Germany's Policies toward Sinti and Roma: Living Apartheid?

Alphia Abdikeeva1

In Nazi Germany, Sinti2 and Roma were among the main targets of Nazi extermination policies, along with Jews, the mentally disabled and homosexuals.3 In today's Germany, Sinti and Roma remain one of the main targets of discrimination, exclusion and intolerance, together with refugees and other undesirable foreigners. Despite the acknowledgement by the German government in 1982 of the genocide against Sinti and Roma during the National Socialist era, and recognition of German Sinti and Roma as a national minority in its Declaration on the Framework Convention on National Minorities in 1997, the majority of Sinti and Roma in Germany today continue to live in exclusion and destitution.

Hundreds of thousands of Sinti and Roma were killed during the Holocaust,4 after having been robbed of their possessions, deported to concentration camps and, in many instances, sterilised or subjected to inhuman medical experimentation by German authorities or their stooges. Sinti and Roma who returned to Germany from concentration camps after World War II continued to be routinely harassed by the police and other authorities – often by the same people who had previously ordered their deportation to death camps. The genocide of Sinti and Roma was not acknowledged officially until 1982. Sinti and Roma were excluded from mainstream society and, having secured housing only in wagons or other poor quality accommodation on the outskirts of the towns or cities, were neglected for decades.5

Roma who arrived in Germany as migrant workers from the 1950s onwards have shared the fate of other post-World War II migrants, frequently having lived in Germany for generations without being able to integrate into the society or secure permanent residence or citizenship in Germany. They reportedly face intolerance and, at times, open violence.6 Roma who arrived in Germany as refugees in the early 1990s share the fate of other refugees and asylum-seekers and see a legislative and administrative noose tightening around them, forcing their "voluntary return" or deportation to their "country of origin" where their physical safety cannot be assured.7

Ghettos

The German government stated, in its first regular report to the Advisory Committee on the Implementation of the Framework Convention for National Minorities, that "statistics based on ethnic criteria are not gathered."8 There is an extreme under-production of data on the situation of Roma and Sinti in Germany. According to local Sinti and Romani non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Germany, the majority of German Roma and Sinti today live in substandard housing in remote segregated areas, often in areas considered hazardous to human health.9 Some Romani and Sinti families still live in the temporary trailer homes in which they were housed by German authorities after they returned from concentration camps in 1945.10 In addition to problems concerning living conditions, Roma and Sinti also endure very high rates of unemployment and limited access to education in Germany. The first time the issue of the precarious social situation of German Sinti and Roma was raised seriously was during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.11 But concrete projects carried out afterward in individual German states (Länder) by and large resulted only in providing "temporary" housing, where many people continue living today. Thereafter, the myth arose that Sinti and Roma have been successfully "integrated" in Germany.

In the Fröttmaninger district in suburban Munich, Bavaria, some 400 Sinti families lived in "temporary" housing containers from 1972 until they were rehoused on January 15, 2002.12 The settlement was located along a highway, far from the centre of Munich, and for a long time, was virtually inaccessible by public transportation. At the time of my visit there, in early January 2002, the thin walls of the houses did not have any insulation, and did not protect inhabitants from cold temperatures or humidity. In order to maintain a reasonable temperature inside, residents used oil lamps for heating or burnt wood in rudimentary stoves. In the absence of ventilation, these practices left a black residue on the walls. Ms Uta K. and Ms Susan C., two social workers who work regularly with Sinti and Roma in Munich, told me during an interview that, due to humidity and a lack of adequate ventilation, the inside of many homes were covered with mold.13 In the 1990s, Fröttmaninger grew into a major industrial zone and some infrastructure developed: For example, a metro line was extended to the area. According to social workers, in 1998, the automobile company BMW made an offer to the government of Munich to buy the land for its own purposes. The government of Munich reportedly accepted the lucrative deal and arranged for resettlement of the resident Sinti families to another area. The social workers stated that this resettlement was carried out in consultation with community members, who initially feared resettlement back into trailers but reportedly were "very pleased to see normal, brick-made houses."14 However, such consultation is reportedly unusual. Also, in the words of the social workers, it was a "piece of luck that BMW wanted the land, because God knows how much longer these people would have had to live in these conditions."15 Relocation took place on January 15, 2002.

