• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Were the Gypsies of Europe subject to a genocide in the years 1939-1945?

Extracts from this document...


Jessica Harris-Voss ANTH7002 Were the Gypsies of Europe subject to a genocide in the years 1939-1945? Word Count: 2194 Raphael Lempkin coined the term ?genocide? in 1944 and some of his ideas on genocide were adopted in the United Nations Genocide Convention in 1948. The UN definition of genocide is very important because it is the internationally accepted definition. It defines genocide as; acts which are committed with the intent to destroy the whole, or part of a national, ethical, racial or religious group through killings, serious bodily and mental harm, deliberately inflicting conditions onto the group intended to bring about its destruction completely or partly, imposing measures to prevent births and forcibly removing children from the group and replacing them into another group. Lempkin listed the fields in which genocide was being carried out as; political, social, cultural, economic, biological, physical, religious and moral, despite the UN only adopting the physical definitions. The UN legal definition is going to be the basis of the essay, and what I will base my conclusions regarding the gypsies around, that does not mean however that the definition is an accurate one. Kuper (1981) talks about the widespread devastation caused by the n**i?s, providing the force for the formal recognition of genocide as a crime under international law, despite genocidal events having been reprimanded by governments previously, including the French intervention with religious attacks taking place in Lebanon in 1861 and the governments of France, the U.K. ...read more.


Zimmerman (2000) would argue that the gypsies were not subjected to genocide due to a lack of premeditated intent from governing forces. The original purpose of the gypsy persecution was to impose a certain lifestyle upon those that did not fit within the n**i ideologies, and remove those that would not comply from the general German population, but not to exterminate the race. Local state and police officials emphasised asocial behaviour as the reason for persecution, and evidence of this is further demonstrated by the treatment of the Jenische (the white gypsies), who irrespective of racial affiliation were categorised in the same way due to their social nuisance (ibid: 219). Zimmerman agreed that the murder of many gypsies evolved due to circumstance. The mass killings of those unfit to work at Auschwitz for example was due to the overcrowding resulting from the masses of incoming Hungarian Jews, and at this point in the war, mass murder had become a common solution to problems such as this. Lewy estimates that between 5000 and 15000 gypsies were exempt from deportation and remained in the Reich, the latter figure would suggest more gypsies were exempt than were deported. Some were exempt because they were racially pure, and others because of social adjustment or meritorious military service. Gypsies considered to be socially adjusted were those with a regular job and permanent residence before the gypsy count in 1939 and no criminal record. ...read more.


They were caused bodily and mental harm, they were destroyed in part, and attempts were made to prevent their procreation. What happened to the gypsies during WW2 was horrific, and should be recognised using a clearer definition. The UNGC is only the first step in promoting international consciousness of the denial of human rights across the world. Reference: Fain, H. (1990) ?Social Recognition and Crimilization of Genocide? Current Sociology 38: pp1-7 Katz, D. (2009) ?on three definitions: Genocide, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Obfuscation? in Donskis, L. ?A Litmus Test Case of Modernity. Examining Modern Sensibilities and the Public Domain in the Baltic States at the Turn of the Century?. Interdisciplinary Studies on Central and Eastern Europe 5: pp. 259-277 Kuper, L. (1981) ?Genocide: Its Political Use in the Twentieth Century?. New York and London: Penguin Lempkin, R. (1944) ?Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation. Analysis of Government. Proposals for Redress? Washington DC: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Lewy, G. (2000) ?The n**i Persecution of the Gypsies? Oxford: Oxford University Press Milton, S. (2001) ?Gypsies as social outsiders in n**i Germany? pp.212-232 in Gellately, R. and Stolzfus, N. (eds.) Social Outsiders in n**i Germany Princeton University Press Thompson, J and Quets, G. (1987) ?Redefining the Moral Order: Towards a Normative Theory of Genocide? New York: Columbia University Zimmermann, M. (2000) ?The National Socialist "Solution of the Gypsy Question," pp. 186-209 in Herbert, U. (ed.) ?National Socialist Extermination Policies: Contemporary German Perspectives and Controversies? New York: Berghahn Books ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 1920-1949 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree 1920-1949 essays

  1. Why and when was Germany divided? 1945

    Then from 1940-1945, the area was again taken over by Germany with the invasion and subsequent defeat of France in June 1940. As Urwin said, "France was obsessed by the need to keep Germany weak and divided". There was a similar view adopted by Russia for the division of Germany and weakening of the country.

  2. Critical Analysis: Walking Since Daybreak. As a text rich with examples of postmodern ...

    Because of the narrative style it is presented in, it all contributes to the formation of an almost 'real' memory. Finally, while issues of class and race are fairly easy to read in a narrative that describes such a story, it seems important to comment on the role that women play in the book.

  1. Why did the Labour Party win the General Election of 1945?

    It was written by Churchill himself and focused significantly on foreign policy. There was however, a promise to commit to the full programme of reconstruction agreed by the coalition during the war. It was constructive, but its vagueness in some areas must be considered a weakness and representative of division in the Conservative Party.

  2. To what extent did the Tsarist and Soviet governments control and influence music in ...

    "moral beacon.""43 Shostakovich was a musician who resented the meddling of party ignoramuses in his work, simplifying only when forced to do so and reincorporating elements of tragedy back into his music immediately after the death of Stalin and especially towards the end of his life.

  1. Within the context 1814 1939, to what extent could the Wall Street Crash ...

    Essentially, it cannot be denied the momentous impact the Great Depression had on Germany, and one is inclined to agree with Calvocoressi?s view that the Great Depression was the main enabling factor to n**i success. This is because, one can distinctly see that the consequent Great Depression of the Wall

  2. An Analysis of Edward Saids Out of Place from a Postcolonial Perspective

    soils of Egypt and was obsessed with helping them, even by sparing all her time for them. She would approach to English- speaking charities and missions connected to Protestant churches for help. Without any attempt to convert, she would aid them directly on her will and all alone, working day and night.

  1. The Rape of Nanking and its Aftermath: How a Genocidal Event Shaped Sino-Japanese Relations ...

    13, 1937, the day after the Japanese took control. ?The bodies of civilians that I examined had bullet holes in their backs. These people had presumably been fleeing and were shot from behind.?[8] (Wudunn). The Japanese soldiers massacred Chinese military and civilians alike, not distinguishing between soldiers and non-combatants: By

  2. Roses of Hope- Nazi destruction of in WW2

    We aren?t able to follow fates of all these people but we can focus on some events which changed lives of many people as it was in Lidice. Unfortunately for Czechoslovakians, their republic bordered on Germany, where the ?n**i mischief? fluctuated from.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work