Minority Secretariat

Minority Council of the four autochthonous national minorities of Germany

Central Council of German Sinti and Roma

The Central Council of the German Sinti and Roma was founded in February 1982 and is the independent umbrella organisation for 17 regional associations. The Central Council is the civic and political representation of the German Sinti and Roma, based in Heidelberg. The Central Council is working for equal participation of the Sinti and Roma in politics and in society and for their support as a national minority. 

In the framework of its civic activities the Central Council works for the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on the national level and to this end it is having a permanent dialogue with the German Federal Government and the regional governments. The Central Council was able to achieve legal recognition for the German Sinti and Roma as a national minority. For the German Romanes language it achieved recognition as a minority language according to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages of the Council of Europe. The Central Council supports meetings with survivors of the holocaust, is working to protect the graves of Sinti and Roma who were persecuted by the Nazis and regularly organises travels to historical memorial sites both in Germany and abroad.

On the international level the Central Council regularly represents the interests of the Sinti and Roma at conferences by the EU, the Council of Europe and the OSCE. The Central Council is member of several national and international minority organisations. 

The representatives of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma in the Minority Council are Romani Rose and Herbert Heuss.


Romani Rose (* 1946)

Chair of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma

  • until 1982 independent entrepreneur
  • civil rights activist
  • from 1982 chair of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma

Professional career and social involvement:

  • from 1991 director of the Documentation and Cultural Centre of the German Sinti and Roma in Heidelberg
  • member of the board of directors of the International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR), founded in 1988 in Tokyo
  • in May 1995 Rose, in cooperation with the member associations of the Central Council, achieved recognition and support for the German Sinti and Roma as a national minority in Germany with a minority language of their own, and with the aim to participate equally in politic life and society
  • as a result of his international work, Rose was appointed a member of the international Auschwitz-Council by the Polish government as the first representative of the Sinti and Roma on 29 May 2006
  • member of the advisory council to the German Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (ADS) and member of the board of trustees of the cultural foundation of the German Football Association (DFB) and the Manfred-Lautenschläger Foundation

Herbert Heuss (* 1954)

Scientific director of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma

  • Political scientist

Professional career and social involvement:

  • from 1981 active in the development of what was to become the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, later planning and realisation of the Documentation and Cultural Centre of the German Sinti and Roma, until 1992 its scientific director
  • 1992-2009 active as independent consultant in South-Eastern Europe: developing and implementing projects to support local Roma-groups
  • from 2009 back in Germany at the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma
  • several publications about the Nazi-persecution and the situation of Roma in Europe

Jara Kehl (*1976)

Political Speaker of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma

  • Political scientist        

Studies of political sciences at the Free University of Berlin. Afterwards active for several self-organisations of migrants in Berlin. Among other duties, she directed the project "bridge" - Berliner Netzwerke für Bleiberecht of the Kurdistan Kultur und Hilfsverein e.V.. Since 2011 she is the political speaker of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma and responsible for the conception and implementation of initiatives regarding minority politics, concerning the recognition, support and protection of German Sinti and Roma as a national minority.

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