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Historic Jewish Population of the 1st century AD

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    Posted: 13 Apr 2020 at 12:10
Attached below is the plot showing historic Jewish population dynamics. 
As can be seen from it, in the 1st century BC the Jewish population may have reached 4.5 mln. After 1st and 2nd Jewish-Roman wars the population dropped to measly 1.5 mln.

Can anybody here help me with the following 2 questions:
1) Is it true that there were 6-9 times more Jews living beyond Palestine region than in Palestine region itself back in 1st century AD? I can't remember from which source this figure came, but I have it recorded

2) There were presumably many Jews living outside the Roman empire in 1st century AD. Can anybody estimate how many of Jews lived outside the Roman empire out of total Jewish population?

Thanks.




Edited by Novosedoff - 13 Apr 2020 at 12:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 2020 at 03:54
It might be easier if we determine exactly which area is being defined as Palestine. 

In 5 BCE Gaza and Israel were known as Palestine(Herodotus, "Palaistin"). Judea was renamed Palastin in 2nd CE to minimize Jewish identity with the land. Ottomans called the land south of Syria, Palestine.

So are we talking about the areas now called Israel and Gaza?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 2020 at 04:03
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

So are we talking about the areas now called Israel and Gaza?

Yep. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 2020 at 04:09
It makes sense, Wiki had percentages

http://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_and_Judaism_in_the_Land_of_Israel
Although coming under the sway of various empires and home to a variety of ethnicities, the area of ancient Israel was predominantly Jewish until the Jewish–Roman wars of 66–136 CE, during which the Romans expelled most of the Jews from the area and replaced it with the Roman province of Syria Palaestina, beginning the Jewish diaspora. After this time, Jews became a minority in most regions, except Galilee, and the area became increasingly Christian after the 3rd century, although the percentages of Christians and Jews are unknown, the former perhaps coming to predominate in urban areas, the latter remaining in rural areas.[5] Jewish settlements declined from over 160 to 50 by the time of the Muslim conquest. Michael Avi-Yonah says that Jews constituted 10–15% of Palestine's population by the time of the Sasanian conquest of Jerusalem in 614,[6] while Moshe Gil says that Jews constituted the majority of the population until the 7th century Muslim conquest (638 CE).[7]
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 2020 at 04:35
You realize that ancient population estimates are wildly disregarded. Josephus reports many details that eclipse modern day numbers on people and production.
C.C. McCown JSTOR

"The Jewish Population of the Roman Empire is estimated at from 4,500,000 to 7,000,000 of which 1/10 to 1/4 lived in Palestine."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 2020 at 05:44
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

You realize that ancient population estimates are wildly disregarded. Josephus reports many details that eclipse modern day numbers on people and production.
C.C. McCown JSTOR

"The Jewish Population of the Roman Empire is estimated at from 4,500,000 to 7,000,000 of which 1/10 to 1/4 lived in Palestine."

This is really useful. Thanks. I thought I had copied the figure from Edward Gibbon or Rodney Stark. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2020 at 14:01
Whereas the diaspora or "dispersion" usually refers to the time after the Jewish Wars and the destruction of the second temple. I think one can also call the time period before that _a_ diaspora, including the translation of the septuagint in the Alexandria Jewish community.  If one considers the septuagint the greatest work of this early Jewish "diaspora" then this "diaspora" must have started in the Hellenistic era.

It is interesting watching the HBO series "Rome" about two adventures during the Roman Civil Wars.  One thing they do is they have a minor character who is Jewish, and also show Sikhs.  Watching historical films, it is sometimes easy to forget that some religions date that far back, and they were there along with all those bloody Romans:)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2020 at 10:25

Early Muslims were very tolerant of other belief systems. Even without citizenship Jews, Sikhs, Bedouins et al were accepted in matters of trade and taxes the demographics remain diverse during the Ottoman Empire.

https://www.haaretz.com/1.4852548

                             Study Traces Worldwide Jewish 

                             Population From Exodus to Modern Age

A relatively large number of estimates have been published on the size of the Jewish population in the first century, in the period before the destruction of the second Temple. These estimates are based on written sources such as Flavius Josephus and Roman populace commanders.

Columbia University's Prof. Salo Baron, considered among the most important researchers of Judaism in that period, estimated the number of Jews in the world at that time at 8 million. More cautious researchers like Israel's Dr. Magen Broshi put it closer to 2 million.

Della Pergola averaged the various estimates to reach his estimate of 4.5 million. His main source for the Middle Ages was the diary of Binyamin of Tudela, who traveled throughout Europe and the Middle East in 1170.

"Tudela's estimates are fairly credible regarding the places he himself visited," Della Pergola says. "But when he relies on other sources, his estimates sound pretty implausible."

