A Chronology of significant dates in Romani history

 

 

> 1001                     The Ghaznavids advance against Peshawar in the Panjab and defeat the Indian king Jayapala; they continue their incursions into northern India taking 500,000 prisoners by their own account.

> 1005-6               The second Ghaznavid victory: Jayapala’s successor King

Anandapala is defeated.

> 1008                     The third victory for the Ghaznavids: Anandapala’s successor King  Trinochanapala, using help from the rajahs of Kanauj, Delhi and elsewhere is finally defeated.

> 1011                     The Ghaznavid poet Firdausi writes the Shah Nameh, since 1830 widely assumed to document the origin of the Romanies.

> 1013                     The fourth Ghaznavid victory: King Trinochanapala, despite help from troops from Kashmir, is defeated.

> 1015                     The first Indian victory, led by Bhimapala, over the Ghaznavids at Lokhot.

> 1017                     The Ghaznavids build the first mosque in India, at Mathura.

> 1018                     The second Rajput victory, led by Vidyadhara.

> 1022                     The third Rajput victory at Kalanjar.

> 1024                     The Ghaznavids kill 50,000 Hindu troops and build their second mosque at Somanath.

> 1026                     The Ghaznavids defeat the Rajputs, killing King Bhimapala.

> 1038-40               The Ghaznavids are defeated by the Seljuqs at Dandanqan and at Nishapur in Khorasan; the Ghaznavids’ Indian prisoners-of-war join the Seljuq army.

> 1050                     Emperor Constantine Monomachos employs “a people . . . named Adsincani” to use sorcery to get rid of predatory wild animals in Philopation.

> 1068                     St. George the Athonite reports the presence of “Lors” (Luris?) in Constantinople.

> 1071                     The Seljuqs defeat the Armenians at Manzikert and establish the Sultanate of Rum in Anatolia.

> ca. 1180-90        Theodore Balsamon records the presence of Athinganoi in

Constantinople.

> ca. 1200              Athanasius, Patriarch of Constantinople, instructs the Byzantine clergy to forbid their parishioners from associating with Athinganoi “because they teach devilish things”.

> 1227                     The Sultanate of Rum is temporarily taken over by the

Mongols.

> 1283                     A document refers to taxes being levied upon the “Egyptians and Tsigani” in Constantinople.

> 1322                     Romani presence at Candia,  in Crete, is reported.

> 1340s                   Slavery begins in the Ottoman-controlled Balkans.

> ca. 1360         The Byzantine scholar Joseph Bryennios records his displeasure with those who associate with Atzinganoi.  About this time an independent Romani fiefdom (the Feudum Acinganorum) is established in Corfu.  They are documented as “a settled community and an important and established part of the economy.”

> 1362                     Romanies, called Egiptius and Cinganus, are reported living in Sicily at Ragusa and working as traders.

> 1378                     Numbers of  “Cygans” are listed in the legal records in Zagreb.

> 1380s                 Romani military garrisons are established in southern Peloponnesia              (Greece). 

> 1383                   The pilgrim Frescobaldi, on his way from Venice to Jerusalem, thinks that the Romanies in Modon in Peloponnesia are religious penitents.

> 1399                     The first report of a Romani presence in Bohemia.

> 1407                     The first record of Romanies in Germany, at Hildesheim.

> 1415                  Mazaris writes in the account of his travels of the presence of

Romanies in Peloponnesia.

> 1416                     The first German anti-Romani law is issued.  Forty-eight more follow between this date and 1774.

> 1418                     First report of a Romani presence in Switzerland and France.

> 1419                     First report of a Romani presence in Belgium.

> 1420                     First report of a Romani presence in Holland.

> 1422                     First report of a Romani presence in Italy at Forli, where their Indian origin is mentioned.

> 1423                     First report of a Romani presence in Slovakia.

> 1425                     First report of a Romani presence in Spain.

> 1444                     A Venetian document describes a settled military community of Romanies in Nauplia, in Venetian Peloponnesia, whose leader (called the drungus ciganorum) was named Johannes Cinganus, “John the Gypsy.”

> 1452                     “A company of Saracens or Egyptians from Ireland” is reported in  Galloway, Scotland.

> 1453                     Constantinople (Byzantium) falls to the Ottoman Turks.

> 1470                     A letter is reportedly conveyed “by the hand of Johnny Faa, Captain of a band of Gypsies” to the Baron of Wedderburn in Scotland.

> 1471                   Swiss law banishes Romanies from the country.

> 1478                     Romanies are imprisoned and tortured in the Spanish

Inquisition.

> 1483                   The German pilgrim Bernhard von Breydenbach, stopping in Modon on his way to the Holy Land, reports the presence of “the Gippen who are called Gypsies,” and who are described as “black and unshapely” like Ethiopians.

> 1491                   Another German traveler, Dieter von Schachen, also describes the Romanies of Modon and their metalworking skills.

> 1493                   Italian law banishes Romanies from Milan.

> 1496                   The German Reichstag Assembly accuses Romanies of being spies, carriers of the bubonic plague, and traitors to Christendom.

> 1498                   Romanies are ordered to be expelled from the German-speaking territories in the Holy Roman Empire.  Three are transported to the Caribbean with Columbus on his third voyage.

> 1499                   The Pragmatica of the Roman Catholic Kings orders the expulsion of Romanies from Spain.

> 1500                     Emperor Maximillian orders all Romanies out of Germany by Easter.  The first report of a Romani presence in Russia.

> 1504                     A French law banishes Romanies from that country.

> 1510                     Switzerland orders the death penalty for Romanies apprehended in that country.

> 1512                     The first report of a Romani presence in Sweden; Romanies are expelled from Catalonia.     

> 1514                     Switzerland orders “Gypsy hunts” as a means of urging Romanies to leave the country.  The first reported presence of Romanies in England.

> 1515                     Bavaria forbids the entry of Romanies.

> 1525                     Portugal forbids the entry of Romanies; Romanies are expelled from Sweden.

> 1530                     Romanies have their property confiscated and are ordered to leave England within a fortnight.

> 1534                     Some Romanies are executed in Slovakia.

> 1536                     Romanies are ordered to leave Denmark.

> 1538                     Portugal begins to transport Romanies to its overseas colonies in Brazil and Angola.  In Spain, Romanies are forbidden to move away from their place of residence, and if apprehended doing so for the third time by any citizen, “remain captive forever to them who take them.”

> 1539                     Spanish law orders that all nomadic Romanies in that country be arrested and used as galley slaves.

> 1540                     In Scotland, Romanies are allowed legal autonomy.  The Italian scholar Lorenzo Palmireno notes that the Romanies used “vernacular Greek” to communicate with non-Romanies.

> 1542                     Andrew Boorde publishes the first written sample of the Romani language, collected in England, but which he believes to be African.

> 1547                     The Romanies are expelled from Bohemia.  In England King Edward VI orders their branding and enslavement.

> 1554                     An English law states that any Romanies not leaving the country within the month will be put to death.

> 1557                     Romanies ordered to leave Poland and Lithuania.

> 1560                     French law sends Romanies who are arrested to the galleys.

> 1563                     The Catholic Council of Trent determines that Romanies cannot be clergy.

> 1566                     German King Ferdinand I enforces an expulsion and extermination law against Romanies; two are drowned in the Elbe at Dresden for violating this order.

> 1568                     Pope Pius V orders the expulsion of all Romanies from the realm of the Holy Roman Church.

> 1573                     Earlier 1540 Scottish ruling is rescinded and Romanies are ordered to settle or leave the country.

> 1574                     Romani ethnic dress is forbidden in Portugal.

> 1581                     Romanies leave Spain for South America, and are reported in Charcas Province (today part of Bolivia).

> 1584                     The Romanies are expelled from Norway and Denmark.

> 1586                     Romanies driven out of Belorus.

> 1590                     An engraving by the Italian artist Veccellio includes a reference to the Indian origin of the Romanies.

> ca. 1620              Romanies leave the Rhineland for North America during the Thirty Years’ War, going to (what are today) Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

> 1630                     The municipal records of a village outside Marseilles on France’s Mediterranean coast make reference to the Romanies’ Indian identity.

