Auschwitz Decree
(Auschwitz-Erlass)
   In December 1942 Heinrich Himmler, head of the Nazi police, issued an order that Gypsies from Germany and a number of other, mainly western European, countries should be sent to the new Auschwitz-Birkenau camp. Certain categories of Gypsies were to be exempted-for example, those who had served in the armed forces of Germany and any Sinti who were considered to be of pure Gypsy blood and capable of forming a small company of nomads that would be preserved as a form of living museum. When the instructions to the police were published early in 1943, these exemptions were mostly ignored, so that when the time finally came to arrest the Gypsies and deport them to the concentration camp, few exceptions were made.
   See also Holocaust.

Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . .

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