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Adoption by the European Parliament of a resolution on the recognition of the Holocaust of Roma Petition →

Tagged: romanigypsyHolocaustPorajmosPorrajmosPořajmosrromarromaniromařomaniřomapetition

Discrimination in Holocaust Remembrance: The Ultimate Irony [Romea.cz] →

How much more time will pass before Roma and Sinti (“Gypsies”) are sufficiently, publicly and regularly recognized as one of two ethnic groups slated for complete extermination in the Holocaust? What will it take for Holocaust education to include Romani persecution in a way that teaches not only who Romani people are, but also the very relevant continuities in European Nazi ideology?

As a Romani descendant of Holocaust victims and survivors, I was an audience member at the United Nations Holocaust Remembrance events, located in the New York City UN headquarters, in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2009, during the Remembrance week in January, there was an exhibit and event on Hungarian Roma in the Holocaust at the Hungarian mission to the UN. It was attended almost exclusively by Hungarian dignitaries and people connected to them. (See http://www.romea.cz/english/index.php?id=detail&detail=2007_1155) The effort’s significance in the Hungarian context must not be discounted, but its educational value to the larger public was virtually nonexistent. The UN Remembrance ceremony proper subsequently failed to include Romani victims by the name of their ethnic group, with the exception of a brief mention. It is important to note that these annual ceremonies are 1.5 to 2 hours long. They have included as speakers or performers not only key UN figures and Jewish representatives, but also scores of people from other ethnic groups. At least some of these time slots could have been – and should be – given to Romani participants. 

Indeed, following written protests from Romani people and supporters, as well as a meeting between myself and Ms. Kimberly Mann of the UN Holocaust Outreach Programme, the Polish Romani representative Andrzej Mirga was flown over to give a full-length speech at the main New York City event in 2010. The Romani community and survivors were very grateful for this. However, we must ask why such representation stopped again as quickly as it started. The substantive inclusion of Romanies has not been replicated in the UN lobby exhibits or in any other UN-sponsored program during or since that time. We need to see not a one-time token gesture but rather a permanent change in approach.

In 2011, the Remembrance event included a brief video testimony from a Romani survivor. However, once again no Roma or Sinti had been invited to participate, and as usual the Holocaust and its aftermath were implicitly defined as an exclusively Jewish matter. More often than not, the world’s media reify this inaccurate definition, a practice that is unlikely to change until a different tone is set in the most publicized official commemorations.

In 2012, for a minute or so out of the entire program, a Sinti person was featured, again only on the screen. It was Setella Steinbach, whose story was recounted as part of a string of portrayals of child victims. Setella had long been shown in Holocaust-related materials as a Jewish victim, so it was most appropriate and appreciated that her true identity was recognized at this time. Unfortunately, several other mentions of child victims in the program, which as a whole centered around children of the Holocaust, referred to young victims as if only Jewish children had been involved. Later in the program, a parallel on-screen display was shown, honoring specific Jewish Holocaust survivors and their contributions to society. The absence of a single Romani survivor was a stark reminder of the widespread idea that Roma and Sinti have few cultural merits, in addition to being unworthy of participation in Holocaust remembrance planning. Had any of us been asked, at the very least, for a suggestion, a prominent Romani/Sinti Holocaust survivor easily could have been included in that part of the event.

As just one example of Holocaust commemoration utterances that ring painfully hollow to Romani survivors, their families and communities, many of whom are endangered by neo-Nazi activity daily, I will mention the speech made by Prof. Robert Krell. Overall, it was a moving talk in which he spoke not only of wartime atrocities but also, quite astutely, of post-war reverberations in survivor families. He spoke of the need to keep memory alive, to educate, and to be aware of the present-day effects of racist ideologies. Similar speeches are given each year (not only at the UN), and yet it is very rare that the author thinks to mention the very obvious, very real and very destructive link between the ideology that led to the Holocaust and the neo-Nazi and other racist dogmas that continue to keep Romani people segregated, poorly educated, and frequently unemployed. Rampant discrimination, not to mention the deportation of Romani refugees, is endemic to the same countries where anyone of even one-eighth Romany blood was legally singled out for extermination in the events being commemorated. Because of anti-Gypsyism, Roma and Sinti are at constant risk of physical attack in Europe, not to mention interethnic tensions in certain parts of New York City and other places. And beyond the risk of physical harm, they face a kind of constant discrimination that can easily slip into more dangerous hatreds, and which proper commemoration of the Holocaust ought to discuss. Neither the United Nations nor the annual United States Days of Remembrance in Washington, D.C. have succeeded in this regard.

