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Sinti or Sinta or Sinte is the name of a
Romani or Gypsy population in Europe. Traditionally nomadic,
today only a small percentage of the group remains unsettled. In
earlier times, they frequently lived on the outskirts of
communities. The Sinti speak the Sinti-Manouche variety of
Romani, which exhibits strong German influence.
Gypsy people (Romany) migrated from Rajasthan, India, about this
time. They call themselves Rom, which is derived from their original
Indian caste name Dom.
(Wired, 9/96, p.46)(SFC, 2/28/97, p.A24)(Econ,
1658 Sep 3, Oliver Cromwell,
Lord Protector of the New Commonwealth, i.e. ruler over England’s
Puritan parliament (1653-58), died of malaria at age 59. Richard
Cromwell had succeeded his father as English Lord Protector.
Cromwell was responsible for shipping Romanichal Gypsies (i.e.,
Gypsies from Britain) as slaves to the southern plantations; there
is documentation of Gypsies being owned by freed black slaves in
9/3/97)(http://tinyurl.com/q7kfjwn) (ON, 12/00, p.5)
1840-1860 Slavery existed on the territory of
present-day Romania from before the founding of the principalities
of Wallachia and Moldavia in 13th–14th century, until it was
abolished in stages during the 1840s and 1850s. Most of the slaves
were of Roma (Gypsy) ethnicity.
1856 Feb 20, Romania abolished
the slavery of Gypsies, or Roma, but discrimination persisted
against the group.
1885 Oct 24, Johann Strauss'
operetta, "The Gypsy Baron," premiered in Vienna.
1885 Bavaria issued measures
aimed at controlling Gypsies and gathering information about them.
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1899 Munich police established
a central office for Gypsy affairs.
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1911 Munich police began
fingerprinting all Gypsies.
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1929 In Frankfurt the city
council set up an official fenced concentration camp for Gypsies,
but inhabitants could enter and leave at will.
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1936 Aug 1, The Olympic games
opened in Berlin the homeless and itinerant Gypsies were sent into
(TMC, 1994, p.1936)(WSJ, 7/30/96, p.A12)(Hem,
6/96, p.104)(AP, 8/1/97)(HNPD, 8/1/98)
1941 Oct, Some 243 Estonian
Roma (Gypsies) were killed in Estonia.
1941 Nazi documents from this
year showed that the Einsatzgruppe, a Nazi-run Serbian police unit,
executed 11,164 people, mostly Serbian Jewish men, suspected
communists and Gypsies [see 1942]. The unit was allegedly run by
Peter Egner, who emigrated to the US in 1960, and received
citizenship in 1966. In 2009 Serbian authorities sought his
extradition. In 2010 Serbia issued an international warrant for the
arrest of Egner (88), who has denied the accusations.
(AP, 4/14/09)(AP, 4/2/10)(AP, 11/26/10)
1941-1945 Guenter Lewy in 2000 authored "The Nazi
Persecution of the Gypsies."
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1941-1945 In 2000 Radu Ioanid authored "The
Holocaust In Romania," which described how 250,000 people died under
Ion Antonescu. 25,000 Gypsies were deported to Transnistria (later
in the Ukraine), of whom 1,500 died.
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1941-1945 Croatia was occupied by Nazi forces and
with its Moslem allies some 700,000 Serbs and 75,000 Jews and
Gypsies were killed. The number of Gypsies killed during WW II range
from 90,000 to 196,000.
(WSJ, 10/11/95, p. A-1)(WSJ, 4/3/96, p.A-22)(WSJ,
5/20/99, p.A21)(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1942 A camp was set up for
Gypsies at Lety in southern Bohemia. Some 1,300 inmates passed
through and at least 300 died from the harsh living conditions.
Communist authorities set up a pig farm on the site in the 1970s.
Makus Pape later authored a book on Lety.
(SFC, 12/10/99, p.AA8)
1943 A Gypsy camp was set up at
Auschwitz where an estimated 20,000 Roma died by the end of the war.
