Why were isolated brain experiments stopped
What did the genocide of the gypsies teach us? Unidentified Roma Genocide Famous Roma Victims of Genocide
Most research on Nazi Holocaust politics focuses on the persecution of European Jewry, which suffered six million casualties. Gypsies are often either not reminded at all or only by chance. But the Nazis also planned to destroy the Gypsies as a group. However, the proposal to consider the Roma victims of the Holocaust sparked protests among its researchers. Is that fair
While most Holocaust history studies have focused on the suffering of the Jewish population in Axis-occupied Europe, the Roma were also the target of Nazi extermination.
The Roma as a people were able to survive the campaigns directed against them, largely due to the fact that they were in countries under the control of the Allied governments of Germany.
These governments usually refused to participate in the extermination of the Roma (much like some of them were involved in the extermination of the Jews). The majority of the Roma in Axis Europe were outside the direct control of the Nazi extermination machine.
As a result, his survival rate was relatively high. In contrast to the Gypsies, the majority of European Jews came under the direct control of Germany, so their mortality was proportionally much higher. So it can be argued that geographical location was one of the main factors behind the high survival rate of the Roma compared to the Jews.
The fate of the Roma under National Socialist rule during World War II sparked serious debates about whether they should be recognized as victims of the Holocaust or just as one of the many groups that fell victim to war-related conflicts and destruction by the Axis armies. The main question is to what extent the gypsies were exterminated: the same as the Jews sentenced to death by Hitler and the National Socialist security apparatus?
In order to determine the intentions of this National Socialist leadership, the fate of the Roma can be compared to that of the Jews, according to the framework developed by Helene Fein for understanding the severity of anti-Jewish persecution in Europe during the Holocaust Nazis known as the Holocaust.
Roma as group victims
Of course, the Roma have been subject to legal discrimination and negative attitudes since the Middle Ages. Many European countries have passed laws aimed at discriminating against Roma. A bad attitude towards them has often been sanctioned by the authorities. 5. In Germany, after the Nazis came to power, the Roma, like the Jews, were subject to "special laws" in order to separate them from the "Aryan" population and to prevent racial mixing.
Roma, like Jews before World War II, were classified as second-class citizens under German racial law and viewed as outsiders.7 As we already know, after the outbreak of war, Roma were victims of atrocities, massacres, slave labor and deportations to extermination camps the bureaucratic parallels between their classification and the classification of Jews are extremely similar. 9. Indeed, a small number of German Roma were pardoned.
Those who had pure Roma blood were allowed to exist in their communities.10 When Roma were deported to extermination camps, these differences lost their meaning.11 Although we know for sure that Roma suffered greatly during the war, the question has yet to be answered . Were they the target of targeted destruction?
The vast majority of research on the Holocaust and related topics of Nazi politics focuses on the persecution of European Jewry, which is understandable given the group's six million losses. Gypsies are often either not reminded at all or only by chance. However, there must also be such works that place the Roma as a group at the center of the study, which the Nazis also wanted to destroy 12.
The suggestion to consider Roma victims of the Holocaust has sparked a reaction among its researchers, who argue that the duration and extent of persecution of this group and the Jews were not the same. Yehuda Bauer believes that Roma were not victims of the Holocaust, especially when he relies on well-developed definitions of “mass murder”, “genocide” or “Shoah” (catastrophe). 13. Mass murder requires large-scale murder.
Genocide is an attempt to destroy an ethnic, racial, or national group by destroying its leaders and culture, including the destruction of elites and other members of the target audience.
"Genocide in such a definition should include the Nazis' policies towards Czechs, Poles or Roma ..." 14. The term "Holocaust" or "Shoah" is reserved for efforts to completely destroy the group. Jews under National Socialist rule and Armenians in the Ottoman Empire are two examples of similar attempts in recent history.
Such definitions are close to the UN definition of partial and total genocide (i.e. the Holocaust). Because of these important differences, Bauer consistently argues that the Holocaust is different from other examples of genocide, and the interpretation of this term cannot be expanded to include Roma or Poles among its victims, for example.15 He even argued that Jews were indeed a special one The Second World War was fought against them 16.
Jack Eisner came to similar conclusions.17 Even Donald Kenrick and Gretten Paxon, who recorded the Nazi campaign against the Roma, found that the Roma survived in Greece because “the Germans were probably very busy with their main victims, the Jews, so wasting time with Roma. “18th Stephen Katz carried out a comparative historical analysis of the Holocaust and other genocidal situations, considering Roma as a possible example 19.
He comes to the conclusion that the National Socialist persecution of the Roma was not synonymous with their anti-Jewish actions. Gypsies suffered under Nazi rule, but “their fate, indeed cruel, was qualitatively different, less ritualized, less uncompromising, less categorical” 20.
Perhaps its most striking claim is that less than a quarter of Roma died in Nazi-controlled territory, compared with more than 85% of the Jewish population in those countries.21 The arguments put forward in response to suggestions that Roma were victims of the Holocaust agree that Nazi policies were not aimed at the complete extermination of the Roma like the Jews. The question is whether the Nazis intended to completely exterminate the Roma like the Jews, or whether the Roma were victims of "partial genocide," to use Bauer's terminology.
Although the mortality rates of Jews and Gypsies differed significantly, these differences can be explained at least in part by the different influence that the Nazi government and especially the extermination apparatus had in various Axis-controlled regions. Some areas belonged directly to the Reich, others were occupied, the rest were allied countries in which it was impossible to pursue a unilateral German policy.
In her Holocaust paper, Helene Fein identified three levels of SS control according to the differences described above.22 Since she notes the multitude of other factors that influenced the fluctuations in Jewish mortality rates in different areas, her triple scheme is also useful for identifying differences in explain survival rates. Using the same model with regard to the Roma can be useful in understanding their high level of survival in Axis-controlled Europe.
This analysis can, for example, support Bauer and Katz's claim when it shows that the Nazis were lenient towards the Roma. Especially when we see that in the same regions the death rate among Roma will consistently be lower than among Jews. On the other hand, if local collaboration and mission explains many of the differences, it is possible that the Nazi regime focused equally on the extermination of Jews and Roma.
Comparison according to zones of influence of CC
The relationship between population and mortality of Roma and Jews in different regions of Europe was summarized for individual areas and control zones of the SS and used by Fein in their study of the Holocaust. The corresponding figures are given in Table 1. Two changes were made to the picture drawn by Fein.
Table 1. Mortality rates among Roma and Jews by SS zone
|area||Jewish population||Roma population|
|Zone CC 1|
|area||Before the war||losses||%%||Before the war||losses||%%|
|Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia||90,000||80.000||88,8||13,000||6,500||50,0|
|Ukraine / Belarus||1,875,000||1,145,000||61,1||42,000||30,000||71,4|
|Zone CC 2|
|Zone CC 3|
|Allied countries |
Italian Greece (2)
|(1) An estimate that can be significantly lower. |
(2) Deportations and assassinations after the Italian surrender in 1943.
(3) Deportations and assassinations mainly after the formation of a puppet government in 1944.
(4) Total amount for Roma excluding Finland, Greece and Denmark.