According to Germany's first report to the Advisory Committee on the Implementation of the Framework Convention for National Minorities, a German Parliament (Bundestag) Resolution dated June 26, 1986, adopted by all parliamentary factions, confirmed the need for the improvement of living conditions and for the promotion of the integration of Sinti and Roma into society.16 However, most efforts to improve the living conditions of Sinti and Roma are apparently carried out without consulting the members of the community, often with quite negative consequences. For example, in the 1980s in the city of Freiburg, in the state of Bavaria, authorities built new homes, schools and a recreation centre for Sinti in a compact area reportedly without adequate consultation with local Sinti or others – on the assumption that Sinti wanted to stay together. However, German residents gradually moved out, leaving the area effectively ethnically segregated.17

Sinti/Romani "neighbourhoods" are often in remote areas, are generally poorly maintained and have inadequate infrastructure. For example, in Düsseldorf, in North Rhine-Westphalia, a settlement of several hundred German Sinti families is located on the outskirts of the city, along the highway. The only means of public transportation to the area is a bus that goes twice an hour during working hours and once an hour during off-peak hours. The houses are brick-made, one-story houses, with occasional trailer homes (Wohnwagen). A social worker explained to me that individuals at the local social office had been pressing for full implementation of the construction project for the past 10-15 years.18 At the time I visited, several houses at the end of the settlement had problems with heating, and according to residents, the temperature in these houses in the winter months frequently dropped to as low as 13 to 15 degrees Celcius.19 Construction by the Sinti residents themselves is reportedly complicated by bureaucratic obstacles. A young couple was trying to build a separate house for themselves on the edge of the settlement (on a place already being used for piling garbage), but had not been able to secure official permission, because it was technically past the end of the plot. The social worker said that the couple could build "at their own risk," but if the authorities found out about the illegal construction, the house would have to be taken down.20 A resident of one of the trailer homes in the settlement reportedly recently had separated from his wife and, at the time of my visit, lived in a trailer because he could not secure any other housing. Most of the local Sinti reportedly have little education and are unemployed.

In Heidelberg, in the state of Baden-Württemberg, hundreds of German Sinti families live outside the city limits. Their one-story houses are rather new and built from brick, but in an area recognised as ecologically polluted. The water in the area is not potable. The Henkel chemical company owns a plant situated across the street from the Sinti homes (the street was formerly called Industriestrasse – "Industry Street" – but is now renamed after the Henkel company).21 The majority of residents are reportedly unemployed.

The Dreilinden camping facility for Roma and Sinti, travelling in Germany as seasonal workers in the months of May through October, located in Wannsee on the outskirts of Berlin, is the result of a gesture by the Berlin Senate. Since 1995, Berlin authorities have operated this facility at an annual cost of around 500,000 German marks (around 255,000 euros).22 Families are charged a fee for a parking place. The facility extends about 100 metres along the railroad. At the time of my visit to the site on November 25, 2001, the "houses" at the site ranged from trailer homes to wooden cabins to huts constructed from planks. Walls, where there were walls, were covered with racist graffiti. Roads were unpaved, and infrastructure was minimal.

