1938, Katzenau, the old stockyard used by the Kerndlbacher family.
Rosa W. is arrested here because she is a Sintiza. In the Maxglan camp Leni Riefenstahl selects her as a film extra. After attempting to escape she is put in Ravensbrück concentration camp. In 1945 she made a successful escape.
Rosa Winter and her family were arrested: the men were taken to a concentration camp, the women to the detention camp in Maxglan. In 1940 Rosa Winter was selected by Leni Riefenstahl as an extra for her film “Tiefland”(Lowlands). During the film she heard that her family was to be removed from Maxglan.
She fled, managed to reach Salzburg and was re-arrested there. Leni Riefenstahl appeared personally in her cell and demanded that she kneel in front of her and beg forgiveness. Rosa Winter refused to comply which prompted Riefenstahl to angrily reply: “Then off to the concentration camp with her”.
Rosa Winter was taken to Ravensbrück, her mother, together with her grandmother and her siblings, to Auschwitz. She succeeded in fleeing during a death march – the Ravensbrück concentration camp was evacuated in the face of the advancing Red Army. She was picked up by soldiers of the Red Army and looked after.
The end of the Second World War did not mean the end of discrimination against Roma and Sinti. Rosa Winter’s struggle to be given Austrian citizenship and that of her daughter Gitta is proof of decades of discrimination. Roma and Sinti have only been a legally recognised minority in Austria since 1993. Rosa Winter died on the 16th of May 2005 in Linz at the age of 82.