Sources: for Jewish losses - Lucy S. Dawidowicz, The War Against the Jews, 1933-1945 (New York. Bantam, 1975), pp. 483-544; for gypsy losses - Kenrick, Puxon, Destiny, esp. pp. 183-84. Figures on Italian Greece and Thessaloniki as well as the deportation of Roma from Norway come from: Martin Gilbert, Atlasofthe Holocaust (Oxford. Pergamon Press, 1988)
Luxembourg, a country they ignored, has been included in SS Zone 1 since the Grand Duchy joined the Reich because the local population was subject to the same laws and restrictions as the population of other parts of it, such as Germany and Austria. Furthermore, apart from the Baltic countries, Fein did not include any part of the USSR in their analysis.
The data on the original Jewish and Roma populations and their mortality rates are less relevant for the Soviet Union as a whole, as the vast majority of its territory was never under the control of the Axis powers. Thanks to this, the Jewish and Roma populations in many regions of the USSR were outside the reach of German racial politics.
However, the whole of Belarus and Ukraine fell under the rule of the Nazis, which is why the German racial policy was applied to the population of these areas. The Jews and Roma of the two Soviet republics were under the direct control of the German military administration and were deported to the same extent as the population of the Baltic countries. It was therefore decided to take them into account within SS Zone 1.
Zone CC 1
Table 1 shows the notable differences between these three areas. In SS Zone 1, where the Nazis had the greatest freedom of action, the Jewish victims exceeded 90% of the pre-war population. The losses among the Roma were sometimes lower, but were at least more than half the pre-war figure.
In Belarus and Ukraine, where significant numbers of Jews and Roma lived, the deaths of the latter were proportionally higher. In this part of the table, the data on Serbia in relation to Roma are the most questionable. Serbia was the only part of the fragmented Yugoslavia that came under the direct control of Germany as early as 1941, which became the reason for the direct application of the SS policy to "undesirable" groups of people.
The number of victims for the Roma of Yugoslavia is very imprecise. Kenrick and Paxon gave Serbia a minimum value of 12,000, which in their opinion could be underestimated.23 According to the latest calculation of Roma deaths, Rüdiger Vossen estimates their pre-war number in Yugoslavia at 100,000 and estimates that 90,000 of them were killed24 Figure shows that around 50,000 of the 60,000 Serb Roma were killed. If we accept this (probably overestimated) estimate, the Roma mortality rate in the CC 1 zone is 72.6%, not 53.9%.
It is unlikely that Roma losses actually hit this high. Some of the Roma survived in the countryside of Serbia, where control over the Nazi administration and local collaborators was rather weak. This distinguished them from Serbian Jews, who were concentrated in cities where more than 25 of them died. It is difficult to accurately assess the loss of the Roma, also because many of the murders took place in Serbia itself and not in death camps.
Gypsies were systematically taken hostage and shot as punishment for German losses to partisan attacks. For every German soldier killed, one hundred hostages were shot, for every wounded fifty.27 Such actions undoubtedly led to more deaths than the announced figure of 12,000.
The suffering of the Serbian Jews and Roma was indeed enormous. Belgrade and the parts of Serbia under the direct control of the Axis were declared free of Jews and Gypsies as early as 1942.28 From this it can be concluded that the losses of the Gypsies were higher than the minimum number given in Table 1 Even not maximum estimates of mortality in Serbia, it is likely that total Roma casualties in Serbia were 60-65% of the pre-war figure. This number is lower than the losses of the Jewish population in these areas, but proportionally very high.
Zone CC 2
Only a few areas were included in SS Zone 2. Here German rule was a little less than in Zone 1, but its consequences for the Roma were almost as deadly as for the Jews. For the former, their small parishes in Belgium and the Netherlands were actually destroyed 29.
Several Roma lived in Norway, some of them were sent to concentration camps, where 30 of them died. Some Roma probably lived in Thessaloniki and neighboring Thrace, but there is not a single evidence of their deportation to death camps. The small number of Roma in Zone 2 is unmatched, but there is limited evidence of high casualties.
Zone CC 3
The greatest differences in the loss rates between Jews and Gypsies occur in SS zone 3. Hence, it is the events in these areas that require detailed commentary. Here the percentage of surviving Jews and Gypsies was higher than in zones 1 or 2. Since the Berlin authorities had to negotiate actions against certain groups of people and not just start deportations or order “Sonderkommandam” - “A”) commit murder. The actions of the allied governments of the Axis Powers to alleviate or, conversely, to discourage persecution of Jews have been well researched. Still, the gypsies in this part of Europe were much pitied than the local Jewish population.
As for the countries of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Finland limited itself to a military alliance with Germany during the attack on the Soviet Union. At the same time, the Germans indirectly led Denmark to maintain fictitious neutrality. Roma were relatively few in these countries, but their governments saved them 31.
At a time when Finland refused to deport Jewish citizens and Denmark was organizing the rescue of its Jewish population, no government was cooperating in the deportation of the Gypsies32, see the survival rates for Jews and Gypsies in Denmark and Finland compared to those in Norway much better from (SS Zone 2), from where half of the Jews there and the entire small Roma community were deported to the camps.
France was the only Western European country in Zone 3. Both Jews and Roma were persecuted in France by the Vichy government as well as in the occupied territory. However, due to the lesser German control, more than half of the Jews and Roma survived the war. In this regard, France looks much better than the Netherlands and Belgium (zone 2).
Interestingly, the survival rate of the Roma here is proportionally worse than that of the Jews. One of the reasons for this fact is that the Roma were easy targets for deportations. Their collection for transport to extermination camps was facilitated by the fact that many Roma were arrested and concentrated in camps by the French authorities in 1940, so that they were taken to the camps after their surrender that same year.
We are probably seeing one of the few examples here when the Roma were a group. It was easier to isolate them and prepare them for deportation.It should be noted that in this case the German authorities took the opportunity to deal quickly with a large number of Roma.
In southern Europe and the Balkans there were many allies and customer countries in Germany. It is known that Italy did not cooperate in the deportation of Jews both in Italy itself and in the Italian zones of occupation in France, Greece and Yugoslavia. Since this country was a full European ally of Germany, it was able to withstand pressure to exterminate Jews, and some forces in Italy protected Jews from persecution.
The Roma in Italy and in the areas they controlled were also protected from deportation. The worst anti-Roma action by the Italian government was the expulsion of this group to Sardinia and the Adriatic islands it controls 35. The Italian occupying powers also protected the Roma from persecution by Germans or local residents 36.
The killings of Jews and Gypsies took place after Italy's surrender when German troops occupied the north and center of the country. The number of Roma victims in Italy is very small and much less proportional than the corresponding figures for the Jews, despite the salvation of many Italian Jews.
It is possible that the eviction of the Roma to the islands that preceded these events ultimately worked in their favor because they were immediately outside the zone of German control. The deportations of Jews and Roma from Albania, southern Greece and part of Yugoslavia only took place after the surrender of Italy and the introduction of direct control by the German administration.38 After the surrender of Italy, southern Greece was occupied by German troops. A certain number of Roma were arrested for the purpose of deportation, but significantly more local Jews ended up in death camps.
