The Soviet Union

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Re: The Soviet Union

Post by blindpig » Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:13 pm

We are Donetsk Petrovka!
today at 3:26 am
An interesting example is the communist of the first wave, the very frames of the Comintern. From the biography one can see with what steel eggs these guys were ...
Taking into account the fact that the White Guards were rather sluggish people, and the white leaders were simply rotten, it is clear why the Bolsheviks were chasing the White Guard as lousy in the bath

Polina Nedyalkova December 1914 - January 5, 2001) - Bulgarian military leader, the first woman general in the history of Bulgaria.

Born December 8, 1914 in Sofia, grew up in a family of communists (father Anton Nedyalkov was a member of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party, close socialists since 1910, mother - since 1914).
As a child, she participated in social and political events - along with other children she participated in distributing the newspaper Rabotnicheski Vestnik, collecting donations to help the starving people of the Volga region and building a Party house.
Shortly before the beginning of the September uprising in 1923, her father was arrested, in 1924 he was sentenced to death and, by decision of the party leadership, he was forced to illegally emigrate to Turkey. In 1925, her mother and brother left for Turkey, from where the family moved to Moscow.

In 1926, after graduating from the eight-year school, Nedyalkova also left for Turkey through the USSR. In the USSR, her father worked in the Bulgarian section of the Comintern, her mother worked in the library to them. Lenina, Polina studied in a Moscow school, where she was accepted as a pioneer. She also mastered the radio unit as a minor and learned to drive a car. As a result, the childhood dream of becoming a chemist was replaced by a passion for automotive technology and in 1932 she appealed to the Komsomol Central Committee with a request to enroll in the Moscow Military Academy of Mechanization and Motorization of the Red Army.
The request was surprising, but it was supported by the head of the Bulgarian section of the Comintern, Vasil Kolarov, who expressed the opinion after the interview: “And such engineers will be needed by Bulgaria, if not for tanks, then for tractors”. As a result, she was among the three Bulgarians - students of the academy (the others were Hristo Boev and Boris Genchev).
In 1936 she graduated from the Academy with honors and appealed to the Bulgarian section of the Comintern with a request to send a volunteer to participate in the war in Spain.

After receiving the refusal, she applied again, her application was personally considered by Georgi Dimitrov and permission was obtained.
In December 1936 she left for Spain under the name “Polina Volodina”, the road from Moscow through Prague and Paris to Barcelona took 27 days, from Barcelona she was sent to Valencia, where there was a group of Bulgarian anti-fascists.

In the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Spain, her qualifications were initially viewed with distrust (as Nedyalkova herself recalled, “for the Spanish comrades, the woman in the tank seemed incredible”) and for some time she remained at the command’s command, not having been sent to the troops. After meeting with graduates of the Academy Nikolai Alimov and Alexei Shabokhin, she was sent to the headquarters of the tank brigade DG Pavlov and included as engineer to repair the brigade’s armored vehicles with subordination to the deputy brigade technical commander Peter Glukhov.

She began work on the deployment of a brigade repair base in the city of Alcala de Henares, 30 km from Madrid, besides maintenance and repair she was involved in evacuating damaged armored vehicles from the battlefield (for these purposes special repair teams were created - "night hunters") .
Distinguished during the battle of Guadalajara, when, together with a group of Spanish soldiers and technicians under fire, the Francoists successfully evacuated eight shot down light tanks of the Italian expeditionary force from the neutral zone to the location of the republican forces.

At the end of 1937, she returned to Moscow, where she was promoted to the rank of 3rd rank military engineer, awarded the Order of the Red Banner and continued service in the Armored Directorate of the USSR People's Commissariat of Defense. As a military representative, she visited armored vehicle manufacturing plants and participated in the trials of a lightweight T-40 amphibious tank, during which the first ten T-40s built along the route Moscow - Bryansk - Kiev - Minsk, stretching over three thousand kilometers, forcing the Dnieper River and carrying out ski jump in Prince Lake

On the night of June 21, 1941 Nedyalkova was on duty in the building of the People's Commissariat of Defense of the USSR and found out about the beginning of the war among the first. By order of the chief of the USSR Air Defense Main Directorate, commander N. N. Voronov (who arrived at the service site after border stations of VNOS began to report noise from large sections of the border, there were noises of large columns of equipment moving to the border) workers in the building of the People's Commissariat, she opened the mobilization package and began to act according to the instructions of the document even before receiving the order of mobilization, which made it possible to speed up the notification of the highest military leadership and move Commissariat in wartime regime.

After the start of supplies of equipment under the Lend-Lease program, Nedyalkova, as part of a group of English-speaking technical specialists, was sent to study the incoming equipment of English and American production and at the end of 1941 and the beginning of 1942 participated in the translation into Russian of a set of technical documents on the operation of English tank Mk.III "Valentine" and the American medium tank M-3.

In 1943, she worked at the Moscow Dynamo plant (at that time repaired the T-34 tanks), and in 1944 was engaged in organizing the repair of equipment in the troops of the 2nd Ukrainian Front.
May 8, 1945 was sent to one of the factories in Budapest, where the production of spare parts for the Red Army was mastered and here the end of the war was met.
Later, flew to Moscow and filed an application for return to Bulgaria.

In Moscow, she met with Georgi Dimitrov, who recommended her to continue service in the newly created Bulgarian People’s Army, which at that time was experiencing a shortage of engineering and technical specialists and did not have significant experience in the operation of Soviet-made equipment.
After returning to Bulgaria, Colonel Nedyalkova, an engineer, was appointed deputy autotractor office of the Bulgarian Ministry of National Defense, and later became head of this department.
In 1967, she became the organizer of the publication and the editor-in-chief of the military-technical journal Military Engineering.
After receiving the rank of Major General in 1974, she became the first female general in the history of Bulgaria.
She died in January 2001.

