german sinti and roma cultural center
(dokumentations und kulturzentrum deutscher sinti und roma)
The Sinti and Roma peoples, (commonly but incorrectly referred to as Gypsies), are two of the many minorities that live in Europe. The cultural center in Heidelberg attempts to document their persecution during the mid-20th century. The first floor of the center looks at their lives from the beginning of their exclusion from society during the Weimar Republic. For centuries, the Sinti and Roma had been labelled as social outcasts, but by 1929, they were forced to register themselves. When the Hitler took over the government in 1933, the “anti-Gypsy” laws only got worse, further depriving them of their rights. The second floor documents their forced labor in industrial firms, the medical experiments conducted on them, and their deportation and mass execution at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The third floor is dedicated to the victims.