One in three Germans does not want Sinti or Roma as neighbors. This is the conclusion of a study commissioned by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency. It is the first representative survey that deals exclusively with the attitudes of the population towards the minority. One of the central results: Sinti and Roma are the group with the highest rejection scores in Germany. The Central Council of German Sinti and Roma calls for consequences.
Population Attitudes Towards Sinti and Roma: Study by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency.
For some years now, Sinti and Roma have increasingly been in the news. Most of the time, the issues are poverty, social abuse and criminality. This is not without consequences, as some studies have shown. To gain deeper insights, the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency commissioned a broad population survey as part of its theme year against racism. The “Center for Research on Anti-Semitism” has for it about 2.000 citizens surveyed by telephone and 18 in-depth interviews conducted.
The results of the study “Between indifference and rejection” are alarming. No other minority has to struggle with rejection as much as Sinti and Roma:
- About 20 percent of respondents showed a clear dislike of this group – an estimate the authors described as “rather conservative.” designate. Other studies such as the “Mitte-Study from 2014 arrives at significantly higher values.
- Unlike other minorities, this dislike runs through all segments of the population.
- Significantly more interviewees express obvious “antipathy compared with Sinti and Roma (17 percent) than, for example, with Muslims (11) and asylum seekers (9).
- Many believe that they are “responsible for this hostility through their own behavior are themselves responsible for this hostility: 51 percent of Muslims, 49 percent of Sinti and Roma and 41 percent of asylum seekers think so.
- On the question of what is needed for “good coexistence with Sinti and Roma 80 percent answered that “combating benefit abuse” was necessary and 78 percent with “fighting crime.
- Notwithstanding the fact that many members of the minority are German citizens, 22 percent of respondents suggest deportation as a measure for better coexistence.
This rejection is accompanied by widespread ignorance. Hardly anyone (only seven percent) knows the difference between Sinti and Roma. Germans are equally unaware of the size of these minorities: Almost half of those surveyed estimate the number of Sinti and Roma living in Germany at between 250.000 and one million. In fact, the exact number is unknown, estimated at 70 percent.000 to 100.000.
Most respondents (81 percent) said they knew that Sinti and Roma were systematically persecuted and murdered during the Nazi era. However, a generational difference is striking: While the over-65s are informed about the Holocaust of Sinti and Roma (91 percent), one in three Germans under the age of 34 knows nothing about it.
Ambivalent demands: Integration and deportation
Werner Bergmann, project manager of the study, speaks of an “undecided attitude” of the population toward Sinti and Roma: “Most of the interviewees lack an emotional connection to the subject.” Although one cannot speak of a clear “image of the enemy current debates continue to pick up on old prejudices.
The discourse on the alleged high level of social abuse by immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria – often equated with Roma – has apparently reinforced new stereotypes in some groups. When asked what they think of the derogatory term “Gypsy,” the survey results show that there are spontaneously, 19 percent of people over the age of 65 answered “crime, while 15 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds think of “parasitism” as a measure for better coexistence think.
However, the study also shows that every second respondent perceives Sinti and Roma as a socially disadvantaged group. The majority assesses their living conditions in Germany as “bad” or even “very poorly” one. The situation is even worse in Eastern European countries. When asked how to improve coexistence with Sinti and Roma, almost all respondents see a need for better integration offers (93 percent) and free access to the labor market (83 percent).
In view of the findings, the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma call for concrete measures to counteract antiziganistic tendencies in society. Their central demand is the establishment of an “Expert Commission at the Bundestag”, which regularly presents research on discrimination against Sinti and Roma in Germany. In addition, there is a need for a chair for antiziganism research and an active promotion of young Sinti and Roma through an educational academy.
Romani Rose, chairman of the Central Council, explicitly called for an effective ban on racist election advertising. “Anti-ganism must be socially outlawed in the same way as anti-Semitism,” said Rose, said Rose against this background. At the moment, stereotypes against Sinti and Roma still have a “great deal of freedom for fools”.
By Ferda Ataman and Fabio Ghelli
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Facts and figures
How many Sinti and Roma live in Germany?? What does the EU do for their integration? Why it is wrong “Poverty migrants to use as a synonym for the minority? You can find important information here.
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