BenTha'er-Horizons

Russia

Blood Red Century

The New York Times believes they think and speak for all of us or how we should think. Not me. I am too much of a history buff and have read of what the Soviet regime was like under Lenin and Stalin. It cannot be swept under the rug as soft socialism and romantic.

Here is one article about what the Blood Red Century was really like.
Comments

Quakers and Spies

My ancestors were Quakers right up until my great grandparents on my mother's mother's father's side of the family. They split from the Quakers at some point likely in the late 1800s but they came over to America with the Quakers. It was interesting to read this book review about on of Stalin's American spies who was a Quaker and a true believer in Stalinism, even when he was arrested and kept in prison in the USSR.
Comments

The Soviet LifeStyle

Bob and I have a number of history books about Russia and the period of communism as the Soviet Union. One knows of the horror of communism as it was put upon the Russian people if you delve into it. Sadly the horrors of Nazi Germany and Hitler are taught more with the horrors of Stalin is glossed over. The books of Robert Conquest of "The Great Terror" and "Harvest of Sorrow" will set you correct. The detail is horrifying to say the least. This article goes on to summarize the worst of totalitarianism.

"Ninety-nine years ago, Tsar Nicholas II abdicated, and, after a few months of weak parliamentary rule, the Bolsheviks seized power. We call that seizure the Russian (or October) Revolution, but it might better be designated the Bolshevik coup d’état. A party of 10,000 people gained control of an empire occupying one-sixth of the earth’s land area.

From the start, they made up for their small numbers with outsized violence. If at first their executions of liberals, socialists, workers who showed independence, and peasants from whom grain was seized at gunpoint seemed like a short-term necessity, it soon became evident that the violence would never stop. In fact, it was to grow, with Stalin proclaiming “the intensification of the class struggle” when Bolshevik control had long been total."
Comments

The Amerikans

I have watched the TV show, The Amerikans, on FX since it started. The concept is a deep cover family, parents came over from Russia and are very American like spies for the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Their children do not know they are spies and they assume they are a normal American family.

I came across this story of a family of much similar circumstances. The parents were deep cover spies for Russia and the children did not know of the deception until the FBI arrested the parents. Now the sons must live in Europe and wish to be able to return to the U.S. Read the story.
Comments

Enemy of the State

Too many people are flirting with the thought of socialism (democratic or not). They have not read history. They have not read how the Soviet Union turned people into enemies of the state without them realizing why they were considered so. Often these people were convinced or made to be convinced they were guilty. Here is a description of how the NKVD operated in the 1930s of the Soviet Union. Read and weep.
Comments

Svetlana's Story

I am currently reading about Stalin's role in the Soviet Union's Great Terror. He was a horrible, evil man. He loved his daughter though, Svetlana. I remember when she defected to the United States and I read her book, Only One Year, which made her a household name. Jay Nordlinger brings her presence back to life in describing her role as a memoirist for her life and her father's.
Comments

Dostoevsky

Russia is well known for a large number of artists - from composers, to poets, to ballet, to writers. One of the best was Fyodor Dostoevsky. His best known work was Crime and Punishment. I came across this information about how he and his writer colleagues were put through a mock execution in 1849 by Czar Nicolas I. This particular Czar was an autocrat and harsh on the peasant population. More about Dostoevsky's background, his work, and what inspired him can be found here.
Comments