I have spent all morning looking for a comprehensive list of Roma and Sinte known to have died in the Porrajmos (Holocaust). I have found nothing. There are lists and lists of Jewish and others (of authors, and actors, and artists, and musicians of varying religions and nationalities)…
but not a single list of Roma and Sinte victims – as far as I know.
I did find the “ITS – International Tracing Service” in Germany which archives over 30 million documents:
The archive’s collections are unique in scope and significance. The ITS is responsible for preserving these historical records, processing requests and making the archive accessible for research and education.
The ITS archive stores about 30 million documents of various types. The alphabetically and phonetically arranged Central Name Index contains over 50 million reference cards for over 17.5 million people and is the key to the documents and the correspondence files’.
However, the archive cannot be searched online for individual names and ethnicity or other information.
I did a generic search for the word “Gypsy” and found only 11 items.
- Gypsy question; Gypsies in Latvia; Gypsy camp Lackenbach (witness reports)
- Name lists of DPs (displaced persons) registered before 1.5.1950: camp Mars la Tour Braunschweig.
Name lists of DPs registered after 1.5.50
Gypsy camp Broitzen über Braunschweig
- Letter from the Criminal Police in Frankfurt/M. dated 14.12.40 concerning the order for a Gypsy family living in the Frankfurt/M. district to “voluntarily relocate” to the Generalgouvernement
- Main book of the Gypsy camp of KL Auschwitz-Birkenau 1943 – 1944
a) male prisoners – number series 1 – 10094
b) female prisoners – number series 1 – 10849
- 1) Confiscation of assets from arrested Gypsies and their admission to the Gypsy camp in Auschwitz, April 1943
2) Prisoner transfers in concentration camps, among them a transport from the police prison Radegast to Warsaw 1940, 1943 – 1944
3) Correspondence from the Secret State Police (Gestapo), state police station Litzmannstadt (Lodz) concerning deceased prisoners of KL Auschwitz, 20.8.41 – 6.8.42
4) Name lists of deceased prisoners of KL Auschwitz, whose remaining assets, possessions and personal papers were sent for further reasons to the Secret State Police (Gestapo), state police station Litzmannstadt, 12.5.41 – 29.1.44
5) Interrogations (partly copies) of persons for spreading rumors with subsequent detention for surveillance purposes 1933, 1941
- Camp reports on number of prisoners of the Gypsy-camp Lackenbach of 9.1.1941 – 31.8.1941 (names are partly not legible),
nationalities not mentioned
- 1) Camp reports on the number of Gypsies in the camp in Lackenbach dated 1.9.1941 through 4.2.1942 (names difficult to read in part). Nationalities not cited.
2) Register of births in the Gypsy camp Lackenbach from 12.2.1941 – 1.2.1945 Nationalities not cited.
3) Register of prisoners transfered from the police prison Vienna to the Gypsy camp Lackenbach from 26.11.1943 – 3.1.1945. Nationality, except one German national, not cited.
4) Various correspondence of the Gypsy camp Lackenbach from 1.10.1942 – 12.1.1945 (requests for materials for construction, requests for ration coupons, transfer of ration cards to the relevant communities, admissions to the Gypsy camp, transfers and returns to prisons and workplaces, regulations concerning rations for new arrivals as well as a residence certificate, 1 excerpt from a baptismal register, a certificate for a person checked for criminal activities. Names are repeated. Material is partly difficult to read. Nationalities, other than three Germans, not given.
- List of names of gypsies who, on 10.3.1943, were deported from the Hansestadt Hamburg to KL Auschwitz (Gypsy camp) and who arrived on 13.3.1943.
- Name inventory for
1) Gypsy -absentees – medical care cards. no dates
2) Gypsy restitution claims – no dates
3) Absentee gypsies – court officials, ordered by the local court Hamburg on 26.6.1940
- Registration card for a Gypsy, who was registered in Bremen
- Correspondence regarding a Gypsy who resided in Salzwedel
Though a search for the term “Gypsies” pulled up a further 32 results (which can be replicated here), it is still not exactly “comprehensive”. This second list did include (along with the name list from KL Auschwitz) other inmate lists from a couple of camps. It surprises me that there is information about Lackenbach and not others such as Lety or Jasenovac, where over 50,000 Roma were executed.
But, even here, much of the information is about Jewish victims and their families. In researching some of the largest concentration camps, I discovered how the Jews felt about being detained with the Roma:
As Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski (appointed Älteste (“Elder of the Jews”) of Lodz ghetto) stated on October 14, 1941:
We are forced to take about 5000 Gypsies into the ghetto. I’ve explained that we cannot live together with them. Gypsies are the sort of people who can to anything. First they rob and then they set fire and soon everything is in flames, including your factories and materials.
The Roma were the first to be transported out of the ghetto to the death camps. Organized in part by Rumkowski in an attempt to save Jewish lives.
In fact, in most of these articles, Roma and Sinte are barely mentioned except as footnotes. Not only that, but the largest camps that housed Roma and Sinte people are barely discussed at all.
I did however, find this map:
which lists many of the concentration camps that housed Roma and Sinte. It shows both Lety and Hodonin, as well as Belzec and Stutthof, but again not Jasenovac. However, articles about these camps do not mention much about the Roma and Sinte inmates. Not even in discussion of the Einsatzgruppen, or mobile killing squads, are Roma and Sinte mentioned in detail, even though they were often a primary target. Many massacres took place in cities such as Riga, Latvia; Kiev, Ukraine; and Dereczyn, Poland – and a large number of Roma and Sinte lost their lives this way.
I think one day I want to go to Berlin and visit the archive and spend as much time as it takes to write down every single Roma and Sinte name that I can find. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
Documentation on the persecution of the Roma (Gypsies) is abundant in archives and other repositories throughout Europe, the United States, and even in Israel.
It’s obviously not as easy to access such information. Even if I search their database of “name lists”… I can’t see that any such lists are returned in the search, the only lists appear to be statistical in nature and do not document individual names.
Sometimes it seems as though we don’t even exist.