani genocide or the Romani Holocaust—also known as the
Porajmos (Romani pronunciation: IPA: [pʰoɽajˈmos]), the
Pharrajimos ("Cutting up", "Fragmentation", "Destruction"), and the
Samudaripen ("Mass killing")—was the effort by
Nazi Germany and its
World War II
World War II allies to commit genocide against Europe's Romani
Under Adolf Hitler, a supplementary decree to the
Nuremberg Laws was
issued on 26 November 1935, classifying Gypsies as "enemies of the
race-based state", thereby placing them in the same category as the
Jews. Thus, in some ways the fate of the Roma in
that of the
Jews in the
Historians estimate that between 220,000 and 500,000 Romani were
killed by the Nazis and their collaborators—25% to over 50% of the
slightly fewer than 1 million Roma in
Europe at the time. Ian
Hancock puts the death toll as high as 1.5 million.
West Germany formally recognized that
Nazi Germany had
committed genocide against the Romani. In 2011
adopted 2 August as a day of commemoration of the Romani genocide.
2.1 Romani discrimination before 1933
2.1.1 The emergence of "scientific" racism
2.1.2 Persecution under the
German Empire and the Weimar Republic
2.2 Aryan racial purity
2.3 Loss of citizenship
2.4 Persecution and Genocide
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
8 Further reading
9 External links
The term porajmos (also porrajmos or pharrajimos—literally,
"devouring" or "destruction" in some dialects of the Romani
language) 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): "[p]orrajmos is unpronounceable in the
Roma community, and thus is incapable of conveying the sufferings of
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
Linguistically, the term porajmos is composed of the verb root porrav-
and the abstract-forming nominal ending -imos. This ending is of the
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 [was] no longer anything to fear from them with
regard to safety in the land." They were forbidden from "roam[ing]
about or camp[ing] in bands," and those "unable to prove regular
employment" risked being sent to forced labor for up to two years.
Herbet Heuss notes that "[t]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
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 Nazi Germany
Romani woman with German police officer and Nazi psychologist Dr.
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
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 took special interest into the "Aryan" origins of the Gypsies
and distinguished between "settled" (assimilated) and "unsettled"
Although the Nazi regime never produced the "Gypsy Law" desired by
Himmler, policies and decrees were passed which discriminated
against the Gypsies. Gypsies were classified as "asocial" and
"criminals" by the Nazi regime. Since 1935, Gypsies were placed
into special camps. After 1937, the Nazis started to carry out
racial examinations on the Gypsies living in Germany. In 1938,
Himmler issued an order regarding the 'Gypsy question' which
explicitly mentioned "race" which stated that it was "advisable to
deal with the Gypsy question on the basis of race." The decree
made it law to register all Gypsies (including Mischlinge), as well as
those people who "travel around in a Gypsy fashion" over the age of
6. Although the Nazis believed that the Gypsies were originally
Aryan, over time they were said to have become mixed race and were
classified as "non-Aryan" and of an "alien race".
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
Auschwitz were forced to wear the brown inverted triangle on
their prison uniforms so they could be distinguished from other
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.
Emmanuel Ringelblum speculated that Romani were sent to the Warsaw
Ghetto because the Germans wanted:
... 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,
such as Treblinka.
German troops round up Romani in Asperg,
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
Einsatzgruppen in 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
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
facilities of 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 (Auschwitz, Sobibor, Treblinka, Ravensbrück, and
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
regime in 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
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,
and 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
In the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, Romani internees were sent
to the Lety and Hodonín concentration camps before being transferred
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 migrants from
Slovakia who moved there during the post-war years in Czechoslovakia.
In Nazi-occupied France, between 16,000 and 18,000 were killed.
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 Prime Minister.
In 1934, 68 Romani, most of them Norwegian citizens, were denied entry
into Norway, and they were also denied transit through
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
the United States
Holocaust Memorial Museum's online encyclopedia of
Roma population, 1939
Victims Low Estimate
Victims High Estimate
Czech Republic (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
the University of Texas at Austin, almost the entire Romani
population was killed in Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and
the Netherlands. 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.
