Porajmos-The Roma Holocaust.

On 15 November 1943, Himmler ordered that Romani and “part-Romanies” were to be put “on the same level as Jews and placed in concentration camps”.

Between 1933 and 1945, Roma and Sinti in Europe were targets of Nazi persecution. Building on long-held prejudices, the Nazi regime viewed Roma as “a-socials” (outside “normal” society) and as racial “inferiors.” During World War II, the Nazis and their collaborators killed hundreds of thousands of Roma men, women, and children across German-occupied Europe.

Mass killings of Roma reached their pinnacle on July 31–August 2, 1944, when the Germans began the liquidation of the Zigeunerlager (“Gypsy camp”) at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Almost 3,000 Roma were put to death in this single operation.

Under the rule of Nazi Germany, the Roma were persecuted, detained and executed as part of the Holocaust. Roma call the Roma Genocide the Porajmos, which means the ‘Devouring’ in Romani language.

Drawing support from many non-Nazi Germans who harbored social prejudice towards Roma, the Nazis judged Roma to be “racially inferior.” The fate of Roma in some ways paralleled that of the Jews. Under the Nazi regime, German authorities subjected Roma to arbitrary internment, forced labor, and mass murder. German authorities murdered tens of thousands of Roma in the German-occupied territories of the Soviet Union and Serbia and thousands more in the killing centers at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka. The SS and police incarcerated Roma in the Bergen-Belsen, Sachsenhausen, Buchenwald, Dachau, Mauthausen, and Ravensbrück concentration camps. Both in the so-called Greater German Reich and in the so-called Generalgouvernement, German civilian authorities managed several forced-labor camps in which they incarcerated Roma.

Under Adolf Hitler, a supplementary decree to the Nuremberg Laws was issued on 26 November 1935, classifying the Roma as “enemies of the race-based state”.

Under the July 1933 sterilisation law, many Roma were sterilised against their will.

August 2nd is assigned Roma Holocaust Memorial day because on the night of 2nd August 1944, the remaining 2,897 Roma women, old men and children from the so called “Zigeunerlager” or “Gypsy” camp were killed in gas chambers. There were no Roma and Sinti survivors from Auschwitz concentration camp.

SS medical researchers assigned to the Auschwitz complex, such as SS Captain Dr. Josef Mengele, received authorization to choose human subjects for pseudoscientific medical experiments from among the prisoners. Mengele chose twins and dwarves, some of them from the Gypsy family camp, as subjects of his experiments. Approximately 3,500 adult and adolescent Roma were prisoners in other German concentration camps; medical researchers selected subjects from among the Roma incarcerated in Ravensbrück, Natzweiler-Struthof, and Sachsenhausen concentration camps for their experiments, either on site in the camps or at nearby institutes.

German military and SS-police units also shot at least 30,000 Roma in the Baltic States and elsewhere in the occupied Soviet Union, where Einsatzgruppen and other mobile killing units killed Roma at the same time that they killed Jews and Communists. In occupied Serbia, the German authorities killed male Roma in shooting operations during 1941 and early 1942. The total number of Roma killed in Serbia will never be known. Estimates range between 1,000 and 12,000.

In France, Vichy French authorities intensified restrictive measures against and harassment of Roma after the establishment of the collaborationist regime in 1940. In 1941 and 1942, French police interned at least 3,000 and possibly as many as 6,000 Roma, residents of both occupied France and unoccupied France. French authorities shipped relatively few of them to camps in Germany, such as Buchenwald, Dachau, and Ravensbrück.

Robert Ritter was a German racial scientist doctor of psychology and medicine, with a background in child psychiatry and the biology of criminality. In 1936, Ritter was appointed head of the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit of Nazi Germany’s Criminal Police, to establish the genealogical histories of the German Gypsies, both Roma and Sinti, and became the architect of the experiments Roma and Sinti were subjected to. His pseudo-scientific “research” in classifying these populations of Germany aided the Nazi government in their systematic persecution toward a goal of “racial purity”.

Roma woman with German police officer and Nazi psychologist Robert Ritter

Sometimes known as the “Forgotten Holocaust,” the Roma Genocide was excluded from the history of World War II for decades after the end of the war. There were no Roma witnesses at the Nuremberg Trials.