How can these speakers, one after the other, call for effective Holocaust education without so much as mentioning that the Romani population, currently Europe’s largest ethnic minority, was decimated during the war – exterminated in proportions similar to the Jews according to Simon Wiesenthal and many other historians – and presently subjected to experiences such as “Gypsies to the gas!” graffiti (even on playgrounds) on a regular basis? How can teachers and professors call themselves Holocaust educators when most of their students, when informally polled, still have virtually or absolutely no idea who “Gypsies” or Romanies actually are? These issues, so absurd and ironic that the lack of logic surrounding them should be patently obvious, were once again brought up for the Romani audience members listening to Prof. Krell’s speech. One sentence, however, stood out in particular: when speaking of Einsatzkommandos in Lithuania, Prof. Krell referred to over 100,000 Jewish victims “and a few others.” According to Martin Weiser, Lithuania was one of the countries in which “almost all Gypsies were killed.” Their ethnic group has a name, and it is not “some others.” Their families have suffered as much as Jewish families have. However, what really caused the Romani audience members (and at least one Jewish attendee we know of) to look at each other, stunned, was the flippant tone in which Prof. Krell pronounced “and a few others.” What could have been a highly effective speech was thus tainted with hypocrisy.

In this most recent commemoration, any mentions of Romani victims were once again so minor that a Jewish woman, who had just attended the entire event and whom we met afterward, had no idea who Roma were and what they had to do with the Holocaust. She came up to one of our group’s members and asked what her sign meant. We were each wearing a large brown triangle with the inscription “Gypsy” (with quotes) in front, and a large Z with the word Zigeuner on our backs. The woman was upset that she had never been told about the other group slated for extermination in the Holocaust, and wondered aloud about the Holocaust education she had received, as well as about the program she had just seen. She called the situation “disgusting.” Eventually, she introduced us to a gentleman who was identified as one of the event’s organizers, and she briefly explained why we were standing there with signs. I did not catch the man’s name, as there was a bit of a commotion and he then quickly disappeared. He was eager to point out that a Romani speaker (meaning Andrzej Mirga) had been invited two years ago. I calmly countered that we expect to be included every year, and to have a Romani speaker, musician, or both, for at least five minutes out of the lengthy program. His reply was negative. At this point I said, “This is untenable. It’s morally untenable. It’s academically untenable. And it’s historically untenable.”

This is what I and many, many other Romani community members firmly believe. We are asking not only for a token mention but for inclusion in the organization of commemorative events and the preparation of educational material for schools. Right here on the East Coast, there are Romani academics, musicians, community leaders, survivors and/or relatives of survivors who have never been asked, but who very much want to be involved. Even if we accept the most conservative estimates for Roma and Sinti murdered in the Holocaust (in the hundreds of thousands), allowing Romani representatives a real five minutes each year in a ceremony that lasts up to two hours would hardly be disproportionate. These same people might be consulted to assure that new materials released into schools and media outlets actually explain enough about who Romanies are and what happened to them – a level of awareness with the potential to mean that the Romani victims of the Holocaust did not die entirely in vain. Again, to deny us such input and participation, in an effort that is aimed at learning lessons, at telling the hard truths about history, and at guaranteeing “never again,” would be morally, academically, and historically bankrupt

 Petra Gelbart, Ph.D., New York University

Postscript, November 2012: The UN Holocaust Outreach Programme recently held an event discussing both Jewish and Romani mass graves in Eastern Europe. Four panelists were invited; none of them was Romani. Two of them stated, inexplicably, that the Romani experience was separate from the Holocaust. When questioned about the inclusion of Romani people, the head of the Programme claimed that Romani representatives are being invited and consulted, adding in the same breath that “a Roma expert” is being flown in for teacher training. This person is indeed an expert and I welcome his input, but, contrary to what the audience at this event was led to believe, he is not Romani. Many letters of protest have once again been sent by Roma/Sinti, Jews, and others, but we have yet to receive any real response regarding plans for the regular inclusion of voices coming from Roma and Sinti themselves.