The demographic trends described by the program are less controversial than the numeric data. One of the intersting phenomena touched on is that the spread of Jews in the Middle Ages largely overlapped with the Arab conquests: From present-day Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula, the Jewish core moved to North Africa and Spain. Another direction for expansion was from the south of France northward into Germany and central Europe - the region that became known as Ashkenaz.

Another remarkable phenomena was the rise of Eastern Europe as the largest Jewish center from the 16th-20th centuries. In Tudela's time, there were very few Jews living in Eastern Europe. Della Pergola says Tudela himself notes the scant Jewish presence and observes that it was cold there. The Jews who reached Eastern Europe from Ashkenaz and from the Black Sea and the Balkans multiplied at an astonishing rate, mostly thanks to natural growth. Within a few centuries, Eastern Europe was home to two-thirds of all Jews.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2020 at 13:43
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

A relatively large number of estimates have been published on the size of the Jewish population in the first century, in the period before the destruction of the second Temple. These estimates are based on written sources such as Flavius Josephus and Roman populace commanders.

Columbia University's Prof. Salo Baron, considered among the most important researchers of Judaism in that period, estimated the number of Jews in the world at that time at 8 million. More cautious researchers like Israel's Dr. Magen Broshi put it closer to 2 million.


What I find rather interesting is that Roman genocide of Jews in the earlier 1-2 centuries CE seemed to incur even higher losses to Jewish demography than Nazi's genocide of the later 20th century: from the above plot it can be seen that under Roman rule the Jewish population dropped from 4.5 to 1.5 mln., i.e. by two thirds. under Nazi's rule the Jewish population fell from 16.6 to 11 mln, i.e.  by a third. 

I think that ancient Romans were negatively predisposed towards the Semites, incl. the Jews, because of the Punic wars. It took Romans 3 wars and 100 years to drive the Semites from Sicily, then Spain and finally from the Northern Africa, modern Tunis. 

Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

Early Muslims were very tolerant of other belief systems. Even without citizenship Jews, Sikhs, Bedouins et al were accepted in matters of trade and taxes the demographics remain diverse during the Ottoman Empire.

https://www.haaretz.com/1.4852548


Yes, this is a well known fact that the Arab conquest as well as later Ottoman rule were like the heaven for the Jews, which suffered a lot under Christian rule of Byzantine. The Ottoman empire welcomed the Jewish refugees from Spain as soon as the persecutions started in 1492. 




Edited by Novosedoff - 24 Apr 2020 at 14:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Apr 2020 at 14:44

Muslim descendants of Spain are denied the right to return but Sephardic Jews are allowed to do so and Spain is extending the invitation.  Maybe the Rome /Christianity clash is a conflict closer to the Nazi/Jew dynamic. Rome literally bulldozed the Temple to keep power source in Rome's hands. Spain merely persecuted the Jews but had real conflict with the moriscos.

http://https://theconversation.com/what-don-quixote-has-to-say-to-spain-about-todays-immigrant-crisis-45482

And so, the descendants of moriscos (spanish muslims) ask today, how can Spain offer differential treatment to descendants of Sephardic Jews and moriscos? Do the Sephardic Jews feel any more keenly the loss of homeland than do the descendants of moriscos?The Spanish government has congratulated itself on righting a historic wrong by allowing dual citizenship to the descendants of Sephardic Jews.

But, at the same time, it maintains that the two cases have no basis for comparison. In one case, they argue, bigotry lay at the heart of the expulsion. In the other, the expulsion of the moriscos was the result of decades of political clashes and thereby warrants no apology. As a member of Portugal’s Parliament (that has passed a similar law inviting Sephardic Jews to “return”) put it:


Persecution of Jews was just that, while what happened with the Arabs was part of a conflict.

But, a more obvious answer may lie in the migrant crisis facing Europe today.

Spain has particular problems with a growing number of refugees crossing the narrow Strait of Gibraltar from North Africa, and has already faced severe criticism by other members of the European Union for allowing its borders to be so porous, thereby opening the way for migrants to enter France and other countries. Although human rights activists have called for a more holistic response to immigration on the part of the European Union, it has still been left to the Southern European countries on the front line to bear the brunt of the migration crisis.

Because of the large number of descendants of moriscos around the world – some estimate tens of millions, most of whom are in North Africa – observers say that virtually overnight, if Spain were to rescind the Edict of Expulsion of the moriscos, it could become the largest Muslim population in the European Union.

According to a study conducted last year by the University of Limerick, Spanish attitudes toward immigrants have significantly worsened since 2002. A 2014 Pew survey revealed that more Spaniards are negative about Muslims (46% unfavorable) than are Germans (33%) or British (26%).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2020 at 06:16
Btw the picture above shows that Jewish population fell by 5 mln. from 16.6 mln. to 11 mln.