Mr Daniel Strauss, chair of the Landesverband Deutscher Sinti und Roma of Baden-Württemberg, described, in an article in a local newspaper, the desperate living conditions of hundreds of Sinti families in Ummenwinkel, a town in Baden-Württemberg, stating, "It cannot go on like this."23 The wooden houses in this desolate Sinti settlement were reportedly so old that they were practically falling apart. According to Mr Strauss, the lack of sanitary facilities reportedly was also a reason that "many children are ill."24 As of December 2001, a project to improve the living conditions of local Sinti families in the area was reportedly threatened – and not for the first time – due to lack of financial resources.25 Previously, because of the financial constraints of the local government, several elementary schools and the intermediate school in the neighbourhood were closed down. Most Sinti children were reportedly transferred to St Christina, the nearest and only school available in the area, a school for children with learning disabilities.26

In Hamburg, members of the non-governmental organisation Rom und Cinti Union, who work closely with Romani families in greater Hamburg, stated that the living conditions of the majority of local Sinti and Roma are awful.27 Apartments are reportedly generally in old houses with minimal infrastructure, such as poor heating systems (coal or oil), damp air, poor or no ventilation. In some instances there is no lighting in common areas (for example staircases), and in general the buildings are poorly maintained by responsible authorities. These living conditions, in the words of NGO mediators working with the Romani families, are also a reason for a high incidence of health-related problems, such as asthma and rheumatism, among the residents.28

Similar living conditions among Sinti and Roma are reported throughout Germany. However, when the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, in its Concluding Observations of an August 2000 session, noted with concern a pattern of ethnic segregation in housing in Germany, the response of the German government representative was that "[I]nsofar as foreign citizens in Germany live in self-contained communities in conurbations, they do this because this is what they want."29 Remarkably, Sinti and Roma are also widely perceived as foreigners, despite their 600-year history in Germany.30

Areas of "compact" settlement of German Sinti and Roma, as well as of Roma who are in Germany as seasonal workers or refugees, are reportedly an easy target for right-wing extremists. On July 30, 2001, for example, in Wildau, in the state of Brandenburg, the campsite of some 40 Roma was bombed with Molotov cocktails and set on fire.31 The perpetrators of the attack were never identified. Ms Angelika Christen, a spokesperson for the police, reportedly ruled out racist motives behind the incident.32 Romani leaders in Berlin criticised authorities for being inefficient in finding and prosecuting the alleged perpetrators. In a statement addressed to the Berlin authorities, the NGO Romano Rat e.V. called attention to the fact that too many perpetrators of terrorist acts against Roma and Sinti remain "unidentified" and therefore not prosecuted. The group urged that investigations should be carried in good faith.33

A broom outside a grocery store in Hamburg, Germany, from a database of similar photographs gathered by the NGO Roma National Congress (RNC). RNC states that the practice is a German folk tradition intended "to keep away witches and Gypsies."
Photo: Roma National Congress

Discrimination and Hostility

A survey conducted by the EMNID Institute in March 1994 found that some 68 percent of Germans did not wish to have Sinti/Romani neighbours.34 Some German politicians also occasionally let slip statements that disturbingly echo rhetoric of the Nazi-era. Mr Gerd Koch, a candidate for the post of Mayor in Leer, reportedly referred to Roma as "detritus in [German] society and culture."35 A functionary of the notorious right-wing party Die Republikaner reportedly publicly called Mr Michael Friedman, the Vice-President of the Zentralrat Deutscher Sinti und Roma, a "Gypsy-Jew" (Zigeunerjude) – but was acquitted of criminal charges for defamation by the State Court of Bavaria in August 2001.36

The exclusion of Sinti and Roma in Germany is thus a reflection of a general aversion to Sinti and Roma, and private employers and service providers, including flat-owners, evidently respond to the racist sentiments among non-Romani customers. For example, in 1996 in Bochum, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, a flat-owner reportedly refused to lease to a Sinti family, solely on the grounds that they were "Gypsies". The family appealed in court. However, a judge of the District Court ruled on September 25, 1996, that the owner had not violated the law when he refused to accept the Sinti family as tenants because: "Traditionally, this ethnic group is predominantly unsettled and […] unrepresentative of the average suitable tenant […]."37 The Heidelberg-based umbrella organisation Zentralrat Deutscher Sinti und Roma challenged this decision before the European Court of Human Rights, but the application was declared inadmissible.

