Discrimination, Past and Present

Two members of Bratei’s Căldărari tribe survived deportation to concentration camps during the second world war, only to confront continued discrimination today.

Like the Blăjel dog-catchers, the copper makers are not a travelling community. They do, however, still face serious social and medical discrimination in Romania, for which most hold the Romanian authorities responsible. Many do not have access to health insurance and are segregated in schools.

Easy to recognise because most have pale skin, blue or green eyes and distinctive long hair and beards, the Căldărari have suffered much in the past. During the Nazi regime of the 1940s, many were deported to death camps along with Romania’s Jewish population.

Petru Lăcătuș, (89) and his wife Ioana Căldărar (86) were deported in 1942 by the pro-Nazi Antonescu regime. They spent two years in concentration camps.

“Antonescu and Hitler took us from our homes and deported us. We survived the concentration camps. Horrible times. I saw people sacrificing their youngest children. They ate them, together with their older brothers. After the war was over, the Russians sent us to Transnistria [Moldova’s Trans-Dniester region],” says Petru.

Photos by Mircea Opris, texts together with Adrian Mogos, documentary work together with Petru Zoltan for BIRN, part of the project

“2005 – 2015 The Roma Decade / a Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence Alumni Initiative”

Full article here: http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/gallery/romania-s-roma

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