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Gypsies and the Death Camps

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"Gypsies and the Death Camps"
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Little is truly known about the Gypsies of the World War II era. This is mostly due to the fact that the fact majority of Gypsies were illiterate. Gypsies truly are an ethnic race of people. They are called the Roma or Romani. They have their own dialect which is actually descended from the Sanskrit. Romani are actually a race of people who are Indian in origin. They began wandering and immigrated out of India in the Middle Ages.

The Romani tended to be a race of people that stood out from others in Europe. They did not mix well and tended to remain aloof and apart from others in the countries. This only added to the growing prejudice against them that seems so often to happen when a race of people is viewed as 'different' from the normal.

The Nazis were finally able to focus on the extermination of the Gypsies on January 30, 1940 when a decision was made to export thirty thousand Roma people from Germany into Poland. This would start the major deportation and murder of this peaceful race of people.

Prior to 1942, Heinrich Himmler played with the idea of only sterilizing the Gypsies of Germany. Close to a thousand poor souls met this fate but in the end after the sterilization they were not even saved. Their ultimate demise would be the death camps.

Soon Heinrich Himmler would issue the orders to began transporting all Gypsies to the Concentration Death Camps. The gypsies were automatically sent to the infamous death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. Of the twenty thousand Gypsies who sent to this concentration camp, virtually all of them were automatically executed through the gas chambers.

In the death camp of Treblinka, thousand Gypsies were sent. Of those thousand, only two hundred were men. The rest were women and small children. All were automatically sent to their death in the gas chambers.

In some cases, it was just too difficult and costly to deport the gypsies to the concentration camps. So orders were issued that stated to shoot all gypsies on sight. So this erupted into a mass execution of the Romas. They were killed on sight. Shot down like dogs in the street in most cases. Entire families.

Ultimately, over five hundred thousand Gypsies would perish in the death camps right alongside the Jews. Their only crime was that they were viewed as 'different' by the Nazis. They were truly on a gentle race of people who loved to wander and never seemed to settle long in one place. But this made them 'different' to the Nazis and anything that was different was viewed as inferior so was to be destroyed by the Nazis.

More about this author: Kim Sharpe

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