On the other hand, the wiki says that in Germany only 160,000-180,000 Jews have been exterminated.
So the majority of 5 mln. must have been living in Poland, Ukraine and Belarus then..



 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2020 at 06:19
Here is a more fresh chart of Jewish population in different world regions from the Economist

Back in 1970s there were over 2 mln. Jews living in the USSR..




Edited by Novosedoff - 03 May 2020 at 06:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2020 at 15:21
Oh, so you are asking how there could numbers on the deaths of Jews during holocaust be correct?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2020 at 20:26
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

Oh, so you are asking how there could numbers on the deaths of Jews during holocaust be correct?

No, I didn't ask that. I just was rather curious to find out that the majority of killed Jews were not from Germany (60% of German Jews actually fled the country after Nazis seized the power in 1933), but from Austria, Poland etc. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2020 at 03:50
The Netherlands: the greatest number of Jewish victims in Western Europe
Quote Three quarters of the Dutch Jews were murdered during the Second World War. 
 

But in absolute numbers the "leaders" were Poland and the SU


Edited by Novosedoff - 04 May 2020 at 03:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 May 2020 at 04:52
Netherlands numbers do surprise but the link explains quite clearly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2020 at 13:20
radical muslims believe that Spain should become once again muslim ruled, there is not the same problem with Jews.

Baruch (Benedict) Spinoza was a Jewish philosopher who in the 1500s was excommunicated from the Amsterdam community.  Some people wanted to rehabilitate Spinoza and have his excommunication overturned, they were unable to do so because in order to overturn the council who excommunicated him, one would have to an equally authoritative, prestigious council from the same place, which of course, is not possible given the destruction of the Amsterdam Community in WWII.

Many things that would not have been considered Jewish before are begrudgingly considered if not Jewish, then a cousin of it.  The Karaites or the Samaritans for example, or the Dead Sea Scrolls, I suspect if they were discovered in the past (and from stories we know such things were discovered), they would have been left to molder away buried in the desert or placed in a Genizah, or even actively destroyed as 'heretical'.  Don't get me wrong, I am for such a big tent perspective, but also part of the current big tent perspective is a product of the destruction of so many strains.

It is interesting that there are more Jews in America, than there are in Israel, at least at the time of the survey.  Some Jews consider Israel a pretender state, because the prophecy (primarily of the Messiah), has not occurred.  Of course, some of those some Jews are ultra-Orthodox who live in Israel, even though they consider it a pretender state.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 May 2020 at 23:12
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

It is interesting that there are more Jews in America, than there are in Israel, at least at the time of the survey.  Some Jews consider Israel a pretender state, because the prophecy (primarily of the Messiah), has not occurred.  Of course, some of those some Jews are ultra-Orthodox who live in Israel, even though they consider it a pretender state.

That's right. In 1970s there were 5.8 mln. Jews living in the US,  whereas in Israel just 2.5 mln. 

Btw historically Dutch were rather tolerant to Jews. When Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, some of them moved to Osman Turkey, but some moved to Netherlands (not ruled by Spain yet). The same happened in the New World. Initially Jews settled somewhere in Portuguese colonies of America, but were expelled from there later. So they moved to N.America and were allowed to settle on Manhattan in NY by Dutch, who were the first settlers of that place. 

Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

radical muslims believe that Spain should become once again muslim ruled, there is not the same problem with Jews.

Yeah, this is a map of Islamic Caliphate (as can be seen, it includes Spain):




Edited by Novosedoff - 11 May 2020 at 23:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 May 2020 at 12:23
Benedict (Baruch) Spinoza was excommunicated by the _Jewish_ community, although I am not sure what "excommunicate" means in those circumstances, but it is the word used when historians and biographers discuss it.  His sister tried to cheat him out of his inheritance, and he took her to court, he won, and then he gave it all to her anyway.  He ground lenses to pay the bills, and probably inhaled too much glass dust, died relatively young (mid-50s?) because of that.  Nietzsche said 'I originally thought Spinoza was a hobgoblin, now he is a saint.'

Spinoza comes out of a background of Cartesianism, but of course his approach is from a Jewish background, not a Christian one.  His main work is called the Ethics, but you might be puzzled if you read it to learn about moral philosophy.

You have the crypto-Jews that came over to the New World, settling in out of the way places like New Mexico or San Luis valley.  These are individuals that externally practice Catholicism, but within the family have Jewish practices and customs.  If you said that they were Jewish, they would probably not know what you are talking about, or at least they wouldn't until anthropologists and historians got into them in the 20th century.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2020 at 14:38
Originally posted by Novosedoff Novosedoff wrote:

The Netherlands: the greatest number of Jewish victims in Western Europe
Quote Three quarters of the Dutch Jews were murdered during the Second World War. 
 

But in absolute numbers the "leaders" were Poland and the SU
There are discussion groups like "Reddit", who will not allow historically factual data to be presented as fact.
Example, we had a member denied by Reddit to state as Fact that Genocide against Muslims occurred in Bosnia in the 1990's.