In order to prevent the deportation of the Roma, representatives of the Greek church and government intervened.39 In many places individual Greeks hid numerous Jews, but a considerable number of them were nevertheless deported 40. Italy would therefore be after its surrender in 1943 much more logical to classify belonging to SS zone 2. In the period from 1940 to 1943, many Jews and Gypsies managed to live until the beginning of the new period. Later, German control weakened considerably in some regions. The reason for this is that as a result of the Red Army's offensive, the Germans were better prepared for hostilities and therefore did not have enough strength for anything else.
Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary were allies of Germany, so that their governments had a little more leeway before Berlin. This freedom of action resulted in significantly higher survival rates for Jews and Roma than in SS Zones 1 and 2. Bulgaria generally refused to deport its citizens, regardless of whether they were Jewish or Roma. The German ambassador in Sofia noted that the Bulgarians did not cooperate on the question of the deportation of Jews because they lived alongside the Armenians, Greeks and Gypsies for too long, after which they could not draw negative conclusions about the Jews 41.
However, the Bulgarian government consented to the deportation of Jews from occupied Thrace (Greece) and Macedonia 42. Therefore, the Jewish death rates in Table 1 refer specifically to the Jewish population of these newly occupied territories and not to the actual Bulgarian citizens.
The Jews and Roma of Romania also suffered less than those of these groups in SS Zones 1 and 2, although Romania had its own anti-Semitic tradition that resulted in high losses among Jews. Despite this historic feud, the Romanian government usually protected its citizens during the war.
We still see large numbers of Jewish deaths taking place in Bukovina and Bessarabia, the area that Romania reoccupied after the invasion of the Soviet Union, and not in the main countries of the kingdom. No more than 20,000 of all Jewish victims were in the regattas (the old countries of the kingdom) 43. Practically all Roma who died in Romanian-controlled territory came from the newly annexed regions 44.
The situation in Hungary at the beginning of the war was similar to that in Bulgaria and Romania. The Horthy regime defended its citizens against German demands to deport them to death camps. The Hungarian Jews suffered considerable losses in the specially created forced labor battalions that operated in the Soviet Union.
Jews who were not Hungarian citizens were not protected. In addition, atrocities occurred in some areas occupied by Hungarian troops, but there was no approved policy of mass extermination.45 However, in March 1944, the Germans invaded Hungary and occupied the country. The new Hungarian government worked with Adolf Eichmann's team in the deportation of Jews. The Germans later brought the anti-Semitic organization Arrows Crossed to power, whereupon the deportations of Jews and Roma began. Virtually all of the Roma who were sent to the extermination camps were captured at this point 46.
As can be seen from Table 1, proportionally more Jews were deported during this period. It is significant, however, that at a time when the war was already lost and Soviet troops were moving into Hungary (and other areas), the Germans and their local workers were trying to deport both Jews and Gypsies. Although the number of Jews captured was large, it is also noteworthy that the Nazis wanted to try to catch the Roma. All of these deportations and subsequent murders took place after March 1944, when it would be more appropriate to define Hungary as belonging to SS Zone 2 rather than Zone 3.
The rest of the states in Zone 3 are the puppet regimes of Slovakia and Croatia, which highlight the differences in anti-Jewish and anti-Roma campaigns caused by local government and circumstances. The pre-war Jewish population and Roma were similar in both countries, but the treatment of Roma was dramatically different.
In Croatia the Ustashi exterminated both groups (and besides them also the Serbs), so that the number of casualties among all was extremely high. Only Jews were massacred in Slovakia, and the Tiso government worked with the Nazis to eliminate the local Jewish population. Although discriminatory laws were applied to Slovak Roma, only a small proportion of them were deported to death camps 47. Obviously, it was the attitude of the Slovak government that resulted in the survival rate among Roma here being higher than in the case of Jews.
Discrepancies and differences
The above comparison of government scenarios and death rates shows that the SS zone (1st, 2nd or 3rd) to which a particular area belonged often had decisive consequences for potential victims of the Nazis' genocidal policies.
First, the Roma in the regions with the greatest Nazi dominance (zones 1 and 2) suffered almost as much as the Jews. In fact, the goal here was to destroy them completely. In part, the high survival rates of the Roma in these areas may suggest that Jews were viewed as the main group condemned for liquidation, but it is clear that the Roma were also the target of such actions.
It is known that the Nazis - although often ignored in discussions about the Holocaust - often relied on local collaborators to carry out their racial policies in certain areas. Local security forces were recruited from representatives of the subordinate peoples who were involved in the creation of the ghetto, the murders and the deportation of victims.
The anti-Roma sentiment may have been less open than anti-Semitism, at least in some areas. Such differences may have resulted in more Roma escaping death camps compared to Jews. Obviously, in any other situation, practically no one would have been able to escape. It is clear that such cooperation on the part of the national governments in SS Zone 3 was necessary for the rule of National Socialist racism.
While the German allies refused to cooperate on deportation to death camps, survival rates were significantly higher. Italy (until 1943), Finland, Bulgaria and Hungary (until 1944) protected their citizens, and this was the case for both Jews and Roma. "Neutral" Denmark has also used all available resources to protect its citizens. Slovakia was deported to death camps for Jews, but the number of Roma deported here was very small.
Romania generally protected its citizens, at least from the Germans, if not from persecution by local residents. Jews were more frequently victims of Romanian domestic politics at a time when the Roma did not appear to be the focus of war governments. The ruling regime in Croatia vigorously tried to exterminate members of various groups, including Jews and Roma, in almost equal proportions. It is possible that the Nazis put more pressure on their allies to deport the Jews than in the case of the Cygan.
It is possible that the leaders of these regimes have had enough to notice that the Nazis saw their immediate deportation as their primary objective in order to postpone the decision to do the same with the Roma. It is safe to say that such a distinction is fruitful only in Slovakia, a state whose government has often tried to postpone the execution of the Berlin orders.
In the whole of the Balkans, for example in Serbia, the percentage of Roma survivors was possibly higher than in the case of the Jews, precisely because of their lower visibility for the German occupiers 49. In terms of denominational affiliation, the Roma usually confessed to one of the dominant local religions. Because of this, there were no specific places of worship that the Nazis could use as a kind of magnet for capturing representatives of the "lower races" 50. Nomadic Roma groups, unlike the settlement groups, probably also found it easier to avoid Nazi raids and survive in the countryside, as their previous life experience helped them 51.
The difference in mortality rates between the three SS zones requires a long explanation of the differences in survival rates between Jews and Roma in axis-controlled Europe. As can be seen from Table 2, the Jewish population in Europe under the Nazis was mostly concentrated in the SS 1 zone, while a quarter of the Roma were in regions with such tight controls.
Table 2. Distribution of the Jewish and Roma population before the war by SS zones
The Roma of Europe were predominantly in SS Zone 3, where local governments took a negative stance on the extermination of the Roma (with the exception of Croatia), which led to significant differences in their fate. Staying in SS zone 3 significantly increased the chances of survival for the Jews, but at least some states in this region made it easier to carry out the deportation of Jews and did not do so in the case of the Roma.
Hence, the mortality rate of two thirds of Europe's Jewish population and only around 25-30% of European Roma is much easier to explain when one takes into account their placement in European countries. Gypsies, like Jews, were condemned by German fascism to complete annihilation and not just partial genocide, as in the case of Poles or Czechs. However, with the exception of Croatia, they were not directed towards similar violent actions by another European fascist movement that came to power by its own means or with the help of German troops.
