Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

12 November 2014. 96 Years Since the “Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month”… Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and France Unveils Memorial to the War Dead in Flanders

00 australian war memorial. remembrance day. 12.11.14

A man places a memorial poppy on the wall at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra ACT AUSTRALIA


00 cenotaph. toronto. old city hall. 12.11.14

An honour guard at the Cenotaph near the Old City Hall in Toronto ON CANADA


00 Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. Rmembrance Day at the Tower of London. 12.11.14

“Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” at the Tower of London London ENGLAND UK


00 Notre Dame de Lorette. FRANCE. WWI memorial. 12.11.14

French troops at the dedication of the L’Anneau de la Mémoire/Memorial international Notre-Dame-de-Lorette (Ring of Remembrance) memorial wall with over 500,000 names of those of all nations who fell in Northern France, at the Nécropole nationale de Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in Ablain St-Nazaire FRANCE (the world’s largest French military cemetery). This event was also in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I (“The Great War”). 



Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Idea for the One-Minute Silence at Remembrance Day Came from a Melbourne Man

00 Australia Remembrance Sunday 2013______________________________

MOST Australians will be familiar with the one-minute silence observed on Remembrance Day. However, where did it start and whose idea was it?

An article on the Australian War Memorial website attributed the idea to a First World War veteran and Melbourne journalist Edward George Honey,who was living in London in 1919 and wished for a five-minute silence to recognise those killed during the war. At the same time, a South African made second suggestion, who noted a moment’s silence was held in South Africa when there were heavy losses on the Western Front. The idea took King George V’s fancy, although he he shortened it to two minutes. He sent a special message to the Commonwealth to stop what they were doing and be silent at “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”. It’s something that’s still observed today as a one-minute silence.

11 November 2014



Sunday, 10 November 2013

10 November 2013. A Multimedia Presentation… Today was Remembrance Sunday in the Commenwealth



00 Remembrance Sunday 2013. 10.11.13


00 Queen Elizabeth. The Cenotaph. Whitehall, London UK. Remembrance Day 2013. 10.11.13



00 Remembrance Sunday Belfast UK 2013. 10.11.13


00 Remembrance Sunday UK 2013. 10.11.13


00 Remembrance Sunday Edinburgh UK 2013. 10.11.13



00 Canada Remembrance Sunday 2013


00 Australia Remembrance Sunday 2013



00 The Cenotaph. Whitehall, London UK. Remembrance Day. 10.11.13



There’s nothing to say. Nothing can suffice to commemorate sacrifice and courage. NOTHING.

Remember that when you the ususal cast of suspects blather about their “patriotism”. Ask them, “What branch of the forces did you serve in”. Do note the deafening silence… Richard Cheney said, “I had better things to do”…

Clear your mind… remember what’s straight and true… it was good last week… it’s good now… it’ll always be good. I stand in respect… what about you?


Friday, 20 April 2012

The Holocaust is About Today and Tomorrow

11 April: International Day to Remember the Liberation of the Prisoners of the Nazi Concentration Camps

Yefim Tsvik



Holocaust Remembrance Day, 19 April, falls on the anniversary of the heroic Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943, when a Nazi SS brigade that was herding its population to death camps paid a heavy price in blood for weeks at the hands of Jewish fighters armed with Molotov cocktails. The commemoration day designated by the UN General Assembly, 27 January, is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops in 1945. These two dates reflect an evolving perception of the Holocaust in our newly-inflamed post-September 11 world, from a uniquely Jewish catastrophe to a universal one. As a survivor of Auschwitz, and currently an Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy of UNESCO for Holocaust education, I’m commemorating that tragedy with the Jews of Turkey… a country that’s welcomed and protected them from the time of the Spanish Inquisition to Hitler’s “Final Solution”.

My mission isn’t only to lament the victims, but also to alert world leaders and the public at large to the risk of new catastrophes that may destroy their universe, as they once destroyed mine. The ashes of Auschwitz speak to us about the present and the future, as well as the past. In the 1930s, when rampant economic and political upheavals unleashed insecurity and fear, popular folly recruited diabolic “saviours”. This is how democracies perished and the hunt for scapegoats began. Since my liberation from Dachau by American GIs, new genocides, ethnic cleansings, and other mass atrocities confirm that the human capacity for evil knows no bounds. Indeed, that the unthinkable is again possible, with plagues of toxic gas, atomic mushroom clouds, and ballistic missiles in the dangerous hands of new despots and fanatics.

