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View Poll Results: Which people have suffered the most
Polish 1 2.27%
Jews 22 50.00%
Irish 2 4.55%
Armenians 1 2.27%
Russians 5 11.36%
Palestinians 3 6.82%
Native Americans 12 27.27%
Western Africans 6 13.64%
Amerindians 4 9.09%
Chinese 3 6.82%
Aboriginals 2 4.55%
Indians 2 4.55%
Gypsies 4 9.09%
Other, please state 4 9.09%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 22nd, 2010, 05:23 AM   #1

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Which people in history have gone through the greatest suffering?

Human suffering is, of course, universal and with no limitation to ethnic groups, social classes, sexes, etc. Individual suffering existed in every human category, and generally speaking, the poor, ethnic and religious minorities and women, are widely regarded as the ones to have endured the greatest suffering.

But, from an ethnic groups perspective, which people have endured the greatest hardships? Which have undergone the greatest suffering in the course of their history?

The above poll is a multiple choice one. Some clarifications regarding the reason for my choices:

-The Jews were included not only because of the Holocaust, but also because of their long history of exile, persecution and use as scape-goats in the foreign countries they lived in.

-The Russians because of their tremendous toll in human lives in the two World Wars and in almost every other war they took part in.
Also, because of the suffering under the Czars and under the totalitarian regime that followed.

The same goes for the Chinese, they conducted some of the bloodiest wars in history and also suffered greatly from both their emperors and the regime that succeeded them. They still suffer.
Famines, natural disasters, epidemics fill in a grim list of hardships, not tο mention the Sino-Japanese wars, the Nanking massacre and the civil war.

In fact, life was always a cheap commodity in both of the above great countries, and it still is in China.

-I have put the Indians on the list, because of their countless wars among their various tribes and against foreigners, because of the many conquerors that set foot in the Indian subcontinent and because of the suffering of the poor, the "untouchables".
Because of the caste system and because of the poverty, the famine, the diseases that plagued this great people.

-Amerindians, Native Americans and Aboriginals are general terms that I use for the people that lived in South America, North America and Australia respectively, prior to the arrival of the Europeans.
Amerindians include the Incas, Mayas, Aztecs, Carib, Arawaks and all people of Central, Southern America and of the Caribbean.

-By "Western Africans" I am referring to all the people of West Africa and I included them, above all Africans, because they were the main target of slavers, especially for those supplying the Americas.
This was a bane added to the poor quality of life that was, and still is, the usual in Africa, a continent that has also suffered greatly from colonisation.

-Gypsies include both the Roma and the Tinkers of the British isles.
I have put them on the list because they were, and still are, victims of discrimination, racism and marginalisation.
They also paid a heavy toll in Hitler's concentration camps.

-I included the Irish because of the 800 years of foreign occupation, the great famine, the extensive immigration and the troubles in Northern Ireland.

-The Palestinians were put on the list because of their suffering, past and present, at the hands of Israel and the endless bloodshed in Palestine.

-The Armenians were included because of the genocide and finally, the Polish because of their long history of being preyed upon by their neighbouring nations.

Last edited by Solidaire; June 22nd, 2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 07:59 AM   #2

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Re: Which people in history have gone through the greatest suffering?

My vote is for Native Americans, but my second vote would have been the Jews, followed by the Western Africans.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:20 AM   #3

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Re: Which people in history have gone through the greatest suffering?

Jews. I really don't see how anyone else is close.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 08:32 AM   #4

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Re: Which people in history have gone through the greatest suffering?

Originally Posted by leakbrewergator View Post
Jews. I really don't see how anyone else is close.
The Jews are a very close second for me. They have suffered TREMENDOUSLY throughout history (from Greek and Roman times, through the Crusades and Inquisition, the Pogroms and Shoah - I've even encountered bitter anti-Semitism in the most unlikely of places in America).

