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How I Became Revolutionary and Internationalist

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andre Vltchek       (Page 1 of 9 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   5 comments

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HOW I BECAME REVOLUTIONARY AND INTERNATIONALIST

Binu Mathew, Editor in Chief of Countercurrents interviews Andre Vltchek

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1 BM: You are one of the foremost critics of imperialism. Can you tell us
how you came to be who you are? Can you tell us about your formative years?

AV: Formative years" There were many of them, and actually, I feel that I am still evolving, until now. People always do, I believe and hope.

I was born in the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, in an unbelievably beautiful city of Leningrad, built by insane Peter the Great and by few no less insane Italian and French architects, on the shores of wide and powerful river Neva, right near the mosquito-infested swamps.

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I did not live there long, just three years or so, but the city always stayed inside me.

My mother is half Russian, half Chinese, while my father is Czech, a scientist. At the age of three I was taken to a boring, industrial city of Pilsen (Plzen) in what was then then Czechoslovakia; a city also known for its beer and proximity to Bavaria.

My father belongs to that old generation of scientists who believed that they could change and improved the world. He loved classical music, philosophy, literature and good wine -- to him, all this was inseparable from the scientific concepts, from dreaming and imagining. He explained Theory of Relativity of Einstein to me, when I was 8, and he taught me how to play chess and think logically.

My mother was just a baby when the WWII erupted. Half of my family died during the siege of Leningrad, starved and bombed by German Nazis. She actually almost died from starvation. My grandma fought Germans, was decorated for bravery: she helped to defend and then to rebuild her beloved city. Her husband, my grandfather, was a Communist, a Soviet cabinet minister, and an ethnic Chinese from Kazakhstan. He held ministerial posts for medical care and for food supply. He was denounced as a Japanese spy before the war (during the time when German spy network managed to infiltrate Soviet intelligence communication network and literally fed with fake information the Soviet leadership, significantly weakening it before that war). My grandfather was executed. Then, 'rehabilitated' posthumously, when the truth surfaced, finally. He was the love of my grandma's life; she never remarried again.

Why am I telling you this, Binu? Because my formative years began when I was 3. My family was pulling me apart. My grandmother and my mother educated me as a Soviet boy, on great Russian literature, music, poetry. Every year I was sent for 2-3 months to Leningrad, to my grandma, and she would spoil me silly, dragging me to the opera houses, to concerts, museums. I loved and missed Russia enormously, while living most of the year in emotionally cold and pragmatic Czechoslovakia.

Both women -- mother and grandmother: never tried to spare me of all those horrors they survived during the war. I lived through their stories they had to go through during the Siege of the city. My mother would often read me Russian poetry, and she cried. She missed her country and her city, tremendously. She was terrified by the war, even so many years after it ended. I was missing Leningrad, too. I still do.

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Then the 1968 came, and I was just barely 5. Since then, there was no childhood. Since the first grade of elementary school, my life was one huge battle for survival. Between each class, several boys would come and unceremoniously beat me up, just for having Russian mother. First, I suffered in silence. Then I began fighting back. You know how racist Europeans are. I was constantly attacked not only because my mother was "Russian"; it was mainly because she had Asian features. I still remember that talk: "Look at your disgusting Asian ears, you sh*t". When I played badminton in a gym, kids were pissing into my shoes during winter, and urine would turn to ice.

My parents divorced. Their marriage collapsed. But also, their political ideas were different. My father left Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. I was getting two totally different interpretations of the political events, since I was 5. From several highly intellectual and bright individuals in my family. I had to decide what was right and wrong.

They destroyed my childhood, but made a tough writer out of me, at a very early age.

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3 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments  Post Comment


Leslie Johnson

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What a wonderful and fascinating life and story! I must confess, I'm completely envious. Thank you, I wanted to give the Inspiring rating 5 clicks!

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 6, 2018 at 10:13:46 AM

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David Watts

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Reply to Leslie Johnson:   New Content

Leslie, you are right; Wonderful, Fascinating, and Inspiring.

Reading this piece made me feel like Andre Vltchek does as much in well less than one year, as I have ever done in my entire life. And, he keeps doing it over and over again.

I greatly admire Andre and I give Andre my greatest respects...

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 6, 2018 at 8:35:06 PM

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Em Sos

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Can such a complex of haunting horrors, as described, in words and pictures, by Andre Vltchek -- what has relentlessly been perpetrated, and is still continuing unabated and largely unchallenged; throughout the reign of western imperialist colonialist invasions and exploitation's -- ever be truly comprehended by readers and onlookers?

And yet, all of this destruction and plunder conduct, through only the most recent past 70-plus years, has been captured and related with such heartfelt exuberance, in a word of mouth interview, that truly makes it palpable. It takes the breath away.

This has been accomplished in such an unpretentious, matter of fact manner, only the talents of this rare and special individual, Andre Vltchek, could have brought home so succinctly.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 6, 2018 at 3:41:27 PM

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David Watts

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Reply to Em Sos:   New Content

Em, I cannot write anything like the way you are able to write. Sometimes I have to read what you write several times to be sure I understand. But not this time. I understood your comment perfectly. Wonderful comment, wonderfully said...

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 6, 2018 at 8:13:26 PM

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Em Sos

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Reply to David Watts:   New Content

Without going too far off the subject of Andre Vltchek, thanks David, for your acknowledgment.

You're an all-around tactful individual.

I acknowledge, it is quite difficult for me to adequately align the convoluted thought processes spinning through my mind.

As you know, the linguistic requirements of writing coherently, necessitates correct grammar and punctuation in order that others may more easily follow a train of thought.

Unfortunately, this is where I tend to 'trip over my own penmanship'.

Submitted on Thursday, Dec 6, 2018 at 10:32:50 PM

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