Petra Gelbart, Ph.D.

Tagged: newsromanigypsyHolocaustPorrajmosPorajmosPořajmos

Romani activist: Holocaust remembrance should not perpetuate divisions [ROMEA]


Speaking at the former concentration camp in Hodonín by Kunštát (Czech Republic) this past Sunday to dozens of people paying their respects to the victims of the Romani Holocaust there, activist Karel Holomek warned in his remarks against the constant division of society into “us” and “them”. In his view, it is a good thing that the Czechs are starting to administer Romani matters.

“This is exactly what we need. We must get rid of the obsession with ‘our’ victims here and ‘your’ victims over there,” Holomek said. Video of his remarks (in Czech only) can be seen at http://www.romea.cz/cz/zpravodajstvi/domaci/karel-holomek-zbavme-se-obsese-ze-tyto-obeti-jsou-nase-a-tamhle-vase.


Tagged: newsromanigypsyHolocaustPorajmosPořajmosPorrajmosCzech RepublicHodonín by Kunštát

Цыганский Холокост (Romani Holocaust) — Russian language Broadcast

Цыганский Холокост—тема прямого эфира на Израильском радиo “РЭКА”

ведущий-Цви Зильбер

Live broadcast on Israeli radio “REKA”

host-Tsvi Zilber


Tagged: newsromanigypsyradioholocaustporrajmosporajmospořajmos

Source: youtube.com

London memorial service for 500,000 Roma victims of Holocaust [Ekklesia] →

A commemoration service will take place at the Hyde Park Holocaust Memorial in London, at 12 noon on 3 August for the 500,000 Roma who died as victims of the Nazi genocide during the Second World War.

Those attending will wear replicas of the badges worn by death-camp inmates, yellow stars and white triangles embossed with ‘Z’ for Zigeuner. White and yellow flowers will be laid, a black-edged flag lowered and a minute’s silence observed, followed by the singing of the Romani national anthem, which includes the line “The Black Legion murdered them.”

This commemoration is linked with the observance beside the Holocaust Memorial stone in front of the Palais de l’Europe, Council of Europe, which is held by the European Roma and Travellers Forum.

On the night of 2/3 August 1944, the SS carried out the final liquidation of what was known as the Zigeunerlager at the Auschwitz death-camp. Witnesses say the last 3000 inmates, mostly women, children and old men, fought back with their bare hands as they were forced into the lorries taking them to the gas-chambers.

In a statement the Roma said: “We are concerned that today we ‘Gypsies’ are again being made scapegoats, often in the media. We are seeing all over Europe the re-emergence of anti-Roma racism and violence on a growing scale. Witness the acts of wanton home-destruction, forced move-ons, evictions and deportations, vigilante attacks and arson, and racially motivated murders.

"Therefore in remembering the Holocaust, we urge all to help combat racism and halt the downward spiral that could in another dark epoch result in a second genocide."


Tagged: newsromanigypsyLondonUKEnglandholocaustporrajmosporajmospořajmos

Settela Steinbach, a nearly-forgotten Sinti-Roma story from WWII [ROMEDIA FOUNDATION] →

Anna Maria – known as Settela – Steinbach was born on 23 December 1934 in Buchten in Limburg and grew up in a wagon. She came from a large family. Her father was a trader and a violinist, her mother ran the household in their wagon. Searching for work, they moved from village to village. The local authorities did nothing to improve the miserable conditions at the sites where the wagon dwellers stayed. They would rather be rid of them.

Settela and her family were regarded by the authorities as ”Dutch gypsies”, however they originally came from Germany. Settela had probably heard a lot from her family members about the worsening situation there. After 1933, a number of Sinti and Roma were forcibly sterilised under the „Law for the prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring”. In 1935 they were even stripped of their German citizenship. From the mid-1930s, the German Sinti and Roma were locked up in camps. A series of discriminatory measures soon followed.

