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Gypsy Persecution in the 1990's, Part I

Dublin Core

Title

Gypsy Persecution in the 1990's, Part I

Subject

Kosovo (Republic)
Romanies.

Description

Oral history video clip featuring Anne Sutherland, Professor, Macalester College. This video was originally produced by Media Entertainment, Inc., for the 2000 documentary The Genocide Factor.

Creator

Media Entertainment, Inc.

Source

Genocide Factor Collection, Oral History Program, Tampa Library,
University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida.

Publisher

Tampa, Fla. : University of South Florida Tampa Library.

Date

1999-07-27

Contributor

Sutherland, Anne

Relation

G36-00024
Tape number: 4036F

Format

video / mp4

Language

English

Type

Oral History

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Caitlin, Norma

Interviewee

Sutherland, Anne

Location

Rice University, Houston, Texas

Transcription

Today, the situation is bad. It’s not the same as, you know, the whole state exterminating a group. But in Hungary, for example, in the Czech Republic, you have buildings, apartment buildings that are occupied by Gypsies, and situations where skinheads come in and go through the building and burn it and beat people up and kill them. And for instance, I was in Budapest a couple of years ago, and I actually witnessed the skinheads coming in and targeting a group of Gypsies in an apartment building in the inner city. The police were standing there, the Hungarian police: they didn’t do anything, they didn’t care. And the next day it was in the paper that skinheads attacked Gypsies, but they never put in the paper that the police were standing there and allowing it to happen. So in a sense, that’s kind of state-sanctioned. I’ve also witnessed in Bulgaria—I was actually with a film crew filming Gypsies who were holding a wedding ceremony in a public park, and the police arrived and began to beat people up and break up the wedding for no apparent reason that I could see. The incident became very ugly when they beat up a man who was seventy-nine years old. He was taken away to jail. His granddaughters tried to stop them from taking them; they were young girls of fifteen or sixteen. They were knocked aside, and it wasn’t until the next day that we could get him out and he had no medical care during that time. So that kind of police brutality is going on all the time, but also brutality from the population in general. As I said, in Kosovo the Gypsies are unable to go to the refugee camps, the United Nations refugee camps; and the United Nations is aware of this problem because the Albanians in the camps were targeting Gypsies and there were several murders that went on there. The Albanians view the Gypsies as collaborators with the Serbs. The Serbs are not allowing the Gypsies to come into Serbia proper, into the—you know, Yugoslavia—with the other Serb refugees from Kosovo, because they view the Gypsies as inferior. So the Gypsies are caught between. A group of about 560 Gypsies tried to go to Italy as refugees, but the Italian government said the war is over so really they have to go back to Kosovo. So they’re trapped in a displaced persons/no man’s land kind of situation. That’s the way they were during World War II. They really didn’t have a country, they didn’t have passports, they were nomadic, they went from town to town. Nobody cared about them. And so when they were exterminated, really there was no population to protest; there was no one to even notice half the time. So they’ve always been in that situation where they’re nomadic and they’re not really known that well, and so when they disappear or when they’re persecuted, it’s not—the government doesn’t notice, or the population doesn’t notice as much.

Original Format

Beta tape

Duration

3:51

Citation

Media Entertainment, Inc., “Gypsy Persecution in the 1990's, Part I,” USF Library Special & Digital Collections Exhibits, accessed November 17, 2019, http://exhibits.lib.usf.edu/items/show/710.

Geolocation