Thus, when incendiary demagogues with nuclear ambitions reopen our wounds by calling the Holocaust a “myth”, we, the last living survivors, have a visceral obligation to testify that it was both a gruesome reality for us and an existential warning for all mankind of horrors yet to come. However, we must follow our words with action, with concrete policies of remembrance and education that can raise public awareness of how such slaughters erupt and how we can prevent them. Today, I can attest that this process has begun.

For last year’s commemoration, I found myself in Auschwitz at the behest of “Project Aladdin”, launched by the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah and UNESCO. Two hundred Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders met in Paris for that pilgrimage, including heads of state, mayors of major capitals, Chief Rabbis, Grand Muftis, and Cardinals. In the cursed barbed-wire enclosure of Birkenau, where I once saw the proud ship of civilisation go under, where I lost my family and all the children of my school, it fell upon me to bear witness. Surrounded by relics of gas chambers and crematoria, united by common pain and shared human values, our unlikely assembly transcended all racial, religious, and political strife and prayed to the same God.

After that manifestation of solidarity, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives invited a group of us to testify before it. There, we reiterated the warning that unless we dissipate the abysmal ignorance and distortion of the Holocaust, unite against anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and terrorism, and espouse the core moral values inherent in our great creeds… spiritual and secular… the forces of darkness will return to doom our future. However, my principal focus was on the promising potential for expanded dialogue, revealed by the encounters in Paris, Auschwitz, and Washington. The Grand Mufti of Bosnia, Dr Mustafa Ceric, who was also with us, confirmed that potential with these words, “I came to see for myself the evil man can do to man, and to say that those who deny the Holocaust of Auschwitz or the genocide of Srebrenica, are committing genocides themselves”.

True, one swallow does not make a spring, but his declaration profoundly moved all his coreligionists, of every stripe and from every continent; the palpable evidence of Nazi barbarism shocked them, as it did the rest of us. It was also obvious that the barbarians of today who kill and maim innocents at random, including their own kin, equally disturbed them. This raised the hope of a more tolerable coexistence between vast silent majorities of people who don’t consider themselves “sworn enemies”. That “Project Aladdin” is now making available, in cooperation with local institutions, Turkish, Arabic, and Iranian versions of Holocaust books like The Diary of Anne Frank, films like Shoah, and other links for people-to-people contacts suggests that the hope is real.

It also suggests that political or diplomatic skirmishes of an altogether different nature mustn’t derail UN organisations entrusted with lofty fundamental responsibilities from their legitimate specialised tasks, especially UNESCO. This is all the more so in a deteriorating international environment that’s pushing us toward a fateful crossroads… shall we retreat into a dark age of unmanageable global turmoil, or, shall we move forward with new leaps of imagination, innovation, and creativity that could revive the enthusiasm and energies of younger generations?

Having experienced the lowest depths and a few summits of the human condition in the course of my tortuous odyssey, I’ve learned and written that there’s a way free of hatred and violence to deal with the intractable challenges of our time. That way calls for collective efforts to liberate the inexhaustible resources of human intelligence, knowledge, and compassion that exist in ample measure among peoples of every region, race, colour, and faith. Developed and made accessible through the precious channels of education, science, and culture, these resources can usher in a new era of tolerance, prosperity, and peace… before it is too late.

19 April 2012

Samuel Pisar



Editor’s Note:

We must refuse to support those who offer violence as a first resort in international, domestic, and personal venues. That’s why we must vote against all Republican candidates in the coming election. That’s what they stood for in the Reagan and Bush years, that’s what they stand for now, and that’s the sort of policy that Mitt Romney and Company would implement. Remember the secret torture facilities run by Langley and the Republican coddling of gun nutters and racists when you vote… if you vote for the GOP, you vote FOR hidden torture in secret locations, the scrapping of all reasonable gun laws, indiscriminate bombing of civilians, the protection of racist vigilantes, and perpetual warfare in foreign parts.

We CAN avert that…


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