Roma Deportations to Transnistria during WWII

Between Central Decision-Making and Local Initiatives


  • Petre Matei INSHR



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.

Author Biography

  • Petre Matei, INSHR

    Petre Matei is a researcher at the Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania. He holds a PhD in History from the University of Bucharest. He has been a research fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and has carried out oral history interviews with Roma and Jewish survivors. He has published around thirty articles on Roma history and, with Vintilă Mihăilescu, he has co-edited Condit‚ia romă: Schimbarea discursului [The Roma Condition: Changing Discourse] (Iași: Polirom, 2014) and Roma: Der Diskurswandel (Vienna: new academic press, 2020). His research interests focus on Roma history, the Holocaust, compensation, and memory.




How to Cite

“Roma Deportations to Transnistria During WWII: Between Central Decision-Making and Local Initiatives”. 2022. S: I.M.O.N. Shoah: Intervention. Methods. Documentation. 9 (2): 26-50.