Kolyma—Birthplace of our Fear

This is a stunning full-length documentary (two hours and seventeen minutes) about the Soviet prison camps (Gulag) of the Stalin era.  The filmmakers follow the road through Siberia built by slave labour and visit the sites of camps, many abandoned, which produced much of the gold which funded Lend-Lease purchases of weapons in the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany (this is the claim in the film; I have not independently verified it).

The video is in Russian, with English sub-titles.  Depending on how you view it, it you may have to twiddle with settings to display the sub-titles and make them legible.  Click the “CC” and “Gear” buttons and fiddle around until you have something satisfactory.

It’s probably best to view this directly on YouTube via the link earlier in this sentence.  That will give you a larger, resizeable window with more options than the player embedded in this post.

Around 18,000,000 people passed through the camps of the Soviet Gulag, and around 1,600,000 died there.  Only a fraction of Russian youth are aware of this.

This is the ultimate result of the policies being advocated by the “progressives” ascendant in the Democrat party in the U.S.

Never forget.

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Author: John Walker

Founder of Ratburger.org, Autodesk, Inc., and Marinchip Systems. Author of The Hacker's Diet. Creator of www.fourmilab.ch.

4 thoughts on “Kolyma—Birthplace of our Fear

  1. I now get part of the meaning of the title to this post. In Russian, people were afraid to speak up. If they did and drew the attention of the authorities, they could be sent away. This fear of being imprisoned was the result of these prison camps.

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  2. John Walker:
    Only a fraction of Russian youth are aware of this.

    Thank you for letting us know about this film.  Two rays of hope appear to be that the film was made and that it is getting a lot of views.

    Those interested in reading direct testimony might wish to read the memoir of Varlam Shalamov (17 years) entitled Kolyma Tales.

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  3. 10 Cents:
    In Russia, people were afraid to speak up. If they did and drew the attention of the authorities, they could be sent away. This fear of being imprisoned was the result of these prison camps.

    One of the messages of the film is that even today, with the camps abandoned and Siberia emptying out as younger people seek better weather, more opportunities, and fewer mosquitoes elsewhere, more than half a century after the Gulag closed and eighty years after the height of the Great Terror, the legacy of the era remains in Russia today.  Passed on from generation to generation, people learn not to stand out, not to say something when things appear wrong or don’t make any sense, and not to question those in authority, even the pettiest local officials.  This creates a docile population who grumble under their breath but don’t make trouble for those running the place largely for their own benefit.

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