Gypsies: The Forgotten Holocaust
Jack Eisner agrees with Stephen Katz that the Holocaust was a specifically Jewish phenomenon: “Another common misconception in public opinion is the conclusion that the Holocaust should involve the killing of several million non-Jewish civilians killed by Nazis along with 6 million Jews
No one can deny the existence of millions of non-Jewish victims, least of all those who survived, endured, shared and witnessed the famine and the murder of thousands of Jews in the Majdaneke, Flossenberg, Dachau or Buchenwald camps. There is one key difference, however: as Jews, they were not representatives of a race that was doomed to total extinction, and that is exactly what characterizes the Holocaust. “53
However, the gypsy race also falls under this definition. After all, the Roma were persecuted by the Nazis for precisely racist reasons 54. They did not take any individual action that would become a pretext for the persecution. The fate of Jews and Gypsies is common in that they were the only two ethnic groups specifically doomed to failure by Nazi ideology.
From the above analysis it emerges that Roma, like Jews, can in fact be considered at least potential victims of not only partial genocide but also the Holocaust. It seems that anti-gypsy measures cannot be reduced to Yehuda Bauer's definition of partial genocide, since in her case the killings were not limited to the destruction of members of the elite, cultural leaders and the educated. Entire communities have been targeted (and in some cases completely destroyed). An analysis of the events in the three zones of Nazi influence reveals the intention to eliminate the Roma in the same way that the Jews were exterminated 56.
Despite the apparent aspirations of the Nazis, the survival rate of the Roma is higher than that of the Jews. Perhaps the Nazis were more focused on eradicating the latter, and the Roma would be the next main target in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of Europe's Jewish population. First Jews, then Gypsies.
After all, it is perfectly understandable that the Nazis did not miss the opportunity to deal with the Roma - we see this for both France and Hungary immediately after Arrow Cross came to power. The Roma were also helped by the fact that they mainly focused on countries whose governments, although perhaps against them, were reluctant to cooperate in the massacres. Stephen Katz argues that Roma cannot be considered victims of the Holocaust and applies the definition of “genocide” from the UN Convention.
In which the defining use of the term is with intent to destroy an ethnic, national, religious or racial group 57. Katz's comparison of Roma-Jewish mortality rates is too superficial to conclude that Roma are not victims of genocidal politics the Nazis were. If Hitler and the Nazis had won the war in Europe and consolidated their control, the death rate for Jews and Roma would have been the same 58.
Contrary to the assertion of Katz and other researchers, it seems appropriate to claim that the Roma as a people, ethnos or nation in the minds of the Nazis were condemned to become victims of the Holocaust and not just partial genocide. Due to their smaller overall size and the frequently changing location, this group suffered significantly fewer losses than European Jewry.
While the concept of "genocide" can be applied fairly easily to many different situations, it is important to recognize that the Roma were the target of total genocide (in Bauer's terminology) during the war. Their fate sheds more light on the crimes against the Jews and on the genocidal and racist character of Nazi politics.
Brenda Davis Lutz, James M. Lutz
Translation into Ukrainian by Sergey Girik.
We thank Mikhail Tyagly for comments on the translation.
As paradoxical as it may seem, it is impossible to determine the true number of Gypsies who died during the war - the archives are silent on the matter. The only article published on the subject is called "Nobody Counts Them". Here is an excerpt from the only official certificate on the victims of the Smolensk region: “Taking into account the reports of the regional commissions, the regional commission believes that the total number of victims of the atrocities committed by the Nazi invaders in the Smolensk region should be increased to 546,000 , of which 151 319 civilians were taken away into slavery - 154 630 people, prisoners of war died - 230 137 people. And then the following addendum follows: “The fascist monsters committed particular mass atrocities against the Jewish and the Gypsy population. Jews and gypsies without exception were exterminated everywhere. "
There were objective reasons "nobody counted them". The Germans did not advertise the Roma genocide - most of the actions were carried out at night and without witnesses.In addition, many Roma were listed in their passports as Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, their surnames were no different from those of their neighbors, and in the official data they were simply automatically included in the total number of victims. However, this does not lessen the guilt of our official leadership, who did everything to keep people from knowing the truth and the sacrifices our people suffered during the Patriotic War.
It should be noted that before the war, the Smolensk region was one of the best when it came to adapting the nomadic Roma population to a sedentary life. There were 25 gypsy collective farms in the territory of the Smolensk Territory, six of which had advanced. The first collective farm, Svoboda, appeared in 1924. The legendary Ruza Tumashevich became its chairman. She also organized a gypsy boarding school in Serebryanka for children of nomads. There was a terrible famine and the nomadic gypsies were asked to send their children to this boarding school, where they could eat normally, study and receive secondary school. Many graduates from this school in Serebryanka later graduated from the Moscow Gypsy College of Industry and Technology, which existed until 1937. Many of them became workers in science, education, and culture. As a result, most of the Roma living in the Smolensk countryside were the normal Soviet population who mainly worked on collective farms, some in factories. Most had secondary education.
Smolensk was captured by the Nazis on July 16, 1941, shortly after the start of the war. Most of the population, including the Roma, did not have time to evacuate. And the people who fled but were overtaken by the Nazi avalanche had to return home. The active population was almost completely cut out. Refugees who then returned to their homes remember the mountains of bodies of Soviet soldiers lining the streets. The Germans quickly deployed a wagon train, quartermaster units, which, if the population behaved "sensibly", did not commit any atrocities. People were forced to work, dig trenches, cut wood and provide for the lives of the Germans. German soldiers and officers were housed in the houses. They did not touch the civilians who worked for them - including the Roma.
However, in the fall of 1941 (according to the testimony of Akhtamov, a gypsy veteran of the partisan movement who was 16 at the time), people began to go to the partisans. The partisan movement in the Smolensk region grew rapidly. In total, several dozen divisions fought there, the largest of which was the Bati unit. This bati had a lot of gypsies - among those we interviewed were the Kozlovsky and Akhtamov families, there was a famous boy scout Tumashevich (she died recently, 1993).
When the Germans arrived, most of the Roma in the region had no idea that the Wehrmacht recognized the Jewish and Roma nations in the occupied territories as undesirable or that "undesirability" meant total extermination. The gypsies were not aware of their "peculiarity" and did not even try to hide. They ran to the partisans who were hiding many doomed people. When a "gas chamber" (the famous car that used exhaust fumes while driving, but looked no different from other cars) arrived at the Gypsy collective farm and took 98 people away in an unknown direction, nobody understood anything. Everyone (except those who went to fight) stayed in their places without being aware of the genocide in the areas already occupied by the Nazis. The lack of information and the imminent reprisals explain the terrible percentage of Roma dead - 80% of those who ended up in the occupied territories.
In late 1941 - early 1942, the Germans burned three villages in a row. Dozens of individual actions were also carried out - everywhere they shot or buried the Roma families identified. The few surviving witnesses tell us about it. Such successes, for example, in the Krasnensky district in the village of Krasnoe, were extremely rare: the Lazarevs remembered that when the Germans came to Krasnoe, just in case, the Germans hid in a haystack. The Germans were just passing through, and about thirty gypsies sat in the haystack for three days while the Nazis were in the village. No other Germans came to Krasnoe, and these people were saved.
