Porajmos – silenced genocide against the Roma

Porajmos – silenced genocide against the Roma

08. 02. 2016 

Between 1939 and 1945, the Nazis killed almost 500,000 Roma, according to more recent estimates around 600,000, or as many as one and a half million, and yet the Roma and Sinti are still waiting for full recognition of the suffering caused to them by the Nazi regime.

In scientific research circles, the topic of porajmos or genocide against Roma was overlooked for many years. Roma, like Jews, have been characterized as eternal nomads and foreigners since their arrival on European soil, which society has constantly associated with strongly negative stereotypical prejudices. Accordingly, they have always received a dismissive attitude from the majority communities and have been subjected to persecution and attempts at violent assimilation. It is an indisputable fact that the Roma as an ethnic group were the second biggest victim of the Nazi aspirations to the “final solutions” in the plan to create a racially “pure” Aryan nation.

A few years ago, we also joined the Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue Maribor in the effort to raise public awareness of the porajmos, its historical cues and consequences. In 2014, in cooperation with Frekvenza, the Terne Roma association, the dr. The Šiftarjev Foundation, the Cultural Association Article 7 for the Austrian Styria – Paul’s House and the Institute for Jewish History of Austria designed the multi-year international project Stone Tears, within the framework of which we are developing strategies for the permanent commemoration of three memorial days: the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust (27 January), the commemoration of the Slovenian victims of the Holocaust on the anniversary of the beginning of the mass deportations of Prekmurje Jews (26 April), and outside of Slovenia, commemorative days related to historical events that irreversibly sealed the fate of the persecuted Jewish population in individual countries during National Socialism and the Second World War, and international on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Roma Genocide (2 August). The present collection is a reflection of our activities as part of the Stone Tears project.

The design of the collection Porajmos – the silenced genocide against the Roma stems from the historical social exclusion of members of the Roma community, persecution, oppression, hostility and marginalization, which escalated during Nazism during the Second World War to the “final solution” plan, i.e. to the complete destruction of this community in Europe.

In her article about a conversation with her grandmother – The Story of Gizela Horvat – Sandi Horvat sheds light on her personal perception and presents some hidden facts about the situation of the Roma in Prekmurje during the Second World War. Vera Klopčič writes about the phenomenon of antigypsyism in the past and the present in the article Genocide over Roma in the past, antigypsyism in the present. Developments in the field of research so far and historical documents are presented by Marjan Toš in the contribution Humiliated, offended, murdered and silenced. Filip Škiljan writes about the segregation of the Roma community in the past and the suffering of the Roma nation during the NDH in the contribution Roma in Croatia in the Second World War. Ana Bračič discusses the comparison of the situation of Roma in Slovenia and Croatia in the article Tolerantna Mladina: research on discrimination against Roma in Slovenia and Croatia. Urša Valič prepared the contribution Porajmos – the silenced past and presented in it the inclusion of the genocide against the Roma in the project Access to cultural heritage for vulnerable groups.

The collection was prepared in cooperation with the dr. The Šiftar Foundation within the framework of the Stone Tears project, which was financially supported in 2014-2015 by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance IHRA and the Municipality of Maribor.

Scroll to Top
Skip to content