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Nazi-fascist Legislation, The Erosion of Rights


• Germany Repressing the "gypsy scourge." Under the Weimar Republic in the spring of 1929, the National Committee Against Crime in Munich assumed the coordinating role for "the repression of the Gypsy scourge" throughout Germany. These procedures per se constituted the legal and operative but also cultural premise for the subsequent measures adopted by the Nazis, when they came to power in 1933... (Claudio Vercelli)
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• Italy The first Fascist regulations in Italy. During the Third Reich, persecution or, subsequently, mass murder was generally, if not exclusively, motivated by pseudo-scientific formulations based on theories of race. However in Italy, discrimination and violence against Gypsy communities practised by the Fascist regime can be ascribed to the more widespread logic that was concerned with the prevention of crime and the repression of deviant behaviors... Continue reading (Claudio Vercelli)


• Third Reich 1933: Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor. 1933 July 14: the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring is published. It allows for compulsory sterilization in cases of "congenital mental defects, schizophrenia, manic-depressive psychosis, hereditary epilepsy... and severe alcoholism." 1934: The Ministry of the Interior begins to finance and coordinate Centres for Racial Hygiene and Genetic Research... 

• Italy 1938 January 17: Arturo Bocchini orders the ethnic cleansing of the Roma and Sinti in Istria. 1938: The “Race Manifesto” is published in the Giornale d’Italia and Measures for Defence of the Italian Race are issued; Gypsies are not mentioned...

• Other European Countries 1934, Sweden: initiation of the sterilization of women belonging to Romany communities, a practice destined to continue until 1975. 1938, USSR: Stalin bans the use of the Roma language and culture... Continue reading


Historical Documents

Germany, Memorandum by the Gauleiter of Styria (Austria) regarding the solution of the "Gypsy Question", 9 January 1938, Berlin (Source: Yad Vashem Archives TR2\N11\1009\NG 845).

Germany, Document dated August 31st, 1938, dealing with the problem of finding locations in which to confine Gypsies (Source: Hancock I., "The pariah syndrome", Karoma Publishers, 1987).

 Germany, Document from the Oberbürgermeister of Hannover stating that the city did not want to serve as a Gypsy detention center, April 1st, 1939 (Source: Hancock I., "The pariah syndrome", Karoma Publishers, 1987).

Germany, Circular on the Fight against the Gipsy Nuisance issued by Himmler on 8 December 1938 (Source: M. Burleigh, W. Wippermann, “The Racial State: Germany 1933-1945”, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1991, pp. 120-121).

Further Reading

• Porrajmos – Council of Europe:  (Ideological Basis – Criminal Police and "Ethnogenetic Registration of Gypsies" – The First Deportations and Internment in Collecting Camps – Labour Camps – Mass Executions – The Ghetto Lodz – The "Auschwitz Erlass (Auschwit Decree) – Victims – The Survivors).

Corbelletto R., "Rom e sinti perseguitati nell'Italia fascista", in l'impegno, XXVIII, n^ 2, pp. 71-91.

Boursier G., "Gli Zingari nell'Italia fascista".

 Boursier G., “Gli Zingari nell'Italia fascista”, in Piasere L., a cura di, "Italia Romanì", n. 1, Roma, 1996, pp. 5-20.

Porrajmos in Italia – Memors.



Nazi-fascist legislation

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Eva Justin - Ritter's collection

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