According to the German daily Junge Welt, in July and August 2001, in Bad Hersfeld, in the state of Hesse, many instances were reported in which agencies refused to lease flats to Sinti and Roma. In the municipality of Hohe Luft, a written notice was posted stating that "rental contracts with Sinti will be concluded only when a flat previously used by another Sinti lessee becomes available." The mayor of Hersfeld, Mr Hartmut Bochmer, reportedly stated that private rental agencies are free to conclude or not conclude any rental contracts. To the question of how it was possible to identify Sinti, Mayor Bochmer reportedly answered, "We know our clients."38

In Helsa, a village near the city of Kassel, the owner of the agency Goldener/Adler was reportedly forced to renege on a house sale concluded with a Sinti family after threats of retaliation if he sold the house to "Gypsies".39 According to an article in the local press, the house stayed empty because the owner "lost courage" after repeated anonymous telephone threats, a burglary, acts of vandalism to his property, and even a personal attack against him.40

Discrimination against Sinti and Roma in Germany is pervasive not only in access to housing. The Landesverband Deutscher Sinti und Roma in Landau, Rhineland-Palatinate, has reported instances of discrimination against Sinti and Roma in the provision of insurance and in the communications sector, particularly in the installation of telephones.41 In August 2001, in Offenbach, Sinti and Roma were reportedly refused entry to the swimming pool facility Rosenhoehe Einlass. Technical support worker Gerhard Eidmann was quoted in the German daily Junge Welt as having stated, "We don't want any more Gypsies in the swimming pool," reasoning that "they spend the whole day in the pool."42

In another case, in Cologne, Mr Christian Mettbach, a 32-year-old German Sinto registered as a gardener with the city's manpower agency, reportedly was fired because he refused to go to work at a cemetery.43 Certain activities are taboo to Sinti, such as work in hospitals and cemeteries, which are regarded as unclean places. The employer reportedly dismissed Mr Mettbach adding that the Sinto "falsely" registered himself as a gardener.44 Mr Mettbach appealed his dismissal in court, and lost the first action at a labour court in Cologne.45

Racial Profiling

Since Sinti and Roma are generally settled in compact areas, these areas are commonly referred to as "Gypsy" addresses. Employers are reportedly able to determine whether an applicant for a job is a Romani individual by the home address. Mr Herbert Heuss, chair of the Eppenheim-based Project Förderung Sinti und Roma Initiativen, stated during an interview that when somebody fills in a job application form with one of several common addresses, employers know who is applying.46 Segregation in housing thus facilitates racial profiling by German officials and others, and allegedly aids pervasive discrimination against Sinti and Roma in employment.

Until very recently, Bavarian authorities carried out official racial profiling of Sinti and Roma.47 Following domestic and international criticism48 and a law suit filed by Sinti and Roma organisations in the Bavarian Constitutional Court, police authorities declared in October 2001 that they would not continue the practice.49 The forms would now reportedly indicate only four types of suspects: North-European, Mediterranean, African and Asian, leaving the graph "Personentyp Sinti/Roma" blank or crossed out.50 However, euphemistic references reportedly continue. For example, in a recent announcement by the Bavarian police in connection with reported instances of fraud, the public was alerted to take precautions when dealing with persons belonging to a "mobile ethnic minority with Southern appearance."51

Sinti and Romani organisations allege that unofficial practices of racial profiling persist in most German states and that authorities co-operate in sharing and exchanging this information inter-state.52 Allegations have been made that such shared ethnic information is being used by authorities for, among other things, preventing Sinti and Roma from renting flats or houses.
Romani Refugees

In its Declaration on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the German government names "German Sinti and Roma" as one of Germany's four national minorities.53 The Declaration thereby implicitly excludes from protection those Roma who are foreigners in Germany – including Romani refugees – as well as formally stateless Sinti and Roma.54 Refugees, many of whom are Roma, have limited rights, including limited freedom of movement, and frequently reside in officially designated refugee settlements, whether they wish to or not. Living conditions in refugee settlements are reportedly very bad throughout Germany.55

