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The Road of Bones

I submit that it is a therapeutic, every so often, to remind ourselves about the horrors of communism.

A living testament to that horror can still be found today in Siberia. It is the road that runs from Magadan to Yakutsk, otherwise known as the ‘Road of Bones’.

It was built by political prisoners and slaves, countless numbers of whom were worked, frozen and starved to death in the process. Because the perma-frost makes the ground too hard to effect any burials, the bones of the cadavers were broken up and used as ballast upon which to build the road.

We will never know for sure how many lives were sacrificed to this ‘glorious people’s project’, but by repute, every metre of the road cost one human life. The road is 2000 kilometres long.

There are still many people in the world today who subscribe to this terrible, anti-human, homicidal psychosis.

Never forget. Never forgive. Remain vigilant and, above all, never ever, ever apologise for fighting back.

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31 comments to The Road of Bones

  • Chuck Pelto

    TO: David Carr
    RE: Never Forget

    Indeed. It’s engraved on a bowie knife I received while in 1-22 Infantry [’80-’82].

    RE: Never Apologize

    “It’s a sign of weakness.” — Captain Rittles [John Wayne in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon]

    Regards,

    Chuck(le)

  • urania

    I met a babuska in Ekaterinburg, Russia about six years ago. She started telling me about her life. When she was a school girl, her family was exiled to Magadan.

    She recalled seeing a line of people being martched to Madagan along a road for as far as her eye could see. Soldiers on each side with machineguns kept order.

    She also talked about nuns being taken out of a church and told they couldn’t wear their habits. They refused and were stripped naked and shot.

    I have heard many stories in Russia in a similiar vein.

  • veryretired

    For those of you too young to remember the bizarre reaction in the west to the release of Russian dissident Alexander Solzienietzin(sp?) a few decades ago, suffice it to say he was at first welcomed and then ignored as an embaressment when he not only condemned the Soviet system, but also had a few criticisms for Western culture as well. At any rate, take a look at some of his books if you want a glimpse into the nightmarish world of the Russian people, and others, under communism. One of the comments he made while he was still in vogue was to note that some reputable statisticians from Russia had done a population analysis of the Soviet Union using data from 1900 and then recent Soviet population figures from the ’50’s, ’60’s, and ’70’s. They reported that the population of the USSR was almost 100 million people short of where it should have been, even after adjusting the figures to account for the disaster of WW2. The figures from China, or from Cuba, haven’t been published yet, but they will be someday. It will be interesting to see the contortions the apologists for those regimes have to go through to ignore the data.

  • Jeffersonian

    One life for each of the 2,000,000 meters of the road? Bah! You have to break some eggs to make an omelette. Trouble is, the Russians got tens of millions of eggs broken and no goddamn omelette.

    Communism in a nutshell.

  • People like to forget. Some will never see. If you didn’t live it, it’s hard to imagine it.

  • AST

    Solzhenitsen was a prophet. And we know how much respect they get.

    Many, if not most, academics in this country (US) still believe in the dream of Marxism and socialism, which is why they’re so contemptuous of Republicans and free markets. It’s also why NPR was created.

  • ginny

    Did anyone hear Fresh Air’s review, Thursday night, of Betsy Blair’s autobiography? (Of course, those of us old enough remember her charm and are be ever-thankful to Gene Kelly for hours of pleasure.) Still and all: the review, after spending much time eulogizing the great times in Hollywood when people talked of socialism and communism, concluded with the doleful thought that that was in 1941, before McCarthy came to darken this happy, intellectual, joyous world. One would have hoped that by this state people might think it was the truth about those millions of dead that darkened that vision. The desire to see Hollywood as victim is preposterous. And the refusal to see Kazan’s Waterfront as the truth but rather Kazan as a traitor was an argument that still tore apart Hollywood fifty years later. Perhaps nothing penetrates some minds and narcissism is more powerful than facts. (Even bringing this up next to stories of the Gulags seems offensive, but those responsible for Gulag-denying do bear a certain if indirect responsibility for its barbarity.)

  • Guys, you should really do something about your commenting engine 🙂

  • Joel Hammer

    It has always been this way, but not just with the Commies.
    Prior to WWII the fascists also had their following in this country, and so there were plenty of apologists for the doings of the Germans and Italians. I guess one difference is that the fascists were all defeated (except for Franco) and their crimes laid bare without anyone attempting to cover them up.

    That still doesn’t excuse the leftwing, who worshipped the Communist religion long after its appetite for human sacrifice was clear.

