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A History of The Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia Paperback – 8 Jun 2007


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'David Crowe's new history, the culmination of a decades prodigious and painstaking multilingual research, is the most comprehensive and indispensable of its kind in English.' - Washington Post Book World

About the Author

DAVID M CROWE is Professor of History, Elon University, USA, and a Fellow at the Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is President Emeritus of the Association for the Study of Nationalities at Columbia University.

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Very important and a good read 24 Mar. 2008
By Seth J. Frantzman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This fascinating survey of the Gypsies of Eastern Europe and Russia offers histories of all the important communities in the East including in Bulgaria, Czechslovakia, Hungary, Rumania, Russia and Yugoslavia. Obviously other Gypsy communities are left out, such as those in Greece, Albania and Turkey. But such is life, the book stands alone nonetheless.

Each chapter is a veritable encyclopedia of Gypsy life. For instance on Bulgaria the book describes how Gypsy women refused to don the Muslim veil forced upon Muslim women after the Turkish colonization of Eastern Europe. The book is packed full of data and demographics. For instance we learn that in 1910 there were 120,000 Roma listed on the census and in 1930 the estimate was 140,000. Muslim Gypsies were forcibly expelled from Bulgaria after the war. The book details the various anti-Gypsy laws that existed from Turkish times to the era of fascism and Communism. Usually disguised as `anti-nomadism' laws the target was obvious.

In Czechslovakia the Roma worked as castle musicians and metal workers in the 16th century. In 1780 there were 43,000 Roma in Slovakia. In addition the Gypsys of Slovakia survived the war because of the intervention of the Slovak leader Jozef Tiso and his desire, despite being an ally of Hitler, to have his country free of Nazism. Roma in enighbouring lands were not so luck and the Holocaust destroyed many communities.

In Rumania, long home to one of the largest concentrations of Roma they totaled according to estimates almost half a million or 2% of the population in 1977. In 1992 some claimed there were 2.2 million Gypsies a total of 10% of the population of the country.

In Yugoslavia the Gypsies were part of a patchwork of nationalities that hated one another. One time they were viewed by Serbs in the 1920s as being allied to the Muslim Albanians but later the reverse would happen when the Croatian Ustasha Nazi collaborator Catholic government would exterminate the Gypsy population of Croatia and after the Nato `liberation' of Kosovo the same would happen in 1999 when Muslim Albanians cleansed the land of Gypsies (there had been 14,000 in Kosovo in 1971). In Macedonia the largest Gypsy community was constructed in the 1960s called Suto Orizari. In 1991 there were 200,000 Roma in Macedonia.

This is simply a fascinating book that anyone with an interest in minorities, European history of Gypsies should get. One unfortunate fact: the book does not mention if there were any contacts between Gypsy communities and Jewish ones.

Seth J. Frantzman
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well taken care of 12 Mar. 2013
By agnesmckinney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Again, I have read only a couple of pages so far. But it seems to be a book I needed.
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