The genocide of Roma people wasn’t formally recognised until 1982. Until then, the West German government denied that Roma were subjects of racially motivated persecution. Instead, it was insisted that Roma were imprisoned for their ‘asocial’ and ‘criminal’ characteristics, allowing the government to avoid responsibility for racial discrimination and compensation for genocide.

sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/genocide-of-european-roma-gypsies-1939-1945

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/photo/victim-of-nazi-medical-experiments

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/nazi-medical-experiments

https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/explainers/what-roma-genocide

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Arthur Nebe-Responsible for at least 45,000 deaths.

There are some in Germany and in other countries who portray all of those involved in the 20 July plot as heroes. I believe this is a misinterpretation. Firstly they are not heroes because they did not succeed, Secondly there were quite a few of them who had no issues with the Nazi policies, but had more of an issue with Adolf Hitler.

Arthur Nebe was one of the plotters. He was to lead a team of 12 policemen to kill Himmler, but the signal to act never reached him. After the failed assassination attempt, Nebe fled and went into hiding.

Prior to this part in the plot, Nebe rose through the ranks of the Prussian police force to become head of Nazi Germany’s Criminal Police (Kriminalpolizei; Kripo) in 1936, which was amalgamated into the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) in 1939.

In an August 1939 speech, he defined crime as “a recurring disease on the body of the people.” This disease was supposedly passed hereditarily from criminals and “asocial individuals” to their children. In the Nazi state, asocials were people who behaved in a way considered outside of social norms. The category included people identified as vagabonds, beggars, prostitutes, pimps, and alcoholics; the work shy (arbeitsscheu); and the homeless. This category also included Roma. The Nazi regime viewed Roma as behaviorally abnormal and racially inferior. Defining crime as a disease connected to certain groups radicalized Kripo practice.

Kripo officials from the KTI developed early techniques to gas people en masse. In October 1939, Nebe instructed the KTI to experiment with methods of killing people with mental and physical disabilities. This effort was conducted in cooperation with the Euthanasia Program. A KTI chemical engineer and toxicology expert, Albert Widmann, tested possible killing methods. He ultimately suggested carbon monoxide gas. In fall 1941, Widmann helped create gas vans. The vans used carbon monoxide gas generated from exhaust fumes.

Planners of the Operation Reinhard killing centers adopted this development. At Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka, large motor engines were used to generate carbon monoxide gas for the gas chambers.

In 1941 during operation Barbarossa, Nebe volunteered to serve as the commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe B, one of the four mobile death squads of the SS. During Nebe’s tenure, this deadly unit was responsible for the mass murders of 45,000 people in the areas around Bialystok, Minsk, and Mogilev. Many of these victims were Jews. Nebe was not forced to take control of this Unit, he volunteered.

In July, 1941 ,Arthur Nebe reported that a “solution to the Jewish problem” was “impractical” in his region of operation due to “the overwhelming number of the Jews”, as in there were too many Jews to be killed by too few men.By August 1941, Nebe came to realize that his Einsatzgruppe’s resources were insufficient to meet the expanded mandate of the killing operations, due to the inclusion of Jewish women and children since that month. This mean seem to some as a person with a conscience, but the only reason he said these things , is not because he didn’t want to kill more Jews, he said it because he did feel he he had enough men to do the job. Just let that train of though sink in for a minute.

In late 1941, Nebe was posted back to Berlin and resumed his career with the RSHA. Nebe commanded the Kripo until he was denounced and executed after the failed attempt to kill Adolf Hitler in July 1944.

Nebe was arrested in January 1945 after a former mistress betrayed him. He was sentenced to death by the People’s Court on 2 March and, according to official records, was executed in Berlin at Plötzensee Prison on 21 March 1945 by being hanged with piano wire from a meat hook, in accordance with Hitler’s order that the bomb plotters were to be “hanged like cattle”.

sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-july-20-1944-plot-to-assassinate-adolf-hitler

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-nazi-kripo-criminal-police-1

Trying to please the monsters.

I was watching a documentary last night called” Lost Home movies of Nazi Germany”. The documentary contained footage taken by German civilians and German soldiers.

Some of the footage was truly horrendous but other parts of the footage appeared on first glance quite pleasing. For example it showed a young attractive woman dancing topless for some German soldiers.