Further information: Nazi human experimentation
Another distinctive feature of both the
Porajmos and the
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
Otmar von Verschuer at the
Kaiser Wilhelm Institute
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 shortly afterwards.
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
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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 [were]
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 then the
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 ...
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
Acts of commemoration
Rome (Italy) in memory of
Romani people who died in
Holocaust by bullet, Yahad-In Unum documentary.
The first memorial commemorating victims of the Romani
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
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
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
performed in Tilburg, Prague, Budapest, Frankfurt, Cracow, and Berlin.
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 the film
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
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),
directed by Radu Mihaileanu, depicts a group of Romani singing and
Jews at a stop en route to a concentration camp.
In 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
Porajmos is described in
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Porajmos.
And the Violins Stopped Playing
^ Davis, Mark (5 May 2015). "How
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Eve of the 21st Century. Simon & Schuster (Touchstone).
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meaning of an instrument for the persecution of
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Jewish Victims of Persecution in Germany—About the Holocaust,
Histories, Narratives and Documents of the Roma and
Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota
Documentation and Cultural Centre of German
Sinti and Roma (German)
A Brief Romani
Genocide (Parajmos) Resources, Prevent Genocide
Memorial of Poraimos (Romani)
– a project by Yahad – In Unum and Roma Dignity
Sinti Under-Studied Victims of Nazism (Symposium
Proceedings), PDF, 98 р.
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Gypsies: A Persecuted Race
A People Uncounted. The Untold Story of the Roma. Dir. Aaron Yeger.
Victims of Nazism
Survivors of Sobibór
Victims and survivors of Auschwitz
Books and other resources
Films about the Holocaust
Nazi concentration camps
Rescuers of Jews
Shtetls depopulated of Jews
Timeline of deportations of French Jews
Timeline of the Holocaust
Timeline of the
Holocaust in Norway
Sisak children's camp
Risiera di San Sabba
Extermination through labour
Human medical experimentation
Concentration Camps Inspectorate
End of World War II
Romani people (gypsies)
Slavs in Eastern Europe
People with disabilities
Reich Security Main Office (RSHA)
Orpo Police Battalions
Lithuanian Security Police
Ukrainian Auxiliary Police
Nazi racial policy
Forced euthanasia (Action T4)
Days of remembrance
Memorials and museums
Chief of German Police
Minister of the Interior
Himmler's service record
Ideology of the SS
Personal Staff Reichsführer-SS
Reichsführer-SS ("Circle of Friends of the
Reinhard Heydrich (Chief of the RSHA)
Ernst Kaltenbrunner (successor as Chief of the RSHA)
Karl Wolff (Chief of Personal Staff)
Hedwig Potthast (secretary)
Rudolf Brandt (Personal Administrative Officer to RFSS)
Hermann Gauch (adjutant)
Werner Grothmann (aide-de-camp)
Heinz Macher (second personal assistant)
Walter Schellenberg (personal aide)
Karl Maria Wiligut (occultist)
Reich Central Office for the Combating of Homosexuality and Abortion
Crimes against Poles
Crimes against Soviet POWs
Persecution of Slavs in Eastern Europe
Persecution of homosexuals
Persecution of Serbs
Suppression of Freemasonry
Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses
Persecution of black people
Margarete Himmler (wife)
Gudrun Burwitz (daughter)
Hedwig Potthast (mistress)
Gebhard Ludwig (older brother)
Ernst (younger brother)
Katrin Himmler (great-niece)
Heinz Kokott (brother-in-law)
Richard Wendler (brother-in-law)
Army Group Oberrhein
Army Group Vistula
Claus von Stauffenberg
Henning von Tresckow
Erhard Heiden (predecessor as Reichsführer-SS)
Karl Hanke (successor as Reichsführer-SS)
Falk Zipperer (closest friend)
Karl Gebhardt (personal physician)
Felix Kersten (personal masseur)
Hugo Blaschke (dentist)
Sidney Excell (man who