You have probably seen this photo many times. Until 1993, this little girl, full of fear, peering through the closing door of a cattle wagon, en-route to Auschwitz, was known as the “the girl with the headdress.” For many years this image has described movingly the horror of the Holocaust, and is a cruel reminder that the evil enemies of God’s people will go to any length to wipe Israel from the face of the earth.
But this little girl is not Jewish. She is a Gypsy.
In 1992, a Dutch journalist started research, and was able to identify her. He found that she was Settela – a nine-year-old Dutch Gypsy child.
On arrival at Auschwitz, Settela and her family were probably manhandled, whipped, attacked by vicious dogs, and finally murdered.
But there is more to this story than human writers know. The rest can only be seen through spiritual eyes. Auschwitz was not this little girl’s final resting place. The angels lovingly carried her heavenward, where God Himself put His arms around her, and wiped the tears from her eyes.
Like Moses, Settela had “suffered affliction with the People of God.”
Many Gypsy people think that they belong to the “lost tribes of Israel.” In fact every year some Gypsy leaders, including evangelical believers, go to Israel to meet with the authorities in an attempt to find out if in fact they have Jewish roots. If it could be proved, under the Law of Return passed by the Knesset, they would have right of abode in Israel.
Whether or not they belong to the lost tribes, one thing is sure: the Gypsy People “suffered affliction with the People of God!” It is estimated that between 500.000 and 1,500.000 were murdered by the enemies of Israel during the Holocaust.