technology:dom




  • Overview of how does #css works behind the scenes?
    https://hackernoon.com/overview-of-how-does-css-works-behind-the-scenes-498d98b0e404?source=rss

    FrontamentalsLet’s start by understanding what actually happens to our CSS code when we load up a web page in a browser.When a browser starts to load the initial #html file, it takes the loaded HTML code and parses it, which means that it will decode the code line by line. By this process, the browser builds the so-called DOM (Document Object Modal) which describes the entire web document in a tree with parent, children and sibling elements.HTML ParsingAs the browser parses the HTML, it also finds the stylesheets included in the HTML head and just like HTML, CSS is also parsed.But the parsing of CSS bit more complex.There are two main steps that are performed during the CSS parsing phase :1. Conflicting CSS declarations are resolved (also known a cascading)2. Process final CSS values (for (...)

    #front-end-development #web-development


  • nanoJS - Minimal standalone JS library for DOM manipulation
    https://vladocar.github.io/nanoJS

    nanoJS is around 100 lines of code (0.6 Kb compressed) JavaScript library for basic DOM manipulation. It has jQuery like syntax and supports chaining.
    Because is so small and simple you can add or remove methods directly in the library, meaning is very customizable. All methods are unrelated so removing one will not affect the library in any way (except each method).

    #javascript #jQuery #lib #DOM_manipulation


  • #react Hooks are live. Here is your introduction
    https://hackernoon.com/react-hooks-are-live-here-is-your-introduction-cd971a576561?source=rss--

    Classes can be a large barrier to learn React, says React team. They don’t minify very well and they make hot reloading unreliable. With React Hooks, you don’t need to convert a function component into class component. You can use state and lifecycle methods in the function component.Okay, but what are hooks really?They are functions that let you “hook” into React internal state and lifecycle features from function componentsGreat! How do I do that?First, Update your React and React DOM dependency in your project. Hooks are freshly released on React 16.8.0 today!npm install —save react@^16.8.0 react-dom@^16.8.0Now let’s take a look on the useState hook. Here is the demo:https://medium.com/media/1ccc30b1722d2d5bd8477a0969ede55f/hrefuseState hookWe need to have a simple class component with (...)

    #javascript #react-components #reactjs #react-hook


  • How I got rid of the new sponsored #facebook posts.
    https://hackernoon.com/how-i-get-rid-of-the-new-sponsored-facebook-posts-138d013f4bbe?source=rs

    Disclaimer: This story is focused on how I identified and removed the sponsored posts, not on why I removed them. It’s an occasion to learn more about the DOM.Today I open Facebook, and I notice something, my adblocker isn’t working.As a developer, I decided to investigate, and first thing first I inspect the structure of these sponsored posts, to see if there’s a way to identify them so I can remove them with a script.The structure looks pretty simple, we have an element with role “article”, that contains a div with a class starting with “feed_subtitle”, and inside this last div, something like a bazillion of spans with random words.Dude, seriously, WTF?Facebook madness…They are using a trick to display the word “Sponsored”: some of the spans are visible, some aren’t.And to make things simpler… (...)

    #adblock #javascript


  • C++ ... in 2018—Bartłomiej Filipek
    http://isocpp.org/feeder/?FeederAction=clicked&feed=All+Posts&seed=http%3A%2F%2Fisocpp.org%2Fblog%2F2

    A retrospective of all the things that happened in C++-dom in 2018:

    C++ ... in 2018 by Bartłomiej Filipek

    From the article:

    2018 is almost over (just a few hours left in Poland till midnight). As in previous years, I did a summary of many things that happened in the C++ community. This year seems to be marked with a solid progress towards the standardisation of C++20, using more and more C++17 and as always the growth in the community. Let’s have a look...

    #News,Articles&_Books,


  • Web #accessibility : Buzzword or Reality ?
    https://hackernoon.com/web-accessibility-buzzword-or-reality-c265ec82aa03?source=rss----3a8144e

    Everyone wants the benefits of accessibility, but nobody wants to do the workWeb Accessibility. The unexpected lovechild of Sir Tim Berners Lee, a shoddy 12" monochrome screen that went black (and never came back) and a cat that ran away with the mouse. The cat came back, but by the time we found the mouse again, Steve Jobs decided we should all be poking at our screens instead.Rewind to August 6, 1991 — which to the snowflake generation may seem like ages ago, except it wasn’t — a mere 27 years ago, when the first web page went live, that web page was accessible. Its syntax was semantically correct, all of its content was in the DOM, it was readable by colour-blind people, dyslexics, 20–20 vision, poor vision or no vision individuals alike. It was keyboard navigable and its logical flow (...)

    #software-development #web-design #web-development #react


  • Maps Mania: Unboxing the Shetlands
    http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/2018/10/unboxing-shetlands.html

    Yesterday the Scottish government passed a law which makes it illegal to place the Shetlands Islands in an inset box on a map of Scotland.

    Just as Hawaii is often shown in an inset box on maps of the United States the Shetland Islands are often placed in an inset box on maps of Scotland. By making it illegal to place the Shetland Islands inside an inset box the politicians have created a huge problem for cartographers.

