In the period from February 1 to December 31 2017, the Dialogue–Pheniben Foundation carried out a project called Publishing a book entitled “Johann Trollmann and Roma resistance against the Nazis” in Polish language version, which aim was to release the electronic version of this work in Polish. The project was co–financed by the Minister for the Interior and Administration. The author of the book is Jud Nirenberg, an American Roma who lived for many years in Europe, where he worked for the civil rights of European Roma communities.
The book is a record of the history of Johann Trollmann, a German Sinti, who won the title of world champion in light heavyweight boxing on June 9 1933. Unfortunately he kept his title only for a week, because according to Nazi ideology, no one but the pure Aryans could have been on the honorable list of German heroes of the ring. Trollman’s next fight in 1933 was remembered for a long time because the athlete made a manifestation out of it. However it was his last fight on the ring. A few years later, Trollman was enlisted to Wehrmacht and fought on the Eastern Front during the World War II. In 1942 he was sent to the Neuengamme concentration camp. Since February 1943 all hearing about him was lost. Nobody saw him anywhere around the camp. That is because he was transferred to the Wittenberge affiliate camp in Mecklenburg, where he had a chance to fight for the last time in his life. His opponent was the supervisor of the criminal commando, Emil Cornelius, who was well known for his sadistic behaviors. This fight was Trollmann’s last success. For several dozen years, the memory of the Roma boxer was maintained only by his family. Everything changed in 2003, when the German Boxing Association decided to restore the championship title to Johann Trollmann and enter him into the pantheon of German boxers. Some time later one of the streets in Hanover was named after him and a lot of commemorative plaques were created in his memory. Finally, in 2010, the group of artists “Nurr” began to create an artistic project dedicated to this athlete. They called their activities “9841” as a reference to Trollmann’s camp number. As a temporary monument to this Roma light heavyweight champion in both Hanover and Berlin’s Kreuzberg a steel ring was presented to the audience. Although this book is an extremely sad story, it perfectly reflects the atmosphere of those times. It brings the fate of European Roma closer to the reader, but also shows an extraordinary heroism and courage of Trollman. This story shows the fate of a man who succeeded and fought for the country that was his homeland. This is the story of a young man at the beginning of his career who was extremely determined and strong. In fact, every young person can identify with him and this kind of empathy will certainly help us understand how tragic the war was for civilians. The persecution of many communities, including the extermination of the Roma and Jews, did not allow them to live a normal life. It was impossible for them to make their dreams come true, even when their only dream was to stay alive. The story of Trollman’s fate brings closer the history of the Roma and Sinti from the times of war. The book is a kind of a diary, it is an individual story that reflects the spirit of those times. We get to know a lot about his emotions, feelings, reflections and pain that accompanied him at that time. The book is available for free because of the Author’s permission, however – also at the author’s request – after prior email contact at: firstname.lastname@example.org.