Saturday, November 26, 2005

Gypsies in the Holocaust: "It is extremely difficult to locate the sorts of sources about Gypsies in the Holocaust of the type widely available about Jewish victims of the Nazi terror. This may reflect difference between an extremely literate culture and a largely illiterate one. It is known that perhaps 250,000 Gypsies were killed, and that proportionately they suffered losses greater than any other group of victims except Jews. The accounts here were collected, and made available on the net, from various sources.

"'Gypsies,' or the 'Roma' as they prefer to be called, are an ethnic group which originated in India (their language-Romany-is directly descended from Sanskrit) which for unknown reasons took to a wandering lifestyle in the late middle ages. Eventually they reached Europe and became part of the ethnic mix of many countries, contributing not a little in areas such a music and the arts.

"Because they were strangers to many of the people they moved among, strong prejudices grew up, and indeed continue to this day. Although they were indisputably 'Aryan' according to the Nazi racial typology, they were pursued relentlessly."

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