    Joel

  • Mike Crowley

    I remember a story that I read years ago about a woman who worked in the Soviet Prison System and in order to make more money to take care of her two children she volunteered to be an executionor in the basements of the
    Luybayanka Prison in Moscow. She shot in the back of the head over 800 people before she commited suicide. I often wonder how her children turned out.

    Just in the Ukraine during the early 1930’s a forced famine by Stalin left between 5 million to 10 million dead. Walter Duranty won a Pulitizer Prize for the New York Times, for denieing it ever happened. There are a lot of people in the United States whose Grandparents, parents were in the cheering section for the Soviets. There is a lot of shame in the media elite about this and they would like it to go away…but the New York Times won’t give the Pulitzer back. Look it up on Google and read some of the stories or read a story by
    Natalia A. Feduschak of the Washington Times who just last month wrote a story about the killing and starvation and Walter Duranty.

  • Harry Eagar

    Really old-timers, like me, remember what Russia
    was like when it was controlled by the people that
    Solzhenitzyn admires so much.

    One example, among thousands: In the 1870s, a
    Russian army was slaughtered by Turks who had
    repeating rifles. Nobody bothered to bury the dead,
    not because the ground was frozen, but because
    the people Solzhenitsyn admires did not think it
    was worth the effort.

    A few years later, a couple of wideawake capitalists
    recognized that the thousands of tons of bones,
    now well-bleached, could easily be gathered and
    ground up and sold for fertilizer, if only they
    could buy them cheaply.

    They could. From the tsar.

    I agree Russia is a terrible place. I do not
    agree that it became terrible in 1917.

  • Sure, Russia was bad before 1917. But it became terrible in 1917, and spread its errors throughout Europe, and good chunks of Asia, Africa and Central America before collapsing.

    Russia, pre-1917, was a garden variety tyrant-ocracy. Post 1917, communism melded bad political and economic theory with the tyrant’s disregard for life, and rolled in a bit of industrial economy of scale. This led directly to brutal slaughter on a scale unimaginable previously. In fact, it was worse than the slaughter in WWI in which men killed other men from an enemy nation: communism was fratricide, pure and simple.

    Some of my lefty friends here in the states are convinced that Marxism is in fact the best system under which man can live. At worst, they say that their differences with capitalists and libertarians concern things “about which reasonable people might disagree”.

    Thing is, it’s just not true. No reasonable person could look at the lessons of history and see communism, and its retarded little brother socialism, as anything other than dehumanizing thieves of life, liberty and property. They are inimical to western notions of liberty, cloaking oppression in the terminology of freedom.

    Nope, it’s not a difference of opinion. We are absolutely correct; they are absolutely wrong, and we must not forget it lest they manage to repeat their past errors.

  • Jerry

    Bill’s right. The czars were bad, the commisars infinitely worse. The efficiences of totalitarianism made the difference.

  • apastspook

    Yakutsk and Magadan were key centers of the archipelago of evil. Tons of gold was processed through these towns which allowed the Soviets to buy what they needed in the West. The number of “enemies of the state” sent to these places and who survived to release could be counted on your fingers. I sincerely believe that current residency in these areas of Russia should be restricted to members of our (US) intelligentsia who defend Marxism with their heart and soul (as if you could have a soul with such an intellectual poisoning). They truely need to see for themselves the glory of “scientific socialism.”

  • apastspook

    Yakutsk and Magadan were key centers of the archipelago of evil. Tons of gold was processed through these towns which allowed the Soviets to buy what they needed in the West. The number of “enemies of the state” sent to these places and who survived to release could be counted on your fingers. I sincerely believe that current residency in these areas of Russia should be restricted to members of our (US) intelligentsia who defend Marxism with their heart and soul (as if you could have a soul with such an intellectual poisoning). They truely need to see for themselves the glory of “scientific socialism.”

  • apastspook

    Yakutsk and Magadan were key centers of the archipelago of evil. Tons of gold was processed through these towns which allowed the Soviets to buy what they needed in the West. The number of “enemies of the state” sent to these places and who survived to release could be counted on your fingers. I sincerely believe that current residency in these areas of Russia should be restricted to members of our (US) intelligentsia who defend Marxism with their heart and soul (as if you could have a soul with such an intellectual poisoning). They truely need to see for themselves the glory of “scientific socialism.”

  • Commmunism is a system of theft. It delegitimizes private property and voluntary private trade; the government addresses this “problem” by robbing citizens of their goods. It drafts entire populations into a class war, leadings Marxist governments to rob citizens’ beliefs about the official “enemies of the state. Because the human mind is so ingrained to resist such degrees of theft, such governments must steal literally at gunpoint.

