Fatal Coincidence: On the Root Causes of the Roma Holocaust

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Published Oct 25, 2022
Slawomir Kapralski


This article puts forward a broad interpretive scheme to understand the deep causes of the Nazi persecution of Roma. It is argued that a reference to the interplay of modernity and colonialism is required to understand how Roma were constructed as different, how this difference became racialized, and how projects to eliminate this difference were drawn up. The author presents Roma as the main actors in the two most important European historical processes: modernization and colonization. Various modern strategies targeting Roma are described,together with the impact of the colonial experience that allowed Roma to be seen as the “savage within”, threatening the identity of German society. Finally, the similarities between colonial violence and persecution of Roma are brought into focus.

How to Cite

Kapralski, S. (2022). Fatal Coincidence: On the Root Causes of the Roma Holocaust. Critical Romani Studies, 4(2), 56–74. https://doi.org/10.29098/crs.v4i2.78
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Article Details


Antigypsyism, Colonialism, Holocaust, Modernity, Racism, Roma