The history of WW2 Russia was never taught while I was in school and my college age daughter has nothing about it in her text book. 

Sickening & Pathetic.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Sep 2020 at 06:19
Apart from aforementioned McCown's article "Population in Ancient Palestine" (thanks, Vanuatu, again for finding it!), which presents some interesting figures of Jewish population dynamics in 1 century AD, Thomas Sowell also shared some insights (see attached)






Two observations:
1) Thomas Sowell counted up to 6.5 mln Jews living in Roman empire (incl. Palestine) + 1 mln in Babylonia. But where were the rest 500,000 Jews to sum it up to reported 8 mln of overall Jewish population in the world back then?

2) 2.5 mln Palestine Jews represent 38% of overall Jewish population of the Roman empire, which is slightly beyond the McCown's range of maximum 25%. Supposedly,   the number of Palestine Jews must have shrunk after the war and Roman wide-scale genocide... So Thomas Sowell's book must be reporting the pre-war numbers, while McCown's article shows the post-war ratio


Edited by Novosedoff - 12 Sep 2020 at 06:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2020 at 07:58
Was it significant because you were studying the statistics? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Sep 2020 at 13:45
Originally posted by Vanuatu Vanuatu wrote:

Was it significant because you were studying the statistics? 

Yeah, Jews are pretty interesting folks to study. As minority they are rather insignificant, just paltry 0.2% of the world population. This is much less than Japanese, Italians, Germans, Russians, Ukrainians or even Kazakh. But at the same time Jews clearly stand out because they are so widespread across the globe and so active in certain areas, such as trading operations etc. Thomas Sowell has even written a separate chapter to cover them. I find them really inspiring because they seem to swap their residence so easily without getting stuck anywhere if something goes wrong. There are no wrong people, except for wrong countries Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2020 at 04:17
Do you know why Jews play the fiddle instead of the piano?  Nobody ever fled a pogrom carrying a piano.  Of course, there are famous Jewish piano players too.

Originally, the Romans had a respect for things that were old, and Judaism (our word) was old, so the Romans respected that, I also think that War in Palestine did not mean that the Romans went after Jews in other areas.  There are Jews in Rome and Babylon, and everywhere in-between, and beyond.
One should understand that what was Jewish then is not necessarily what is Jewish now.  Continuity should not be assumed.  Judaism is these days reconstructed, reformed, orthodox, ultra-orthodox, with a few different varieties or flavors off of those combination (like Hasidic).  All of these are flavors of rabbinic Judaism.  In Jesus' time there was already the synagogue, but there still was the Temple.  There were pharisees, sadduces, zealots, essenes.  Already broken away from this, were the Samaritans.  In the Medieval period in contrast to rabbinical Judaism were the Karaites.  The Karaites for example believed that the Biblical prohibition of not boiling a kid in its mother's milk, meant exactly that, as opposed to the Rabbinic prohibition against having cheese and meat together.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Novosedoff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Oct 2020 at 05:44
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Do you know why Jews play the fiddle instead of the piano?  Nobody ever fled a pogrom carrying a piano.  Of course, there are famous Jewish piano players too.

Originally, the Romans had a respect for things that were old, and Judaism (our word) was old, so the Romans respected that, I also think that War in Palestine did not mean that the Romans went after Jews in other areas.  There are Jews in Rome and Babylon, and everywhere in-between, and beyond.
One should understand that what was Jewish then is not necessarily what is Jewish now.  Continuity should not be assumed.  Judaism is these days reconstructed, reformed, orthodox, ultra-orthodox, with a few different varieties or flavors off of those combination (like Hasidic).  All of these are flavors of rabbinic Judaism.  In Jesus' time there was already the synagogue, but there still was the Temple.  There were pharisees, sadduces, zealots, essenes.  Already broken away from this, were the Samaritans.  In the Medieval period in contrast to rabbinical Judaism were the Karaites.  The Karaites for example believed that the Biblical prohibition of not boiling a kid in its mother's milk, meant exactly that, as opposed to the Rabbinic prohibition against having cheese and meat together.

Well, I've just published an article about Christianity and Judaism in Russian Smile It's come out in an online journal: 
https://topos.ru/article/ontologicheskie-progulki/o-hristianstve-na-osnove-knig-sociologa-i-istorika-religii-rodni

The name of the author has been changed intentionally. Hopefully, the same article  will be published in print under my real name.

Sorry, I can't share it in English, the only way to read it in English is to right-click on it with your mouse in your browser and choose "Translate to English" for automatic Google translation.



Edited by Novosedoff - 02 Oct 2020 at 05:46
I teach history to children and I am proud that they leave my classes permeated with sh*t and hatred to meet the real world..
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