What is Preventive Detention Law

The decree on the preventive fight against crime and the "Gypsy capture" in the "Protectorate"

Preventive police detention could be carried out on the territory of the “Protectorate” in the forced labor centers in Prague-Ruzyně, Pardubitz and Brno, as well as in the former penal labor camps Lety u Písku and Hodonín u Kunštát, which have now been renamed “Detention Camps”. The worst variant, however, was the deportation to Auschwitz I. Such deportations took place from April 1942 to February 1944. As far as Ostrava these transports were accompanied by the uniformed protectorate police, at the border the German police took over the transports to their destination - the concentration camp Auschwitz I - brought. Roma were only a small part of the groups deported in this way.

An exception was the deportation of prisoners from the so-called Gypsy camps Lety u Písku and Hodonín u Kunštát at the beginning of December 1942. On December 3, 1942, 16 men and 77 women were deported from the camp in Lety on the first transport, with the second being the was assembled from inmates of the camp in Hodonín, another 45 men and 30 women were deported on December 7, 1942, along with 16 other people who had been detained by the police.

The gypsy capture on August 2, 1942

The dynamics of events increased. On June 22, 1942, the Protectorate Ministry of the Interior sent a circular to the state authorities subordinate to it, in which it ordered the preparation of the registration of all "Gypsies, mixed gypsies and people wandering like Gypsies". Above all, this registration should supplement the information that already exists, because in the opinion of the ministry, many “mixed gypsies” and people who wandered around the gypsy way had withdrawn their registration. The preparations for the acquisitions should be kept secret in order to avoid a renewed avoidance of the registration on the part of these persons.

At the beginning of July 1942 the Protectorate Police were restructured, the aim of which was to increase the Nazis' control over the Protectorate authorities. The newly created office of general inspector of the non-uniform Protectorate Police was filled by the appointment of SS officer Erich Weinmann, and his first action consisted in issuing the decree "on combating the gypsy insanity". The decree, issued on July 10, 1942, ordered the registration of all “Gypsies and Gypsy hybrids” on the territory of the “Protectorate”. Basically, it was a copy of the Reich German decree from 1938, which was already valid for those Roma who lived in the areas that were part of the German Reich under the Munich Agreement.

On the basis of this decree, the registration of all “Gypsies, mixed gypsies and people who move around in the Gypsy manner” was carried out. The gendarmerie and the police were responsible, who carried out the registration from August 1st to 3rd, 1942.

The head office of the Criminal Police in Prague was responsible for coordinating the recording and was in charge of the other police units. The district offices took care of the organization of the registration on site and the public announcement of the registration order. The mayor's offices of the individual places compiled a list of the persons concerned from their place and, as far as necessary, helped in the demonstration of the persons concerned to be recorded.

The survey took place mainly on August 2, 1942. Officials at gendarmerie posts and police stations created extensive documentation of the persons shown, both on entire families and on individuals. Questionnaires based on the Reich German model were filled out, photographs were taken and fingerprints were taken. The decision as to whether a person was a Roma or a Roma hybrid was primarily the responsibility of the police authorities who carried out the registration.

The results of this survey were then checked in the further course up to the spring of 1943. According to the information gathered in this way, a total of 11,860 people had been checked or re-registered during the Gypsy capture. The police declared 5,830 people to be gypsies and mixed gypsies, 5,108 people as “wandering gypsies” and finally a further 948 people who were self-employed or who were in prisons or hospitals were added. From the second group of "Gypsy-style wanderers" the police considered only 266 people to be Roma. According to racial criteria, around 6,500 ethnic Roma and Roma mongrels were recorded, whose permission to move about was withdrawn on the grounds that they were selling inferior quality products and thus committed theft from the rural population. In fact, however, this measure was racially motivated, because non-Roma's permission to roam was not withdrawn.

The majority of those who had to submit to registration and identification as Gypsies or Gypsies were released after a police warning on the condition that they remained at the place where they were reported. Police preventive detention in the so-called gypsy camps was imposed on a smaller number of those affected. All Roma had to hand in their protectorate IDs and from now on they could only identify themselves with the so-called “Gypsy legitimation”.