Central Council of German Sinti and Roma sharply criticizes SAT 1: SAT 1 film production about Roma provokes hate speech and violence against minorities

On 07 August 2019, SAT 1 television broadcasted the pseudo-documentary Roma shown in the series Act 20.19: “A people between poverty and showing off”. This telecast defames the members of Sinti and Roma in a disgusting and racist way. The Central Council will discuss this film, which fits easily into the racist tradition of Jud Suss or the Nazi propaganda film about the Theresienstadt ghetto “The Führer gives the Jews a city”, at its meeting in September 2019 with the Israeli Ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff.

Similarly to the Nazi film about Theresienstadt, the SAT 1 film continues to run through sequences in which Roma are associated in different ways with rats, in particular the living situation in the ghettos in Romania is thus characterized. At the same time, this inhumane situation is portrayed as a way of life that ostensibly reflects the mentality of Roma – without naming the cause of the massive racism underlying the desolate situation of large sections of the Roma population in their home countries.

The SAT 1 production brings together indiscriminately Roma groups from different countries with allegations of massive crime. “Such blanket criminalization and obnoxious defamation of minorities would be unimaginable compared to other minorities – vis-à-vis Roma in Europe, there are obviously no limits or scruples for individual media and film producers. Hate speech is provoked on the Internet with films such as this SAT 1 production, such films legitimize hate and violence against minorities and that is a great danger for our democracy and for living together in Germany, “said Romani Rose in a first statement after the broadcast.

“SAT 1 as for some time spiegel-tv apparently want to reclaim increasingly racist contributions as a unique selling point for themselves and they serve with such contributions decidedly right-wing extremist positions. They thus bear direct responsibility for the increasing violence in our society, “said Rose and therefore calls on the State Institute for Media and Communication Rhineland-Palatinate (LMK) to examine the contents of this article. The Central Council will also use this SAT 1 production to directly inform the Secretariat of the Council of Europe on the Framework Convention for National Minorities.

 

Herbert Heuss, Senior Advisor