Racism’s role | Tom Camfield

Tom Camfield
Posted 4/13/22

BUT A COUPLE OF STEPS BACK for humanity on the world-wide scene also were reported on the front page of the same daily paper (The Seattle Times) on April 9. Reminiscent of the early days of World War …

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Racism’s role | Tom Camfield


BUT A COUPLE OF STEPS BACK for humanity on the world-wide scene also were reported on the front page of the same daily paper (The Seattle Times) on April 9. Reminiscent of the early days of World War II some 81 or 82 years ago, the Associated Press headline read “MISSILE KILLS AT LEAST 52 AT CROWDED UKRAINIAN TRAIN STATION.” Dozens more were wounded, and the death toll more recently has been raised to “at least 57.” According to Ukrainian officials, a Russian missile struck a crowd of thousands at a train station attempting to flee a new looming Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine. On a remaining portion of the missile was painted in Russian “For the children.”

The story, by Adam Schreck and Cara Anna, read: “The attack, denounced by some as another war crime in the conflict, came as workers unearthed bodies from a mass grave in Bucha, a town near Ukraine’s capital where dozens of killings have been documented after a Russian pull-out.”

On Tuesday, April 12, another Associated Press story quoted the mayor of Mariupol, who estimated that 10,000 people have been killed in the siege of that southern port city of Ukraine — with a final total of 20,000 expected. Several war crimes are described in this story.

In my mind’s eye came immediately the old movie news-reel of a crowd chanting “Sieg Heil” and casting a one-armed salute to an on-stage Adolf Hitler preaching hatred about 1941 — as Jews from eastern Poland were suffocating to death in overcrowded boxcars en route to concentration-camp gas chambers.

About the only difference between then and now was that Hitler raised things to the Holocaust level by specifically killing at least 6,000,000 Jews and various non-Aryans. Yes, there was a Holocaust; and plenty of us are still around who can testify to it. I kept a scrap book of Hitler’s early days — although it’s long gone now.

My grandson Taylor Camfield-Bronstein is directly descended from Harry Bronstein and Dora Snyder (his great grandparents), both Polish Jews born in Lomaz. Other Jewish related families that emigrated from Poland before Hitler’s reign of terror were Bloom and Dolobovsky. Brief histories of these families will be found in my 1996 book ”History/Genealogy of Family Camfield” (New York City public library, local historical society, etc.). Leon Trotsky, well-known Ukrainian-Russian Marxist revolutionary, (1879-1940) actually was born Lev Davidovich Bronstein.

In the days leading up to the current invasion, Trump praised Putin for recognizing Ukraine’s economic and strategic value to Russia. “He’s going to go in and be a peace-keeper,” Trump said. “We could use that on our southern border.”

Another murderous dictator began his reign as dictator of Russia, then the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), the year I was born (1929). Joseph Stalin, ruled the Soviet Union until 1953, transforming it from a peasant society into an industrial and military superpower. He ruled by terror, and millions of his own citizens died during his brutal reign. 

Born into poverty, Stalin became involved in revolutionary politics, as well as criminal activities, as a young man. After Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) died, Stalin outmaneuvered his rivals for control of the party. Once in power, he collectivized farming and had potential enemies executed or sent to forced labor camps. Stalin aligned with the United States and Britain in World War II (1939-1945) but afterward engaged in an increasingly tense relationship with the West known as the Cold War (1946-1991). After his death, the Soviets initiated a de-Stalinization process.

This history, begun here, is pretty well covered at length in Wikipedia.com.

Meanwhile, while Trump sits around cursing the Free Press that has been totally eliminated in Russia but still exists in the U.S., one is left wondering just what it is exactly he thinks we could use at our southern border (See foregoing quote).