garf Gosudarstvennyj Arxiv Rossijskogo Federatsija (State Archive of the
Russian Federation) (formerly tsgaor—Central State Archive of the October
tsgali Tsentral’nyj Gosudarstvennyj Arxiv Literatury i Iskusstva (Central
State Archive of Literature and the Arts)
rtsxidni Rossijskij Tsentr Xranenija i Izuchenija Dokumentov Nedavnej
Istorii (Russian Center for Deposit and Study of Documents for Recent History
(formerly the pre-1953 Party Archives)
1 The 1966 novel (Kalinin 1991) betrays its non-Romani authorship in several
places where it attempts to deploy Romani names and terms. For instance, one
of the female characters is named Sheloro: the -oro diminutive su≈x in Romani is
masculine, -ori would be feminine.
2 In Russia, Gypsy beggars are in fact a minority among beggars in general (and a
tiny minority among Gypsies), but because they are marked as ethnically dif-
ferent they are more visible.
3 In 1926 there were o≈cially 61,299 people classified as Gypsies in the USSR,
40,943 of them in Russia (Barranikov 1931). In 1939 Goskomstat recorded
88,200 in the USSR; in 1959 132,014, with 72,000 in Russia. In 1970 there were
175,335 Gypsies in the USSR, 97,955 of them in Russia. In 1979 there were
209,157 in the USSR, 121,000 in Russia. In the last Soviet census of 1989 there
were 262,015 counted in the USSR, 152,939 in Russia (Goskomstat, USSR).
Uno≈cial counts double these figures, which seems reasonable, depending on
whether census takers went by documents, self-ascription, or ascription by oth-
ers (no Roma I knew wrote ‘‘tsygan’’ on their papers, but instead, ‘‘moldovan,’’
‘‘ukrainka,’’ etc.).
4 Descriptions of World War II in terms of Jewish su√ering was likewise muted.
But many Jews left the region after the war and could voice memory by publishing
accounts elsewhere, while most Romani survivors remained in Eastern Europe.
5 I also distinguish ‘‘Gypsiologists’’ from ‘‘Romologists.’’ By the former I mean
folklorists, scholars, or romantic hobbyists who focus on traveling groups who
may or may not be Romani speakers. By Romologist, I mean someone who
studies specifically Romani culture, language, or history.
6I use the term ‘‘Transition’’ with caveats; it may be teleological (if not arrogant)
to assume that changes occurring after 1989 and 1991 should have entailed a
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