BERLIN ― They were demeaned, stripped of their rights, forced into labor, sent to extermination camps, murdered. Theirs is a story of the Holocaust that often goes untold, and even so many years later, this community remains socially marginalized.
The Roma, also known as Gypsies, a term some consider insulting, are believed to have come from India to Europe between the 8th and 10th centuries. Before the Second World War, it is estimated that there were nearly 1 million of them in Europe. The precise number who perished during the Holocaust remains unknown, but historians say about a quarter of the European Roma population was murdered by Germans and their allies, while the Council of Sinti and Roma suggest the figure is about half a million.