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1944 May 19, 240 gypsies were
transported to Auschwitz from Westerbork Neth.
1953 May 16, Django Reinhardt
(b.1910), Gypsy jazz guitarist, died in France. In 2004 Michael
Dregni authored “Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend."
1966 Christian J. Modeste
(b.1914), Gypsy king, died in Belgium.
1972 Gratton Puxon authored
"The Destiny of Europe's Gypsies."
(WSJ, 1/19/00, p.A20)
1992 Sep, In Romania Ion Cioaba
(1935-1997), had himself crowned as King of the Gypsies with a
13-pound crown in front of 5,000 followers.
(SFC, 2/28/97, p.A24)
1993 Jan 1, Czechoslovakia
peacefully split into two new countries, the Czech Republic and
Slovakia. The Slovak people never voted on the 1993 split with the
Czechs. When the country split, all citizens were deemed to be
either Czech or Slovak, based on their parentage. The vast majority
of the Romany living in the Czech Republic are of Slovak descent,
and they had to apply for Czech citizenship. Vladimir Meciar
(b.1942) became the premier of Slovakia and Vaclav Klaus the premier
of the Czech Rep.
9/21/02)(WSJ, 4/26/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 5/13/96, p.A-8)(AP, 1/1/98)
1995 Pres. Havel dedicated a
small memorial to the victims of the WW II camp at Lety.
(SFC, 12/10/99, p.AA8)
1997 May 4, Pope John Paul
beatified the Gypsy Jimenez Malla, killed by Republican forces in
the 1936 Spanish Civil War.
(SFC, 5/5/97, p.A8)
1997 In Hungary a Y2000 report
by the Parliamentary Commission said Roma children in this year
accounted for 67.9% of the students in “special" schools. Roma
children were commonly channeled into schools for the mentally
(SFC, 6/26/00, p.A10)
1998 Otto Rosenberg (d.2001 at
74), a German Gypsy leader who survived Nazi death camps, authored
(SFC, 7/12/01, p.A23)
1999 Nov 20, In the Czech
Republic some 30 skinheads broke into a restaurant in Ceske
Budejovice and attacked a party of Gypsies. This prompted a dozen
Roma families to leave the area and ask for asylum elsewhere.
(SFC, 12/1/99, p.C3)
2000 Jun 30, Alphonse Juilland,
former Stanford professor, died at age 77. His studies in
linguistics included a Gypsy dictionary.
(SFC, 7/7/00, p.D5)
2004 Jun 21, A Swiss court
cleared the way for Gypsies to sue IBM over allegations that the
computer company's expertise helped the Nazis commit mass murder
2006 Apr 13, In Russia a group
of young men beat inhabitants with metal bars, killing a man and a
woman and leaving an 80-year-old woman and a 14-year-old girl
gravely wounded. 9 people were later arrested in connection with the
attack on the Roma camp in the southern Volgograd region.
2007 Aug 1, It was reported
that more than 100 Serbian Gypsies have crossed the border illegally
into neighboring Romania in recent days and filed applications for
asylum claiming they were subject to abuse and attacks in Serbia.
2007 Oct 30, In Italy Giovanna
Reggiani (47) was brutally attacked as she returned home in northern
Rome. She died 2 days later. Nicolae Mailat, a Romanian Gypsy,
admitted to snatching her bag but denied her murder. Her attack
triggered a public outcry.
(Econ, 11/10/07, p.63)
2008 May 20, The European
Parliament censured Italy for its treatment of Gypsies.
(Econ, 5/24/08, p.71)
2008 Jul 3, It was reported
that Italian authorities have started fingerprinting tens of
thousands of Gypsies living in nomad camps across the country,
brushing aside accusations of racism by human rights advocates and
international organizations. The Interior Ministry said prints will
only be taken from people who do not have a valid Italian or EU
2008 Jul 10, The European
Parliament called the fingerprinting of Gypsies in Italy a clear act
of racial discrimination and urged the authorities to stop it.
