Join the Team: Interested in being part of the Oppression.org Team? Drop us a line!
The Forgotten Holocaust: Gypsy Print E-mail
Written by Maryam Hilli   
Thursday, 19 August 2010 19:02

France’s controversial expulsion of Roma was due to begin on Thursday, with 79 being put on a flight out of the country.  The Roma travelling today are returning voluntarily after being paid 300 euros by the French government, but the interior minister has warned that gypsy camps will be forcibly dismantled and illegal residents deported within three months. The Romanian Foreign Minister has called the move “xenophobic.”

 

The Forgotten Holocaust: Gypsy

[Originally published on Oppression.org January 21, 2005]

 

Gypsies are scattered across the world in small groups and are not regarded as genuine people by some who view them as uncivilized beggars and thieves. Gypsies have always been stereotyped as nomadic people who live in caravans and lead a savage and flamboyant lifestyle. They are believed by some to have originated from Egypt since the term “gypsy” is an alteration of the word “Egyptian”, reflecting the belief during the middle-ages that these people were from the Egyptian origin. It is most likely that they originated in the Punjab region because it was found through a discovery that the language of the gypsies was quite similar to that of the Indo-European dialects. Another interpretation claims that they acquired the name “gypsies” from their settlement in the Greek Peloponnesus near a village named “Gyppe”. They (the gypsies) consistently call themselves Rom, or Roma, which means the people.


They are still regarded as one of the most oppressed minorities in the western world. In addition they are seen as the most despised and as a result they hardly receive sympathy from the society that surrounds them. Gypsies have been exploited as a group for many years for a variety of reasons. Their arrival was one of a scattered nation of people who were united by language culture and origin unable to defend their identity. They had no political or military strength and no geographical territory. Gypsies did not have a history or a religion, or even a language, (which was familiar to those around them). Association with the Islamic threat, their dark skin, and the various means of livelihood which exploited the superstitious nature of the Medieval Europeans, all helped instil a negative image of the common gypsy in the Western tradition.
The arrival of the gypsies in Europe was accepted at first by the Europeans, but as time went by, there began to be friction between the gypsies and the other Europeans. The enmity towards the gypsies was provoked by what was considered to be their strange appearance, eccentric way of living, and elite organization. This was only the beginning of an increasing line of oppression for the gypsies.
Under the Muslim rule in Spain the gypsies enjoyed freedom up until the Christian re-conquest in 1492. Between the years of 1499 and 1783, over a dozen laws were made most of them banning all forms of gypsy dress, language, and customs. The government did this in an attempt to force assimilation. The first official repression of gypsies in France occurred with the authorized command for their banishment from Paris in 1539. In 1563, under the threat of death the gypsies were expelled from England. During the 17th century many gypsies were forced to become slaves in Hungary and Romania, where their final liberation did not take place until 1855.
In Russia, their lifestyle was similar to the huge number of poverty-stricken peasants. In contrast many gypsies in the Balkans gained unusual benefits and independence of some sort, which was uncommon to their circle, by converting to Islam. Unfortunately, despite everything discrimination against gypsies continued.

They are still regarded as one of the most oppressed minorities in the western world. In addition they are seen as the most despised and as a result they hardly receive sympathy from the society that surrounds them. Gypsies have been exploited as a group for many years for a variety of reasons. Their arrival was one of a scattered nation of people who were united by language culture and origin unable to defend their identity. They had no political or military strength and no geographical territory. Gypsies did not have a history or a religion, or even a language, (which was familiar to those around them). Association with the Islamic threat, their dark skin, and the various means of livelihood which exploited the superstitious nature of the Medieval Europeans, all helped instil a negative image of the common gypsy in the Western tradition.


The arrival of the gypsies in Europe was accepted at first by the Europeans, but as time went by, there began to be friction between the gypsies and the other Europeans. The enmity towards the gypsies was provoked by what was considered to be their strange appearance, eccentric way of living, and elite organization. This was only the beginning of an increasing line of oppression for the gypsies.


Under the Muslim rule in Spain the gypsies enjoyed freedom up until the Christian re-conquest in 1492. Between the years of 1499 and 1783, over a dozen laws were made most of them banning all forms of gypsy dress, language, and customs. The government did this in an attempt to force assimilation. The first official repression of gypsies in France occurred with the authorized command for their banishment from Paris in 1539. In 1563, under the threat of death the gypsies were expelled from England. During the 17th century many gypsies were forced to become slaves in Hungary and Romania, where their final liberation did not take place until 1855.


In Russia, their lifestyle was similar to the huge number of poverty-stricken peasants. In contrast many gypsies in the Balkans gained unusual benefits and independence of some sort, which was uncommon to their circle, by converting to Islam. Unfortunately, despite everything discrimination against gypsies continued.

 

 

Comments  

 
0 #3 kimy 2013-04-09 17:18
Quoting Kaufmann:
Christa, how do you feel about the Jews being murdered in Israel by Arab terrorists?

Quote
 
 
0 #2 Kaufmann 2011-06-03 19:02
Christa, how do you feel about the Jews being murdered in Israel by Arab terrorists?
Quote
 
 
+1 #1 christa sherman 2011-05-30 01:04
I'm just wondering why no one ever talks about what happened to the Gypsies during the Hitler reign? I had no idea they were done this way nor did I have any idea so many of them were murdered. I've been reading about the Gypsies because of the new show on TLC "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding". I'm no where near being a Gypsy but I lived a life EXACTLY like this as a child. I'm a Heinz 57 to be honest a bit of German, Indian, Jew..& only God himself knows what else. My grandparents on one side are mostly Cherokee Indian & on the other Grandma is Jewish and my Grandpa is German..who's going to Kill Me or my child someday because we are not "Pure Bred"? I can't even tell you the pain and anger I feel when I read things like this! I remember as a little girl watching a film about the Holocaust I cried so hard I thought I'd be sick & had to leave the class room! I NEVER forgot what I saw. I just feel so much pain & so much anger! God be with these people!
Quote
 

Oppression Films

Scene Slate Clip Art
"Shia of Haiti
"
 

Artivist_logo.png (200×195)

Logo-UNAFF.gif (150×150)

Follow us on Twitter