However when I thought about it later and put it in context, those pleasing images suddenly became very disturbing. The film material was taken in the USSR during operation Barbarossa , and the young woman dancing was a Gypsy girl. It occurred to me that she wasn’t dancing half naked because she enjoyed it, she was dancing because she thought it would please the monsters that had invaded her village. In her culture as in many other cultures women would not show themselves naked in front of men, unless it was their husband.

Initially I didn’t want to post the pictures, but I thought it was important to show that forgotten side of the horrors of the Holocaust. And also to celebrate the beauty of this young woman, not only the external beauty but also internal beauty and the courageous soul she was. She must have realized that this could also result in her being raped.

The footage also showed how hypocritical and condescending the Nazis were . One soldier got his hand palm read while sneering at the woman.

There were other young women who tried to look their best, again to find favour with their occupiers.

Gypsies were seen as sub humans by the Nazis, but when it suited them they were willing to temporarily ignore that. If it would suit the purpose to make them feel good about themselves, or to play God over these women, they would even flirt with them. Knowing well that these women would possibly be murdered, even by themselves.

I don’t know what happened to these women. Even if they survived the war, there is a chance they would have been punished after the war for ‘entertaining’ the enemy.

That same enemy who would gawk from a distance at a beautiful woman dancing half naked for her survival, risking being raped or worse. The gawking soldier who looks more like a peeping tom.

source

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000crdh

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Dr.Robert Ritter and Eva Justin

Ritter

One lesson that many people haven’t learned from the Nazi era is that scientist don’t always have the best interest of humanity at heart. They often are driven by their own curiosity rather then what’s best for their fellow man. Yet people often follow their advise blindly, without questioning motives or who funds the research carried out by scientists. This week I heard a newly elected politician say during an interview on the radio”Why wouldn’t we trust scientists?” A statement like that scares me. Not because I am anti scientists, far from it, science has made so many positive changes in our lives, but it scares me because it is accepted without being questioned. Science is like any other thing in life, don’t just accept things because someone says it is the right thing to do.

Dr.Robert Ritter was a German scientist. The Nazis established the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit  in 1936. Which was  headed and run  by Dr. Robert Ritter and his assistant Eva Justin.

Their task was  to conduct an extensive  in-depth study of the “Gypsy question  and to provide the regime with the data which would be used for policies to set up a new Reich “Gypsy law”. After a substantial fieldwork in the spring of 1936. The research consisted of interviews and medical examinations to ascertain the racial classification of the Roma, the Unit concluded that the majority of  Romani,  were not of “pure Gypsy blood”,  and posed a danger to German racial purity and should be deported or eliminated.

BLODD

Ronert Ritter, who was  a psychiatrist,with a background in child psychiatry and the biology of criminality, hoped to determine the links between heredity and criminality. With funding from the German Association for Scientific Research and access to police records. In 1937  he began to systematically interview all the Gypsies living in Germany.

In a report of his research findings in 1940, Ritter concluded that 90 percent of the Gypsies native to Germany were “of mixed blood.” He described such Gypsies as “the products of mating with the German criminal asocial sub-proletariat.” He further characterized Gypsies as a “primitive” people incapable of real social adaptation.”

Eva and Robert

Eva Justin was an anthropologist, she specialised in so-called scientific racism. (a pseudo-scientific belief that verifiable evidence exists to support or justify racism (racial discrimination).

Justin was one of the first Registered Nurses to earn a PhD. She was able to speak the  Romani language, which earned  her the trust of Roma and Sinti people. Her doctoral thesis was titled “Lebensschicksale artfremd erzogener Zigeunerkinder und ihrer Nachkommen” (fates of alienated educated gypsy children and their descendants)

romani

The children that Justin studied had been selected for deportation. However the transport was delayed to facilitate the conclusion of  her research and until she received her PhD. The children were then sent to the Gypsy family camp at Auschwitz on 6 May 1943. Just over 3 weeks later on May, 30 1943, Josef Mengele  became  chief medical officer of the Romani family camp  at Auschwitz. Some of the children were subjected to his experiments and most were eventually killed in the gas chamber. Approximately 39 or 40 children that Justin had studied were sent to Auschwitz , and all but four died before the end of the war, many before her thesis was published.

