Painting of the Betrayal of the Cossacks at Lienz, Austria
In 1944, General Krasnov and other Cossack leaders had persuaded Hitler to allow Cossack troops, as well as civilians and non-combatant Cossacks to permanently settle in the sparsely settled Carnia, in the Italian Alps. The Cossacks moved there and established garrisons and settlements, requisitioning houses by evicting the inhabitants, with several stanitzas and posts, their administration, churches, schools, and military units. There, they fought the partisans and persecuted the local population, committing numerous atrocities. When the Allies progressed from central Italy to the Italian Alps, Italian partisans underGeneral Contini ordered the Cossacks to leave Carnia and go north to Austria. There, on the river Drava, near Lienz, the British army imprisoned the Cossacks in a hastily established internment camp. For a few days, the British fed them, giving the… Continue reading
Joseph Stalin was born in the Russian peasant village of Gori, Georgia on 18thDecember, 1879. His birth name was Josif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, until he adopted the name “Stalin” from the Russian word for steel in 1902. He was his mother’s fourth child to be born in less than four years. The first three died and as Joseph was prone to bad health; his mother feared on several occasions that he would also die. Understandably, given this background, Joseph’s mother was very protective towards him as a child.
Joseph was the son of Besarion Jughashvili, a cobbler, and Ketevan Geladze, a washerwoman. As a child, Joseph experienced the poverty that most peasants had to endure in Russia at the end of the 19th century. At the age of seven he contacted smallpox, leaving… Continue reading
Before the digital camera was ubiquitous, photographs were such a rarity that people used to dress in their finery for their snapshots. And these smartly dressed prisoners were no exception as this haul of vintage mugshots shows. The collection of haunting portraits shows just how the practise began – in Bedford Prison more than 150 years ago.
Elizabeth Evans, 36, (left) was sentenced to three years for stealing. Thomas Jenkins, (right) a 39-year-old ship’s cook, who is described as ‘high-shouldered’ was arrested for refusing to give evidence in… Continue reading
As the Iraqi resistance gained power, Britain resorted to increasingly repressive measures, including the use of poison gas against Iraqi tribes. The then Marshal of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) Sir Arthur Travers Harris, commonly known as “Bomber” Harris by the press, and often within the RAF as “Butcher” Harris, said once, “The Arab and Kurd… Continue reading
Transcript of Rivers of Blood Speech
Here is the full text of Enoch Powell’s famous speech to the Annual General Meeting of the West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre, Birmingham, England, April 20, 1968.
The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils. In seeking to do so, it encounters obstacles which are deeply rooted in human nature. One is that by the very order of things such evils are not demonstrable until they have occurred: At each stage in their onset there is room for doubt and for dispute whether they be real or imaginary. By the same token, they attract little attention in comparison with current troubles, which are both indisputable and pressing: whence the besetting temptation of all politics to concern itself with the immediate present at the expense of the future.
Above all, people are disposed to mistake predicting troubles for causing troubles and… Continue reading
The bloodiest and longest standoff of WWII – the Battle of Stalingrad – lasted 200 days and claimed 2 million lives. Russia is marking the 70th anniversary of this epic struggle, which became the turning point leading to overthrow of Nazi Germany.
The anniversary of the Soviet victory in what was the biggest land battle of WWII will be widely celebrated throughout Russia on Saturday. About 1,000 guests have arrived in Volgograd – formerly Stalingrad – to participate in the celebrations, including a military parade, battle reconstructions, fireworks and more.
In honor of the celebrations, the city is changing back to its old name of Stalingrad. In 1961, following the Soviet policy of deconstructing the cult of personality around Stalin, the city was renamed Volgograd.
On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted a reception at the Kremlin to honor some 200 WWII veterans. “We have to do everything so… Continue reading
The Population of Ancient England
About 650 BC a people called the Celts migrated to England. Then in 43 AD the Romans invaded. It is impossible to accurately estimate the population of England before the Romans came. However the population of Roman Britain was probably about 4 million.
Roman towns would seem small to us. The largest town, London, may have had a population of only 35,000. The next largest town was probably Colchester with a population of around 12,000. Roman Cirencester may have had a population of 10,000.
In the 4th century Roman civilisation declined and in 407 AD the last Roman soldiers left England. Afterwards the population shrank. (It may have fallen to less than half its Roman level). That may have been partly due to a terrible plague that struck Europe in the 6th Century).
The population of Ireland in 43 AD is not known but an… Continue reading
These bleak pictures appear to show America in the grip of the 1920s Great Depression. The reality is that they were taken in the 1960s, in a lonely valley in Eastern Kentucky long forgotten by affluent America. For generations, poets and musicians like Patsy Cline were inspired by the beauty of a land that covers 13 states and where towns are called ‘Lovely,’ ‘Beauty’ and ‘Kingdom Come.’ But the harsh reality, as these pictures from LIFE.com show, was that the people of Appalachia sustained themselves on a bare government subsistence, were ridden with diseases and lived in shacks.
An Appalachian mother clutches her sleeping child while… Continue reading
Duty: Angela Merkel said Germany must never forget the atrocities committed by the Nazis. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her country can never forget the Nazi Holocaust and says her nation has ‘an everlasting responsibility’ for Nazi crimes. Mrs Merkel, who will fight for re-election for a third time this coming autumn, spoke at the weekend ahead of national commemorations this week remembering the Nazi takeover of Germany on January 30 1933. It marked the start of 12 long years of terror, a world war and the extermination of six million Jews.
‘Naturally, we have an everlasting responsibility for the crimes of national-socialism, for the victims of World War II, and above all, for the Holocaust,’ Mrs Merkel said in a podcast… Continue reading
LIFE magazine war photographer, Larry Burrows, covered the fighting on the front lines during the Vietnam War and is now being remembered for his extraordinary work as the 41 year anniversary of his death approaches.
Mr Burrows captured the compelling images of Operation Prairie, the U.S. offensive against the North Vietnamese near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), that lasted from August 3 to October 27, 1966.
His photographs of the bloody aftermath of the attack, juxtaposed against the lush and picturesque scenery of the Southeast Asian nation, are being revisited on LIFE.com as the London-born photojournalist is remembered.
Bloody: Marines carry an injured soldier back to the medics for treatment following an assault on Hill 484, Vietnam, October 1966 (left). An American… Continue reading