2008-2009 In Hungary six Roma, including a
5-year-old boy, were killed in a series of attacks. In 2015 an
appeals court agreed with the life sentences without the possibility
for parole given to Zsolt Peto and brothers Arpad and Istvan Kiss.
It also confirmed the 13-year prison sentence for Istvan Csontos,
the driver in some of the attacks.
2009 May 2, It was reported
that an estimated 250,000 Roma lived in the Czech Rep. A rising
number of the gypsies were applying for visas to Canada. Of 861
applications in 2008, 84 were accepted.
(Econ, 5/2/09, p.54)
2009 Jun 16, In Northern
Ireland racist thugs armed with bricks and bottles forced more than
100 Romanian Gypsies from their Belfast homes in a wave of attacks
that sent them fleeing to the safety of a nearby church.
2009 Jun 23, Northern Ireland’s
government said more than 100 Romanian Gypsies who suffered racist
attacks and intimidation in Belfast are being flown back home at
2009 Jun 29, In Belarus Vasily
Yusepchuk (30), an illiterate, itinerant Gypsy worker, was sentenced
to death by Brest Regional Court. He did chores for elderly women,
and allegedly would sneak back at night to rob and strangle them.
Lawyers insisted the case hinged exclusively on a confession that
they claim was obtained through torture.
2009 Aug 26, In Bucharest,
Romania, fans at first politely applauded the Roma performers
sharing a stage with Madonna. Then the pop star condemned widespread
discrimination against Roma, or Gypsies, and the cheers gave way to
jeers. Official Romanian data put the local Roma population at
2009 Oct 8, Romania unveiled a
monument in memory of some 300,000 Jews and Gypsies killed during
the Holocaust in the country, which at times denied that the
extermination even happened.
2010 Jan 13, Amnesty Int’l.
said the Czech Republic is defying a European court by continuing to
place thousands of healthy Gypsy children in schools for the
(SFC, 1/14/10, p.A2)
2010 Jul 28, French Pres.
Nicolas Sarkozy ordered authorities to expel Gypsy illegal
immigrants and to dismantle their camps.
(SFC, 7/29/10, p.A2)
2010 Aug 12, French Interior
Minister Brice Hortefeux said that over 40 illegal gypsy camps have
been dismantled around the country in the last two weeks and that
700 people among those in the camps will be returned to Bulgaria and
(SFC, 8/13/10, p.A2)
2010 Aug 19, France deported
nearly 100 Gypsies, or Roma, to their native Romania as part of a
very public effort by conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy to
dismantle Roma camps and sweep them out of the country.
2010 Aug 20, France put about
100 Gypsies, or Roma, on a charter flight headed to their native
Romania, the second day in a row that it has expelled Roma in a much
criticized government crackdown.
2010 Aug 26, The archbishop of
Paris joined the tide of criticism over France's crackdown on
Gypsies, calling it a "circus," while the EU's justice commissioner
denounced French officials' discriminatory tone about the vulnerable
2010 Sep 4, In France Roma
migrants whose camp was bulldozed led a protest in Paris against the
French government's security crackdown, with similar demonstrations
taking place across the country and abroad.
2010 Sep 9, The European
Parliament called on France to suspend its expulsion of gypsies. The
rare criticism of an EU state was backed by 337 lawmakers meeting in
Strasbourg, France, with 245 opposed and 51 abstentions.
2010 Sep 14, The European
Commission threatened legal action against France over its crackdown
on Roma minorities, drawing a parallel between their treatment and
World War II-era deportations.
2010 Sep 29, The European Union
decided to launch legal action against France over its expulsions of
Gypsies, or Roma, to poorer EU nations.
2010 Oct 8, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy met with the pope and top Vatican officials in a
fence-mending visit following France's controversial crackdown on
Gypsies, while a top Vatican cardinal urged France to welcome
immigrants and those who have been persecuted.
