In accordance with Nazi ideology, the Romani were regarded “racially alien elements” as well as „unsocial”, which resulted in the group being subject to repression by the German state. The persecutions included on the one hand legal exclusion – the so-called Nuremberg racial laws were expanded to apply to the Romani, so mixed marriages were forbidden and all the Romani residing in the Third Reich had to register. On the other hand, even before the outbreak of World War II, the Romani people were transferred to internment camps and isolated there, a prelude to their deportation to concentration camps.
After the start of the war German authorities decided that Romani people should be deported to the territory of the occupied Poland, where they were to face extermination, like the Jews. The first group of Romani from the Third Reich was deported to the east in Autumn 1941. They were directed to a specially formed camp, located in Litzmannstadt in an area within the ghetto.
In the period from 5 to 9 November 1941, 5,000 Roma and Sinti from Burgenland and Styria arrived in the so-called “Gypsy camp”.