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Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations

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Re: The Soviet Union

Post by blindpig » Wed May 22, 2019 8:30 pm

The U.S.S.R. and the Colonial Peoples by Ho Chi Minh

Posted on March 18, 2018
Colonialism is a leech with two suckers, one of which sucks the metropolitan proletariat and the other that of the colonies. If we want to kill this monster, we must cut off both suckers at the same time. If only one is cut off, the other will continue to suck the blood of the proletariat, the animal will continue to live, and the cut–off sucker will grow again. The Russian Revolution has grasped this truth clearly. That is why it is not satisfied with making fine platonic speeches and drafting “humanitarian” resolutions in favor of oppressed peoples, but it teaches them to struggle; and helps them spiritually, as proclaimed by Lenin in his theses on the colonial question. To the Baku Congress, twenty–one Eastern nations sent delegates. Representatives of Western workers’ parties also participated in the work of this congress. For the first time, the proletariat of the conquering Western States and that of the subject Eastern countries fraternally joined hands and deliberated in common on the best means to defeat their common enemy, imperialism.

Following this historic congress, despite internal and external difficulties, revolutionary Russia has never hesitated to come to the help of peoples awakened by its heroic and victorious revolution. One of its first important acts was the founding of the University of the East.

Today, this university has 1,022 students, including 151 girls and 859 Communists. Their social composition is as follows: 547 peasants, 265 workers, and 210 proletarian intellectuals.

If account is taken of the fact that Eastern countries are almost exclusively agricultural, the high percentage of students of peasant origin can readily be understood. In India, Japan and especially China, it is the intellectuals faithful to the working class who lead the latter in struggle; this explains the relatively large number of intellectuals among the students at the University. The relatively low number of worker students is due to the fact that industry and commerce in Eastern countries—naturally excepting Japan—are still undeveloped. Moreover, the presence of seventy–five pupils from the age of ten to sixteen years must be noted.

One hundred and fifty professors are responsible for giving courses in social science, mathematics, historical materialism, the history of the workers’ movement, natural science, the history of revolutions, political economy, etc. Young people of sixty–two nationalities are fraternally united in the classrooms.

The University has ten large buildings. It also has a cinema which is put at the students’ disposal free on Thursdays and Sundays; the other days of the week, it operates on behalf of other organizations. Two libraries containing about 47,000 books help the young revolutionaries to make thorough studies and to train their minds. Each nationality or “group” has its own library composed of books and publications in the mother tongue. The reading room, artistically decorated by the students, has a wealth of newspapers and periodicals. The students themselves publish a newspaper, the sole copy of which is posted on a big board by the door of the reading room. Students who are ill are admitted to the University hospital. There is a sanatorium in the Crimea for the benefit of students who need rest. The Soviets have allotted to the University two camps composed of nine buildings each for holidays. Each camp has a center where the students can learn cattle breeding. “We already have thirty cows and fifty pigs,” said the “agrarian secretary” of the University with pride. The 100 hectares of land allotted to these camps are cultivated by the students themselves. During their holidays and outside working hours, they help the peasants in their labor. One of these camps was, by the way, formerly the property of a Grand Duke. It is a memorable sight to see from the top of the tower, adorned with a grand ducal crown, the red flag fluttering, and in “His Excellency’s” entertainment room, the young Korean and Armenian peasants thoroughly enjoying their games.

The students of the University are fed, clothed, and lodged free. Each of them receives six gold rubles per month as pocket money.

To instill into the students a true idea of children’s education, the University has a model crèche and a day nursery looking after 60 small children.

The yearly expenses of the University amount to 561,000 gold rubles.

The sixty–two nationalities represented at the University form a “Commune.” Its chairman and functionaries are elected every three months by all the students.

A student delegate takes part in the economic and administrative management of the University. All must regularly and in turn work in the kitchen, the library, the club, etc. All “misdemeanors” and disputes are judged and settled by an elected tribunal in the presence of all comrades. Once a week, the “Commune” holds a meeting to discuss the international political and economic situation. From time to time, meetings and evening parties are organized where the amateur artists introduce the art and culture of their country.

The fact that the Communists not only treat the “inferior natives of the colonies” like brothers, but that they get them to participate in the political life of the country, is highly characteristic of the “barbarity” of the Bolsheviks. Treated in their native country as “submissive subjects” or “protéges,” having no other right but that to pay taxes, the Eastern students, who are neither electors nor eligible for election in their own country, from whom the right to express their political opinion is withdrawn, in the Soviet Union take part in the election of the Soviets and have the right to send their representatives to the Soviets. Let our brothers of the colonies who vainly seek a change of nationality make a comparison between bourgeois democracy and proletarian democracy.

These students have suffered themselves and have witnessed the sufferings of others. All have lived under the yoke of “high civilization,” all have been victims of exploitation and oppression by foreign capitalists. Moreover, they passionately long to acquire knowledge and to study. They are serious and full of enthusiasm. They are entirely different from the frequenters of the boulevards of the Latin Quarter, the Eastern students in Paris, Oxford, and Berlin. It can be said without exaggeration that under the roof of this University is the future of the colonial peoples.

The colonial countries of the Near and Far East, stretching from Syria to Korea, cover an extent of more than 15 million square kilometers and have more than 1,200 million inhabitants. All these immense countries are now under the yoke of capitalism and imperialism. Although their considerable numbers should be their strength, these submissive peoples have never yet made any serious attempts to free themselves from this yoke. Not yet having realized the value of international solidarity, they have not known how to unite for the struggle. Relationships between their countries are not yet established as they are among the peoples of Europe and America. They possess gigantic strength and do not yet realize it. The University of the East, assembling all the young, active, and intelligent leaders of the colonized countries, has fulfilled a great task, namely:

It teaches to the future vanguard militants the principles of class struggle, confused in their minds by race conflicts and patriarchal customs.
It establishes between the proletarian vanguard of the colonies a close contact with the Western proletariat, thus preparing the way for the close and effective cooperation which will alone ensure the final victory of the international working class.
It teaches the colonized people, hitherto separated from one another, to know one another and to unite, by creating the bases of a future union of Eastern countries, one of the wings of the proletarian revolution.
It sets the proletariat of colonialist countries and example of what they can and must do in favor of their oppressed brothers. ... -chi-minh/
Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations

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Re: The Soviet Union

Post by blindpig » Thu May 30, 2019 12:30 pm

Image Communist Party of Belarus (CPB)
yesterday at 4:20 am
PBC # CommunistBelarus


The partisan movement in the republic played an important role in the battles for the liberation of Belarus from the Nazi invaders. This topic is comprehensively covered in the fundamental work “Guerrillas in Operation Bagration, prepared in 2014 by the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, as well as in the joint Belarusian-Russian popular science work BELARUS BELARUS” published by BelTA UE for the 60th anniversary of the Great Victory.