Continue reading →


Tagged: historyromanigypsyholocaustporajmosporrajmospořajmos

Political parties mark Roma Holocaust anniversary [Politics.hu] →

Parliamentary opposition parties of Hungary paid tribute to victims of the Roma Holocaust in statements sent to MTI on Thursday.

Racism must not become an objective nor can it be used as a tool by politicians, the main opposition Socialist Party wrote in a statement.

The document warned that “the anti-minority, far-right rhetorics which has once swept across the Carpathian Basin leaving inconceivable destruction behind is again part of our present”.

The statement, signed by party chair Attila Mesterhazy and board member Laszlo Teleki, called on the government to take appropriate measures to fight sentiments against the Roma and other groups of society.

In its statement, the small LMP party also condemned all expressions of hatred and called for solidarity and cooperation to ease tension within society. Lawmaker Timea Szabo, who signed the document, said that Roma and non-Roma were equally responsible for Hungary’s future.

Leftist group Democratic Coalition voiced sympathy over the 3,000 Hungarian Roma who were killed in Auschwitz Birkenau on the night of August 3, 1944. The statement also said that “hatred and discrimination against the Roma has again become legitimate” and referred to the radical nationalist Jobbik party as one embracing racism.

Commemorations for the Roma victims of the Holocaust are held across Hungary on Thursday, marking the last day of executing several thousands of Roma in the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp during the WWII.


Tagged: newsromanigypsyHungaryholocaustporrajmosporajmospořajmos

Porrajmos: Remembering Dark Times [Open Society Foundations] →

At the commemoration ceremony for the Romani victims of the Holocaust in Budapest yesterday, Rita Izsák, United Nations Independent Expert on minority issues, herself of Hungarian Roma origin, reminded those in attendance that it was three years ago to the day since Maria Balogh was murdered in her bed, and her 13-year-old daughter seriously wounded, in a gun attack by neo-Nazis in the village of Kisléta. Izsák called on states to do more to challenge “a rising tide of hostility and discrimination against Roma in Europe that shames societies.”

This theme was echoed in commemorations right across Europe paying tribute to victims such as Maria Settele Steinbach. The haunting image of nine-year-old Settele, as she peered out of the cattle car of a train bound for Aushwitz-Birkenau, moments before the doors were locked and bolted, was captured on film in May 1944. This became one of the most reproduced, tragic iconic images of the Holocaust. For decades, Settele was described in the literature as the unnamed Jewish girl in a headscarf.  

In a manner that was emblematic of a wider amnesia concerning the Roma victims of the Holocaust,Settele’s identity was only established some 50 years later. Settele was one of a group of 245 Dutch Sinti crammed aboard that train. She was killed, along with her mother, aunt and four siblings sometime between July 31 and August 2, 1944, when the Germans began the liquidation of the Zigeunerlager (“Gypsy camp”) at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Almost 3,000 Roma men, women, and children were put to death in this operation.

For too long the fate of the Roma, who perished at the hands of the Nazis, their allies and collaborators, had been neglected. In too many accounts, the Baro Porrajmos (Great Devouring) of Europe’s Romani people, which claimed the lives of more than 500,000 victims, was relegated to the footnotes, if indeed mentioned at all. This year’s commemorations in Budapest were attended by ambassadors and diplomats, members of government and opposition parties, religious leaders and hundreds of Roma and non-Roma citizens. All were reminded of the chaotic and brutal ferocity of the persecution carried out by the Arrow Cross and Hungarian Gendarmerie; reminded of the fate of those who perished in transit camps, in forced labour brigades, and local massacres.

