Monday, March 05, 2007


Experience gained in combating the Gypsy nuisance, and knowledge derived from race-biological research, have shown that the proper method of attacking the Gypsy problem seems to be to treat it as a matter of race. Experience shows that part-Gypsies play the greatest role in Gypsy criminality. On the other hand, it has been shown that efforts to make the Gypsies settle have been unsuccessful, especially in -the case of pure Gypsies, on account of their strong compulsion to wander. It has therefore become necessary to distinguish between pure and part-Gypsies in the final solution of the Gypsy question.
---From Himmler's Circular of Dec. 8, 1938: "Combatting The Gypsy Nuisance"

Roma were the only other population besides the Jews who were targeted for extermination on racial grounds in the Final Solution. Determining the percentage or number of Roma who died in the Holocaust is not easy. Much of the Nazi documentation still remains to be analyzed, and many murders were not recorded, since they took place in the fields and forests where Roma were apprehended.

The Sinti and Roma of Germany were systematically placed into municipal camps and subjected to forced labor in 1935. Gypsy camps, or Zigeunerlager, usually located on the outskirts of cities, were guarded by the SS and were centers for sterilization and forced labor. These evolved into assembly centers for the systematic deportation to concentration camps.

Between June 12th and June 18th 1938, Gypsy Clean-Up Week took place throughout Germany which, like Kristallnacht for the Jewish people that same year, marked the beginning of the end.

By the end of the war, between 70% and 80% of the Romani population had been killed by Nazis. Yet Romani were conspicuously absent at the war crimes trials after the war.

The extermination attempts of the Roma in the Czech protectorate by the Nazis is one of the underreported features of WWII. One of the reasons given for that is that the Roma concentration camp near Pilsen was mostly staffed by Czechs. To add insult to injury there is now a pig farm on the site which the Czech government has so far failed to relocate.

The following is from

Activists want to compensate more Czech Romany Holocaust victims

Ten Romany activists want to re-open the issue of compensation to Czech Romanies who were persecuted during WW2 on racial grounds and had to hide, since the state has not compensated all of them, Cenek Ruzicka, head of the Committee for Compensating the Romany Holocaust Victims, told CTK today.

The Romanies have sent their statement to Czech PM Mirek Topolanek, the chairmen of the parliamentary parties and the Government Council for Romany Issues.

Ten renowned Romany activists, who met in Karlovy Vary, west Bohemia, on Saturday, say in their statement that the government does not promote Romany integration, and that Romanies themselves want to help improve the situation of their minority.

The text was signed, among others, by Ruzicka, Karel Holomek from the Romanies' Association in Moravia, Ladislav Bily from the Board of Romany Regional Representatives and Ondrej Gina who represents Czech Romanies in the European Roma Forum.

The statement also mentions the pig farm on the premises of the wartime internment camps for Czech Romanies in Lety, south Bohemia.

According to historical documents, some 1,308 Romanies were deported to Lety during WW2, while 326 people perished there and more than 500 of its inmates ended up in the extermination camp in Oswiecim (Auschwitz).

A similar internment was also in Hodonin u Kunstatu, south Moravia, where 207 prisoners died and 800 were sent to Auschwitz. At present there is a recreational facility at the same place.

"The Romany Holocaust is unfortunately not perceived properly in society, the state and governmental institutions, and consequently concrete steps to redress the wrongs have not been taken," says the statement.

According to activists, the law enabling compensation to Romany Holocaust victims determines too strict criteria. Romanies must for instance prove that they were in hiding for at least three months during WW2, Ruzicka said, adding that the law does not reckon with the fact that a number of elderly Romanies are illiterate.

A couple of years ago some 8,000 Romanies asked for compensation for wartime sufferings, but only some 300 received it, Ruzicka recalled.

"If the proceedings were just, some 30 percent of the applicants should have been compensated," Ruzicka claims.

Romany activists have also agreed on concrete steps to improve the situation of the Romany community in the Czech Republic. They insist of Romany representatives working in a new agency to prevent the existence of Romany ghettos.

According to an analysis, there are some 300 such deprived localities with predominant Romany population where up to 80,000 people live in the Czech Republic.

According to official estimates, there are 200,000 Romanies in the 10-million Czech Republic, however Czech Romanies put the total number of Romanies in the country at about 300,000. Nevertheless during the latest census in 2001, only 11,746 inhabitants claimed to have Romany nationality.

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