By Larry Romanoff, April 26, 2022
“May you wander over the face of the earth forever, never sleep twice in the same bed, never drink water twice from the same well and never cross the same river twice in a year.”
An old Gypsy curse
First, let me tell you of my personal experiences with Gypsies. These cover a period of approximately ten years mostly in Italy, Romania, Germany and France.
One stark memory is of a Gypsy man perhaps 45 years old with what appeared to be a badly-twisted and lame leg supported by a crutch, begging for money in my piazza in Rome. It was painful to watch the man navigate the curbs and flagstones, making his way around the piazza, hoping for a few coins. He was there all morning on most days, but around noon he would pause his circular pilgrimage, stop to empty his pockets and count his bills and change, and apparently decide he had enough for a good meal. So, he would stand up, put his crutch over his shoulder and waltz over to the nice restaurant across the street for lunch.
Another fond memory is of a young Gypsy girl, perhaps only 15 or 16 years old, sitting on the steps of the basilica in the piazza with an infant wrapped in a swaddling blanket and again begging for money. Many church-goers coming and going took pity on the girl and gave generously. But now her blanket was becoming unkempt so, completely oblivious to the surrounding parishioners, she unwrapped the blanket, laid it out and re-folded it so it was again nice and neat. It was a surprise to see there was no infant there; just an empty and cleverly-folded blanket which, with the pathetic facial expressions and body language, was enough to make a good living.
I could not recount the number of times I was approached on the street in Rome (and in other cities) by a very attractive young Gypsy woman, in her early 20s and carrying an infant. She would come very close to me, intimate and friendly, choosing one subject or another for conversation while her infant held a largish piece of cardboard between us. It didn’t take long to realise the purpose of that cardboard was to block my view of her free hand reaching for my pockets. It was beautifully executed and, with the charming voice and lovely smile of a pretty young mother, suspicions were neutralised. And these girls were everywhere. I couldn’t imagine the number of passports and wallets that must have disappeared due to this virtual army of young Gypsy mothers.
My second-most favorite experience was in a retail shop in Rome. I cannot recall the goods it sold, but it had tables rather than high shelves, rather like a billiard hall with 50 tables, and about the same size and height. As I was walking around, I noticed a commotion where a young Gypsy girl, perhaps 15 or 16 years old, must have been caught trying to steal something, and where several men were trying to corner her. The girl dodged and weaved, and made her way almost to the wide exit doors but two adult men were blocking the aisles leading out. I wish you could have been there to see this. The girl paused for a moment, then chose one aisle and rushed right up to the man and screeched to a halt within less than a foot from him. But at that instant, just before the man could grab her in his arms, the girl pulled up her sweater, fully exposing her lovely young breasts. The man appeared stunned, and for a split second he froze, with that fraction of a second more than sufficient time for the girl to duck under his arm and disappear into the street. I was overcome with admiration because her timing was perfect. That act was not only choreographed, but must have been rehearsed 100 times, and was as professionally-executed as any maneuver I have ever seen. It was like watching a Jackie Chan movie.
However, my favorite Gypsy story took place in Romania, the “home” of the Gypsies. I was walking around downtown Bucharest with a friend, and at an intersection we came upon a Gypsy woman perhaps 45 years old who had a small table set up on the sidewalk with flowers she was selling. And these were not single-stem roses, but elaborate and beautiful bouquets of rare and expensive flowers, all elegantly arranged. I was totally impressed. I said to my friend, “Jesus, this is a lot better than in Rome. In Rome, all the Gypsies do is beg and steal. Here, they are at least trying to earn money by doing something useful.” And my friend said, “Well, it would be better if they weren’t stealing the flowers from the cemeteries.”
But not all events were as pleasant. I cannot eradicate from my memory the picture of a small Gypsy girl perhaps 8 or 10 years old, half-sitting and half-lying on the sidewalk begging for money. She had her dress pulled up to reveal a horribly twisted and mangled leg that appeared to have been broken in several places with none of the parts in their proper position or at a correct angle. Even worse, most of that leg had been severely burned, displaying much more ugly scar tissue than human flesh. It was wrenching to contemplate the suffering that child must have undergone at some earlier point in her life. Naturally, the donations were copious. But then I recalled seeing another young girl of similar age with essentially the same injuries in Florence some months prior. And another in Bologna, and in Venice, and Naples, and in Paris and Marseilles. And I was forced to conclude that such similar injuries to small Gypsy girls in such a number could not have been a coincidence. The injuries had to have been deliberately inflicted; there was no other possibility.