We can restore the most complete picture of the situation in the village of Aleksandrovskoye, Smolensk district, Smolensk region. There was a Gypsy collective farm "Stalin's Constitution", not far from another - "Testament of Ilyich". There we managed to find the only official document about the extermination of the Roma in the Smolensk region - a certificate "about the mass extermination of the Soviet Roma citizens by the German invaders in the village of Aleksandrovskoye, 5 kilometers from the city of Smolensk". It makes sense to quote this impressive document drawn up on October 21, 1943 by the head of the operational department of the NKVD of the Smolensk region.
We add that the execution of the gypsies by SS Captain Alferchik, an emigrant from Russia, was led by the so-called "Russian Germans". He spoke excellent Russian. During the war he returned specifically to head a special department in Smolensk.
According to our information, about twenty people remained alive after this action. How did you manage to escape? The main role played the fact that before the war this collective farm led a friendly multinational life - there were Gypsies, Belarusians, Poles, Lithuanians and, of course, Russians. There were also mixed families, which meant that many Roma did not look like Roma in appearance. Of course, it was not without betrayal: former friends and neighbors helped the Germans expose the gypsies who were hiding their nationality. And yet, almost everyone who escaped owes this to their non-typical gypsy appearance. But miracles also happened.
The grave was guarded for a week. The groans of the people buried alive could be heard for a long time, and the Germans feared that the villagers would dig up the swaying earth.
Among the survivors were the Krylov sisters Maria and Lida. Maria was white-skinned, fair and she, who called herself Russian, was first released with her child. However, when her sister, a burning gypsy, was taken away, the Nazis caught up and sent Lida again to Maria. But Lida said to her sister: “Run!” And Maria ran to a neighboring collective farm with a child in her arms. Lida told the punishers that she hadn't found her sister. An amazing story happened to Lida herself. She was silent about them in a conversation with us, but the neighbors told me. A German officer fell in love with her, an extraordinary beauty. He personally went to the commandant's office in Smolensk, took some documents and argued that there is such a Russian writer Krylov, which means that Lida Krylova cannot be a gypsy. Salvation came when she was already in the pit and almost all of them had already been shot. Therefore, her testimony is the most complete and important for the historians of the region. It is strange that after the end of the action, Maria returned to her local collective farm and met the punishers. They recognized her and shouted with a laugh: "Go, go, your sister is alive and you ran away cleverly!" Nobody made the slightest attempt to pursue them. Both women survived the war.
The story of a girl named Belova is unique (her name did not survive). When she was being led to the execution with her mother and sisters, when she saw the ditch that she had dug, she realized that there would be no salvation. After waiting for the moment, she rolled into the ditch, but immediately hit one of the barricade soldiers. To her surprise, the German waved his hand to the left, to the bushes, and he himself began to look to the right. After finishing the execution, she went to another village at night and fled there.
Irina Pasevich, who was standing on the edge of the grave, turned to the officer in German with a request to release her old mother and kill only her and her sisters. She explained that the mother could pray for her after she died. This was enough for the sentimental killer to let the whole family go. Irina is still alive.
The old gypsy Kanashenkova tore her clothes on her chest during the execution and shouted: "Shoot faster, you bastards!" Eyewitnesses say that Captain Alferchik was looking at the large cross with a crucifix on his chest for a long time and suddenly angry, almost to himself, said: "Close up!" - and added in Russian: "Walk faster before I change my mind." The woman grabbed her granddaughter and ran away.
A German officer, the chief of the unit, lived in Evdokia Pasevich's house, one of the largest in the village. He treated the owners well and when the soldiers entered the house and Evdokia said they were all Russian, he was silent. After the soldiers left, the woman hurried around the hut and dragged the officer to the window and asked, "What, sir, are you leading all the gypsies to shoot?" And the officer who sympathized with her replied: "No, only Jews are shot and the gypsies are not touched." Pasevich climbed onto the roof of her skyscraper and watched the entire execution - from start to finish.
After all valuables of those executed had been confiscated, some houses had burned down and the graves no longer had to be guarded, the fascists left the village. But since then there has been a large gap between the Roma and the Russian population. The surviving gypsies could not forgive the neighbors who had betrayed them at the lake, neither one nor the other could forget the events of that day.
Of course, there were also contradicting examples: for example, in the Pochinkovsky district in the same Smolensk region, a young Russian, Vasily Prudnikov, sat outside with the gypsy children whose parents had gone to the partisans, the whole raid in the tunnel that he specially made for this had taken from the well. The partisans who liberated the village, including the children's parents, took them out of the ground.
Aleksandrovskoe was released in 1943. Ruza Tumashevich, who soon returned with a partisan detachment, insisted on the exhumation, identification of corpses and collection of evidence. In 1991 a memorial was erected at the burial site, which was raised by the Roma. It is said that 176 civilians are buried here. The nationality of these "civilians" is not indicated on the monument erected by the Roma for the Roma. Yet it is one of the few monuments on hundreds of Roma mass graves, mostly abandoned by residents who wanted to forget and the government wanted them to be forgotten.
Organized and carried out by the Nazis -1945 in the areas of Germany, the allied countries of the Third Reich and the countries occupied during the Second World War (1939-1945). The extermination of the Roma was part of the general policy of the National Socialists to exterminate political opponents, homosexual men, terminally ill, mentally ill, drug addicts and Jews. According to recent studies, the number of victims of the Roma genocide is estimated at between 200,000 and 1,500,000. The number of victims is even greater.
The Roma genocide does not have a single generally accepted term. "Paraimos" (or Poraimos) is a term coined by Roma activist Ian Hancock. Since one of the meanings of the word "abuse, rape" is where it is used very often, there is a dispute among Roma activists and Roma scholars about the ethics of using this term.
From the perspective of National Socialist racial theory, gypsies were perceived as a threat to the racial purity of Germans. Since the official propaganda proclaimed the Germans as representatives of a purely Aryan race from India, a certain difficulty for the theorists of National Socialism was that the Roma came much more directly from India; From an objective racist point of view, they are close to today's population and speak the language of the Indo-Aryan group - therefore the Gypsies are at least no less Aryans than the Germans themselves. In the decision a way out was found, according to which the Roma living in Europe are the fruit of the Mixing the Aryan tribe with the lowest races around the world are - this supposedly explains their "vagabonds" and proves their anti-sociality. Gypsies, including sedentary ones, were recognized as potentially anti-social because of their nationality. A special commission recommended the separation of "Gypsies" from the German people.
The legislative basis for the start of the persecution of Roma was the law passed in Bavaria on July 16, 1926 to combat Roma, vagabonds and parasites. Following his example, the laws were tightened in other regions as well.
The next phase was the period from 1935 to 1938, when police and social welfare began in many cities to take Roma to internment camps, which were often surrounded by barbed wire, and to subject them there to strict camp regulations. On July 16, 1936, in connection with the Olympic Games in Berlin that year, the Roma were expelled from the city and sent to a place that later became known as the "Marzahn stop".
