Monday, June 26, 2017

The Start of Something Big -- from Moscow-based Mark Teeter on FB

Mark H. Teeter added 5 new photos. [via Facebook]
3 hrs
MOSCOW TV TONITE: The Start of Something Big
Запечатленное время. "ВЧК: Первые шаги"/Telling Time.“The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (Cheka):The First Steps”(Kultura,21:20)
--> Tonite this excellent how-the-past-was-seen-in-its-present chronicle takes on a topic both weightier and more timely than most: the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (Cheka). This latest installment of the “Telling Time” series offers “The 1st cinema newsreel account of the work of the Cheka [BЧК]” – the organizational progenitor of the Soviet secret police and spying organizations, which were many and fearful. And are not exactly extinct.
The significance of this organization is hard to overestimate but easy enough to summarize: “In December 1917 the Council of People's Commissars formed the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission – the Cheka – with the aim of combatting counter-revolution and sabotage. The Chekists began with property confiscation, deportation into forced labor and eviction from the major cities of all who were suspected of disloyalty to the Bolsheviks. [This] was inconceivable…without intimidation, and the Cheka became a machine for intimidating and suppressing any resistance to the new government. In August 1918, Lenin demanded that ‘the Soviet Republic be protected from class enemies by isolating them in concentration camps,’ and this order from the Chief People's Commissar was immediately carried out – meaning that concentration camps appeared in Russia in the first year of Soviet power.”
Join host Viktor Batalin and “special services historian” Vadim Burlak for a unique cinematic look at the infancy of a vast system of repression that took decades to build and generations to dismantle – and incompletely at that.

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