Tuesday, June 30, 2009

End Of June: The Berries are Bearing!

June 30

We’ve had so much rain, and now unsettled, as they like to say. I sat through one storm on the back porch, so perfectly, thrillingly, green. How the branches moved their shoulders to the wind and how a bird just swooped by looking for night shelter in the lilac bush, and how lightning unzipped the thunder and made its brilliant narrow crack through the sky.

Andy picks black and red raspberries and some blueberries every morning for our cereal. The tiger lilies are blazing up their patches.

I read an article in the New York Review of Books by Timothy Snyder called “Holocaust: The Ignored Legacy.” (The New York Review of Books, Volume 56, Number 12 , July 16, 2009. P.14 - 16) . I'm reading old issues-- letting my subscription go again, I never read it much—but figuring of course I'll get a deal in a few months and start it up again. It is always such a high for me when I finally do read it– the riches of culture and thought spread out like a great world covering spread on my lap, out to the horizon.

Anyhow, this article talks about how the real center of the Holocaust was not Auschwitz and the Western European Jews but farther east, where the killings were not only in camps, but also by less industrialized means: hundreds of thousands of simple mass shootings on the rim of pits and also (this was the newest part to me) planned starvation and famines. And in some places, notably Belarus and Ukraine, these things were done in the thirties by Stalin’s minions and then in the forties by the Nazis. Belarus: a third of the population killed.
I also read Irving Howe’s LEON TROTSKY, which was fascinating. He admires Trotsky, but also sees that Trotsky and certainly Bolshevism did do enough– perhaps even encouraged– the conditions that led to the ravages of Stalin.

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