From the Program:
The Third Reich persecuted the Romani and the Jews equally, along with other ‘enemies of the State’. The Jews and the Romani, however, were the only races selected
for complete destruction by the Master Race. For a brief time early in Hitler’s reign, the Roma were rounded up into ghettos along side the Jews and held until Heinrich
Himmler, director of the SS, decided what to do with them. Since the Roma can be traced to India, Himmler was concerned their blood might be linked to the Aryan
bloodline. In 1936 the Minister of the Interior of the Third Reich, who serves on the panel on racial laws, declared that, “In Europe, only Jews and Gypsies are of foreign
Later that same year, the Racial Hygiene and Population Biology and Research Unit of the Ministry of Health was established under the direction of Dr. Robert Ritter.
One of Ritter's duties was to determine whether the Romani people were Aryans or sub-humans. In December of 1938, Himmler signed the Order for the Fight Against
the Gypsy Menace. Roma all over Germany, who had already been forced into ghettos and camps and subjected to beatings and starvation, were loaded into cattle cars
and sent to concentration camps. In January 1940, Zyklon-B, the poison used in the gas chambers, was first tested on 250 Roma children in the Buchenwald
Over two million Romani were murdered during the Holocaust, but we will never know the exact count. Often groups found hiding in the countryside were gunned down
in ditches with no complete record of the executions to provide accurate numbers. The Nuremberg Trials, held to hold Nazi leaders accountable for their actions, never
leveled charges against the Nazis for any crimes against the Romani.