I can be proud that I am Gypsy

Ethela Ferkova
Rokycany, Czech RepublicMarch 25, 1996
When my mother told me that grandmother was in the camp, I went to grandmother. I said, “I want to know your story. Could you tell me about this? Grandmother, you have to tell me something about how it was in Plovic.”
My grandmother told me: “We didn’t know why they were taking us there. We slept one night and in the morning they put us into three lines: the women, the children and the men were separated. A German officer said, ‘Women, you will work in the forest.’ And I hid myself behind the women like this.”
And then I cried. They were very sad stories – that more people died., that there was nothing to eat. It was very sad.
But there was in my mind that I am Gypsy and I don’t have to be shy that I am Gypsy. I can be proud that I am Gypsy. And I am. Still.
Right now I’m in the Middle School. And I’m proud that I’m there. There are not too many Gypsies, just three in six hundred.
The first time when I came to school, girls were there. They told me, “You are not Gypsy. You are different. You don’t look like a Gypsy.” I said, “I am Gypsy.” They said, “No, you are not; you are different. you learn and they don’t.” But I said, “You don’t know about their lives. You don’t know what you are talking about.”