May 21, 2014

RUSSIA: Russian Communist Party Leader Causes Stir After Wearing (Capitalist) Adidas Tracksuit Jacket To Joseph Stalin's Grave. I Also Included Information About Stalin's Purges.

The Global Post
written by Allison Jackson
Monday May 19, 2014

It was the kind of faux pas that would have made Joseph Stalin turn in his grave.

Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov laid flowers at the Russian dictator’s final resting place on Sunday while wearing an Adidas tracksuit jacket.

Now, we've got nothing against Adidas tracksuit jackets or people who wear them.

But wearing such a powerful symbol of capitalism and consumerism when you are the head of the Communist Party and are paying your respects to Stalin of all people is, quite frankly, bizarre.

It’s not entirely clear why Zyuganov decided to team the tracksuit jacket ­with a white collared shirt and black suit pants.

Were all of his suit jackets at the drycleaners? Did he have a sudden ideological change of heart? Or was it the red color that made him decide to wear the sporty garb?

Apparently it was none of the above.

"I was wearing our team's uniform," Zyuganov was quoted as saying, referring to the Communist Party’s soccer team.

"They buy what is available in stores. I don't have any (advertising) agreements with Adidas."

Riiiiiiiight. That really clears things up.

This isn’t the first time Zyuganov has worn the Adidas jacket in public.

At least on this occasion he appeared to be using it for its intended purpose: exercise.

It seems Zyuganov has a collection of zip-up jackets that he likes to wear to formal functions.

But it’s not like he doesn’t own a suit jacket.


Here's a great read and seriously eerily surreal. I have taken a portion of this piece. Please click the link I provided to read the entire piece.

[source: Gendercide Watch]

Under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, tens of millions of ordinary individuals were executed or imprisoned in labour camps that were little more than death camps. Perceived political orientation was the key variable in these mass atrocities. But gender played an important role, and in many respects the Purge period of Soviet history can be considered the worst gendercide of the twentieth century.


But the impetus to "cleanse" the social body rapidly spilled beyond these elite boundaries, and the greatest impact of the Purge was felt in the wider society -- where millions of ordinary Soviet citizens assisted in "unmasking" their compatriots. Frank Smitha describes this mass hysteria well, writing that:
A society that is intense in its struggle for change has a flip side to its idealism: intolerance. People saw enemies everywhere, enemies who wanted to destroy the revolution and diminish the results of their hard work and accomplishments, enemies who wanted to restore capitalism for selfish reasons against the collective interests of the nation. If those at the top of the Communist Party and an old revolutionary like Trotsky could join the enemy, what about lesser people? In factories and offices, mass meetings were held in which people were urged to be vigilant against sabotage. It was up to common folks to make the distinction between incompetence and intentional wrecking [i.e., sabotage], and any mishap might be blamed on wrecking. Denunciations became common. Neighbors denounced neighbors. Denunciations were a good way of striking against people one did not like, including one's parents, a way of eliminating people blocking one's promotion, and ... a means of proving one's patriotism. Many realized that some innocent people were being victimized, and the saying went around that "when you chop wood the chips fly." As with Lenin, it was believed that some who were innocent would have to be victimized if all of the guilty were to be apprehended.

"Blind chance rules a man's life in this country of ours," said one NKVD officer, who found himself suddenly placed under arrest. For ordinary citizens, "Fear by night, and a feverish effort by day to pretend enthusiasm for a system of lies, was the permanent condition." (Conquest, The Great Terror: A Reassessment, p. 434.) Solzhenitsyn adds: "Any adult inhabitant of this country, from a collective farmer up to a member of the Politburo, always knew that it would take only one careless word or gesture and he would fly off irrevocably into the abyss." (The Gulag Archipelago, vol. 2, p. 633.)
Much has been written about the absurdly minor infractions for which individuals were sentenced to ten years in labour camps -- standardly a death sentence. "A tailor laying aside his needle stuck it into a newspaper on the wall so it wouldn't get lost and happened to stick it in the eye of a portrait of Kaganovich [a member of the Soviet Politburo]. A customer observed this. Article 58, ten years (terrorism). A saleswoman accepting merchandise from a forwarder noted it down on a sheet of newspaper. There was no other paper. The number of pieces of soap happened to fall on the forehead of Comrade Stalin. Article 58, ten years." (Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, vol. 2, p. 293.)