The Reich Minister of the Interior Frick authorized the chief of the Berlin police to hold a "general day of the Roma summary". As early as May 1936, the imperial labor service prepared a place for the construction of a "site for the Marzan stop" on the wedge between the Marzan cemetery, the light rail line and the fields.
In the autumn of 1941, along with the massacres of Jews, the massacres of Roma began in the occupied territories of the USSR. Task forces destroyed the camps they met on the way. In December 1941, Einsatzgruppe D (under the command of O. Ohlendorf) carried out mass executions of Roma in the Crimea, and not only nomadic Roma but also settled families were killed. From the spring of 1942, this practice was carried over to the entire occupied territory of the USSR (with the exception of the Romanian zone of occupation). The punishers were guided by the "principle of blood". The executions of collective Gypsy farmers, city workers or artists did not fit into the framework of combating camp crime. It was enough of a gypsy nationality to join the ranks of the victims. A little later, the genocide for ethnic reasons was supplemented by actions of the "anti-partisan war". In 1943-1944 the Gypsies were destroyed together with the Slavs during the burning of "partisan villages", during the fighting by underground fighters in cities and so on.
The most massive exterminations of the Roma population were recorded in western Ukraine
When the Soviet Army got close enough to Auschwitz in 1944, the children and disabled prisoners of the "Gypsy Sector" were sent to the gas chambers and the rest were taken to other camps far away from the front.
The extermination of the Roma was also carried out in the Independent Croatian State, which actively collaborated with Hitler's Germany. The Jasenovac extermination camp system was located 60 kilometers from Zagreb and was set up in August 1941 by order of the Interior Minister of the Ustaša regime A. Artukovich to exterminate Serbs, Jews and Roma.
The Nazis had an interest in the Roma because they were an Indo-Aryan people. Among the gypsies, rarely, but there were people with blue eyes, such gypsies in Dachau could have their eyes removed in order to investigate an incomprehensible phenomenon. At the Dachau extermination camp, on Himmler's instructions, an experiment was carried out on 40 gypsies to dehydrate their bodies. Other experiments were carried out which resulted in the disability or death of the test subjects.
The surviving genocide was reflected in fairy tales, songs, poems and literary works by gypsies from different countries. For example:
In world cinema, the theme of the Roma genocide was also reflected in the film And the Violins Silenced ( I skrzypce przestały grać) 1988, directed by Alexander Ramati,
Spanish gypsies ask King Philip III to abolish their deportation law.
For centuries there were two large national minorities in Europe - Jews and Gypsies. If the position of the Jewish population is sufficiently well examined, the history of the Roma remains the lot of the few specialists, although it also contains many instructive episodes.
Most scholars agree that the Gypsies (themselves called "Roma") came to Europe from India. And today, European gypsies can easily understand Indian films in Sanskrit. It is hypothesized that the ancestors of the Gypsies were wandering artists and artisans who roamed the courts of the Indian maharajas.It is not known what caused these people to leave their homes and move west. Gypsies appeared in Byzantium in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Byzantine emperors grant them privileges and for almost two centuries the Roma have lived peacefully on the territory of the dying empire. They are rarely mentioned in the documents, which indicates that there are no serious conflicts between the settlers and the local population (as well as the authorities). Most of the gypsies seem to be involved in the craft.
According to the documents they received in 1378 in the Peloponnese and 1386 on the island of Crete, the gypsies have established themselves as skilled metal workers. They also made leather belts and saddles, read fortunes, and gave musical and theatrical performances.
The crisis and collapse of Byzantium have hit the Roma communities hard. Fleeing from the endless wars that accompanied the Turkish conquest of the Balkans, the Roma gradually began to penetrate the interior of the European continent. Gypsies first appeared in Transylvania in 1417. In 1417 they reached France, 1425 - Spain, 1500 - Scotland. Gypsies told Europeans various stories about their origins, but most of the time they said they had left Egypt. For example, Roma are called "gypsies" from the word "Egypt" - Egypt. Soon the number of Roma in Western and Central Europe reached tens of thousands.
First of all, the Roma were given a warm welcome. They easily assimilated local beliefs and therefore the Gypsies were persecuted by the Inquisition only on extremely rare occasions. European kings provided them with protection certificates. The French King Francis I (1494-1547) ordered his employees to give Antoine Morel "his beloved captain of Little Egypt" every help, not to disturb his camp and even to offer him a place to sleep. The gypsy leaders were only given the right to judge their camps. King Henry VI. From England (1421-1471) ordered the Roma to be tried in special courts, where half the jury was Roma and half were British.
Johann Trautmann. "Gypsies". Mid 18th century
The Roma initially successfully found their niche in Europe. It is interesting that the Gypsies in England gradually mixed up with local wandering artisans and artists - "hobbyists" - and began to be referred to as a single term "travelers" (travelers). Indeed, the gypsies have become a kind of nation-class of wandering artisans and artists. It is difficult not to see any parallels here with the history of European Jews who settled in Europe under similar circumstances (emigrated from the Mediterranean to Europe in the early Middle Ages) and who, in the opinion of the Marxist historian Abram Leon, became a trading national class.
However, the "golden age" of the Roma in Europe was short-lived. From the end of the 15th century. Anti-Roma laws are being passed in the countries of the continent. According to the official document, the "poor qualities of the Roma", their fraud and criminality were the cause of such laws. However, knowing similar reasons for anti-Jewish laws, we must treat them with caution and try to understand why the European rulers changed the mercy of the Roma with anger.
The Roma were one of the first victims of the emerging capitalist mode of production in Europe. One can easily see the parallel between the fate of the Roma and the tragic fate of the victims of "fencing" in England. Small crafts and agriculture were destroyed, and the emerging "new beggars" were too dangerous a social element whose existence could be tolerated. The English poor who were driven from their land offered the authorities only two alternatives - work in factories for a penny or go to the gallows. As you know, up to two percent of the population of England fell victim to tramp laws. Gypsies, wandering small craftsmen and artists fell victim to this new policy. They were unnecessary for rising capitalism and therefore, like the North American Indians, doomed to destruction. If we compare the persecution of Jews and Roma, we can see that the persecution of the latter was much more cruel and consistent. If the question of the expulsion of the Jews always aroused great controversy among the ruling feudal elite (as was the case, for example, in Portugal), the Roma were condemned to exile and death without any problem, despite being Christians. Socio-economic reasons have always been far more important than the question - who crucified Christ?
Brands for gypsies in the federal states.
From the 15th to the 18th centuries 148 anti-Roma laws were passed in Europe. The cruelest of them were accepted in the Protestant countries of Germany, England and Scandinavia. (The most tolerant attitudes towards Roma have been in backward countries like Spain, Turkey and Russia). The English law of 1554 prescribed death for all gypsy men, as well as for "those who travel with the Egyptians or are friends or acquaintances". (It can be assumed that the last addition was directed against the hobbyists we wrote about above). As early as 1557, seven Englishmen and one English woman were executed under this law.
In Sweden, a law of 1637 ordered the execution of all Roma. Frederick of Prussia went even further and in 1725 ordered the execution of all gypsies over the age of 18, regardless of gender. In the Rhine, "all gypsies found in the Rhineland are to be shot on the spot". The Mainz law of 1714 provided for the execution of all Roma men as well as the flogging and stigmatization of women and children. In the Habsburg Empire, the gypsies were banned by the edict of Emperor Leopold I. In 1721, Emperor Charles VI ordered men and women to be hanged and children to be raised in hospitals.