    Or have they?

    My solution to this problem is simply Unboxing the Shetlands and placing the rest of Scotland in an inset box instead. This simple and elegant solution to the new law will hopefully satisfy everybody.

    Obviously my solution does not quite fit the letter of the new law which requires that the islands be “displayed in a manner that accurately and proportionately represents their geographical location in relation to the rest of Scotland”. However I think it does fit the spirit of the law in that it more accurately reflects the huge cultural and historical significance of the islands. My map obviously has the additional benefit of putting Scotland back in the box where it belongs.

    #cartographie #Écosse #Shetlands #LOL

    • À quand une loi du même genre pour la Corse ?

      Note : ça me rappelle mes débuts sur le module de cartographie de SAS, il y a vraiment longtemps. Les fonds de carte fournis par SAS Institute plaçait la Corse en encart dans le Golfe de Gascogne. Ça n’avait pas duré très longtemps.

      C’est vrai qu’il y a de la place à utiliser ; d’ailleurs, c’est souvent là que sont placés les encarts pour les DOM.


  • Mozilla executive claims that Google has made YouTube slower on Edge and Firefox - Neowin
    https://www.neowin.net/news/mozilla-executive-claims-that-google-has-made-youtube-slower-on-edge-and-fir

    Comment les détails techniques peuvent jouer sur la question de la neutralité de l’internet...

    Early last year, YouTube received a design refresh with Google’s own Polymer library which enabled “quicker feature development” for the platform. Now, a Mozilla executive is claiming that Google has made YouTube slower on Edge and Firefox by using this framework.

    In a thread on Twitter, Mozilla’s Technical Program Manager has stated that YouTube’s Polymer redesign relies heavily on the deprecated Shadow DOM v0 API, which is only available in Chrome. This in turn makes the site around five times slower on competing browsers such as Microsoft Edge and Mozila Firefox. He went on to say that:

    The executive has also mentioned a couple of workarounds for users on Edge and Firefox, which involve the use of extensions to restore the pre-Polymer version of YouTube.

    Peterson has also suggested that another way to fix the problem would be to offer the older version of YouTube to users on affected browsers, which is what Google does for Internet Explorer 11.

    Another rather interesting aspect to note is that Polymer’s latest versions support both Shadow DOM v0 and v1 APIs, but for some reason, Google still uses Polymer 1.0 with the deprecated API. Google is yet to comment on these claims.

    #YouTube #Neutralité_internet #Google


  • Custom directives in #angular 6 — building a Google places autocomplete
    https://hackernoon.com/custom-directives-in-angular-6-building-a-google-places-autocomplete-4b4

    I have been playing around with Angular a lot lately and a lot of things that seemed unnecessary in the beginning is starting to make sense. Angular is a well thought out framework, and although it is very opinionated, it follows some of the industry best practices when it comes to structuring the frontend of a web application. It was fascinating to discover how much focus is there on code reusability both within a project and across multiple projects! I would like to show you an example, using Angular directives.What is a directive?A directive allows you to attach a behavior to DOM elements. This behavior could be as simple or as complex as you’d like.*ngFor and *ngIf are examples of built-in directives in Angular. In this article, I will show you how to make a custom Google place (...)

    #google-maps-api #angular-6 #angular-directive #javascript


  • Rapperswil Trip Report
    http://cppcast.libsyn.com/rapperswil-trip-report

    Rob and Jason discuss the Rapperswil trip report and other C++ news. News What’s next for Visual Studio Visual Studio Roadmap Build the future of the web with WebAssembly and more (Google I/O ’18) WebAssembly Physics and DOM objects “Core Coroutines” proposal Microsoft Buys GitHub: The Linux Foundation’s Reaction Links @robwirving @lefticus Sponsors Backtrace Patreon CppCast Patreon Listener Survey CppCast Listener Survey  

    http://traffic.libsyn.com/cppcast/cppcast-154.mp3?dest-id=282890


  • Resilient Web Design
    https://resilientwebdesign.com

    temps de lecture - 1 heure

    The World Wide Web has been around for long enough now that we can begin to evaluate the twists and turns of its evolution. I wrote this book to highlight some of the approaches to web design that have proven to be resilient. I didn’t do this purely out of historical interest (although I am fascinated by the already rich history of our young industry). In learning from the past, I believe we can better prepare for the future.

    You won’t find any code in here to help you build better websites. But you will find ideas and approaches. Ideas are more resilient than code. I’ve tried to combine the most resilient ideas from the history of web design into an approach for building the websites of the future.

    Citations

    Java is to JavaScript as ham is to hamster.

    C’est marrant. Mais il y a des informations sérieuses aussi.

    2.0
    The rise of JavaScript was boosted in 2005 with the publication of an article entitled Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications by Jesse James Garrett. The article put a name to a technique that was gaining popularity. Using a specific subset of JavaScript, it was possible for a web browser to send and receive data from a web server without refreshing the whole page. The result was a smoother user experience.

    The term Ajax was coined at the same time that another neologism was in the ascendent. Tim O’Reilly used the phrase Web 2.0 to describe a new wave of web products and services. Unlike Ajax, it was difficult to pin down a definition of Web 2.0. For business people, it meant new business models. For graphic designers, it meant rounded corners and gradients. For developers, it meant JavaScript and Ajax.

    ... puis ...

    Stuart Langridge put together a list of all the potential points of failure under the title Everyone has JavaScript, right?
    ...
    This doesn’t mean that web designers shouldn’t use JavaScript. But it does mean that web designers shouldn’t rely on JavaScript when a simpler solution exists.
    ...A platform provides a controlled runtime environment for software. As long as the user has that runtime environment, you can be confident that they will get exactly what you’ve designed. If you build an iOS app and someone has an iOS device, you know that they will get 100% of your software. But if you build an iOS app and someone has an Android device, they will get 0% of your software. You can’t install an iOS app on an Android device. It’s all or nothing.

    The web isn’t as binary as that. If you build something using web technologies, and someone visits with a web browser, you can’t be sure how many of the web technologies will be supported. It probably won’t be 100%. But it’s also unlikely to be 0%. Some people will visit with iOS devices. Others will visit with Android devices. Some people will get 80% or 90% of what you’ve designed. Others will get just 20%, 30%, or 50%. The web isn’t a platform. It’s a continuum.

    #paradigme

    To paraphrase Karl Marx, progressive enhancement allows designers to ask from each browser according to its ability, and to deliver to each device according to its needs.

    http://dowebsitesneedtolookexactlythesameineverybrowser.com

    #pratique

    Feature detection, cutting the mustard, whatever you want to call it, is a fairly straightforward technique. Let’s say you want to traverse the DOM using querySelector and attach events to some nodes in the document using addEventListener. Your mustard‐cutting logic might look something like this:

    if (document.querySelector && window.addEventListener) {
    // Enhance!
    }
    There are two points to note here:

    This is feature detection, not browser detection. Instead of asking “which browser are you?” and trying to infer feature support from the answer, it is safer to simply ask “do you support this feature?”
    There is no else statement.

    #pratique

    As Brad Frost puts it:
    “There is a difference between support and optimization.”
    Support every browser ...but optimise for none.

    #paradigme

    “Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context”
    ...
    Here’s a three‐step approach I take to web design:

    – Identify core functionality.
    – Make that functionality available using the simplest possible technology.
    – Enhance!

    #problème

    Building resilient websites is challenging. It takes time to apply functionality and features in a considered layered way. The payoff is a website that can better react to unexpected circumstances—unusual browsers, flaky network connections, outdated devices. Nonetheless, for many web designers, the cost in time seems to be too high.

    #solution

    Behaviour change is hard. Even if you are convinced of the benefits of a resilient approach to web design, you may find yourself struggling to convince your colleagues, your boss, or your clients. It was ever thus. Take comfort from the history of web standards and responsive design. Those approaches were eventually adopted by people who were initially resistant.

    Demonstrating the benefits of progressive enhancement can be tricky. Because the payoff happens in unexpected circumstances, the layered approach is hard to sell. Most people will never even know whether or not a site has been built in a resilient way. It’s a hidden mark of quality that will go unnoticed by people with modern browsers on new devices with fast network connections.

    For that same reason, you can start to implement this layered approach without having to convince your colleagues, your boss, or your clients. If they don’t care, then they also won’t notice. As Grace Hopper also said, “it’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”

    #pratique

    Realising that it was impossible to be future‐proof, we instead resolved to be future-friendly:

    Acknowledge and embrace unpredictability.
    Think and behave in a future-friendly way.
    Help others do the same.
    That first step is the most important: acknowledging and embracing unpredictability. That is the driving force behind resilient web design. The best way to be future-friendly is to be backwards‐compatible.

    #avenir

    The future, like the web, is unknown.

    The future, like the web, will be written by you.

    #internet #www


  • The Rise and Fall Of the Watusi - The New York Times
    https://www.nytimes.com/1964/02/23/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-watusi.html
    En 1964 le New York Times publie un article sur l’extermination imminente des Tutsi. C’est raconté comme une fatalité qui ne laisse pas de choix aux pauvres nègres victimes de forces plus grandes qu’eux. Dans cette optique il s’agit du destion inexorable du peuple des Tutsi arrivant à la fin de son règne sur le peuple des Hutu qui revendique ses droits. L’article contient quelques informations intéressantes déformées par la vison colonialiste de l’époque.

    ELSPETH HUXLEYFEB. 23, 1964

    FROM the miniature Republic of Rwanda in central Africa comes word of the daily slaughter of a thousand people, the possible extermin­ation of a quarter of a million men, women and children, in what has been called the bloodiest tragedy since Hitler turned on the Jews. The victims are those tall, proud and graceful warrior­aristocrats, the Tutsi, sometimes known as the Watusi.* They are being killed

    *According to the orthography of the Bantu language, “Tutsi” is the singular and “Watutsi” the plural form of the word. For the sake of simplicity. I prefer to follow the style used in United Nations reports and use “Tutsi” for both singular and plural.