2010 Oct 19, The European
Commission said it will temporarily suspend its human rights
complaint against France for its expulsions of Gypsies, or Roma,
after Paris promised to alter some of its laws to match EU
2010 Nov 10, Human rights
groups said they have filed a complaint with the EU accusing the
Czech government of failing to comply with a court order that it
stop placing thousands of healthy Roma children in schools for the
(SFC, 11/11/10, p.A2)
2011 Mar 10, Romania's Pres.
Traian Basescu signed a law making Feb. 20 an official holiday to
mark when the slavery of Gypsies, or Roma, was abolished. Roma
slavery was abolished Feb. 20, 1856, but discrimination persists
against the group.
2011 Apr 7, Amnesty
International urged Serbian authorities to "take urgent and
immediate action" to halt forced evictions of Roma, also known as
Gypsies, from their settlements in the capital Belgrade and prevent
"systematic discrimination" against them.
2011 Apr 22, The Hungarian Red
Cross evacuated hundreds of Roma women and children from their homes
because they were frightened of a far-right vigilante group that was
setting up a training camp near their village.
2011 Oct 18, Romania's
anti-discrimination council voted 5-2 to caution President Traian
Basescu for making discriminatory remarks about Gypsies and disabled
2012 Jul 24, In Montenegro some
850 Roma people, who had fled Kosovo during the 1998-99 war, lost
their belongings in the fire that swept through the refugee barracks
in the suburb of Konik. No one was injured.
2012 Aug, France launched its
latest campaign to drive Gypsies from their camps.
2012 Oct 24, Germany opened a
long-awaited memorial to the hundreds of thousands of Gypsies, or
Roma, who were killed by the Nazis in what one survivor called "the
forgotten Holocaust" — and pledged to fight the discrimination the
minority still faces in Europe today.
2013 Jan 5, In Hungary
journalist Zsolt Bayer, a founding member of the governing Fidesz
party, wrote a newspaper column in which he said: "a significant
part of the Roma are unfit for coexistence. They are not fit to live
among people. These Roma are animals and they behave like animals."
2013 Jul 21, In France Gilles
Bourdouleix, a member of parliament and mayor for the town of Cholet
near Nantes, had a confrontation with Gypsies, when he visited a
field owned by the town where Gypsies were illegally living in
caravans. He asked them to leave. Some of the Gypsies made Nazi
salutes at Bourdouleix and he responded by saying: "Maybe Hitler
didn't kill enough of them."
2013 Aug 6, A Hungarian court
jailed four neo-Nazis for killing Roma families in a spree of racist
violence in 2008 and 2009 that shocked the country and led to
accusations that police had failed to protect an historically
2013 Aug 8, Nicolae Gheorghe
(b.1946), Romanian Gypsy campaigner for rights of the Roma, died of
(Econ, 8/17/13, p.78)(http://tinyurl.com/pudxsh7)
2013 Sep 25, Amnesty Int’l.
said more than 10,000 Roma, also known as Gypsies, have been evicted
from French squatter camps from January to August, with many forced
to return to Romania and Bulgaria despite EU rules requiring free
movement for all EU citizens.
(SFC, 9/25/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 9, In France Leonarda
Dibrani, a 15-year-old Roma girl, was taken off a school bus and
deported with her family to Kosovo.
(Econ, 10/26/13, p.60)
2013 Oct 11, A French court
convicted 26 members of three Croatian Roma families of forcing
children to carry out more than 100 robberies in European countries.
2013 Oct 22, A top Greek
prosecutor ordered an emergency nationwide investigation into birth
certificates issued in the past six years after a girl was
discovered living with alleged abductors at a gypsy camp.
2013 Oct 25, Authorities said
DNA tests have confirmed that Sasha Ruseva, a Bulgarian Roma woman
(35), is the mother of a mysterious girl in Greece known as Maria.
(AP, 10/25/13)(SFC, 10/25/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 25, Greek police said
they have arrested a childless couple in Athens on suspicion of
buying an 8-month-old Roma girl and trying to register her as their
own, amid international uproar over another little girl who was
found living with unrelated Gypsies in Greece.