Emile water. "Gypsy Prisoner".
All of these draconian laws were enforced. In 1724, fifteen gypsies were hanged in one day in the Margrave of Baureith, the oldest of whom was 98 years old and the youngest was 15 years old. In 1722 an entire camp was tortured in Kaswassen, whereupon four gypsies drove on the steering wheel and the heads of two gypsies were planted on pike ... In 1782 a gypsy camp in Hungary was accused of cannibalism after several people had disappeared. 15 gypsies were hanged, 6 were at the wheel, and two were quartered. The heads of 18 gypsies were cut off. The executions were not stopped until the missing ones were found.
If the Roma of Europe were able to survive in contrast to the Tasmanians or Indians, it is not thanks to the European rulers. The latter did everything to "finally solve the Roma problem". In France, anti-Roma laws were passed ten times between 1504 and 1666! The point was simply that the absolutist monarchies did not have as powerful an oppressive apparatus as the states of the 19th and 20th centuries. The persecuted gypsies could easily cross borders, hide in the woods and bribe local officials. As with the Jews, the persecution led to the Roma becoming increasingly isolated from the local population. Gypsies began to roam more and reduced their contact with non-Gypsies to a minimum - "Gazhё".
The gypsies also found other ways to survive. One of them was emigration. So the Roma ended up in Brazil, where they were quite active in the slave trade and began to flourish. The lucky few found permanent employment and avoided the persecution. Others joined the military. In the 17th century. The number of armies increased rapidly and there was a constant shortage of recruits. In Sweden from the 17th to the 18th centuries. Military service became a kind of gypsy profession, and there was practically no gypsy who had not served in the army at least once. A similar phenomenon has been observed in other European countries. Many Roma "got to the bottom" and joined criminal groups. The forced criminalization of part of the Roma community in turn led to the emergence of anti-Roma stereotypes among the broad masses of the population, stereotypes that were not previously observed (A similar phenomenon can be observed in Russia today. In a number of regions are Roma naturally involved in drug trafficking due to lack of other income caused the anger of their neighbors. PS You ask who forced them? Well, probably "the tradition of not working" or at least the employer's predisposed attitude towards them ...) .
We deviate slightly from the main theme of our story and find that the fate of the Roma has a lot to do with the fate of the European lower class in the critical period of the 17th-18th centuries. Century has to do. She explains why for almost 150 years from 1640 to 1789. Europe was practically unaware of the severe social upheaval. On the one hand, the Church Reformation could no longer be the ideology of the lower social class - in the 17th century it could only offer proletarians and small craftsmen a noose. Any outrage was suppressed by preventive terror. The most active representatives of the lower classes emigrated to America or the outskirts of Europe, went to the military (where there was quite a high social mobility) or were criminalized because we are talking about the time of the legendary "Palace of Miracles" and the cartouche.
The Roma were persecuted until early 1919. In some places, anti-Roma laws have not yet been abolished. In Italy today, Roma have the right to live only in the provinces of Veneto and Sardinia. If they appear near another city, the mayor has the right to call the troops.
The takeover of power by the Nazi regime in Germany gave the persecution of the Roma new impetus. Few people know that the so-called "Nuremberg Laws" of September 15, 1935 apply not only to Jews but also to Roma. German Gypsies - Sinti were their victims. Like the Jews, they have long been integrated into German society as traders, craftsmen and artists. First, the Nazis set the course for the physical destruction of the Roma people. It was originally planned to do this through sterilization. More than 20,000 Roma in Germany were registered. With the outbreak of the Second Imperialist War, the German authorities embarked on the path of immediate physical destruction of the Roma in Europe. According to UNESCO, the result of this policy was the death of half a million Roma. And these are only underestimated and approximate numbers. Workers in the areas occupied by the Germans made a significant contribution to the cause of the genocide of the Roma. In Yugoslavia, Ustashi Roma children tore them to pieces, beat them to death and buried them alive. 2,500 Roma were killed in Latvia. In Poland, Kazimierz Novak's criminal department exterminated around 300 people in three months, even without an order from the Germans.
Thousands of gypsies were exterminated in the death camps of Treblinka, Sobibor, Auschwitz, Buchenwald and others. Gypsy children were the main target of the sinister doctor Mengele's experiments.
The Roma Holocaust was largely forgotten after World War II. That’s not surprising. For example, for every 300 books on the genocide of the Jews by the Nazis, there is only one book on the genocide of the Roma. Most of the organizers of the Roma genocide also went unpunished. DR. R. Ritter, the organizer of the identification of all Roma in Germany, said he did not know why these events were taking place and was acquitted.
The restoration of capitalism in Eastern Europe led to a new round of the Gypsy tragedy that lasted for several centuries. Between 1945 and 1991, the policies of the pro-Soviet regimes in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia aimed to integrate the Roma into the new society. Villages and schools were built for them and, above all, the Roma were given jobs. It is noteworthy that in these countries the Roma have joined the working class.
In Hungary, according to data from 1971, only 26% of Roma between the ages of 25 and 29 have completed primary school. By 1993, the school graduation rate among young people of the same age had risen to 77%. Even the bourgeois Russian newspaper Komersant has to admit: “Under socialism, 95 to 96 percent of Hungarian Roma worked in industry, construction and agriculture, had a stable income, received housing from the state, their children went to school and received a higher education. With the advent of the market, everything collapsed. "
After the restoration of capitalism in Hungary, 50% of the Roma immediately lost their jobs. The employers initially got rid of the workers of the "non-titling" nation. Then the factories were closed. Roma unemployment rose to 80%. Hungarian journalist Agnes Gereben "For 20 years, generations have grown up in which parents do not work and brothers and sisters return from school."
Similar processes took place in other Eastern European countries. The following writes the same Kommersant:
“The local Roma were also less prepared than others for the changes brought about by the Velvet Revolution of 1989 in the Czech Republic. Poor education and a lack of vocational training, as well as the disappearance of the public economic sector in which the Roma were employed under state programs, led to the formation of poor settlements in which at least 60-80,000 people live as if in a ghetto. Gypsy zones have become points with a high crime rate.
And here is further evidence:
"80 to 90 percent of the Roma remained unemployed," said ex-minister of the Czech Republic, Jamila Steglikova, Ogonyok, describing the situation. “Ghettos are emerging, entire areas in which the Roma live in isolation. And in them - problems that we did not encounter: usury, prostitution, crime, drug addiction ... ".
The multimillion-dollar Roma population of Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Hungary suddenly became superfluous people "who did not fit into the market" and were left to their fate.
According to European institutions, one in six Roma goes hungry all the time. Less than 20% of Roma in the countries of the post-Soviet bloc complete secondary school. More than 70% of them live below the poverty line with no benefits or medical assistance. The average life expectancy of the Roma is 15 years below that of Europe as a whole and child mortality is four times higher. At one of the conferences on the Roma problem, World Bank Vice President Johannes Lynn, who visited several camps in Slovakia, exclaimed: "The Roma live as if they were not the 21st, but the 12th century today!"