    Who are the Tutsi and why is such a ghastly fate overtaking them? Is it simply African tribalism run riot, or are outside influences at work ? Can nothing be done?

    The king‐in‐exile of Rwanda, Mwamni (Monarch) Kigeri V, who has fled to the Congo, is the 41st in line of suc­cession. Every Tutsi can recite the names of his 40 predecessors but the Tutsi cannot say how many centuries ago their ancestors settled in these tumbled hills, deep valleys and vol­canic mountains separating the great

    Nor is it known just where they came from—Ethiopia perhaps; before that, possibly Asia. They are cattle folk, allied in race to such nomadic peo­ples as the Somali, Gatlla, Fulani and Masai. Driving their cattle before them, they found this remote pocket of cen­tral Africa, 1,000 miles from the In­dian Ocean. It was occupied by a race of Negro cultivators called the Hutu, who had themselves displaced the ab­original pygmy hunters, the Twa (or Batwa). First the Tutsi conquered and then ruled the Hutu. much as a ??r‐man ruling class conquered and settled

    In the latest census, the Tutsi con­stitute about 15 per cent of Rwanda’s population of between 2.5 and 3 mil­lion. Apart from a handful of Twa, the rest are Hutu. (The same figures are true of the tiny neighboring king­dom of Burundi.)

    For at least four centuries the Tutsi have kept intact their racial type by inbreeding. Once seen, these elongated men are never forgotten. Their small, narrow heads perched on top of slim and spindly bodies remind one of some of Henry Moore’s sculptures. Their average height, though well above the general norm, is no more than 5 feet 9 inches, but individuals reach more than 7 feet. The former king, Charles III Rudahagwa, was 6 feet 9 inches, and a famous dancer and high jumper—so famous his portrait was printed on the banknotes—measured 7 feet 5 inches.

    THIS height, prized as a badge of racial purity, the Tutsi accentuated by training upward tufts of fuzzy hair shaped like crescent moons. Their leaps, bounds and whirling dances delighted tourists, as their courtesy and polished manners impressed them.

    Through the centuries, Tutsi feudal­ism survived with only minor changes. At its center was the Mwami, believed to be descended from the god of lightning, whose three children fell from heaven onto a hilltop and begat the two royal clans from which the Mwami and his queen were always chosen. Not only had the Mwami rights of life and death over his subjects but, in theory, he owned all the cattle. too — magnificent, long‐horned cattle far superior to the weedy native African bovines. Once a year, these were ceremonially presented to the Mwami in all their glory — horns sand‐polished, coats rubbed with butter, foreheads hung with beads, each beast attended by a youth in bark‐cloth robes who spoke to it softly and caught its dung on a woven straw mat.

    “Rwanda has three pillars.” ran a Tutsi saying: “God, cows and soldiers.” The cows the Mwami distributed among his subchiefs, and they down the line to lesser fry, leaving no adult Tutsi male without cows.

    Indeed, the Tutsi cannot live with­out cattle, for milk and salted butter are their staple food. (Milk is con­sumed in curds; the butter, hot and perfumed by the bark of a certain tree.) To eat foods grown in soil, though often done, is thought vaguely shame­ful, something to be carried out in private.

    THE kingdom was divided into dis­tricts and each had not one governor, but two: a land chief (umunyabutaka) and a cattle chief (umuuyamukenke). The jealousy that nearly always held these two potentates apart prompted them to spy on each other to the Mwami, who was thus able to keep his barons from threatening his own au­thority.

    Below these governors spread a net­work of hill chiefs, and under them again the heads of families. Tribute — milk and butter from the lordly Tutsi, and

    Just as, in medieval Europe, every nobleman sent his son to the king’s court to learn the arts of war, love and civil­ity, so in Rwanda and Burundi did every Tutsi father send his sons to the Mwami’s court for instruction in the use of weapons, in lore and tradition, in dancing and poetry and the art of conversation, in manly sports and in the practice of the most prized Tutsi virtue —self‐control. Ill‐temper and the least display of emotion are thought shameful and vul­gar. The ideal Tutsi male is at all times polite, dignified, amiable, sparing of idle words and a trifle supercilious.

