Nineteen Years | In Times Gone By…

A picture of one of 1999 Russian apartment bombings.

A picture of one of 1999 Russian apartment bombings.

Today is the nineteenth anniversary of the start of the Russian apartment bombings, when Vladimir Putin orchestrated a series of attacks that killed hundreds of citizens across Russia in order to boost his popularity and win…

via Nineteen Years | In Times Gone By…

Revolution in Russia 1: Understanding Influences | First World War Hidden History

The First World War drained Russia, literally and metaphorically. By January 1917, after two-and-a-half years of mortal combat, six million young Russians had been killed, seriously wounded or lost…

Source: Revolution in Russia 1: Understanding Influences | First World War Hidden History

On this day: Svetlana Alliluyeva defects | In Times Gone By…

On the 6th of March, 1967, Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, approached the US embassy in New Delhi and asked for political asylum. She is seen below arriving in the U…

Source: On this day: Svetlana Alliluyeva defects | In Times Gone By…

Lenin’s Wife | toritto

Everyone knows of Lenin.  His body is still on display in the great Kremlin square, once known as Red Square, for those with a bit of ghoulishness in their souls to see.  His name and statues have been taken down everywhere in Russia and just about everywhere else as well.  He has been written out of history kind of like Pharaoh Akhenaten’s name was chiseled off of Egyptian walls.

Yet his body is still there on display.Yes, every one, save perhaps our current crop of high school kids drudging their way through what is euphemistically known as the public educational system, knows something of Lenin.

Few however, outside of left wingers, communists and historians know of Lenin’s wife – or even that he had a wife.

Nadezhda “Nadya” Krupskaya was Lenin’s wife – and Nadya was a revolutionary to the

Source: Lenin’s Wife | toritto

On this day: the January Uprising began | In Times Gone By…

A symbolic painting of the aftermath of the uprising.

On the 22nd of January, 1863, people of present-day Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus and Latvia rose up against rule by the Russian Empire.The uprising would last into the following year, and would result in Russia harshly punishing those captured.

Source: On this day: the January Uprising began | In Times Gone By…

Stalin’s Cult of Personality: Its Origins and Progression

The York Historian

Nikita Khrushchev’s ‘Secret Speech’ given at the Twentieth Party Congress in February 1956 denounced Josef Stalin for “[perverting] Party principles” by creating a “cult of the person of Stalin”. Though the term ‘cult of personality’ was coined in the 19th century, it was popularised in its use as a referral to Josef Stalin’s regime. For me, ‘cult of personality’ means the veneration of one omnipotent, infallible leader – a belief ingrained in society, visually and culturally. Autocratic totalitarianism, enshrined in propaganda. This article will take us through an analysis of how Stalin established and maintained a cult of personality, touching on how successful it was.

Establishing a ‘Cult of Personality’ – the legacy of autocracy

Looking backwards from the rule of Stalin, to Lenin and the Tsarist regime, it is clear that modern Russia had a history of autocratic rule, making it easier for Stalin to establish himself as…

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Exciting Breaking News! Nazi Loot Found (Maybe)

A Scholarly Skater

The Amber Room panels, stolen from Saint Petersburg, Russia and still unrecovered. Branson DeCou [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons According to multiple news outlets, a train recently discovered deep underneath a Polish mountain, may contain Nazi-looted treasures, including the famous Amber Room panels. Once displayed at Tsarskoye Selo in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the panels were stolen during World War Two and disappeared without a trace until now; it was widely feared that they were destroyed near the end of the war. Although it is still unclear what the train cars can be expected to contain, Russia, Poland, and the World Jewish Federation are already squabbling over who should own or benefit from the contents. (1)

The train was first discovered by bounty hunters, who apparently received information about it from a dying man, and its existence has since been confirmed by Polish authorities. However, no one can access the train or verify its contents at the moment, since…

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Gallipoli 10: It’s All For You

First World War Hidden History

On 6 January 1915 Winston Churchill sent a telegraph to the commander of the Mediterranean fleet, Vice-Admiral Sackville-Carden asking how many ships he needed to break through the Dardanelles and how he would go about it? In his response five days later Carden suggested a force of 12 battleships, three battle-cruisers, three light cruisers, 16 destroyers, six submarines, four seaplanes and 12 minesweepers. In addition, he required a dozen support vessels. Surely but subtly, responsibility for the operation that could never succeed was passed to Carden.

Dardanelles Gun

What he proposed was not so much a plan as the order in which the ships might attack the Dardanelles forts, [1] but from that moment on, Churchill presented Carden’s list as if it was a carefully considered strategic plan. The old Vice-Admiral imagined that battleships would first bombard the outer forts guarding the entrance to the Dardanelles from a long distance. Minesweepers would…

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May 6 – Tsar Nicholas’ Birthday

toritto

On May 6, 1868, 147 years ago today, Nicholas II, Tsar of all the Russians
was born. He was to be the eighteenth sovereign and last of the Romanov dynasty.

