The article was headlined “They come, they steal and they go” and suggested: “Roma families from Eastern Europe are responsible for a large part of the increasing crime tourism”.
It examined issues such as prostitution and the use of children for begging and theft, adding caveats that not all Roma are involved.
But it nonetheless provoked outrage, particularly in Germany where half a million Gypsies – as Sinti and Roma were then more usually called – were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust.
[The head of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma] said the article was similar to Nazi propaganda in that it gave the impression that criminality was caused by ethnic origin.
Is ethnicity a factor in crime? Yes it is. Obviously. Since ethnicity is a cultural, not a biological, category, trying to suggest that it couldn’t have an effect on crime should be considered absurd by anyone.