On the night of 2/3 August 1944, the Gypsy Family Camp (The Zigeunerlager) at Auschwitz-Birkenau was ‘liquidated’. 2,897 men, women and children of Roma or Sinti origin were murdered in the gas chambers by Nazi officers.  Their corpses were burned in pits.  Of the 23,000 Gypsies imprisoned within the camp, it is estimated that around 20,000 were ultimately murdered.

The anniversary of Zigeunernacht is an opportunity to remember the Roma and Sinti murdered under the Nazi regime.  Te Bisterdon tumare anava (in Romani, ‘may your names never be forgotten’).

The Porrajmos (The Devouring) is the term used to describe the genocide of Europe’s Roma and Sinti (Gypsy) population committed by the Nazis.  Upwards of 200,000 Gypsies were murdered or died as a result of starvation or disease.  Many more were imprisoned, used as forced labour or subjected to forced sterilisation and medical experimentation.

Find out more about:

  • the experience of the Roma and Sinti under the Nazis
  • listen to a podcast by historian Donald Kenrick on the subject


Image: © USHMM


  • August