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Paul Polansky

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Paul Polansky
Portrait of male with white hair, white beard and spectacles wearing open-necked shirt
Paul Polansky at Saronno, Italy in September, 2011
BornMason City, Iowa, United States
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materMarquette University
Human rights
Oral histories
SubjectRoma people, boxing
Notable awardsCity of Weimar Human Rights Award, 2004

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Paul Polansky is an American author and activist working for the rights of the Romani people in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.[1]


Polansky is a graduate in journalism major, history and speech minors, at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In the early 90s, he founded the Czech Historical Research Center,[2] and holds conferences in several American and European universities in the field of human rights in Eastern Europe.

In the 1990s he discovered 40,000 documents in Czech archives on the Gypsy camp Lety run by the Czechs during World War II.[3] After this discovery, he moved to the Czech Republic to pursue his studies, and began to hold conferences, including one at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.[4]

In 1999 Polansky started working for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,[5] as an advisor on Roma (Gypsy) refugee issues in Kosovo.

He went on to become head of the Kosovo Roma Refugee Foundation (KRRF),[6] an NGO working with the afflicted residents of the UN Camps in north Kosovo. From July 1999 until September 2009 he was head of mission for the Society for Threatened Peoples in Kosovo and Serbia. On December 10, 2004, the City Council of Weimar awarded its "Human Rights Award" to Polansky.[7]


Polansky has published 27 books, including 18 books of poetry, and a number of non-fiction books,[8] including UN-Leaded Blood, which denounces the inaction of UNMIK, as many children died from lead poisoning in the UN camps in north Kosovo.


Polansky produced a documentary film, Gypsy Blood, which was named the best informative film at the 2005 Golden Wheel International Film Festival in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.[9]

Polansky was closely involved in a further exposé of inaction regarding the continuing lead poisoning of Roma people in north Mitrovica. Dateline' "UN's Toxic Shame", a scathing review of the UN's inaction on this scandal by Amos Roberts, aired in Australia on April 26, 2009.[10]


  • Antonin Dvořák, My Father, by Otaker Dvořák and Paul J. Polansky, published by Czech Historical Research Ctr (1993), ISBN 978-0963673404 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Living Through It Twice: Poems Of The Romany Holocaust, G PLUS G editions (1998), ISBN 978-8086103112 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Black Silence: The Lety Survivors Speak, G PLUS G editions (1998), ISBN 978-0893042417 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Not a Refugee; The Plight of the Kosovo Roma (Gypsies) After the 1999 War, Voice of Roma editions (2000), ASIN: B000GYAEWY
  • The River Killed My Brother, Norton Coker editions (2001), ISBN 978-1879457751 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • The Blackbirds of Kosovo, Left Curve Publications (2001), ASIN: B000I80VT4
  • Bus Ride in Jerusalem, Roma Refugee Fund, (2003)
  • To UNHCR, with Love, Divus editions, (2003), ISBN 9788086450278 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Kosovo Blood, published by KRRF (2004), ASIN: B004GV1UYO
  • Sarah's People: Nish Cemetery Poems & Photos, published by KRRF (2005), ASIN: B004GUXZDE
  • UN-leaded Blood, published by KRRF (2005), ISBN 978-1879457959 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Safari Angola, self produced (2006), ASIN: B004HEHZUI
  • Gypsy Taxi, self produced (2007), ASIN: B006ZY7AQ2
  • One blood, one flame: the oral histories of the Yugoslav gypsies before, during and after WWII, Kosovo Roma Refugee Foundation, (2008), ISBN 9781879457720 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Undefeated, Multimedia Edizioni 2009
  • Deadly Neglect, self produced (2010)
  • Boxing Poems, Volo Press edizioni, 2010
  • Poesie, Damocle Edizioni 2011
  • The Storm, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011), ISBN 978-1463755409 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Black Silence, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2011), 978-1466295742
  • La mia vita con gli zingari, Datanews, 2011, ISBN 9788879813259 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • The silence of the violinsIl silenzio dei violini, with Roberto Malini, Il Foglio Letterario 2012
  • The hand of GodLa mano di Dio, with Roberto Nassi, Il Foglio Letterario, maggio 2012
  • Cry, Gypsy, poems of Germany's Forced Deportations of Kosovo, Volo Press edizioni, 2012
  • Carmine Voices, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2015


  1. Gesellschaft fuer bedrohte Voelker - Society for Threatened Peoples. "Roma and Ashkali in Kosovo: Persecuted, driven out, poisened". gfbv.de. Archived from the original on August 6, 2007.
  2. "Paul Polansky: The road to Lety". praguepost.com.
  3. "The Patrin Web Journal - The Gypsy Genocide". reocities.com.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 29, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. Heil, Alan (July 2003). Voice of America: A History. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-231-12674-8. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  6. "Toxic Slag Heaps Poison Children of Kosovo. An Abuse of Fundamental Human Rights of an Ethnic Minority". toxicwastekills.com.
  7. Theo Klems. "Menschenrechtspreis der Stadt Weimar: Preisträger 2004". menschenrechtspreis.de. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 16, 2013. Retrieved January 23, 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2013.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. "UN's Toxic Shame". SBS Dateline. April 26, 2009. Retrieved October 9, 2010.

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