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Roma and Sinte under the Nazis
My historical-anthropology research on the persecution of the Roma and other Gypsy populations by the Nazis has made two distinctive contributions to the field. Firstly, I have begun the work of restituting to the Roma and Sinte their own history of the period. My work is unique in trying to fuse ethnographic understandings of Romany social lives and history with an account of the history of officialdom and bureaucracy. It brings to life, in a way that only someone with deep ethnographic knowledge of a people can, the way Roma confronted and still deal with the tragedies of the Nazi period. Linking earlier work on Romany temporalities with later fieldwork I have demonstrated how Roma ‘remember’ the war years without commemoration. Secondly, using comparative approaches from more recent genocidal conflicts, I have expanded the understanding of genocide, demonstrating that it is possible to arrive at a genocidal solution of a social “problem” without the political leadership or central authority of a state coming to an explicit decision or formulated “intention” as the International Genocide Convention misleadingly has it. This work has important policy implications (as in Lemarchand 2012) as well as being an original contribution to historical anthropology.
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University College London - Gower Street - London - WC1E 6BT Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 2000

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