THE City of Denia and the Federacion Autonomica de Asociaciones Gitanas (FAGA) of the Valencian Community paid tribute last week to the victims of The Great Gypsy Round-up (Gran Redada de Gitanos).
The Great Gypsy Round-up was a raid approved by the King Ferdinand VI of Spain and organised by his minister, the Marquis of Ensenada that led to the arrest of all gypsies (Romani) in the region and their imprisonment in labour camps – one of the main labour camps being inside Denia castle.
The raid was set in motion simultaneously across Spain on July 30, 1749 with the aim of ‘arresting and finally extinguishing all the gypsies in Spain.’
Between 9,000 and 12,000 people of all ages were arrested that night.
The gypsies arrested in the Valencian community and the surrounding provinces received different treatment according to their age and gender: men, boys and children over 7 years old were sent to Santa Barbara castle in Alicante, while women, girls and children under 7 years of age were imprisoned inside Denia Castle.
Last Thursday, representatives of FAGA joined staff from the Ayuntamiento at the tribute which was led by Denia Mayor Vicent Grimalt before moving on to Denia castle where historian Martinez Martinez gave a presentation.