The Pittsburgh Press (January 6, 1943)
New York (UP) –
A former Soviet brigadier general who narrowly escaped being purged in 1937 is a private in the U.S. Army.
The induction of Alexander Barmine Dec. 4 was revealed after he had spent three weeks at the Fort Dix, New Jersey, Reception Center, during which time he concealed his Red Army background from members of his company. He is now in a training battalion in New Jersey.
Barmine fled from his post in Athens in 1937, rather than obey a recall to Moscow and possible execution in the purge of the army general staff. His friend, Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky, was liquidated.
Will he be sent to the soviet union in operation keelhaul?
No, actually. He later joined the OSS and after the war, the VOA (heading its Russian branch for 16 years), testified before Congressional committees on OWI’s Lattimore being a Soviet agent and served as adviser on Soviet affairs at the Information Agency. He died on Christmas 1987 at Rockville, Maryland.
How young was he at the time of becoming a private?
He was 42 in 1941 when he entered the Army as a private.
Fascinating, so born 1899? I imagine he participated in the previous wars as well. I’m always fascinated by these individual stories.
Correct, he was born in 1899. As for previous wars, he fought in the Russian Civil War.
Imagine living in a time where many of the people you served with are being killed. Many of their families believing that they were traitors. All the power-hungry types that see opportunity and stab their coworkers in the backs. Kids being used as spies.
Tens of millions of lives ruined, all so one man can have power. I can’t even wrap my mind around what that must have been like to live through. And the Soviets had crushed religion, so there wasn’t even hope. What an utterly evil ideology.
You also have to wonder how well Russia would have fared had Stalin not murdered so many of his competent military officers or sent them to gulags.
Religion brings hope?
Not to the tens of millions of natives throughout the centuries who were killed or enslaved, had their lands seized, wealth taken, resources stolen and often their children removed (to be forcibly converted) all because of a succession of religious leaders said their particular interpretation of abrahamic monotheism gave them the right to do it.
We might never know exactly how many native religions, cultures and traditions were annihilated at the hands of abrahamic monotheists who sowed a path of destruction across the world which was unprecedented when it happened and terrible based on the scale on which it happened and the lengthly timespan (dating from the fall of the western Roman Empire to the late 19th century) during which it happened.
This should all be added to the systematic oppression, repression, discrimination, marginalization of women and for example homosexual people and all at the hands of the same perpetrators whose belief systems (I refuse to recognize religion as a legitimate concept based on the lack of evidence for any ‘god’) are still around, influential and to some degree dominant (in parts of the world) today. And whose socalled ‘holy’ books call for the destruction or subjugation of non-believers in one way or another.
You have to read the rules in those ‘holy’ books with a rather large pinch of salt. When it says ‘thou shalt not kill’ it should always be read as if coming with a qualifier, namely ‘thou shalt not kill unless the other person is not a devout believer like you in which case killing them is perfectly okay’. Quoting the great prophet George Carlin, ‘religion’ has never had any particular problem with murder, it all depends on whose doing the murdering and who is getting murdered.
Abrahamic monotheism is undoubtedly responsible for more death, theft, oppression, discrimination and so on than basically any other idea / ideology that ever existed. When some of these abrahamic monotheist types talk about believers being perscecuted and discriminated against, what they should remember is that abrahamic monotheists have done a heck of a lot more persecuting than they’ve ever been persecuted.
Lumping multiple civilizations covering thousands of years into one group of “abrahamic monotheists” is painting with a pretty broad brush. Surely we can both agree that humans will pervert most any institution into a vehicle for power, especially religion. Yes, you can point to all kinds of atrocities throughout history, but human nature, not religion, was the root cause. These things were done in spite of religious commandments in many cases. I know of no better institution that seeks to limit our human nature and elevate virtuous behavior. My point is that religion offers hope. But socialism crushes religion and offers no hope. It only dangles a utopia that is always out of reach for the countless millions of lives it ends or ruins as we can see in the story of Gen. Barmine.