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Exclusion of Roma & Sinti Victims - A memorial
Remembering so that we never let it happen again

kali shey posting in The Holocaust
User: the_holocaust (posted by kali_shey)
Date: 2009-01-10 06:53
Subject: Exclusion of Roma & Sinti Victims
Security: Public
Dear Ms. Gillet,

It is quite outrageous that there is no inclusion whatsoever of the Romani victims of the Holocaust in the UN event.
Please read the following and circulate amongst the organizers.

Ian Hancock
The Romani Archives and Documentation Center
The University of Texas at Austin

Recent historical research in the United States and Germany does not support the conventional argument that the Jews were the only victims of Nazi genocide. True, the murder of Jews by the Nazis differed from the Nazis' killing of political prisoners and foreign opponents because it was based on the genetic origin of the victims and not on their behaviour. The Nazi regime applied a consistent and inclusive policy of extermination based on heredity only against three groups of human beings: the handicapped, Jews, and Sinti and Roma ("Gypsies"). The Nazis killed multitudes, including political and religious opponents, members of the resistance, elites of conquered nations, and homosexuals, but always based these murders on the belief, actions and status of those victims. Different criteria applied only to the murder of the handicapped, Jews, and "Gypsies". Members of these groups could not escape their fate by changing their behavior or belief. They were selected because they existed.
Heye, Sartorius & Bopp, 2000: 14

Jews and Gypsies were equally affected by the racial theories and measures of the Nazi rulers. The persecution of the two groups was carried out with the same radical intensity and cruelty.
Thurner, 1998: xvi

"The motives invoked to justify the death of the Gypsies were the same as these ordering the murder of the Jews, and the methods employed for the one were identical to those employed for the other."
Miriam Novitch, Survivor, Ghetto Fighters' House, Asherat, Israel, 1968.

"The genocide of the Sinti and Roma was carried out from the same motive of racial mania, with the same premeditation, with the same wish for the systematic and total extermination as the genocide of the Jews. Complete families from the very young to the very old were systematically murdered within the entire sphere of influence of the National Socialists"
Roman Herzog, Federal President of Germany, 16 March 1997

The 1997 figure reported by the late Dr. Sybil Milton, then senior historian at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Research Institute in Washington put the number of Romani lives lost by 1945 at "between a half and one and a half million." Significantly, the same figure appeared again in a November 2001 report issued by the
International Organization for Migration (the IOM), a body designated to locate and compensate surviving Romani Holocaust victims. The brief states that "[r]ecent research indicates that up to 1.5 million Roma perished during the Nazi era."
Heine, 2001: 1

[Regarding] the persecution of Gypsies, it should be noted that their plight equaled that of the Jews. Their liquidation was part and parcel of the Nazis' agenda to eradicate 'worthless life'. Wrapped up in the Holocaust per se, the genocide of the Roma in the East is still very much an untold story. In some ways, their victimization was practiced even more ruthlessly because they held no 'economic value' and were traditionally considered a particular asocial and criminally
inclined people [and] more alien in appearance, culture and language.
Haberer, 2000: 212.

"A law was introduced on May 26th, 1933, to legalize eugenic sterilization. Beyond this, the Cabinet, headed by Hitler, passed a law on July 14th, 1933, against propagation of lebensunwertes Leben ('lives unworthy of life'), now called 'The Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring.' It ordered sterilization for certain categories of people; specifically Gypsies and most of the Germans of black color were targets for sterilization."
Bock, 1983:408.

"One exhibit [at the Holocaust Museum at Buchenwald] quotes SS chief Heinrich Himmler on December 8th, 1938, as calling for the 'Final 'Solution of the Gypsy Question,' and cites his order of December 16th, 1942, to have all Gypsies remaining in Europe deported to Auschwitz."
Sheldon Rantz 1995:11

"The Nuremberg Law for the Protection of Blood and Honour was instituted on 15 September 1935, forbidding intermarriage or sexual unions between Aryan and non-Aryan peoples. It affected both Gypsies and Jews, though not equally: criteria for identification as a Gypsy were exactly twice as strict as these applied to Jews. If two of a person's eight great-grandparents were even part Gypsy, that person had too much Romani ancestry later to be allowed to live. The Nuremberg
Decree, on the other hand, defined a Jew as being minimally a person having one Jewish grandparent, i.e. someone who was of one quarter Jewish descent. If criteria for classifying who was Jewish had applied equally to Gypsies, some eighteen thousand would have escaped being murdered."
Ritter, 1941; Kenrick & Puxon, 1971 :68.