But the Jews have also had their good times. It is easy to forget about the flowering of rabbinic philosophy and culture in the Middle Ages, particularly in the Iberian Peninsula but throughout both Islamic and Christian lands. In Ancient times, in Seleukid times, for a few brief moments in Roman times, and in the 20th and 21st Centuries, the Jews/Israelis have had some of the strongest, most elite, and fiercely motivated armies operating at the time.

I voted for the Indians because, pretty much from the moment good ole Chris Columbus "sailed the ocean blue", their heritage and culture - oftentimes, their very lives - have been totally ****ed up. Those who weren't butchered or forced onto reservations had western civilization shoved down their throats, all these things done by wicked men who claimed to stand for "civilization", "Christianity", "progress", etc.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 09:04 AM   #5
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Re: Which people in history have gone through the greatest suffering?

Jews with Native Americans in a close second. Though the Native Americans were treated horribly that mainly happened after the Europeans came so there was still thousand of years before Europeans came in which the weren't being oppressed where areas the Jews were being oppressed and blame for anything bad for a big chunk of there history.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 09:57 AM   #6

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Re: Which people in history have gone through the greatest suffering?

Without a doubt it's the Jews.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 11:25 AM   #7

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Re: Which people in history have gone through the greatest suffering?

Numbers do count and the number of people that died of starvation in China during the "Great Leap Forward" of Mao 1958-61 is estimated at:

The official toll of excess deaths recorded in China for the years of the Great Leap Forward is 14 million, but scholars have estimated the number of famine victims to be between 20 and 43 million.
This is for one sorrid event in China's long history.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 01:19 PM   #8
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Re: Which people in history have gone through the greatest suffering?

Chinese actually have a legitimate argument if you consider the sheer amount of lives lost and suffering endured during the downfall of each dynasty.

The Mongol invasion, the fall of the Ming Dynasty, the Taiping Rebellion, and Mao's Great Leap Forward are amongst the worst disasters man has inflicted upon his race.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 01:45 PM   #9

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Re: Which people in history have gone through the greatest suffering?

Jews is the ovbious choice (my vote)
As a pole (well, 25% xD) i'm sympathetic to them, even though Poles as a people haven't been too oppressed (though let us not forget they were also a target of the Nazis) their nation has had a bad run of things. how they lost their independence over and over puts points on the board and the betrayal of the allies during and after WWII was a particularly cruel blow imo. Their whole history since the mid 18th century has been pretty tragic, though the "suffering" hasn't been as bad as other people have had it.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 02:01 PM   #10

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Re: Which people in history have gone through the greatest suffering?

Aboriginals or Natives all across the world stuff suffer greatly today. The ghettos of WW2 no longer exist, the ghettos of the "Big Eddie" reserve and other reserves in shambles still exist today. The Jews still suffer today as well of course which is why I thought of voting for them too, anti-semitism is still very real unfortunately. Natives once lived free lives in North America, simple but effective people, taking no more from the land then they needed to survive.

They didn't understand the concept of "owning" land and for this they were banished to reserves and places where everyone doesn't have to think about them and their case was closed. Their land was taken, their means to survive was taken, their children were taken (at least in Canada) to reeducation schools where everyday abuse was very real and even today their rights are pushed aside unless challenged. Residential Schools were where many children from reserves were stolen and forced to go to. The thought was that when the native children became more "Canadian" (a nice way of saying more acceptable in society) they could go back to the reserves and set in motion a chain reaction that could end the "problem" of native peoples and Canadian society forever. This of course was a disaster when the residential schools became dens of sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, I guess cultural abuse and they ended up fracturing even more the delicate native societies. The children that in these schools became abused now have children of their own and many have went on to abuse them or neglect them. It basically set in motion the opposite of what it was intended to do. We now have Native populations devastated by drugs, crime, prostitution all because their parents can't or refused to properly take care of their kids / family. Their future in society is bleak, they strive to protect their past while maintaining their future, something that is incredibly hard today.

This is why even today we can see the Native community in Canada as something that will never be assimilated, it will always clash with the way Canada is going.
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