27 June 2007

THE GYPSIES

"Though not all victims were Jews, all Jews were victims." --Elie Wiesel



I was reading a post on Gypsy Purple's blog and it got me thinking.
So Gypsy, with you in mind - this one is for you!
Whilst I write about the Jews killed in the Holocaust, many others including Homosexuals and Gypsies were subjected to the same fate as The Jews.

I do not want people to think that I have blinkers on. If it were not for those called, "The Righteous Amongst The Nations" - that is those Non-Jews who risked their own lives to save Jews during the time of the Holocaust - who knows how many more would have perished.

Because my blog is related to my work and my work involves so many amazing life stories - when I am allowed to post about them I do so. So far all the Survivor's I have come into contact with are Jewish.Also, I figure that it allows you, the reader, to come along the extensive and emotional journey I take each and every time I do a Visual Anthology. That way, when I am permitted to post one of them you will get a sense of the reasons why I use the materials, objects and colours that I do.

You will notice I never ever ever use the colour yellow in Holocaust victims work.
Reason: Because Jews were made to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothes so they could be easily identified. Survivors are very sensitive to this colour.

So here is some information I would like to share with you. please be advised that there are two testimonials below and one is extremely harrowing.
The Holocaust took 500,000 Gypsies' lives.
They experienced the same hardships Jews did, with discriminations extending throughout their settlement of western Europe. Gypsies were termed by the Nazi's as "asocial". They were seen as racially-alien people who degenerated the "Aryan Race". The Gypsies were viewed by the Nazi's with racial stereotype's of dark-skinned thieves, pickpockets, swindlers, beggars, and fortunetellers, incarcerating them as criminals.


A group of Gypsy prisoners, awaiting instructions from their German captors, sit in an open area near the fence in the Belzec concentration camp.

Most of the laws passed in 1934 referring to the deportation of Jews also referred to Gypsies who could not prove their German citizenship. The Law for the Prevention of Offspring with Hereditary diseases was applied to the sterilization of Gypsies. Among others, they were sterilized as `unworthy of human reproduction' (fortpflanzungsunwuerdig), only to be ultimately annihilated as not worthy of living.
A group of Gypsy children sitting outside in the Rivesaltes Internment camp.
In 1935, German Gypsies were confined to Ghettos and later during World War II to concentration camps where they were gassed, cremated or shot before firing squads, used as medical guinea pigs, and injected with lethal substances.

This little girl, photographed before being experimented on in the camps.
The deportations and executions of the Gypsies came under Himmler's authority. On December 16, 1942, Himmler issued an order to send all Gypsies to the concentration camps, with a few exceptions.
The deported Gypsies were sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where a special Gypsy camp was erected. Over 20,000 Gypsies from Germany and some other parts of Europe were sent to this camp, and most of them were gassed there.
TESTIMONIALS:

"First the girl had to dig out a hole in the field, while her mother, who was seven months pregnant, had to watch while chained to a tree. They slit open the stomach of the pregnant woman, ripped out the unborn child and threw it into the hole in the ground. Then they threw the woman in as well and the small girl too, after they had raped her first. She was still living when they covered the hole".
Angela Hudurovic as quoted in Rose, Nazi Genocide.


"My sister Josefine Steinbach had nine children, only one of whom died in camp. Today I still can't believe that the other eight children survived everything until they were gassed in August 1944. My sister could have survived. But when she was supposed to be taken away with me to Ravensbrück before the destruction of the Gypsy Camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau, she refused to go because of the children. She told the SS that she wouldn't leave without her children. After the last transport left Auschwitz she and her children were gassed together. . ."
Maria Peter as quoted in State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Memorial Book: The Gypsies at Auschwitz-Birkenau.
You can reference more material and information on the Gypsies here.
Well, next post I am going to showcase a lovely lady artists site who is an inspiration to me.
I promise I won't do another "heavy" post for a while.
Thanks for all your comments everyone. It makes me so fullfilled when you let me know that my "heavy" posts mean something to you. It means that the 3 hours it took me to put together the last one was worth it.
{{{{{{{{{{{HUGSTO Y'ALL }}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
P.S. My blogger's formatting is mucking around again - so it's not me!