But neoliberal capitalism is unable to solve the gypsy question. The funds allocated to "help" the Roma communities will certainly be "sawed off". Centralized job creation in a “free market” is out of the question. What to do with the millions of people who no longer have a livelihood and do not belong to the "titular nation"? Expel or destroy - calls for the centuries-old tradition of capitalist barbarism, and "humane" Europeans follow this path with enthusiasm.
The beginning of the 1990s was the time of a semi-official policy of forcibly expelling the Roma in many Eastern European countries. Only in the years 1990-1991. There were 44 Roma pogroms in Eastern Europe. 250 Roma houses were destroyed in Romania and Poland. Most Roma fled Croatia because of the terror organized against them by F. Tudjman's government. In Czechoslovakia you can often see the words "Gypsies are not allowed" on the doors of cafes and restaurants. It seems that no one will repent for these crimes. Well-known Russian left-wing publicist Michail Magid gave the author of this article an interesting dialogue between a Romanian minister and a German journalist close to the Greens. During their conversation, a gypsy car drove past the window, which distracted the conversation partner's attention. The Minister regretted such an annoying obstacle and the current impossibility of resolving the "Gypsy question". When his interlocutor was outraged, a worthy representative of the Romanian democracy, who did not understand the reason for the outrage of the German woman, exclaimed in their hearts: "But you yourself force us to observe these human rights!" However, the politics of the Roma phobia did not become an obstacle for the Eastern European countries to join the European Union.
Thousands of Roma from Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria stormed into the West, fleeing poverty and pogroms, but they were not welcome there either. There were already many beggars and refugees there.Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to deport Roma from France back to Romania and Hungary shows that there is simply no room for 8 million Roma in Europe today. This is not a new picture. At the beginning of the 20th century, there were roughly the same number of Jews in Europe who “didn't fit the market” - dirty, peyssaty, criminal, and prone to political extremism. After the First World War the possibilities for their emigration were exhausted, but, as you know, the Europeans found a radical solution to the Jewish problem.
The positive public response to the deportation of Roma shows that the European public is always ready to solve urgent problems using ancient methods. What are the rights or the lives of millions of gypsies if cultured Europeans are spared beggars under their windows? In the worst case, in fifty years it will be possible to repent and erect some sad postmodern monuments.
In contrast to "holy" Europe, the history of the Roma in Russia has developed almost idyllically for many years. After the gypsies fled to the territory of the tsarist empire in the 18th century, they converted to Orthodoxy, learned the language and engaged in horse trading, fortune telling and small performances. In these areas of competition no name, at least they existed before the revolution. In the 1920s, the government pursued a policy of paternalism towards the Roma, similar to the policy towards other national minorities. The All-Russian Union of Gypsies, schools, technical schools and circles for the elimination of illiteracy were established. In the years 1928-1932. An attempt was made to create a gypsy script.I would like to remind you of some other information about the peoples and traditions of the world: for example, it was possible in one country, but here. Check out more The original article is on the website InfoGlaz.rf The link to the article from which this copy was made is
On August 2nd, Europe celebrated the Day of Remembrance of the Roma Holocaust Victims. This day is an important opportunity to remember the prejudices and stereotypes that today contribute to discrimination against the Roma. The Bosnian human rights activist Dunja Mijatovic explains in her material for the OpenDemocracy media platform why and how to fight against gypsy phobia.
Hundreds of thousands of Roma adults and children were killed during the Holocaust. Many were tortured in concentration camps or victims of cruel medical experiments.
One of the most powerful stories of this time is the story of Rita and Rolanda Prigmore, two Sinti twins (Sinti is one of the western branches of the Gypsies, - approx. ed.). Immediately after she was born in 1943, Nazi doctors used girls to conduct brain experiments. Rolanda did not survive, while Rita survived the Holocaust.
When I met Rita at the Roma Holocaust Memorial Service in Auschwitz last year, I was impressed with her amazing energy and dedication to ensuring that the memory of the Holocaust is preserved.
Their story is extremely important today when ignorance and sometimes even denial of the atrocities of the past persists and hate speech and atrocities against Roma are rampant in many European countries. Very often one hears politicians trying to hide or justify crimes against Roma that violate basic human rights.
Gypsy speeches pave the way for further violence and abuse by gypsies.
I am disappointed with the ongoing hostile demonstrations and collective attacks that sometimes force Roma to settle down for their own safety.
Last year, reports were published on groups of people who threatened and openly abused the Roma in Bulgaria, Italy and Croatia. A demonstration took place in one of these countries in June, classifying Roma as an ethnic group as "criminal and primitive". In Russia, almost a thousand Roma had to leave their homes in June as a result of a skirmish with the non-Roma part of the village and a subsequent demonstration in which residents demanded that the Roma be thrown out of here.
These are just a few examples of the rejection and smoldering rudeness, insults that Gypsies face today in Europe and the world. Instead of turning our backs on this endless stream of hatred, we should all look closely. We have to do something about it.
The best course of action - speak out loud about the problem, speak out against the Roma phobia, confront those who attack the Roma and talk not only about the violation of their rights but also about their positive contribution to our society.
To achieve this, politicians and lawmakers are needed who are aware of the consequences of their actions or inaction on the lives of many Roma. Persistence of prejudice and condescending and patronizing actions against Roma should be avoided. Any hate speech against Roma should be systematically and vigorously condemned.
Also in Russia in June, almost a thousand Roma had to leave their homes because of a skirmish with the non-Roma part of the village and the subsequent demonstration in which local residents demanded "the Roma be thrown out of here".
To take steps
Gypsy phobia cannot be eliminated in a day. This struggle requires political will, investment and a long-term vision that combines action in different priority areas.
Such a sector - education. Central and local governments should invest more in education and raise awareness about debunking old myths and prejudices. Schools should teach about Roma culture and history.
In parallel, the authorities must ensure that Roma have access to housing, including subsidized housing, on an equal footing with others. Access to normal living space - a prerequisite for securing other human rights, in particular the right to health and education. At the same time, it is necessary to stop the evictions of Roma without offering them an adequate alternative to address the housing problem.
Another necessary step - the creation of commissions dealing with the establishment of truth and reconciliation. You will be able to recreate the history of crimes against Roma in the past, pave the way for victim compensation, and build mutual understanding and trust.
Several member states of the Council of Europe are trying to solve this problem. For example, Sweden and Norway have set up special commissions to investigate and determine human rights violations against Roma. Switzerland has set up commissions to investigate crimes against Roma, as well as to organize compensation payments for damage received and research programs. Recently Germany decided to set up a parliamentary commission to combat the Roma phobia, which on the one hand describes the actual situation in Germany and on the other hand proposes an action plan to improve this situation.
However, without a more responsible political approach, it will be more difficult to make real progress on this issue. As long as some politicians continue to use the gypsies as droopy goats, we will have to keep grappling with the need to address the long-term problems underlying the atrocities of World War II.
Such dates, unforgettable days, are necessary in order to stop, look into the past and get the right lesson for the future. A future in which we have to break out of the centuries-old vicious circle of rejection of the gypsies.
Dunya Miyatovich, translated by Elina Medvedeva
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