Gypsies: Nazi Targets In The Holocaust

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Gypsies, also known as Roma, originate from India. In the late middle ages, they wandered around the world, and eventually reached Europe. According to Nazi ideology, gypsies are Aryans, but were still considered to be racially inferior to the Nazis, and were ‘parasites’ living off the host nation. They were discriminated, and were seen as thieves and kidnappers not only in Germany, but throughout Europe. Many people were also suspicious of them being engaged in witchcraft. The 1935 Nuremburg Laws were also applied to gypsies. Mixed marriages between gypsies and Germans were prohibited, and they were labelled to be ‘work-shy’ and ‘asocial’ with a liking to engage in crime. Gypsies were Nazi targets since the start of the war in September 1939.…show more content…
Just like Jews, gypsies lived in ghettos, and were forbidden to move around freely. The ghettos were concentrated, and many people died there due to starvation and diseases. For example, when a severe typhus epidemic broke out in the gypsy section of the Lodz ghetto, the Germans refused to provide medical care for them, and so many gypsies died. From the ghettos, they would be sent to concentration camps, mainly Auschwitz-Birkenau, the gypsy camp, where large numbers of them were killed. The first transport of gypsies to concentration camps was in 1943, with Auschwitz-Birkenau as their final…show more content…
Some wanted to enjoy their last moments, as they knew it was very unlikely to make it out alive. This led to them engaging in prostitution and drinking. There were also people who stole food, which led to severe punishments; usually death. Escaping was another option, which was extremely difficult, because most people worked inside the camp, and not outside. Nevertheless, there were people who still took that chance and tried to escape. Most of these people were executed. Their only hope of surviving was being transported to other camps, while the rest, usually women, children and the elderly, stayed at Auschwitz and were sent to gas chambers. This is what happened to the gypsy Karl

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