Prior to the Holocaust, around one million Gypsies were living in Europe. Approximately 500,000 Gypsies were murdered at the hands of the Nazis.
Historically, two different groups of Gypsies have settled in Europe, Roma and Sinti. It is widely believed Gypsies originated from India, as their native language, Romani, has roots in Sanskrit.
In contrast to the stereotype, in the first half of the twentieth century many Roma and Sinti had stopped travelling continually, and become permanent residents of cities. With permanent residency many also took up regular day jobs in various professions.
In addition to Romani, their traditional language, most Gypsies spoke the language of the country in which they dwelled.
Gypsies continue to be persecuted and marginalised today.