#47 | September 10 - 24, 1998  smlogo.gif


In This Issue
Feature Story
Kino Korner
Burt's Picks
Latinos to the Rescue
Crisis Wish-List
Escape From Moscow!
Survival Tips
Ask the Experts


By Edward Limonov

Dr. Limonov's Advices For Travelling In A Cattle Vagon

Current situation in Russia can be identified as very tense. Russians are extremely angry at its own politicians. Russians are extremely angry at its own politicians. They also very angry at Westerners whom they consider or a villains and thieves and responsible for the fall of Mother Russia. It is very probable that anti-Western pogroms would occur at big Russian cities. On another hand any government after Yeltsin's would use Westerners as scapegoats for the deeds of last decade. So, Westerners should prepare themselves to arrests, interrogations and difficult trips to Siberia in a cattle wagons. Following are advices, based on personal experience and on my father Veniam Ivanovich's experience.

My father Veniam Ivanovich was an NKVD [the KGB's predecessor under Stalin-Ed.] officer and during the 50s regularly made trips to Siberia as a chief of military convoy unit. At his charge he have had a few wagons filled up with convicted prisoners, who were sent to different Siberian camps. My father would dispose of his human merchandise on different Siberian stations. His final destination was a rail station and port "Sovietskaya Gavan," located on Pacific Ocean coast, near Japan. On his way back to Kharkov my father collected some prisoners in order to transport them to European Russia's prisons and camps.

Once, as a kid of 13, I went to Kharkov's railway station to meet my father, who arrived from Sovietskaya Gavan. Naive, at first I have looked for him among crowd of passengers. He wasn't there. Finally I found my father on outskirts of Kharkov's railway station. Semi-circle of soldiers with a rifles (bayonets facing prisoners, descending from wagon into "Black Maria's" automobile), was breaked at one place. My father was staying there, reading the names of prisoners. Holster of his was opened and naked pistol's body was shining at spring sun. So, I am descendent of professional caretaker of prisoners. I know well how to take care of them. My father taught me.

Before to get into details about how to equip oneself to trip to Siberia I should say that my father was a dangerous, good, honest, almost ascetic type of officer, not drinking, not smoking. I suppose he was a difficult bastard as well as for his subordinate soldiers, as to prisoners. No weakness, metal, harsh, disciplined man, who lived on his trips no better than his soldiers, little better than his prisoners.

At his travels, they lasted few weeks, because Russia is very big country, my father would always take his suitcase. Or, rather it wasn't suitcase. It cannot be called suitcase-it was Russian "chemodan." On its cover was glued forever a list of items that my father carried with him to Siberia. He would take aluminum mug, spoon and fork. My father carried with him a pocketknife with as many as eleven items, including scissors. He would take also few needles, black and white threads. He would take four sorts of brushes: one for his teeth, one for his boots, one for his uniform and one for his uniform's buttons. Buttons he would at first cover with stinking liquid called "osedal," and then brush them to shining state. My father always carried with him at least ten white cotton pieces to sew it to his collar. (You don't bother yourself with it, you will be in no need for white collar) every morning. He also carried many pieces of soft cloth, "portiankas", to wrap it around his feet. Portiankas are much better than sock, they can be used much longer. Of course portiankas can be used only with a boots, no shoes can survive on a trip to Siberia anyway.

You may need also wooden spoon. It's much better in eating hot "balanda"-prisoner's soup, what usually served in mugs. With a wooden spoon you can eat faster, and it will not burn your lips. The only food to be recommended to take with you are dried up bread and "salo," salted pork fat. Tea and sugar are luxuries, so you should hide it on your body somewhere, in order that your fellows travelers will not rip-off you. Don't carry many things. Anyway, soldiers or fellow prisoners criminals of common law will take them from you. For the same reason don't wear good clothes.

If you can snatch some money in cattle wagon, then from time to time you will be able to ask soldiers to buy some food for you. Old-timers highly recommend to fold money, as many times as you can, to state of a small ball or little cube. Then you can color it on surface with a dirt and sew it on your clothes as if it is a button. Many buttons made of one and five dollar bills, and Siberia will be a little warmer for you.

I highly recommend to stop smoking now. Then in a cattle wagon you will be suffering less.

Edward Limonov is the chairman of an up and coming nationalist political party, the National-Bolshevik Party, and author of several books.

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