Proud To Be Ignorant

During my two-hour discussion with a high school teacher earlier this week, the subject came up about why so many foreigners (especially those who have never been here, but sometimes including those who live here) are so hateful towards Romanians. As I had just met a perverted loser a few days before, I was able to explain to her that insulting Romanians is one of the last permitted forms of racism left in a Politically Correct world. Being hateful towards gypsies, black people, Muslims, Chinese and other groups is now forbidden for respectable people but since Romanians are both (materially) poor and white, hating them and being a smug asshole towards them is still okay.

And right on time I see this ignorant and hateful garbage from my old nemesis, The Economist. It starts off by mentioning an unfortunate gaffe from a PSD politician:

On March 5th, discussing the Holocaust live on television, he said: “On the territory of Romania, no Jew suffered”. He added that “24 Jews died” as a result of the notorious government-backed Iasi pogrom of 1941. Most historians put the figure at 12,000 or more.

He has since apologized, lost his job and is taking a pilgrimage to the American (?!) Holocaust Museum. He also had the courage to write an open letter (Ro) to the Israeli ambassador and apologize. Why the subject of the Holocaust even came up, I have no idea. But The Economist takes one man’s mistake and turns into yet another opportunity to slander all Romanians:

Education is partly to blame. The Holocaust wasn’t part of Romania’s school curriculum until 1998, and until 2004 many textbooks followed the communist line that the killings were something that happened somewhere else. In 2004 the state-backed Wiesel Commission issued a report on the Holocaust, leading to an official acknowledgement that killings and deportations took place on Romanian territory. Since 2005 secondary-school students have been able to take a special Holocaust course.

I should add that the Wiesel Commission is named for Elie Wiesel, born in Romania and one of the most famous authors about the Holocaust.

The anonymous Economist writer (their failure to use anything but initials is a sign of their cowardice and this craven bastard better never let me catch him drinking in a bar in Bucharest) is obviously full of shit. As I mentioned before, on Monday I was being interviewed for the high school’s magazine. The professor was kind of enough to give me their last issue. And what should I see there?

In fact, here’s a close-up of the top of the left page.

Can you even read this, idiot from The Economist?

It’s a two-page spread on the Holocaust! This is definitely what’s being taught in high schools in Romania because I just got this from a real high school and “T.W.”, whoever he is, has probably never been inside of one. Notice also that the film the students watched was about the life story of a Hungarian Jew during World War 2. So not only are they learning about the Holocaust but their course is sensitive to Hungarians too.

Of course the “T.W.” doesn’t stop there, does he?

More worryingly, history is often taught with the nationalist assumptions that held sway before the overthrow of communism. Romanian children are, for example, still taught that they are the direct descendants of the Romans and Dacians, an approach some historians see as simplistic.

Why exactly is this “worrying”? Romanian is clearly a language that evolved from Latin speakers (aka Romans) and the Dacians clearly were conquered around the year 106 by those self-same Romans. This might be a tiny bit simplistic but only an idiot would think Romanians believe that they have zero Russian, Turkish, German, Goth, Greek, Avar or even Hungarian ancestors. Hell, there’s even a few Romanians running around with British blood in them, sad as that is.

The author concludes his hate piece:

Romania has some way to go in facing up to its wartime past, and a change to the way history is taught might be a good place to start.

Yes, as I’ve already shown, everyone is learning their goddamn history already. I don’t know what people learned back in 1973 but that was a long time ago (as was World War 2 for christ’s sake). So quit smearing an entire nation for the words of one politician.

Meanwhile let’s review how fucking accurate British people are with their own history, eh? And let’s see how tolerant their politicians are. I thought that might be fun.

Every January in Britain there is a “Memorial Day” for the Holocaust. Well, it’s a memorial day for the World War 2 holocaust. All other holocausts need not apply as they don’t count. Oh that’s right, that’s because those other holocausts were the partly the fault of the British government! Maybe those ignorant politicians in Britain should learn their lesson and take pilgrimages to the Holocaust Museum in Armenia.

As for a “simplistic history”, it doesn’t get any stupider or weirder (or more “worrying”) than the bizarre fact that many British people literally believe they are the descendants of the Lost Tribe of Israel! They really and truly believe that ancient Jews escaped Israel and ended up settling in Britain. Even the British royal family believed in that crazy shit.

