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Pechorin
28-07-2008, 17:49
If you think things suck, consider this (based on my weekend reading):

in early 1920s, revolting peasants would crucify Bolsheviks on trees, a meter off the ground, by driving railraod spikes through their left hand and left foot

or bury them upside down, with legs left above ground to watch how long they would wiggle

and the Cheka would torture people by putting rats in an iron pot, putting the pot on a victim's stomach, and heating the pot until the rats were driven to try to eat their way out, through the persons guts

and that's just a small sampling. Oh, and roving gangs of cannibals.

From A People's Tragedy, Orlando Figes

MickeyTong
28-07-2008, 17:57
and the Cheka would torture people by putting rats in an iron pot, putting the pot on a victim's stomach, and heating the pot until the rats were driven to try to eat their way out, through the persons guts

No peanut butter in those days?

is4fun
28-07-2008, 20:35
Mr. Figes is a sensationalist trying to make a living selling his books which are hardly considered historic fact. Although an academic, much of his work is derived from testimonials of people who were apparently traumatized by years of incarceration in the GULAG. It is extremely hard to believe he has interviewed, "thousands of people", as is stated on Wikipidia. His own web site has around forty. Considering thier age and mental capacity who could or would believe them?

I have not read any of his material, however, if indeed he published accounts from GULAG survivors as you have stated then back your quotes with factual documentation. I could also make up a few great yarns.

I think Anne Applebalm's, The Gulag, would be a more accurate account of the times for all of her material was taken from archives that were written at the time or a little later after the tragedy occurred. (I am not plugging her book but at least it did ring a little sensibility) It too is far from a positive account of the times but doesn't contain any urban myths as included in your post. In fact the rat thing has been played out in many different cultures in more ways than one.

Pechorin
29-07-2008, 09:54
Oh, I do not think he is a sensationalist at all. Peasant rebellions are typically gruesome, and cannibalism in the Holodomor in the 30s is very well documented, as is cannibalism during the Blokada.

AndreyS
29-07-2008, 10:27
Oh, I do not think he is a sensationalist at all. Peasant rebellions are typically gruesome, and cannibalism in the Holodomor in the 30s is very well documented, as is cannibalism during the Blokada.

And what? What are surprised with? Cruel things happen in the history.
Do you think it doesn't occur somewhere nowadays?

Personally I will never forget a TV coverage from Rwanda (dating back to the civil war in 1990s) with live pics of hills of human bodies being piled up by a caterpillar bulldozer.