Posts tagged Nazis

What about Winston Churchill?

young ChurchillI have long admired the vision of Churchill for what he saw and knew about the former Soviet Union and Stalin.  He saw through the veneer that was presented during World War II and I am sad that more people didn’t pay attention to what he knew.  The media force from the area of Russia was doing a full court press to make sure that the unsuspecting didn’t believe the anecdotes that were coming out of Russia and other parts of the Soviet Union.  The Australians have long known the truths of what REALLY happened once WWII was over, other generals and those in combat with the Allied forces knew what was happening when the Soviet Union wanted to take credit for ending the war against the Nazis.  Pity those people who were in the Russian quarters of Berlin because they were either sent back to their country, killed or exiled to Siberia.  Churchill some how knew but perhaps his hands were tied along with others.  The truth came out in reports by Malcolm Muggeridge and other reporters who started paying attention to those people who tried to get the message out about what was going on when things settled down.

That is why I think we need to look closely at what Winston Churchill said 116 years ago about something else he knew something about.  That is perhaps why our U.S.president who gave his usual State of the Union address the other night gave back the bust of Winston Churchill to U.K. when he first moved into the Oval Office.  He obviously didn’t like what Churchill stood for because of his own thorough-going beliefs.  What do you think?  This was penned by a young, but already wise beyond his years, Churchill.

The attached short speech from Winston Churchill, was delivered by him in 1899 when he was a young soldier and journalist. It probably sets out the current views of many, but expresses in the wonderful Churchillian turn of phrase and use of the English language, of which he was a past master.
Sir Winston Churchill was, without doubt, one of the greatest men of the late 19th and 20th centuries. He was a brave young soldier, a brilliant journalist, an extraordinary politician and statesman, a great war leader and British Prime Minister, to whom the Western world must be forever in his debt. He was a prophet in his own time. He died on 24th January 1965 , at the grand old age of 90 and, after a lifetime of service to his country, was accorded a State funeral. HERE IS THE SPEECH:
“How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries, improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement, the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa , raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome .”
Sir Winston Churchill; (Source: The River War, first edition, Vol II, pages 248-250 London ).

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Watching the lead up to elections in Ukraine

Of course, there is nothing more hot than an election, especially in Ukraine. I lived in Ukraine during several other elections and there seemed to be nothing abnormal or extraordinary about them at the time. This year of 2014 is an exception. Why? Because it was finally the will of the people that said enough of the corruption and wanted the past president out. Seemed he was draining the money meant for the people and building up his own little palace north of Kyiv. Outrageous prices for things to make his place look luxurious and beautiful while his neighbors suffered in poverty. He did it in a very short amount of time so it seems that it was planned from the get-go to impoverish the nation of Ukraine so that they could easily fall victim to their northern neighbor.

However, things changed from six months ago when the people gathered on Krestshatik street in downtown Kyiv. Places so familiar to me I kept seeing from my former students and friends currently living in Ukraine. I missed the Orange Revolution and now I was missing all the action with this latest revolution against the president. Over one hundred people died because of snipers but it only enraged the Ukrainians to keep going to the streets. They were willing to risk their lives in order to have freedom from tyranny.

Now, the temporary president is asking all Ukrainians to pray for a healthy solution, one where they can keep their borders instead of caving to the pressure from the north. I don’t know about Crimea, that is a very strategic place and has gone through many battles. Why does Ukraine have to go through all this suffering? They already went through so much during WWII when the Nazis and the Soviets rampaged through their lands. That created the Partisans who fought both and they were mostly in the Chernobyl area, northern part of Ukraine. Then the Chernobyl disaster happened in 1986 (?) and the rest is history.

Lies can only go so far and then they have to meet up with the unvarnished truth. The people in Russia have had a LOT of propaganda fed them, they believe in their leader. They believe the lies. I pray for them as well as I watch the lead up to this very crucial election. We will know more after May 25th, this Sunday.

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Kazakh Proverbs about Death

I need some help by a native speaker of Kazakh to help explain the following proverb, the other Kazakh proverbs are much easier to figure out.

