"That's a great deal to make one word mean," Alice said in a thoughtful tone. "When I make a word do a lot of work like that," said Humpty Dumpty, "I always pay it extra."

Sunday, 29 November 2009


A ghetto (pronounced GETT-oh) was formerly the restricted quarter of many European cities in which Jews were required to live. The first city to have named such a quarter the ghetto was Venice under the Venetian Republic in the fourteenth century and word is Venetian in origin.

Perhaps the most famous ghetto was the Warsaw Ghetto established by the Germans in 1940. It held over half a million people over the next four years and it is estimated 100,000 died of disease and malnutrition and 300,000 were killed by the Nazis on the spot during uprisings or exported to concentration camps and killed there.

Nowadays ghetto refers to any segregated mode of living or working that results from bias or stereotyping; especially a poor densely populated city district occupied by a minority ethnic group linked together by economic hardship and social restrictions.

The history of the word ghetto is one of the most damning of all humanity.

1 comment:

  1. Amen. Man's inhumanity to man never ceases to amaze me. Thank you for another thoughtful -- and thought-provoking -- post.
    Take care, Canadian Chickadee