Things may have changed since I lived in Rome but, with the Gypsies being almost entirely nomadic at the time, there were no Gypsy cemeteries. No one knew who died or how or why they died, nor what happened to the body. The leader of a Gypsy Clan or a Group has more or less life and death authority over those under his command, and it would be this man who could levy a death penalty for violations – or for being elderly. He would decide when and which infants would be physically mangled to assist the community’s begging efforts. It would be this man who would direct and organise all the begging and thieving categories and arrange for the instruction and training and, judging by experience, this of necessity would begin at a very young age.
The Gypsies have historically been nomads, wandering tinkers and thieves. They would not settle down in any one place but would be constantly on the move, usually traveling in their colorful wagons, stopping in a town for a day or a few days, then moving on. They were curious, novel, and often entertaining. Many were excellent musicians or gymnasts, sometimes offering to entertain at wedding parties where they would capably acquit themselves. They sometimes had small circuses and were apparently gifted at training animals like bears.
Most often when entering a town they would perform small repairs for the townsfolk – sharpening knives, repairing pots and pans, doing small kinds of metal work. The men were mostly good blacksmiths and would often shoe horses as part of the local service, while the women would engage in clothing repairs and in fortune-telling. And, while some men and women were thus engaged, the remainder of the clan would freely roam the town to steal everything not nailed down. It was usually only after their departure that the townsfolk would begin to receive an accounting of everything missing. It was so bad that many towns in Europe began to pay Gypsies to go away as soon as they appeared.
Gypsy women became known as palm readers and petty thieves, suspected of sorcery. A Bologna chronicle from 1422 gave this account of a visit from a Gypsy group: “Amongst those who wished to have their fortunes told, few went to consult without having their purse stolen. The women of the band wandered about the town, six or eight together; they entered the houses of the citizens and told idle tales, during which some of them laid hold of whatever could be taken. In the same way, they visited the shops under the pretext of buying something, but one of them would steal. While a turban-wearing Gypsy woman told your fortune, her children would pick your pockets. It was said that the Gypsy women cast spells and practiced witchcraft; the Gypsy men were experts at picking locks and pilfering horses.”
“They always had a fortune telling tent set up. They did palm reading by holding a man’s hand while trying to pick his pocket with the other hand. I’d seen it many times in plain sight in front of their tent. I was told they wanted to get a man inside where a young female fortune teller could sexually distract a man while Mama picked his back pocket from behind a tent flap. But that was woman’s work. So was setting up and taking down the tent. Men just stood around and “supervised” the women. The men’s real job was casing stores in town by day and breaking and entering by night on the last night before packing up and moving on to the next town in the morning.”
Over time, they apparently became excellent horse trainers and horse traders, with excellent judgment of horseflesh in terms of both evaluating and stealing. They also navigated to trading of ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metals and the collection of waste and eked a reasonable living. They slowly progressed to some kinds of small retail businesses, though most still made their fortunes out of begging and theft. But times change; as the UK has learned to its dismay, one of their prime talents is the illegal collection of social assistance from the British state.
Some Gypsies in Europe have become relatively wealthy, at least to the extent of accumulating property worth 5 or 10 million euros, and those who are no longer migrant sometimes own very large homes. Their occupations have also changed: European Gypsies, especially in Romania and Germany, are heavily involved in illegal real estate businesses, with stolen luxury cars being another favorite. While they have not yet progressed into respectable banking, Gypsies are often entangled in money-laundering and various usury activities, typically granting short-term loans at high interest in Romanian or other local currency. In Romania, when you are offered US dollars on the street or in your hotel at an attractive rate of exchange, the dollars are almost always counterfeit (excellent reproductions, too) and the seller is almost invariably a Gypsy. Blackmail is another favorite.
But even the settled and non-nomadic Gypsies still maintain their fundamental thieving nature, problems with the law being the normal course of events. Romanian gossip is replete on almost a daily basis of some Gypsy’s fancy home being stormed by Interpol agents yet one more time. Some of this relates to teams of small children taken to England on beg-and-steal missions. Gypsies were (and still are) repeatedly accused of forgery of nearly every kind, including property ownership documents and residence documents. There are records from as far back as the early 1400s telling how Gypsies traveled around Europe with “safe-conduct letters” from the Pope, all of which were apparently forged. They are generally accused of deception of every kind, of embezzlement and tax evasion, and of stealing everything including electricity from the grid.