By the beginning of the Belarusian strategic offensive operation "Bagration" in the immediate rear of the German army group "Center" there were 150 partisan brigades and 49 separately operating units, numbering 143 thousand partisans. Over 250 thousand people were listed as part of hidden partisan reserves. The vanguard role in the fight against the enemy was actively carried out by the Communists and Komsomol members who were in the partisan detachments, which rallied the population and partisans, raised their combat activity. From the report of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (b) B to the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) dated July 1, 1944: “In the rear of the enemy, the Communist Party of Belarus, consisting of more than 12 thousand people, is guided by the partisan movement and the struggle of the Belarusian people against the German occupiers. members and candidate members of the CPSU (b), having a network of grass-roots party organizations ... ".

Based on the orders of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b), the Supreme Command Headquarters and the Central Committee of the CP (b) B, the Belarusian headquarters of the partisan movement developed a concrete plan of hostilities of the partisans, which was agreed at the end of May 1944 with the command of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Byelorussian and 1st Baltic Fronts. For the implementation of this ambitious plan, the partisans of Belarus were given tremendous assistance. According to the National Archives of the Republic of Belarus, during the period of preparation for the operation “Bagration”, 7,832 tons of combat cargoes were abandoned to the detachments and brigades - 49, 2 tons of tola, 3,606 rifles, 920 carbines, 470 machine guns, 134 PTR, more than 8 million rifle guns cartridges, over 26 tons of medicines, dressings and more.

June 8, 1944. First Secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee (B) B, Chairman of the CPC of the BSSR PK Ponomarenko sent a decree to the partisan units of Belarus on the third stage of the “rail war”. In accordance with this order, 30 partisan brigades and individual detachments with a total number of up to 13,000 partisans were involved in the operation. On the night of June 20, i.e. three days before the beginning of the offensive of the front-line troops, with a powerful simultaneous blow, the people
The avengers blew up 40,775 rails, in a few days - another 20 thousand rails. In addition, from June 26 to June 29, Belarusian partisans captured, defeated and derailed 147 enemy echelons. As a result of the operation, the enemy’s transport was partially paralyzed on many Belarusian railways, including the following routes: Polotsk-Molodechno, Minsk-Baranavichy, Pinsk-Brest, Old Women-Urechye and others.

One of the most important tasks of the partisans was reconnaissance in the interests of the fronts. By the beginning of Operation Bagration, the partisan intelligence had established the exact location of the headquarters of the Army Group Center, the disposition of German formations, 290 military units of the enemy’s central grouping. Information was obtained about 900 enemy garrisons, almost all of the fortifications, airfields, large ammunition depots, fuel and food. Guerrilla intelligence recorded all enemy shipments, as well as the construction of defensive lines, areas of accumulation of enemy reserves, its supply bases, etc.

The operational leadership of the combat actions of the partisan brigades and detachments, the organization of their direct interaction with the Red Army, was assigned to the operational groups of the BCPA attached to the Military Councils of the fronts, as well as the missions (operations groups) at the fronts. Guerrilla formations of certain areas or groups of adjacent areas were assigned to them and directly obeyed them. Dealing with the issues of organizing interaction, the secretary of the Communist Party Central Committee (B) B, the head of the BSHP, P.Z. Kalinin demanded that the operative groups daily maintain regular contact with the front staffs, timely receive tasks from the Military Councils to organize the interaction of partisan detachments and brigades with the Red Army units and promptly bring them to the partisans.

Underground party organs, guerrilla commanders at the height of the battle and during the battle for Belarus, all efforts were directed towards the intensification of hostilities, a significant expansion of guerrilla communications. The Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and the Belarusian headquarters of the partisan movement had connections with all partisan brigades and formations, as well as underground party bodies through 130 radio stations operating in the rear of the enemy. “It should be noted,” noted P.K. Ponomarenko, - that in no other operation during the war, the direct connection and tactical interaction between the partisans and front-line units were not organized so broadly and clearly as during the Belarusian operation. ”

The Appeal of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) B and SNK of the BSSR dated July 1, 1944 was aimed at solving the responsible tasks of liberation of the native Belarusian land “To commanders and commissars of partisan brigades, secretaries of underground regional committees and district committees of the CP (B) B, all partisans and partisans in connection with began the liberation of the republic ". The appeal called on all partisans and partisans to fulfill to the end their great role of the people's avengers and mobilize all forces to assist the Soviet troops. The document set the tasks for the partisans: “When approaching the units of the Red Army, establish contact with them, actively help them, cooperating in capturing settlements, capturing prisoners, separating detachments and guides, etc. Help rebuild bridges, crossings and road assets for the advancing Red Army. ” The population and partisans of Belarus rendered great assistance to the formations and units with the capture and restoration of crossings, bridges, highways and railways. By capturing serviceable ferries and restoring the destroyed ones, the partisans rendered a great assistance to the troops in crossing the Berezina, Drut, Sluch, Oressa, Ptich, Vilia, Neman, Shchara and many others. This ensured a high rate of advance and an uninterrupted supply of all the necessary fronts. Thus, the partisans of the Begoml Zheleznyak brigade (commander I. F. Titkov) captured and held the ferry across the Berezina. With the approach of the 35th Guards Tank Brigade, General A.A. Aslanov, they built two bridges, on which the tankers were able to cross to the opposite shore. Partisans rendered a great help to the troops in crossing the Berezina, Drut, Sluch, Oressa, Ptich, Vilia, Neman, Shchara and many others. This ensured a high rate of advance and an uninterrupted supply of all the necessary fronts. Thus, the partisans of the Begoml Zheleznyak brigade (commander I. F. Titkov) captured and held the ferry across the Berezina. With the approach of the 35th Guards Tank Brigade, General A.A. Aslanov, they built two bridges, on which the tankers were able to cross to the opposite shore. Partisans rendered a great help to the troops in crossing the Berezina, Drut, Sluch, Oressa, Ptich, Vilia, Neman, Shchara and many others. This ensured a high rate of advance and an uninterrupted supply of all the necessary fronts. Thus, the partisans of the Begoml Zheleznyak brigade (commander I. F. Titkov) captured and held the ferry across the Berezina. With the approach of the 35th Guards Tank Brigade, General A.A. Aslanov, they built two bridges, on which the tankers were able to cross to the opposite shore. With the approach of the 35th Guards Tank Brigade, General A.A. Aslanov, they built two bridges, on which the tankers were able to cross to the opposite shore. With the approach of the 35th Guards Tank Brigade, General A.A. Aslanov, they built two bridges, on which the tankers were able to cross to the opposite shore.
The command of the fronts highly appreciated the active actions of the partisans, pointing out that they were able to substantially paralyze the fascists' retreat routes, making it difficult to regroup the troops. Partisan detachments and brigades conducted a parallel pursuit of the enemy, attacked from ambushes and inflicted significant damage in manpower and equipment, disrupted an organized retreat, turning it into a stampede. The guerrillas often acted as army guides. In the window of one of the halls of the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War a portrait, jacket and the medal “For Military Merit” by a resident of Petrikov SD are placed. Sukhomero. Well knowing every river roll on the Pripyat, he helped the boats of the Dnieper military flotilla to secretly approach Pinsk. More than once, A. A. Yermolenko, a resident of the Bechi village of Zhitkovichi District, conducted reconnaissance and Red Army men through thickets and marshes to the rear of the invaders, for which he was awarded the Order of the Red Star. And there were a great many such courageous acts during the operation.

