On the year 2022, the first archive of the oral history of Lithuanian Roma was compiled, where Lithuanian Roma community members are telling the stories about their experiences of different periods of time using their native language.
The archive of Lithuanian Roma oral history contains 11 Lithuanian stories told by Lithuanian Roma. They are very diverse, with different themes, covering various historical periods of the past century.
The stories selected for this publication are focused on the years of World War II. A great catastrophe hit the Lithuanian Roma people over this particular period of time – the mass extermination of the Roma people by the Nazis, which in the context of the international Roma movement is called Samudaripen or Pharrajimos. From this achieve we can learn about life in the Soviet era as well as about the period of wandering, the Roma settlement in Kirtimai, about the Roma household, traditional meals and religion. However, when there are attempts to reconstruct the previous history of the Roma in Lithuania, one has to rely on historical research, which, unfortunately, is not detailed enough.
The aim of collecting the archive was to preserve the language, to digitize it and to give the interlocutors a position that would allow them to tell their story in their native language. The collected information was translated from the Roma language into Lithuanian and English.
While collecting the archive material the main focus has been made on the oldest generation for the purity of the language and the stories they can tell.
The Roma youth participated in the expeditions of achieve colleting as well. They recorded conversations, participated in communication and heard their nation’s stories about the Second World War firsthand.