a A

Persecuted by the Nazis, Deported to Concentration Camps, but not Acknowledged as Victims

Some survivors of the Nazi period had to struggle for acknowledgement and compensation for decades. The reason: They were Sinti and Roma. The book “Stimmen der Überlebenden des »Zigeunerlagers« Lackenbach” (Voices of the Survivors of the »Gypsy Camp« Lackenbach), which is based on thus far scarcely known sources in the archives of the International Tracing Service (ITS) and which was presented at the Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma in Heidelberg on 28 May 2014, documents this injustice.

The persecution of and discrimination against Sinti and Roma did not stop in 1945. This is illustrated by the volume “Stimmen der Überlebenden des »Zigeunerlagers« Lackenbach” (Voices of the Survivors of the »Gypsy Camp« Lackenbach), presented in Heidelberg by the editors, authors and the Deputy Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, Dr. Silvio Peritore. The book documents the struggle for the recognition of their suffering. Only now, 43 years after the end of the war, the “Gypsy Camp Lackenbach”, where hundreds of Sinti and Roma had suffered and died from physical abuse, forced labor, hunger and disease, were they acknowledged as a Nazi concentration camp.

Historically significant “Discoveries” with relevance for the world today

This publication is the first volume of the new series of books “Fundstücke” (Discoveries) of the International Tracing Service (ITS), which presents to the public thus far scarcely known, but historically significant testimonies from the period of German National Socialism and from the immediate post-WWII years. On the occasion of the book’s presentation, Dr. Susanne Urban, co-editor and head of Research and Education at the ITS, explained: “We are glad to be able to make available to research and education these documents and to work on these tasks ourselves as well. Prejudice in the form of racism, anti-Semitism and anti-ziganism – the full range of inhumane conceptions of human difference– are reflected in the documents at the ITS.” She also emphasized the book’s intention to highlight the relevance these documents still have for the world today.

Co-editor and author Sascha Feuchert, head of the Holocaust Literature Program at the University of Gießen, pointed out that through the choice of topics scholarly research had the right and the chance to encourage remembrance and, what is more, the commitment to act responsibly: “And it is just at this point where the remembrance of the Sinti and Roma victims is making us feel uneasy, but is gaining relevance, too – because Roma in Europe continue to be persecuted, discriminated against and humiliated. Still today, prejudice exists against this minority within the enlightened EU, even in Germany, partly with brutal consequences.”

The book is available now:

Fundstücke. Stimmen der Überlebenden des »Zigeunerlagers« Lackenbach
Edited by Susanne Urban, Sascha Feuchert and Markus Roth
Series of books: Fundstücke of the International Tracing Service, Bad Arolsen (Wallstein Verlag, 2014); Vol. 01
ISBN: 978-3-8353-1331-6
€ 9,90 incl. VAT plus postage

For orders please contact Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen: