Saturday Afternoon Open

eon4/25/2009 3:09:24 pm PDT

re: #155 alegrias

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Did German kids have a choice about joining this any more than Soviet kids had to join the young Oktobrists or young Cubans have to join Fidel’s juventud revolucionaria?

In a dictatorship, do poor or any income parents really have a choice over what happens to their children if the government raises tells you what you must do?

Is there such a thing as religious objectors, or conscientious objectors, in a totalitarian country?

I remember Russians called “refuseniks”.

In order;

It was originally voluntary. It became compulsory after Hitler became Reichschancellor.

Yes, there can be “conscientious objectors”. They tend to end up in camps alongside other people the regime’ doesn’t approve of.

As for “refuseniks”, the USSR had several ways of dealing with them, ranging from “internal exile” in “closed cities” like Gorky, to the gulags for the more “dangerous” (to the regime’, that is) individuals. Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote an entire book on that subject, The Gulag Archipelago, based on (very painful) personal experience.