Members of the East Prussian Sinti family Ernst around 1905 in a historical photograph. The group photo shows three adults and three children who have positioned themselves for the camera.
Members of the East Prussian Sinti family Ernst, around 1905 (Photo: Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma)


Phone: +49 6221 981102

Some of the collection material is accessible for research purposes on request.

“The forgotten memory” collection project

To the project page

In addition to the specialized public library, the Documentation and Cultural Center also has a collection of historical objects and documents on the topics of the history and culture of the Sinti and Roma, National Socialism and the Holocaust, Antigypsyism and civil rights work. The collection forms the basis for the scientific work of the Documentation Center and has been continuously expanded since the establishment of the Center in the 1990s.

A team has recently been working on building up and expanding this collection. At the same time, the Documentation Center is preparing a new permanent exhibition. Accordingly, we are looking for documents, photos, letters and objects that document the everyday life of Sinti and Roma in Germany and Europe. We are interested in art objects as well as everyday objects, documents as well as pictures and other media. We are interested in objects and documents that document the history of the Sinti and Roma and at the same time tell of their personal lives.

The main body of our collection consists of papers documenting the Holocaust against the Sinti and Roma. These primarily include copies of files from German and international archives. The perspective of the Nazi perpetrators that predominates in these documents is supplemented by an extensive stock of family photos and private self-testimonies that survivors and relatives of Holocaust victims have entrusted to the Documentation Center. Through interviews with contemporary witnesses of National Socialism as well as the civil rights work of German Sinti and Roma in the postwar period, the Documentation Center has also built up a unique stock of oral history documents that preserves the experiences of Sinti and Roma as part of recent German and European history.

The 600-year old cultural history and influences of the Sinti and Roma on European culture have become a new focus of the collection in recent years. The collection includes original edicts from the 17th and 18th centuries as well as an extensive collection of postcards. Testimonies created by members of the minority themselves, in which Sinti and Roma reflect their own identity, are of particular importance. These consist of various media, including books, magazines and works of art, as well as sound recordings, such as records and music tapes.