Soviet youth sets out on a ‘new, heroic and revolutionary path’

For Soviet Leadership, the 1957 Moscow World Festival of Youth and Students was a prime opportunity to illustrate the Soviet Union as “an international, active, peace-loving population that was collectively committed to promoting an alternative to American exploitation around the world.” The festival contributors were depended upon to exhibit Soviet Youth as superior, having admirable ethics and awareness. These youth were not only expected to convey these ideals, but also give the impression to the world delegates that they were invigorated by the memorandum in Khrushchev’s 20th Party Congress speech and embody “Soviet openness and international mobilization.” The Youth was supposed to present these sentiments and ideals as “participants who were acting of their own free will” as a means to revise the public assumption of a forcible Soviet government.… Read the rest here

Between Salvation and Liquidation

Juliane Fürst, a lecturer in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Bristol, wrote “Between Salvation and Liquidation” for The Slavonic & East European Review published in 2008. In this article, Fürst discusses one of the most perceptible and disturbing consequences of WWII for the Soviet Union: vagrant and homeless children. They were unavoidable evidence of the damage the war had caused the Soviet Union- both physically and psychologically. Fürst analyzes the Soviet response to these children and gives us an idea of what this phenomenon looked like.… Read the rest here

Mass Culture in Soviet Russia

Art and culture seems to have been parallel with the greatest of the political philosophy Russia was seeing at the time. Russia had already begun to emerge a little bit on the international stage, but not enough. These artists wanted to explode this emergence and make the Russian art known throughout the world. This puts an emphasis on each individual in their part of the whole. Revolutionaries wanted to remake the world and believed that they could this new world into one in which things are unified.… Read the rest here

Abdication of Nikolai II

By 1917, Russia’s populace faced a combination of very severe acute food shortages caused by the unorganized and uncontrolled war effort, and social disorder subsequent of several Liberal and revolutionary groups split in their ideas and desires but all dissatisfied with the minimal (or even lack of) reform afforded to them by the Dumas. Nikolai was therefore advised to abdicate, whereupon he drew up a manifesto abdicating his position and naming his brother, Grand Duke Michael, as the next Emperor.… Read the rest here

The Magic Lantern: 3,2,1…

This book is a composition of 5 essays; the first four are Timothy Ash’s first- hand accounts of the East European “Revolutions” in in Poland, Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia, and the fifth and last essay is his conclusions based on the observations he made in the first four essays.

Main points:

■ As a historical observer, Ash describes meeting opposition leaders, and the evolvement of the Solidarity movement as an opposition to the Eastern Bloc (AKA Soviet Bloc).… Read the rest here

Joseph Stalin: Reply to Churchill, 1946

Main Points:

1. The Soviet Union suffered casualties from the German invasion several times greater than the US and UK put together. These caualties included men lost during the invasion, in battle, and then in the slave labor camps. Stalin feels this expense of the Soviet people that was essential to the eradication of Hitler’s regime, and the subsequent freedom thereby returned to Europe, has been overlooked.

2. Communism is growing as a natural result of the negative effects of fascism and the dependability that communism offered.… Read the rest here

Treaty of Versailles

Main Points:

1. Territory– The following territories were taken away from Germany:

  • Alsace-Lorraine (given to France)
  • Eupen and Malmedy (given to Belgium)
  • Northern Schleswig (given to Denmark)
  • Hultschin (given to Czechoslovakia)
  • West Prussia, Posen and Upper Silesia (given to Poland)

Germany must relinquish power over any overseas colonies to the League of Nations as well as any additional territory seized in the war not mentioned above.

2. Military– Germany’s army was reduced to 100,000 men and no tanks were allowed.… Read the rest here

Gladstone’s Points of Supposed Collision Between the Scriptures and Natural Science

Author: John Hall Gladstone was a British chemist born in 1827. He was privately educated at home and went on to attend University College, London where he received a gold medal for original research, and publishing a paper on guncotton and xyloidine. In1847 he attended Giessen University, where he studied under Liebig and graduated with a Ph.D. in philosophy. In 1848 he lost his wife along with his eldest daughter and only son, ostensibly only pausing his endeavors in science and social life.… Read the rest here

The Confession of Faith of a Man of Science

Author: Ernst Haeckel. Born in 1834, died in 1919. He was born in Potsdam- in what was then Prussia. He was a German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, professor and artist. Haeckel established and named thousands of species and devised many biology terms (i.e. anthropogeny, stem cell, ecology, and phylogeny). He also read Charles Darwin’s work and encouraged it, spreading it throughout Germany. He believed that races were separate species and that caucasians were the highest among these.… Read the rest here

Thorstein Veblen on Conspicuous Consumption

Author: Thorstein Veblen, born in Wisconsin in 1857, was an economist and sociologist. He grew up in Minnesota, raised by his parents to value education and hard work. Perhaps this is the root for his distain of what he termed as “conspicuous consumption” and waste of the Gilded Age.

Context: He wrote Conspicuous Consumption in 1902 in his book The Theory of the Leisure Class. He wrote this during the second industrial revolution.

Language: Veblen’s tone is critical, informative and philosophical.… Read the rest here