She was kicked in the middle of a park in Germany. Because she is Roma. This case is described in a report of a special commission convened by the German government, which concluded that anti-Gypsyism in Germany is a fact, writes “Deutsche Welle”.
The Independent Anti-Gypsy Commission (NCA) was tasked by the German government with analyzing the situation of Sinti and Roma in Germany in 2019. The commission has now presented its 800-page report, which proves the continuing discrimination against members of this minority.
What is it like to be a rum in Germany
According to the commission, there is a need for “follow-up justice” to compensate for the injustices, including after the Second World War, committed against the surviving victims and their heirs.
One of the commission’s recommendations is to make a comprehensive recognition of the genocide of the Roma during National Socialism and to set up a commission to make sense of these injustices.
What injustices are involved – this is illustrated by a case cited in a study on racism against Roma, which also refers to the permanent trauma inflicted on members of this minority.
A woman born in a concentration camp survived the Holocaust and cared for her devastated parents after the war, whose lives were marked by the experiences of captivity during the National Socialist regime. Their apartment was expropriated without any compensation, and after the war the city authorities housed them in barracks, where they were regularly monitored by police and social workers.
During a camping holiday in the 1980s, a gang fired weapons at the woman and her parents. But instead of looking for the criminals, the arriving police began to ask the traumatized family what they were looking for in this place. Years later, the same woman fell victim to racist violence while walking in a park – her husband kicked her several times, causing her to lose one kidney.
The independent commission’s report also said that members of the Roma minority were not well protected from hate speech and other forms of discrimination. Sinti and Roma are often talked about without giving their word. The need for more social and educational care aimed at representatives of Roma communities was also taken into account.
The role of the media in Germany is also discussed, and it is critically noted that in many cases they reinforce stereotypes. “One of the reasons for the lack of knowledge and the emergence of all sorts of myths in the collective consciousness is the media’s consolidation of stereotypes, distortion of information and emotionalization of news related to the Sinti and Roma,” said Isidora Randelovic of the independent commission.
“A problem that affects us all”
In June, the Bundestag discussed the findings of the committee’s report and decided to implement its recommendations on overcoming anti-Gypsyism. As Social Democrat MP Helge Lind said: “Anti-Gypsyism is not a problem that is only about the right-wing radical circles or the National Socialist past. It is an issue that affects all of us, all people with democratic understandings. If we do not realize it, we will never we manage to do justice to the Roma in our country”.