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Telling the Story of Europe's Roma

A new film explores the struggle of “Gypsies” in the Holocaust and today.

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In his powerful new documentary, A People Uncounted, filmmaker Aaron Yeger tells the story of the persecution of the Romani people (or Roma) both during the Holocaust, when between 500,000 and 1.5 million were murdered, and in today’s Europe. Often referred to as “Gypsies,” the Roma are an ethnic minority who came to Europe from India more than 1,000 years ago. Falsely associated with mysterious and even supernatural traits, they have endured racism for centuries. Yeger spoke with S&H about his film.What were you were hoping to achieve with this film when you first started out?The initial goal was tell the story of the genocide of the Romani people during the Holocaust, which is always treated as a footnote in history. So anywhere that we could find a Romani Holocaust survivor who was open to telling the story on camera, we went there. Then, as we made the movie, we realized that we also needed to show the contemporary situation of the Roma.What did you discover as you expanded the story?We realized how much ethnic nationalism and racism against the Roma continues to exist. We see the precursor …

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