General Introduction


From India to Europe


Arrival in Europe

Ottoman Empire

Wallachia and Moldavia

Central Europe

Western Europe


Austro-Hungarian Empire

Russian Empire

The Great "Gypsy" Round-up in Spain


Second Migration

Austria and Hungary 1850 - 1938

Soviet Union Before World War II


Holocaust

Concentration Camps

The Nazi Period in Italy

Internment in France 1940 - 1946

The Nazi Period in the Baltic states

Deportations from Romania


Situation of Concentration Camps Survivors

State Policies under Communism

Institutionalisation and Emancipation


Third Migration


PDFs avaible in:

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FACTSHEETS ON ROMA HISTORY: GENERAL INTRODUCTION

 

It is impossible to cover all aspects of Roma history properly in one step and to make up for everything missed in the past. Although the factsheets cover the most important phases and events in Roma history, they have to be seen as

a first step which hopefully will be followed by further amendments. To allow a step by step completion an open approach for the presentation was chosen: the format of single factsheets and content organisation through open lists, which easily allow the inclusion of future extensions. This open content organisation affects the numbering system of the factsheets which also tentatively organises Roma history into seven phases:


1.0

PRE-EUROPEAN HISTORY: "FIRST MIGRATION" FROM CENTRAL INDIA TO BYZANTIUM

The Indian origin and the “road to Europe” via Persia, Armenia and Asia Minor as part of the Byzantine empire is undisputed, primarily because of linguistic evidence. Due to the lack of documents and “hard facts” and the importance of origin in any emancipation process, this is a field of discussions ranging from scientifically based theories to weird speculations.

2.0

EARLY EUROPEAN HISTORY & FIRST DISCRIMINATION

This second period in Roma history covers the time from the “Arrival in Europe” in the 15th century and the situation

of the Roma in various European regions in the 16th and 17th centuries: their situation in the Ottoman Empire and Central Europe, bondage and slavery in Wallachia and Moldavia, marginalisation and persecution in Western Europe.

3.0

STATE POLICIES: INTEGRATION, FORCED ASSIMILATION, DEPORTATION
In the 18th century, the “Age of Enlightenment” in European history, Roma were exposed to “new methods” of discrimination: internment in Spain and forced assimilation laws in the Austro-Hungarian Empire; methods which

are opposed by the treatment as – in principal – equal subjects with the respective full civil rights in the Russian Empire.

4.0

“SECOND MIGRATION” & INTENSIFIED DISCRIMINATION
In the second half of the 19th century, a second migratory movement took place: Roma groups from Central and South-Eastern Europe moved to all other regions of Europe, some of them even overseas. Political processes and changes around the brink of the century (19/20) also affected the Roma. These changes are exemplified by the intensified discrimination in a former Austro-Hungarian region and the treatment of Roma as seperate people but integral part of society in the early Soviet Union.

5.0

PERSECUTION, INTERNMENT, GENOCIDE - HOLOCAUST

The Nazi genocide stands as caesura in recent Roma history. It has been the negative climax of centuries of discrimination, stigmatisation and persecution. Many groups have not overcome the Holocaust until today. The Holocaust can‘t be treated as past, it is still an integral part of today‘s Roma life and therefore non-Roma have to be made aware of this phase of Roma history as well. Maybe this chapter shows best the preliminary and open

character of the factsheets. Although this heading subsumes the largest number of individual factsheets so far,

there still remains a lot to be written.

6.0

PROLONGED DISCRIMINATION & STRUGGLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
After WW II Roma concentration camp survivors were refused help and compensation and for many of them the recognition as victims came too late. Stigmatisation and discrimination did not come to an end after the Holocaust. Roma always have been and still are marginalised in European society. This situation finally led to self-organisation for emancipation and the struggle for human rights at an international level.

7.0

“THIRD MIGRATION” & EMANCIPATION PROCESS

The recent east-west migration of the Roma started in the course of the working migrations from South-East Europe to Western Europe and intensified with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites and the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Processes that also resulted in armed conflicts, which hit Roma, multiply:

as victims of war, as marginalised ethnic group, branded as “only” economic refugees in the target countries, etc.
Again, the last point of the listing demonstrates the organisation of the content as an open list. It only consists of one article which outlines the recent east-west migrations and offers the possibility to include sub-articles dealing with details of this global development.

 
 

 
 

LITERATURE

 
 
 
  Two books available in English which offer an overview of Roma History are proposed for further reading: Fraser, Angus (1992) The Gypsies. Oxford/Cambrigde: Blackwell. | Tcherenkov, Lev / Laederich, Stéphane (2004) The Rroma. Vol 1: History, Language and Groups. Basel: Schwabe.  
   
  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  
 
 
  We are indebted to all the authors who contributed actively to the factsheets and the passive contributors who are cited as sources. Special thanks go to University of Hertfordshire Press, Gypsy Research Center, Editorial Presencia Gitana, Picus Verlag, Böhlau Verlag Wien Köln Weimar, Schwabe Verlag Basel, SPIEGEL-Verlag. We are grateful that we could rely on the expertise and support of Mozes F. Heinschink, who i.a. made the Romani Project at the University of Graz possible – and as a consequence also the factsheets – and who has been and still is of great help in all activities related to the topic. Furthermore we are very much obliged to the late Milena Hübschmannová, whose articles, written for RomBase,* were an important basis for the history factsheets.  

 

 

 

THE HISTORY FACTSHEETS' TEAM

 

 


 

 

editing: Michael Wogg with the assistance of Ulli Pawlata and Conny Wiedenhofer

translation: Martina Wenger
proofreading: Barbara Schrammel
layout and graphics: Marcus Wiesner
webdesign: Carl Huber
coordination: Romani Project at the University of Graz in close cooperation with the Council of Europe project

"Education of Roma children in Europe"
*RomBase is a web based resource which offers didactically edited information on Roma (http://romani.uni-graz.at/rombase/)

and was used as background for the factsheets.

 

 

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