1938-1940: Deportation of the Roma and Sinti

Hitler’s pseudoscientific attack on the „Gypsies“ of Europe

In 1938, there were approximately 35,000 so-called Gypsies living in Germany and Austria. Named for their supposed origin in Egypt (the ethnic group actually originated in northern India), most of the “Gypsies” belonged to the Roma and Sinti tribes.

The Roma and Sinti in Europe had long suffered from discrimination and ostracism, which only worsened under the Third Reich. With the rise of Nazism came an obsession with racial purity and eugenics.

Hitler’s regime charged Dr. Robert Ritter, Dr. Sophie Ehrhardt and nurse Eva Justin with conducting extensive pseudoscientific research into the genealogies of Roma and Sinti communities. In 1940, Ritter claimed that 90% of “Gypsies” in Germany were “of mixed blood,” and “the products of matings with the German criminal asocial subproletariat.”

By this logic, anyone with a drop of Roma or Sinti blood was deemed alien, prone to criminality and unsuited for society. Tens of thousands of Roma and Sinti were deported to concentration camps, where they were subjected to forced labor, medical experimentation and extermination. Historians estimate that the Nazi regime and its allies killed around 25% of all European Roma, possibly as many as 220,000.

Pictures & Soure: Retronaut
Date: 29.12.2015