The Difficult Daily Life of a Minority in the GDR
It was a direct consequence of the Nazi policy of extermination that there were only a few Sinti in the GDR. Those who came back fought for recognition as persecuted by National Socialism. Sinti were “normal” GDR citizens, but they were not recognized as an ethnic minority. In their family associations they lived in a kind of parallel society.
Not a few Sinti were exposed to social racism at the interfaces and in schools and government offices, because in the GDR – as in the Federal Republic – the old prejudices against the “gypsies” continued to exist.
Fascinated by the Roma pictures of Czech Josef Koudelka, Markus Hawlik-Abramowitz completed his photography diploma in Leipzig in 1983 with a photo series “Roma and Sinti in der GDR. ”
In the GDR, however, the photos were not shown; it was only after Hawlik’s departure that they were partially published in the “Stern. ”
The volume “Sinti in der GDR”, published in October 2020, is the first monograph on the subject. The basis is research by Simone Trieder in many archives and conversations with contemporary witnesses. The photographs were taken by Markus Hawlik-Abramowitz.
A selection of the photographs will be shown in large format in this exhibition.
More information can be found here.