    An ordinary armed robber (like one finds in a “garden variety tyrant-ocracy”) is bad enough. An armed robber who wants to remove entire classes of people from existence, and to ensure that nobody dissents from this goal, will sink to the greatest depths of crime imaginable.

    BTW, the Russians never got an omelette because they WERE the omelette – their goods sliced up and rationed off to the party faithful as the Commie feudal lords saw fit. I have a saying: an omelette is not made for the benefit of its ingredients.

  • Phil Winsor

    To all, regarding the American Leftisits and their inability to face the truth:

    “Don’t confuse me with facts!! My mind is already made up!! (unk)

  • Greg@NASA

    Too True! The Russian saga is one of incredible inhumanity towards their own people…the Tsars,Commisars, and State Police killed many more Russians than the Fascists …..
    A wise man said recently………………….

    “Communism has killed 100,000,000 of their own citizens, let’s give it another chance”

    BTW, the ChiComs are even worse than the Russians

  • Chris Josephson

    While in college (in the very early 70’s), I was challenged by a person who was a member of some Communist-affiliated group on campus. We had been talking and he asked me how I could *really* know the horror stories in the Western press about Russia weren’t just Western propaganda?

    He then went on to paint quite a different picture for me than the one I ‘had been shown by the propagandizing Western press’. He said he had been to Russia, and that while Russia had problems, which country didn’t?

    He went on and on about how life was *really* much better for people in Russia, or under any Communist regime, than the West would ever allow us to know about. He asked how I could really know what life was like in Russia if I hadn’t been there? Since he had been there, so he claimed, he knew our press was just full of lies.

    This conversation stuck with me for many years. On the one hand, I couldn’t recall *any* Communist nation I’d read anything good about. On the other hand how did I know my government, via the press, wasn’t just highlighting the bad?

    Mix the above conversation in with Vietnam and Nixon/Watergate, and it was reasonable, I thought, to have doubts.

    Many years later I came to work in a company where I met some people who had grown up in Soviet Russia. I asked them what it was really like. The stories they told me were worse than anything I could remember reading in the Western press.

    It was at that moment that my eyes were open to understand to what lengths people will go to ensure their cause is seen as valid. I see the same thing happening today.

    People are proclaiming the ‘glories’ of Communism and the ‘evils’ of the West. Many of our young people, having no history to call upon, fall prey to these lies, just like I did when I was young.

    The Soviet Union is history to our youth.

    Communist China is still around but the stories of the millions who died under that regime are rarely told.

    Hitler and Nazi Germany? Very ancient history.

    I like the last part of the article ”
    Never forget….. Remain vigilant and, above all, never ever, ever apologise for fighting back.”

    We must ensure our young people have some way of knowing what these horrible regimes were/are like. If they don’t understand the horror, why should they remain vigilant?

    I know in grade schools and high schools in the US, if the history of WWII is taught at all, some themes it’s tied in with are: ‘how did the other side feel’ -or- ‘what made them do what they did?’.

    The bombing that was done by the allies in WWII is being questioned. (“Why did we have to bomb Dreseden as we did?”) The bombing of Japan is also being questioned more than ever.

    I fear there may come a day when we do apologize for fighting back. History is being re-written and is being sanitized in favor of those who would impose their will on the rest of us. The West is the ‘bad guy’.

    I find this alarming.

  • Joel Hammer

    The extreme oppression of the Communist system of Russia was far worse than anything the Czars did.
    Just some examples.

    Example 1:
    Josef Stalin worked for the Communist party inside Russia, doing bad things like killing and robbing, while Lenin and others spent their days in French (yes, the French again) cafe’s debating the future of Russia, living off money Stalin was stealing.
    Stalin was captured and sent to jail several times, and each time but the last he escaped and went back to his old ways. NOBODY escaped the Communist prison system

    Example 2: During the days of the last Czar, a Jew was accused of the ritual murder of Christian boys. The Czar saw a chance to increase his popularity among the anti-semitic population of Russia by getting this Jew convicted. He told the prosecutor how much he would appreciate a noisy trial and a conviction. A jury of six peasants, from an anti-semitic part of Russia, found the Jew not guilty, and he was set free. The peasants said there was no evidence presented to convict the Jew. (The real pertetrators were discovered later.) Imagine that, the rule of law worked in Czarist Russia. Nobody was punished by the Czar, not even the prosecutor. NOBODY accused of a crime in Russian under the Communists went free.

    Example 3:
    During the 1930’s and 1940’s, Russia had agents in Germany spying and trying to undermine the Nazi government (Forget that they helped the Nazi’s into power). When agents were caught, they were frequently brutalized, very brutalized. However, to the amazement of the Russian agents, if, after interrogation, the Gestapo thought they were innocent, THEY LET THEM GO. This, the Russian agents all agreed, was a big mistake. In Russia, once arrested, NOBODY was ever let go.

