[Here is an account of a man who lived in the «communist paradise» during the Second World War. Find out why he was so «excited» about returning back to Russia… not! Read all of it to understand my somewhat weird joke.]
Flight From Hell
By Michael Kirilov
I was born in [Tsarist] Russia, although officially my birth place is Poland. My account begins with the tragic events of 1917 Russia …
Before this «foreign» [Bolshevik] revolution, my grandparents lived very well. On my paternal side, my grandfather was given free schooling in Tsarist Russia. He was an intellectual and an astronomer, yet he was from a very poor family. He wed into wealth, proving that the class barrier was far from absolute, a sort of Cinderella story with a reverse of gender. My grandmother was a renowned pianist and private tutor to the Court of Prince Balkonski, of War and Peace fame.
Often she would perform before the Court of the Tsar. With such contacts it was not long before my grandfather was appointed by the Tsar as Governor to the South East Province in which they lived (even though he had socialist views). My grandfather saw himself as a moderate reformer, maybe his background as the son of an orthodox priest played a part in his moderate outlook. They owned a stately, castle-like home with regal gardens and a private wood land.
Our family once had many family photos that included the Tsar in the shots. With the Bolshevik takeover however, out of fear, the images of the Tsar were sheared off the photos. A program of «thought clearing» was set in motion by the Bolsheviks after they overthrew the Tsar, then killing him and his family. House to house searches by the Cheka, forerunner of the OGPU, the NKVD and the KGB, resulted in interrogations of millions of Russians. Upon personal orders of Lenin, my grandfather was interrogated by the OGPU, and before the eyes of his wife and children he was brutally hacked to death by sword.
My grandfather on my mother’s side refused to denounce his pro-monarchist stance, and was sent to a death camp by the White Sea canal in the extreme north. The last image we ever saw of him was a photo sent from the camp. Under the Bolshevik «Reds,» eastern Russia was becoming a massive graveyard — another word for «grave» is hell.
Fearful for their lives, my grandmother and her two small children fled to the safety of western Russia where the hellish Bolshevik empire had not yet spread. She began a new life under another name near the borders of Belorussia [Belarus] and Ukraine. Our new home was one of the houses the family owned, though it was not as great or as grand as the one we were forced to leave. Like many such properties, the «Reds» simply took them over and made them their own. The Soviet system simply legalized terror, theft and murder for its foreign elite…
Read more at: Flight From Hell
[This is a very short excerpt of the English translation of Chapter 9 of Two Hundred Years Together. If you want to read the full chapter, go to the source.]
During the Revolution of 1905
The Kishinev pogrom produced a devastating and indelible effect on the Jewish community in Russia. Jabotinsky: Kishinev traces “the boundary between two epochs, two psychologies.” The Jews of Russia have not only experienced deep sorrow, but, more profoundly so, “something which had almost made one forget the pain—and that was shame.”1 “If the carnage of Kishinev played a major role in the realisation of our situation, it was because we then realised that the Jews were cowards.”2
We have already mentioned the failure of the police and the awkwardness of the authorities—it was therefore natural that the Jews had asked themselves the question: should we continue to rely on the protection of public authorities? Why not create our own armed militias and defend ourselves weapons in hand? They were incited by a group of prominent public men and writers—Doubnov, Ahad Haam, Rovnitsky, Ben‐Ami, Bialik: “Brothers… cease weeping and begging for mercy. Do not expect any help from your enemies. Only rely on your own arms!”3
These calls “produced on Jewish youth the effect of an electric shock.”4 And in the overheated atmosphere that began to reign after the Kishinev pogrom, “armed groups of self‐defence” quickly saw the light at various locations in the Pale of Settlement. They were generally financed “by the Jewish community”5, and the illegal introduction of weapons from abroad did not pose a problem for the Jews. It was not unusual for these weapons to fall into the hands of very young people.
Official reports do not indicate the existence of armed groups among the Christian population. The government struggled as best it could against the bombs of terrorists. When armed militias began to develop, it saw in them—it is only natural—totally illegal demonstrations, the premises of the civil war, and it banned them by the means and information it had at its disposal. (Also today, the whole world condemns and prohibits “illegal paramilitary formations.”)
A highly operational armed group was formed in Gomel under the direction of the local committee of the Bund. On March 1st, 1903, the latter had organised “festivities” for the anniversary of the “execution of Alexander II.”6 In this city, where Christians and Jews were nearly equal in number7, and the socialist Jews were more than determined, the establishment of armed groups of self‐defence was particularly strong. This was to be noted during the events of August 29th and September 1st 1903—the Gomel pogrom.
According to the findings of the official investigation, the responsibility for the Gomel pogrom is shared: Christians and Jews mutually attacked each other.
Let us take a closer look at the official documents of the time, in this case the indictment of the Gomel affair, based on the police reports drawn up on the spot. (Police reports, which date back to the early twentieth century in Russia, have repeatedly proven their accuracy and their irreproachable precision—and this up to the hustle and bustle of the days of February 1917, up to the moment where the police stations of Petrograd were vested by the insurgents, burnt down—since then, this stream of minutely‐recorded information was cut off, and remained so for us…)
Read the full chapter at: Chapter 9 – During the Revolution of 1905