The history of the Gypsies is a history of wandering and persecution. It is also a history that is virtually unknown.
The daily life of the Gypsies is similarly a mystery. The Roma, as Gypsies call themselves, keep apart from the rest of society. In the absence of knowledge, wild stereotypes take hold of the public imagination. The Gypsy is Carmen, dark-eyed and passionate, luring men towards violence. The Gypsy is the fortune teller who can cast spells to bring you love or destroy your life. The Gypsy is the pick-pocket/con artist fleecing the gullible at county fairs.
The reality of gypsy life is this: five hundred years of enslavement in Europe followed by liquidation in the Holocaust has convinced this group they are not really welcome — anywhere. Stay separate and keep your bags packed is their creed for survival. But that is slowly chaning. The separate world and brutal history of the Gypsies is on this hour.
(Hosted by Michael Goldfarb)
Jasmine Dellal, Documentarian
Ian Hancock, Professor of English, Linguistics, and Asian Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, author of The Pariah Syndrome: An Account of Gypsy Slavery and Persecution.