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VWI invites/goes to...
Pavel Baloun: “Slaughter them all!” Collective Violence and the Dynamic of Anti-Gypsy Measures in Czechoslovakia and After, 1918–1942

Dienstag, 24. Oktober 2017, 18:00 - 19:30

Wiener Wiesenthal Institut für Holocaust-Studien (VWI), Research Lounge, 3rd floor Rabensteig 3, 1010 Vienna



VWI invites the Documentation Centre of the Austrian Resistance

illustration kleinOn 14 July 1927, the Parliament of the First Czechoslovak Republic in Prague passed the Act No. 117/1927 on Wandering Gypsies and Similar Vagrants. This law was created after two major trials against criminals of Roma origin in 1927. The first took place in Písek (Southern Bohemia) and encompassed a group of bandits, former deserters from the Austro-Hungarian army. The second held in Košice (Slovakia) was a case of several murders and alleged cannibalism by a group of Roma men from Moldava and Bodvou. Just one year after the law passed in the Czechoslovak Parliament, a crowd of supposedly 70 citizens of Pobedim, a village 30 kilometres north of Piešťany in Slovakia, attacked a local Roma community, damaged their houses, killed seven Roma including small children, and wounded at least 20 Roma. During the interwar period, several other cases of collective anti-Roma violence occurred in Czechoslovakia.

Violence played a significant, however not yet fully investigated, role in the process of creating and implementing anti-Gypsy measures in interwar Czechoslovakia as well as in Europe. In the presentation, I will focus on the case of an anti-Roma pogrom in Pobedim in 1928. Based on the analysis of the pogrom, its aftermath, and the implementation of the Czechoslovak Law on Wandering Gypsies and Similar Vagrants in the region of Nové Mesto and Váhom, I will reconstruct the dynamic of the enforcement of anti-Gypsy measures in Czechoslovakia and shed new light on the Holocaust of Roma and Sinti in the Czech lands and in Slovakia.

Commented by Gerhard Baumgartner

Pavel Baloun is a Junior Fellow at the VWI and a PhD candidate in historical anthropology at the Faculty of Humanities, Charles University. Recently, he is collaborating with the Terezín Initiative Institute in Prague on the project Database of the Roma Holocaust Victims in the Czech lands.

Gerhard Baumgartner is Director of the Documentation Centre of the Austrian Resistance, co-author of two monographs edited by the Austrian Historikerkommission about ‘Aryanisation’ in Burgenland, Amstetten, Baden, Hollabrunn, Horn, Korneuburg, Krems, Neunkirchen, St. Pölten, Stockerau, Tulln, Waidhofen a. d. Thaya (Wien 2004), project leader of the project “Name-Database of Austrian Holocaust Victims among the Roma and Sinti”, and author of The Fate of the European Roma and Sinti during the Holocaust, Wien/Paris 2013.

Click here to download the invitiation as a PDF file.

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