The partisans of the Red Army also greatly assisted in the period of the liquidation of encircled enemy groups. Thus, during the liquidation of the 105,000 enemy grouping south-east of Minsk, 30 guerrilla brigades were pulled together at the direction of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (B) B and the BSHPD in the vicinity of the capital of the BSSR. For several days, stubborn battles with the enemy, along with regular troops, led the Burevestnik, Death to Fascism guerrilla brigades. ON. Shchorsa, 1st and 2nd Minsky, “For Soviet Belorussia” and other formations of people's avengers. Partisan detachments and formations together with units of the Red Army participated in the liberation of many cities and towns of the republic — Brest, Vileika, Molodechno, Dokshyts, Klichev, Logoisk, Lida, Osipovichi, Pinsk, Slutsk, Stolbtsov, Cherven, Nesvizh, and a number of others. From the information of the operational division of the Belarusian Democratic Party of Belarus “On the combat activities of the partisans during the preparation and conduct of Operation Bagration”: “During the period from June 20 until the end of hostilities on the territory of Belarus, partisan strikes 101 enemy military echelon of the enemy destroyed 4 177 rails , 12 railway bridges and 70 bridges on highways and unpaved roads, more than 200 km of telephone and telegraph lines were destroyed, 32 tanks and armored vehicles were destroyed, 406 vehicles were killed, more than 14,000 were killed and more than 17,000 soldiers were taken prisoner. Tserova enemy. "

By July 19, 1944, 139 partisan brigades and 30 separately operating detachments with a total number of 141,000 had joined the Soviet units. More than 600 thousand inhabitants of the BSSR joined the ranks of the Red Army, including 180 thousand former partisans. Pravda newspaper on August 16, 1944 in an editorial “Glory to the Soviet partisans!” Emphasized: “The guerrilla war in Belarus, the ordeal rallied the Belarusian people around the Bolshevik party even more”

The command of the fronts and armies, the commanders of corps and divisions gave an exceptionally high appreciation of the role of the partisans in the Belarusian operation. Commander of the 1st Belorussian Front Marshal of the Soviet Union K.K. Rokossovsky in a telegram of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (B) B wrote: “In the successful conduct of the gigantic battle for Soviet Belarus, the Red Army was assisted and assisted by the Red Army’s numerous guerrilla units operating behind enemy lines. The guerrillas deservedly share with the troops of the front the honor of the victory won in Belarus. " The famous Belarusian poet, a member of the CPSU (b) since 1942, Petro Glebka, expressively said this:
Beauty and the color of
Maya Radzima - Atrads of the brave partisans!

Nikolay Shevchenko, member of the Communist Party of Belarus, Belarusian Union of Journalists ..

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Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations

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Re: The Soviet Union

Post by blindpig » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:29 pm

A worker reviews Shostakovich’s fifth symphony in concert
Shostakovich’s greatest triumph arose from Soviet life, reflecting its optimism and spirit.

Wednesday 21 August 2019


Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk still draws in the crowds: here the Finnish Oppera Baletti gives a visual rendering of Shostakovich’s lauded ‘pornophony’.
On Saturday 16 March, this reviewer saw a performance by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) of Shostakovich’s Symphony No 5. The symphony took up the second half of the performance, with the period before the interval dedicated to a mixed bag from Shostakovich’s The Limpid Stream and his Piano Concerto No 1.

Workers are entitled to ask: why should I care? Whilst classical music in Britain enjoys broad popularity, it is by no means accessible to the vast majority of workers and has a decidedly unfashionable image amongst large swathes of the population. A typical assumption would be that price excludes large numbers of workers, though hundreds of thousands of British workers are quite prepared to pay far in excess of the price for a mid-range ticket in a symphony hall (£35) to see some dreadful performance at the O2 or watch South Americans kick a ball about for Manchester City.

Classical music, so long dominated by the intelligentsia and the ruling class, appears to millions of workers as aloof, long-winded, high-brow and political, and who could blame them? For those not accustomed to its special laws, to the etiquette of clapping in the right places and holding in every cough until an interval, the entire proceeding can be as incomprehensible as a first trip to that other bizarre spectacle and stomping ground for the middle classes and former colonial peoples, Test cricket.

Marx on music
Workers are exposed to all sorts of musical influences, and many workers are exposed to classical music without even realising it, even if it is just George Handel’s Zadok the Priest (an 18th-century coronation anthem) before a Champions League football match. This music has mass appeal, but it is not the music that is always the easiest to comprehend. Depth and content are too readily discarded in modern society in favour of shallow, meaningless, forgettable music.

