Roma: Persecuted for a Millennia

European Parliament asked France to reconsider expelling the Romas. France said they will not stop. The European Parliament is unhappy. Now it looks like that politics is not paying off for President Sarkozy. But it is not just in France.

Roma from East Europe and the Balkans are leaving their countries as a result of the persecution that is so virulent there that it has caused death and destruction of settlements not unlike pogroms of centuries past. For example, in Cluj, a university city in Romania’s multi- ethnic Transylvania region, a large Roma settlement is being displaced and moved into a more remote and environmentally marginal area. The Roma have not been given any recourse. They appear not to have any civil rights. Roma have been attacked in Hungary, the Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic. These attacks include fire bombings, shootings, stabbings, beatings and murders. [Roma: Not all alike]

But who are these Roma people and how did they end up in Europe? Subash Kak’s The Roma and the Persistence of Memory gives their history and the persecution they suffered in Europe.

It is estimated that over a million Roma were murdered from 1935 to the end of World War II. After the war, the Roma received little, if any, reparations from any government for their losses and suffering. Not a single Rom was called to testify at the Nuremberg Trials, or has been to any of the subsequent war crime tribunals. Until the 1970s, many Nazi-era laws remained on the books. In 1982, the German government was one of the first (and few) to belatedly recognize the atrocities committed against Romani people during World
The Roma have survived in the most difficult situation and for this they deserve to be saluted by all. They have also given a lot to Europe–music, dance, arts and crafts, and shown an indomitable will to survive.[The Roma and the Persistence of Memory]

2 thoughts on “Roma: Persecuted for a Millennia

  1. JK,
    Wonder if you have heard “Garib ki biwi sab ki bhojai”
    What do you expect in europe. The white enlightened europe. the resultant civilisation of a renaissance…..
    Roma’s may have their own flaws but they too deserve some fair deal. I wonder why they could not stake their claim probably they should convert to Islam. Then perhaps the europeans will back off.

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