One-Day Symposium, September 21, 2000
This program featured prominent scholars whose research, analysis, and insights have advanced the study of the Nazi persecution of Roma and Sinti. Speakers addressed Nazi racial policy concerning Roma and Sinti, how Roma were persecuted in various regions of eastern and western Europe, and future research possibilities on this subject.
Session I: Opening Remarks
Welcoming Remarks—Paul Shapiro, Director, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Paul A. Shapiro is Director, Mandel Center, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He served earlier as Assistant to the Museum Director for Special Projects. Before joining the Museum, Mr. Shapiro was involved for over a decade in the development of the Museum’s archival collections. A specialist in the Holocaust in Romania and a former editor of the Journal of International Affairs (New York) and Problems of Communism (Washington), Mr. Shapiro holds degrees in government, international affairs, and history from Harvard University and Columbia University.
Roma and Sinti History and Culture—Ian Hancock, Professor, University of Texas, Austin, and member, United States Holocaust Memorial Council
- Ian Hancock is Professor of English, Linguistics, and Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is author of nearly three hundred articles and books, including The Pariah Syndrome: An Account of Gypsy Slavery and Persecution (1987) and A Handbook of Vlax Romani (1995). Professor Hancock lectures widely in the United States and Europe on the persecution of the Roma. He recently spoke on behalf of the Roma at the Forum 2000 Conference on the Holocaust, which was held in Stockholm, Sweden. He is a Member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
Session II: Persecution in the Third Reich
Nazi Racial Policy and the Roma and Sinti—Wolfgang Wippermann, Professor, Friedrich Meinecke Institut für Neuere Geschichte der Freie Universität, Berlin
- Wolfgang Wippermann is Professor of Modern History at the Free University in Berlin. He is an expert on the history of fascism, antisemitism, and the National Socialist persecution of other minorities, such as the Roma and Sinti. Professor Wippermann is the recipient of numerous prestigious academic awards and has held guest professorships at Indiana University, the University of Minnesota, and Duke University. His many publications include “Wie die Zigeuner," Antisemitismus und Antiziganismus im Vergleich (1997), Umstrittene Vergangenheit. Fakten und Kontroversen zum Nationalsozialismus (1998), and The Racial State. Germany, 1933–1945, which he co-authored with Michael Burleigh.
Nazi Persecution of the Roma and Sinti in the Third Reich—Michael Zimmermann, Lecturer, Ruhruniversität Bochum
- Michael Zimmermann is Historian at the Ruhrland Museum in Essen and lecturer at the University of Bochum. He is author of Rassenutopie und Genozid: Die nationalsozialistische “Lösung der Zigeunerfrage” (1996), editor and coauthor of Die Geschichte der Juden im Rheinland und in Westfalen (1998), and coeditor of Das Jüdische Museum in Prag (1991). His analysis of Nazi Gypsy policy in particular is widely recognized as one of the most influential studies on the subject, receiving an award from the University of Jena in 1997.
Gypsies in Nazi Concentration Camps–Guenter Lewy, Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
- Guenter Lewy is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is author of ten books, including The Nazi Persecution of the Gypsies (1999), The Cause that Failed: Communism in American Political Life (1990), and The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany (1964). Professor Lewy has received numerous distinctions and fellowships from organizations and institutions, including the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
History of Prejudice against Roma and Sinti in European Popular Culture—John Brown, PhD candidate, University College, London
- John Brown is a PhD candidate in History at University College London. He has studied at the University of Essex, United Kingdom, and is completing his dissertation on the history of the Roma and Sinti in Nazi-occupied Europe. Mr. Brown is active in legal efforts to secure financial reparations to Romani survivors of Nazi persecution and he recently consulted for a forthcoming television documentary entitled "Voices of Roma," which draws attention to anti-Roma prejudice in both the United States and United Kingdom.
Session III: Persecution in the Axis and Occupied Countries
Roma Persecution in Romania—Radu Ioanid, Associate Director, International Programs Division, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- Radu Ioanid is Director of the International Archival Program, Mandel Center. He is author of The Sword of the Archangel: Fascist Ideology in Romania (English edition, 1990) and Holocaust in Romania: The Destruction of Jews and Gypsies under the Antonescu Regime, 1940–1944 (2000), published in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, with French and Hebrew editions (2002).
Roma Persecution in Croatia—Mark Biondich, Lecturer, University of Toronto
- Mark Biondich is a lecturer at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. He was a 1999–2000 Fellow at the Mandel Center and was previously a Research Fellow in the Institute on East Central Europe at Columbia University. Dr. Biondich is an expert on Croatian Fascism, the history of the Ustašha Movement, and the persecution of ethnic minorities, including the Roma, in Croatia. He is the author of Stjepan Radic, the Croat Peasant Party and the Politics of Mass Mobilization, 1904-1928.
Roma Persecution in France and Belgium—Denis Peschanski, Professor, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris
- Denis Peschanski is Professor at the Center for Twentieth Century Social History in Paris, France. He serves on the editorial board of the journal Communisme and was director of the History of the Twentieth Century project at the Paris Center. Professor Peschanski has published nearly 70 articles throughout his career. He is author of Images de la France de Vichy (1988), Vichy 1940-1944. Contrôle et exclusion (1997), and coauthor of La police française entre bouleversements et permanences, 1930-1960 (2000).
Session IV: Closing Presentations
Romanian Memory of Roma Persecution—Viorel Achim, Charles H. Revson Foundation Fellow, CAHS (Nicolae Iorga Institute of History, Bucharest)
- Viorel Achim is an historian at the Nicolae Iorga Institute of History in Bucharest, Romania. He is a specialist in Romanian history, particularly on the history of Roma in Romania, and the author of The Gypsies in the History of Romania (in Romanian), which appeared in 1998. He will be the Charles H. Revson Fellow in the Mandel Center from October to December 2000, conducting research for his latest project, “The Deportation of the Romanian Gypsies (Roma) to Transnistria (1942-1944).”
Current Trends and Needs in Research: Problems and Possibilities—David Crowe, Professor, Elon College, and Ian Hancock
- David Crowe is Professor of History at Elon College, North Carolina. He taught at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, and was Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University and a Fellow at the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Crowe is author of World War I & Europe in Crisis (1990) and coeditor of Roma and Forced Migration: An Annotated Bibliography (1998). He is the recipient of numerous scholarly awards and distinctions, including grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, and sits on the Education Committee of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
- Raul Hilberg is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Vermont. He is the author of the classic study The Destruction of the European Jews, which was among the first detailed scholarly treatments of the Holocaust. His many other works include The Politics of Memory (1996), Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders (1992), and the edited volume, Documents of Destruction (1971). Professor Hilberg has served as Member of the President’s Commission on the Holocaust (1978–79) and Member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council (1980-88). He currently serves on the Council’s Academic Committee.