The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies

The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies

Book - 2000
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Baker & Taylor
Documents the Nazi crackdown on the perceived Gypsy threat to social order and racial purity, including incarceration in concentration camps, medical experimentation, and mass executions

Oxford University Press
Roaming the countryside in caravans, earning their living as musicians, peddlers, and fortune-tellers, the Gypsies and their elusive way of life represented an affront to Nazi ideas of social order, hard work, and racial purity. They were branded as "asocials," harassed, and eventually herded into concentration camps where many thousands were killed. But until now the story of their persecution has either been overlooked or distorted.
In The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies, Guenter Lewy draws upon thousands of documents--many never before used--from German and Austrian archives to provide the most comprehensive and accurate study available of the fate of the Gypsies under the Nazi regime. Lewy traces the escalating vilification of the Gypsies as the Nazis instigated a widespread crackdown on the "work-shy" and "itinerants." But he shows that Nazi policy towards Gypsies was confused and changeable. At first, local officials persecuted gypsies, and those who behaved in gypsy-like fashion, for allegedly anti-social tendencies. Later, with the rise of race obsession, Gypsies were seen as a threat to German racial purity, though Himmler himself wavered, trying to save those he considered "pure Gypsies" descended from Aryan roots in India. Indeed, Lewy contradicts much existing scholarship in showing that, however much the Gypsies were persecuted, there was no general program of extermination analogous to the "final solution" for the Jews.
Exploring in heart-rending detail the fates of individual Gypsies and their families, The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies makes an important addition to our understanding both of the history of this mysterious people and of all facets of the Nazi terror.

Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, c2000
ISBN: 9780195125566
Branch Call Number: 940.5318 LEW
Characteristics: ix, p. 306 : ill, ; 25 cm


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Jun 12, 2014

Thank you Guenter for adding the persecution of Gypsy populations during the Nazi regime with your book. While the persecution was not as pronounced at the Jewish, it is still very much important. You briefly touch on the persecution of disabled people but you totally disregard the persecution of the homosexuals. Nonetheless, I recommend the book. I wonder if the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum acknowledges the persecution of all these groups besides the Jewish peoples. I must go and check it out for myself.


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