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Porraimos: Europe's Gypsies in the Holocaust

PORRAIMOS, the Romani word meaning “the devouring,” is the first American documentary to expose how the pseudo-science of eugenics was used to persecute not only Jews, but also Gypsies. To the Nazis, Gypsies’ dark skin and nomadic ways made them “lives not worthy of life.” Interviews with Roma and Sinti survivors, as well as the Jewish artist who was ordered by Joseph Mengele to paint portraits of Gypsy prisoners at Auschwitz, document the oppression of the Roma, and how their registration, segregation, and internment, lead to sterilization, medical experiments ending in their genocide.


“An over-view of a monstrous but little-known tragedy, the documentary adds another whole layer to the evil of the Holocaust.”–New York Times, August 3, 2003

* * * * (Excellent Rating) “Alexandra Isles' gripping documentary should rightly take a revered place alongside the more extensive body of work detailing the Jewish Holocaust. Highly recommended.”–Video Librarian


Premiere, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC

Broadcast: PBS

Official Selection: Documentary Fortnight: Museum of Modern Art

Official Selection: Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival

Official Selection: Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival

Winner: Golden Wheel Festival, Skopje, Macedonia

Refocusing the Holocaust, Cinema Arts Centre, Huntington, NY

American Library Association, Notable Video

about Alexandra M. Isles contact