2014 Jan 28, A French court
barred the return to France of a Roma family including Leonarda
Dibrani, the teenage girl whose arrest in front of her schoolmates
and expulsion to Kosovo became a cause celebre.
2014 Feb 16, In Macedonia an
explosion wounded five Roma children in western town of Tetovo.
Three people were soon detained in the case.
2014 Apr 30, The Council of
Europe said Hungary's prison system needs to reduce overcrowding,
stop discrimination against Roma prisoners and offer inmates work or
recreational activities so they don't spend 23 hours a day in their
2014 Jun 13, In France a Roma
boy named Darius (16) was beaten into a coma in the town of
2014 Sep 26, In Serbia 3 Gypsy
children died in a fire in a small wooden shack that has been their
home on the outskirts of Belgrade.
2014 Sep, The European
commission launched a case against the Czech Rep. over the one-third
number of Roma in schools for the mentally disabled. The following
April it did the same for Slovakia.
(Econ, 6/6/15, p.44)
2014 Nov 5, In southern France
flamenco guitarist Manitas de Plata (93) died. He had sold nearly
100 million records worldwide and broke boundaries for Gypsy
2014 Nov 25, Bulgarian police
raided a mosque in the town of Pazardzhik and detained Ahmed Mussa
Ahmed, a Roma Muslim religious leader suspected of spreading
propaganda for the Islamic State group.
2015 Aug 27, French police
cleared out one of the country’s biggest Roma camps, dismantling a
sprawling network of makeshift shelters next to a Paris region
highway under pouring rain. The camp had housed 200-300 people for
at least three years.
2015 Oct 10, In Ireland 9
people, including an infant, died in a fire at a Dublin mobile home
camp for native Gypsies.
2015 Oct 19, Lawyers said
Ireland has agreed to pay the Romanian Gypsy parents of a blond boy
60,000 euros ($68,000) in compensation after conceding that police
in 2013 employed prejudicial racial profiling when seizing the
2015 Oct 26, Pope Francis
called for a fresh start for Roma and Sinti communities, telling
traveler families from around the world they could break free of
prejudice by not falling into crime. The Sinti are a traditionally
itinerant ethnic group that has been present in Italy for centuries.
2016 Feb 3, In France police
cleared a sprawling slum-like camp along railroad tracks on the edge
of Paris that housed hundreds of Roma, citing sanitary concerns.
2016 Feb 9, A sweep involving
teams of sniffer dogs and a helicopter was conducted simultaneously
in Paris and Craiova, in southern Romania. The joint operation by
Romania and France against pickpockets targeting visitors to
Disneyland Paris and other French tourist sites nabbed the
ringleaders. The probe began last March after local police noted a
spike in pickpocketing by Romanians and ethnic Roma outside
Disneyland and on the train that links Paris to the amusement park.
2016 May 4, Three Bulgarian
police officers were injured when anti-Roma protesters tried to
break through a cordon during a demonstration in the southern town
of Radnevo. Some 2,000 people took part in the protest over an
incident two days earlier in which four Roma men have been charged
with the attempted murder of three young men.
2016 May 26, The European Union
issued a warning to Hungary about discrimination against Roma
children in the country's education system.
2016 Jun 10, A Swedish court
awarded 30,000 kronor ($3,700) each in damages to 11 Roma plaintiffs
who sued the government for discrimination, saying they were
registered by police due to their ethnicity.
2016 Jul 13, In central Romania
anti-mafia police broke up a human trafficking gang which forced
dozens of kidnapped victims including children into beggary and
slavery, rescuing five people in the town of Berevoesti. 38 members
of an extended Roma family in the village of Gamacesti were formally
(Reuters, 7/13/16)(AP, 7/14/16)
2018 Apr 8, Pope Francis told
worshippers in St Peter's Square that he hoped Roma Day could foster
greater understanding of Roma culture through the "goodwill of
getting to know one another" and "mutual respect". Matteo Salvini,
the leader of Italy's far-right League, urged them to "steal less".
