As Roma were and still are marginalised in society, Roma history was and still is sidelined in mainstream history.

It is known and proven since the eighteenth century that Romani, the language of the Roma, is a New-Indo-Aryan language and that its speakers are of Indian origin. However, public knowledge about the history and culture of this nation, which numerically is the largest minority in Europe, is still marginal or inexistent among ordinary people. On the other hand, national governments and international organisations are trying to overcome segregation, stigmatisation and marginalisation of the Roma and try to fully integrate Roma into society.

Roma history factsheets

The Council of Europe produces a collection of pedagogical fact sheets (available in English, French, Albanian, German, Italian, Romani, Romania, Serbian and Swedish) on Roma history, culture and language. In its efforts to defeat segregation, stigmatisation and marginalisation of the Roma the Council of Europe tries to fully integrate them into society. An integral part of this educational process of integration is mutual knowledge of the common history of Roma and non-Roma in Europe. The fact sheets are intended to support this process of integration through education.         

 Roma history factsheets

Roma Holocaust

Work is being done to enhance recognition and increase awareness of the Samudaripen (in Romani, this word means "(the) murder of all", collective murder) and refers to the genocide of the Roma and Sinti during the Second World War, and the need to prevent similar future crimes against humanity.

Remembrance, particularly remembrance of the events which occurred during the Second World War, remains a sensitive and painful issue for Roma. The project includes the production of teaching materials on Roma history and culture, the organisation of events and working meetings, and the setting-up of a website devoted to Roma remembrance.

The website’s main function is to provide instruction on the genocide of Roma. It comprises a database on this period of Roma history, with a virtual library of the best-known and most useful publications, and an interactive map on which countries can indicate their special/distinctive features at national level. The website also provides information on curricula, available teaching materials, school textbooks, places of remembrance, and innovative practices introduced by ministries, civil society, international organisations, museums and schools.

The Council of Europe is implementing this work in co-operation with the OSCE/ODIHR Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues.             

 Teaching Roma genocide website

Videos Videos

Interview with Roma Holocaust survivor, Marin Constantin, who witnessed mass brutality in Nazi-controlled Ukraine during the Second World War

Year : 2011
Country : Romania
Language : Romanian with English subtitles