    THESE youths, gathered in the royal compound, were formed into companies which, in turn, formed the army. Each youth owed to his company commander an allegiance which continued all his life. In turn, the commander took the youth, and subsequently the man, under his protection. Every Tutsi could appeal from his hill chief to his army com­mander, who was bound to support him in lawsuits or other troubles. (During battle, no commander could step backward, lest . his army re­treat; at no time could the

    The Hutu were both bound and protected by a system known as buhake, a form of vassalage. A Hutu wanting to enter into this relationship would present a jug of beer to a Tutsi and say: “I ask you for milk. Make me rich. Be my father, and I will be your child.” If the Tutsi agreed, he gave the applicant a cow, or several cows. This sealed the bargain­

    The Hutu then looked to his lord for protection and for such help as contributions to­ward the bride‐price he must proffer for a wife. In return, the Hutu helped from time to time in the work of his pro­tector’s household, brought oc­casional jugs of beer and held himself available for service

    The densely populated king­doms of the Tutsi lay squarely in the path of Arab slavers who for centuries pillaged throughout the central Afri­can highlands, dispatching by the hundreds of thou­sands yoked and helpless hu­man beings to the slave mar­kets of Zanzibar and the Persian Gulf. Here the explor­er Livingstone wrote despair­ingly in his diaries of coffles (caravans) of tormented cap­tives, of burnt villages, slaugh­tered children, raped women and ruined crops. But these little kingdoms, each about the size of Maryland, escaped. The disciplined, courageous Tutsi spearmen kept the Arabs out, and the Hutu safe. Feudalism worked both ways.

    Some Hutu grew rich, and even married their patrons’ daughters. Sexual morality was strict. A girl who became pregnant before marriage was either killed outright or aban­doned on an island in the mid­dle of Lake Kivu to perish, unless rescued by a man of a despised and primitive Congo tribe, to be kept as a beast of burden with no rights.

    SINCE the Tutsi never tilled the soil, their demands for labor were light. Hutu duties included attendance on the lord during his travels; carry­ing messages; helping to re­pair the master’s compound; guarding his cows. The reia­tionsiiip could be ended at any time by either party. A patron had no right to hold an unwilling “client” in his service.

    It has been said that serf­dom in Europe was destroyed by the invention of the horse

    UNTIL the First World War the kingdoms were part of German East Africa. Then Bel­gium took them over, under the name of Ruanda‐Urundi, as a trust territory, first for the League of Nations, then under the U. N. Although the Belgian educational system, based on Roman Catholic mis­sions, was conservative in out­look, and Belgian adminis­trators made no calculated attempt to undo Tutsi feudal­ism, Western ideas inevitably crept in. So did Western eco­nomic notions through the in­troduction of coffee cultiva­tion, which opened to the Hutu a road to independence, by­passing the Tutsi cattle‐based economy. And Belgian authori­ty over Tutsi notables, even over the sacred Mwami him­self, inevitably damaged their prestige. The Belgians even de­posed one obstructive Mwami. About ten years ago, the Belgians tried to persuade the Tutsi to let some of the Hutu into their complex structure of government. In Burundi, the Tutsi ruling caste realized its cuanger just in time and agreed to share some of its powers with the Hutu majority. But in Rwanda, until the day the system toppled, no Hutu was appointed by the Tatsi over­lords to a chief’s position. A tight, rigid, exclusive Tutsi aristocracy continued to rule the land.

    The Hutu grew increasingly

    WHEN order was restored, there were reckoned to be 21,­000 Tutsi refugees in Burundi, 14,000 in Tanganyika, 40,000 in Uganda and 60,000 in the Kivu province of the Con­go. The Red Cross did its best to cope in camps improvised by local governments.

    Back in Rwanda, municipal elections were held for the first time—and swept the Hutu into power. The Parmehutu —Parti d’Emancipation des Hu­tus—founded only in October 1959, emerged on top, formed a coalition government, and after some delays proclaimed a republic, to which the Bel­gians, unwilling to face a colonial war, gave recognition in terms of internal self‐gov­ernment.

    In 1962, the U.N. proclaimed Belgium’s trusteeship at an end, and, that same year, a general election held under U.N. supervision confirmed the Hutu triumph. With full in­dependence, a new chapter be­gan — the Hutu chapter.

    Rwanda and Burundi split. Burundi has the only large city, Usumbura (population: 50,000), as its capital. With a mixed Tutsi‐Hutu govern­ment, it maintains an uneasy peace. It remains a kingdom, with a Tutsi monarch. Every­one knows and likes the jovial Mwami, Mwambutsa IV, whose height is normal, whose rule

    As its President, Rwanda chose Grégoire Kayibanda, a 39‐year‐old Roman Catholic seminarist who, on the verge of ordination, chose politics in­stead. Locally educated by the Dominicans, he is a protégé of the Archbishop of Rwanda whose letter helped spark the first Hutu uprising. Faithful to his priestly training, he shuns the fleshpots, drives a Volkswagen instead of the Rolls or Mercedes generally favored by an African head of state and, suspicious of the lure of wicked cities, lives on a hilltop outside the town of Kigali, said to be the smallest capital city in the world, with some 7,000 inhabitants, a sin­gle paved street, no hotels, no telephone and a more or less permanent curfew.

    Mr. Kayibanda’s Christian and political duties, as he sees them, have fused into an im­placable resolve to destroy for­ever the last shreds of Tutsi power—if necessary by obliter­ating the entire Tutsi race. Last fall, Rwanda still held between 200,000 and 250,000 Tutsi, reinforced by refugees drifting back from the camps, full of bitterness and humilia­tion. In December, they were joined by bands of Tutsi spear­men from Burundi, who with the courage of despair, and outnumbered 10 to 1, attacked the Hutu. Many believe they were egged on by Mwami Ki­geri V, who since 1959 had been fanning Tutsi racial prideand calling for revenue.

