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Sławomir Kapralski

Senior Fellow (10/2013 – 08/2014)


The Holocaust as a Frame of Memory and the Roma/Sinti Movement in Austria and Poland.


KAPRALSKIIn my research I intend to reconstruct the process of breaking the silence regarding the fate of Roma/Sinti during World War ll in Austria and in Poland, and to compare the mechanisms of the process of constructing the Roma memory of the genocide in both countries. In particular, I am interested in the role of the prosecution of Nazi crimes and the process of compensation, the relations between Roma/Sinti and Jewish organizations, the role of the Roma/Sinti political mobilization, the differences in public “cultures of memory” in Austria and Poland, and the beginning of the organized Romani commemoration of the Nazi persecution. I would like to study the impact of the resurgence of the memory for the Roma/Sinti movement in its fight against “anti-gypsyism” and improving the social/economic standing of Roma. Finally, I would like to investigate the role of the globalization of the Holocaust discourse and its role as a “master narrative” of a pan-Romani identity to figure out whether such identity is a viable one or rather Roma will remain a complex network of various identity projects.


Sławomir Kapralski is a Researcher in the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. He holds Ph.D. in Sociology from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. His research focuses on nationalism, ethnicity and identity, collective memory, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, and the Roma communities in Europe. He is a member of the Gypsy Lore Society, European Association for Holocaust Studies, and European Academic Network on Romani Studies.

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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