One website in Romania published this comment from a reader: “Gypsies, through everything they do, are a burden to any community. You can’t live with individuals without law, God, education, morals. How many of the approximately two million Gypsies work? Very few, under 5% probably. But they reproduce in ignorance. How can individuals who have no profession, no home, no future, ensure a future for their children? All these future generations of Gypsies will be Europe’s future criminals, future killers of the elderly who, after a lifetime of work, can be slaughtered without problems by gypsies.
Why should The Romanians, Mr. President, bear the gypsy terror? Why not be able to travel in Bucharest, after a certain hour, thanks to the Gypsies? Why should Romanians be labelled Gypsies, while Gypsies are called Roma? Wake up Romanians. For those who want to know what gypsies in Romania do, they are a state within the state, the laws applying only to the ‘suckers’ of Romanians, who toil hard for the Gypsies to have social benefits and from where they steal.” (1)
About the Gypsies in Transylvania, the historian J. Lebprecht wrote that they fall into two categories: “those with permanent residence, who deal partly with agriculture, part with crafts and especially with blacksmithing, and some of them make their living out of the fiddlery, progress well and lead a quiet life. Then are the gypsies of the village, who are not stable and roam the whole country”. Other travelers through the Romanian countries, three hundred years ago, remember [these] as the horror ethnicity that stole the children and horses of the Romanians. The most feared was the category was “neots”, gypsies without craftsmanship, without houses or tents who wandered around the country and [committed] robberies and murders. Another job, apart from blacksmithing and brass, they hardly have. [Their] Nature is the same as in other countries, they have the same mores and their supreme virtue and the specific difference is theft and laziness.”
It is interesting to observe, certainly in Romania but in other European countries as well, that Gypsies are rarely held to account for these crimes. In one case in Romania, a Gypsy who had perpetrated an astonishing act of deception in the sale of a property was essentially forgiven by the judge and received only a two-year suspended sentence. In another recent case, Romania’s National Integrity Agency notified the Tax Inspectorate that an apparently wealthy Gypsy had not paid taxes on at least several hundred thousand euros of income, and in one year had declared income of 38,000 euros but spent 140,000 euros. No action was taken by the officials.
It seems that some subset of Gypsies has perfected the techniques of insinuating themselves into the channels of officialdom in such a manner as to more or less guarantee immunity from prosecution. It is possible that blackmail plays some part in this process, but this is likely a minor part, perhaps a kind of backstop, since many of this ‘subset’ have apparently become expert at becoming ‘friends of the court’ with relations at the highest levels of government and the judiciary. In Romania, for example, some rich Gypsies are close friends with the brothers and sisters of the President, are present at baptisms of the elite’s newly-born, regularly attend the funerals of a Prime Minister’s mother, and so on.
My friends in Romania and a few other European countries tell me that regular citizens would be in jail, but the police and authorities seem to tolerate crimes by Gypsies who then prosper. They claim this is in no small measure due to their ability to involve themselves in local political and social affairs, often seen sharing a table with people of high rank and status – politicians, policemen, judges, prosecutors, businessmen. They have no easy explanation as to how this influence is achieved, but many believe it to be carefully-planned from a central source and taking advantage of an instinctive natural talent.
They can be astonishingly bold. In one instance in the village of Iasi in Romania, a group of Gypsies commandeered a cemetery, set up tents and began to barbeque piglets and have a huge party. They even confiscated the chapel. They simply claimed the area as theirs, and refused entry to the townsfolk to bury their dead. The local police for some reason seemed unable to deal with this, and it was only a huge outcry in the media that forced some action.
As a rule, Gypsies do not assimilate. They may adopt the superficial trappings of the society in which they live, even including the local religion although they are almost never seen in a church and maintain their own traditions for marriage. In the UK, at least until very recently, the Gypsies fought viciously to maintain, and were successful in obtaining, official government approval for their nomadic lifestyle. Thus, most were not registered anywhere, had no obligation to place their children in schools, and operated virtually as a state within a state, a group of anonymous and independent itinerants.
It doesn’t seem to have been all bad: “In Provence, it seems the Gypsies were welcomed. It is there that they first began to be called Bohemians. People flocked to them to have their fortunes told. The Gypsies claimed to have dukes and counts among them and later added captains and kings. The Spanish nobility protected the Gypsies at first. Gypsy women were adored for their beauty and seductive charms; Gypsy men were admired as excellent judges of the quality of horses, and hired by nobles to procure them for their stables.”
