into power of the National-Socialists, this policy was continued in an
aggravated manner. The Information Bureau in Munich
was renamed in 1938 to become the “Reich
Criminal Office for the Fight against the Gypsy Menace” and
the central criminal office of the Reich in Berlin.
Parallel to the registration by the
police, the central criminal office selected scientists to assign them
systematic registration of the entire population of Roma and Sinti in Germany.
For these purposes, the so-called “Racial-hygienic
was founded at the central health
department. It was headed by the physician Dr. Robert Ritter, the
the “research work” was provided by the German Research
the Roma to be a “criminal and anti-social race” which had
to be eliminated. He
called his field of research “criminal biology” and
presumed that the Roma and
Sinti as a people had criminal tendencies which were inherited
the first phase of his work, Ritter differentiated between
and “half-breed gypsies”, whom he considered to be
especially “anti-social”. In
one of his work reports, he wrote:
question can only be considered as solved when the majority of the
and useless half-breed gypsies has been deported to big work camps and
reproduction of this half-breed population has thus been put to an end.
then will the future generations of the German people be rid of this
employed a number of scientists, among
them the anthropologists Dr. Eva Justin, Professor Sophie Erhardt as
Dr. Ruth Kellermann from Hamburg.
They were assigned to compile family
genealogies by which the “degree of crossbreeding” of Roma
and Sinti could be
assessed. The archive that Ritter and his employees created was then
to the police and was used to arrest the recorded families and deport
concentration camps. Only a few returned from these camps. In the gas
of the concentration camps alone, half a million Roma and Sinti were
the countries of Eastern
another hundreds of thousands of Roma fell victim to the execution
commands of the German occupiers during the Second World War. The exact
of victims is unknown to this date.