Antigypsyism

Austria: On this day in 1944, 800 Roma children are gassed at Auschwitz

During the Holocaust, it wasn’t just the Jews who suffered at the hands at the Nazis although they bore the brunt of the racism and extermination at the hands of the Germans and their allies during World War II. The Gypsies were also persecuted during the reign of Hitler and his henchmen.
The Nazis at their death camp at Auschwitz gassed 800 children including over 100 boys between the ages of 9-14 on this day. How did this ever be allowed to happen?

The Gypsy people were hated by the Nazis, the definition of what constituted a Gypsy to the Nazis was often the same as what constituted a Jew in the racist writings of the Third Reich. As early as 1937, the roundup of Gypsies was beginning in Germany.

The Germans did little to conceal their murderous plans. In 1937, Dr. Robert Ritter, a racist with a medical degree gave a presentation in Paris on what would be the racial definition of Gypsies as the Reich considered Gypsies “asocial.” In December of 1937, Heinrich Himmler issued a decree that provided grounds to arrest people, not for committing crimes but for being “asocial”.

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Camp Auschwitz

The Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was the largest Nazi concentration camp for mass destruction.

It was located in the south of Poland. 50 km west of Krakow and 286 km from Warsaw.

It got its name from the nearby town of Osveta (in German Auschwitz).

After the German occupation of Poland in September 1939, Osweta merged with Germany and the name was changed to Auschwitz

The Auschwitz concentration camp deported 1.3 million people from various parts of Europe.

Most of the casualties were killed as they arrived at the Auschwitz II gas chambers using the B gas cyclone.

The others died of systematic starvation, forced labor, shooting and medical experiments. Among the victims were 19,000 Roma who were killed in July 1944.

Camp commander Rudolf Hess told a trial in Nienberg that up to 2.5 million people were killed in Auschwitz.

UNESCO declared this camp in 1979 a World Heritage Site under the name "Auschwitz-Birkenau - German Nazi death camp"

Otherwise the camp was liberated by the 322nd Red Army Division on January 27, 1945. The camp found 348,820 male suits and 836,255 females belonging to the victims,

Auschwitz Liberation Day January 27 is also proclaimed as "International Holocaust Remembrance Day"

Throughout the history of the camps - Camp Sajmiste

Initially the camp was intended for Serb Jews, and later for others such as Roma, Communists, Partisans and Chetniks.

During the occupation about 8,000 Jews and 32,000 others were strangled, shot in the ovary or died in the camp itself. The camp was active from October 1941 to July 1944

The first Jewish camps in Belgrade between December 8 and 13, 1941, were 5,281. With the passing of the Jews from Banjica, Sabac, Nis, Kosovska Mitrovica, Novi Pazar, Raska, refugees from Belgrade and Central Europe, the number of camps between December 8, 1941 and the end of April 1942 reached 7,000, of which 6400 were Jews and 600 Roma.

Otherwise the winter of 1941/1942 was one of the coldest. Between December and March, 5,000 prisoners died of cold, disease and hunger.

Pavilion No. 4 was the kitchen where the food was being prepared. The daily diet consisted of water, weak tea, stale cabbage or potato stew and a little wheat bread.
The execution of prisoners was carried out in the open space between pavilions no. 3 and 4.

The Roma in the camp were brought in December 1941 when a group of about 500 Roma women with children. They were housed in Pavilion No. 2. About 60 of them died during the winter due to cold and illness.

The rest were released in January - March 1942, because through their friends and relatives they managed to obtain documents for permanent residence, that is, they did not belong to Roma nomads, The Last Roma Group was released in April 1942.

Why the Nazis wiped out the Romani middle class ?

Between 1936 and 1945 the Nazis wiped out over 50% of Europe’s Romani people.
Whether they were choked to death in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau, “exterminated through labour” climbing the stairs of death at Mauthausen, or shot in a mass grave dug by their own hands in Romania – the extermination of the Gypsies of Europe was carried out with deadly efficiency.

The result in countries like Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and what is now the Czech Republic, was a kill rate of over 90% of the pre-war Romani population. Many massacres of Roma in the East by the Nazis’ roving death squads, the Einsatzgruppen, went unreported or under-documented, meaning the total loss of Romani life will probably never be fully exposed or accounted for.

Europe’s collective memory of the Romani genocide is short compared to the Holocaust of the Jews. Germany paid war reparations to Jewish survivors but never to Romani, and the racial character of the Romani genocide was denied for decades in favour of the argument that Roma were targeted for being asocials and criminals. West Germany only recognised the genocide of Roma officially in 1982.

 

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