But the good times don’t seem to have lasted; the Gypsies were generally treated very badly and expelled from nation after nation.
In England, the Egyptian Act of 1530 was passed to expel Gypsies from the realm, for being lewd vagabonds, conning the good citizens out of their money, and committing a rash of felony robberies. In 1562, Queen Elizabeth signed an order designed to force Gypsies to settle into permanent dwellings, or face death. Under King James I, England began to deport Gypsy people to the American colonies, as well as Jamaica and Barbados. Dumping undesirables into the colonies became a widespread practice, not only Gypsies, but also “thieves, beggars, and whores” – these forming the early populations of North America. There were repeated expulsions from Spain, Portugal, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Egypt.
In Scotland, “a decree was issued in 1624 that traveling Gypsy men would be arrested and hanged, Gypsy women without children would be drowned, and gypsy women with children would be whipped and branded on the cheek.” Many were hanged for being “Egyptians”. In 1497, the Diet (legislature) of the Holy Roman Empire issued a decree that expelled all Gypsies from Germany for espionage. In 1510, Switzerland followed suit and added the death penalty. A Swiss chronicler denounced Gypsies as “useless rascals who wander about in our day, and of whom the most worthy is a thief, for they live solely for stealing.”
“133 laws against Gypsies were passed in the Holy Roman Empire between 1551 and 1774. One of those, passed in 1710, made it a crime to be a Gypsy woman or an old Gypsy man in Germany. They were widely viewed as a godless and wicked people. Violators were to be flogged, branded, and deported. To be a Gypsy man in Germany was to be given a life sentence of prison at hard labor. Children of Gypsy people were taken away from them and put into good Christian homes. In 1493, they were banned from Milan because they were beggars and thieves who disturbed the peace.”
“Gypsies were never well received in Germany. Near the close of the nineteenth century, things got worse as Germans subscribed to the theories of Italian criminologist Cesare Lombroso. One of his ideas was that criminality is inherited. As one proof of this, Lombroso pointed to the Gypsies, whom he described as generation after generation of people who are vain, shameless, shiftless, noisy, licentious, and violent. Not to mention puppeteers and accordion players.
“In 1886, Bismarck noted “complaints about the mischief caused by bands of Gypsies traveling about in the Reich and their increasing molestation of the population.” In 1899, a clearing house was set up in Munich to collate reports of the movements of Gypsies. The general German opinion was that the nomadic Gypsies used the cover of being entertainers and perfume dealers, but actually focused on begging and stealing. These people are by nature opposed to all work and find it especially difficult to tolerate any restriction of their nomadic life.”
“By the 1960s, Gypsy caravans were now mostly drawn with motorized vehicles, and tents had largely been replaced by rough shacks. Many took up residence in state supplied slum housing. Most Gypsies remained uneducated and illiterate. Many of the men became scrap dealers, and some worked with copper to produce ornamental, decorative pieces of art. Gypsy women were still noted for fortune telling and begging. Some Gypsy children turned to shoplifting, picking pockets, and stealing from vehicles, since they were immune to prosecution.”
“A 1989 report by the European Community stated that only 35 percent of 500,000 Gypsy children in the 12 member states attended school regularly; half had never been to school even one time; hardly any went on to secondary education; and Gypsy adults had an illiteracy rate of 50 percent. In France and Italy, Gypsy families still work the circus and fairgrounds. In many countries they operate repair services of various types; sell used cars, furniture, antiques, and junk; sell carpet and textiles. They still hawk, make music, and tell fortunes.”
“Gypsies were ordered expelled from the Meissen region of Germany in 1416, Lucerne in 1471, Milan in 1493, France in 1504, Catalonia in 1512, Sweden in 1525, England in 1530, and Denmark in 1536. From 1510 onwards, any Romani found in Switzerland were to be executed, while in England (beginning in 1554) and Denmark (beginning of 1589) any Romani which did not leave within a month were to be executed. Portugal began deportations of Romanis to its colonies in 1538.”
Gypsies were slaughtered with impunity throughout Holland, in a serious attempt to eradicate the entire race. “Elsewhere in Europe, they were subjected to ethnic cleansing, abduction of their children, and forced labor. In England, Romani were sometimes expelled from small communities or hanged; in France, they were branded, and their heads were shaved; in Moravia and Bohemia, the women were marked by their ears being severed. As a result, large groups of the Romani moved to the East, toward Poland, which was more tolerant, and Russia, where the Romani were treated more fairly as long as they paid the annual taxes.”