He was the eldest of six children born to Alexander III and the Empress Maria Feodorovna. Alexander was a reactionary of the first order and dominated his family as he dominated Russia. His word was law, his decisions incontestable.

Alexander’s political views were markedly different from his father’s; Alexander II was a “reformer” within the context of the autocracy as well as a bit of a libertine. He took a 17 year old mistress from the “Smolny Institute for Noble Young Ladies” and made no secret of it; indeed flaunting it both to his wife and at Court.

Reform came to an end on March 1, 1881 when anarchists threw two bombs into his carriage. One leg was blown off…

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Kronstadt and the End of the Revolution

toritto

It was the first weeks of March, 1921 in the new Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics.

Kronstadt was and still is a naval fortress on an island in the Gulf of Finland. It served as headquarters of Russia’s Baltic Fleet during Tsarist times and was built to protect the aproach from the sea to St. Petersburg, some 30 miles away.  In 1921, St. Petersburg was called Petrograd, later to be changed to Leningrad and then back to St. Petersburg.

The Kronstadt sailors had been in the vanguard of the revolutionary events of 1905 and 1917. In 1917, the sailors again joined revolutionary forces and fired upon the Winter Palace from battleships at sea. Trotsky called them the “pride and glory of the Russian Revolution.” The inhabitants of Kronstadt had been early supporters and practitioners of soviet power, forming a free commune in 1917 which was relatively independent of the…

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“The Black Russian” – The story of Frederick Bruce Thomas

Life in Russia

Frederick_Bruce_Thomas

The Black Russian

The Black Russian is the incredible story of black American Frederick Bruce Thomas, born in 1872 to former slaves who became prosperous farmers in Mississippi. Alexandrov, the author of the book and a scholar of Slavic languages and literature at Yale, begins the story on the river delta of Coahoma County, Miss.  Frederick’s parents, Lewis and Hannah attended an auction of a 200-acre farm occupying some of the richest soil in the South. Lewis with a great stroke of luck won with a top bid of $20. Four years after the Civil War and emancipation they farmed the land for a full year which earned the family more than $5,000 (roughly $80,000 today) during its first year alone.

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Vladimir Alexandrov author of The Black Russian

Being born into a very atypical black family of the time gave him his first taste of his future life. The author with…

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Gallipoli 2: Promises, Promises

First World War Hidden History

For a true appreciation of what Gallipoli was about we must take a brief step back in time. In the early years of the twentieth century the Secret Elite in London saw Germany as a rapidly growing economic, industrial and imperial threat to the British Empire, and began planning a European war to destroy her. However, Britain could never destroy Germany on her own in a continental war and had to create alliances with France and Russia. [1]

Constantinople

The Entente Cordiale between England and France, signed on 8 April 1904, marked the end of an era of conflict between the two that had lasted nearly a thousand years. But it was much more important than that. The Entente included secret clauses hidden from the British Cabinet and parliament that grew into a commitment to support each other in a war against Germany, [2] a war in which France would regain…

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Blonde cargoes: Finnish children in the slave markets of medieval Crimea

You think you know your history and then you come across this article from Blast from the Past about a slave trade involving the Crimea.

A Blast From The Past

Testing a female captive's teeth in an eastern slave market. Testing a female captive’s teeth in an eastern slave market.

The horrors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade have left an ineradicable mark on history. In the course of a little more than three and a half centuries, 12.5 million prisoners – at least two-thirds of them men destined for a life of labour in the fields – were shipped from holding pens along the African coast to destinations ranging from Argentina in the south all the way north to Canada. It was the largest forced migration in modern history.

When we think of slavery, we tend to think of this African traffic. Yet it was not the only such trade – nor was it, before 1700, even the largest. A second great market in slaves once sullied the world, this one less well-known, vastly longer-lasting, and centred on the Black Sea ports of the Crimea. It was a huge trade in its own right; in its great years, which lasted roughly from…

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Phantom – Memories of a U-2 Pilot

A Trivial Mind At Work

A friend of mine sent me this story. Other than Francis Gary Powers, I do not know that anyone has heard much of anything about the U-2 spy plane program. The entire program stands as a forgotten footnote from the Cold War. This article offers a personal glimpse into the life of a U-2 spy…

U-2 PILOT MEMORIES
Men like this guy never get any attention in the press, and that’s how they prefer it. Unfortunately, but understandably, not all U-2 pilots survived to tell their stories in their old age.

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Pic 1

Cliff Beeler was a spy. He didn’t hang out on shadowy street corners with his trench coat collar obscuring his face. The Air Force major, now retired, spent his snooping time in a plane. Beeler, 88, of Riverside, was a U-2 pilot at the height of the Cold War.

Pic 3

His missions took him over Russia, Cuba and China, photographing…

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