Since summer 2001, the city of Cologne, in North Rhine-Westphalia, has been involved in a heated controversy over moving Romani refugees from the former Yugoslavia, who have been resident in Cologne since the early 1990s, to a specifically designated refugee settlement outside Cologne.56 The former military barracks where Romani refugees had been settled previously flooded frequently, and authorities decided to move Roma to "containers" in a new settlement in the town of Kalk. The "containers" are wooden constructs built according to an equation whereby each person is deemed to require 3.5 square metres of space. The children of the few dozens of Romani families that had been moved to the Kalk settlement as of November 2001 complained that it was "boring" there – the settlement contains no playground, buildings are unfinished and there are leftover materials and piles of dirt lying around.57

However, there are more serious issues with the Kalk site than the lack of a playground. In the 1960s, a chemical plant was built in Kalk. Subsequently, the plant was closed, but the area was not resettled because it was officially recognised as hazardous to human health. Recent tests have shown that there are high concentrations of arsenic and lead in the ground. The concentration of lead (1,700 milligrams per cubic metre) exceeds the federally allowed maximum for an adult by 4.25 times (400 milligrams per cubic metre) and for a child by 8.5 times (200 milligrams per cubic metre). The concentration of arsenic (69 milligrams per cubic metre) exceeds maximum by close to 1.5 times for an adult (50 milligrams per cubic metre) and almost three times for a child (25 milligrams per cubic metre).58 Roma demonstrated against the resettlement, but a spokesperson for the Cologne government, Mr Karl-Heinz Merfeld, was quoted in the daily Kölnische Rundshau as saying, "The policy [on refugees] is clear and the city will stand firm."59 Authorities reportedly claimed they would "review the proof" of the alleged heavy metal concentration in the ground.60 Romani NGOs appealed to the city court to stop the resettlement and to rehouse those Romani families that had already been resettled. The court reportedly recommended that the Cologne authorities "reconsider" their decision to resettle Roma.61 The controversy had not yet been resolved at the time of writing.

In the view of representatives of local NGOs, the resettlement of Romani refugees, many of whom have been in Germany for 10 years or longer, to uninhabitable conditions was intended by the Cologne local authorities to "encourage" refugees, particularly from the former Yugoslavia (including Kosovo) to return to their country of origin. The policy of encouraging the return of refugees in Germany has taken various forms. The most benign form is offering transportation and resettlement allowance for those willing to return voluntarily. For those unwilling or una ble to return, however, welfare support has been cut, and deportation may be underway. For Roma who fled Kosovo from persecution by the Milosević regime, and also, especially after June 1999, by Kosovo Albanians, safe return is impossible at present.62

Instead of giving a cash allowance, Cologne authorities now reportedly "finance" housing (containers) and provide food on the premises of Romani refugee settlements.63 Members of the Cologne-based NGO Rom e.V. stated that the food is barely edible and it costs the local government more than paying a regular allowance.64 Local authorities responsible for Romani refugees claim this denotes a "new concept" in refugee policy.65 Members of Rom e.V. stated that they believe that the "new concept" is roughly as follows: "The food is prepared such that Romani refugees dislike it, so that authorities can say that those who are unhappy with what Germany has to offer are always free to go back to their country of origin."66

Similar policies have reportedly been adopted in other German states. In Hamburg, "Schiff Bibbi" is a notorious refugee settlement on a ship in the Altona area. Public transportation to the settlement is inadequate. Visitors are not allowed to enter the premises, but an interviewed resident stated the rooms are about 20 square metres in size, and as many as eight people are accommodated in one room. Children play unattended on a rudimentary playground at the edge of the water. There is no fence separating the playground from the edge of the water, so there is a danger that children will simply fall into the water while playing, especially after dark. Drug-dealers reportedly move freely around the area. Minors reportedly can frequently be seen smoking and consuming alcohol, while the guards are more concerned with keeping visitors out than with the safety and well-being of the children.67