The gendering of the witch-hunt was cast into particularly sharp relief in those cases where most, sometimes almost all, adult males among a given population were rounded up for mass arrest and probable death. Writes Robert W. Thurston: "According to some reports, entire groups of men were taken in one swoop by the NKVD. 'Almost all the male inhabitants of the little Greek community where I lived [in the lower Ukraine] had been arrested,' recalled one émigré. Another reported that the NKVD took all males between the ages of seventeen and seventy from his village of German-Russians. ... In some stories, the police clearly knew they were arresting innocent people. For example, an order reportedly arrived in Tashkent to 'Send 200 [prisoners]!' The local NKVD was at its wits' end about who else to arrest, having exhausted all the obvious possibilities, until it learned that a band of 'gypsies' (Romany) had just camped in town. Police surrounded them and charged every male from seventeen to sixty with sabotage." In the city of Zherinka, "'Ivan Ivanovich' ... had his wife sew rubles [Soviet currency] into his coat because the NKVD was taking all the men in his town." (Thurston, Life and Terror in Stalin's Russia, 1934-1941 [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996], pp. 79-80, 150.)

As the above examples suggest, the campaigns were further fuelled by the "denunciation quotas" established under the authority of Nikolai Yezhov, who took over as head of the NKVD in September 1936 and immediately widened the scope of secret-police persecutions. (Soviet citizens often referred to the Great Terror as the Yezhovshchina, "the times of Yezhov.") Relatives of those accused and arrested, including wives and children down to the age of twelve, were themselves often condemned under the "counter-terrorism" legislation: "Wives of enemies of the people" was one of four categories of those sentenced to execution or long prison terms. Women accounted for only a small minority of those executed and incarcerated on political grounds (perhaps 2 percent of the former and 5 percent of the latter). Conquest notes that "Women on the whole seem to have survived [incarceration] much better than men," although "in the mixed[-sex] camps, noncriminal [i.e., political-prisoner] women were frequently mass-raped by urkas [male criminals], or had to sell themselves for bread, or to get protection from camp officials.") But wives spared arrest or state-sanctioned murder nonetheless encountered extreme hardship. "For the wives ... life was very bad," writes Conquest. "... All reports agree that the women lost their jobs, their rooms, and their permits, had to sell possessions, and had to live on occasional work or on the few relatives who might help them. Ignorant of their husbands' fate, they faced a worsening future." (The Great Terror: A Reassessment, pp. 235, 264, 315) As Solzhenitsyn puts it:
There in that stinking damp world in which only executioners and the most blatant of betrayers flourished, where those who remained honest became drunkards, since they had no strength of will for anything else ... in which every night the gray-green hand reached out and collared someone in order to pop him into a box -- in that world millions of women wandered about lost and blinded, whose husbands, sons, or fathers had been torn from them and dispatched to the Archipelago. They were the most scared of all. They feared shiny nameplates, office doors, telephone rings, knocks on the door, the postman, the milkwoman, and the plumber. And everyone in whose path they stood drove them from their apartments, from their work, and from the city. ... And these women had children who grew up, and for each one there came a time of extreme need when they absolutely had to have their father back, before it was too late, but he never came. (The Gulag Archipelago, vol. 2, p. 664.)
By 1938, Conquest estimates that about 7 million Purge victims were in the labour/death camps, on top of the hundreds of thousands who had been slaughtered outright. In the worst camps, such as those of the Kolyma gold-mining region in the Arctic, the survival rate was just 2 or 3 percent (see the incarceration/death penalty case study). Alexander Solzhenitsyn calls the prison colonies in the Solovetsky Islands "the Arctic Auschwitz," and cites the edict of their commander, Naftaly Frenkel, which "became the supreme law of the Archipelago: 'We have to squeeze everything out of a prisoner in the first three months -- after that we don't need him anymore.'" (Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, vol. 2, p. 49.)

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