“We were locked up like in a concentration camp”
“People didn’t keep a step away from me, they kept five meters”
“If the virus doesn’t kill us, hunger will”
It is such drastic sentences that show how Roma in Bulgaria are looking at the pandemic. There are sentences that talk about exclusion and poverty, hardly about the virus. They were collected in a study that examined the situation in ten different settlements. The Roma are the largest ethnic minority in Europe, and Bulgaria is the country with the largest number of members. But it is also the poorest country in the European Union, and the situation of the Roma is particularly precarious here.
Under the title “If the virus doesn’t kill us, hunger will” Spiegel presents the results of a field study by the Open Society Institute – Sofia on the effects of the covid pandemic and related measures on several Roma-dominated neighborhoods in Bulgaria. Field work on this study was conducted in 2020.