Workshops on Roma Genocide

Workshops on July 31, 2013 (Dik i na bistar)


WS01: Testimony of Holocaust survivor Zoni Weisz

Leader: Zoni Weisz

Language: English, German

Johan – known as Zoni – Weisz was born in The Hague on 4 March 1937. On 16 May 1944 the entire Weisz family was arrested by Dutch policemen and taken to the Westerbork transit camp, but Zoni escaped this round up because he happened to be staying with his aunt in the neighboring village. On 19 May 1944, 246 people labeled as “gypsies” were deported by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau in locked cattle wagons. Only 31 of them survived the war. Zoni spent the last year of the war hiding in forests and with farmers. His mother and siblings were murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz-Birkenau during the night of 2-3 August, his father was killed in Mittelbau-Dora. Only in the mid-1990s was he able to speak in public about the loss of his family and about the fate of Sinti and Roma in the Second World War. On 27 January 2011, Zoni Weisz became the first representative of Sinti and Roma to be invited to address the German Bundestag.

WS02: Overview of the Roma Genocide

Leader: Sławomir Kapralski

Language: English

The main idea of the workshop is to engage participants in the debate regarding three main issues: (1) the genesis of the Roma persecution that lead to the genocide in the time of the Second World War; (2) the mechanisms of the genocide; (3) the outcomes of the genocide. We will be using personal stories of the Roma victims to elucidate the ideology of the perpetrators and to reconstruct the steps that lead to the Roma genocide.

Slawomir Kapralski, Ph.D., sociologist & social anthropologist, researcher at the Institute of Philosophy & Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences & lecturer at the Centre for Social Studies in Warsaw. His most recent books include Nation from the Ashes. Memory of Genocide and Roma Identity, Warsaw 2012 (in Polish), and, as a co-author, Roma in Auschwitz, Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, 2011 (in English).

WS03: Nazi Occupation and Mass Murder of Roma in Soviet Territory

Leader: Mikhail Tyaglyy

English: English

The fate of the Roma in Nazi-occupied USSR will be discussed. We will provide a basic outline of the Nazi campaign of extermination vis-à-vis the Roma, then explore whether different branches of the Nazi authorities treated the Romani minority differently. We will consider the attitudes of the local non-Romani population and the effect they might have had. Generally, the workshop will assess the current state of knowledge and pinpoint the aspects that warrant further research.

Mikhail Tyaglyy is research associate at the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies, his area of studies is the Nazi anti-Jewish and anti-Roma policies in Ukraine. He is author of a book and articles on the subject.

WS1: The way of Roma

Leader: Choli Daróczi József

Language: Hungarian, Romanes

The workshop will explore the roots of Roma, the history of Roma from 1100 until today. The workshop will focus on Roma history, traditions, language, culture (especially literature). He will also speak about the Roma Genocide as a survivor.

Choli Daróczi József is a Hungarian Roma writer, poet, translator, teacher and journalist. He is a freelancer, mainly he works for Roma youth for the Romaversitas Alapítvány, writes publications and books, specializing in Roma culture and traditions, poetry and fairy tales.

WS05: Roma Genocide in Transnistria

Leader: Adrian-Nicolae Furtuna

Language: English, Romanes

The main aim of the workshop is to capture/present how Roma from Romania remember the deportation to Transnistria. Moreover, the workshop aims to show how social representations shape the collective memory, in this case referring to the Holocaust. Besides presenting historical facts, the workshop aims to highlight the symbolic dimension of Transnistria deportations of Roma from Romania.

Adrian-Nicolae Furtuna is a researcher with interests in social representations. He made a documentary film about the deportation of Roma to Transnistria, published a book (Romanian, English, Romani) and wrote an article about the same topic. Currently he directs a new organization, the Center for Social and Cultural Research “Romane Rodimata”.

WS06: Genocide and Sociocide in Southeast Europe

Leader: Tomas Wald

Language: German, English, Serbian-Croatian

The persecution of Roma communities was very diverse. There were a large number of different actors involved: the occupying armies, several civil war militias, as well as successful partisans under Tito – among them many Roma. The Roma communities stood visibly/invisibly between all these fronts. The available facts are poor, there are hardly any documents from the own point of view. We will draw our attention to the concentration camp Jasenovac, where more Roma died than in Auschwitz. Until now this chapter of history has hardly been understood, the research just starts now. Let’s start together!

Tomas Wald, born 1948 in Sarajevo, came as a school student to Germany. Found his Roma father just in his 30s on Korčula, who emphasized to be a “crni cigan” … what I just understood now.

WS07: Research and collecting local stories about the genocide

Leader: Mustafa Jakupov

Language: English, Romanes

This workshop addresses the question how we can find out more about the genocide through the oral history and stories of eye-witnesses in our local communities. This workshop will give you insight, information and methods to prepare yourself for your own collection of WWII stories, including about the genocide. We will look into how to prepare and talk with eye-witnesses, research your local libraries and verify your sources. We will also share personal stories passed by local Roma and non-Roma people to their relatives.

Mustafa Jakupov – young Roma from Macedonia, involved in the Roma Genocide Remembrance Initiative since 2011, already meet and heard the stories of 10 Holocaust survivors through various projects and programs.