“The soul with a throat (i.e. the living person) – one death. (for the living person death is a sure thing)

It is easier for a person to give up his soul than to rid himself of a bad name.

“The man faces death, but not insult.”

The following proverb could be an expression that was oft repeated before the Great Patriotic War. Many Kazakh and other Central Asian men sacrificed their lives for the Soviet cause of fighting the Nazis. However, after a while, there were no men left to fight.

“Man’s heroic death increases brave men.”

Maybe related to that is this proverb: “The male lamb – a sacrifice.” (translated from “Erkek toqti – qurbandiq”) Many men’s lives were sacrificed in the second world war to supposedly end all wars.

“You may lose your life, but don’t lose your beloved wife.”

I love this last one above, it shows that Kazakh men honored their women folk by being ready to die for them. A wife who is beloved and cherished will most certainly be praying and waiting for her husband to return from the hunt or war or whatever danger he might engage in.

The Kazakhs are said to be very brave, especially those who are from the countryside. In the old days, before Soviet industrialization, they had to fight off wolves, leopards and other predatory animals in order to protect their livestock.

One last Kazakh proverb which was categorized by my friend Erik under Death (Olim) was this:  “Cattle — the sacrifice of life; soul–the sacrifice of honor.”

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Alexandra’s Grandmother Knows What Life is Worth

В бою побывать – цену жизни узнать

To be in a battle is to know what a life is worth

For me this essay is not just an assignment not just a composition, but it is a family history, because it is about my grandmother. I believe I speak for my whole family in saying that we have the greatest grandmother anyone could ever ask for. While thinking about her I cannot help but have a smile on my face. I’m really proud of her.

While describing my granny, I can say a lot about her life in society, about her profession, but let me tell about her childhood during World War II.

Her family lived in Ukraine, which at the time was part of Soviet Union. Their home town was located close to the border with Poland. From what my grandmother told me, life was amazing. Both of her parents were working at a factory in a nearby town and were loving parents to all children. My grandmother was a baby sister to two older brothers. She was doing fine in school. She liked dancing and knitting most of all. They had living a great country life.

She was only 8 years old when World War II knocked to the house. In 1939 the German armies took over Poland and the life in Ukraine was becoming more and more unbearable. My great grandfather and both of his sons were called in to active duty with the Red Army. My grandmother and her mother were left alone close to the Nazi occupied Poland. With the Russian armies stationed in their town the stories and rumors of the Nazis inviting the USSR grew and so did fear. My great grandmother decided to leave their home town and relocate to Kiev, which is where my great grandfather and her brothers were stationed at the time. They packed everything that could take with them and got on a train. It was tough for both of them to leave their home, but knowing that the family will be together again and safe made it all worth it. From what my grandmother has told me, seeing her father and brothers at the train station was one of the most emotional moments in her life.

Sure enough the Nazis did attack the Soviet Union and my great grandfather and his sons were called in to the front lines. The trip to the train station with her brothers and her father was difficult. She understood that there is a good chance she may never see them again. She couldn’t do anything to stop them from leaving but she did knit all of them hats, so they could remember home and know that she was waiting for them to.

As you can imagine it was very tough on both my grandmother and her mom as the war moved closer and Russian casualties were growing with every day. My great grandmother decided to volunteer at a war hospital. As I have mentioned, my grandmother was seven at the time and since the schools had been closed, the only place my grandmother could be is at work with her mom. As time went by the little seven year old girl who should be going to school and enjoying life, was helping to take care of wounded soldiers that were coming in from the front lines of the war.

Finally, the war ended taking my grandmothers father and one her brothers lives with it. It took some time for them to find her brother who survived, but they were finally reunited. I think the war has had a big effect on my grandmother as a person and I adore everything about her. She is one of greatest people in the whole world. In spite of the cruel condition of the war, and the Nazi aggression knocking on every door, that little girl was able to keep her kind hearted ways.

Now she is a grown woman and the foundation of the family. She brings warmth and love to everyone around her. Even though it has been a long time since the war, you can still see the little girl who is in need of affection. We’ll take care of you grandma!

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