Roma Deportations to Transnistria during WWII
Between Central Decision-Making and Local Initiatives
Keywords:Roma, Romania, radicalization, decision-making, local initiatives
The deportations to which 25,000 Romanian Roma fell victim were not the result of German pressure on the Romanian government but the consequence of their long-term exclusion by local actors. To understand these deportations, it is thus necessary to compare the older attitudes toward Roma specific to certain milieus (nationalist parties, eugenicists, and law enforcement agencies) with the measures taken against Roma during the Second World War. As the Roma in Romania suffered very different fates during the war, the project will examine how exactly such differences ensued. There was an overlap of agendas regarding the Roma on behalf of various actors who, in certain contexts, would collaborate or compete, radicalising themselves in the process. The criteria for identifying the ‘undesirable’ Roma were vague and subjective, allowing local stakeholders to interpret and negotiate them in accordance with their own agendas.
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