And as for who was and who wasn’t a fascist during the early part of the 20th century, let’s look at the long list of British royalty and important people who were openly members of the British Fascist Party. Are all British people living today to blame for that? Are all British people to blame for appeasing Hitler in the first place, allowing him to even set off the Holocaust? No? So why are Romanians to blame for what Antonescu did 70 fucking years ago?

Ahh… that’s what I thought.

34 thoughts on “Proud To Be Ignorant

  1. I thought Neagu Djuvara had a sensible theory, that both alternatives (formation both North and South of the Danube) are not mutually exclusive. There was a lot of movement and trade back then – just like between Transylvania and Wallachia/Moldova through the mountain passes – so information, language, customs were not stationary. But it’s tough to convince Romanians of anything, if it does not match their previously determined immutable ideas.


  2. Rocky’s Dad, you’re right, he’s a smelly troll. Every comment of his on this blog reeks miles away.
    Just a short note before I go to serious business: it’s normal to have influences from the south and not just from the south, after all, colonists came from every corner of the Empire (ask Eutropius). It’s not like this place was an impenetrable fortress. Two: a Vlach presence south of the Danube? As i said before, Slavs broke in two a Romanized world in 602, it’s natural to find traces of similar Romance populations (Ex. aromanii). This answers to “Torna, torna, fratre” and Petru and Assan, mentioned by Mr. Big Shot here. Did the real Romanians come from the south? Daniel and the merry gang will never ever prove that, because they have no evidence. Three: he keeps calling every historian that dared to expose the migration BS “fanatic nationalists”. Uhm yeah, very mature of him. No need to even comment on that.
    Finally: yes, Daniel “Noi suntem romani, Noi suntem aici pe veci stapani”. Eat your little Hungarian heart out. Peace! I’m out!


    1. “It’s not like this place was an impenetrable fortress.”

      Well, maybe you people should make up your mind. One guy says it was an impenetrable forest, another says it wasn’t …

      The way I see it, the real BS is “165 years were more than enough to latinize and obliterate any trace of the natives language”.

      Not to mention – how the hell did those words get from Albanian to Romanian ? And why is Romanian so much closer to southern Italian dialects than northern dialects ? etc

      When you have a problem with the truth … the problem is with you.


  3. dacia_felix and assur17, I seriously wonder why you keep wasting your time replying to Daniel’s BS. Don’t you know that it’s counter-productive to feed the trolls? Your response should be to starve him of attention by ignoring him and going about your usual business.


    1. It’s ok, really.

      When you’ve been spoon-fed nationalistic propaganda since birth – it’s very unreasonable to expect to be open-minded about alternative interpretations of the evidence.

      The way I see it, the core of the issue is – were 165 years enough to latinize a bunch of very hostile tribes ?

      When confronted with such an uncomfortable question, the nationalists start all sort of logical contortions – that romanization began before the conquest (really, man ?), that it was “swift, extremely effective and irreversibile” (the fact that it wasn’t so in any other Roman province is ignored – after all, Romania has always been unique), etc.

      All the linguistic evidence that connects the Romanian language to other languages spoken south of the Danube – ignored.

      The historical records that mention a massive Vlach presence south of the Danube – likewise ignored.

      Because “noi suntem romani, noi suntem aici pe veci stapani”, right ?


  4. Look, man, you keep shouting and yelling that you know a lot of things, but don’t give any arguments (somebody else before me told you that time and time again). Judging by other comments you make on Sam’s blog, you clearly have a problem.
    But anyway, here’s an idea about who prof. Zugravu is :
    Obviously you couldn’t know who he was, as you are an amateur provocateur. Those I mentioned are “a bunch of nationalist historians”?! Are you high with fever? Anyway, I suggest you read, read, read (and I mean, serious reading) and I think you should start with “Istoria romanitatii nord-dunarene” (of the mentioned author) first.
    Oh, and giving me a thumb up only makes you look childish. Get a life!


    1. The fact that you take nationalist pseudo-history for granted doesn’t make it truthful.

      And yes, the historians you mentioned were openly nationalistic.


