Skip to comments.Russia's Gulag camps cast in forgiving light of Putin nationalism
Posted on 02/05/2018 1:50:23 PM PST by GoldenState_Rose
In todays Russia it is not fashionable to delve too deeply into Gulag history, and 60-year-old Panikarovs collection is one of just two museums devoted entirely to the Gulag in the whole country. Indeed, even Panikarov himself has a somewhat surprising view:
We should not have one-sided evaluations... It was fashionable to say bad things about the USSR. Now it is again fashionable to insult Russia. We have sanctions against us. The west looks for negative things.
Panikarovs views on the Gulag are part of a larger trend. With the Soviet victory in the second world war elevated to a national rallying point under Vladimir Putins presidency, the forced labour camps, through which millions of Soviet citizens passed, are seen by many as an unfortunate but necessary by-product. In many museums and in much public discourse, the Gulag is not ignored completely, but is contextualised in a way that plays down the horror and pairs it with the war, suggesting the two come as a package.
Larisa says she teaches her students one lesson about the Gulag, in which she typically divides the blackboard into two parts. On one side she puts the military and industrial achievements of the Stalin period, and on the other, the unfortunate side-effects, and lets the students decide for themselves whether the repression was justified.
Olga Gureyeva, was arrested at the end of 1945 after the Soviets took back the region from the Nazis. Aged 16 at the time, she was arrested with her family for supposed Nazi collaboration and, after repeated beatings during interrogation, sentenced to 20 years of hard labour.
Now 87, and living in a small apartment in Magadan, Gureyeva is stooped, almost blind, and unable to say what happened to her without tears. Her stories are a litany of horrors...
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
For if we forget the Gulag, sooner or later we will forget our own history too. Why did we fight the Cold War, after all? Was it because crazed right-wing politicians, in cahoots with the military-industrial complex and the CIA, invented the whole thing and forced two generations of Americans to go along with it? Or was there something more important happening?
- Anne Applebaum
“” “” Olga Gureyeva, was arrested at the end of 1945 after the Soviets took back the region from the Nazis. Aged 16 at the time, she was arrested with her family for supposed Nazi collaboration and, after repeated beatings during interrogation, sentenced to 20 years of hard labour.”” “”
She didn’t serve even ten years of her term. Did she?
All because Gulag was dismantled in 1950s, Stalinism condemned and Stalinists purged.
How any of that is relevant 70 years later?
The intrepid Guardian reporter must think the people should have been screaming, carrying signs, throwing Molotov Cocktails, looting shops, and tearing up police cars to properly show their respect for the victims.
“” “” The intrepid Guardian reporter must think the people should have been screaming, carrying signs, throwing Molotov Cocktails, looting shops, and tearing up police cars to properly show their respect for the victims. “” “”
Hogwash, the gulag archipelago is required reading in russian high schools.
They get a LOT of mixed messages and its not required by all. Have you been there?
Solzhenitsyn was cool in the late 90s to early 00s...he has since passed away and now Stalin has overtaken him in popularity.
in Russia's case
"History is written by the survivors".
It is part of federal curriculum since 2011. Studied at schools on their own since 1990.
This is exactly how people described their academic encounter with Stalin era to me as well.
Gulag's been whitewashed and waterdown. Victims memories sacrificed on the altar of the Cult of Victory.
You should take into account that in 1915 there were dirt streets with pigs diving into puddles and shacks a block away from Kremlin. Only maybe a third of population were somehow literate and life expectancy was around 40 years.
A perception of Imperial Russia is heavily distorted by nobility who emigrated to the West. In their mind they lost a paradise but for the rest it was a bit different. 9 in 10 people didn’t have access to running water or electricity, let alone medicine.
Saint-Peterburg was a single Westernized city in the country, the rest was a kind of modern day India at best.
By the day of Stalin’s death it was radically different in terms of development. They simply went from oxacart to nuclear technology and space program in three decades. It has affected overall quality of life big time as well.
Now your true colors show. Somehow the basest inhumanity and primitive acts of barbarism the modern world had ever known is justified in light of the other “developments” of Russia.
I don’t wish to discuss this further.
“” “” I dont wish to discuss this further.”” “”
I knew you’d say it:) Should the Brits apologize to the Irish and the rest of Europe over Oliver Cromwell? How guilty they should feel nowadays because of him and how many times a week they should apologize?
I have lived in Britain.
It’s in much better shape than Russia to this day. Whether Brexited or tied to the E.U.
And their monarchy still stands.
That’s my point. Cromwellism was over 500 years ago. Stalinism is a little more recent. Give them some more time.
No, my point is clearly whatever England went through however long ago was not nearly as self-annihilating as what the Russians have done to themselves, to their monarchy, etc...The level of barbarism and scale of atrocities in the 20th Century alone? no comparison.
You should better educate yourself on British history. They’d give the rest of the world a run for their money on atrocities and Empire.
19th Century brits like William Wilberforce, John Wesley, gigantic men of God who spurred on the abolition of slavery even before the U.S. or Russia with the tsar’s pseudo-emancipation.
And clearly Britain is closer to being at peace with its imperial past: sores and all. The Queen is quite beloved all over the Commonwealth and former colonial holdings — and Africans are the most devout and conservative figures in the Church of England.
And Prince Harry is about to marry a beautiful 1/2 African-American woman, whose mother descends from slaves in the U.S. and whose father’s white great-great grandmother was a maid at Windsor Castle.
“” “” 19th Century brits like William Wilberforce, John Wesley, gigantic men of God who spurred on the abolition of slavery even before the U.S. or Russia with the tsars pseudo-emancipation.”” “”
Who cares about 19th century? Shouldn’t they kill themselves over guilt about things took place in 18th century?
What about 17th century and there were a lot to be ashamed of before that.
“” “” And clearly Britain is closer to being at peace with its imperial past: sores and all. The Queen is quite beloved all over the Commonwealth and former colonial holdings and Africans are the most devout and conservative figures in the Church of England.”” “”
How is it possible? “imperial past” and “being at peace” just doesn’t belong in one sentence /s
Also these poor delusional “imperial holdings”, who still has a Queen. It must be a shame Russia doesn’t have Stalin anymore of it would be a little more like Britain /s Although he is still beloved in Georgia which counts as “former imperial holding”
“” “” And Prince Harry is about to marry a beautiful 1/2 African-American woman, whose mother descends from slaves in the U.S. and whose fathers white great-great grandmother was a maid at Windsor Castle.”” “”
Of, yeah. That’s so royal of him.
Say what you want but the world will be watching centuries old tradition in beautiful St. George’s cathedral at Windsor Castle. The Royal Wedding attests to the strength of British institutions and Western Civilization’s continued relevance as the frame of reference for the world as a whole. They have been on the right side of history and they will bask.
And don’t diss Prince Harry. He’s a true soldier. A 10-year army veteran whose served on the front lines fighting terrorists.
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