45 years of Civil Rights Movement

Commemoration ceremony at the Brandenburg Gate in September 1992 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Nazi decision to exterminate through labor (Photo: Documentation Center Archive)

Lending the Exhibition

Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma
Phone: +49 6221 981102

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45 years of Civil Rights Work
The long path to recognition

In addition to the history of persecution of the Sinti and Roma during the Nazi era, the civil rights movement of the German Sinti and Roma plays an increasingly important role in the center’s exhibitions.

The exhibition ‘45 Years of Civil Rights Work by German Sinti and Roma’, conceived in 2016, shows the milestones of civil rights work from the founding of the Sinti Association, then called the ‘Central Committee of the Sinti of West Germany’, in 1971 to the work of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma today. Photographs from five decades direct the viewer’s attention to well-known and lesser-known civil rights actions.

After 1945, the racist thought patterns of the National Socialism lived on largely uninterrupted in state institutions such as the police and judiciary. Compensation for the persecution of the minority during the Nazi era was repeatedly prevented and trials against the Nazi perpetrators were dismissed rather quickly. The genocide of the Sinti and Roma was systematically denied.

Throughout Europe, persistent Antigypsyism prevented a proper process of coming to terms with the genocide of the Sinti and Roma for a long time. Organizations of the minority throughout Europe have achieved a lot since then: the recognition of the Holocaust of Sinti and Roma, the establishment of dignified memorial sites and a growing awareness of the deeply rooted prejudices against Sinti and Roma in European history.