WS08: Nazi policy towards the Roma and modern forms of commemoration

Leader: Adam Bartosz

Language: English, Polish

Nuremberg Laws of September 15, 1935, the first deportations to concentration camps. German occupation of Poland and the establishment of the concentration camps. Zigeunerlager in Auschwitz-Birkenau. Executions in the occupied territories. Forgotten Holocaust of Roma after the war. Ways of commemoration of the martyrdom of the Roma.

Adam Bartosz: anthropologist, museum expert. Author of museum exhibitions and publications on Jews and Roma (the creator of the world’s first permanent exhibition on the history and culture of the Roma). Implementer of projects on minorities Galicjaner Shtetl, International Roma Memorial Camp/Tabor of Memory. Lecturer at the University of Krakow.

WS09: The Significance of the Roma genocide for young people in today’s Europe

Leader: Dr. Piotr Trojański

Language: English

The aim of the workshop is to reflect on and discuss the content and methods of working in the field of promoting knowledge about the Roma genocide in the Roma community and beyond. The workshop aims to support participants to multiply the knowledge on this subject in their own environments and communities.

Dr. Piotr Trojański a historian, an Assistant Professor at the Institute of History of the Pedagogical University of Cracow (head of the Division of Ethnic and National Minorities) and an academic advisor for the ICEAH (International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust) at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim.

WS10: Continuities!? German politics against people stigmatized as “Gypsies” before and after the Genocide

Leader: Markus End

Language: English

In this workshop we want to explore some continuities of the discrimination and persecution of people stigmatized as “Gypsies” ["Zigeuner"] in Germany. Therefore we take a closer look at institutions, laws and individuals. A special focus will be how the institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany treated the Sinti and Roma who survived the Genocide.

Markus End is a Non-Roma, political scientist, living in Berlin. He was author of a pedagogical toolkit on antigypsyism and has a broad experience in teaching and education on antigypsyism both on activist and scientific level.

WS11: Genocide in Srebrenica, Rwanda and other modern genocides

Leader: Irvin Mujcic

Language: English, Italian

What are the reasons behind genocides? Through an interactive workshop from past to present we will investigate the nature of genocides, the role of perpetrators and victims, and answer the question: how can humanity get out from vicious circle of genocide?

Irvin Mujcic – studies philosophy at the University La Sapienza in Rome. He has completed a number of training courses on philosophy, literature, human rights, theatre and creative campaigning. He works with the NGO Romà Onlus on issues related to Roma youth as intercultural mediator, teacher in elementary schools, as trainer and project coordinator.

WS12: “Attempt to deal with what is incomprehensible”.

Art inspired by the Holocaust on selected examples

Leader: Krzysztof Gil

Language: English

This workshop attempts to clarify how and by what means artists over the years try to cope with the subject of the Holocaust and Genocide. Using examples of very different presentations participants will learn how artist are interpreting it and trying to understand it; how the truth about the Genocide can be revealed not only by illustrating the terrible crimes, but also showing the Holocaust today as an almost iconographic topic.

Krzysztof Gil is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts im. Jana Matejko in Krakow, degree in Lithography. Member of Romani Art group in Poland, winner of various artistic scholarships and awards, with his numerous exhibitions in Poland and abroad. Member of Harangos and ternYpe.


WS13: The use of identity during the persecutions and the Genocide

Leader: Anna Makówka-Kwapisiewicz

Language: English

This interactive workshop will focus on the questions of Identity and how it was used during the Genocide time. Participants will have chance to explore the questions of how we identify with and within our groups internally and externally. Reflect on different contexts of identity and stereotypes, how identity changes with times and how discrimination affects our identity.

Anna Makówka-Kwapisiewicz, journalist, feminist and radical housewife. President of the Czulent Jewish Association, from 2007 she is in charge of the Jewish Literary Salon. She worked with the Austeria Publishing House, the Midrasz Foundation & the Karta Institute. She specializes in the problems of cultural education in Roma and Jewish communities, and in anti-discrimination.


WS14: Hate Speech and the Roma Genocide

Leader: Ruxandra Pandea

Language: English

This workshop will explore the role hate speech has in creating a context where hate crime and genocide are possible. We will also look into patterns of argumentation in hate speech that denies or justifies the Roma Genocide or Holocaust in general, ways of countering and the role of remembrance education.

Ruxandra Pandea works as Educational advisor in the Youth Department, Council of Europe and specializes in Human Rights Education, online activism and learning and coordinates educational activities in the No Hate Speech Movement Campaign.


WS15: Memories from the Dark Times of Genocide

Leader: Karol Parno Gierlinski

Language: Romanes, Polish

In this workshop the participants will have the possibility to learn about the story of Mr Gierlinski’s family. He lost his parents in the Holocaust, he among other children has been saved by Alfreda Markowska-Noncia – “She gave me second life”, he says. Participants will also have chance to learn about the life of ordinary Roma and Sinti from the Wielkopolska and German border region during the Nazi times.

Karol Parno Gierlinski – born in 1938, Sinto who lost his parents in Holocaust, sculptor, poet and novelist, social activist. The creator of the first Polish elementary school for Roma children “Miri school – Romano elementaro”. Participates in activities of education of Roma children and human rights. He was a deputy to the World Parliament of Roma (IRU), and a member of the Team for Roma Joint Commission of the Government and National and Ethnic Minorities.