It would appear that, once again, efforts are under way to take Gypsy children away from their parents.
In recent months we have begun to witness what appears to be a concerted effort by the powers-that-be in places such as Germany (and apparently also Austria and France) to remove Romani children, Sinti, Cale, Roma and also Jenisch, from their families and place them into state “care”.
Mostly this is being done under the excuse of the children having failed to attend school, attendance to which, unlike in Britain and the USA, is compulsory and non-attendance a felony, with homeschooling being against the law in all German federal states, for instance.
It seems that we are getting back to the time and actions of “Pro Juventute” and its Hilfswerk “Kinder der Landstrasse” (Project “Children of the open Road”) who routinely together with and on behalf of the Swiss authorities, local and federal, snatched Jenisch (Traveller) and Sinti (Gypsy) children from their families, often by use of force, placing then said children into “care” (the kind of “care” those children received we could write books about – in fact there are books that have been written about this) to cure them of the disease of “Vagabondage” - not that such an illness even exists nor ever has existed.
While it is no longer some so openly as it was until the 1970's in Switzerland by Pro Juventute – the authorities have learned a thing or two about subtlety – it is being done still nonetheless, only with extreme stealth and the use of the Education Act and others.
In France, so it has been reported, the threat of removal of chavies into care is being used to coerce Sinti and Roma participation in a “voluntary” integration project – for integration please read assimilation, for that is what the project actually aims to do. As far as it has been reported the affected Romani families are basically being told “participate (successfully) in the program and integrate (as we deem right) or we will take your kids away into care”.
And, while all that is going on around us Nero fiddles. For Nero read here the self-proclaimed European government of all Rom in Europe, namely the ERFT (and others). They, as per usual, are ever so vocal saying nothing. Then again, we cannot really expect them to upset their paymasters.
Unfortunately it is not only the “leaders” that are silent. Our Brethren all over the place are too. Again, as always, the attitude of the great majority of Rom of all tribes appears to be that, as long as it does not affect them and theirs, why should they care. They'd all do well to read the words of Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
© M V Smith, November 2007