The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma welcomes the Bundestag debate on the Report of the Independent Commission on antigypsyism on December 14, 2023

A group of people in German Parliament
The Central Council’s Delegation in German Parliament

The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma thanks all democratic parties represented in the Bundestag for their willingness to comply with the Central Council’s request to table a joint motion for a resolution on the report of the Independent Commission Antigypsyism to the German Bundestag. In doing so, the parties express their recognition of their historical responsibility for the six hundred years of German history of the minority and the Holocaust.

“We see this debate as an opportunity for the democratic constitutional state to rectify and to politically recognize the failures of historical reappraisal and awareness-raising after 1945 and to express the will to counteract the deep-rooted antigypsyism through education,” said the Chairman of the Central Council, Romani Rose.

The comprehensive, 800-page long, report by the Independent Commission was the first to recognize and condemn the causes of antigypsyism that persisted in politics, society and state institutions after 1945. This continued antigypsyism was also described as a “second persecution” by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier with the following words: “Authorities, police and the judiciary discriminated, stigmatized or criminalized members of the minority. The genocide of the Sinti and Roma was concealed, denied or suppressed in academia, politics and the public. Claims for compensation were not recognized for far too long.”

The Central Council acknowledges that the Federal Criminal Police Office faced up to this criticism and on January 27, 2023 signed the working definition of antigypsyism of the International Holocaust Alliance (IHRA), thereby further strengthening the trust of the minority in our in our constitutional state. The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma expects the German Bundestag to use the resolution to make groundbreaking recommendations for action and take measures to ensure that the key recommendations of the Independent Commission on antigypsyism are implemented.

Mister Rose demands: “The Bundestag and the Federal Government must create the conditions for the equal participation of our minority in all areas of society and ensure that antigypsyism, which formed the basis for the Holocaust of the 500,000 Sinti and Roma in Nazi-occupied Europe, is outlawed in the same way as antisemitism.”



The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma appreciates the expressed support by the MPs in the debate and documents some of the most important aspects of the speeches.

Simona Koß, Social Democrats: “Today, for the first time, the German Bundestag is adopting such a comprehensive joint resolution on the lives of Sinti and Roma in Germany. […] This is a milestone in coming to terms with and combating antigypsyism and an important signal to all Sinti and Roma in Germany.”

Christoph de Vries, Christian Democrats: “This motion takes up central demands of the report. Above all, it is compensation for the victims of Nazi injustice. Compensations for the few Sinti and Roma who are still alive today and survived the National Socialist genocide must be made quickly and must be unbureaucratic for those affected, all of whom are very elderly. What is also needed is a systematic reappraisal of the injustice in the post-war period in the Federal Republic and also in the GDR.”

Filiz Polat, Green Party: “The report of the Independent Commission on Antigypsyism marks a milestone in coming to terms with our history. Sinti and Roma experienced immeasurable suffering during the Holocaust and during the racist special registration that continued after the Second World War – their second persecution. […] With our intergroup motion, we are finally giving the discrimination against Sinti and Roma in almost all areas of life and a self-critical, comprehensive reappraisal of German politics and our society the importance it deserves. First and foremost, I would like to thank the representatives of the Sinti and Roma and the members of the Commission for their expertise.”

Sandra Bubendorfer-Licht, Liberal Democrats: ” ‘They often lack the moral impulses of respect for other people’s property because, like primitive man, they have an unchecked instinct for occupation.’ – With these words from the Federal Court of Justice, the Sinti and Roma themselves were blamed for the Nazi persecution in 1956. This fills me with the greatest shame and bewilderment. All we can do, here and now, is to align our actions today to make things better in awareness of this shame. I am very pleased that all democratic groups worked together on this important motion.”

Natalie Pawlik, Social Democrats: “The Federal Republic of Germany bears a special historical responsibility for the protection of Sinti and Roma. Discrimination and antigypsyist resentment have a centuries-long tradition in Germany. To effectively counter the prevailing antigypsyism and initiate social change, the Commission’s recommendations for action must be consistently implemented. The fight against antigypsyism must not just be a one-off; it must be a fixed and permanent part of the social and political agenda.”

Michael Brand, Christian Democrats: “All the more reason for us to fight and push back discrimination against German citizens who are Sinti and Roma. We owe this not only to all those who are victims or descendants of victims of this National Socialist horror; we also owe it to ourselves. Instead of discrimination, we want to see the valuable contributions of Sinti and Roma to our society honoured and respected as they deserve: among us fellow countrymen and citizens.”

Gökay Akbulut, Left Party: “It is long overdue that we finally discuss the report of the Independent Commission on Antigypsyism. We must focus on the perspective of the victims of antigypsyism, because their voices are heard far too rarely.”

Stefan Seidler, Danish Minority Party: “As a member of a national minority, I am particularly pleased that this motion for a resolution has received so much support. However, this is only the first step in the right direction. We must not rest on our laurels. In the coming years, too, we must remember the demands of the UKA report. This applies to the annual budget negotiations and to all upcoming legislative projects. This is the only way we can secure binding measures in the long term.”

Alexander Hoffmann, Christian Democrats: “Sinti and Roma are the largest minority in Germany and in Europe. The question of how we deal with this minority – as with all minorities – is always also a question of the character of our country and a question of the character of our democracy. (…) From a German perspective, the history of the Sinti and Roma is marked by two painful caesuras: the period of the Second World War, which was characterized by deportation and mass murder, and, tragically, the period after 1945, which was marked by discrimination and state arbitrariness. With our resolution today, we are sending out a signal of our own critical responsibility. (…) But we should also not forget that we have already walked a successful path together. I would say that in recent years, historic achievements have been made in the fight against antigypsyism, not only by us together, but also in German authorities, in German police authorities.”


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