Germany's Sinti and Roma: A history of discrimination | DW Documentary

Not until 1982 was the Nazi mass-murder of the Sinti and Roma people recognized as genocide. Using personal life stories, this film traces the history of Germany's largest national minority.

Jùlie Halilic is proud when she thinks of her grandfather. Together with other civil rights activists, Wallani Georg fought for the mass-murder of the Sinti and Roma to be recognized as genocide. It began with an occupation of the Dachau concentration camp memorial. Eleven Sinti people went on hunger strike there in 1980, to highlight the fact that persecution of their community had not ended with the fall of the Third Reich: racism against the Sinti and Roma continued unabated.

Musicians Manolito Steinbach and Romani Weiß talk about how, for a long time, they preferred to remain invisible while growing up in West Berlin -- and how this only gradually gave way to a newfound self-confidence. Gianni Jovanovic, meanwhile, found that persecution did not end even with the recognition of the genocide. He survived a bomb attack in Darmstadt in 1982, and a short time later, his relatives' home was abruptly demolished by the city government.

With these personal stories, the film traces the history of Germany's largest national minority group, bringing previously unheard voices to the fore. Among the historical footage are scenes that show how fiercely racism against Sinti and Roma continued after 1945, fueled even by public broadcasting. The film also shows that, for the Sinti and Roma, history continues to be felt, to this day.

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