The genocide carried out against the Roma and Sinti communities of Europe by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Second World War – the persecution and murder of as many as 500,000 people – has been referred to as ‘the forgotten Holocaust’ by Professor Eve Rosenhaft. After the war, survivors and relatives of victims struggled to get recognition and compensation for the persecution and losses they had suffered. In Britain and Europe today, prejudice and discrimination against Roma and Sinti is still common.
Our exhibition, Forgotten Victims: The Nazi Genocide of the Roma and Sinti, draws upon The Wiener Holocaust Library’s collections of material on the genocide to uncover the story of this little-known aspect of Nazi persecution. Our archives hold a wide range of relevant materials including eye-witness accounts, photographs, documents and books.
The exhibition explores Roma and Sinti life in Germany and Austria prior to the Second World War, and genocidal policies starting in German-occupied Poland in 1940. It also examines the post-war lives and legacies for Roma and Sinti, who fought to obtain recognition and compensation for their oppression. Finally, the exhibition reflects on the situation in Britain and Europe today and why Roma and Sinti have often been the ‘forgotten victims’ of genocide.
The Wiener Holocaust Library are delighted to announce that a version of our exhibition, Forgotten Victims: The Nazi Genocide of the Roma and Sinti, is being launched by the United Nations to mark Roma Holocaust Memorial Day 2020. You can explore the full online version here.
Forgotten Victims Event Series
The exhibition run included a series of events designed to amplify themes in the exhibition.
- Touring Exhibition Launch: Roma Stories. 26 November 2019
- The Romani Genocide and its Aftermath: The Uses of the Past Workshop co-organised with the AHRC Research Network and the University of Liverpool. 6-7 November 2019
- Keynote Lecture: Recording Romani Lives: The Use and Abuse of History for the Marginalized. Professor Ari Joskowicz. 6 November 2019
- Talk: The Rescue and Self-Rescue of Roma and Jews in Ukraine during the Holocaust. Hanna Abakunova. 9 March 2020
We have been delighted to receive the following press coverage for this exhibition:
- The Guardian Nazi directives and accounts of Roma genocide go on display (27.10.19)
- Al Jazeera Roma Holocaust: Amid rising hate, ‘forgotten’ victims remembered (30.10.19)
- Londonist Things to do in London (30.10.19)
- Museum Crush The Wiener Holocaust Library tells the tragic story of the Roma and Sinti Holocaust (31.10.19)
- The Jewish Chronicle We must speak up for the Roma, the ‘forgotten’ victims (31.10.19)
- Smithsonian Magazine London Library Spotlights Nazi Persecution of the Roma and Sinti (8.11.19)
- TIME The Persecution of the Roma is Often Left Out of the Holocaust Story. Victims’ Families are Fighting to Change That (12.11.19)
- The Daily Beast Forgotten Genocide: How a Quarter of Europe’s Roma Were Murdered by the Nazis, then Erased from History (17.11.19)
- BBC World Update Forgotten Victims: The Nazi Genocide of the Roma and Sinti (18.11.19)
- Pi Media Exhibition Review: Forgotten Victims at Wiener Holocaust Library (21.11.19)
- Memoria Magazine Forgotten Victims: The Genocide of the Roma and Sinti (November Issue)
- BBC History Magazine A painful legacy (December Issue)
- London Review of Books At the Wiener Holocaust Library (17.01.20)
- Haaretz Slave Labor, Mass Shootings and Gas Chambers: How the Nazi Genocide of the Roma Has Been Forgotten (20.01.20)
- The Conversation Nazis murdered a quarter of Europe’s Roma, but history still overlooks this genocide (24.01.20)
- Each Other The Legacy Of The ‘Forgotten Holocaust’: ‘Anti-Roma Racism Is Still Acceptable‘ (27.01.20)
- Prospect Magazine Forgotten by whom? Why it’s more important than ever to remember the Roma Holocaust (03.02.20)