>1638                      The Swedish government proposes the transportation of Romanies from that country to its new North American colony at Delaware.

> 1659                     The mass murder of Romanies takes place at Neudorf, near Dresden in Germany.

> 1661                     Oliver Cromwell’s son Richard orders the transportation of Romanies in England and Scotland to the plantations in Jamaica and Barbados to undergo “perpetual servitude.”  In Germany, Elector Georg II of Saxony orders “Gypsy hunts” as a means of exterminating the population.

> 1665                     The “wholesale deportation” of Romanies and “poor people” from England to Jamaica and Barbados is recorded.

> 1666                     A French traveler reports the presence of “Egyptian wenches” among the bondservant population in colonial Tortuga in the Caribbean.

> 1682                     A French law sends convicted Romani men to the galleys “to serve in perpetuity,” and requires the flogging and banishment of Romani women from the country “without trial.”

> 1685                     Portugal transports Romanies to its colonies at Cabinda, Quicombo and Mossamedes in Africa and to Maranhão (Brazil).  At the same time it forbids the use of the Romani language and the teaching of it to children.

> 1695                     A Romani woman is recorded as (unsuccessfully) bringing a charge of rape in colonial Virginia.

> 1714                     British merchants and planters apply to the Privy Council for permission to ship Romanies to the Caribbean to be used as slaves.  A government order in Mainz, Germany, orders all Romani men who have been arrested to the gallows, and women and children to be whipped and branded.

> 1721                     King Charles VI orders the extermination of all Romanies throughout Germany.

> 1722                     Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia makes it a hanging offense to be born a Romani for all over the age of eighteen.  A thousand armed Romanies confront German soldiers but are defeated and tortured to death.

> 1726                     German King Charles VI passed a law that any male Romani found in the country be killed instantly, while females and children were to have their ears cut off and be whipped to the nearest foreign border.  Johann Weissenbruch describes the wholesale arrest and torture of Romanies in Germany.

> 1727                     The mass public torture of Romanies takes place in Giessen, Germany.

> 1740                     All Romanies entering Bohemia are to be hung by decree.

> 1749                     Spain institutes the Solución Americana—ridding the country of Romanies by shipping them to the American colonies.

> 1782                     In Hungary, two hundred Romanies are arrested and tortured until they confess to false charges of cannibalism.

> 1783                     Heinrich Grellmann publishes the first academic treatise on the language and origin of the Romanies.

> 1790                     Slavery is abolished in Transylvania.

> 1793                     Moreton reports on the mistreatment of Romanies in colonial Jamaica.

> ca. 1800               A colony of Romanies is reported from Alexandria, in Spanish Louisiana.

> 1802                     All of the Romanies in the Basque country are rounded up and put onto ships bound for Africa.

> ca. 1830               A colony of Romanies from France is reported at Biloxi Bay, at that time part of  Louisiana (now Mississippi).  In Germany, Nordhausen authorities attempt to eradicate the Romani population by removing the children for permanent placement with non-Romani families.

> 1831                     Romanichal Jem Mace is born in Norfolk, England, on April 8th; he is known as “the father of modern boxing.”

> 1834                     An article in the May 19th issue of the New York National Gazette reported that for a fee of ₤4/10/- citizens were given the opportunity to whip Romanies who were arrested in that state “with impunity”.

> 1835                     A hunter in the Rheinland records the murder of “a Gypsy woman and her suckling baby” in his list of kills for November 11th.

> 1837                     Wallachian governor Alexandru Ghica frees the slaves under his jurisdiction and allows them to speak Romani and practice Romani customs.

> 1842                     Moldavian governor Mihai Sturdza follows Ghica’s lead and frees his slaves.

> 1847                     TheWallachian church frees its slaves.  In Scotland, Charles Blythe is crowned “King of the Scottish Gypsies;” his brother Andrew emigrated to America and is the great-great-grandfather of past President Bill Clinton.

> 1848                     On September 25 students in Bucharest burn the slavery statutes in protest. They also successfully replace the existing government with their own provisional party and proclaim that “the Romanian people reject the inhuman and barbaric practice of owning slaves, and announce the imte freedom of Gypsies who belong to individual owners.”

