During WWII, Sinti and Rroma fought against the deprivation of their rights and their “racial” registration from the very beginning. They protested against discriminatory regulations and attempted to obtain the release of deported family members through petitions or personal intervention. They worked closely together with resistance groups in the occupied territories. They played an important role in the national liberation movements, especially in eastern and southeastern Europe and they also cooperated closely with the Résistance movement in France. A large number of Sinti and Roma lost their lives in the armed struggle against National Socialism. Sinti and Roma also offered various forms of resistance in the concentration camps. A highlight was the revolt in camp section B II e of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the “gypsy camp”.

On May 16, 1944 men and women of the Auschwitz II Birkenau “Gypsy families’ camp” warned by the internal Resistance Network of the camp, organized in order to fight off SS guards who came the same night to lead them to the gas chambers. The leaders of this insurrection (one of only two known insurrections, with the almost simultaneous revolt of the “Sonderkommandos”) were scattered to be killed on other sites of the Third Reich. Men, women, and children that remained in the “Gypsy families’ camp” were exterminated in the end, starting on the eve of August 2, 1944, and continuing through the night to the next day. The internal Resistance networks of the camp (gathering Jewish prisoners, polish prisoners, and intelligence, etc..) finally upraised on October 7th, 1944.