Title

"They Are Undesirables": Local and National Responses to Gypsies During World War II

Abstract

On February 24, 1941, gendarmes in Limoges gathered information on "several tribes of undesirable nomads" parked on the city's northern outskirts after the prefect received a petition from neighboring residents. The local men and women living near the Rue Descartes and the Rue deBellac complained that the thefts and damages in the area since the "bohemians" arrival created an unpleasant living situation. The twenty-two inhabitants interviewed by the gendarmes all had similar opinions about the nomads: "The presence of bohemians in the street is undesirable. These people take no account of hygiene. They relieve themselves right in the middle of the street. They break the fences to heat themselves. They accost people to ask them for alms." the quarter's residents also expressed unanimity in their belief that the "nomads" (an administrative term synonomous with Gypsies) were "undesirables and their departure [was] to be wished for."

Department(s)

History and Political Science

Keywords and Phrases

bohemians; gypsies

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Limoges (France)
Romaines
World War II

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2008 Duke University Press, All rights reserved.

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