It is crazy to think that if this plan was passed, we still might be in a deadlock with the Soviet Union. I doubt that they ever would have been able to keep up with us economically or militarily, but would have still remained an aggressive enemy. Its pretty fascinating to know that they were almost willing to borrow west in order to rebook their economy, something that completely went against their ideology that they had been preaching for 80 years.
It is interesting to see just how important alcohol is to the Russian society. There are stories of moonshine being made in bathtubs to get alcohol to drink, even though that meant not being able to shower. The country is so cold at times that the only way some people peasants take out their frustration is with drinking; a major problem that Gorbachev was trying to curb. This literally meant changing society and culture, which never really is a popular movement.
It’s interesting to see what happens when someone in power finally stood up to the communist government in Moscow. Obviously his forces were nothing compared to those within the Warsaw Pact, but by standing up against them it showed that there were those who did not agree with what was going on.
I had no idea that the war against the church continued after Stalin. It is interesting to see that farmers tried to defend nuns with pitchforks, and successfully did this for eleven days. It’s also interesting to see how they took away holidays from the church and replaced those holidays with equivalent Soviet ones.
I’m really glad you posted that journal entry. I think it would have been hard to really summarize what Major Roesler was saying without putting that description. As we look back at the holocaust and how awful it was, I think that readings like this should be continuously read in order to assure that these atrocities will never happen again. To me, the worst part about the passage was the section regarding the old man. How someone could be that inconsiderate baffles my mind.
The fact that the Russian Government does not acknowledge that this was genocide is a bit ridiculous. The killing of thousands of Polish people basically because they didn’t feel like feeding them is heinous. At this time in Polish history, the officers in the military were the most educated people in Poland. Killing them all off had harsh repercussions for Poland after the war, and for the Soviet Union as a whole.
It’s incredible that many of these aviators put more of their worries towards the Soviet Union than they did their own family, it is actually quite unbelievable. The USSR needed heroes when all else was failing, and these were the people. The letter written to Chkalov really puts in to perspective the admiration that these pilots received from the people of the Soviet Union. I can imagine children really fighting over who was going to play which person when they would play outside at school!
Mining 102 tons of coal is certainly a huge accomplishment, but I somehow doubt that this man was able to do this in six hours. It was most likely a large exaggeration by Stalin, who thought that by setting the standard this high, others would try to achieve this. Unfortunately, these kind of tall tales still happen in Russia today, with many elections having thousands of more votes cast than there are people. I guess it must be something in the water that causes this…
It seems somewhat ironic that Stalin, for all he hated America, ended up basing one of his most promising steel towns off of its counterparts in the United States. Pittsburgh and Gary are both still remembered for the contributions they played in America’s industrialization, and Stalin most definitely saw the positive effects that these towns were having on the country. It does not surprise me that the town has not been cleaned up though, I can just imagine what it looks like today!
This is a really interesting post. Most of the time we think of the Soviets as these terrible awful people, but in this case they actually tried to help out women who without them would never of had a chance of advancing in society. I know that they did not do this for the right reasons, but it is still pretty cool that they tried. It’s sad to see all the retaliation that took place as a result, but i guess in those kinds of cultures when you are raised that way, you will always think that way as well.