Robert Mitrovski

Robert Mitrovski
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  • Last edited 22 June 2023

Robert Mitrovski, born on 1 May 1921 (place of birth unknown), was one of the victims of the first documented massacre of Roma in German-occupied Estonia. According to the census carried out on 1 December 1941, Pärnu province had 59 Romani residents. By that time, all but nine of them had been incarcerated in Pärnu prison. The German Security Police (Sipo) had arrested them in accordance with the order issued on 18 September 1941 by Head of the Army Group North Rear Areas, Franz von Roques (1877–1967). The police labelled them ‘Gypsies’ and ‘work-shy’ but provided no specific reason for their arrest and no statement of the duration of their detention. This was effectively extrajudicial sentencing, or preventive police custody, as provided for in 1937 by the German Ministry of the Interior.

Among the prisoners were friends, Karl (born 1924 or 1925–unknown) and Juhan Koslovski (1922–1942), Richard Eamets (1926–unknown), and brothers Karl-Alfred (1919–1942) and Robert Mitrovski. At around eight o’clock on 20 January 1942, they staged an escape from prison. The guards instantly captured all but Karl Koslovski and Richard Eamets. Robert Mitrovski and Juhan Koslovski were illiterate. Robert Mitrovski was a manual labourer from Kõpu parish with a previous conviction for theft. Juhan Koslovski, too, earned his living with manual labour. He and his friend Karl Koslovski both came from Tsirgulinna in Valga province. Robert Mitrovski was in Tori parish and Juhan Koslovski in the city of Pärnu at the time of their arrest. They explained that they had decided to flee because of the poor food and cold in the jail as well the uncertainty about their prison term. As Robert Mitrovski put it: ‘We Roma did not know for how long we are going to be detained.’ They claimed ignorance as to the whereabouts of Karl Koslovski and Robert Eamets whose relatives had been in custody.

A whole month had passed, but the two fugitives were still on the run. The Estonian Criminal Police in Pärnu subsequently launched a countrywide search. Meanwhile, in late March all the Roma were transferred from Pärnu to Harku prison. The inquiry sent to Harku yielded no result: Koslovski and Eamets were not on the inmate list. On 27 October 1942, the rest of the Roma from Pärnu province faced a firing squad. Among the dead were Karl-Alfred Mitrovski, Juhan Koslovski, Robert Mitrovski, Richard Eamets’s father, Jaan (1907–1942), and the Mitrovskis’ father, Ernst (1893–1942). Many more of their relatives died by bullet.


Anton Weiss-Wendt: Robert Mitrovski, in: Enzyklopädie des NS-Völkermordes an den Sinti und Roma in Europa. Hg. von Karola Fings, Forschungsstelle Antiziganismus an der Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg 20. Februar 2023. -

14. Dezember 1937In Deutschland ergeht der „Erlass zur vorbeugenden Verbrechensbekämpfung”. Auf dieser Grundlage kann die Kriminalpolizei jederzeit Sinti:ze und Rom:nja in Konzentrationslager verschleppen.
18. September 1941Die Wehrmacht befiehlt die Verhaftung aller Rom:nja im deutsch besetzten Estland.
20. Januar 1942Fünf jugendliche Rom:nja brechen aus dem Gefängnis von Pärnu im deutsch besetzten Estland aus. Die Gefängniswärter nehmen drei von ihnen, Juhan Koslovski, Robert Mitrovski und Karl-Alfred Mitrovski, kurz darauf fest. Richard Eamest und Karl Koslovski können fliehen.
27. Oktober 1942Ermordung von 243 Rom:nja in Harku (deutsch besetztes Estland), unter ihnen Karl Siimann, Leontine Siimann und Richard Siimann.