    Example 4: During the show trials of the 1930’s, a group of highly placed Communists was on trial as wreckers and spies. This was during the Great Terror. Stalin, through intermediaries, offered them a deal. Confess in public, and he would spare their lives. They made the confessions, and Stalin ordered them killed. When they protested via intermediaries, Stalin’s response was:
    “Tell them Stalin has revoked his promise.”

    Example 5: During a visit to a factory for a meeting with the local Communist apparatus, a Moscow Communist called for a round of applause to show support for Comarade Stalin. Everyone applauded, but nobody wanted to be the first to stop. The applause went on until people standing began to collapse. Finally, the factory manager stopped applauding. Immediately everyone else did. The next day the manager was gone. Not because he was guilty of anything, but because the Communist party wanted to show that anyone with initiative or a sense of responsiblity would be sent away.

    Communism marked a new low (or high) in tyranny. It was truly evil. Stalin (and Lenin) was worse than Timur and Ghenghis Khan combined. Every aspect of life (love, marriage, education, religion, law, business, property, art.) was to be controlled by the state. There was no such thing as redress in court of wrongs. There was no law but the latest decree of the state. What a horror.

    Joel

  • MLD

    Sanitizing history. A lot of it goes on and in very different ways.

    I remember a story on NPR about how many people in Havana have ‘kitchen’ gardens or gardens in vacant lots next to their homes. The gardens were lauded as wonderful for the enviroment – so organic you know, not like the plastic wrapped vegetables in American supermarkets. Fine. The story then went on to say that all these gardens really took off about the time that the Soviet Union fell – basically because Cuba lost an important patron and supplier. The story also stated that the average Cuban lost 10 pounds around that time, or something like that. And that was good because, well, at least they are not getting fat like those silly McDonalds fed Americans.

    Strange spin on the facts – kitchen gardens started out of necessity because the system sort of semi-collapsed was presented as good news. I mean, really. Think about what must have happened. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

  • The gulags are gone and these days the Communist Party of Russia seeks electoral approval. But in the west we are still under attack from the Marxisant left. It has, though, learnt one thing and one thing only from the horrors of its past: economic marxism is a dead letter. But no problem. They’ve got Adorno, Gramsci et alia and they’ve got immigration and race. Liberal-left opinion was captured four decades ago. Ever since, the broad left has, in effect, been degrading white hegemony by means of sexual and cultural war and by the promotion of demographic change.

    Fighting back is the greatest and most urgent obligation upon European peoples everywhere. It is, however, complicated by the far right whose damnation by the left can be extended to take in anyone who speaks out against the situation. We have been propagandised for so long it is all too easy to recoil from the very principles we need to espouse.

    Wake up, people. Your childrens’ bones may never be under a road in the Alaskan permafrost. But their America, their Britain, France, Canada stand to be taken away over the next forty to eighty years, and that is as terrible as any political crime of the twentieth century.

  • Joel Hammer

    Spare us your xenophobia, please.

    Nature abhors a vacuum. If North Americans or Europeans won’t have children, then other people, who have children, will replace them.

    BTW, this is simply an example of the fact that no people or class of people can long survive prosperity and liberal education. The Jews and the Farsi’s are both dying out, not from genocide, but from lack of children. Only the most “traditional” members of the Jewish persuasion are increasing in number.

    Joel

  • Joel Hammer

    Spare us your xenophobia, please.

    Nature abhors a vacuum. If North Americans or Europeans won’t have children, then other people, who have children, will replace them.

    BTW, this is simply an example of the fact that no people or class of people can long survive prosperity and liberal education. The Jews and the Farsi’s are both dying out, not from genocide, but from lack of children. Only the most “traditional” members of the Jewish persuasion are increasing in number.

    Joel

  • David

    Joel, you are a strange mixture of aggression and fatalism. I’m not sure that O.S. would approve.

    I guess you can’t tell the difference between xenophobia and love of one’s own. Perhaps you are a victim of the culture war. Anyhow, I hope you have or have had those precious children and they – and you – are proud members of your branch of the human family.

    More seriously, you are at liberty to write-off the efficacy of “white concern”, of that pleases you. But spare me the accusations of racism. I suspect you are making them for racist motives – or political ones, which comes to the same thing.

    It isn’t Great Nature that is bringing on the demographic crisis in the western world. It is science (the pill), destructive liberal-left policies and the desire among Third World poeples for betterments in another society than their own. We urgently need to debate how this engine of change can be adapted so that the harm to western societies is minimised. This is not beyond the wit of man and it need not be driven by the kind of emotions you wish to impute to me.

