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Genocide Of Gypsies Essay

868 words - 4 pages

The European Roma were deemed racially inferior by the Nazi Regime and tens of thousands were killed during the Holocaust. Their treatment during the Holocaust is sometimes paralleled to the Jews. A common misconception is that the Nazis were originators of the hatred towards the Roma. The truth is that the Christian Church was the first to persecute the Gypsies, it spread from there to the Britons. In the 19th century some Gypsy families were herded in to a forest area of England and forced to live in horrible conditions. Sounds familiar right?
Persecution of Gypsies had been around at least one hundred years before the Nazis took it to the extreme. In fact anti-Gypsy laws were in place long before the anti-Jew laws were enforced. As early as 1933 were the Gypsies being sterilized. That same year Gypsy concentration camps were established. In 1936, the movement against European Roma was globalized, European governments were supporting Nazi Germany in identifying the Roma in other European countries. Also in that year the Nazi party proclaimed that the problem with the Roma was one of race and should be taken care of in that manner.
The Roma were subjected to random imprisonment, forced labor, and eventually mass murder. Auschwitz, Dachua, and Ravensbrook were all possible concentration camps for the European Roma. One of the most gruesome experiences the Roma were put through were medical experiments by the infamous Josef Mengele. Gypsy twins were especially targeted and so were dwarves. The most common way the Gypsies were murdered was by gassing, the Nazis would load them on to vans and then pump carbon monoxide gas inside until they died. Conditions in the camps were the cause of many diseases, such as typhus, smallpox, and dysentery. So if the Roma weren't immediately gassed or experimented on they had a high chance of dying just from disease. It is unknown how many Jews were killed during the Holocaust but it is said that roughly twenty five percent of all Gypsies were exterminated.
One of the many remarkable Gypsy survivor stories belongs to Johan Stojka, he belonged to the Gypsy tribe Lowara Roma. His family made it's living by trading and raising horses. When he was 9 the Germans parked his parents wagon and forced them to get jobs and Johan to go to school. The stability only lasted a year because his family was deported to Birkenau. One day after working all day, Johan felt ill and had his mother take him to the infirmary, they diagnosed him with blood poisoning. His mother was very worried...

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