> 1849                     Three months later their interim government is overthrown by the Russian-Turkish Convention, which brings back the slavery laws.

> 1855                     On December 23 the Moldavian Assembly votes unanimously to begin the process of abolishing slavery.

> 1856                     In February 8 the Wallachian Assembly does likewise.

> 1861                     Caló Romani Ceferino Malla, known as “El Pele,” was born about August 26th in Fraga, Spain, was made a Catholic saint in 1997 for having sacrificed his life to save a priest during the Spanish Civil War.

> 1863                     Richard Liebich, in an article on Romanies, refers to them as lebensunwertes Leben—“Life unworthy of Life.”

> 1864                     Slavery is finally abolished when Prince Ioan Couza restores the Romanies to their former estates, not as slaves but as free people.

> 1869                     Rudolph Kulemann repeats Liebich’s phrase, with specific reference to Romanies, in a further publication.

> 1872                     All foreign Romanies are expelled from Belgium.

> 1875                     All foreign Romanies are expelled from Denmark.

> 1879                     A pan-European Romani conference is held at Kisfalu, in Hungary.

> 1886                     Romanies are forbidden to engage in itinerant trades in Bulgaria.

> 1889                     Charlie Chaplin is born in London on April 16th.  His mother was an English Romani.

> ca. 1890              The Swabian government organizes a conference on “The Gypsy Scum” (Das Zigeunergeschmeiss) at which the military is empowered to keep Romanies from settling anywhere.

> 1899                     The Bavarian police create what is to be called The Central Office for Fighting the Gypsy Nuisance, headed by Alfred Dillmann whose job is to coordinate police records submitted from all the German territories.

> 1905                     Dillmann’s data are published in the Zigeuner-Buch, which describes Romanies as “a plague against which society must unflaggingly defend itself” using “ruthless punishments.”  A meeting of Romani leaders is held in Sofia, urging the Bulgarian government to allow Romanies to vote.

> 1906                     Romani leader Ramadan Ali calls together representatives from throughout Romania to draw up a petition demanding equal rights for his people, which is sent to the national parliament.

> 1907                     Increasing anti-Romani terrorism in Germany leads to an influx of Romanies into western Europe.

> 1908                     Members of the Romani American Mavano (“Machwaya”) family Adams registers the National Gypsy Association of America in Washington; its main aim is to provide housing.

> 1910                     Django Reinhardt is born on January 24th in Belgium, and is recognized as one of the world’s leading  jazz musicians, influencing the styles of Duke Ellington, B.B. King and many others.

> 1913                     “A vast concourse of Gypsies” meets in Piatra NeamÛ in Romania for the unveiling of a statue of Mihail Kog|lniceanu, the 19th century journalist whose writings were influential in bringing an end to slavery.  The world-famous flamenco dancer Carmen Amaya is born in Barcelona on November 2nd.

> 1917                     The Vlax Romani author Matéo Maximoff is born in Barcelona.  He wrote a fictional account of the enslavement of his ancestors in Romani (Le Prix de la Liberté, 1955) as well as many other novels of Romani life.

> 1918                     Actress Rita Hayworth is born Margarita Carmen Cansino on October 17th in New York; her grandfather Antonio Cansino established what has become the traditional Spanish flamenco style.

> 1920                     Leibich’s phrase “life unworthy of life” is used in the title of a book by Binding and Hoche which argues for euthanasia.

 > 1922                    In Baden, all Romanies are to be fingerprinted and photographed.

> 1921                     Gitan flamenco artist Manitas de Plata was born Ricardo Baliardo in Sète, France.

> 1926                     In Bavaria a law is passed to combat “Gypsy nomads.”  In Switzerland, the Pro Juventute organization begins the forcible permanent removal of children from their parents, a practice that lasted until 1984.  In Romania, the Association of Roma is established at Clabour, which publishes the journal Romani Family over the next four years.  The General Association of Gypsies of Romania is also founded by Gheorghe Nicolae, who organizes a conference in Bucharest called “United Gypsies of Europe.”  He seeks to establish a national commemoration of the abolition of slavery each December 23rd.  His organization also envisions a Romani hospital and university, and pushes for better communication and cooperation with Romani populations outside of Romania.  It is at the United Gypsies of Europe conference that the official Romani flag (then consisting of two horizontal fields, the lower green and the upper blue) is adopted.

