Prague Forum for Romani Histories

The Romani Family before and during the Holocaust: How Much Do We Know?


The next meeting of the Romani History Seminar will take place on
Wednesday, 6 April 2022 at 5:00 pm (CET).

We will discuss a published article by Volha Bartash (University of Regensburg)  « The Romani Family before and during the Holocaust: How Much Do We Know? An Ethnographic-Historical Study in the Belarusian-Lithuanian Border Region ».
Martin Fotta (Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague) is our invited discussant.

Abstract: In recent years, there has been a boom of scholarship on the Romani memory of the Nazi genocide. Approaches vary from collective amnesia to the impact of the Holocaust on current identities of European Roma and the role of Romani Holocaust memories in nation-building processes. However, few studies have attempted to analyse memories of ordinary Roma as sources on their suffering and survival under the Nazi occupation. In what follows, I aim to demonstrate in which ways family memories of Roma, coupled with local archival evidence and ethnographic data, may shed light on the plight of Roma in the occupied territories. In doing so, I argue for the inclusion of Romani experiences in the broader field of Holocaust studies, as well as in the history of their micro-regions.

Zoom registration is required:

Volha Bartash

Volha Bartash is Research Fellow at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies and Lecturer at the University of Regensburg. Her research interests include history and anthropology of Roma, Holocaust and genocide studies and memory studies. Her recent project was entitled ROMPAST. Two Paths of a Shared Past: Memory and Representation of the Nazi Genocide of Roma in Belarus and Lithuania (funded through Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship).


Martin Fotta
Martin Fotta is a researcher at the Institute of Ethnology, Czech Academy of Sciences. His key areas of research are economic anthropology, masculinity and gender, money, cash transfers and nomadic strategies. In January 2022 he started a new five year project ‘Romani Atlantic: Transcontinental Logic of Ethno-Racial Identities‘, which is funded by the Lumina Quaeruntur of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Twitter: @RomanAtlantic). He is an author of several articles, a monograph and edited volumes.



Usually, the Romani History Seminar hosts online discussions of unpublished texts. It brings together specialists in Romani history and scholars from related fields, who provide collective feedback to dissertation chapters, draft papers, and book chapters in an engaging, constructively critical, and supportive environment.

If you would like to workshop your text in one of the upcoming meetings in May, June or October 2022, please contact one of the organizers. The schedule is usually set a month in advance.

Organizing team
Renata Berkyová (,
Théophile Leroy (,
Vita Zalar (

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