By 18 June over 1,000 Roma and Sinti had been arrested and deported to concentration camps. What has now become known as ‘Gypsy Clean-up Week’ was the beginning of an increasingly extreme programme against the Roma and Sinti community that led ultimately to their mass murder in Nazi death camps.
The impetus for the ‘clean-up’ action against the Roma and Sinti people had come from theDecree on the Fight to Prevent Crime, a 1937 law enacted by the Nazis.”
The article goes onto say that
“Roma and Sinti people had often been the victims of legal persecution. They were attacked for their itinerant way of living that did not conform to German norms, and for allegedly being prone to criminal activities. “
And their my concern really began to spike, you see I know this information, but I was not taught it in school!
In fact when I asked the Question of Gypsies in the war at school I was simply told
“They all ran away”
That statement did enough damage to my views as a Gypsy girl! A girl who wanted to be proud of my heritage and the war efforts of the men in my community, but it did so much more!
It completely dismissed not only our Great War hero’s but pushed out of History the hundreds of thousands of my Roma cousins who were brutally experimented on and exterminated.
It made it a lesson unlearned!
I had learned as an adult that many Roma did not receive a tattoo, we were not expected to live long enough to warrant the cost of the ink! I learned that many of the crueler experiments were done on our children! That mothers prayed for death for their children rather than face a future at the Nazis hands!
I learned of our great uprisings, that entire camps of Roma refused to simply die, but decided to fight their captures! I learned that almost no one chose to shelter the Roma! I learned that the slaughter of my people was mainly in fields and roads!
But I never learned this in school! I never learned this by attending holocaust events! Well not until we started to demand to be included.
No Roma as received any war reparations, just as no Roma received an apology for our days as slaves!
I guess I rambled off there a little! But this is my worry, the current climate in the UK is so similar to that of the comments made in Hitlers manifesto! Social media stirs up hatred and I know that “if they come, no one will speak out”
So this little blog is to try and put out a lesson that I had to learn myself! We may seem as criminals, but you need to understand that legislation is forcing us down that path and as done since the 1990’s!
I will finish with this
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
I believe to be historically accurate it should start