The Romani people have been equally romanticised as wandering free spirits and demonised as societal carbuncles who lie, cheat and steal. Their nomadic lifestyle can mean they are ethnically isolated and communally disconnected. As a people, they have been subjected to racism, persecution and slavery.
In many ways, the fate of Roma in 1930s Europe mirrored that of the Jewish population. Roma too were subject to a planned genocide, an attempt to exterminate a people who the Nazis referred to as enemies of the race based state. It is believed that over a quarter of the one million Roma living in Europe at that time were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.
But persecution of the Romani population began long before the Nazis came to power. Prejudices were based on a number of factors, including scientific racism and Social Darwinism, which took the approach that races were not variations…
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