photo: Jaroslaw Praszkiewicz

Children

Extract from "The Destruction of European Roma in KL Auschwitz: A guidebook for visitors"

There were altogether ca. 9.5 thousand children younger than fifteen deported to the Zigeunerfamilienlager. Therefore children constituted almost half of all Roma victims of Auschwitz. 371 children were born in the Zigeunerfamilienlager itself, out of whom 323 died, half of them within the first forty days of life.

First the children died. They cried day and night for bread...The children who were born in Auschwitz did not live long either. The only thing the Nazis were concerned with when it came to the newborns was that they were properly tattooed. Most of them died several days after their birth.

Account by Elizabeth Guttenberger, a prisoner in the Zigeunerfamilienlager. In: Memorial Book. The Gypsies at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Ed. by Jan Parcer. München-London-New York-Paris 1993, vol. 2, 1497-1498.

The children’s hospital barrack

There were children there from the youngest infants to sixteen, all together. Scarlet fever, gangrene, cancer, venereal diseases–syphilis–tuberculosis, typhus, whooping cough, diphtheria, and measles were endemic, all the diseases together...It was terrible. The whole atmosphere of that block was the continual crying of children...The children received very small quantities of nutrition, and a part of what they did receive was skimmed off by various cruel persons [and] prisoner functionaries. The death rate among the children was enormous–ten to fifteen children daily. Mothers came running from one side of the hospital block and cried because they knew that they would never see their children again. On the other side of the block mothers were already seeking their children among the dead.

Account by František Janouch, Czech prisoner performing the function of a physician in the Zigeunerfamilienlager. APMA-B. Statements, vol. 76, 192-195.

Children from orphanages

In May 1944, thirty-five Roma and Sinti children were deported to KL Auschwitz from St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Mulfingen, operated by nuns. The Church did not protest, or try to save the children. Some of them later became the victims of medical experiments conducted by SS physicians. Only three children out of the thirty-five survived. Also Roma children from other orphanages or taken from foster families were brought to the Zigeunerlager.

Nurses from NSV [Nationalsozialistische Volkswohlfahrt—the National Socialist People’s Welfare organization] delivered Gypsy children...to Auschwitz. Some of them wept as they gave up the children, because they had obviously grown attached to them. These children were rather not gassed, but directed to the Gypsy camp in Birkenau. They were brought to our room so that their personal details could be written down as provided by the accompanying persons. I assume that some of these children came from various orphanages.

Account by Kazimierz Smoleń, Polish prisoner of KL Auschwitz, performing the function of a scribe. APMA-B. Statements, vol. 76, 186.

Sinti and Roma in Auschwitz

Sign of Block 11; photo taken by Jaroslaw Praszkiewicz.

Block 11

Extract from “The Destruction of European Roma in KL Auschwitz: A guidebook for visitors”

Photo of flower in front of barbed wire fence taken in Auschwitz-Birkenau by Jaroslaw Praszkiewicz.

Escapes

Extract from “The Destruction of European Roma in KL Auschwitz: A guidebook for visitors”

Photo of barracks taken by Jaroslaw Praszkiewicz.

The life of Prisoners

Extract from “The Destruction of European Roma in KL Auschwitz: A guidebook for visitors”

Photo of KL Auschwitz II-Birkenau taken by Jaroslaw Praszkiewicz.

Children

Extract from “The Destruction of European Roma in KL Auschwitz: A guidebook for visitors”

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