“Even though the majority of Gypsy people left the Ottoman Empire and moved on to Europe, some remained. In 1696, Sultan Mustafa II issued orders for Gypsies to be disciplined for their immoral and disorderly lifestyles. They were described as “pimps and prostitutes”, and decrees were issued to regulate Gypsy prostitution.”
“Settled people are usually suspicious of rootless, masterless wanderers with no fixed address. The Gypsies traveled about Europe as did no other people (other than the Khazars after converting to Judaism and suffering the extermination of their kingdom), so they knew more than most about what was happening in various countries, and the activities of their inhabitants. This led to rumors that Gypsies were being used as spies.”
This latter paragraph should be noted. There were repeated tales, many apparently documented, of Gypsies certainly “knowing more than most about what was happening in various countries” and quite likely collecting intelligence on government and court matters, again with their apparent ability to insinuate themselves into the political and social structures of various cities and nations. Accusations of spying would almost naturally follow and may well have been justified.
I would also note that the expulsions and even much of the mistreatment of the Gypsies does not appear to have been racially motivated in the sense of a powerful “anti-Gypsy” sentiment, but more from an accumulated and exasperated intolerance for their crimes and socially-inacceptable behavior. Although in fairness, an excess of the latter will often lead to excesses of the former, but still not free of blame.
History and Origin
“Gypsies have long been among the most mysterious, exotic peoples on earth, described as a race of nomads who have no real home. Gypsies do have their own language, Romani, and they identify themselves as Romani people. Gypsy history remained unknown for centuries, largely because they had no written language and, strangely enough, they had forgotten where they came from. Gypsies generally claimed to be Egyptians – hence the name “Gypsy”. Although these people were proven to not be Egyptians, the name Gypsy stuck (as well as the word “gyp”).”
The origin of the Gypsy people has been a subject of curiosity to historians for a long time. The current state of affairs seems to be that few historians know very much and are mostly guessing. Wikipedia tells us that “Genetic findings suggest an Indian origin for the Roma (Gypsy). Because Romani groups did not keep chronicles of their history or have oral accounts of it, most hypotheses about the Romani migration’s early history are based on linguistic theory.” Wiki also tells us that “There is also no known record of a migration from India to Europe from medieval times that can be connected indisputably to Roma.”
This is typical of the speculation that still occurs today. Questionable genetic findings “suggest” Gypsies may have originated in North West India, and questionable linguistic studies have identified a small number of words or expressions in the Gypsy tongue that bear some resemblance to Sanskrit. But if the Roma (Gypsies) did indeed originate in India, there is no known record of any migration so the entire theory is simply a theory.
These movements of people in history can be fascinating. It reminds us of the puzzle over the Hungarians – the Magyars – since they are clearly not a European people and their language is in no way a European language, yet they inhabit a country inside Europe. Many theories were presented over the years, all based on largely uninformed speculation, until it was discovered that this nation of people were Mongols and migrated from Western Mongolia centuries ago to form a new homeland more or less in the center of Eastern Europe. So far as I am aware, no one yet knows how or why that would have occurred.
In terms of the Gypsies, and considering the timing of their relatively sudden appearance in all the countries of Europe, there were many such movements of peoples at more or less the same time, perhaps coinciding with the destruction of Khazaria and the partial extermination of the Khazars and their also relatively sudden appearance in all the countries of Europe.
We have a potential involvement with the Mongol invasions, which occurred at about the same time the Gypsies appeared, and also the Tatars from the Russian steppes. And in addition to the Khazars, we have the Kievan Rus and the Pechenegs and Cumans – who may have been the people who drove the Magyars into what is now Hungary. According to some Romanian journalists and historians, the Gypsies arrived in the area with the last Mongol invasions that dragged the Gypsies with them.
Whatever the truth of this, and I pretend no expertise on this topic, there are many facts that suggest the Roma did not originate in India but are some form of what would now be considered European. While I am not familiar with all Gypsies everywhere, I have seen a great many, and none appear to be of Indian extraction. Some are swarthy, but many if not most appear to be some brand of European rather than Indian. Many could pass as Italian, Romanian, Russian, or Hungarian. You can see the photo of the Gypsy girl below.
