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On August 3, 1944 the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp gassed almost 3,000 Roma Gypsies.
The Gypsies had been fighting back. One rebellion in May caused SS workers to withdraw after they were attacked by Gypsies armed with stones and sticks. The Nazis feared that the uprising in the Gypsy part of the camp could spread to other areas, so they planned the “Final Solution” for this date. The so-called solution involved liquidating the remaining Gypsies. Men, women and children (2,897 people in total) were loaded on trucks, taken to gas chamber V, and murdered. Then their bodies were burned in pits next to the crematorium.
It is estimated that in total, 20,943 gypsies were gassed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. The Gypsies were primarily from Germany and territories that were annexed to the Reich. A smaller number of Gypsies were brought in from Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Norway.
Only 4 Roma Gypsies remained alive after the liberation of Auschwitz in 1945. Pictured above are children survivors at Auschwitz-Birkenau on the day of the camp’s liberation by the Red Army.
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