Author Topic: Was the USSR a living Hell?  (Read 20788 times)

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Offline starik

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Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2015, 11:36:10 PM »
I should quickly correct and say I shouldn't have said European railroads could reach "all" of the country, but effectively enough that other transport getting to one wasn't a great obstacle. And that Eisenhower was not inspired by the railroads, rather the Autobahn. But in the age of Bismark the railroads necessarily linked the same geographical objectives as war and commerce.

But on topic, I wonder if any of the later Tsars ever envisaged a New Economic Plan or Five Year Plan to prioritize national economic development, or felt the need to. Did the Tsars secretly favor on some level a backward Russia? Nothing an ancien regime loves more than yesterday. 
« Last Edit: December 08, 2015, 11:45:54 PM by starik »

Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2015, 12:02:02 PM »
Yes, Lenin and Stalin created the one of the most brutal dictatorships of the 1900s. The only country that equaled them in terms of mass killing of there own people was Red China. Nazi Germany was a distant third in terms of millions of people killed.

 in the USSR even doing the slightest thing wrong could get you sent to the Gulag or shot. Sometimes doing nothing wrong could get you sent to the Gulag or shot because some official had to fill a quota.

A joke from the period a man is being beaten by a Chekist and yells out "I've done nothing wrong" the Chekist says "I know"

People were sometimes treated badly because of what their grandparents did or were on till the fall of Communism.

Close relatives were force to spy on each other.

Children were taught in school to turn in their parents.

Being taken prisoner under the Tsars was no great crime. escaping from a prison camp was reguarded as something heroic. Under Stalin returning Prisoners of war were often sent to the Gulag as traitors. Escapes were often treated as spies. To be listed as missing in action under the Tsars didn't hurt your family. Under Stalin be listed as missing in action put you down as a possible deserter or traitor and your family would suffer for this and this lasted until the end of the USSR.

Sadly it seems the high ranking Chekists who carried out these mass killing are honored by Putin. There victims aren't

Offline TimM

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Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2015, 01:50:13 PM »
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Yes, Lenin and Stalin created the one of the most brutal dictatorships of the 1900s. The only country that equaled them in terms of mass killing of there own people was Red China. Nazi Germany was a distant third in terms of millions of people killed.

Yeah, that's true.  Of course, the USSR lasted a lot longer than Nazi Germany did.

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in the USSR even doing the slightest thing wrong could get you sent to the Gulag or shot. Sometimes doing nothing wrong could get you sent to the Gulag or shot because some official had to fill a quota.

A joke from the period a man is being beaten by a Chekist and yells out "I've done nothing wrong" the Chekist says "I know"

Yeah, just send some poor bloke to the gulags for the hell of it.  Just another day in the horror story called the USSR.



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People were sometimes treated badly because of what their grandparents did or were on till the fall of Communism.

Geez, being guilty for something your grandparents did.  That would be like arresting someone in modern Germany because their grandparents were members of the Nazi Party.


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Close relatives were force to spy on each other.

Children were taught in school to turn in their parents.

A common occurrence in totalitarian regimes. 


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Being taken prisoner under the Tsars was no great crime. escaping from a prison camp was reguarded as something heroic. Under Stalin returning Prisoners of war were often sent to the Gulag as traitors. Escapes were often treated as spies. To be listed as missing in action under the Tsars didn't hurt your family. Under Stalin be listed as missing in action put you down as a possible deserter or traitor and your family would suffer for this and this lasted until the end of the USSR.

After World War II, many Soviet POW's begged the Allies not to send them back to the USSR.  They feared that they would be killed because Stalin regarded them as traitors for surrendering.  He expected them to fight to the death, even if the battle in question was unwinnable. 


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Sadly it seems the high ranking Chekists who carried out these mass killing are honored by Putin. There victims aren't

Putin looks at the USSR through rose tinted glasses.  He sees what he WANTS to see, not what is. 

And, of course, he was a KGB colonel, so that would colour his view of the USSR as well, as he actually benefited from it.
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Offline starik

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Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2015, 11:34:30 AM »
I get the impression that most Russians today have answered the question, "Was it worth it?" by saying, "Yes."

Offline edubs31

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Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2015, 08:55:09 AM »
I get the impression that most Russians today have answered the question, "Was it worth it?" by saying, "Yes."

Which sounds roughly as cynical as certain (white) Americans who will acknowledge the horrors of slavery, but then talk about how future generations benefitted from it. As in better to have your ancestors in bondage if it means you now have the luxury to live comfortably in a free society.
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Offline TimM

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Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2016, 04:27:32 PM »
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I get the impression that most Russians today have answered the question, "Was it worth it?" by saying, "Yes."

No, it wasn't.  The price was way too damned high.  How many millions died in the horror story of the USSR.  Even today, no one is quite sure.

Putin has said that the end of the USSR was a tragedy.  Somebody needs to sit this guy down and show him the statistics of the millions that died during the USSR's nearly three quarters of a century existence.  He might want to rethink his comments. 
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Offline JamesAPrattIII

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Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2016, 05:45:33 PM »
Putin was a second generation Chekist.  No one has ever checked out what his father did during his career as one. If someone did I think some people would be shocked or disgusted. Remember Putin as a member of the KGB was a member of the Soviet elite. The fall of the USSR was a shock to him as the fall of the Russian empire was to a member of the Russian nobility. For the "Former people " and others who were not part of the Soviet elite or were non Russians in countries that were part of the USSR and are now independent it is a different matter.

Offline Brycik

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Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #22 on: March 16, 2016, 09:12:16 PM »
Excerpts from a recent article in The Guardian.

Putin’s assessment of Lenin’s role in Russian history during Monday’s meeting with pro-Kremlin activists in the southern city of Stavropol was markedly more negative than in the past. He denounced Lenin and his government for brutally executing Russia’s last tsar along with all his family and servants, killing thousands of priests and placing a time bomb under the Russian state by drawing administrative borders along ethnic lines.

In Monday’s comments, Putin also criticised the Bolsheviks for making Russia suffer defeat at the hands of Germany in the first world war and ceding large chunks of territory just months before it lost. “We lost to the losing party, a unique case in history,”

The completel article can be found here. Worth a read

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/25/vladmir-putin-accuses-lenin-of-placing-a-time-bomb-under-russia

Offline TimM

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Re: Was the USSR a living Hell?
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2016, 07:22:13 AM »
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Putin as a member of the KGB was a member of the Soviet elite. The fall of the USSR was a shock to him as the fall of the Russian empire was to a member of the Russian nobility.

Of course, unlike said Russian nobility, Putin has done quite well for himself in the post-USSR. 

It's unlikely that Putin would be where he is now if the USSR were still around.  He'd be just another cog in the machine, not a de facto Tsar.


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Putin’s assessment of Lenin’s role in Russian history during Monday’s meeting with pro-Kremlin activists in the southern city of Stavropol was markedly more negative than in the past. He denounced Lenin and his government for brutally executing Russia’s last tsar along with all his family and servants, killing thousands of priests and placing a time bomb under the Russian state by drawing administrative borders along ethnic lines.

Ironic, since Putin used to be a hard hard Communist back in the day. 

I will check out that article.
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