Permanent Exhibition Heidelberg

The permanent exhibition on the Holocaust against Sinti and Roma in Heidelberg (Photo: Documentation Center Archive/Kehrel)

Opening hours

9am – 7:45pm

Wednesday – Friday:
9:30am – 4:30pm

Saturday, Sunday:
11am – 4:30pm

Closed on Mondays as well as public holidays.

Free admission
Barrier free access

Since March 1997, the Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma in Heidelberg has hosted the first permanent exhibition documenting the Nazi genocide of this minority. On three levels and an area of almost 700 square meters, the history of the persecution of the Sinti and Roma during the Nazi era is traced: from the gradual exclusion and disenfranchisement in the German Reich to the systematic extermination in Nazi-occupied Europe.

As the then German Federal President Roman Herzog emphasized in 1997, ‘the genocide of the Sinti and Roma was carried out with the same motive of racial mania, with the same intent and the same will for planned and final extermination as that of the Jews. They were murdered systematically and family by family throughout the Nazi sphere of influence, from infants to the elderly‘.

The presentation of the history of persecution in our permanent exhibition is based on people who were turned into victims. Their biographies are at the center of the exhibition. The documents of the Nazis in which Sinti and Roma are systematically dehumanized and depersonalized are therefore juxtaposed with the testimonies of the victims and the accounts of the survivors.

Historical family pictures play a central role here. They show the many ways in which Sinti and Roma were integrated into social and local life. They repeatedly make us aware that behind the abstract documents of bureaucratically organized extermination lie countless destroyed lives and human fates.

These two levels – normality and everyday life of the minority on the one hand, terror and the apparatus of persecution on the other – are clearly distinguished from one another in the exhibition in terms of space and design and at the same time set in relation to one another.

Romani Rose on the Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma and the permanent exhibition on the Nazi genocide against Sinti and Roma (German with English Subtitles)