16 comments:

Ruth Rae said...

you my dear one are a very special girl!
all the time you put into sharing your knowledge and your amazing gift with words and story weaving are amazing! thank you for filling me up with more then what I came with :)

Annieta Vries said...

Oh my ... what stories .... I live in The Netherlands, my father was born in 1936. Three of his older brothers were send to war. They all came home, but ... what stories ... We remember WW II casualties on the 4th of May here in The Netherlands. We teach our children to respect that. Also: how bad discrimination can get, where it can go ... Look around and it still happens all around the world and I feel só very very sad about that, but we can not close our eyes! It's mostly a far away story, not as near as what our parents and grandparents have been trough, but bad and sad it is!
Let us not discriminate. Let us listen and be patient with eachother in our own little space and make it a better world, as small as we are. Hugs!!!

Ro Bruhn said...

Judy, you asked me why I thought of you as a thinking blogger when I nominated you some time ago, these last few posts must surely answer that question.
I've learnt so much from your knowledge and research.

Ro
xo

jo and jacky said...

I so look forward to reading your blog each day. It always reminds me to be so grateful of the life I lead.
Thankyou for all the time and effort you put in to each and every post.
Love Jo xoxox

Cindy Dean said...

Judy, I should have read this post first before I whined on my own blog. Life now seems so easy when you read about what these people had to go thru. Your posts make me think and I like that. You are an amazing artist and I love that you put so much emotion into your work. I think we sometimes we need to be reminded of the past however horrible, so we can create a better future. Thank you for reminding us to never forget.

Gypsy Purple said...

Judy...I am so very, very honoured...and so incredibly touched by this post.
You and your blog have come to mean so much to me....what an incredible post....as always, I`ve read every single word!!!!!!
I went through I patch recently, where I realised that I allowed myself to derail from my most important things in life....forgot to put first things first....and your posts, with all it`s realities and truths, meant SO MUCH to me!!!!
Never ever think to stop posting as you feel....

Lissy said...

Judy, I find your entries quite shocking and distrubing but a must read...meaning that becuase I find this stuff all so upsetting I generally avoid it...but I realise we must know about it and share it with others...bad things are still happening in the world but hopefully never ever as bad as this was. So thank you again for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Judy I found it disturbing when I travelled throughout Europe several years age when I received so many warnings about watching out for the gypsy's. When you think about it we have so much and when you see them they so obviously need help and it would be so gracious to give what you could. We are so materialistic we don't always think of those who have so very little. I have always admired the gypsy spirit.
Jacky

paris parfait said...

Thank you for sharing this important information, which sadly has received far too little press in the past. Powerful post.

MeganPickwell said...

Your posts are just amazing Judy - you put so much into them and give so much to those of us that visit.
Thankyou.
Mx

carole @scoundrelsandrogues said...

Hi Judy:
Your soul must hurt writing about the atrocities done to other human beings. Cindy Dean in an earlier comment said it well; your writing makes us think, however ugly or horrible the truth of the content, we think.
We have to grow from the past and your very real informative blog shows caring thoughts.
I will come back
Thank you
carole

Anonymous said...

Your posts are hard to read, but must be read. I have known two survivors of the holocaust. One was a tremendous artist and one of her sculptures is also one of my own greatest treasures.

I am not Jewish, but I am married to a very Jewish man. My brother married a Jewish woman and converted so we are a merry mix. all that said, I am learning so very much from you and thank you.

R2artstudio said...

There are so many stories that have not been told, and should be known. Thank you for sharing these, we may never have heard them otherwise. I so admire your gift.

Rochambeau said...

Dear Judy,
Thank you for sharing these accounts. It is hard to read about how cruel people can be, but it's important to learn from past mistakes.

Constance

I'm Karen's friend, but today I came by way of 'The Gypsy'.

NancyGeneArmstrong said...

Thank you .

I need orange said...

It is so important that we all remember.

Never apologize for telling these stories.