Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Cigar

Rocky Patel Sun Grown.

We are reading The Forsaken by Tim Tzouliads. An incredible book about the migration of Americans to the Soviet Union in the early 30's, lured to factory jobs during the Great Depression. Jobs at first. Then American passports replaced with Soviet passports. Then the knock in the middle of the night.

From page 74, discussing the departure of the American ambassador, William Bullitt, who left when he realized the true nature of the Communist enterprise:

William Bullitt was far from alone in realizing the truth of what was taking place around him. One of the American reporters, William Henry Chamberlin, left at the same time in the early summer of 1936. "I went to Russia," Chamberlin later wrote, "believing that the Soviet system might represent the most hopeful answer to the problems raised by the World War and the subsequent economic crisis. I left convinced that the absolutist Soviet a power of darkness and of evil with few parallels in history...Murder is a habit, even more with states than with individuals." Perhaps it was not accurate to say that the Terror had begun then. In truth it had been in existence for many years. But Bullitt's departure did coincide with a vast expansion and acceleration of the process, as if what once had been mere habit had now been transformed into an overwhelming compulsion and an inexorable desire.

Chamberlin was lucky to leave. Moreover, he was lucky there was a place to escape to.

No comments: