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Romani Holocaust – World History – Free PDF Download

ROMANI PEOPLE

  •  The Romani are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, living mostly in Europe and the Americas. The Romani originate from the northern Indian subcontinent,from the Rajasthan, Haryana, and Punjab regions of modern-day India.
  •  Genetic findings appear to confirm that the Romani “came from a single group that left northwestern India” in about 512 AD.They are dispersed, but their most concentrated populations are located in Europe, especially Central, Eastern and Southern Europe (including Turkey, Spain and Southern France).
  •  Since the 19th century, some Romani have also migrated to the Americas. There are an estimated one million Roma in the United States; and 800,000 in Brazil.

BACKGROUND

  •  Industrial development altered many aspects of society. Most notably, the period shifted social norms of work and life. For Roma, this meant a denial of their traditional way of life as craftsmen and artisans.
  •  The developments of racial pseudo-science and modernization resulted in anti-Romani state interventions, carried out by both the German Empire and the Weimar Republic.
  •  In 1899, the Imperial Police Headquarters in Munich established the Information Services on Romani by the Security Police. Its purpose was to keep records (identification cards, fingerprints, photographs, etc.) and continuous surveillance on the Roma community.
  •  Roma in the Weimar Republic were forbidden from entering public swimming pools, parks, and other recreational areas, and depicted throughout Germany and Europe as criminals and spies.

BACKGROUND

  •  The 1926 “Law for the Fight Against Gypsies, Vagrants and the Workshy” was enforced in Bavaria, becoming the national norm by 1929.
  •  In 1927, Prussia passed a law that required all Roma to carry identity cards. Eight thousand Roma were processed this way and subjected to mandatory fingerprinting and photographing.
  •  Two years later, the focus became more explicit. In 1929, the German state of Hessen proposed the ‘Law for the Fight Against the Gypsy Menace.’

THE BEGINNING

  •  For centuries, Romani tribes had been subject to antiziganist persecution and humiliation in Europe. They were stigmatized as habitual criminals.
  •  When Hitler came to national power in 1933, anti-Gypsy laws in Germany remained in effect. Under the “Law against Dangerous Habitual Criminals” of November 1933, the police arrested many Gypsies with others the Nazis viewed as “asocial” — prostitutes, beggars, homeless vagrants, and alcoholics — and imprisoned them in internment camps.

THE BEGINNING

  •  The Nazis established the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit in 1936 to conduct an in-depth study of the “Gypsy question (Zigeunerfrage)” and to provide data required for formulating a new Reich “Gypsy law”.
  •  After extensive fieldwork in the spring of 1936, consisting of interviews and medical examinations to determine the racial classification of the Roma, the Unit determined that most Romani, whom they had concluded were not of “pure Gypsy blood”, posed a danger to German racial purity and should be deported or eliminated.
  •  Since 1935, Gypsies were placed in special camps. After 1937, the Nazis started to carry out racial examinations on the Gypsies living in Germany. NUREMBERG LAWS
  •  The Nuremberg race laws were passed on September 15, 1935. The first Nuremberg Law, the “Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor”, forbade marriage and extramarital intercourse between Jews and Germans.
  •  The second Nuremberg law, “The Reich Citizenship Law,” stripped Jews of their German citizenship.
  •  On November 26, 1935, Germany expanded the Nuremberg laws to also apply to the Roma. Romani, like Jews, lost their right to vote on March 7, 1936.

GENOCIDE

  •  A December 1937 decree on “crime prevention” provided the pretext for major roundups of Gypsies. Initially, the Romani were herded into so-called ghettos, including the Warsaw Ghetto (April–June 1942).
  •  The debate ended in 1942 when Himmler signed the order to begin the mass deportations of Roma to Auschwitz concentration camp. During Operation Reinhard (1941–43), an undetermined number of Roma were killed in the extermination camps.
  •  On December 16, 1942, Himmler ordered that the Romani candidates for extermination should be transferred from ghettos to the extermination facilities of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

GENOCIDE

  •  On November 15, 1943, Himmler ordered that Romani and “part-Romanies” were to be put “on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps”.
  •  When ordered to come out, they refused, having been warned and arming themselves with crude weapons – iron pipes, shovels, and other tools used for labor.
  •  After transferring as many as 3,000 Roma who were capable of forced labor to Auschwitz I and other concentration camps, the SS moved against the remaining 2,898 inmates on August 2. The SS killed nearly all of the remaining inmates — most of them ill, elderly men, women, or children

GENOCIDE

  •  The Society for Threatened Peoples estimates the Romani deaths at 277,100.Martin Gilbert estimates that a total of more than 220,000 of the 700,000 Romani in Europe were killed, including 15,000 (mainly from the Soviet Union) in Mauthausen in January–May 1945.
  •  The governments of some Nazi German allies, namely Slovakia, Finland, Italy, Vichy France, Hungary, and Romania, also contributed to the Nazi plan of Romani extermination.
  •  In Nazi-occupied France, between 16,000 and 18,000 were killed.

 MEDICAL EXPERIMENT

  •  Another distinctive feature of both the Porajmos and the Holocaust was the extensive use of human subjects in medical experiments.
  •  The most notorious of these physicians was Dr. Josef Mengele, who worked in the Auschwitz concentration camp.
  •  His experiments included placing subjects in pressure chambers, testing drugs on them, freezing them, attempting to change their eye color by injecting chemicals into children’s eyes and various amputations and other brutal surgeries.

 

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