Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Today is Victims of Communism Day

Ilya Somin, at the Volokh Conspiracy law blog writes:

"Today is May Day. Since 2007, I have been commemorating this day here at the Volokh Conspiracy as Victims of Communism Day. Various other websites and blogs have promoted the same concept. In time, we hope to make this a worldwide commemoration similar to Holocaust Memorial Day. I explained the rationale for this idea in my very first post on the subject:

May Day began as a holiday for socialists and labor union activists, not just communists. But over time, the date was taken over by the Soviet Union and other communist regimes and used as a propaganda tool to prop up their regimes. I suggest that we instead use it as a day to commemorate those regimes’ millions of victims. The authoritative Black Book of Communism estimates the total at 80 to 100 million dead, greater than that caused by all other twentieth century tyrannies combined. We appropriately have a Holocaust Memorial Day. It is equally appropriate to commemorate the victims of the twentieth century’s other great totalitarian tyranny."

A single work of art can do more to convey the nightmarish horror of the Gulag than page upon page of scholarly writing.

The picture above is by a man named Danzig Baldaev. He died in 2005. He was conscripted to be guard in the Gulag after WWII. He was commissioned by the NKVD to document the tattoos of criminals. While doing that he also drew absolutely horrific pictures of the nightmarish existence that he had witnessed.

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