According to members of the international NGO Society for Threatened Peoples (Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker) in Göttingen, Lower Saxony, overcrowding in refugee settlements across Germany, is a cause of sanitary problems and potentially serious health problems.68

Conclusion

In its report on Germany (2000), the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) noted with concern that "[m]embers of Roma and Sinti communities face serious social disadvantages and are confronted with prejudice and discrimination" in many spheres of social life.69 International human rights organisations have repeatedly criticised Germany's harsh policies toward refugees, among whom Roma constitute a large part.70 To date, Germany has not taken concrete and meaningful measures to alleviate the precarious situation of many, if not the majority of, Sinti and Roma in Germany.

Endnotes:

  1. Alphia Abdikeeva is a consultant to the Open Society Institute and a policy fellow with the Centre for Policy Studies in Budapest, Hungary.
  2. "Sinti" is the name of a Romani group. Sinti speak a dialect of Romani influenced especially by close contact with German for many centuries. In recent years, and possibly out of fear of being associated with immigrant Eastern European Roma, some Sinti have chosen to emphasise that they are "Sinti" and not "Roma"; hence, official and unofficial publications concerning "Gypsy" groups in Germany frequently use "Sinti and Roma". For further reading, see, Fraser, Angus, The Gypsies, Oxford: Blackwell, 1995; Hancock, Ian, "Gypsy History in Germany and Neighbouring Lands: A Chronology Leading to the Holocaust and Beyond," in Crowe, David M. and John Kolsti, eds., The Gypsies of Eastern Europe, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1991; Liegeois, J.-P. and Nicolae Gheorghe, Roma/Gypsies: A European Minority, London: Minority Rights Group, 1995.
  3. On the Holocaust of Sinti and Roma, see Hancock, Op. cit.; Kenrick, Donald and Grattan Puxon, Gypsies under Swastika, Hatfield: University of Hertfordshire Press, 1995; Rose, Romani, ed., The Nazi Genocide of the Sinti and Roma, Heidelberg: Documentation and Cultural Centre, 1995; Milton, Sybil, "Holocaust: The Gypsies" in Parsons, William S., Israel Charny and Samuel Totten, eds., Genocide in the Twentieth Century, New York, London: Garland Publishing, 1995, pp. 209-264.
  4. There is a controversy surrounding the actual numbers of Sinti and Romani victims of the Nazi Holocaust. A commonly stated estimate of the number of Sinti and Roma killed by the Nazi regime in Europe is 250,000. Professor Ian Hancock has, however, stated that the figure may be as high as 1.5 million. See Hancock, Op cit. The figure currently supported by many German Sinti and Roma organisations is approximately 0.5 million. It is also estimated that of German Sinti and Roma, over half were killed. See Rose, Op. cit.
  5. For a concise overview of problems faced by Sinti and Roma in the post-Nazi period, see Milton, Sybil, "Persecuting the Survivors: The Continuity of 'Anti-Gypsyism' in Post-War Germany and Austria", in Tebbutt, Susan, ed., Sinti and Roma: Gypsies in German-Speaking Society and Literature, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1998, pp. 35-48. Also, Kopf, Peter, Sinti und Roma, Munich: Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, 1994.
  6. See, for example, Human Rights Watch/Helsinki, "Germany for Germans": Xenophobia and Racist Violence in Germany, Human Rights Watch, April 1995.
  7. For concerns pertaining to Roma and asylum in Europe, see: http://errc.org.