Karl Marx, in his Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts had this to say when discussing music and beauty:

“Only music awakens in man the sense of music, and just as the most beautiful music has no sense for the unmusical ear … the meaning of an object for me goes only so far as my sense goes (has only a meaning for a sense corresponding to that object) – for this reason the senses of the social man differ from those of the non-social man.

“Only through the objectively unfolded richness of man’s essential being is the richness of subjective human sensibility (a musical ear, an eye for beauty of form – in short, senses capable of human gratification, senses affirming themselves as essential powers of man) either cultivated or brought into being. For not only the five senses but also the so-called mental senses, the practical senses (will, love, etc), in a word, human sense, the human nature of the senses, comes to be by virtue of its object, by virtue of humanised nature.

“The forming of the five senses is a labour of the entire history of the world down to the present. The sense caught up in crude practical need has only a restricted sense. For the starving man, it is not the human form of food that exists, but only its abstract existence as food. It could just as well be there in its crudest form, and it would be impossible to say wherein this feeding activity differs from that of animals.

“The care-burdened, poverty-stricken man has no sense for the finest play; the dealer in minerals sees only the commercial value but not the beauty and the specific character of the mineral: he has no mineralogical sense. Thus, the objectification of the human essence, both in its theoretical and practical aspects, is required to make man’s sense human, as well as to create the human sense corresponding to the entire wealth of human and natural substance.” (1844)

It is from such a position that communist workers should learn to enjoy classical music.

As party life teaches, our enjoyment (more often than not) can also serve the class struggle, and it is also on this front that we take an interest in classical music, and the musical heritage of the Soviet Union in particular.

Mirga conducts Shostakovich
The outstanding feature of the pre-concert atmosphere on this occasion was the naked and extreme hostility to the USSR. The advertisement and programme were explicitly political, as is often the case when Shostakovich’s music is performed in the west. The bourgeoisie, which dominates classical music (as with all the arts, even those which appear to be dominated by workers), never ceases to draw political, cultural and historical allegory from music old and new. Art for them has to serve their class interests, and the music at times is little more than an avenue by which to foist upon the audience their interpretation of historical events and political prejudice.

The CBSO performance was conducted by Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla. Mirga is the CBSO’s music director. She is a Lithuanian, a rising star in the world of classical music, though she cannot play any instrument to the level of a virtuoso. This writer could find no display of blatant anti-Sovietism in her interviews, although every journalist who interviews her is sure to note that she is Lithuanian, a witness to the Soviet ‘occupation’, etc. In fact, in every interview you can be sure that some remarks, in addition to the comments that she is a woman sticking it out in a man’s world, will be made along the lines of these in the Financial Times:

“She lived through the collapse of the Soviet regime in her country and experienced at first hand the ‘positive, unifying force’ of the mass singing that played such an important role during the Baltic republics’ liberation.” (Conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla – a combination of flamboyance and steely poise by Hannah Nepil, 28 July 2017)

Dmitri Shostakovich is of importance and interest to advanced workers for three reasons. Firstly, he is universally recognised as a great composer of music; secondly, he was a Soviet artist with enduring worldwide fame; and thirdly, he represented a revisionist tendency in Soviet music, being a recognised leader of the formalist tendency. With regard to his position as a formalist, Shostakovich has been very useful to anti-Soviet musicologists, sociologists and historians, and this must contribute towards his ongoing popularity in the west.

Everyone connected with classical music likes to quote from the words of Shostakovich, usually words (published at second hand) uttered at the end of his life, the period of his decline, in the 20 years he lived with the political ‘freedoms’ that Khruschevite revisionism won for the remnants of the vanquished exploiting classes, and, in particular, for the sections of Soviet society which clung onto the habits and ways of thinking associated with the epoch of exploitation. Shostakovich was one of these men. As a formalist in the twenties, he was part of the ‘avant garde’.

Historians and fans tend to dismiss all Shostakovich’s earlier words, and his articles in Pravda (of praise for the Soviet system) by saying that these were forced out of him, that he was often ‘contradictory’; and they even go so far as to say he was an outright liar when they find some words of his reflecting too positively upon Soviet life.

Politics and the CBSO
The programme notes for the CBSO evening entertainment are there to tell the audience exactly what to think; exactly how to interpret the music they are about to hear. Gerard McBurney gave the pre-concert talk for members and supporters of the CBSO, and he was responsible for a large part of the printed programme, giving his ludicrous and anticommunist reflections on all manner of aspects of the music.

McBurney is viciously anti-Soviet and anti-Stalin. He is the son of an American archaeologist who ended up teaching at Cambridge. His grandparents on his mother’s side were British army officers, as were his great-grandparents on that side. The archaeologist father took an interest in the USSR and produced a book entitled Early Man in the Soviet Union. McBurney Sr’s position at Cambridge university may have helped to get his children in there, and, after early schooling at Winchester College, Gerard McBurney, our British composer and critic, entered Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, along with his brother the actor Simon McBurney, OBE (whom you may have seen in Harry Potter or the Vicar of Dibley and all manner of other silly things).

Gerard McBurney’s ludicrous concert notes left the audience in no doubt whatsoever that Shostakovich was a persecuted artist, like all good Soviet artists (the rest being mere tools of Stalinist tyranny); that he was in fear for his life; and that he mixed with writers and artists who for no good reason whatsoever were executed by a tyrannical regime in the Kremlin.

“The extent of violent repression in the USSR in the 1930s was, by any standards, shocking. This was the period of Stalin’s most ruthless consolidation of absolute power [no less!], beginning in 1928 with the five-year plans [those awful things] and the monstrous project of the collectivisation of agriculture …

“It’s an oft-told story – one of the nightmares of the 20th century history – and certainly one factor in why Shostakovich’s music sounds the way it does.

“At the very start of this period, Shostakovich’s supreme compositional achievement was undoubtedly his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District … The composer began it in the autumn of 1930, at the age of only 24, and finished it two years later …

“A year or so later, around the time of the first performance of his opera, he completed his ballet The Limpid Stream. To begin with, this piece, like the opera, was successful; its first staging in Leningrad in the spring of 1935 was followed by a second one in Moscow in the autumn.”