> 1927                     In Prussia Romanies are required to be photographed and fingerprinted and to carry identity cards; Eight thousand are processed in this way.  In Bavaria none are allowed to travel in family groups or own firearms. Those over sixteen are liable for incarceration in special work camps. A group of Romanies is tried for cannibalism in Slovakia.  A Norwegian law forbids the entry of Romanies into that country.

> 1928                     In Germany, Romanies are placed under permanent police surveillance, in direct violation of the Constitution of the Weimar Republic.  In the United States, Steven Kaslov creates the Red Dress Gypsies’ Association and brings his concerns to the attention of President Roosevelt.  A pogrom against Romanies takes place in Pobedim, in Slovakia.

> 1929                     The National Center of the Munich municipal government jointly establishes the division of Gypsy Affairs with The International Criminology Bureau (Interpol) in Vienna.  Working together they impose up to two years’ detention in “rehabilitation camps” for Romanies sixteen years and older.  In Russia, the periodical Romani Dawn begins publication.

> 1930                     The recommendation is made by a Norwegian journalist that all Romanies be sterilized.  In Russia, the Romani-language magazine New Way begins publication.

> 1932                     Jazz musician Joe Zawinul is born in Austria to a Sinti mother, and emigrates to the United States in 1959.  He plays with Miles Davis, Dinah Washington among others, and composed the musical pieces Birdland and Stories of the Danube.

> 1933                     On May 26 the new Nazi government introduces a law to legalize sterilization; on July 14 Hitler’s cabinet passes a law against the propagation of “life unworthy of life,” using Liebich’s phrase.  It was “the law for the prevention of hereditarily-diseased offspring,” and operated against certain categories of people, “specifically Gypsies and most of the Germans of black color.”  Criminality is interpreted as a genetic, i.e. racial, defect characterizing Romanies, and as such an incurable disease. Light heavyweight national boxing champion Johann Trollmann, a Sinto Romani, is stripped of his title for “racial reasons.”  He later dies in the camp at Neungamme.  In Bulgaria, the Romani journal Education begins publication.  The Moscow Romani Theatre performs the Romani-themed operetta Carmen.

> 1934                     In Nazi Germany from January onwards, Romanies are being selected for transfer to camps for processing, which includes sterilization by injection and castration.  Camps are to be established at Dachau, Dieselstrasse, Sachsenhausen, Marzahn and Vennhausen during the next three years.  Two laws issued in Nuremberg in July forbid Germans from marrying “Jews, Negroes and Gypsies.”  In Poland, Michael Kwiek announced his aim to create a Romani homeland on the banks of the Ganges in India. 

> 1935                     Starting on September 15, Romanies become subject to the restrictions of the Nuremberg Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor, which forbids intermarriage or sexual relations between “Aryan” and “non-Aryan” peoples.  Romanies are no longer allowed to vote. A policy statement issued by the Nazi Party states that “In Europe generally, only Jews and Gypsies come under consideration as members of an alien people.”  Publication of the Romani periodical Romano Lil begins in Yugoslavia.

> 1936                     In March, the first document referring to “the introduction of the total solution to the Gypsy problem on either a national or an international level” is drafted under the direction of State Secretary Hans Pfundtner of the Reichs Ministry of the Interior.  The main Nazi institution to deal with Romanies, the Racial Hygiene and Population Biology and Research Unit of the Ministry of Health, is established in Berlin.  Its expressed purpose is to determine whether Romanies are “human” or “subhuman” (Untermenschen).  Romanies are cleared off the streets of Berlin and put into a camp because of the upcoming Olympic Games.  In his widely influential book The Gypsies, German author Martin Block writes that “Gypsies offer no contribution to civilization, and do themselves in no way help to elucidate the problem of their survival.”

> 1937                     A Nazi law is passed which states that a person can be incarcerated for being inherently, as well as actually, a criminal.  An SS report recommends the mass drowning of Romanies in boats to be towed out to sea and sunk.  Polish Romani Janosz Kwiek approaches Mussolini’s government to ask for territory between Somalia and Abyssinia for a Romani homeland.  He also petitioned (unsuccessfully) for Romani representation in the League of Nations.

> 1938                     The first Nazi documents to mention The Final Solution of the Gypsy Question (“die endghltige L`sung der Zigeunerfrage”) are issued on March 24 and December 8, signed by Himmler33.  Between June 12-18, “Gypsy Clean-Up Week” (“Zigeuneraufr@umungswoche”) is in effect, and hundreds of Romanies throughout Germany are rounded up and incarcerated.  Hitler’s Chancellery receives a report that states that “Gypsies place the purity of the blood of the German peasantry in peril”.   In Russia, Stalin bans Romani language and cultural practices.

> 1939                     Nazi Doctor Johannes Behrendt of the Office of Racial Hygiene issues the statement that “All Gypsies should be treated as hereditarily sick; the only solution is elimination.  The aim should therefore be the elimination without hesitation of this defective element in the population.”

> 1940                     In January or February, the first mass murder of the Holocaust takes place in the concentration camp at Buchenwald when 250 Romani children from Brno are used as guinea pigs to test Zyklon-B, later used in the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau.  In Czechoslovakia, special camps for dispatching Romanies are built at Lety and Hodonín.

> 1941                     On July 31 Reinhard Heidrich, Head of the Reich Main Security Office and the leading organizational architect of the Nazi’s Final Solution, ordered the Einsatzkommandos “to kill all Jews, Gypsies and mental patients.”  Romani children are forbidden to attend school.  A section of the Łodź ghetto in Poland is cordoned off for 5,000 Romani prisoners, all of whom are later gassed at Chelmno.  In Slovakia, the “Decree on the Organization of the Living Conditions of the Gypsies” orders that Romanies be physically separated from the rest of the population. 

> 1942                     In Croatia in May, the government and the Ustaši police jointly order the arrest of all Romanies for transportation to the extermination camp at Jasenovac.  Their personal valuables are sent to the Vatican where they evidently remain.  On July 31 the Ministry of the Eastern Occupied Territories reaffirms to the Wehrmacht that Romanies and Jews are to be dealt with in the same way.  Justice Minister Otto Thierack states that ”Jews and Gypsies should be unconditionally exterminated” .  The Nazis begin to compile data on Romani populations in Britain and elsewhere in anticipation of the eventual takeover of those countries.  On December 16, Himmler signs the order that states “All Gypsies are to be deported to the Zigeunerlager at Auschwitz concentration camp.”  This marks the actual implementation of the Final Solution of the Gypsy Question.  On October 26th, film actor Bob Hoskins is born in England to a German Romani mother.

> 1944                     On the night of August 2nd-3rd, 2,900 Romanies are gassed and cremated at Auschwitz-Birkenau, in an action remembered as Zigeunernacht.  Romanies join the Slovak partisans in a national uprising.

> 1945                     In January the Russian liberating army enters Auschwitz, and finds one Romani survivor there.  The war crimes trials at Nuremberg begin in October, although no Romanies are called to testify in their own behalf.  Current estimates place Romani losses in the Holocaust as high as one and a half million.

> 1947                     At the Nuremberg military tribunal former SS General Otto Ohlendorf states that in the killing campaigns, “there was no difference between Gypsies and Jews.”  As late as this year, Romani survivors from the camps are afraid to show themselves publicly and remain hidden in the abandoned concentration camps, because pre-Nazi laws are still in effect which would put them back into detention centers.

> 1950                     Romanies are denied war crimes reparations claims by the Whrttemburg Ministry of the Interior, which claims that “Gypsies were persecuted under the National Socialist regime not for any racial reason, but because of an antisocial criminal record.”

> 1959                     Ionel Rotaru, later calling himself Vaida Voivod, a Romanian Romani living in France, establishes both The National Romani Association and the more successful World Romani Community.  He pushed for German war crimes reparations and separate passports for Romanies, and speaks often of the creation of a Romani homeland called Romanestan.

> 1960                     In the United Kingdom the Caravan Sites Act is passed, which severely restricts the provision of campsites for Romanies.

