On This Day in 1944, 800 Gypsy Children Are Gassed At Auschwitz
The Germans did little to conceal their murderous plans. In 1937, Dr. Robert Ritter, a racist with a medical degree gave a presentation in Paris on what would be the racial definition of Gypsies as the Reich considered Gypsies “asocial.” In December of 1937, Heinrich Himmler issued a decree that provided grounds to arrest people, not for committing crimes but for being “asocial.”
The Nazis confined Gypsy (also known as Roma) families at Lackenbach beginning in 1939. Yet, the rest of the world turned a blind eye to what was happening in Germany in the plight of the Jews, the Gypsies, and others. Once they began to acquire more territory, the Jews and Gypsies were quickly targets for elimination by wandering groups of Einsatzgruppen or forced deportation to the camps. In late 1941, over 30,000 German gypsies were deported to Poland. At the same time there were over 5000 Austrian Gypsies deported to the Lodz Ghetto, then the Chelmno death camp where they were all gassed in early 1942.
In Vichy France, the Secretariat for Jewish Affairs rounded up thousands of Gypsies and many were shipped them off to Dachau, Ravensbrück, and Buchenwald. Some 15,500 died in the Nazi camps while 40,000 survived in the French internment camps.
In Croatia, the locals were only too happy to help the German invaders carry out their murderous plans. They targeted the Jews, Serbs, and Gypsies and out of 27,000 that were rounded up, over 26,000 died. Other figures put the number much higher, close to 90,000.
Fascism is rising in the US today, as more cities and towns are criminalizing the homeless, who are often even more hated or feared than the homeless Gypsies during the Hitler era in Europe.