“From then on, it was not only Shostakovich’s career that was threatened, but – as we know from memoirs of his friends and family – his personal safety.”

Shostakovich’s Limpid Stream is set on a collective farm. The concert notes assert that Shostakovich was poking fun at the name of the workers’ holiday villages that the Soviet Union had set up. Only an entitled middle-class snob could imagine such a pun. Our own country, with its Sandy Bays and Sunny Heights, its Naples of the North (Morecombe) and English Riviera (Devon) are decidedly untrendy holiday resorts for mobile middle-class aesthetes like McBurney. He can only imagine that Shostakovich, like himself, would have scoffed at those Soviet workers forced to take holidays in such wretched places.

Indeed, they may well have scoffed (though to their credit they didn’t) at the proletariat in the capitalist world who, far from being able to take free holidays in resorts like the Limpid Stream, were permanently on holiday from the world of work and suffering the acute crisis of capitalism that destroyed millions of workers at this time (20 percent unemployment in Britain and 25 percent in the USA).

Shostakovich wrote the music for the ballet, but not the entire story, and it is foremost the story that was criticised by Pravda in an article entitled ‘Ballet falsity’. The Limpid Stream follows a troupe of musicians and dancers sent to perform for agricultural workers in the provinces. The scriptwriter, Adrian Piotrovsky, who in 1937 was shot for espionage (58-6 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR), tells the story of the antics of the troupe, who essentially frolic, wife swap (unknowingly) and make games down on the farm. Shostakovich’s music accompanies these antics, especially the frolicking; it even led the New York Sun to label the music pornophony, which is a far harsher criticism of the music than that which Shostakovich received from the Soviets!

Indeed, a recurring theme in the Pravda article is that Soviet art criticism at the time was decidedly lacking in criticism, and most often took on the role of lavishing praise on favourite artists.

Pravda’s criticism in 1936 of the Limpid Stream was essentially directed at the fact that the ballet had not bothered to investigate in any way the life and problems of a real collective farm. Nor had it made the slightest effort to depict the costumes, folk dance and traditions of the people it was purporting to represent (from the Kuban). In our modern, touchy-feely, idPol-dominated times it would be most distressing to see such brazen ignorance of the cultural traditions and values of ethnic minorities, and it is surprising that McBurney is so insensitive to this.

When it came to the musical score of Shostakovich, Pravda noted: “From the libretto, we learn that it has been partially transferred to the collective farm ballet ‘Bolt’ which failed [a previous work by Shostakovich; he essentially reused his old tunes]. It is clear what happens when the same music should express different phenomena. In fact, it expresses only the composer’s indifferent attitude to the topic.

“The authors of the ballet – both the directors and the composer – seem to expect that our public is undemanding, that she will accept everything, that she is crammed together by nimble and unceremonious people.

“In reality, only our musical and art criticism is undemanding. She often commends works that do not deserve it.”

In our book, criticism such as this hardly amounts to a ‘death threat’.

Muddle instead of music
The Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk is perhaps the most infamous of all Shostakovich’s works, and is undergoing a revival in the west, where it is used repeatedly to push the lie that Stalin personally launched an attack on Shostakovich, the great innovator, and had this masterpiece censored. In Birmingham in March, the celebrated Birmingham Opera Company performed this very piece – just another example of their innovative (ie, very dull, predictable, liberal and PC) trajectory.

The story of Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk originated with Nikolay Leskov. Leskov wrote a sordid tale in which Katerina Ismailova, the wife of a provincial merchant, has an affair with a clerk in her husband’s office. She poisons her father-in-law, who is unsurprisingly unimpressed, then joins her lover in strangling her husband and finally murders her little nephew. Leskov wrote Katerina as a depraved criminal, but Shostakovich attempted to present her as a tribute to women’s liberation.

So effective was Shostakovich that the Guardian (remarking upon a recent performance of the opera in London) said: “We get to marvel at the way in which in this opera Shostakovich so brazenly and lovingly hands the moral high ground to a murderer, and keeps you rooting for her until the very last note.”

Shostakovich’s Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk received the praise of many a Soviet ‘critic’ at the time of its first performance in Leningrad. Particular fawning praise came from Ivan Sollertinsky, who was a professor at the Leningrad conservatoire, as well as the artistic director of the Leningrad Philharmonic – an impartial ear if ever there was one. It can be of no surprise that when Shostakovich’s Lady MacBeth debuted in Leningrad it was well received by such good friendly critics and that it was not until it had had a thorough inspection in Moscow that any independent criticism was given.

It is unsurprising that the artistic director of the philharmonic would praise his own work, but it is a surprise that an artistic director could be considered a suitable critic for his own chosen performances! And Soviet publications, including Pravda, didn’t fail to capture the sense that nepotism and the old boys club operated just as well in certain circles of Soviet artistic production as they had done under capitalism.

McBurney sees it somewhat differently of course. In his notes he writes: “In January 1936, the composer’s life was turned inside out by a devastating public attack on his Lady Macbeth, a now notorious article entitled ‘Muddle instead of music’, published prominently in Pravda [on page 3], the official newspaper of the Communist party.”

McBurney, like Sollertinsky, thinks Shostakovich should have been above criticism. Not criticism in general, but most certainly Soviet criticism. Soviet criticism had as its aim, he tells us, the “extermination of the artist”, his “incarceration and physical annihilation” etc, etc. For McBurney, Shostakovich was certainly above criticism from the workers and their communist party; from those foul people who holiday in Sunny Heights and Fawlty Towers.

McBurney fails to mention that Shostakovich, to his credit, had, like many Soviet artists, a completely different attitude to criticism and self-criticism, even if it left a bitter taste years after the experience. In those times of open class struggle, many artists were as happy writing criticism of their contemporaries as they were composing new works, and only weeks before his rebuke Shostakovich had been published in Pravda describing as “weak” his contemporary Ivan Dzerzinsky’s ballet The Quiet Don, based on the world-famous Sholokov story.

Stalin goes to the opera
It is said that Josef Stalin, Andre Zhdanov and a handful of Politburo members went to the Moscow showing of Lady MacBeth of Mtsensk and were decidedly unimpressed. Their opinions were shared by others such as Platon Kerzhentsev, the chairman of the Committee for Arts Affairs. ‘Muddle instead of music’ was their response, and it was published by Pravda without an author being named.

