Slava Novorossiya

Slava Novorossiya

Monday, August 24, 2015

CALIFORNIAN SERIAL KILLER: DAVID EDWIN MASON (DECEMBER 2, 1956 TO AUGUST 24, 1993)



            On this date, August 24, 1993, a violent killer, David Edwin Mason was executed by the gas chamber in California. He was the second person put to death by that State since 1976.

David Edwin Mason
David Edwin Mason (December 2, 1956 – August 24, 1993) was an American serial killer who was executed in San Quentin's gas chamber in 1993. This marked the second execution in the state of California since 1967, and the last execution by gas chamber in that state. Mason killed four elderly people in 1980, his cellmate in 1982 and is suspected of murdering his male lover.

Please go to this previous Blog Post to learn more about this serial killer.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

NAZISM VERSUS STALINISM

        On this date, August 23, 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret addition to the pact, the Baltic states, Finland, Romania, and Poland are divided between the two nations. I will post the information about comparing the ideology of Nazism and Stalinism from Wikipedia.


Joseph Stalin is equivalent to Adolf Hitler

A number of authors have carried out comparisons of Nazism and Stalinism, in which they have considered the issues of whether the two ideologies were similar or different, how these conclusions affect understanding of 20th century history, what relationship existed between the two regimes, and why both of them came to prominence at the same time. The answers to all these questions are disputed. During the 20th century, the comparison of Stalinism and Nazism was made on the topics of totalitarianism, ideology, and personality. Both regimes were seen in contrast to the liberal West, with an emphasis on the similarities between the two, while their differences from each other were minimized. Hannah Arendt, Carl Friedrich and Zbigniew Brzezinski were prominent advocates of this "totalitarian" interpretation. The totalitarian model was challenged in the 1970s by political scientists who sought to understand the Soviet Union in terms of modernization, and by the functionalist historians, Martin Broszat and Hans Mommsen, who argued that the Nazi regime was far too disorganized to be considered totalitarian. The comparison of Stalinism and Nazism, which was conducted on a theoretical basis by political scientists during the Cold War, is now approached on the basis of empirical research, now that greater information is available. However it remains a neglected field of academic study.

Similarities between Stalinism and Nazism

Though the Nazi party was ideologically opposed to communism, Adolf Hitler and other Nazi leaders frequently expressed recognition that only in Soviet Russia were their revolutionary and ideological counterparts were to be found. Adolf Hitler admired Stalin and Stalinism, and on numerous occasions publicly praised Stalin for seeking to purify the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of Jewish influences, noting the purging of Jewish communists such as Leon Trotsky, Grigory Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev, Karl Radek. Joseph Stalin admired Adolf Hitler and showed admiration for the 1934 purge, the Night of the Long Knives.

Bio-politics

Political violence and violent societies

Concentration camps

Works by historians such as Ernst Nolte, Andreas Hillgruber and others in the 1980s compared the policies of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, and drew a parallel between the concentration camp system in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

Margarete Buber-Neumann in her memoirs from both communist (1937–1940) and nazi (1940–1945) concentration camps found methods of both regimes to be very similar. After she was released from Ravensbrück concentration camp she summarized her observations as follows:


Between the misdeeds of Hitler and those of Stalin, in my opinion, there exists only a quantitative difference. To be sure, Communism as an idea was originally positive, and National Socialism never was positive; it was, since its origin and from its beginning, criminal in its aims and its programme. I don't know if the Communist idea, if its theory, already contained a basic fault or if only the Soviet practice under Stalin betrayed the original idea and established in the Soviet Union a kind of Fascism.

Under Two Dictators (page 300, location 6456, Kindle edition)
Creating the "New Man"

Militarism

Differences between Stalinism and Nazism

Socialism

Two-way comparisons

Atrocities of the two regimes

History and scholarship of the comparisons

The Origins of Totalitarianism

Research institutions

In modern politics

The comparison of Nazism and Stalinism has long provoked political controversy, and it led to the historians' dispute within Germany in the 1980s. The debate has continued since the fall of the Soviet Union and the expansion of the European Union into former Soviet Union territory, resulting in pronouncements such as the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism and various related developments known as the Prague Process, supported mainly by the European Union members most affected by Stalinism.

After the revolutions of 1989, European bodies such as the European Union and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe are increasingly treating Nazism and Stalinism (or sometimes more broadly, fascism and communism) as two comparable forms of totalitarianism. Growing efforts have been made to link the two in museums, public monuments, and commemorative days and events.