  5. Daniel, if you’re not Hungarian (which I think you are, because you’re using their favorite “arguments”), you are simply delusional, Mr. 165 years was the period of the Roman occupation on the north side of Danube. But have you heard of Romanization before the actual conquest in 106? It was an actual reality. I don’t think you have ever read anything on the subject, other than some crazy lines about “the south origin of the language” (WTF?). If you disregard historians like Iorga, Ghe. Bratianu, Parvan, Daicoviciu etc. I can suggest you to read the works of prof. Nelu Zugravu from Iasi. He’s a very good researcher and very objective too. He spends a lot of time in Italy, France, Germany studying the sources they have there.
    The Romanity was a large pond, cut in two by the second Slavic wave (in 602). The Southern Romance groups that can still be found in northern Greece, Bulgaria, ex-Jugoslavia are remnants of the Southern Romanity. But in now way Romanians came from the south of the Danube to colonize this land. No need to ask you what you believe existed here. You have never read anything, it’s a fact. Try Wikipedia, if books are too much for you.


    1. Citing a bunch of openly nationalistic historians doesn’t impress me.

      And no, I haven’t heard of “romanization before the actual conquest”. And no serious historian seems to have, either.

      As for this Nelu Zugravu – no, I haven’t heard of him – so you might wanna hit me with some links, so I can evaluate his claims for myself.

      And thank you for you hysterical reaction – when the nationalist gets their panties in a twist and start making nonsensical claims (“romanization before the conquest” ??? really ??? ) – I know I’m on to something :-)


  6. @ Daniel, what you brought here are insults, not arguments. You have lost your marbles because you have no evidence to back your hypothesis.

    1. The Slavs colonised the south of the Danube (actual Bulgaria, former Yugoslavia) but not the northern bank. Why??? The Danube is large enough and the forrest were not welcoming. If not geography, what else stopped the Slavs??? Romans themselves had problems in crossing the Danube from south to north, they had to build a bridge.
    2 Romanian is not closely related to south Italian dialects. I worked a year in northern Italy, speak fluent Italian and travelled a lot in the south, Campania and Puglia. The south Italian dialect is not closer to Romanian language than standard Italian. In fact it is totally incomprensible to a Romanian speaker.
    3. There is no proof that the one saying Torna, torna fratre was a proto-Romanian, especially as the incident took place in nowadays Bulgaria. Bulgaria was a Latin speaking region until the massive migration of Slavs.
    4. The fact Petru and Assan were Vlach do not mean that south of Danube were all Vlach. Quite the contrary. In medieval times most rulers had a different ethnicity than of their subjects.
    I close here the discussion as you could not bring any single hard evidence to support your hypothesis.


  7. No, you didn’t answer anything.

    We’re not talking about modern centralized states with state-owned media and schools to enforce language uniformity – there was no such thing in ancient times.

    Latinization wasn’t a deliberate Roman policy – sometimes it happened, sometimes it didn’t. But it certainly took a while.

    So, once again, you’ve revealed yourself to be another nationalist who uses EXTREMELY DISHONEST arguments in order to back up a ludicrous argument.

    Not to mention the cognitive dissonance – the “massive virgin forests” made Slavic colonization impossible – and yet the Romans completely wiped out any trace of the natives language – and in RECORD TIME – and in places that were never under Roman occupation !

    What you’re advocating isn’t honest historiography – it’s pseudo-science meant to enforce nationalistic claims.

    Oh, and those few hundred cognates that the Romanian language shares with the Albanian language ?
    And the fact that Romanian is closely related to southern Italian dialects – and not with the northern dialects ?
    And the fact that the Romanian language is clearly part of the Balkan sprachbund ?
    And the fact that the first mention of proto-Romanian occurs SOUTH of the Danube (“torna, torna, fratre”) ?
    And the fact that Bulgaria was founded by Romanians (and travellers through Bulgaria in the 12th century mentioned that the Latin-speakers seemed predominant) ?

    Pesky facts, meant to be ignored – since they do not fit the standard nationalist propaganda.


  8. @Daniel, (and apologies to Sam again)

    Listen, brink documents to back your claims. It is not dishonest to ask for documents or evidence to support a hypothesis. Bring the evidence and I will take into consideration your theory.

