The path of our country is bright and great, heroic… everything is full of a hurricane of creativity… Our happiness of living was created by STALIN – he made [our happiness] the law… Young geniuses are born… and elderly look at them with pride.
The fascist’s path is full of dark clouds, their air is poisonous… Everybody who wears swastika looses human face and acquires the look of a beast… fascism… provides rest at prisons only, they throw their cultural heritage into fire, the youth is to get dum and the elderly have only one way to escape from suffering – to die…. but the proletariat will crush the fascism!
Demyan Bedny is a pseudonym for Yefim Pridvorov. It means “Damian the Poor”. Bedny was an ardent supporter of Communism and much of his work lauds the Communist state. Understandably, his poetry has not been widely translated.
Some historians and the journals of Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya give another perspective on the people’s views of the time. Ultimately, the Soviets, with all their ambitious industrialization projects and tight control, did repel the German advance on the Soviet Union and helped to weaken the German efforts toward the end of WWII.
ABOVE: The girl in the photograph in the woods outside Butovo is remembering those who died in the NKVD firing range of Butovo during the Great Purges. Butovo was a processing center for “enemies of the state” during several years. It has been documented that on some days, more than 500 prisoners were shot in a single day. There, trains also loaded boxcars full of prisoners en route to Siberia from the Moscow area.
Eufrosinia Kersnovskaya’s journal page titled,“Village that Became a Cemetery” depicts the effect of Stalin’s Great Purges one village.
Photos of a few of those arrested and never found after the Great Purges. These photos are on display at a shrine honoring victims of the Great Purges of 1936-7. It opened in Butovo, Russia in 2007.
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