    THE result of the attacks was to revive all the cumula­tive hatred of the Tutsi for past injustices. The winds of anti‐colonialism sweeping Af­rica do not distinguish be­tween white and black colo­nialists. The Hutu launched a ruthless war of extermina­tion that is still going on. Tut­si villages are stormed and their inhabitants clubbed or hacked to death, burned alive or herded into crocodile‐infest­ed rivers.

    What will become of the Tutsi? One urgent need is out­side help for the Urundi Gov­ernment in resettling the masses of refugees who have fled to its territory. Urundi’s mixed political set‐up is rea­sonably democratic, if not al­ways peaceful (witness the assassination of the Crown Prince by a political opponent

    In a sense the Tutsi have brought their tragic fate on themselves. They are paying now the bitter price of ostrich­ism, a stubborn refusal to move with the times. The Bourbons of Africa, they are meeting the Bourbon destiny—to be obliterated by the people they have ruled and patron­ized.

    The old relationship could survive no longer in a world, as E. M. Forster has described it, of “telegrams and anger;” a world of bogus democracy turning into one‐party states, of overheated U.N. assemblies, of press reports and dema­gogues, a world where (as in the neighboring Congo) a for­mer Minister of Education leads bands of tribesmen armed with arrows to mutilate women missionaries.

    THE elegant and long‐legged Tutsi with their dances and their epic poetry, their lyre­horned cattle and superb bas­ketwork and code of seemly behavior, had dwindled into tourist fodder. The fate of all species, institutions or individ­uais who will not, or cannot. adapt caught up with them. Those who will not bend must break.

    For the essence of the situ­ation in an Africa increasingly

    NOW, not just the white men have gone, or are going; far more importantly, the eld­ers and their authority, the whole chain of command from ancestral spirits, through the chief and his council to the obedient youth are being swept away. This hierarchy is being replaced by the “young men,” the untried, unsettled, uncer­tain, angry and confused gen­eration who, with a thin ve­neer of ill‐digested Western education, for the first time in Africa’s long history have taken over power from their fathers.

    It is a major revolution in­deed, whose first results are only just beginning to show up and whose outcome cannot be seen. There is only one safe prediction: that it will be vio­lent, unpredictable, bloody and cruel, as it is proving for the doomed Tutsi of Rwanda.

    #Ruanda #Burundi #histoire #Tutsi #Congo


  • #Croatie : Juifs, Serbes et antifascistes boycottent encore la cérémonie officielle au camp de #Jasenovac

    Depuis le retour de la droite au pouvoir, cela devient une tradition. Cette année encore, les associations de victimes boycottent la cérémonie officielle de la libération du camp de concentration croate. Trois commémorations séparées auront lieu à Jasenovac, où au moins 80 000 Serbes, Juifs, Roms, et Partisans sont morts.


    https://www.courrierdesbalkans.fr/Trois-commemorations-a-Jasenovac-les-associations-des-victimes-bo
    #commémoration #spomenik #boycot #spomeniks


  • Front-End Tricks: 100% #css control of #masonry Layout w/ left-right content flow
    https://hackernoon.com/masonry-layout-technique-react-demo-of-100-css-control-of-the-view-e4190

    CSS column-count + array reordering = left-to-right content flowLive Demo: https://github.com/jessekorzan/masonry-css-jsThe problem… column-count works great except for left-to-right scan readingMasonry Layouts… popularized by sites like Pinterest. Loved by non-coding designers and holy-grailed in corporate boardrooms.Naturally, many sharp front-enders have worked on solutions. We have several libraries, techniques and hacks to achieve this marvel of content display.There are times when a masonry layout is an appropriate design decision. Depending on what else that design has to accommodate, these solutions might be a good fit.For me, especially in exploratory efforts, a pure-CSS method is a flexible and fast way to iterate. I don’t want to rely on DOM manipulation or end up with a contrived (...)

    #react #javascript #grid-layout


  • Gregory Klimov. The Terror Machine. Chapter 08
    http://g-klimov.info/klimov-pp-e/ETM08.htm

    The Fruits of Victory

    The B. M. W. car works in Eisenach was one of the first large industrial plants in the Soviet zone to receive the S. M. A.’s per-mission to start up production again. It at once began to work at high pressure, turning out cars for reparations deliveries and for the internal needs of the S. M. A. The new car park at Karlshorst consisted exclusively of B. M. W. machines. In addition, heavy motorcycles were supplied for the Soviet occupation forces.

    The Potsdam Conference had made a number of decisions concerning the demilitarization of Germany, and, with the active participation of General Shabalin, the Allied Control Commission drew up regulations strictly forbidding German industry to produce any kind of military or paramilitary material. Meanwhile, the same General Shabalin placed definite orders with the B. M. W. works for the delivery of military motorcycles. But of course motorcycles are only small items.

