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María Sierra's new book: Holocausto gitano. El genocidio romaní bajo el nazismo

15. CUBIERTA HOLOCAUSTO GITANO 440x700A new result of our BESTROM research project has just been published. It is the book by our colleague María Sierra, entitled Holocausto gitano. El genocidio romaní bajo el nazismo.* This is a book written in Spanish about the Roma genocide, driven by the great lack of publications on the subject in the Spanish-speaking world and designed to make researchers and the general public reflect on this gap.

 The book is organized in two sections. The first one, entitled “A little-known genocide”, provides a critical overview of the research carried out in various languages.  The second part, entitled “Memories for the History of an Oblivion”, uses the autobiographical accounts of several Roma survivors of the Nazi genocide in order to listen to the voices of the victims who have claimed (still claim) recognition and rights for the Roma people. This journey through the memories of Philomena Franz, Ceija Stojka, Lily Van Angeren, Otto Rosenberg, Walter Winter and Ewald Hanstein, in addition to other testimonies, is contextualized within the framework of Holocaust memorial literature and has been approached through the History of Emotions.

Especially, this second section of the book allows us to look at the history of the victims without neglecting their agency, a capacity for action in the midst of adverse circumstances that has been indispensable for the birth and consolidation of the modern Roma Civic Movement.


The book opens with a letter to the author written by Philomena Franz, who on her 100th birthday continues to bear witness and fight against racism.


* The word “Gitano” has positive meaning in Spanish, given the self-recognition of the Spanish-Roma community in this term.


  • Book cover.
  • The Bamberger family poses in a studio photograph taken in the 1930s. Margarete Bamberger (sitting left) was deported to Auschwitz in 1942; Max Bamberger (sitting right) was shot by the SS in 1945. [Dokumentation und Kulturzentrum, Deutscher Sinti und Roma, Heidelberg].

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