  8. The report is available on the Council of Europe website: http://www.coe.int/. This statement notwithstanding, German authorities occasionally produce ethnic data, e.g., a recent listing of the ethnicity of refugees from Kosovo (see: http://www.bafl.de/bafl/template/index_statistiken.htm).
  9. This situation was observed by the author in 10 German states (Länder) visited during field research in the period November 2001-January 2002: Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Berlin, Brandenburg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Rhineland-Palatinate.
  10. See Milton, "Persecuting the Survivors", Op cit., pp. 35-48.
  11. Interview with Mr. Herbert Heuss, Chair of Projekt Förderung Sinti und Roma Initiativen, Heidelberg, January 7, 2002.
  12. nformation from site visit to Fröttmaninger, Munich, January 10, 2002.
  13. Interview with Ms Susan C. and Ms Uta K., social workers in Munich, January 10, 2002.
  14. Interview with Ms Susan C. and Ms Uta K., social workers in Munich, January 10, 2002.
  15. Interview with Ms Susan C. and Ms Uta K., social workers in Munich, January 10, 2002.
  16. See Germany's report to the Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the National Minorities, p. 43. Available at the Council of Europe website: http://www.humanrights.coe.int/Minorities/Eng/FrameworkConvention/StateReports/Toc.htm" cim="Council of Europe website.
  17. See Widmann, Peter, An den Rändern der Städte. Sinti und Jenische in der deutschen Kommunalpolitik, Berlin: Metropol, 2001.
  18. Interview with Mr R.K., Sozialdienst, Düsseldorf, January 2, 2002.
  19. Information from visit to a Sinti settlement, Düsseldorf, January 2, 2002.
  20. Interview with Mr R.K., Sozialdienst, Düsseldorf, January 2, 2002.
  21. Information from a visit to a Sinti settlement and interview with Mr Herbert Heuss, chair of Projekt Förderung Sinti und Roma Initiativen, Heidelberg, January 7, 2002.
  22. Information from the Berlin Senate website, see http://www.sensjs.berlin.de/ (accessed January 1, 2002).
  23. "Scheitert Projekt im Ummenwinkel am Geld?", article in Schwäbische Zeitung, December 8, 2001.
  24. Ibid.
  25. Ibid.
  26. Ibid.
  27. Interview with Mr Rudko Kawczynski, Rom und Cinti Union, Hamburg, December 4, 2001.
  28. Interview with Ms Janina Janson, Hamburg, December 7, 2001.
  29. CERD/C/338/Add/1410, August 2000, para. 26.
  30. See Delfeld, Jacques, Tradition und Zukunft des Rechtsextremismus, publication of Verband Deutscher Sinti/Landesverband Rheinland-Pfalz, Landau (1999), p. 5.
  31. Newsletter Aktiv gegen Rechts, 30 July 2001, see http://www.aktiv-gegen-rechts.de.
  32. Ibid.
  33. Romano Rat e.V., "Presseerklärung", July 31, 2001.
  34. Cited in Strauss, Daniel, "Anti-Gypsyism in German Society and Literature" in Tebbutt, Susan, ed., Sinti and Roma: Gypsies in German-Speaking Society and Literature, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 1998, p. 89.
  35. "Anklage gegen Gerd Koch wegen Volksverhetzung", article in Der Wecker, 26 August 2001, p. 15.
  36. Information from Antifa Network, see http://www.jungle-world.com/_2002/02/09b.htm.
  37. Application No. 35208/97, Zentralrat Deutscher Sinti und Roma and Romani Rose against Germany, May 27, 1997.
  38. Cited in "Keine Zigeuner in Freibad", article in Junge Welt, August 20, 2001.
  39. "Besitzer: Kein Verkauf an Sinti", article in Rundbrief, annual publication of Verband Deutscher Sinti und Roma/Landesverband Hesse, Darmstadt (2000), p. 27.
  40. Ibid.
  41. Cited in Delfeld, Op. cit., p. 7.
  42. "Keine Zigeuner in Freibad", article in Junge Welt, August 20, 2001.
  43. "Gärtner darf kein Totengräber sein: Gefeuert!", article in Express Köln, December 15, 2001.
  44. Ibid.
  45. Ibid.
  46. Interview with Mr. Herbert Heuss, Chair of Projekt Förderung Sinti und Roma Initiativen, Heidelberg, January 7, 2002.