2018 May 9, An international
report was released into the situation of the Roma people in the
Western Balkans. It showed that up to 93 percent of Roma women are
unemployed, with one-third of all Roma families there going to bed
hungry. The study covered Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo.
2018 Jun 23, In western Ukraine
an attack on a Roma camp left one person dead and four others
injured, including a 10-year-old boy on the outskirts of Lviv.
Police soon arrested seven men aged 16 and 17 suspected of carrying
out the attack and a 20-year-old man suspected of organizing it.
2018 Jun 27, Rome's city
authorities began clearing 450 people out of an official Roma camp
weeks after the new far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini,
said Italy's Roma should be counted and, if they are foreign,
2018 Jul 26, Police in Rome
cleared nearly 400 people, including dozens of children, from a
shanty camp inhabited for years by members of the minority Roma
community, despite a European Union court ruling halting demolition.
2018 Sep 11, The European
Commission backed a European Parliament report condemning Hungary
for abusing human rights and for the mistreatment of Roma
communities, Hungary's PM Viktor Orban rejected European Parliament
efforts to impose sanctions on Budapest over accusations of
corruption, rights abuses and authoritarianism, saying he had the
right to ban migrants from the country.
2018 Oct 7, Czech Pres. Milos
Zeman refused to back down from comments slamming what he called a
90 percent unemployment rate among the country's Roma, earning a
rebuke from campaigners and rights activists.
2019 Mar 25, In France around
20 people were arrested late today after gangs of vigilantes
attacked camps of ethnic Roma people in northeast Paris after false
reports that they were responsible for abductions in the area using
2019 Apr 3, Rome's Mayor
Virginia Raggi pledged an investigation into possible inciting
racial hatred against the organizers of a violent protest that
rejected housing Roma families in a neighborhood government-run
center a day earlier. Raggi blamed both Casa Pound and Forza Nuova
for creating a hostile climate in the Torre Maura neighborhood, a
low-income area on the eastern edge of the capital. City authorities
moved several Roma families out of a public housing project in a
Rome suburb after violent protests by neo-fascist groups threatened
(AP, 4/3/19)(AP, 4/4/19)
2019 Apr 11, In northern
Bulgaria protests against the Roma community took place in the city
of Gabrovo, sparked by an alleged attack by Roma men on a
shopkeeper. Roma, or Gypsies, make up around 5-9% of Bulgaria's
population of 7 million and are among the most disadvantaged groups
in the country.
2019 Jun 2, Pope Francis
apologized to the Roma ethnic minority for their history of
discrimination in Europe and paid homage to Romanian Catholics
persecuted during communist rule as he wrapped up his third and
final day in the country.
(SFC, 6/3/19, p.A2)
2019 Dec 5, Slovakia’s police
said they have charged former PM Robert Fico with racism for his
comments about the embattled Roma minority.
2020 Feb 23, In Hungary more
than 2,000 people, including Roma families and civil groups, marched
to parliament to protest against the government's refusal to pay
compensation to Roma children who had been unlawfully segregated in
a school in eastern Hungary.
2020 Apr 7, Leaders of
Hungary's Roma people said the coronavirus pandemic posed a grave
threat to the already precarious status of the marginalized
minority, with many Roma feeling abandoned by the nationalist
2020 May 11, Hungary's top
court ruled that a school Gyongyospata unlawfully segregated
minority Roma students for years, granting 100 million forints
($310,000) in compensation to the children's families.
2020 May 15, Slovakia lifted a
quarantine on the last of five Roma settlements that were closed off
in April to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.
2020 Sep 26, In North Macedonia
hundreds of Roma protested against police brutality in Bitola, the
country's second-largest city.
2020 Oct 14, It was reported
that Roma communities in Bulgaria were sprayed with disinfectant
from crop dusters this spring as coronavirus cases surged in the
country. In Slovakia, their villages were the only ones where the
army conducted testing. And across Central and Eastern Europe,
reports of police using excessive force against Roma spiked as
officers were deployed to enforce lockdowns in their towns.
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Subject = Gypsy
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