The "Gypsy Camp" in Auschwitz-Birkenau
From February 1943, almost 23,000 Sinti and Roma were deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. The majority came from the Reich: more than 13,000 women, men and children. The Sinti and Roma families arriving in Auschwitz-Birkenau were imprisoned in camp section B II e, which the SS referred to as a "gypsy camp". Up to 800 people were crammed into a barrack. The entire section of the camp was surrounded by an electrically charged barbed wire.
Of all the Auschwitz concentration camps, the "Gypsy Camp" had the highest death rate. 19,300 people fell victim to this destruction machine; 5,600 were gassed; 13,700 succumbed to hunger, diseases, epidemics and medical experiments. After selection by the SS, about 3,000 Sinti and Roma were deported to "extermination through work" in other concentration camps in the spring and summer of 1944. About 4,300 people remained in Auschwitz, mainly old people, women and children. The SS murdered them all in the gas chambers on the night of August 2 and 3, 1944.
The strings of the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra at the memorial ceremony at the memorial to the so-called "Gypsy Camp" in the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in 2019
Video of the wreath-laying ceremony on August 2, 2019 at the memorial to the Roma and Sinti murdered in the "Gypsy Camp" in Auschwitz, plus the Roma and Sinti Philharmonic Orchestra and the Geza Hosszu-Legocky with the main musical theme from "Schindler's List"
A symbolically significant moment on August 2, 2019 at the memorial of the so-called "Gypsy Camp" in Auschwitz-Birkenau: The American human rights activist Jessy Jackson (center) together with Romani Rose, chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma (second from right), next to it Rose's deputy Oswald Marschall and on the other side of Jessy Jackson Roman Kwiatkowski from the Roma Association in Poland.
Appeal from Auschwitz
On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of August 2, 1944, the European Holocaust Memorial Day for Sinti and Roma, August 2, 2019
75 years ago today, the last 4,300 Sinti and Roma still living in Auschwitz-Birkenau were murdered in the gas chambers. Auschwitz symbolizes the Holocaust in the 500,000 Sinti and Roma as well as in the six million Jews in Europe. Auschwitz is the conscience of the community of values of democratic states. For the first time, the representatives of the American civil rights movement and the civil rights movement of the German Sinti and Roma and the many Roma organizations in Europe are appealing from this place to the governments of the world community and the supranational organizations to consistently combat all forms of racism, antigypsyism and anti-Semitism . We call on parliamentarians in the national parliaments, the European Parliament and the parliamentary assemblies of international organizations to form an interparliamentary coalition against antigypsyism in order to counter the causes of flight and exclusion.
Together we demand political and social justice and thus dignity for all of our people. We demand that the international community actually recognize minority rights, which must be implemented in terms of access to education and work, housing and health. Sinti and Roma need a museum of Sinti and Roma history in Europe, just like the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the United States.
We all have to accept the legacy of the millions of victims, we all have to keep putting the moral and ethical values of our democracy at the center of our actions, and we have to stand together for democracy and the rule of law, for our humane values, worldwide.
Reverend Jesse L. Jackson Sen., Rainbow / PUSH Coalition
Romani Rose, Central Council of German Sinti and Roma
Roman Kwiatkowski, Roma Association in Poland