''A Gypsy Law (Reichzigeunergesetz) is to be created the purpose of which is to deal with the complete registration of the Romani population, their sterilization, their movement and means of livelihood, and the expulsion of all foreign-born, stateless Gypsies."
State Secretary of the Interior Hans Pfundtner, March 4th, 1936.

''All Gypsies should be treated as hereditarily sick; the only solution is elimination. The aim should, therefore, be the elimination without hesitation of this characteristically defective element in the population."
Dr. Johannes Behrendt, Office of Racial Hygiene Policy Statement, 1939

The earliest Nazi document referring to "the introduction of the total solution to the Gypsy problem on either a national or an international level" was drafted under the direction of State Secretary Hans Pfundtner of the Reichs Ministry of the Interior in March, 1936, and the first specific reference to "the final solution of the Gypsy question" was made by Adolf Würth of the Racial Hygiene Research Unit in September, 1937. The first official Party statement to refer to the endgültige Lösung der Zigeunerfrage was issued in March, 1938, signed by Himmler.

''A conference on racial policy organized by Heydrich took place in Berlin on 21st September 1939, which may have decided upon the 'Final Solution of the Gypsy Question.' An express letter sent by the Reich Main Security Office on 17th October 1939 to its local agents stated that 'the Gypsy question will shortly be regulated throughout the territory of the Reich. At this time Adolf Eichmann made the recommendation that the 'Gypsy question be solved simultaneously with
the 'Jewish Question.' Himmler signed the order dispatching Germany's Sinti and Roma to Auschwitz; the 'Final Solution of the Gypsy Question' had begun."
Burleigh & Wippermann, 1991 :121

"SS Officer Percy Broad, who worked in the political division at Auschwitz, wrote that 'it is the will of the all-powerful Reichsführer to have the Gypsies disappear from the face of the earth'."
Milton, 1966:31

"The Führer has ordered the liquidation of all Jews, Gypsies and communist political functionaries in the entire area of the Soviet Union."
Security Police Commando Bruno Streckenbach, June, 1940, following a meeting with Hitler and Heydrich.

"At the beginning of 1940, the first mass genocidal action of the Holocaust took place when 250 Romani children from Czechoslovakia were murdered during tests with the new Zyklon-B gas in the camp at Buchenwald."
Proester, 1968:1

"The Nazi institutions involved with the persecution of the Gypsies knew about the particularly close family ties in this ethnic group. If these family ties were not taken into account, as happened in part with the deportation of 2,500 Sinti to Poland in 1940, there were certainly difficulties for the police, which were
recorded negatively. To this extent, the State Security Office order of 29 January 1943 to deport the Sinti and Roma to Auschwitz 'in families' reflected efforts to keep the friction and resultant bureaucratic problems associated with the deportation and internment as small as possible"
Zimmermann, 1990:107-8

"Heydrich, who had been entrusted with 'The final solution of the Jewish Question' on July 31st, 1941, shortly after the German invasion of the USSR, also included the Gypsies in his 'final solution.' The senior SS officer and Chief of Police for the East, Dr. Landgraf, in Riga, informed Rosenberg's Reich Commissioner for the East Lohse of the inclusion of the Gypsies in the 'final solution.' Thereupon, Lohse gave the order, on 24th December, 1941, that the Gypsies 'should be given the same treatment as the Jews.'"
Müller-Hill, 1988: 58-59
"The official decision to exterminate the Gypsies was made in the spring of 1941 when the Einsatzgruppen were formed. Gypsies were subject to three methods of genocide: sterilizations, deportation and homicide. Mass killing was the most common.
Sherer, 1987: 5

"The Himmler Decree of December 16th, 1942 (Auschwitz-Erlass) according to which the Gypsies should be deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau, had the same meaning for the Gypsies that the conference at Wannsee on January 20th, 1942, had for the Jews. This decree, and the Bulletin that followed on January 29th, 1943, can thus be regarded as a logical consequence of the decision taken at Wannsee. After it had been decided that the fate of the Jews was to end in mass extermination, it was natural for the other group of racially-persecuted people, the Gypsies, to become victims of the same policy."
Auschwitz State Museum Memorial Book, 1993:3