    Try and be just a little bit positive, there’s a good chap.

  • David

    Joel, you are a strange mix of aggression and fatalism. I’m not sure that O.S. would approve.

    It is not Great Nature that is driving the engine of demographic change, or even man as an agent of nature. It is oral contraception, destructive liberal-left policies and the desire on the part of Third World peoples to better themselves in a society that is not their own.

    These are issues made in the west and it is not beyond the wit of western man to address them with compassion and justice. The thing that stops him is the unjust and censorious use of words like xenophobia. It shuts down debate beautifully, doesn’t it? But the debate is too important to be shut down by the likes of you, and the silence will not last forever.

    I hope you have a lot of precious children and teach them all to be proud members of their branch of the human family.

  • Kevin Baker

    David, “the Pill” and western liberalism are not responsible for reduction in birth rates, affluence is. In every society that achieves affluence, birthrates drop. It’s an economic reality.

    One might convincingly argue that social liberalism, like reduced birthrates are the RESULT of affluence. And one might also argue convincingly that the belief of racial superiority is too. “We’re doing so much better than they are, we MUST be superior!” gets countered by the philosophical “We’re all the same! The only reason one side is doing better is because it’s cheating!”

    Race has little to do with it. If a culture emphasises mutual trust and hard work, it will succeed – so long as it doesn’t trust the wrong group, or unless it is overwhelmed by a more successful group.

    I don’t worry about getting outbreeded. I worry about getting outCOMPETED.

  • Della

    They reported that the population of the USSR was almost 100 million people short of where it should have been, even after adjusting the figures to account for the disaster of WW2. The figures from China, or from Cuba, haven’t been published yet

    Actually there are some figures avaliable for China, from what I have read since the institution of the “one child” policy in 1980 the size of population is 250 million people less than was expected. A lot of this is women not getting pregnant, but there are also a lot of abortions going on there, about 9 million a year, of which about 1 million are forced abortions on unwilling women. The other 8 million abortions are not done at the point of a gun, but a lot of them are done to avoid getting into trouble, since even getting pregnant a second time is a big time offense. These abortions are often done as soon as a few days before the baby is due.

    Whatever your views on abortion (and I am pro-choice), you have to view this very large amount of forced and coerced abortion as a very evil practice indeed. It seems to me that there is no qualitative moral difference between this practice and genocide.

  • Eye Opener

    “Spare us your xenophobia, please.”

    I’m not sure who that is aimed at, as the post immediately preceding Joel’s mentioned children, but in a way that warned against complacency, not at all connected to xenophobia.

    ***
    Overall, the concerned folks who posted here seem to recognize the terrible, dysfunctional, fearful anti-human spirit of Communism (Marxism). It doesn’t work, you seem to be saying.

    Well, that fits reality from my point of view. I recall my young puzzlement when my father went off to ‘the Korean police action’… and puzzlement at what kind of ‘House’ could consider ANYthing ‘un-American’?

    But it was when I learned Korean for Uncle Sam, and went to do years of time on mountain tops on islands just south of the North Korean border, that I began learning first-hand of the atrocities of Communism.

    They continue to this day. It is urgent that America be derided, her aims ridiculed, her methods misconstrued, her defenders belittled, her hopes mocked and her ideals decried. America works.

    America does not want or need Third World nations (sic) of cheap labor. America is allowed to recognize, however, that the cheap labor is there, and is allowed, as are any others in the world, to deal with those who keep their labor so demeaned and so cheapened.

    America is also free to work to free those laborers, teach them the benefits of justice (“The best-beloved of all things in My sight is justice. Turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me.”) and the benefits of mutual trade through hard work and trust.

    This spirit of governing people by people and for people is the antithesis of Communism, and continues to be such a bright standard, a shining example, such that the oppressed from the world’s “Peoples’ Republics” here and there STILL struggle to GET TO America.

    Reality still has a way of putting the lie to the Communist posturing. Always has, always will.

    Joel has pointed it out on several occasions, as have others with accurate postings.

    And that’s STILL an Eye Opener!

  • keka

    i wold like for this web sit to understand that there is teens trying to find out about Communism. As in what is it about, what does it do, how does it work, and the difination of Communism. i am only 15 trying to understand this so far i have look up all the long word that i didnt understand it took me all night you should put this an a kids view that sounds hard but for peopel like me i have a hard time with these things so please do this for me and othere kids like me and many more much mahalo Elizabeth Kekaaniau toledo