Sunday, June 01, 2008

Lives Forgotten

Unlike the Jews, they share neither a Messianic visionary cult nor the consciousness of a great historical past. Oral traditions survive only through strong genealogical awareness; their memories do not extend beyond four, or at best five, generations, limited to those ancestors a living person still remembers---and at his death these ancient ones are forgotten, since no one else has known them alive. There are no mythical or legendary heroes, no stories about their origin, no need for any justification of their worldwide nomadism...

Close to half a million were exterminated by the Germans between 1939 and 1945.

---Jan Yoors' The Gypsies


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