People Around The World Confess Which Historical Events Their Country Won't Speak About
Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

Just because people are patriotic, it doesn't mean they are embarrassed or ashamed about a specific historic event in their country.


They will just feign ignorance or pretend certain events never happened.

But here on Reddit, where participants are under the veil of anonymity, strangers spoke freely about the things in their country's history that left them feeling a deep lack of pride.

Redditor CloudsExpert asked:

"What are the 'we don't talk about these things' history of your country?"

European countries are rich in history–but not everyone recognizes these regretful events.

Romanian Peasant Uprisings

"In Romania we don't talk about the pre WW1 and interwar peasant uprisings that have been violently put down. Everybody gives the image of a perfect Romanian state and society in this time, but many forget that in our Independence War we had more frontline deaths from diseases that should've been relatively easy for us to treat at that time than from enemy gunfire. Not the mention the 1907 peasant uprisings."

"Also the Second World War and the politics in our country at the time."

– El_scauno

Romanian Holocaust.

"Romanian people deny that we had mass murders during WW2, that Jewish and Gipsy were killed and that we sent lot of them in concentration camps, like Auschwitz."

– Wooden-King-7949

A "Neutral" Country's Child Slavery History

"Switzerland: We don't talk about 'Verdingkinder!' it's basically child slavery as recently as 1960! You cant imagine the horror of poor people's children being sold to farmers for fieldwork, getting abused in the richest country in the world! Yeah, we don't talk about that!"

– Fripser ·

Sweden And Eugenics

"People in Sweden get really uncomfortable when you point out that we, as a country, were really into eugenics. The Race Biological Institution was founded in 1922, supported by every political party and the king at the time. It existed until 1958 and, as you might expect, did some really f**ked up things."

– PanickingTastefully

The South American war–also known as the War of the Triple Alliance, which lasted from 1864 to 1870–is not a topic that is frequently brought up by Brazilians.

So Much Bloodshed

"Brazil DESTROYED Paraguay, killing almost every man and a lot of its women and children. It was a proper massacre."

– heitorrsa

Another Member Of The Alliance

"Argentina was involved, too. Paraguay ended up with a 7:1 women-to-men ratio. But it's taught openly in Argentina, as far as I can tell."

– Tinchotesk

An American's Perspective

"American who lived in Paraguay for a couple months here! The truly, truly disturbing thing is that many Paraguayans don't really know this either..."

"I had read up about the Triple Alliance War (la guerra de la triple alliance) before I went to Paraguay for the summer, and knew historians considered it a bloodbath, mostly caused by (f'k him) Francisco Solano Lopez, dictator of Paraguay. He did in fact order that they start sending male children into battle near the end when they were losing. He was a f'king idiot. F'k that guy."

"So imagine my surprise when I got to Paraguay and TONS of stuff was named after him. I asked my host dad about it and he said it was because he 'won Paraguay the war'. He called him a hero. I was pretty horrified."

"Fwiw, I checked with the local high school principal to see how far this miseducation rose and he said Paraguay was 'annihilated' in that war, so at least the true history isn't completely buried. Fascinating, terrible war."

– toast_is_ghost

Are these topics relating to the following Commonwealth Nations taught in their classrooms?

South African Natives

"Here in South Africa the true native people, the Khoikhoi, are the most politically and economically disadvantaged people and NO ONE gives a sh*t. Not locally, not internationally."

"When the remains of Saartjie Baartman, a Khoikhoi woman (read her story, it's pretty awful), were returned to South Africa not only were Khoikhoi people not invited to her burial, they were actively kept out."

– Wahooney

A Shameful Legislation

"New Zealand very nearly had legal eugenics. In 1928 a bill nearly passed parliament that forced sterilisation for 'the mentally defective' and the Ministry of Education was required by law to give names of 'defective' children to the Ministry of Health. A separate part of the law said that such people weren't allowed to get married."

"The Opposition lobbied for these sections to be cut out, not because Eugenics was immoral and insane, but because there was no evidence that it changed the gene pool in any way."

– LampWickGirl

When I was a kid, I learned about the Japanese concentration camps from my great uncle.

I thought his story about him and his wife relocating to live in barracks located in Heart Mountain in Wyoming during World War II wasn't real.

Here's why. As a California student, I was never taught in my school district about President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066–which was drafted out of fear of espionage on American shores following the attack on Pearl Harbor.

This led to the cruel eviction of 120,000 innocent Americans of Japanese ancestry–including my great aunt and uncle– from their homes.

Countries have their shameful secrets. But until they can recognize and own mistakes from the past and make reparations, we are doomed to living in a perpetual cycle of fear and uncertainty.

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