    I have the evidence of a movement from north to south and I can prove the opposite movement was not possible for geographical reasons, namely the virgin forrests along the Danube stretching from the Black Forrest in Germany to the Danube delta mentioned by Caesar (Caesar’s De Bello Gallico, Book VI 25,1: “The Hercynian Forest […] stretches along the Danube to the areas of the Daci and Anarti”). In De Bello Gallico Caesar says that the forest stretches along the Danube from the territory of the Helvetii (present-day Switzerland) to Dacia (present-day Romania). Its implied northern dimension is nine days’ march. Its eastern dimension is indefinitely more than sixty days’ march. This forrest stopped the advance of Caesar in Germany and stopped the Slavs and the Turks moving from south to north of the Danube. There was no massive migration of a Latin speaking people from the south of Danube to the north because such a crossing required a logistics that a rural population did not have (good organisation, boats to cross the river, reserves of food lasting weeks, maps to know what direction to take, etc). Even the Romans and the Turks who had well organised armies encountered huge problems crossing Danube and the Mad Forrest along the river.
    I rest on my case.


    1. I’ll bring documents when you bring “documents” that explain how a mere 165 years were enough to erase all trace of the Dacian language.

      Deal ?


      1. @Daniel,

        165 years to erase a language is plenty of time. Look at the disparition of Romanian language from Hungary after Trianon. Immediately after 1920, there were 200000 Romanians living in Hungary. In less than 100 years Romanian language has vanished almost completely, the few Romanian speakers left in Hungary are less than 5000, and their language knowledge is poor. I can bet than in 2085 Hungary will have no Romanian speaker.

        I answered your question. Now bring your evidence for douth to north migration hypothesis.


  9. @ Daniel,
    Most of the medieval rules did not have the same ethnic origin as the people they ruled.The first kings of England were Norman French, kings of Hungary were also French (Anjou family) etc. So the choice of the capital cannot be dimissed because Basarab was cuman. Should Budapest as capital.
    There is also the issue of the dense virgin forrest area along the border of the Danube that prevented massive movements of population. The famous Codrii Vlasiei in the Bucharest area and the virgin forrest Ottoman Turks called Deli Orman that was located in nowadays Teleorman area were bordering the Romanian side of the Danube. The entire northern bank of the Danube was an immense virgin forrest that simply prevented any massive migration of population. The virgin impenetrable forrests along the Danube explain why Slavs were never able to massively colonise the territory north of the Danube. Ditto for the Turks who were terrified and called it Deli Orman, the Mad Forrest. The forrest prevented them to fully conquer Tara Romaneasca. The saviour forrest is illustrated by the Romanian saying: Codrul e frate cu romanul, the forrest is Romanian’s brother.
    If Romanians still speak a Latin language, they owe it to the massive forrests that populated most of Romania. They remained in their forrests after the Aurelian retreat and manage a semi-nomad pastoral life to the modern time. That is why shepherd is a byword for Romanian in Albanian (cioban) and in Greek (vlach).
    That the densely forrest areas can preserve a language is demonstrated by the Rumansch language in Switzerland. The inaccesible mountains were the Rumansch live have prevented them to be fully conquered by German, French and Italians.


    1. You’re begging the question, dude.

      So lemme guess – those “virgin impenetrable forests” made it impossible for the Slavs to colonize … but the Romans completely wiped out the native language (including lands that were never under occupation, I might add) in a century and a half ?

      Does not compute.


  10. @Daniel &comp who believe the south Danube theory ( with my apologies to Sam for the off topic argument)
    Folks, please show your hard evidence ( historical documents, Romanian oral traditions, etc) that supports a massive migration from south to north. Also please explain why the founder of Moldova came from Maramures and set his capital to Suceava, a few miles from the current north-east border. Anyone coming from south, would have set the capital somewhere south along the Danube, Galati, Braila or even Focsani. But wait a minute, they came from Maramures and set the capital to Suceava.
    Ditto for Basarab. He sets his capital at Campulung, in the northern part of the country. The migration of a a Latinophone population from south to north in these circumstances is simply absurd. What we have from historical evidence is a movement of population coming from north (Maramures) to south.
    My reasoning for a movement north to south is backed on hard and demonstrable evidence. I rest on my case.


    1. First of all – Basarab was not ethnically Romanian – so where he set his capital proves nothing.

      And second of all – what we do know for a fact is that by the 12th century, the territory north of the Danube was inhabited by latin-speaking people. Unfortunately, they pretty much pop out of nowhere – and you should know that, so asking for “historical documents” is a dishonest thing to do.

      But hey, since we’re playing the “prove it” game, lemme ask you this.

      What’s harder to believe – that 165 years was more than enough to completely erase the native language … or that at some point between the 7th century (when the Slavs and the Avars smashed the northern border of the Byzantine Empire) and the 12th century (when the Vlachs appear in the written records) there was a gradual movement to the north ?


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