June 16, 2004
Stumbled across these disturbing photos of the Gulag.
They're not really great photos. I like them because I like Russian history of the Stalinist era. If that period doesn't interest you, you could probably skip it.
13 years ago
here's a pic of Trotsky on his deathbed.
That's pretty cool. Have any of you ever seen these pics?
Have any of you ever seen these pics?
Yes. You know how they got The Trot, don't you? Icepick. Doiyoiyoiyoiyoing. Pssshhhhhhh...
are you interested in the Russian history of the Stalinist era? This is not a loaded question, I just thought if you were to express your reasons of interest, we could have a splendid conversation. So often these posts go by and people seem to say "ho hum" when really if we got into the motivations for the posts, I think we could get a good convo going. Stalin was a bastard, wasn't he, eh? I reckon he makes Hitler look like an amateur, personally, but to be honest I don't know much about the details of the era.
I've been fascinated by Russian history, especially by this period ever since I read Animal Farm and started researching so I understood what Orwell was really talking about. I think the understanding the intellectual and racial purges in Russia, Germany, China, and Cambodia and the conditions surrounding them is critical to avoid it happening in the future. I've always wondered why mass murderers like Stalin and Hitler came to power and managed to kill so many people. Anyway, if you want more information about the Russia gulags, I highly recommend
. It a lot of information about the gulag system with pictures and diagrams. It's heart-wrenching stuff though.
May I recommend
too for words to go with it. I have been reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's
on and off since September (1450 pages and not worth speed-reading), and it is easily in my all-time literary top ten. It's not just a gratuitous prison story but an expose of how this machine came into being and how each person, from the inmate to a minister, served as a cog. One poignant story I read last night was about the interrogations to force an inmate to become a secret camp informer. They'd use all kinds of pressure and threats and it could drag on for hours. But if you came up with a good reason to get out of it (such as being too sick or it not being a Christian thing to do) then the interrogation would stop right then, and they'd ask you to write an affirmation of Christianity or go get your medical report, just so they could put it in the file and close the matter. A day of interrogation done. Humanity was pretty much reduced to paperwork and quotas.
The alpinist's ice "axe," not the bartender's ice pick-- Trotsky's assassin,
, being an alpinist. Nasty tool, nasty weapon. The proper way to use a bartender's ice pick would be a kidney strike from the rear. For caving in somebody's skull, give me that ice axe every time.
My mistake. Too much listening to Frank Zappa's 'Joe's Garage' has imprinted "ice pick in the forehead" into my brain. So to speak. Ice *axe*. Still a very weird assassin's weapon, I have to say. I mean.. what's the thinking process behind
? Hi, I'd just like to go in to see Trotsky, get him to sign a book, and this Ice Axe, which I'm sure you understand is a symbol of the Soviet Socialist Revolution, not a totally suspicious and unwieldy weapon of assassination. Thanks! I don't want to get into how you know so much about the proper way to use a bartender's ice pick to kill someone, goetter. Nevertheless, I sense you are my kind of guy. That's not good. You should watch yourself.
I knew it was an axe, but I wasn't aware it was an *ice* axe. Do you suppose they bought it in Mexico, or did they schlep it all the way from Russia?
I can't say why, but this
picture makes me feel like I'm watching an
movie. I hereby nominate "ice fog" as the most beautiful two-word combo in the English language.
Oh, Mexico has muy mountains. Ask Z about them.
Skull caving: give me that ice axe every time.
TROTSKY'S DEAD? are we sure?
Breaking News: This just in.
Leon Trotsky is
pyrrthon1: Good post. Don't apologize for the quality of the photos -- it's remarkable they exist at all. Gives me the chills. And goetter, thanks for the axe info. *heads for hardware store*
Hmm, Leon Trotsky, ice pick/pick axe/ice axe,
mountains in Mexico. Interesting subjects. I'll come back to this thread latter goetter.
I'm with L-Hat: NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR GOOD IDEAS. I enjoyed the post, P, if "enjoyed" is the proper word...
And anyway, the fucking link he posted called it an ice "pick" the first time. So he must pay the price for his lack of vision, if only I can remember who I was talking about and how to type.
, otherwise known as ice axe. Probably imported from Europe since they weren't easy to come by in those years. Nice way to die, huh! Here's
another interesting story
related to an atempted assault on Trotsky's life which involves a famous
An ice pick rammed upwards through the back of the neck into the brain would probably do the trick, though.
Note to self: don't pith Wolof off.
Back of the neck is much much softer, yes. But given the angle, perhaps a straight blade would serve better than an ice pick. So saith shortpants me, of course. An killer taller than his victim might not have the same angle problem.
You're right there, goetter. Never pith Wolof off.
I got interested in ice picks and murder due to repeat readings of
this little gem
! (It's really quite beautiful out there, you know.)
Doesn't give a good idea, but best I could find
A bit more on Kolyma
A chipper postcard
pyrrthon1, Nostrildamus: I got bit by the Russian history bug and it turned into a major inflammation. The more I read, the farther I went back in time, trying to find out How It Could Have Happened. From WWII and Antony Beevor's 'Stalingrad' to Konstantin Pobedonostsev's 'Reflections of a Russian Statesman,' James Billington's 'The Icon and the
back and back, Catherine the Great, Peter the Great, history of the Russian Orthodox Church...back and back and back and back until suddenly it dawned on me: Its ALL the fault of the Sumerians. And they lived..where? Iraq. I leave it to you to draw your own comclusions.
The Middle East is the cradle of modern civilisation, PatB. Christianity began there, modern cultivation techniques, written language, our alphabet and counting system. I don't think it's wise to point fingers. Or you could be joking and I could have not had my morning coffee yet.
tracicle: He's joking. Never post before coffee.
*installs coffee pipeline*
We must remember the millions who died in the Soviet camps. Why?