The 2008 Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, initiated by the Czech government and signed by figures such as Václav Havel, called for "a common approach regarding crimes of totalitarian regimes, inter alia Communist regimes" and for "reaching an all-European understanding that both the Nazi and Communist totalitarian regimes each to be judged by their own terrible merits to be destructive in their policies of systematically applying extreme forms of terror, suppressing all civic and human liberties, starting aggressive wars and, as an inseparable part of their ideologies, exterminating and deporting whole nations and groups of population; and that as such they should be considered to be the main disasters, which blighted the 20th century."

The Communist Party of Greece opposes the Prague Declaration and has criticized "the new escalation of the anti-communist hysteria led by the EU council, the European Commission and the political staff of the bourgeois class in the European Parliament." The Communist Party of Britain opined that the Prague Declaration "is a rehash of the persistent attempts by reactionary historians to equate Soviet Communism and Hitlerite Fascism, echoing the old slanders of British authors George Orwell and Robert Conquest."

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Vilnius Declaration, while "acknowledging the uniqueness of the Holocaust," stated that "in the twentieth century European countries experienced two major totalitarian regimes, Nazi and Stalinist, which brought about genocide, violations of human rights and freedoms, war crimes and crimes against humanity." The Economist argued that "despite Russia's protests, Stalin was no less villainous than Hitler" but noted: "The debate will not change the world: the parliamentary assembly is just a talking shop on the sidelines of the 56-member OSCE. Its resolutions are not legally binding."

Since 2009, the European Union has officially commemorated the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, proclaimed by the European Parliament in 2008 and endorsed by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in 2009, and officially known as the Black Ribbon Day in some countries (including Canada).

The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, argued that "both totalitarian systems (Stalinism and Nazism) are comparable and terrible."

In some eastern European countries the denial of both fascist and communist crimes has been explicitly outlawed, and Czech foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg has argued that "there is a fundamental concern here that totalitarian systems be measured by the same standard." However, the European Commission rejected calls for similar EU-wide legislation, due to the lack of consensus among member states.

The European Union has established the Platform of European Memory and Conscience, an educational project originally proposed by the Prague Declaration, to promote the equal evaluation of totalitarian crimes in Europe. Several EU member states have established government agencies and research institutes tasked with the evaluation of totalitarian crimes, which draw parallels between Nazism and Stalinism or between fascism and communism. These include the Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, the Lithuanian International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, and the Hungarian House of Terror museum. An all-party group in the European Parliament, the Reconciliation of European Histories Group, has been formed to promote public awareness of the crimes of all the totalitarian regimes at the EU level.

A statement adopted by Russia's legislature said that comparisons of Nazism and Stalinism are "blasphemous towards all of the anti-fascist movement veterans, Holocaust victims, concentration camp prisoners and tens of millions of people …who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the fight against the Nazis' anti-human racial theory."

BRAVEHEART: SIR WILLIAM WALLACE (1270 TO AUGUST 23, 1305)



I can not be a traitor, for I owe him no allegiance. He is not my Sovereign; he never received my homage; and whilst life is in this persecuted body, he never shall receive it. To the other points whereof I am accused, I freely confess them all. As Governor of my country I have been an enemy to its enemies; I have slain the English; I have mortally opposed the English King; I have stormed and taken the towns and castles which he unjustly claimed as his own. If I or my soldiers have plundered or done injury to the houses or ministers of religion, I repent me of my sin; but it is not of Edward of England I shall ask pardon.

- Statement at his trial, rejecting the assertion he was a traitor to Edward I of England (23 August 1305), as quoted in Lives of Scottish Worthies (1831) by Patrick Fraser Tytler, p. 279


            710 years ago on this date, August 23, 1305, Sir William Wallace is executed for high treason at Smithfield in London. I will post information about this Guardian of Scotland from Wikipedia.

 
Wallace in stained glass at his monument in Stirling
 
Born
c. 1270
Elderslie, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Died
23 August 1305
Smithfield, London, Middlesex, England
Cause of death
Hanged, drawn and quartered
Resting place
London, England, in unmarked grave
Nationality
Scottish
Occupation
Commander in the Scottish Wars of Independence
Religion
Roman Catholicism
Children
None recorded
Parent(s)
Father: Alan Wallace

Sir William Wallace (Gaelic: Uilleam Uallas; Norman French: William le Waleys; died 23 August 1305) was a Scottish knight who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence.

Along with Andrew Moray, Wallace defeated an English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in September 1297. He was appointed Guardian of Scotland and served until his defeat at the Battle of Falkirk in July 1298. In August 1305, Wallace was captured in Robroyston, near Glasgow, and handed over to King Edward I of England, who had him hanged, drawn, and quartered for high treason and crimes against English civilians.

Since his death, Wallace has obtained an iconic status far beyond his homeland. He is the protagonist of Blind Harry's 15th-century epic poem The Wallace and the subject of literary works by Sir Walter Scott and Jane Porter, and of the Academy Award-winning film Braveheart (1995).

There are several standing monuments and statues to Wallace's life and memory which can be viewed.

Background

Political crisis in Scotland

Silent years prior to the Wars of Independence

Start of the uprising

Battle of Stirling Bridge

Battle of Falkirk

Capture and execution

Wallace evaded capture by the English until 5 August 1305 when John de Menteith, a Scottish knight loyal to Edward, turned Wallace over to English soldiers at Robroyston near Glasgow. Letters of safe conduct from Haakon V of Norway, Philip IV of France, and John Balliol, along with other documents, were found on Wallace and delivered to Edward by John de Segrave.

Wallace was transported to London, lodged in the house of William de Leyrer, then taken to Westminster Hall, where he was tried for treason and for atrocities against civilians in war, "sparing neither age nor sex, monk nor nun." He was crowned with a garland of oak to suggest he was the king of outlaws. He responded to the treason charge, "I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject." With this, Wallace asserted that the absent John Balliol was officially his king.

Following the trial, on 23 August 1305, Wallace was taken from the hall to the Tower of London, then stripped naked and dragged through the city at the heels of a horse to the Elms at Smithfield. He was hanged, drawn and quartered — strangled by hanging, but released while he was still alive, emasculated, eviscerated and his bowels burned before him, beheaded, then cut into four parts. His preserved head (dipped in tar) was placed on a pike atop London Bridge. It was later joined by the heads of the brothers, John and Simon Fraser. His limbs were displayed, separately, in Newcastle, Berwick, Stirling, and Perth. A plaque stands in a wall of St. Bartholomew's Hospital near the site of Wallace's execution at Smithfield.

In 1869 the Wallace Monument was erected, very close to the site of his victory at Stirling Bridge. The Wallace Sword, which supposedly belonged to Wallace, although some parts were made at least 160 years later, was held for many years in Dumbarton Castle and is now in the Wallace Monument.

Historiography of Wallace

Although there are problems with writing a satisfactory biography of many medieval people, the problems with Wallace are greater than usual. Not much is known about him beyond his military campaign of 1297–1298, and the last few weeks of his life in 1305. Even in recent years, his birthplace and his father's name have been argued.

To compound this, the legacy of subsequent 'biographical' accounts, sometimes written as propaganda, other times simply as entertainment, has clouded much scholarship until relatively recent times. Some accounts have uncritically copied elements from the epic poem, The Acts and Deeds of Sir William Wallace, Knight of Elderslie, written around 1470 by Blind Harry the minstrel. Harry wrote from oral tradition describing events 170 years earlier, and is not in any sense an authoritative descriptor of Wallace's exploits. Much of the poem is clearly at variance with known historical facts and records of the period and is either fabricated using traditional chivalric motifs or 'borrowed' from the exploits of others and attributed to Wallace.

Wallace in fiction

Film
  • A well-known account of Wallace's life is presented in the film Braveheart (1995), directed by and starring Mel Gibson as Wallace, written by Randall Wallace, and filmed in both Scotland and Ireland. The film, however, was criticised for inaccuracies regarding Wallace's title, love interests, and attire.
Literature
  • In the early 19th century, Walter Scott wrote of Wallace in Exploits and Death of William Wallace, the "Hero of Scotland",
  • Jane Porter penned a romantic version of the Wallace legend in The Scottish Chiefs (1810).
  • Nigel Tranter wrote a historical novel titled The Wallace (1975).
  • The Temple and the Stone (1998), a novel by Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris, includes an account of Wallace's victory at Stirling, his defeat at Falkirk, and his trial and execution in London, along with a fictional connection between Wallace and Templar Knights.

William Wallace Statue, Aberdeen
The William Wallace Statue was erected 1888 in Aberdeen, Scotland, and depicts Sir William Wallace. Created by William Grant Stevenson, the statue is positioned opposite His Majesty's Theatre and across from Union Terrace Gardens. "It was paid for with funds left for the purpose by John Steill of 38 Grange Road in Edinburgh, the son of James Steill sometime of Easter Baldowrie in Angus."

The statue bears this inscription:


I tell you a truth, liberty is the best of all things, my son, never live under any slavish bond.