- Estimated Gypsy population: 1,750. The first recorded Gypsies in Denmark came from Scotland in 1505 and then moved on to Sweden. They had a letter of recommendation from King James IV of Scotland to King Hans of Denmark, his uncle. In 1505 other Gypsies came across the border from Germany. Junker J0rgen of Egypt came to Jutland and got a letter of safe conduct from Duke Frederik. In 1536, however, tatere (Gypsies) were ordered to leave Denmark in three months; this order was not obeyed. In 1554 King Christian III circulated a letter accusing many noblemen and others of supporting the Gypsies, although they were believed to be "wandering around and deceiving the people." Anyone who gave them refuge would be punished, anyone who killed a Gypsy could keep his property, and any local official who did not arrest the Gypsies in his area would have to pay for any damage they did. The main effect of this letter was that the Gypsies started traveling in smaller groups. A further letter was issued in 1561 by Frederick II, in a milder form than Christian's. A certain Peder Oxe was sent to arrest all Gypsies in Jutland and bring them to Copenhagen to work as smiths or in the galleys.In 1578 the bishop of Fyn told his priests not to conduct marriage ceremonies for Gypsies and to have them buried outside the churchyard as if they were Turks. In 1589 the original edict, ordering Gypsies to leave the realm within three months, was reissued with the addition of capital punishment for those who remained. Immigration ended and with the strong laws, the Gypsies resident in Denmark merged with the indigenous nomadic population forming a group of Travelers, popularly still called tatere. There was a small immigration of Sinti and Jenisch families at the beginning of the 19th century. The laws against Gypsies were eased in 1849, but reimposed in 1875 with the threat of a large-scale immigration of Vlah Romanies. From 1911 this law was carried out more effectively with the creation of a national police force. A traveling musical group known as Marietta's Gang was probably the last to be expelled, in 1913, and by 1939 very few families of Gypsies, if any, lived in Denmark and the Travelers had all but disappeared.After 1945, the government banned anyone who had not been born in a caravan from nomadizing. Around 1970 there was a camping site at Islands Brygge near Copenhagen that was used by Scandinavian Travelers and Gypsies, and from time to time by Dutch Travelers. After the repeal of anti-Gypsy legislation in 1953, small numbers emigrated from eastern and central Europe. They are settled in houses and flats in Copenhagen and Helsing0r. The European Roma Rights Center has criticized the practice of racial segregation in schools in Helsing0r County. Whereas other special classes are designed for children with special requirements, the classes for Roma children are focused on a special ethnic group. Helsing0r municipality has stated that the classes are for "Roma pupils, who can not be contained in normal classes or special classes."Stevica Nikolic was the representative in Denmark of the Comité International Tzigane until he moved to the Netherlands. The organization Romano led by Eric Thomsen is currently active.See also Danish Travelers.
Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . Donald Kenrick.