Of the 223 Roma registered in Grossbach before the war, approximately 150 were deported to Auschwitz, including 106 children who were less than 15 years old. Only 15 Roma survived the persecution.
The initiator of this monument, Emmerich Gärtner-Horvath, chose the cemetery as a memorial site, because many Roma who had died during World War II did not have any place where relatives could visit their graves and remember their deceased. According to the initiator, this monument at the cemetery in Grossbach was to symbolise all those gypsy graves that simply do not exist.
Description of commemoration
The monument is a location cut in a hill and surrounded by a wall on three sides. In the middle there is a sculpture, a torso with angel wings, standing inside a gate constructed out of steel bars. On the left side of the gate, on the bars there are two plaques: one with a quote from Emmerich Gärtner-Horvath, and the other, placed below, with information to whom the monument is dedicated in German and Romani. Little known outside Austria, this memorial is very interesting because of its aesthetic side.
In German and Romani:
„Ich wurde als Mensch geboren / und halte so viele Träume. / Wegen meiner Abstammung / wurde ich verfolgt und enmorted. // E. Gärtner-Horvath”
(I was born a human / and I had many dreams. / Due to my origins / I was persecuted and murdered. // E. Gärtner-Horvath)
„Zum gedenken an die / angehörigen der volks-/gruppe der Roma aus / Rohrbach a.d. Teich u. Bach-/selten die Opfer des national-/sozializmus geworden sind.” // „Uso gondolipe le niposke / l Flogoskera Grupnake le Romendar / andar orbicatar taj poslinatar, / save opfertscha le / Nacijonalsocijalismusistar ule.”
(To commemorate / soldiers from the ethnic group of the Roma / from Rohrbach and Kleinbachselten, / victims of National Socialism.)
Date of the unveiling
April 10, 2008
Karl Horvath, a blacksmith from Mattersburg
cemetery, near the streets Fanasweg and Höhenstraße, Grossbach
7511 Kleinbachselten, Austria