    The representatives of B. M. W. Eisenach managed to get their agreement with the S. M. A. at Karlshorst settled unusually quickly; other firms offering their products against the reparations account hung about the place for days and weeks on end before they got any satisfactory answer. But the B. M. W. board was more than usually resourceful in their methods.

    A few days after Shabalin had signed the license for the Eisenach firm to start up, I was looking through his morning post. Among other items I noticed a B. M. W. account for some 7, 400 marks, debited to Shabalin, and relating to payment for a car ’which you have received through our representative’. The account was stamped ’paid in full’. I threw Kuznetsov an interrogative glance, but he pretended to know nothing about the matter.

    Next day, as I was crossing the yard of the house where Shabalin had his apartment, I saw Misha at the door of the garage. He was polishing a brand-new car, so new that it was not yet registered, shining in splendor in the dark garage.

    ‘Whose car is that?’ I asked in amazement, knowing that the general had no car like it.

    ‘Ah, you’ll see!’ Misha answered evasively, quite unlike his usual garrulous self.

    When I noticed the chequered marque of the B. M. W. firm on the radiator I realized what had happened. The board had made the general a little ’present’. The 7, 400 Reichsmarks were a fictitious purchase price. And the general had ordered his adjutant and chauffeur to keep their mouths shut, just in case.

    Already during the advance into Germany General Shabalin had ’organized’ two cars, and with Misha’s help had sent them back home, together with three lorries loaded with ’trophies’. In Berlin he made use only of the two service cars at his disposal, and did not make a single journey with his new B. M. W. Shortly afterwards Misha dispatched the B. M. W. also to Russia, together with two more lorries. Naturally, not against reconstruction or reparations accounts, but strictly privately, to the general’s home address. So now he had three private and two service cars. He exploited the service machines, and spared his own, shamefacedly keeping them quiet. In this respect the general was as thrifty as a usurer.

    At first it did not occur to me to provide myself with a car. But later, when I saw how others were adapting themselves to local conditions, I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea. It was easy enough to buy one, but it was much more difficult to get ’permission to possess a private car’. Such permission was issued by the head of the S. M. A. Administrative Department, General Demidov. General Demidov was subordinate in rank to General Shabalin, so I decided to sound Shabalin first. If he agreed, all he had to do was to phone up Demidov and the matter would be settled. I wrote out the requisite application and laid it before the general at the close of my usual service report.

    ‘Hm! What do you want a private car for?’ the economic dictator of Germany asked, rubbing his nose with his finger knuckle, as was his habit

    The Soviet leaders take good care to see that others should not too easily acquire the privileges they themselves enjoy. Even if an American, even if General Draper himself applied personally to Shabalin, he would decide that the applicant had ’No need whatever of a car’.

    ‘Wait a little longer. At the moment I haven’t time to deal with it,’ he said as he handed back the application.

    I knew it would get more and more difficult to obtain the requisite permission. But I also knew that no situation is insoluble; at the worst it was simply that one did not find the solution. ’You must howl with the wolves’ is one of the chief commandments of Soviet life. I had a strong suspicion that the general’s refusal was due only to his caution. He did not wish to run the risk of being charged with lack of bolshevik vigilance in allowing his subordinates to grow accustomed to ’capitalist toys’. He may have had that same feeling when he ’organized’ his own trophies, but the un-communist vestiges of desire for personal gain had overcome his fear. I decided to approach the question from a different angle.

    ‘Do you give me permission to apply to General Demidov, Comrade General?’ I asked in a casual manner.

    ‘Why not? Of course you can,’ he readily answered. So my assumption was confirmed. The general was not prepared to give his signature, but he had no objection to someone else taking the responsibility.

    General Demidov knew quite well that I was one of General Shabalin’s personal staff. In approaching him I could exploit the element of surprise. The next day, with a self-confident air I laid my application on the desk of the head of the Administrative Department. ‘By General Shabalin’s permission,’ I said as I saluted.

    Demidov read the application, assuming that Shabalin had already sanctioned it. In such circumstances a refusal would seem like opposition to a superior officer’s order.

    ‘But aren’t four cylinders enough for you?’ He knitted his brow as he looked through the car documents. ‘Six cylinders are for-bidden to private individuals.’

    Demidov was well known as capable of haggling all day with the utmost fervor over ten litres of petrol, though he had thousands of tons of it in store. In order to get the illegal extra two cylinders I invited him cheerfully: ‘Then ring up General Shabalin, Comrade General.’ I knew Demidov would never do anything so stupid. And, in any case, Shabalin had gone out, and was unobtainable.

    ‘Oh well!’ Demidov sighed as though he were committing a crime. ‘As Shabalin’s agreed...’ He countersigned my application, stamped it, and handed it back to me with the words: ‘But don’t break your neck.’

    This was a great achievement. Later on many officers spent months trying to get permission to own a private car, but had to go on being content with the trams.

