While the systematic slaughter of Europe’s Jews is well known, far less attention has been given to the simultaneous holocaust of the Roma and Sinti peoples [pejoratively known as Gypsies] of Europe, a tragedy known by its victims as the Porajmos, the Devouring [previously].
The racist eugenics of the Adolf Hitler and his SS called for the elimination of all “non-Aryan peoples, but especially those considered inherently criminal subhumans — that is, Europe’s Jews and migratory peoples.
The slaughter was carried out with the enthusiastic participation of the governments of German-occupied lands, and while most of those countries have acknowledged their role in the massacre of Jews, their participation in the Porajmos is either unacknowledged to quickly passed over.
Now, finally, one of the principal abettors of the murder of the Sinti and Roma has stepped forward.
President Francois Hollande on Saturday acknowledged that France bore “broad responsibility” for the internment of thousands of Roma by the World War II Vichy regime and in the early months of the post-war government.
“The day has come, and this truth must be told,” Hollande said in the first presidential visit to the main internment camp for Roma, located in Montreuil-Bellay, central France.
“The (French) Republic acknowledges the suffering of travelling people who were interned and admits that it bears broad responsibility,” Hollande said.
Roma, also known as gypsies, were brutally persecuted in the Holocaust, paralleling the systematic murder of Jews. Estimates of how many died vary widely, between 220,000 and half a million.