Documentation Department

The memorial for the Sinti and Roma in the Gedenkstätte Buchenwald

The Documentation Department has the task of documenting the history of the Sinti and Roma minority in Germany, a history that goes back more than six hundred years. So far, the main focus of its work has been the scientific reappraisal of the genocides perpetrated by the National Socialists.

From the very beginning, priority was given to conducting interviews with the survivors of the genocide and to recording their memories on tape or on video. In addition to the extensive archive research carried out in Germany and elsewhere, the Department is constantly examining and evaluating pertinent research literature. For years now, staff at the Centre have also been collecting pieces of personal evidence from survivors and their relatives. Old family pictures are especially interesting in this context. Thanks to this work, the Department has been able to establish an archive that is unique.

Ever since it was founded, the Documentation and Cultural Centre of German Sinti and Roma has worked closely with other specialist institutions, particularly international memorial museums. We have been able to make photos, documents and biographies of the victims available to countless exhibitions at other institutions.

Many sites have now been established to commemorate the persecuted and murdered Sinti and Roma, among them the memorials at the former Buchenwald and Mauthhausen Concentration Camps, and the memorial for the murdered Sinti and Roma of Magdeburg, which stands close to Magdeburg Cathedral.

The department also played a leading role in the establishment of the permanent exhibitions on the genocide against the Sinti and Roma in Heidelberg (1997) and at the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau (2001).