The Gulag Museum on the Internet


Radio France Internationale and France’s Center for Scientific Research have launched an online museum of Stalin’s Gulag. 

[translator] Poniakov stresses the importance of the online museum, if only to raise awareness among the younger generations.

“If you take people between 15 and 30, they wouldn’t know about the Gulag. It’s too far back in history. They don’t even know who [the Soviet Union’s first leader [Vladimir] Lenin was.”

But the survivors will remember till the end of their days. Some have come to terms with the past, says [CNRS director] Blum. But not Shanin.

“I am not a good Christian,” he says. “I don’t feel any forgiveness.”

Here is Shanin describing his arrest. 

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  1. Profile Photo Member

    Atheist utopians, like Mao and Stalin–the ones in charge–don’t believe in God, but they sure believe in devils, and if you’re a dissident, a scoffer, in their little utopia, then you’re the devil, deserving hell in a gulag. A lot of Soviets decided, and I might have to agree, that the cure for Communist “utopia” was buying a case of vodka and drinking themselves to death. “Cheers!”

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  2. Profile Photo Member

    Depressing. I can’t imagine the hurt they suffered.

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  3. Profile Photo Member

    Despite all this, it is still socially accepable in many circles to be a Communist. Check out the pro-Communist signs at the May Day rally co-sponsored by SEIU.

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  4. Profile Photo Editor
    david foster: Despite all this, it is still socially accepable in many circles to be a Communist. Check out the pro-Communist signs at the May Day rally co-sponsored by SEIU. · May 8 at 6:09am

    I saw those. Completely depressing.

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  5. Profile Photo Member

    Has the Holocaust Museum kept anti-semitism in check?

    My naivete astonishes me. Growing up I took for granted that everyone understood the Soviet Union for what it was. Not so. Some took the easy way out and dismissed Soviet excesses as forms of “state capitalism,” most certainly not their beloved communism. Others, Walter Duranty and, later, Arthur Scargill, to name two, extolled it’s virtues. And in a world where an advisor to the US President still considers Mao Tse Tung a brilliant political philosopher, what chance is there that we’ll finally get the point across?

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  6. Profile Photo Member

    I often use Castro as a litmus test on liberals I meet who are lecturing me in a superior moral tone about one thing or another. I put to them a simple question asking whether Castro is a bad guy or not. When they talk positively, are neutral or won’t take a negative stand against him (the most typical reply and usually quite adamantly) then I know that we are unable to proceed on any subject that has a moral lesson in it. I usually tell them this because I think it’s important for good people to realize their mistakes but sometimes I just give up on the conversation. When I choose to discuss my little test with someone I am amazed at the inflexibility of their minds on this subject.

    Another moral divide I often encounter is the one about Lenin vs. Stalin (and sometimes Trotsky). Everyone seems to know that it’s OK to denigrate Stalin but not everyone has got the message on Lenin.

    Thanks for the info, Claire. Very interesting.

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  7. Profile Photo Member

    While searching for a C S Lewis essay, I ran across the following, which seems relevant to this thread:

    Let’s remember which Spirit dwells in poverty, cold, and darkness, consumed by rage at the calm beatitude of the Saints. It is he who takes delight in short, unhappy lives attended by illness, hunger, and toil. Social and political programs whose origin lies in hell have throughout the 20th century helped spread these stern “blessings” to tens of millions who otherwise might have enjoyed modest prosperity. If you care to read about these people and their fate, you can look them up in The Black Book of Communism. Diluted, generic versions of this colossal, concentrated evil are still on sale at political drugstores, under brand names like “social justice,” “multiculturalism,” and “diversity.” We all know their side-effects, both for society and the soul.


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