According to different sources of literature, there is an ongoing debate whether Roma during the Second World War were part of the Holocaust notion or “just another” trauma, like many other, past and present events. Nevertheless, the “Fotgotten” Holocaust of Roma (Samudaripen) is part of the Roma history which must not be in any case forgotten.

The forgotten Holocaust represents an elimination of about 220,000 Roma during Nazi period. It is difficult to show the actual number of victims due to the long denied chapter of the Holocaust, however, predictions are between 250.000 to 500.000 Roma. The fate of the Roma is similar to that of the Jews. German Nazis have easily persuaded the rest of the world by "proving" that the Roma nation is racially inferior to others by using the existing social prejudice against Roma. In such context, many Roma from the vicinity of Poland, Russia, Germany Hungary and other countries were deported to a concentration camp in Auschwitz – Birkenau where the Roma concentration camps were established. The difference with the Jewish camps was that Roma families were not divided; entire families with their children were kept together in those camps. Furthermore, it is discussed that the responsible person for the Roma camp was Doctor Josef Mengele who performed different experiments on the Roma population, especially on Roma children. Different testimonies of many children show that he behaved like a father, acting generously, tempting them with chocolates to his office where he performed all pH experiments, testing their endurance with a quiet death. Many Roma in this period, despite such persecution die of hunger, exhaustion and diseases (typhoid) etc.

By many people and researchers the 20th century is called “century of genocide”, a genocide where under the Nazis, German attempts to rid the country of “racial inferiority” caused many people to be killed without any mercy. Because of the victim numbers, the Nazi genocide was a unique point in the human history. One of the least known aspects of that genocide is the Pharrajimos – The Roma Holocaust. According to Janos Barsony and Agnes Daroczi, Pharrajimos[1] means cutting up, fragmentation and devouring[2] in some dialects of the Romani language. The term Pharrajimos/Porrajmos was introduced for the first time by Ian Hancock[3] in the early 1990s. The same term in the international literature can be found as “Samudaripen” or Roma Holocaust. Surprisingly or not, there are still on-going debates about whether what have happened to Roma could be considered as part of the notion of Holocaust or not.

In this paper, I analyze the reasons for lacking an official recognition and representation of Pharrajimos in the history. Therefore, I look at Nazi’s ideology, the experience of Roma before, during and after the Holocaust. I demonstrate that Nazi German’s ideology was the same for Roma people as it was for the Jewish community - the idea of racial superiority, and I challenge the claim that is not because of their antisocial and criminal behaviour. Moreover, I indicate how participation in a globalized holocaust discourse could improve the visibility of the Roma. I conclude by highlighting the importance of deserving an official recognition of the Roma victims specifically by the United Nations, represented at all international conferences and the history.

Share

Facebook

Twitter