INJUSTICE AND RESISTANCE
Documentary by Peter Nestler, Germany 2021, 113 min.
First broadcast Monday, July 25, 2022, 10.25 pm
The film is about the German Sinti and Roma’s different forms of resistance spanning eight decades. It’s about revolt against injustice and about insistence on dignity and justice.
A story of courage and resolve of individuals who desperately defended themselves. And the story of suffering of a minority caught between trauma and self-assertion: an ongoing unprecedented injustice throughout all of the post-war years to this very day.
It is based around Romani Rose, his family and fellow campaigners.
Thirteen close relatives of the Rose family were murdered in concentration camps.
Romani Rose’s father Oskar went into hiding during the Nazi years and was wanted by the Gestapo. The film is about his courageous actions.
And about his attempt in April 1943 to beg Munich’s Cardinal Faulhaber to protect the persecuted, and how he manged to free his brother from the concentration camp in Neckarelz.
For Roma and Sinti who survived the genocide, discrimination, poverty and authorities’ chicanery were part of everyday life. The Porajmos, the genocide against this minority group, was only officially recognized in 1982. The film describes their long journey away from their lack of rights and discrimination and into a civil rights movement.
Their untiring commitment is testimony to their moral courage and public spirit, their decisive advocacy of cooperation between various cultures and their ground-breaking vision of democracy. Is there anything more important in times of increasing marginalization and racist violence?
In the sixties I learned of this constant injustice, was made aware of it, especially by the works of the painter Otto Pankok, whom I met in 1965, and by the social work of Birgitta Wolf, by the writings of Hermann Langbein, who was one of the main witnesses in the Auschwitz trial.
I learned about the uninterrupted discrimination against the minority in Germany and Austria, where everything revolved around reconstruction, about economic advancement.
The war crimes were put to rest, and the many perpetrators, former SS members and criminal police officers, as well as the ›racial hygiene researchers‹, returned to their offices and positions, continued to discriminate and exclude the Sinti and Roma for decades. In 1970 I made the film »Being Gypsy«, which gave people of the minority an opportunity to tell about their experiences.
The new films, »Injustice and Resistance« and »The Open View«, are an extensive inventory from a contemporary perspective with contributions from people of the minority, the descendants of the survivors, the historians who deal with deep-rooted antigypsyism (get involved!), with poets, musicians, photographers and filmmakers, journalists.
What has changed, has improved since the post-war years, and what remains bad? These are parts of the films that we, the team, have put together. That and nothing else.
Strange Children: Growing Up with Music
Documentary by Peter Nestler, Germany 2003
Tuesday, July 26, 2022, 2.35 am / 3sat Mediathek
The twelve-year-old Roma girl Brigitta and her sister Tünde, who is two years younger, have been playing violin since the age of five - just like their father and grandfather.
This part of the series »Fremde Kinder« was the third film after »Flucht« (2000) and »Die Verwandlung des guten Nachbarn« (2001), which the renowned documentarian Peter Nestler realized for 3sat.
Brigitta and Tünde Máko live with their parents and two older sisters in the VI district of Budapest. The grandfather had discovered the talent of the two girls and initially taught them.
Today, Brigitta and Tünde attend a music school in Budapest, where individual lessons on musical instruments are given in addition to the general subjects.
Concert of the ROMA AND SINTI PHILHARMONIC
Sunday, July 24, 2022, 10.25 p.m. / 3sat Mediathek
Event of the Morgenland Festival Osnabrück, November 2021
Roger Moreno-Rathgeb: Gypsy Rhapsody No. 1 Op. 15
Sergei Rachmaninov: Capriccio Bohémien (»on Roma themes«)
George Enescu: Romanian Rhapsody No. 1 in A major for orchestra Lol'i Ruža
Traditional Roma Song (Iva Bittová, Roby Lakatos, Balogh Jozsef, László Rácz, Richard Vasko)
Conductor of the Philharmoniker: Riccardo M Sahiti
AN OPEN MIND
Artists of the Sinti and Roma
Documentary by Peter Nestler, Germany 2021, 101 min
First broadcast.Monday, July 25, 2022, 0.25 am
Gitta Martl and her daughter Nicole Sevik read short texts in memory of the Sinti and Roma incarcerated in the Upper Austrian “gypsy detention camp” in Weyer. All that remains of these people is a series of 32 colour slides. Dr Alois Staufer photographed them in the spring of 1941. Six months later, the detainees were deported to Poland, where they were executed. Author Ludwig Laher dedicated almost 20 years of painstaking research into meticulously reconstructing the victims’ and perpetrators’ lives.
Ceija Stojka was an Austrian author, painter, dancer, activist and survivor of the Nazi concentration camps in Auschwitz, Ravensbrück and Bergen-Belsen. Her pictures are exhibited in museums and galleries all over the world and can be seen at this year’s documenta fifteen. Ceija Stojka created her own forms of expression, moulded memories and traumas into a picturesque oratory lest these peoples be forgotten.
Movie-maker Karin Berger accompanied Ceija Stojka’s creations as a friend and mentor for two and a half decades. She commemorates this exceptional woman, also in her two documentaries “Ceija Stojka - Portrait of a Rom” (1999) und “The Green Green Grass Beneath” (2005).
Young author and Roma activist Samuel Mago says, “For my generation, Ceija Stojka is a huge idol.”
Lita Cabellut spent her childhood under dire conditions in Aragon, Spain. At the age of 12, she was adopted by an aristocratic Catalan family, moved to the Netherlands in 1980, studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and has since been living in The Hague. As a painter she uses a contemporary fresco technique, designed opera scenography and costumes, such as for “Karl V.” at the Bavarian State Opera. She talks about her work as an art director for Carmen Chaplin’s film about the presumably Roma background of her world-famous grandfather.
In the last few years, some things have taken a turn for the better for artists from this minority group in terms of cultural self-assertion. For example, the “Kai Dikhas” gallery and foundation, headed by Moritz Pankok, has organized over a hundred exhibitions and runs a continuous forum.
The Roma and Sinti Philharmonics gather musicians from all over Europe for concerts. These have included spectacular premieres, such as the “Requiem for Auschwitz” by Roger Moreno-Rathgeb. Conducted by Riccardo M Sahiti, the philharmonic orchestra took to the stage with performance artist Iva Bittová, cymbalist László Rácz and violin virtuoso Roby Lakatos at the Morgenland Festival in Osnabrück in autumn 2021.
Jovan Nikolić tells poetic short stories about his childhood in a Yugoslav family of musicians. “Die Träne” (The Teardrop) is a tragicomic miniature about the memorial service for his deceased father, where they placed a saxophone to the dead man’s lips for the last time.
The artists of this minority group avail themselves of various different forms and means of expression, but what they all have in common is an open mind.