Much of this detail would have been lost without the painstaking research carried out by Janos Bársony and Ágnes Daróczi who have striven to ensure the dead do not remain unnamed and unremembered. Atrocities such as the massacre in the cemetery in Doboz, a village in South-East Hungary, were painfully brought to light in the oral testimony of survivors such as Karoly Komaromi who lost his grandparents, his father and his 14-year-old sister Zsuzsanna. He recalled that as news of the Russian advance created alarm, gendarmes marched their victims on foot from the town of Kötegyán towards the village of Doboz:

“The gendarmes, they were taking them along main-street in pouring rain, so this gendarme says to my father … you will die here, fuck you! … At dawn they took them to the cemetery in Doboz and the gendarmes were already there waiting and blew them apart with a machine gun and hand grenades. As I heard from the cemetery warden’s wife, one child was trying to escape but couldn’t because the gendarmes noticed him. When they finished them off, they went down to the Gypsies of Doboz. They had them dig graves and put the bodies in there…”

Komaromi’s oral testimony to Bársony was confirmed by the trial records of the murderers by the People’s Court in 1956: “All 20 Gypsies were taken into the cemetery, ordered to lie down on the ground … the escort personnel withdrew a few paces, formed an firing line and when the order was issued, fired a volley at the 20 persons lying on the ground, then withdrew even further and lobbed an indeterminate number of hand grenades at the unfortunate victims. Those who were still alive were shot dead by the military gendarme … the dead included at least two or three children, 15 men and two women.”

The testimonies and records gathered by dedicated scholars such as Bársony and Daróczi to preserve the memory of what unfolded in dark times—times in which wisdom and goodness came fatally apart from each other—and social conditions Brecht likened to “a flood in which we have all gone under.” For the survivors of the Nazi-orchestrated Baro Porrajmos, there were to be more dark times. The condition of uprootedness, described by Hannah Arendt as one of “having no place in the world, recognised and guaranteed by others”, meant that the Roma became not only the forgotten victims of this most ferocious of historical moments, but continued to be regarded as superfluous, as not belonging to the world at all.

In 1950, German judges hearing restitution claims were advised by the Württemburg Ministry for the Interior that “Gypsies were persecuted under the National Socialistic Regime not for any racial reason, but because of an asocial and criminal record.” It is chilling to note that we hear similar sentiments today. We are asked to believe that Roma are not discriminated against because of their ethnicity, but because they pose a threat to “public order”, because they are criminally inclined, and refuse to assimilate and abide by societal norms. Anti-Roma racist rhetoric, previously confined to the fringes of the far-right, is increasingly seeping into mainstream populist agendas. 

The gravity of the current situation was highlighted recently in research conducted by Political Capital which placed Hungary fifth out of 33 countries on a ‘radicalism’ index, with sympathy with far-right ideas and politics among the over 15s surging from 10 percent to 21 percent: “a practically unprecedented rise by international standards.” A survey question on “Gypsy crime” found that 63 percent of Hungarians view “the Roma inclination to commit crime” as genetically pre-determined; while approximately two-thirds of respondents would not allow their children to befriend a Roma.

It is encouraging to hear György Hölvényi, Minister of State for Church, Minority and Non-governmental Relations in Hungary declare in his speech at the Holocaust Memorial Center yesterday, that the government is determined that there will be no place for hatred among Hungarian citizens. The commemoration of the Porrajmos serves as a reminder that it’s time for the righteous among this nation and those who govern it to take a forthright and unambiguous stance to counter the prejudices that fuel contemporary racism.

Open Society Foundations

Tagged: historyromanigypsysinteholocaustporajmosporrajmospořajmos



Romani prisoners line up for roll call in the Dachau concentration camp. Germany, June 20, 1938.

Tagged: historyholocaustromaniromagypsydauchauphotoporajmosporrajmospořajmosconcentration campthird reich

Romani Holocaust Remembrance Day


Please, take a moment to remember our brothers and sisters who were killed in their thousands during WWII.

We have not forgotten you, brothers and sisters.

Please take a moment to light a candle and remember them.

Here is a link to an online candle-light site. Please, it only takes a minute out of your day:

Light a Candle.


Tagged: PorajmosHolocaustromanigypsy2 August

Czech Police charge activist Jan Šinágl with genocide denial [Romea]


The Czech Police have launched the prosecution of the well-known activist Jan Šinágl, charging him with the crime of denying, approving and justifying genocide. Officers said the defendant has published two articles on his website in which he “brutally denied the crimes committed by the Nazis against the Czech nation on the territory of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia during the period after Reinhard Heydrich became Reichsprotektor in 1941 and in the aftermath of his assassination”.