And then there is a fascinating article in the archives of the Atlantic Magazine from February of 1866, in an article written by George Washington Hosmer asserting that the Gypsies are in fact Europeans. The author says they were referred to as “Bohemians” for hundreds of years and that “it is remarkable that that name has been so little considered in attempts to penetrate this mystery.” He states, correctly, that the Gypsies were nomads who “dwelt in their wagon-camps in the open country, and were under a vow never again to sleep beneath a roof. They also refused obedience to any sovereign.” (2)
Hosmer also states that while there are similarities in the language with Hindu dialects, the similarities are even better for a Bohemian than for Hindu origin. “The Bohemians were Czechs, a branch of the Slavic race of undoubted Asiatic origin, and the Czech language descended from the Sanskrit almost as directly as the Hindu dialects did. Here is a good reason why the Hindu dialects and the Gypsy tongue – if the Gypsies were Bohemians – should closely resemble one another. They were from the same parent stem.” He says “The Gypsy language is a mixture of corrupt words from the Wallachian, Slavonian, Hungarian, and other nations. These are the cognate languages of the Slavic race, all descended from the same source, and that also the source of the Cech. The first list of Gypsy words ever made was cited to prove an Egyptian origin, [but] they were Slavic.”
I don’t know if it is possible to make a link between the migrations throughout Europe of the Khazars and the Gypsies, but there seem to be some common elements that suggest the Gypsies might even have been a lower class of the Khazars or of people similar. Whatever the truth of this, and this is speculation on my part, there do appear to be some common shared elements between these two peoples.
Both were driven from their place of origin and had no homeland. Neither had a written language. Both were itinerant, fiercely independent, vowing no allegiance to any nation and a distinct unwillingness to be subjugated or to assimilate. Both groups appear to have a long history of pursuing wealth by other than accepted means, even though the types of preferred crimes were different. Both the Khazars and the Gypsies indicated a natural ability to insinuate themselves into the authoritative structures, to admittedly varying degrees, and both seemed to possess a facility for creating personal immunity. Both had a facility for “knowing more than most about what was happening in various countries”.
And, of course, both groups were reviled for their behavior and subjected to repeated expulsions from almost every country in which they chose to settle. On a more sinister note, both groups appear to consider their “lesser members” as being expendable.
In the 1960s and 1970s many TV programs carried a kind of disclaimer at the end: “Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, (or other ethnic groups) is purely coincidental.” I could make such a disclaimer here.
I must confess that in the above commentary I have unintentionally slandered many Gypsies by presenting a one-dimensional picture of the entire race. It is true that the descriptions above, while true and accurate, represent only a subset of Gypsies. There are many today who have indeed assimilated to one degree or another, who are fine and upstanding citizens, and who do not deserve the characterisations levied above. This may be more true in the diaspora of North and South America than in Europe.
This is a fascinating subject that rewards reading and research, but I would caution readers that on the subject of Gypsies there is a huge amount of uninformed rubbish on the Internet, especially on their origin, social structures, traditions and customs, behavior. Much of this is almost at a high-school level, so caution is advised. One website tells us that “Romani social behavior is strictly regulated by Indian social customs”, which is nonsense, and another that “Virginity is essential in unmarried Gypsy women”, also nonsense. Similarly, “One of the Romani traditions is to get married at the age fifteen. To distinguish between non married and married women is to notice that married women have their head covered with a cloth called “Batic”, the symbol of married women.” If so, I have never seen it.
I have accumulated a few references for you (“READING” below). The first is one of the best I have found. It appears to be free of misinformation and ideology, and is excellent, entertaining, informative, and easy reading.
Mr. Romanoff’s writing has been translated into 32 languages and his articles posted on more than 150 foreign-language news and politics websites in more than 30 countries, as well as more than 100 English language platforms. Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new anthology ‘When China Sneezes’. (Chapt. 2 — Dealing with Demons).
His full archive can be seen at
He can be contacted at:
History of the Gypsies
A People Without a Country: The Gypsies
Romanian History and Culture; Pechenegs, Cumans and the Vlachs
Lucruri puţin ştiute despre ţigani: de unde au venit şi cum s-au răspândit în Principatele Române. De ce erau „proprietatea statului“ ţiganii domneşti
Wealthy Gypsies in Romania
Roma: Origins, language, traditions, history
Gypsies, not Roma
Gypsies confiscated a cemetery in Iasi. Piglets on the spit, Christians were not allowed to lay their dead. Photo
Gypsies are not discriminated against in Romania
The Origin of the Gypsies; By George Washington Hosmer; February, 1886 Issue