Romania 6 – August 25, 2015 by Andrej Umansky

Costel looking for survivorsEvery day our investigators find Roma survivors of the deportation. They go from village to village, sometimes 10-15 villages in one day to find them. They go to the last house and never cease to underline the importance of the survivor’s testimony to protect the memory of the Roma in terms of their genocide as well as their traditions and customs. Some speak for the first time to foreigners outside of their family and take time, sometimes several hours, to share their story.

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Interview with a Romanian witness who remembers the deportation of the Roma families of his village.

 

 

Around Sibiu, we also find semi-sedentary Roma families who traveled part of the year and returned to their village to work for Romanians and the Saxons. Such a family is that of Andrei in Hosman. While his father was gone, the whole family (his mother with four children) was deported in autumn 1942 to Kovaliovka, Transnistria where hundreds of Roma had to survive for two years. His story is amazing, yet I find it troubling the calm way he is able to tell it. His father tried to look for his family for years, he had to go several times to Transnistria to find them. Finally he was able to falsify documents to organize a convoy from Kovaliovka not only for his family but also hundreds of other Roma in and around Sibiu.

Andrei shares his memories in the presence of his family.Andrei shares his memories in the presence of his family.

I am amazed by the modesty of his testimony – the courage of his father saved many families from a probable death. This story remained for decades a local story and I am very pleased that we can share it with you today and with future generations!

 

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