The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma

The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma was established as an umbrella organisation with headquarters in Heidelberg in February 1982. It has since represented the interests of the Sinti and Roma living in Germany at both the national and the international level.

Initially, most of its political work revolved around combating the enduring caricature of the ‘gypsy’ and establishing the terms ‘Sinti’ and ‘Roma’ as self-designated names. The Central Council protested against the racist and discriminatory registration of the minority by police authorities and successfully campaigned for a review of a compensation practice that had previously discriminated against the Sinti and Roma. In May 1995 the Central Council was successful in gaining legal recognition for the German Sinti and Roma as a national minority.

17 March 1982 marked a turning point in the civil rights movement. The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma had only just been established and its delegation was welcomed by the then Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who officially recognised the genocide perpetrated on the Sinti and Roma ‘on racial grounds’. Documentation Centre Archives
icon
01 | Press release from the German federal government Documentation Centre Archives
01
icon
02 | Documentation Centre Archives
02
icon
01 | Demonstration in front of the Federal Criminal Police Office in Wiesbaden in protest at the discriminatory registration of Sinti and Roma by the police, 28 January 1983. The 250 or so demonstrators then marched through the city centre of Wiesbaden to the seat of the Hessen Interior Minister, who was chairman of the […]
01
icon
02 |  Documentation Centre Archive
02
icon
03 |  Documentation Centre Archive
03
icon
Demonstration in front of the regional administration in Cologne in March 1985. It was staged in protest at a compensation practice that massively discriminated against the Sinti and Roma. The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma was able to obtain new rulings for several thousand survivors whose compensation claims had previously been rejected. But […]
icon
First remembrance ceremony organised by the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma on the grounds of the former ‘gypsy camp’ at Auschwitz-Birkenau, October 1985 Documentation Centre Archives
icon
Willy Brandt welcoming a delegation of the Central Council at the German Social Democratic Party’s Ollenhauer-Haus in Bonn (October 1985). Documentation Centre Archives
icon
Federal President Richard von Weizsäcker receiving a delegation of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma (7 November 1985); among them, the Holocaust survivors Hildegard Lagrene (centre) and Herbert Birkenfelder (right). Photo No. 02261718: dpa/Süddeutsche Zeitung Photo
icon
Romani Rose and the two deputy chairmen of the Central Council, Wilhelm Spindler and Anton Franz, at a private audience with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican on 16 May 1986. The Pope expressed his ‘moral support’ for the Central Council’s efforts aimed at improving the situation of the Roma in various countries. Documentation […]
icon
The first memorial service commemorating the Sinti and Roma murdered by the Nazis was held at Speyer Cathedral in March 1988. From left to right: Romani Rose, Bishop Anton Schlembach (Bishop of Speyer), Bernhard Vogel (Minister President of Rhineland-Palatinate), Rita Süssmuth (Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth), and Hans-Jochen Vogel (SPD […]
icon
Simon Wiesenthal supported the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma with great personal commitment for many years. The photo shows him at a press conference with Romani Rose in Frankfurt in March 1990. Documentation Centre Archives
icon
01 | Remembrance ceremony organised by the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma in front of the Brandenburg Gate in September 1992 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Himmler-Thierack agreement aimed at ‘annihilation through work’. The ceremony was also attended by fifty Holocaust survivors. Standing at the lectern is Romani Rose. […]
01
icon
02 | Survivors of concentration and extermination camps at the remembrance ceremony Documentation Centre Archives
02
icon
03 | Address by Otto Rosenberg, Auschwitz survivor and chairman of the Berlin-Brandenburg State Association of German Sinti and Roma Documentation Centre Archives
03
icon