"Heinrich Himmler's infamous Auschwitz Decree of December 16th, 1942, can be seen as the final stage of the Final Solution of the Gypsy Question. The decree served as the basis for complete extermination. According to the implementation instructions of 1943, all Gypsies, irrespective of their racial mix, were to be
assigned to concentration camps. The concentration camp for Gypsy families at Auschwitz-Birkenau was foreseen as their final destination. Opposed to the fact that the decision to see a final solution for the Gypsy Question came at a later date than that of the Jewish Question, the first steps taken to exterminate the Gypsies were initiated prior to this policy decision: the first gassing operations against Gypsies did indeed take place in Chelmno as early as late 1941/early 1942."
Thurner, 1987:3

"With respect to the extermination of antisocial forms of life, Dr. Goebbels is of the opinion that the Jews and the Gypsies should simply be exterminated."
Nazi Reichsminister of Justice Otto Thierack, September 14th, 1942

"The suggestion by Himmler [that certain families of 'pure' Gypsies were to be kept alive in a compound for anthropologists to study] was mocked by his peers as 'one more of Himmlers hare-brained schemes,' and rejected outright by Bormann."
Tyrnauer, 1985:24

"The count of half a million Sinti and Roma rnurdered between 1939 and 1945 is too low to be tenable; for example, in the Soviet Union, many of the Romani dead were listed under non-specific labels such as Liquidierungsubrigen [remainder to be liquidated]. The final number of the dead Sinti and Roma may never be determined. 'We do not know precisely how many were brought into the concentration camps; not every camp produced statistical material."
König, 1989:87

"Attempts to express Romani casualties in terms of numbers cannot do justice to the physical and psychological damage endured by those who survived. Any numbers we have cannot be verified by means of lists, or card-indexes, or camp files; most of the Gypsies died in eastern and southern Europe, shot by execution troops or fascist gang members. The numbers of those who actually died in the camps have only partially been handed down to us; almost all the files were
destroyed when those camps were evacuated."
Streck, 1979:148

"Unlike the Jews, the overwhelming majority of whom were murdered in the gas chambers at Birkenau, Belzec, Treblinka and all the other mass extermination camps, the Gypsies outside the Reich were massacred at many places, sometimes only a few at a time, and sometimes by the hundreds. In the Eastern Territories alone, 150 sites of Gypsy massacres are known. Research on the Jewish Holocaust can rely on comparison of pre- and post-war census data to help determine
the numbers of victims in the countries concerned. However, this is not possible for the Gypsies, as it was only rarely that they were included in national census data. Therefore it is an impossible task to find the actual number of Gypsy victims in Poland, Yugoslavia, White Ruthenia and the Ukraine, the lands that probably
had the greatest number of victims."
Auschwitz State Museum Memorial Book, 1993:2

An article entitled "Dutch World War II deaths higher than recorded" reported that "The number of Dutch people who died in World War II is considerably higher than the accepted figure to date according to researchers at Utrecht University, reports ANP news service on Monday. The researchers say not 210,000 but 280,000 Dutch people died in the war. The discrepancy comes from the statistics of those who were deported. These are recorded as 'emigrants' while in
reality they were Jews and Gypsies who were transported to the gas chambers in German concentration camps."
Dutch News nl for Tuesday 9 October 2007

"The Nazis killed between a fourth and a third of all Gypsies living in Europe, and as many as 70 percent in those areas where Nazi control had been established longest."
Strom & Parsons, 1978:20

"How many people in Britain and America today are aware that the Gypsies of Europe were rounded up by the Nazis and sent to their death in almost similar proportions to the Jews?"
Heger, 1980:15

"The Gypsies had been murdered in a proportion similar to the Jews: about 80% of them in the area of the countries which were occupied by the Nazis."
Simon Wiesenthal, in a letter to Elie Wiesel dated December 14th, 1984

"The downfall of the Third Reich did not halt the devaluation of Gypsy lives. Though West Germany paid nearly $715 million to Israel and various Jewish organizations, [as of 1979] Gypsies as a group received nothing."
Time Magazine, 3(12):67, 1979

"Being a Jew under Hitler made you first a guilty party and then a parcel which the yellow star, itself now become a label, dispatched to those unknown camps­a process which took a more or less brief period of time, but a period of time all the same. Being Gypsy, however, made you an instant target, since the relatively small number of persons of that race facilitated their individual execution."
Françoise Sagan, 1988: 96-97

x-posted to romaandfriends

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