> 1965                     The World Romani Community organization is made illegal by President Charles DeGaulle.  It is replaced by The International Gypsy Committee, led by the French Romani Jacques Dauvergne, using the name Vanko Rouda.  One of its main issues is that of obtaining war crimes reparations; it publishes La Voix Mondiale Tsigane, and stimulates the creation of The Gypsy Council in Britain and The Nordic Roma Council in Sweden, both organizations still active.

> 1966                     Sinti Romani jazz musician Bireli Lagrene is born on September 4th in Alsace, France.

> 1968                     A petition from The International Gypsy Committee seeking formal recognition of the rights of Romanies is submitted to the UN Commission on Human Rights, but is unsuccessful.

> 1970                     The National Gypsy Education Council is established in Britain.

>1971                      The International Gypsy Committee organizes the First World Romani Congress in Britain, funded in part by the Indian government and the World Council of Churches.  A red 16-spoked wheel, or chakra, is added to the center of the flag, and the national anthem Dñelem Dñelem, now sung at every meeting, is adopted.  One resolution at this congress is to condemn the use of all externally-created labels for Romanies (e.g. “Gypsy,”  “Zigeuner,” “Tsigan,” etc.), the name of the organization being changed to the International Rom Committee.  Rouda is voted in as its president.  Although Holocaust victims are to be compensated under the terms of the Bonn Convention, the German government frees itself from its responsibility to make payments to Romanies by repeating the 1950 Whrttemburg statement that the murder of Romanies was socially- and not racially-motivated.

> 1973                     Romani-language radio programs begin transmission in Macedonia.

> 1978                     The Second World Romani Congress takes place in April in Geneva, with sixty delegates and observers from 26 countries in attendance.  Also attending are the Prime Minister of the Punjab and the Indian Ministers of Foreign Affairs and of Education.  Physician Jan Cibula becomes president and a twelve member praesidium is created.  A committee called the International Romani Union is established to prepare for the Third World Romani Congress, and a petition is drawn up formally requesting observer status in the United Nations.

> 1979                     The petition is presented to the Non-Governmental Organization board of the United Nations in New York by a delegation accompanied by the late Yul Brynner.

> 1980                     In February the petition to the United Nations is accepted. 

West German government spokesman Gerold Tandler calls Romani demands for war crimes reparations “unreasonable” and “slander[ous].”  The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council is established in Washington, but no Romanies are invited to serve on it.  Its Chairman later tell the press that Romani demands to be represented are “cockamamie” and that Romani activists are “cranks” and “eccentrics.”

> 1981                     The Third World Romani Congress is held in May in G`ttingen, with over 300 delegates from more than 20 countries participating.  It is organized by the German Sinti League and is supported in part by The Association for Threatened Peoples.  Its main focus is war crimes reparations.  By this time the name of the organizing body created at the Second WRC, the International Romani Union, has become the name of the main body itself.  The new president is Serbian Romani engineer Sait Balić.

> 1985                     In Germany, Darmstad City Mayor Ghnther Metzger tells the press that Romanies have “insulted the honor” of the memory of the Holocaust by wanting to be associated with it.  Apartheid laws are introduced in Bradford in England, forbidding Romanies from entering its city limits without a permit.

> 1986                     In October, the U.S. Congressional Caucus on Human Rights sends a petition to the government of Czechoslovakia protesting its policy of the coercive sterilization of Romani women and the forcible permanent removal of Romani children from their families.  The response from the Czech government is that “[it is] the Gypsies’ fault for refusing to let their children be civilized.”

> 1987                     Following the threat of a discrimination suit, William Duna is appointed by President Regan as the first Romani member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

> 1988                     In February, the East German government announces its resolution to pay $100 million in war crimes reparations to Holocaust survivors, but refuses to include Romanies as recipients.  In Hungary, street gangs are beating up Romanies, but “police are giving violence against Gypsies low priority.”  The California State Board of Education votes not to include information on Romanies in its Model Curriculum for Human Rights and Genocide published this year for use throughout the school system.  The Capitol Children’s Museum in Washington DC establishes “a tribute to the victims of the Nazis,” but adamantly refuses to include Romanies. 

