Photo of the Day

Maria Tchebotareva. Trying to feed her four hungry children during the massive 1932-1933 famine, the peasant mother allegedly stole three pounds of rye from her former field? confiscated by the state as part of collectivization. Soviet authorities sentenced her to ten years in the Gulag. When her sentence expired in 1943, it was arbitrarily extended until the end of the war in 1945. After her release, she was required to live in exile near her Gulag camp north of the Arctic Circle, and she was not able to return home until 1956, after the death of Stalin. Maria Tchebotareva never found her children after her release. Courtesy of the Gulag Museum at Perm-36.


Warning, some people may find this story Disturbing.

Have you ever been late to work?

In the Stalin era, a person who arrived late to work three times could be sent to the Gulag for three years.

Have you ever told a joke about a government official?

In the Stalin era, many were sent to the Gulag for up to 25 years for telling an innocent joke about a Communist Party official.

If your family was starving, would you take a few potatoes left in a field after harvest?

In the Stalin era, a person could be sent to the Gulag for up to ten years for such petty theft.

The transportation methods to the Gulags were often even more disturbing and painful than the camps themselves. Most long journeys began at the railroad station. However, prisoners were not loaded onto trains at the station in full public view; they were loaded at sidings down the track, away from public glare. It was done secretively – just as the process of arrest late at night. It was usual for up to sixty or more people to be crammed into one carriage, which was constructed from wooden planks and had a few rows of horizontal boards to sleep on. There was no illumination, and rats and vermin abounded. No matter the weather, the captives were only allowed to wear the clothes they were arrested in.

?The night search, the most degrading procedure, was frequently repeated. ?Get up! Get undressed! Hands up! Out into the hall! Line up against the wall.? Naked we were especially frightened. ?Among the blind, the one-eyed is king,? and next to them I was still a hero?for the time being. Our hair was undone. What were they looking for? What more could they take away from us? There was something, however: they pulled out all the ties that had been holding up the nuns’ skirts and our underwear.?

Conditions in the camps, for those who survived the trip, were extremely harsh. Prisoners received insufficient clothing and inadequate food rations which made it difficult to endure the severe weather and the long working hours. As a result, the death rate from exhaustion and disease in the camps was enormously high.

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It’s Over Trevor

??Southland Times

Like this is ever going to work:

Labour veteran Trevor Mallard is likely to become the party’s buddy MP for Invercargill.

The move is part of the party’s response to its declining vote in the province and would be allied with a more regional approach from its existing Dunedin MPs.

However, the choice will not be without some controversy.

Mr Mallard provoked fury and outrage in the city during his term as education minister in the Labour-led Government as he oversaw the closure of 14 city schools in 2004.

His combative style could also be described as polarising.

Oh dear whatever has Southland done to?deserve?this…the oyster season has finished so there is absolutely no advantage for anyone wanting to visit the place.

This can only mean several things:

  1. Trevor has a new girlfriend in Invercargill.
  2. He has been given the arse card by Shearer and this is his genius plan that has so much?cunning?that Trevor has completely missed it.
  3. It wasn’t Shearer’s cunning plan, I sense the hand of Alistair Cameron who has done what Nashy failed to, banish Mallard, in the middle of winter, to the provinces.
  4. Labour have given up on the provinces completely for 2014.
  5. Hutt South is now vacant for Stuart Nash to return.
  6. The lack of broadband will ensure less tweets, Facebook updates and Red Alert posts minimising Labour party SMOGs as a major benefit.
  7. Labour actually hate Southland and Trevor Mallard equally now.
  8. This is?Mallard’s?cunning plan to avoid litigation from Judith Collins.

If Trevor Mallard is Labour’s answer then it was a bloody stupid question. wait for him to challenge a local blogger to a cycle race (Watch out Ele!)

Trevor Mallard should just face facts, that he has been sent to the New Zealand equivalent of the Siberian gulags.

As an interesting aside one of the most popular sports in Southland is duck shooting. One more Mallard won’t make a blind bit of difference.

Watch his travel bill bloat out like Parekura’s togs when he bombs into the hot pools.