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Publication Detail
Fossoyeurs du sang nordique : Tobias Portschy et l’élaboration d’un racisme anti-Roms systématique dans le Burgenland autrichien
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Stewart MS
  • Publisher:
    Editions Karthala
  • Publication date:
  • Place of publication:
  • Editors:
    Coquio C,Poueyto J-L
  • Status:
  • Book title:
    Tsiganes-Nomades: Un Malentendu Europeen
  • Keywords:
    Roma, Nazis, Austrian Burgenland, Historical Anthropology, Racism
  • Notes:
    Publication November 2013
A greater proportion of Austrian Roma and Sinti died at the hands of the Nazis than in any other country of Europe. This paper examines the peculiarities of Austrian anti-Gypsy politics through the concept of a 'pastoral anti-Gypsyism'. This rathe apparently east-European construction of the Gypsies as fundamentally other than the farming folk - since 'not people of the soil' - allowed a far more radical persecution to develop here than in German. The age old distinction between ‘local’ or ‘indigenous’ or ‘settled’ Gypsies and their ‘foreign’ or ‘nomadic’ counterparts, that had dominated state policy across Europe from the 18th century onwards, was swept away in the wake of the Anschluss. For the local Gauleiter, Tobias Portschy, and indeed the entire Ostmark administration throughout the war, it was all Zigeuner and all those who lived like Zigeuner who were to be the object of increasingly savage measures. In the Old Reich, meanwhile, the debates over who was and who was not to count as a Gypsy acquired ever greater importance as elaborate distinctions came to be made between new categories of Gypsy. As a result, racial scientists came to hold sway and a scientific process of selection was to precede any of the kind of measures Portschy took even before the outbreak of war.
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