“With the general cultural development of our country there grew also the necessity for good music. At no time and in no other place has the composer had a more appreciative audience. The people expect good songs, but also good instrumental works, and good operas.

“Certain theatres are presenting to the new culturally mature Soviet public Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth as an innovation and achievement. Musical criticism, always ready to serve, has praised the opera to the skies, and given it resounding glory. The young composer, instead of hearing serious criticism, which could have helped him in his future work, hears only enthusiastic compliments.

“From the first minute, the listener is shocked by deliberate dissonance, by a confused stream of sound. Snatches of melody, the beginnings of a musical phrase, are drowned, emerge again, and disappear in a grinding and squealing roar. To follow this ‘music’ is most difficult; to remember it, impossible.

“Thus it goes, practically throughout the entire opera. The singing on the stage is replaced by shrieks. If the composer chances to come upon the path of a clear and simple melody, he throws himself back into a wilderness of musical chaos – in places becoming cacophony. The expression which the listener expects is supplanted by wild rhythm. Passion is here supposed to be expressed by noise.

“All this is not due to lack of talent, or lack of ability to depict strong and simple emotions in music. Here is music turned deliberately inside out in order that nothing will be reminiscent of classical opera, or have anything in common with symphonic music or with simple and popular musical language accessible to all. This music is built on the basis of rejecting opera – the same basis on which ‘leftist’ art rejects in the theatre simplicity, realism, clarity of image, and the unaffected spoken word – which carries into the theatre and into music the most negative features of ‘Meyerholdism’ infinitely multiplied.

“Here we have ‘leftist’ confusion instead of natural human music. The power of good music to infect the masses has been sacrificed to a petty-bourgeois, ‘formalist’ attempt to create originality through cheap clowning. It is a game of clever ingenuity that may end very badly.

“The danger of this trend to Soviet music is clear. Leftist distortion in opera stems from the same source as leftist distortion in painting, poetry, teaching, and science. Petty-bourgeois ‘innovations’ lead to a break with real art, real science and real literature.

“The composer of Lady Macbeth was forced to borrow from jazz its nervous, convulsive, and spasmodic music in order to lend ‘passion’ to his characters. While our critics, including music critics, swear by the name of socialist realism, the stage serves us, in Shostakovich’s creation, the coarsest kind of naturalism. He reveals the merchants and the people monotonously and bestially. The predatory merchant woman who scrambles into the possession of wealth through murder is pictured as some kind of ‘victim’ of bourgeois society. Leskov’s story has been given a significance which it does not possess.

“And all this is coarse, primitive and vulgar. The music quacks, grunts, and growls, and suffocates itself in order to express the love scenes as naturalistically as possible. And ‘love’ is smeared all over the opera in the most vulgar manner. The merchant’s double bed occupies the central position on the stage. On this bed all ‘problems’ are solved. In the same coarse, naturalistic style is shown the death from poisoning and the flogging – both practically on stage.

“The composer apparently never considered the problem of what the Soviet audience looks for and expects in music. As though deliberately, he scribbles down his music, confusing all the sounds in such a way that his music would reach only the effete ‘formalists’ who had lost all their wholesome taste. He ignored the demand of Soviet culture that all coarseness and savagery be abolished from every corner of Soviet life.

“Some critics call the glorification of the merchants’ lust a satire. But there is no question of satire here. The composer has tried, with all the musical and dramatic means at his command, to arouse the sympathy of the spectators for the coarse and vulgar inclinations and behaviour of the merchant woman Katerina Izmailova.

“Lady Macbeth is having great success with bourgeois audiences abroad. Is it not because the opera is non-political and confusing that they praise it? Is it not explained by the fact that it tickles the perverted taste of the bourgeois with its fidgety, neurotic music?

“Our theatres have expended a great deal of energy on giving Shostakovich’s opera a thorough presentation. The actors have shown exceptional talent in dominating the noise, the screaming, and the roar of the orchestra. With their dramatic action, they have tried to reinforce the weakness of the melodic content. Unfortunately, this has served only to bring out the opera’s vulgar features more vividly. The talented acting deserves gratitude, the wasted efforts – regret.”

Shostakovich’s fifth symphony
Following the publication of this review in Pravda, Shostakovich met with Kerzhentsev, the chairman of the Committee for Arts Affairs, and carried on his work, having expressed his willingness to comprehend the criticism and to alter his approach. In his meeting with Kerzhentsev, he was advised to reject his formalist errors, working to attain in his art something that could be comprehended by the masses, and that the authorities did not want a ‘public declaration’ that was insincere or formulaic.

It was suggested to him that he should tour the USSR and listen and record the folk songs and music of its peoples, acquaint himself with the best hundred of these and synthesise his experience. Such an approach was in the best traditions of the greatest of Russian artists, not least the poet Alexander Pushkin, who had set out on a similar journey a century earlier, writing his best works as a result.

Far from destruction, out of ‘Muddle instead of music’ arose Shostakovich’s greatest triumph: his fifth symphony, almost universally recognised as his best. It is often referred to as ‘The practical creative answer of a Soviet artist to just criticism’. Made up of four parts: Moderato (moderate pace), Allegretto (brisk), Largo (slow and dignified) and Allegro non troppo (fast, but not too fast), his work is comprehensible to the ear, has an easy to follow melody for the most part, and an incredibly distinctive and memorable finale, which feels as though it might cave the roof in.

The Birmingham CBSO, ending on this monumental piece, were clearly having a lot more fun than they had had played the jarring and ugly parts of the first half of the evening’s concert; and it was the only piece to bring truly rapturous applause from the audience. It was the finale of the fifth that caused such a sensation at the time as well, and is thus a source of controversy today.

