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"People of freedom and unlimited movement": representations of Roma in post-communist memorial museums

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Radonic, Ljiljana

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Abstract The "universalization of the Holocaust" and the insistence on Roma rights as an EU accession criteria have changed the memory of the Roma genocide in post-communist countries. This article examines how Roma are represented in post-communist memorial museums which wanted to prove that they correspond with "European memory standards". The three case studies discussed here are the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising, the Jasenovac Memorial Museum and the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest. I argue that today Roma are being represented for the first time, but in a stereotypical way and through less prominent means in exhibitions which lack individualizing elements like testimonies, photographs from their life before the persecution or artifacts. This can only partially be explained by the (relative) unavailability of data that is often deplored by researchers of the Roma genocide.
Keywords gipsy; World War II; genocide; museum; memorial; culture of remembrance; documentation; Europeanization
Classification Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology; General History
Free Keywords Holocaust
Document language English
Publication Year 2015
Page/Pages p. 64-77
Journal Social Inclusion, 3 (2015) 5
Issue topic Talking about Roma: implications for social inclusion
ISSN 2183-2803
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution