Gypsies in Auschwitz

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Asperg Germany Deportation of Gypsies
Asperg, Deportation von Sinti und Roma
Sinti and Roma people (Gypsies) about to be deported by the Nazis. Photograph taken in the German town of Asperg, 22 May 1940

Commons License for Photo of Asperg Deportation

Gypsies in Auschwitz

“For Nazi Germany the Gypsies became a racist dilemma. The Gypsies were Aryans, but in the Nazi mind there were contradictions between what they regarded as the superiority of the Aryan race and their image of the Gypsies…

At a conference held in Berlin on January 30, 1940, a decision was taken to expel 30,000 Gypsies from Germany to the territories of occupied Poland…

The reports of the SS Einsatzgruppen [special task forces] which operated in the occupied territories of the Soviet Union mention the murder of thousands of Gypsies along with the massive extermination of the Jews in these areas.

The deportations and executions of the Gypsies came under Himmler’s authority. On December 16, 1942, Himmler issued an order to send all Gypsies to the concentration camps, with a few exceptions…

The deported Gypsies were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where a special Gypsy camp was erected. Over 20,000 Gypsies from Germany and some other parts of Europe were sent to this camp, and most of them were gassed there…

Wiernik described the arrival of the largest Gypsy group brought to Treblinka, in the spring of 1943:

`One day, while I was working near the gate, I noticed the Germans and Ukrainians making special preparations…meanwhile the gate opened, and about 1,000 Gypsies were brought in (this was the third transport of Gypsies). About 200 of them were men, and the rest women and children…all the Gypsies were taken to the gas chambers and then burned’…

Gypsies from the General Government [Poland] who were not sent to Auschwitz and to the operation Reinhard camps were shot on spot by the local police or gendarmes. In the eastern region of the Cracow district, in the counties of Sanok, Jaslo, and Rzeszow, close to 1,000 Gypsies were shot…”

Excerpted from BELZEC, SOBIBOR, TREBLINKA – the Operation Reinhard Death Camps Indiana University Press – Yitzhak Arad, 1987. ISBN 0-253-3429-7 pp 150-153

According to the The Institut Fuer Zeitgeschicthe, in Munich, at least 4000 gypsies were been murdered by gas at Auschwitz-Birkenau.


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