Friday, April 16, 2010

I had no idea about the extent of slavery in Eastern Europe in the 19th Century

I'm not sure I even realized that Eastern Europe had slavery that was distinguishable from serfdom, with people that could be bought and sold. Right now I'm reading the book Bury Me Standing, about the modern Roma (Gypsy) people in Eastern Europe after the Cold War. The parallels between the Roma underclass in Europe and African-American underclass in the US were striking to me even before the book started discussing the extent of slavery in Romania and how it lasted until the mid-1850s.

I had to go to wiki to confirm it, and it's all true. At least in America, the vast majority of people with IQs above the plant life level acknowledge slavery as one of our two Original Sins, while Europeans seem pretty happy to sweep their version under a rug.

Not that we don't still have plenty of recent wishful ignorance about the cause of the Civil War - the one upside of that is learning how clearly the Southern Secessionists told the world that they seceded because of slavery. Some good history learning is possible.


  1. The depressing thought is that gypsies are still treated poorly and with suspicion in eastern europe, most notably Hungary.

  2. Yup, the book confirms exactly that.


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