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Dissertation on the persecution of Sinti and Roma in Italy

Rosa Cobelletto of the University of Turin spent two weeks at the International Tracing Service (ITS) archive researching her dissertation on the persecution of Sinti and Roma under Italian Fascism. Her research focuses on the deportations from 1943-1945. “The ITS archive is especially rich in information, as a lot of it has been amassed in one place,” said the historian.

Cobelletto has spent the last five years retracing history in numerous Italian archives, including the National Archives in Rome as well as regional collections. Her plan is now to write a dissertation on the topic. At the ITS, she is particularly interested in learning what happened to the victims after deportation: where they were murdered and how many survived. “The correspondence files have been helpful in many cases, as many families inquired in the 1960s,” reported Cobelletto. “This is a new and unique source for me.”

In addition, the researcher scrutinized the ITS collection of historical documents for information on the Germans´ concrete intentions and plans concerning the Italian Roma and Sinti. The goal of the Nazis´ racial fanaticism was the complete destruction of the minority group. An estimated 220,000 to 500,000 Sinti and Roma from all over Europe fell victim to the systematically planned genocide. They were interned and deported to ghettos and concentration camps or murdered in mass executions.

This is Cobelletto´s second visit to Bad Arolsen. “And I´m sure that I´ll return more often,” said the 30-year old. She hopes to present the results of her work in about a year.