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Elvis, Rickie Lee Jones, the Rom and the Holocaust

Added: Thursday, August 2nd 2007 at 9:08am by artisticgypsy
Related Tags: art

Approximately 99% of the American people do not know that the Rom still exist. Nearly 500,000 Romani were mass murdered during the holocaust. They were considered, along with Jews and Negros to be "racially distinctive" minorities with alien blood. They were deprived of their civil rights, they were sterilized against their will, and murdered. Today most Gypsy Americans are settled in large cities throughout the country.

Two famous American Gypsies are Elvis Presley and Rickie Lee Jones. What is less known about Elvis is that his ancestors came from Germany, their original surname was Pressler. They were part of the Sinti people, known as the "Black Dutch." It is also likely that from his mother's side, Smith by surname, the family would have been of Romanichel origins.

Singer and songwriter, Rickie Lee Jones, is of Welsh Romany origin. She has performed various musical genres, mainly inspired in blues and jazz style. She is known by her unconventional lifestyle since her youth and has lived in different places throughout the United States. She won the grammy award twice. The album "Dutchess of Coolsville" is an anthology of her career.

User Comments

Interesting . . . [HEART]
Ya just never know! [SMILE]
Wow, I never knew that about Elvis Presley... explains his fair skin and dark hair. Bet you would add that it also explains his extraordinary good looks! [WINK]
Yeah man!!!!! Now I KNOW why he was soooooo sexy!!!! [LOL] [ROLLEYES]
Watching this for the first time, today, I found myself crying, So many people, past and present, suffering at the hands of others, people who fancy themselves somehow "better". How can this keep happening? Finally, my friend, I begin to understand why you do what you do. Paint on!
Thank you... and yes, you're right, I'm an empath and I feel the pain. [HEART]
The Rom people have been and are still discriminated against throughout Europe especially in eastern Europe. The are considered thieves and petty criminals. Even the use of the name term is anti-Romany analogous to various terms to designate Jews and Blacks.

However it is important in combatting discrimination to understand a people and not to romanticize them.
Yes, it is unfortunate that people still discriminate and persecute the Rom. Using the term "they" are considered thieves and petty criminals is like saying your hair is black you must not be a good person. There are still Native Americans on reservations in this country we are living in, who were here first. I agree it is important in combating discrimination to understand people, and part of what I convey in my art work is the beauty of a people who were and still are misunderstood. The Romany lived off the earth, much like the Native American people. There are very famous persons who are Roma or have Romany ancestry, artists, writers, actors, musicians, singers, football players, et cetera; i.e. Yul Brynner, Sir Charles Chaplin, Sir Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins, Django Reinhardt, and Nobel Prize winners Schack August Steenberg Krogh and Mother Theresa and many more. I will keep the Spirit of the Rom alive in my art forever.[HEART][HEART][HEART]
I'd also like to add that Yul Brynner was elected Honorary President of the Roma, an office that he kept until his death.

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