The Gypsy Plague

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Romani people
The mass murder of the Sinti and Roma people, called Gypsies or Romani, parallels closely that of the Jews. Hitler's Germany resolved The "Gypsy Plague" by a nearly successful attempt to exterminate them as a people.

Who were the Romani? In Germany and Austria at the time of the Holocaust approximately 30,000-35,000 people belonged to the Romani ethnic minority. This group had migrated to Europe from northern India in around 1400 and was made up of many tribes. The popular collective term "Gypsies" refers to all of these tribes. The Sinti was the largest tribe in Germany and the Roma the largest in Austria and Eastern Europe. They spoke a common language called Romani, a language based on Sanskrit. 

Though traditionally living a nomadic lifestyle and making a living as craftsmen and entertainers, the Romani had become more settled in the early 1900s. 


Part of the Romani Holocaust exhibit