She was present when the Sinti and Roma deportations to concentration camps were organized.

ANTHRO

Despite the de-Nazification of Germany after World War II, Ritter was not required to take responsibility for his actions during Nazi rule.

In post-war West Germany, Justin worked as a psychologist for the Frankfurt police, even acting as a consultant to the legal system for compensation cases for Holocaust survivors.She died from cancer in 1966 in Offenbach am Main, a city on the outskirts of Frankfurt. In 1958 the Frankfurt district attorney initiated an investigation into Justin’s wartime actions, but the investigation was closed in 1960.

 

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Sources

USHMM

Bundesarchiv

 

The Sea water experiments-Evil Science.

sea water

In 1798 the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” was published by he English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The most famous line of the poem is “Water, water, every where,Nor any drop to drink.”

There are several theories in relation to the inspiration of the poem but the above mentioned line refers to the fact that one or more sailors were stranded in the ocean without any fresh water. Indicating that although there was an abundance of water, it was not fir for human consumption. Because drinking sea water can lead to dehydration among other ailments and eventually to death.

This knowledge did not stop Dr. Hans Eppinger and Dr. Wilhelm Beiglböck.

From July 1944 to September 1944, experiments were carried out at the Dachau concentration camp to see if it was possible to the viability of make sea water fit for consumption.Another goal  was to see if the prisoners would suffer any severe physical symptoms or death within a period of 6–12 days.

At one stage ,a group of roughly 90 Roma prisoners were deprived of food and given nothing but sea water to drink.Witnesses reported that the test subjects  had been seen licking the floors they had mopped in an attempt to get some water. Sometimes chemicals were added to the water to eliminate the salty taste

Many of the subjects who received  sea water ended up suffering excruciating torture, diarrhea, convulsions, hallucinations, foaming at the mouth, and in most cases, madness or death.

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Django’s lucky escape

Django

The title of this blog is not referring to a Western film, it is actually referring to an extraordinary event during WWII.

Django Reinhard is one of my favourite guitarists it is actually because of him (and Jim Croce) I picked up a guitar myself. Although I am an admirer of his music and even more his style of playing I didn’t know too much about Django during WWII. I had always assumed he had escaped Europe on time.

It was only after watching a documentary on BBC 4 called Tunes for Tyrants, presented by Suzy Klein, I discovered that Django not only survived the war he also thrived.

You may think “What is so extraordinary about that?” Django was a Belgian born Roma French jazz guitarist. Three words in the last line is what makes it extraordinary, Roma Jazz Guitarist.

Roma’s were persecuted in Nazi occupied Europe, about 1 million Roma-Gypsies perished in extermination camps or as a result of forced labour.

Jazz was considered degenerate music in the Third Reich.

degenerate

However Jazz was allowed in Paris, because Hitler did not care about the ‘spiritual well being’ of the French. Django had lived in the UK before the war but had returned to Paris when the war broke out in 1939,leaving his wife behind and eventually divorcing her.

In 1943, Reinhardt married Sophie Ziegler in Salbris. The could had a son, Babik Reinhardt.

Because Django and his family were Roma, he tried to escape Nazi occupied France, His first attempt failed he and his family were caught ,but lady luck smiled on them for a Luftwaffe officer Dietrich Schulz-Köhn,who was an ardent Jazz fan and knew Django and his music, allowed Django and his family return to Paris. If Köhn would not have done that the Reinhard family would have surely ended up in a concentration camp.

Django remained nervous though for he knew there was always a chance that he’d still be arrested some day and be sent away. Although he did attempt to flee France again, he was send back at the Swiss border.

He remained in Paris and his music was enjoyed by the Parisians but also by the Nazis. Django actually managed to make quite a bit of money during those years. One of his songs, “Nuages,” did  become an unofficial anthem in Paris to signify hope for liberation.

He did change his musical direction somewhat though, because Jazz although allowed in Paris was still considered degenerate music, and the laisse faire attitude the Nazis in Paris had towards it  could change any minute. He attempted to  He tried to write a Mass for the Gypsies and a symphony.

Django guitar

I would really recommend watching the 3 part documentary series ‘Tunes for Tyrants’ on BBC 4. It gives a great overview of the musical history during the world war 2 era and the years before it.

Ending this blog withe the aforementioned “Nuages”

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