F2 Refusal of recognition

In 1980, the Association of German Sinti and the Society for Threatened Peoples (“Verband Deutscher Sinti und die Gesellschaft”) requested the disclosure of the files and records on Sinti and Roma from the Federal Archives that had been compiled during the National Socialist era. They demanded public rehabilitation efforts for this persecuted minority. On 4 April 1980, eleven Sinti went on hunger strike on the grounds of the former Dachau concentration camp. After eight days, the Bavarian Minister of the Interior promised to investigate the files’ whereabouts. As a result of the hunger strike, the then Federal Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, received a delegation from the recently founded Central Council of German Sinti and Roma in 1982. In his declaration, Schmidt recognised the genocide of the 500,000 Sinti and Roma for the first time as binding for the Federal Republic of Germany under international law.

1980 - 1982