> 1989                     Communism falls in Europe.  A rise in ethnic nationalism sees the beginning of “ethnic cleansing” and the creation of new nation states that have no room for Romanies.  The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust is published, which devotes just three quarters of a percent of its total (of 2000 pages) to the fate of Romanies.  “Gypsy crime” specialist Dennis Marlock, on a nationally-broadcast television interview, tells America that Romanies have not evolved as a people to the point of being able to distinguish between right and wrong “like the rest of us.”  In Germany, thousands of Romani refugees are expelled by the government, which pays Romania $20,000 to take them back.  A Romani parliament is created in Hungary.

> 1990                     The Fourth World Romani Congress is held in Serock, Poland, in April, at which Serbian Romani poet Rajko Djuriƒ is elected president.  Four commissions are created, and a new standardized orthography for the Romani language is given a ten-year approval period.  Ian  is elected representative to the United Nations, at which the International Romani Union is now registered in the Economic and Social Council, the Department of Public Information, UNICEF and as an NGO.

> 1991                     On January 25 both the London Times and the Wall Street Journal report that “Ernst-August Koenig was convicted in what was termed as the first trial to recognize that Gypsies as well as Jews were victims of genocide during the Third Reich.”  Romanies are granted equal rights in the new Republic of Macedonia. 

> 1992                     The UN Commission on Human Rights passes a resolution to protect Romanies.  War starts in Yugoslavia and many Romanies flee to other parts of Europe.  In Barcelona, Spain, Romanies are cleared from the streets by police and confined to El Campo de la Bota because of the forthcoming Olympic Games, just as the Nazis did in Berlin in 1936.

> 1993                     Austrian-born Romanies are recognized as an ethnic minority by the government.  Romani is officially recognized in the Macedonian school system. Ian  Hancock successfully petitions the United Nations in New York for elevation from Observer to Special Consultative (Category II) status for the International Romani Union.

> 1994                     In the United Kingdom nomadism is criminalized by law.  The Standing Conference of Romani Associations is formed in Strasbourg.  In Washington in April, the Congressional committee on Foreign Affairs held its first special hearing on Human Rights Abuses of the Roma.  In September the same year, the US Department of State sent a delegation to participate in the Human Dimension Seminar on Romanies at the Council for Security and Cooperation in Europe meeting in Warsaw. At that meeting, the “Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues” is created, now based in Warsaw under the direction of Nicolae Gheorghe.

> 1995                     The Council of Europe creates an advisory council on Romanies.  In the United States the first national conference on the Porrajmos (the Romani Holocaust) is held at Drew University.

> 1996                     Romanies are banned from using a swimming pool in Kladno in the Czech Republic.  The European Roma Rights Center is founded in Budapest.

> 1997                     A conference entitled The Prevention of Violence and Discrimination Against Romanies is held in Romania in March.   Romanies from the Czech Republic begin to seek asylum in Canada.  The European Congress of Romani Youth takes place in Barcelona.  In the United States President Clinton appoints Ian  Hancock to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

> 1998                     One of the last existing anti-Romani laws in the United States is rescinded in the state of New Jersey.

> 2000                     The Fifth World Romani Congress is held in Prague in July, and Emil Ščuka is elected to be its new president.  An international Romani parliament is created based in Vienna.  In the United States, the national census forms are distributed in a Romani language version for the first time.  In Greece, the government begins forcibly to remove Romanies from the streets in anticipation of the Olympic Games, just as the Spanish government did in 1992 and the Nazis did in 1936.

> 2001                     Romani representatives from a number of North and South American countries meet in Ecuador and create The Council of the Kumpanias and Organizations of the Americas (SKOKRA).  In September, a delegation of Romanies from many countries attend the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, and deliver a petition to the United Nations asking that Romanies be recognized as a non-territorial nation with a permanent seat in the UN Assembly.

> 2002                     In September The Public Policy Institute in Illinois holds a Symposium Addressing the Plight of the Romani People.  A list of recommendations resulting from it is submitted to the federal government.

> 2003                     His Holiness The Dalai Lama lights a candle at his home in Dharamsala, India, to commemorate International Roma Day, April 8th.