The Romani Elders

The Romani Elders

Romani Rose(DE)


Life story

Romani Rose (1946, Heidelberg, Germany - ) is a Romani activist. He is the leading figure in the movement for Sinti and Roma civil rights. As a member of a German Sinti family that lost 13 members in concentration camps and the Holocaust Romani Rose has been politically active since the 1970s in the struggles of the minority for acknowledgement and material compensation for the wrongs they have suffered. His significant successes include the acknowledgement of the German Sinti and Roma as a national minority under the terms of the Framework Agreement on the Protection of National Minorities of the Council of Europe.
Since 1982, Romani Rose has held the post of Chairman of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, and since 1991 he has directed the Documentation and Cultural Centre of the German Sinti and Roma, an institution known across Europe for presenting the first permanent exhibition on the destruction of the Sinti and Roma. Together with other representatives of minorities from the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, France, and The Netherlands, Romani Rose is a member of the executive committee of the International Movement against Discrimination and Racism (Internationale Bewegung gegen Diskriminierung und Rassismus – IMAR), founded in Tokyo in 1988. In March 2006, the Polish government named Romani Rose to a seat on the International Auschwitz Council. (from:; photo: Cinematographer Stephen C. Whitehead)


“How minorities are treated is the measure of democracy and social values as well as the condition of EU membership.”

"That money cannot just be allowed to leak away, or what is even more surprising, to not be drawn on at all. The only possible interpretation in that case is that these countries do not intend to change the state of our exclusion from society."

"The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia have never thoroughly come to groups with their shared responsibility for the crimes committed against Jewish and Roma people."

"Unfortunately, it was too late for many of the Holocaust survivors who would have loved to have been there. That generation is dying out."

"In many countries, however, a large number of Roma are exposed to massive discrimination and, in a situation that is in any event characterized by terrible deprivation, suffer more than other people by being excluded and disadvantaged. Refugee families who leave their country because of persecution and racist violence - as is happening now in Kosovo - must be given appropriate assistance, not least by the OSCE. The same holds true for the comparatively small number of people who have long been stateless. This is the only realistic policy and the only one that has a perspective.”

Books, Articles, Statements

Romani Rose, Oliver von Mengersen, Frank Reuter, Uwe Wenzel - Roma and Sinti: human rights for Europe's largest minority (Documentation and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma, 2007)
Romani Rose - 'Den Rauch hatten wir täglich vor Augen': der nationalsozialistische Völkermord an den Sinti und Roma (Wunderhorn, 1999)
Romani Rose - Eröffnung des Dokumentations- und Kulturzentrums Deutscher Sinti und Roma: Festakt am 16. März 1997 in Heidelberg (Zentralrat Deutscher Sinti und Roma, 1997)
Romani Rose - Der Nationalsozialistische Völkermord an den Sinti und Roma (Heidelberg: Dokumentations- und Kulturzentrum Deutscher Sinti und Roma, 1995)
Romani Rose - Fünfzigster Jahrestag der Befreiung der Konzentrationslager Buchenwald und Mittelbau-Dora (Stiftung Gedenkstätten Buchenwald und Mittelbau-Dora, 1995)
Romani Rose, Walter Weiss - Sinti und Roma im Dritten Reich: das Programm der Vernichtung durch Arbeit (Lamuv, 1991) Romani Rose - Wir wollen Bürgerrechte und keinen Rassismus (Heidelberg: Zentralrat Deutscher Sinti und Roma, 1985)

Press about the Elder

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