Police say Šinágl, who is a member of the board of the Sudeten German Countrymen’s Association in Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia (Sudetoněmecké krajanské sdružení v Čechách, na Moravě a ve Slezsku) denied the Nazi crimes in those two articles. The author says he is innocent. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.

Last year, Šinágl published the texts on his website, entitled “Press Release: Prague Municipal Court versus the Sudeten German Association of the Czech Republic” (“Tisková zpráva: MS Praha versus Sudetoněmecké sdružení v České republice”) and “Seven Days… and Farewell to the Sudetenland” (“7 dní ….. a sbohem Sudety”). According to the decision to initiate criminal prosecution, those are the texts in which Šinágl denied the Nazi crimes.

In the articles, Šinágl says the assassination of Heydrich was carried out against the will of the domestic resistance and that “hundreds if not thousands” of people were found in Prague who were ready to turn in the assassins. He also claims that the number of victims of Heydrich’s government were only a fraction of the victims of the “postwar genocide” and that Heydrich’s rule “cannot be compared to the way in which the communists governed during the 1950s”. Police also say Šinágl claims that during the Nazi massacre of Lidice 172 people were killed, all of them male, and that the massacre took place in “wartime”. Police say the total number of victims massacred was actually 340.

Šinágl, according to the decision to file charges, has told police that his texts cite other authors and include links to online documents. He says the number of victims of the Lidice massacre that he has referenced relates to a specific event within a specific timeframe. Šinágl also claims that he wrote the articles because he merely wanted to draw attention to other crimes and wrongs. He believes that the victims of crimes committed by Czechs are not much discussed and are often minimized. He also said that he did not intend “to spark sympathy for fascist movements, the policy of Nazi Germany or its representatives among readers of the articles”.

This past March, Šinágl published an interview with one of the leading right-wing extremists in the Czech Republic, Patrik Vondrák, in which he helped Vondrák legitimize his opinions and positions. Several years ago, Šinágl joined neo-Nazis and other Holocaust deniers demonstrating in front of the German Embassy in Prague in support of Holocuast denier Ernst Zündel, who had been arrested in Germany. Many other figures came to shout the neo-Nazis down, including two 90-year-old women who had survived the Nazi concentration camps. Šinágl was there on the side of the neo-Nazis, from whom he borrowed a megaphone to rebuke the democratic counter-protesters for allegedly not being democrats because they were interrupting neo-Nazi speeches.

Political scientist Bohumil Doležal has stood up for Šinágl in the Czech daily Lidové noviny over his most recent scandal. Doležal believes Šinágl’s texts do not deny the crimes of German Nazism and that police have initiated his prosecution because his opinions are nonconformist. “The charging of Mr Šinágl is an attempt at the exact opposite of a free discussion,” Doležal said. The criminal charges against Šinágl were initially filed by a former deputy to the Czechoslovak Federal Assembly, Bohuslav Hubálek, the singer Helena Vondráčková, and her husband, Martin Michal.

Excerpts from one of Šinágl’s articles:

“It is not well known that after the assassination of Heydrich (which was carried out against the will of the domestic resistance) a wave of nationwide opposition to the assassination rose up. In the eyes of the average Czech person, the assassins then had the same image as the Mašín brothers have today, i.e., the image of someone who irresponsibly disturbs a comfortable collaboration and confronts us with a difficult, uncomfortable moral dilemma. Hundreds if not thousands of people could be found in Prague at the time who were ready to turn the assassins in, and the reward of two million for assistance in tracking down the murderers was eventually divided into so many portions that the need later developed to invent a ‘main’ traitor, Karel Čurda, in order to cover up that fact.

