Russian craftsmen in Kaliningrad shall recreate parts of the legendary Amber Room, a Tsarist-era antiquity looted by Nazi Germany during World War II. The restoration plan by the Kaliningrad Oblast government is part of a campaign to stop illegal mining in amber-rich areas near the Baltic coast. The region has the world’s largest-known amber deposits. Experts estimate that criminals mine 60-100 tons of amber illegally every year in Kaliningrad Oblast, which holds more than 90 percent of the world’s total known amber reserves and is home to the world’s only natural amber strip-mine.
King Friedrich I invited German craftsmen to decorate the main hall of his palace with amber panels shortly after his accession to the Prussian throne in 1701. However, after the king’s death in 1713, his son Friedrich Wilhelm I put an end to the expensive work, and put the amber panels on the walls of a small room of the Stadtschloss (City Palace) in Berlin. Three years later, he gave the panels as a present to Tsar Pyotr Veliki, who stored them in his Summer Palace, at Petergof. It was only in 1743 that Tsaritsa Yelizaveta Petrovna decided to use the amber panels to decorate one of her main chambers in the Winter Palace. Craftsmen expanded on the original decorations, eventually turning them into the legendary Amber Room, often referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world”.
The Wehrmacht looted the decorations during World War II, and took them to Königsberg (now Kaliningrad), where they were lost in the fierce fighting and air raids at the end of the war in 1945. Eventually, the Russians only rediscovered two small parts of the room’s decoration and returned them to Russia. According to the Kaliningrad Oblast Culture Minister Svetlana Kondratyeva, the Amber Room replica will be in the 1899 building of the Königsberg State Amber Factory, which, following its renovation, will then house the Kaliningrad Amber Museum. Museum visitors will be able to watch the craftsmen at work replicating the room through glass panels.
14 May 2013
The Moscow municipal government decided to name a new street in the southwest of the city “Battle of Stalingrad Street”, to mark a key victory over Nazi Germany during the VOV. The authorities made their decision on 24 April, following a proposal by Irina Yarovaya, head of the RF Gosduma Security and Anticorruption Committee. Russia commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of the epic 200-day Battle of Stalingrad on 2 February. The battle began on 17 July 1942 and ended on 2 February 1943 with the surrender of the Axis forces. Around two million people died in the battle on both sides; it became one of the key symbols of victory in Russia.
In the past few years, the Russian leadership has increased its emphasis on patriotism as a national idea capable of consolidating Russian society and inspiring future generations, after Russia suffered a serious blow to its national identity with the collapse of the USSR. In the most recent move, in March, President Vladimir Putin reinstated the Soviet-era Hero of Labour title, scrapped almost two decades ago. The award, established by Iosif Stalin, was widely used to praise civilian workers for their labour achievements and to boost output.
13 May 2013
Every day, Russia moves farther and farther away from the liberal (libertarian) lunacy of the Capitalist West, with increasing emphasis on both its Tsarist and Soviet past. That is, Orthodox people should ignore the hate-filled vapourings of such people as Victor Potapov and James Paffhausen… after all, Potapov’s a bought n’ paid for minion of the US government and Paffhausen’s a slobberin’ lickspittle of such Hard Right stink-tanks as the American Enterprise Institute. You can have Christ or you can have Ayn Rand… one of these things is NOT like the other!
The above image shows young people carrying placards with the portraits of their grandparents who took part in the VOV. It’s called the “March of the Immortal Regiment, and it’s a new aspect of Victory Day… it’s become very popular, very fast. That’s because it’s not “glorifying war”… it’s rendering honour to one’s elders… that hasn’t gone out of style in Russia. Do note that many of the marchers are wearing Red Army pilotkas. Most of the sentiment for the restoration of the USSR in one form or another is found in the working class and peasantry, that is, amongst common people. VVP‘s responded to that… shall the noxious legacy of Yeltsin be undone in its entirety (let the oligarchs go to New York with their looted boodle… they’ll fit right in with the Rockefellers and Whitneys)? God willing it shall…