Roma Genocide in Latvia 1941-1944 | Latvian History

Originally posted on Latvian History.

One of the less discussed events of the Latvian history is Roma Genocide that took place in Latvia during Nazi occupation. Called Porajmos in Romani language the Roma genocide was part of the Holocaust directed against Jews, mentally ill, homosexuals and Roma’s who lived in significant populations across the Eastern Europe. The death toll of Nazi killed Roma’s  estimated  220,000 to 1,500,000 people. Genocide against Roma took place also in Latvia, where they been living for centuries.

The Roma people have been originated from ancient India and appeared in Europe in Middle Ages as early of 12th century. By practicing nomadic lifestyle they appeared all over Europe including Britain on 16th century. The largest concentrations of them were in Eastern Europe, Poland-Lithuania, Moravia and Wallachia. Roma’s managed to keep their eastern traditions and independent lifestyle often defying the laws of the ruling society. Some Roma communities started continuous settlements. Their differences in looks and culture often sparked hatred and prejudices.

The Nazi movement combined all the prejudices in united policy of hate and persecution. However, Nazis had difficulties labeling all Roma’s as subhuman (Untermenchen) because of their “Aryan origin” that Nazis considered the prime race. Also it was inconvenient that most consequent nomadic Roma’s were those of “most purest Aryan”. To “solve” the problem the racial specialist Dr. Robert Ritter lead research team to determine the racial status of Roma people. By examining 2000 people they came to conclusion that 90% of Roma are mixed with other Europeans and therefore sent to “mischlinge” (crossbreeds) category. They were labeled as anti-social and dangerous to the Nazi regime.  This conclusion now made 90% of…

via Roma Genocide in Latvia 1941-1944 | Latvian History.

The Case of the Misjudged Gypsies

All Things Georgian

In our earlier post about  the gypsies of Georgian England we said that we would revisit the topic and today we have decided to look at one example of the prejudice this group of people suffered.

tinker_web

travelling gypsy

When Elizabeth Mary Kellen presented herself at the door of a gentleman’s house at Southend near Lewisham in the June of 1802, dressed in little more than rags and quite obviously starving, her tale of being stolen by the gypsies was readily believed.

She looked to be around ten or twelve years old, and it was clear that she had previously been educated and well brought up. The gentleman took her in and an investigation was put into place.

Elizabeth Mary Kellen told the benevolent gentleman that she was the daughter of Captain Kellen of the Plymouth Marines. About seven months before her father had sent her on an errand to a…

View original post 1,272 more words