Roma association publishes guidebook for Auschwitz visitors

Roma were the third biggest group deported to Auschwitz after Jews and Poles. Jacek Bednarczyk/PAP

The Roma Association in Poland has published the first guidebook for visitors to the former Nazi German Auschwitz death camp. Its goal is to present the history of Roma inmates murdered in the camp.

'The Destruction of European Roma in KL Auschwitz. A guidebook for visitors' has been published in Polish, German and English. Apart from the genesis and history of the persecution of Roma people, the guidebook also includes photos of camp sites connected with their tragic fate.

Roma were the third biggest group deported to Auschwitz after Jews and Poles. Some 21,000 Roma and Sinti people were murdered by the Germans in the so-called 'Gypsy family camp' (Zigeunerlager) at Auschwitz-Birkenau during World War II. On the night of Aug. 2, 1944, the Germans killed around 4,200 Sinti and Roma in the gas chambers.

The Auschwitz extermination camp was opened in 1940, its second site, Birkenau, two years later. Auschwitz consisted of a main camp and 40 sub-units, where the Nazis killed over 1.1 million people, mainly Jews, Poles, Roma and Soviet POWs. The camp was liberated by the Soviets on January 27, 1945. In 1947, the camp site was declared a national memorial site.