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Stojan Lassisch

December 17, 1908 – December 28, 1944

  • Stojan Lassisch, photograph of the Research Institute for Racial Hygiene, 1940 (Federal Archives Berlin)

Murder of an Entire Family

Stojan Lassisch was born in Sitnitz (today Sitnica/Bosnia). His family emigrated to Germany during the First World War and purchased a house in Steinfurt near Aachen in order to document a fixed place of residence. The parents, Stanko and Petra Lassisch, worked as carnival performers. After the police registration in April 1939, all Sinti and Roma were required to carry “Gypsy identity cards,” and were classified as stateless residents. Beginning in summer 1939, the family was no longer permitted to leave Steinfurt. Stojan Lassisch then found employment in a factory. The entire family was registered at the Office of Gypsy Affairs at the Cologne criminal police in summer 1939. In January 1942, the Research Institute for Racial Hygiene issued a report on the family.

The Lassisch family home in Steinfurt, photograph of the Research Institute for Racial Hygiene, 1940 (Federal Archives Berlin)

The staff of the Research Institute for Racial Hygiene assembled photographs and statistics on the Sinti and Roma. The victims were coerced into examinations with threats of immediate incarceration in concentration camps.

On March 2, 1943, Stojan Lassisch was deported along with his wife Standa Mitrowitsch and their six children to the “Gypsy camp” at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The entire family, with the exception of Stojan, died of starvation and epidemic disease or were killed in the gas chambers. The Aachen criminal police meanwhile had seized all the Lassich family assets.

The SS selected Stojan as “capable of work.” On May 27, 1944, he arrived with other Sinti and Roma at Flossenbürg, where he died seven months later.

Expert statement, signed by Dr. Robert Ritter, January 14, 1942 (Main Public Record Office Düsseldorf)

Robert Ritter classified Stojan Lassisch as “not of German blood.” As head of the Research Institute for Racial Hygiene, Ritter issued “expert statements” on all registered Sinti and Roma on behalf of the Reich Criminal Police Bureau.