The Anxiety of Proximity: The “Gypsy Question” in Romanian Society, 1934-1944 and Beyond


Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies


Department of History


A work of social and cultural history, this dissertation concerns the origins and consequences of the Antonescu regime’s deportation of 25,000 Roma to Transnistria during World War II. These deportations occurred as part of a broader nationalist project, based in part on eugenics, to identify and excise a segment of Romania’s population construed as being a threat to the body politic. The project analyzes the various forms of response to the deportations on the part of Romanians and Roma, in particular the strains on interethnic relations at the community level. Finally, it explores the continuities between Antonescu’s anti-Roma policies with those during the communist era, with implications for the status of Roma in Romanian society today.