The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.
This week’s contest went right down to the wire, with even better than usual quality in all categories and the close vote tallies reflect it.
“The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.” – LP Hartley
This week’s winner, Simply Jew’s Mirra Eisenshtadt: the woman who leaked a Soviet state secret is a fascinating and tragic story of a journalist tortured and executed by Stalin for an unforgivable crime – revealing the high percentage of Jews who were war heroes and received the designation of Hero of the Soviet Union in WWII. Here’s a slice:
The bloody history of Stalin’s purges is a history of relentless butchery and oppression of millions. Many of its victims share a very similar and short life story: from a loyal patriotic Soviet citizen, via a knock on the door in the middle of the night to an NKVD “confession room”, torture, the required signature on a list of tramped-up charges and a bullet in the cranium from a bored NKVD sergeant.
The similarity in the tragic fate of so many may cause a certain numbness of the senses, a degradation of our ability to empathize with the innocent victims, some of whom held to their belief in Stalin’s wisdom, kindness and omnipotence till their last breath. Even so, the story of Mirra Eisenshtadt is somewhat exceptional and is worth your attention.
The following article is translated, with Google’s kind assistance, from a Kharkov’s (Kharkiv in Ukrainian) Holocaust Museum’s archive site, where it appears in Russian. I have added a few links for the curious who may want to know a bit more.
On November 23, 1950 a journalist Miriam (Mirra), Eisenshtadt (maiden name Kazarinskaya) was executed in Stalin’s torture chambers. She was writing under a pen name Zheleznova. What was the crime of this woman? What kind of “treason” caused her arrest?
Mirra Zheleznova worked for the Jewish Antifascist Committee, where she, an already well known journalist and columnist of “Einikait”, was brought into in the summer of 1942 by Ilya Ehrenburg. The best publications of the newspaper “Einikait” – the mouthpiece of JAC – were distributed via the Sovinformbyuro [the main Soviet propaganda organization at the time] in Allied countries. Zheleznova was one of the few who, as Ilya Ehrenburg and Vasily Grossman, collected materials about the victims of the Holocaust and the Jewish war heroes and was preparing a book of the non-fiction stories of grief and courage.
It was she who in mid-1945 first published in the “Einikait” a list of the Jewish Heroes of the Soviet Union. It turned out that by the end of the war 135 Jews were awarded this title. The list was reprinted in the European and American press. One hundred thirty five Heroes of the Soviet Union were Jews! It was an incredibly high percentage of half a million soldiers and officers – the Jews who fought in the Great War, and it is fundamentally altered the hierarchy of Soviet national relations: second only to the Russian people – the victors, was small, with one third wiped out, but not broken, Jewish nation.
In our non-Council category, the winner was Sultan Knish with The United States of Guilt submitted by The Political Commentator. It’s an interesting piece which examines the nature of guilt in our society and how the left uses it both to manipulate our society and to reinforce its own sense of virtue. Good stuff.
Okay, without further ado, here are this week’s full results. Only Bookworm Room was unable to vote, but was not subject to the mandatory 2/3 vote penalty.
- *First place with 3 votes! – Simply Jews – Mirra Eisenshtadt: the woman who leaked a Soviet state secret
- Second place with 2 2/3 votes – Joshuapundit – Nobody Else Made It Happen, Mr. President
- Third place with 1 2/3 votes – The Mellow Jihadi – Connor: Cub Scout, United States Sailor
- Fourth place with 1 1/3 votes – Gay Patriot – If Obama spoke to a gathering of Mormons, would the media focus on the crowd’s criticism or the Democrat’’s courage?
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote – The Independent Sentinel – The U.N. Wants the Rights to Your Child in the Form of a Treaty
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote – The Glittering Eye – As Goes Scranton
- Fifth place *t* with 1 vote – GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD – Immoral Drones
- Sixth place with 2/3 vote – The Colossus of Rhodey – Romney’s right, but will it hurt him?
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – VA Right! – I Am Offended by Obama’s ‘You Didn’t Build That Business’ Comment
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Rhymes With Right – What Romney Needs To Do In Response To Obamunist Felony Rhetoric
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Right Planet – Applying Jujitsu
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – The Noisy Room – Dancing on the Global Fiscal Cliff
- Seventh place *t* with 1/3 vote – Bookworm Room – Moral hazard and martial arts — and was I making any sense at all?
- *First place with 2 2/3 votes! – Sultan Knish – The United States of Guilt submitted by The Political Commentator
- Second place with 2 1/3 votes – Bret Stephens/Commentary – Born on the Fourth of June submitted by Joshuapundit
- Third place with 1 1/3 votes – KausFiles – Will Obama Get Away With It? submitted by The Glittering Eye
- Fourth place with 1 vote – Doug Giles – I’ll Take a Mormon Over a Marxist Anyday submitted by The Noisy Room
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Mark Steyn – The Islamist Generation submitted by The Watcher
- Fourth place *t* with 1 vote – Gavin McInnes/Taki’s Magazine – Living With Savages submitted by The Razor
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Israel Matsav – Even the Israeli socialists never said anything like this submitted by Simply Jews
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Abu Muqawama – When to declare victory against al Qaeda? submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – American Thinker – Is Obama Ripping Off the Mask? submitted by The Right Planet
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Thomas Sowell/NRO – Perpetuating Obama’s Tax-Cut Lies submitted by VA Right!
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – Tin And Phoenix – The Military-Civilian Divide submitted by The Mellow Jihadi
- Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote – PJ Tatler – If a Conservative Speaks in the Forest… submitted by Rhymes With Right
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Via Meadia – Israel’s emergence as energy superpower making waves submitted by Bookworm Room
- Sixth place *t* with 1/3 vote – Jay Cost – Why Obama Is in Trouble submitted by The Watcher
See you next week! Remember to tune in next Monday for the Watcher’s Forum question, where the Council and invited guests provide pithy short takes as a roundtable on a cutting edge major issue… don’t you DARE MISS IT! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that!