State regulation of the Roma in Finland

The international dimension and the minority perspective


  • Malte Gasche


Finnish Roma, societal security, minority policy, international dimension, WWII, Holocaust, post war narratives


This article, on the one hand, is an investigation of the Finnish regulation policy against its Roma minority in the 1930s and 1940s. By doing so, it takes a supranational perspective and compares the Finnish state policy with other European measurements directed against the Roma around that time. Although Finnish authorities officially rejected racial paradigms, they were nevertheless able to practise a harsh policy against Roma people. On the other hand, the article examines the minority’s post war narratives. Participation in the military service during WWII has provided the Finnish Roma with a deep sense of equality as Finnish citizens. Sustaining this positive narrative has meant silencing experiences of inequity. In recent years, a number of modifications to this narrative have emerged. With such perspectives, the article sheds light on majority strategies of discrimination that have targeted Roma, while also asking questions about Roma issues of belonging, citizenship and security.





Gasche, M. (2016). State regulation of the Roma in Finland: The international dimension and the minority perspective. Siirtolaisuus-Migration, 42(3-4), 17–21. Noudettu osoitteesta