Bourgeois critics cannot possibly ignore the greatness of the piece, and so have to find a way to explain its existence – especially as the composer was, according to them, at risk of losing his life, and was being reviled by the people and harassed at every turn. They turn to the old tune that, yes, it is a work of genius, but that it has a special hidden meaning only discernible to them. They are aided in this by Shostakovich’s ‘smuggled memoirs’, in which he wrote: “I think it is clear to everyone what happens in the fifth … it’s as if someone were beating you with a stick and saying: ‘Your business is rejoicing, your business is rejoicing,’ and you rise, shakily, and go off muttering ‘Our business is rejoicing, our business is rejoicing.”

At the time, however, in his published writings, Shostakovich wrote: “The idea behind my symphony is the making of a man. I saw him, with all his experience, at the centre of the work, which is lyrical from beginning to end.”

The writer Alexei Tolstoy witnessed that “the audience understood Shostakovich’s unshakable optimism … We were faced with the realistic, great art of our epoch.” He likended the four movements of the symphony to the psychological stages in the formation of a personality, in which “the finale brings an optimistic solution to the tragic parts of the first movement”.

Formalism in music
Pravda’s criticism became known as criticism of the formalist trend in music. Formalism in the arts and literature attempted to foist on Soviet society art which could only be appreciated by ‘the chosen few’, those enrolled into its secret meanings; a small self-appreciation circle. These days, we in the west are so used to this ludicrous attitude to art and social life that we think nothing of it.

Incomprehensible garbled words spat out so fast or sung so slowly that they cannot be understood by most people; animal faeces on canvas and in sculpture that is open to ‘interpretation’; and a world of idPol acronyms and politically-correct alphabetti spaghetti to describe sexuality and race, with its stranglehold of political correctness enforced by imperialist-funded thought police in universities and galleries – a world under the pernicious influence of toothless vegetarians in the arts, literature and philosophy.

In the postwar period, the CPSU(B) led a campaign against this trend. In its struggle to overcome the formalists in music it was necessary to criticise Dmitri Shostakovich, amongst others. Speaking to a conference of Soviet music workers in 1948, the great Marxist-Leninist Andrei Zhdanov said:

“There is in fact, then, a sharp though hidden struggle between two trends taking place in Soviet music. One trend represents the healthy, progressive principles in Soviet music, based on the acceptance of the immense role to be played by the classical heritage, and in particular by the Russian school, in the creation of a music which is realist and of truthful content and is closely and organically linked with the people and their folk music and folk song – all this combined with a high degree of professional mastery.

“The other trend represents a formalism alien to Soviet art, a rejection of the classical heritage under the banner of innovation, a rejection of the idea of the popular origin of music, and of service to the people, in order to gratify the individualistic emotions of a small group of select aesthetes.

“The formalist trend brings about the substitution of a music which is false, vulgar and often purely pathological, for natural, beautiful, human music. Furthermore, it is characteristic of this trend to avoid a frontal attack and to screen its revisionist activities by formally agreeing with the basic principles of socialist realism.

“This sort of underhand method is, of course, nothing new. History can show many instances of revisionism behind the label of sham agreement with a given teaching. This makes it all the more necessary to reveal the real essence of the formalist trend and the damage it has done to the development of Soviet music.

“As an example, there is the attitude towards the classical heritage. There is no indication whatever that the supporters of the formalist school are carrying on and developing the traditions of classical music, however much they may protest to the contrary. Any listener will tell you that the works of Soviet composers of the formalist type differ fundamentally from classical music.

“Classical music is marked by its truthfulness and realism, its ability to blend brilliant artistic form with profound content, and to combine the highest technical achievement with simplicity and intelligibility. Formalism and crude naturalism are alien to classical music in general and to Russian classical music in particular.

“The high level of the idea content in classical music springs from the recognition of the fact that classical music has its sources in the musical creative powers of the people, in a deep respect and love for the people, their music and song …

“Let us recall how Serov [Alexander Serov, 1820-1871] described his attitude to folk music. I have in mind his article ‘The music of south Russian song’ in which he says:

“‘Folk songs are musical organisms which are in no way the work of individual creative talent but compositions of the whole people, and by all their attributes far removed from artificial music. These flowers break through the soil into the light quite of their own, as it were, and grow to full resplendence without the slightest thought about authorship and composers’ rights and therefore little resemble the hothouse products of the learned composers’ activity.

“‘So it is that, above all, in folk song we find unaffected creative genius and the wisdom of simplicity, as Gogol puts it so aptly in Dead Souls, which is the supreme charm and secret of any work of art.

“‘As a lily in its magnificent raiment of purity puts to shame the glitter of brocade and precious stones, so is folk music, in its childlike simplicity, a thousand times richer and stronger than all the complexities of scholastic invention taught by pedants in conservatoires and music academies.’

“How well and forcefully this is said! How true the formulation of the main issue: that the development of music must proceed on a foundation of interplay, that is by enriching ‘academic’ music from folk music. This theme has practically disappeared from our theoretical and critical articles today.”

Whatever Shostakovich’s merits and frailties as a man, his political weaknesses as an artist are discernible. Though he was a man lucky enough to have been born to witness the ascendency of the Russian proletariat and to record in music what he saw, and was able to make a significant contribution to the musical life of the new Soviet society, he never quite shook off the elitism of his education and position.

Toadying and nepotism are hangovers from capitalism and exploitative society that socialism must overcome. As Zhdanov remarked: “The crux of the matter is that the regime of the formalist sect in the musical organisations has not been entirely unpleasant, to put it mildly, for the leading group of our composers.”

Shostakovich’s greatest musical works were a product of the most fantastic and incredible era yet witnessed in the development of human culture – the period of socialist construction – and as such they should be of interest to all advanced workers. His output was inextricably tied to the momentous achievements of the USSR; achievements never surpassed by any other socialist state as far as the development of all-round culture and the moulding of a new man are concerned.

The class struggle is fought across many battlefields, music being one very important front. As thinking workers and proletarian revolutionaries, we must know our Soviet history if we wish to make a success of building a new world. ... irmingham/
Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations

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Re: The Soviet Union

Post by blindpig » Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:11 pm

Fraud, Famine and Fascism. The Ukrainian Genocide Myth from Hitler to Harvard by Douglas Tottle

Book length pdf
Even an entire society, a nation, or all simultaneously existing societies taken together, are not owners of the earth. They are simply its possessors, its beneficiaries, and have to bequeath it in an improved state to succeeding generations

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