White Gypsies

An ethnic group in Germany

Authors: Matti Bauer, Maike Conway. Human interest - ZDF - 2001 - 30 min

Once a nomadic group of traders, the Yeniche people in Germany have now planted roots and are, to a large extent, an integrated part of society. Nonetheless, their past means they are continually fighting for their identity.

With established settlers dubbing them gypsies and crooks, and gypsies calling them outsiders and members of the bourgeoisie, they are caught between two stools, two cultures and two traditions.

For the most part, Yeniche families live in Southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Some are now fully integrated members of middle-class society, others are still stuck on the fringes, where they suffer as a result of the mainstream prejudice.

We visit two Yeniche families in Germany. Two families with the same history, but two totally different models for life. We accompany both families as they go about their private and public daily lives. By portraying two different families, we show the diversity of Yeniche life in Germany and lend a voice to a little-known minority group.