  47. See, Dix, Alexander "The German Experience", in Krizsan, Andrea ed., in Ethnic Monitoring and Data Protection: The European Context, Budapest: CEU Press, 2001, pp. 139-156.
  48. In April 1999 a number of internationally prominent figures appealed to the Bavarian authorities urging them to stop this racist practice. The petition was signed by Simon Wiesenthal, Ignatz Bubis, Gregory Peck, Tim Robbins, Senta Berger, Wynona Ryder, Matt Damon, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Hannelore Elsner, Corin Redgrave, Eileen Atkins, Sherri Parker-Lee, Angela Winkler, Kika Markham, Trevor Nunn, James Black, Finbar Lynch, Rade Serbedzija, Laura Dern, Billy Bob Thornton, Dieter Hildebrandt, Dieter Hallervorden, Johannes Mario Simmel, Siegfried Lenz, Ralph Giordano, Günter Wallraff, Max van der Grün, Franz Alt, Stephen Rayne, Michael Verhoeven, Doris Dörrie, Karl Fruchtmann, Katarina Wolpe, Klaus Staeck, Nimalka Fernando, Kinhide Mushakoji, Damir Grubica, Heinrich Schultz, Ralf Melzer, Romedi Arquint, Armin Nickelsen, Gert Weisskirchen, Vanessa Redgrave and Romani Rose.
  49. Zentralrat Deutscher Sinti und Roma, "Presseerklärung", October 12, 2001.
  50. Ibid.
  51. "Senioren als Opfer: Freche und fiese Täter - Angst vor Euro und Banken ausgenutzt", article in Nürnberger Nachrichten, 24/25 November, 2001, p. 19.
  52. See Rose, Romani, "Public Law Agreement on the Protection and Promotion of German Sinti and Roma " Principles and Contents", in Zentralrat Deutscher Sinti und Roma (Ed.), Expert Opinion by Theo van Boven, Public Law Agreements about the Minority-Protection for the German Sinti and Roma, Heidelberg, 1998, p. 83.
  53. http://www.humanrights.coe.int/Minorities/Eng/FrameworkConvention/StateReports/2000/germany/german.html" cim="Council of Europe website.
  54. A number of German Sinti and Roma who returned to Germany after the war were reportedly refused or stripped of citizenship. See, Milton, "Persecuting the Survivors", Op cit., pp. 35-48.
  55. A particularly detailed study is available for Berlin: Brigitte Mihok, Zurück nach Nirgendwo. Bosnische Roma-Flüchtlinge in Berlin, Berlin: Metropol, 2001.
  56. Information from Rom e.V., Cologne, December 10, 2001.
  57. "Langweile, Frust und wenig Hoffnung", article in Kölnische Rundschau, November 16, 2001.
  58. A copy of the laboratory test results are on file, courtesy of Rom e.V. in Cologne.
  59. "Keine Alternative zum Container", article in Kölnische Rundschau, November 7, 2001.
  60. "Stadt will Prüfung prüfen", article in TAZ, November 29, 2001.
  61. "Köln streitet mit Roma", article in Aachener Zeitung, December 5, 2001.
  62. On the situation of Roma in Kosovo, see http://errc.org.
  63. "Fluchtlingsrat gegen Container", article in Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, October 1, 2001.
  64. Interview with Mr A. M., Rom e.V., Cologne, November 10, 2001.
  65. "Fluchtlingsrat gegen Container", article in Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, October 1, 2001.
  66. Interview with Mr A. M., Rom e.V., Cologne, November 10, 2001.
  67. Information from visit to "Shiff Bibbi", Hamburg, December 5, 2001.
  68. Interview with Ms. Annelore Hermes, Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker, Göttingen, November 16, 2001.
  69. Second ECRI report on Germany (2000), see http://www.ecri.int/.
  70. See, the Report by International Helsinki Federation (2001) .

donate now

Challenge discrimination, promote equality

be informed

Receive our public announcements Receive our Roma Rights Journal

news portal

The latest Roma Rights news and content online

join us

Become a part of the ERRC's activist network in Europe