The nation of Yugoslavia was a creature of the Versailles Treaty, first cobbled together out of the remnants of the old Austro-Hungarian empire and the nations of Serbia and Montenegro. Serbia itself included ethnic minorities such as Slovenes and Croats. These people did not speak the same language or share the same religious confessions. They were simply defined as “South Slavs,” who were put together to create a nation that it was hoped would contain imagined future threats to peace and to reward Serbia, one of the victors in World War I.
Seventy-five years ago, on January 25, 1937, the terror known generally as the Moscow Show Trials entered its second phase. The first phase began in August, 1936, and the intended political enemies of Stalin constituted the “Trotskyite-Zionvievite Terrorist Center.” This was a purging of the notional “left” within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev were among the most prominent members in this purge. Zinoviev had been considered one of the leading theoreticians of the party. Kamenev had been the head of the Moscow Soviet and then the Deputy Premier under Lenin. Zinoviev and Kamenev followed Stalin (left) in pushing Trotsky out of party leadership in 1924.
The Soviet Union since its earliest days described the United States as the “main enemy.” The penetration of American government and society was a natural goal of the Soviets, and the totalitarian state would resort to any lies to achieve that goal. Deception and power have always been the heart of Marxism. For example, Lenin wrote, “The scientific concept, dictatorship, means nothing more nor less than power which directly rests on violence, which is not limited by any laws or restricted by any absolute rules.”
Thirty years ago, on January 17, 1982, America experienced the famous “Cold Sunday,” when temperatures in various parts of the nation plummeted to astonishing record lows. A massive cold front blowing down from Canada caused International Falls, Minnesota to record -45 degrees Fahrenheit, while the lowest temperature in the United States that day was the -52 degrees near Tower, Minnesota.
The Black Hills of South Dakota have long been associated with the four U.S. Presidents who adorn Mount Rushmore. The granite faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln have been etched into the American imagination. Yet a fifth granite face has emerged from the Black Hills in the form of the famous Lakota leader Crazy Horse.