Heydrich knew how to handle the Czechs. Immediately after taking office he abolished inequality in food rationing, and through other measures he managed to win the hearts of the average, slightly cowardly and very conformist Czech, who understood that if he would conscientiously work for the Reich, the Reich would take care of him and he would want for nothing, but that if he caused trouble, an evil fate awaited him. Heydrich was so certain of his policy that he could even afford to travel around the Protectorate in an open automobile without bodyguards, which would have been unthinkable anywhere else in occupied Europe. The Protectorate, in short, was a little paradise on earth. Heydrich’s policy worked, and that is the problem the Czechs have with him to this day. For the rest, if we completely objectively compare the Reichsprotektor with the heads of state who followed him, we must acknowledge in all fairness that Heydrich definitely does not come out as the worst among them. The number of the victims of his government is just a fraction of the victims of the postwar genocide and cannot be compared to the way in which the communists governed during the 1950s. This raises the question of whether a law should not be passed honoring Heydrich’s services, or whether at least a commemorative gathering at the site of the assassination should be held in the same numbers as those who met at the grave of the criminal and mass murderer Klement Gottwald this year?”

ROMEA, translated by Gwendolyn Albert

Tagged: RromaRomaRomaniCzech RepublicGypsyHolocaustPorajmosdenialNaziWWII

džulory ladžala: Paul Polansky: How many Letys? →


A few days ago Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas said the Czech state has no money to buy a pig farm built over the site of a Czech-run camp where hundreds of Roma — mainly children — died from disease, hunger or abuse during the German occupation. This is my article refuting the continued…

Tagged: RromaRomaRomaniGypsyPorajmosHolocaustLetyCzech Republic


Let us take up the legacy of the Gypsy heroes of May 16th 1944

By Roberto Malini - La Voix des Rroms

On May 16th, 1944 four thousand Roma imprisoned in the “zigeunerlager” in Auschwitz decided to stand up to their murderers who according to programme had come to get them to lead them to the gas chambers.

The most powerful and well-organized machine of oppression and death of all time found itself before human beings reduced to a pitiful state – swarms of children all skin and bone and barefoot women and men. It wasn’t only the men who decided not to bow their heads to these butchers in uniform; the scrawny hands of children and women picked up stones, bricks, iron rods and rudimentary blades and all together the Roma of Auschwitz cried “No! We will not give you our children to force through your chimneys. Your doctors have tortured so many of them already while experimenting their monstrous science. The children’s screams rose high into the air, higher than the dense smoke issueing from the crematoriums, higher than our prayers. You will not wipe out our families after you have already taken away the precious gifts of freedom and dignity. We will not leave to your grasping hands, to your wicked hearts and your inhuman hatred the beauty of our lives, the sanctity of the love that unites our families in a poor yet proud people”. 

The mothers held their younger children tightly to their chests as they fought; the young children defended the “zigeunerlager” until they were covered in blood, looking like the spirits of revenge in legends; dark-skinned arms brandished primitive weapons with tireless energy, until the SS retreated, astonished at the sight of their heroism, their superhuman courage as they faced the bullets and bayonets with their bare skin.
The SS retreated, taking with them many German corpses. Only on August 2nd, 1944 were the Nazis able to dispose of the “zigeunerlager” - after they’d left the Roma imprisoned in the “death factory” close to death by reducing their food ration to a minimum. 2,897 Roma heroes were assassinated in the gas chambers of Birkenau on one night alone.

Today, May 16th, 2008, we are faced with the heirs of Hitler’s butchers. The instigators of this new genocide are the men and women we see every day in the newspapers and on TV, smiling, full of themselves, fresh from face lifts and make-up sessions, their sneering mouths full of words that sound like “Legality”, “Justice”, “Safety”, but which really mean “Persecution”, “Racism” and “Death”.  We see them every day and they no longer wear party colours because they are united by hatred. They have no respect for anything: either for human life, or human rights, for the universal laws or the new Europe that speaks out against prejudice. They have encouraged violent acts and pogroms all over Italy, deceiving the Italian people with racist lies and fomenting xenophobic violence. We who still see the light of human rights won’t be able to stop them, we who are all Roma now, we who want to be Roma because we want to be just, we will not be able to stop them if we do not decide right now to inherit the pride of the Auschwitz gypsies - if we do not decide to line up at the side of the persecuted families, and defy the authorities who no longer represent anything, the uniforms that no longer represent anything, the high-ranking state officials who have betrayed all values, who have no right to express themselves in the name of a people, of a civilization, of a humanity that – among so much horror – wrote up a text that was a commitment to build a better future for everyone: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Tagged: RomaRromaRomaniRomanyGypsyZigeunerAuschwitzGas chambersHolocaustSintiPorajmosantiziganismHistoryNaziZigeunerlagerSSBirkenauHuman RightsUniversal law

Traditional commemoration ceremony honors Romani victims of Lety concentration camp on Sunday, 13 May →

Čeněk Růžička, chair of  VPORH (holding vase) at a previous commemorative ceremony at Lety by Písek.

The Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust in the Czech Republic (Výbor pro odškodnění romského holocaustu v České republice - VPORH) is holding its traditional commemoration ceremony on Sunday, 13 May at the memorial to the Romani victims of the concentration camp at Lety by Písek.


The former Romani prisoners of Nazi concentration camps and their bereaved invite you to the traditional

*Commemorative ceremony for the Romani victims of Nazism*

held with the kind support of the Foundation for Holocaust Victims (Nadační fond obětem holocaustu) on Sunday, 13 May 2012, at 12:30 at the memorial to the former Romani concentration camp at Lety by Písek.


12:30 - The Czech and the Romani national anthems

12:40 - Laying of wreaths at the memorial, religious service

13:30 - Speeches

14:20 - Ending of the official portion of the commemorative service, tour of the new memorial, laying of wreaths at the memorial to the child victims of the camp in the parish cemetery in Mirovice

The Committee for the Redress of the Roma Holocaust in the Czech Republic (VPORH v ČR) brings together former Romani prisoners of Nazi concentration camps and their bereaved.

Organized by VPORH v ČR, Barákova 1002, 508 01 Hořice

E-mail: ruzicka.vporh@seznam.cz, tel. +420 603 247 617


Tagged: newsromanigypsyCzech RepublicLety by PísekLetyHolocaustPorajmosPorrajmosPořajmos

The Nevo Baro Porrajmos?


I’ve thought about this a great deal recently, but a new friend has prompted me to write this here.

All the news reports I see—so many from Europe—all pointing at the Roma as such an inconvenience. There is talk of internment camps, ghettos, “removal”, there are renewed evictions to “container settlements”. There is massive pressure in regions of Europe such as France, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovakia, to find an “answer” to the “Roma problem”.

All words we’ve heard before, decades ago.

Phrases like “rising aversion to Roma” plaster the newspapers and send shivers down my spine.

But, no one is listening.

In the US they post headlines about “gypsy thieves” who swing through your precious suburban tranquility in the spring and rip off old grandmas. They write articles about bands and clothing lines simultaneously painting us as thieves and vagabonds, as well as romanticized fairyesque beings who don’t really exist.

Our language is fading out.

Our customs are fading out.

WE are fading out…

but apparently not fast enough. Not fast enough for the politicians in Europe who don’t want to deal with us. Recently two men luckily were freed, they faced jail time for simply trying to protect Roma human rights in Italy. In Serbia families have been shipped from a slum into a “container settlement”. It is literally what it sounds like—old shipping containers where Roma are now forced to live. 

There are slums on trash dumps, toxic dumps, next to factories, in areas heavily polluted with heavy metals.

… and no one cares. No one helps us. They let us rot—in hopes that what? We will die without direct intervention. France suggested perhaps they should create internment camps (sound familiar?)

It scares me. I am literally terrified when I think of this and what are we all doing about it?


We sit and fight over who is more of a true Roma, who follows Romanipen stronger, who wears traditional clothes, who does this or that, who has lighter-skin or darker-skin, who is American or who is EU. Seriously? What about our brothers and sisters who are living in fear and bad health situations,  who have to beg for food, who have no access to education or health care…

What are we doing? Arguing on the internet about little privileged hipsters who just don’t even care? Why are we wasting our time on these people? We need to be focusing on challenging the mainstream shit like the shows on TLC or other misrepresentation.

Tumblr is not enough. 

We need to take this much bigger.

Or, perhaps, there will be a nevo baro Porajmos.

Tagged: RomaRromaRomanigypsygypsiesporajmosfearnervousscaredfutureEUEurope