    Quite early on I was warned always to go on foot in Karlshorst, and to look in every direction before crossing a street. In fact, there was more traffic accidents in Karlshorst than in all the rest of Berlin. Normal traffic regulations were modified to quite an extent by the drivers themselves, or rather, by the men at the wheel. Lorries always had priority, because of their tonnage. The logic was unusually simple, and dictated by life itself: the one likely to suffer most damage in a collision should always give way. Not for nothing was Karlshorst called the ’Berlin Kremlin’. The rules of the game were the same.

    However, generals’ cars introduced a controversial note into this ’traffic regulation’, and frequently the conflict between tonnage and prestige ended in crushed radiators. Then the glass of smashed headlamps scrunched underfoot at the street crossings, and the more inquisitive studied the nearest trees and fences in an attempt to reconstruct the details of the accident from the torn bark and twisted railings. The safest way of traveling through Karlshorst was in a tank.

    The drivers generally, ordinary soldiers most of them were genuinely annoyed at the fact that generals’ cars bore no distinguishing marks. How were they to know who was sitting in the car: some snotty-nosed lieutenant or a high and mighty general? You see, there was an unwritten law, strictly observed, that nobody had the right to overtake a general’s car.

    I remember an incident that occurred once when I was driving with General Shabalin from Dresden to Berlin. We were traveling along a narrow country road lined with apple-trees when a speedy little D. K. W. fitted past right under the nose of our weighty Admiral. The officer driving it did not deign even to glance at us. Misha looked interrogatively at Shabalin, sitting beside him. Without turning his head the general curtly ordered: ‘After him and stop him!’

    As a rule Misha was not allowed to drive fast because the general suffered from gastric trouble; now he did not need to be told twice. In anticipation of the pleasure that he could experience so seldom he stepped so violently on the gas that the general pulled a face.

    Not in the least suspecting the fate that threatened him, the unfortunate driver of the D. K. W. took up the challenge: he stepped on it too. After some minutes spent in furious pursuit the Admiral drew ahead and began to block its rival’s path. To give the maneuver an impressive touch the general stuck his head with his gold-braided cap out of the window, and shook his fist. The effect was terrific: the D. K. W. stopped with a jerk some thirty yards behind us, and remained at a standstill in expectation of the thunders and lightning about to be let loose.

    ‘Major, go and give that blockhead a good punch in the mug,’ the general ordered me.

    I got out to execute the order. A lieutenant was standing beside the D. K. W., fidgeting nervously. In a state of consternation, he tried to make excuses for his behavior. I took a cautious glance back and saw the general watching me from our car, so I let fly a volley of curses at the unlucky officer. But I was astonished to observe that he was far more frightened than the incident justified. So, as I was running a keen eye over his papers, I glanced inside his car. From the depths of it a German girl stared back at me, her eyes filled with tears. That explained the officer’s fright: this might cost him his tabs, for acquaintance with German girls was strictly forbidden. I gave him a searching look. He stood like a lamb awaiting the slaughter. I placed myself with my back to our car and said in a very different tone: ‘Hop it as quick as you can!’

    When I returned to our car the general greeted my cheerful face with an irritable look and muttered: ‘Why didn’t you knock out his teeth for him? And you’re a front-fighter!’ To appease his injured dignity I replied: ‘It really wasn’t worth it, General. You’d already given him such a fright that he’d got his breeches full.’

    ‘You’ve got a long tongue, Major. You’re always finding excuses for getting round my orders,’ he grumbled, and nodded to Misha. ‘Drive on. But not so fast!’

    Accustomed as I was to traffic conditions in Karlshorst, and especially after I had repeatedly had to drive on to the sidewalk to avoid a pursuing lorry, I found driving through other parts of Berlin a queer experience. I was out of my element. Even along the main street you drove at a reasonable speed, and you stepped politely on the brake when a huge American truck shoved its nose out of a side street. A truck that size driven by a Russian would never have given way even to the marshal himself. But the stupid American shoved on his pneumatic brakes that groaned like an elephant, and waved his hand from his superior height: ‘Drive on.’ Wasting his gas like that! He didn’t understand the simplest of traffic and other rules: ’If you’re the stronger you have priority’.

    The numbers of victims of car accidents rose threateningly. Marshal Zhukov was forced to resort to draconian measures. When a Mercedes in which General Kurassov, the first chief of staff of the S. M. A., was driving was smashed up at a Karlshorst crossing there was a furious development of car inspections. Next day all the street crossings were decorated with red ’prohibited’ signs, traffic lights, German traffic police and motor-patrols from the Soviet Military-Automobile Inspection. It was more confusing to drive through Karlshorst than through a virgin forest.

    The problem of guarding the Soviet citizens against the corrupting influence of the capitalist West caused the Soviet authorities in Germany many a headache. Take cars again, as an example. According to Soviet dogma a private car is a bourgeois luxury. As a rule there were to be only service cars, put at the disposal of those whom the State deemed worthy of them because of rank and position. Exceptions were few and of no importance, being made chiefly for propaganda purposes. But the time of vulgar equality and brotherhood was long past. Now we had scientific socialism. He who learned his lesson well had had a service car for a long time already.

    But then a struggle set in between the ’capitalist vestiges in the communist consciousness’ and the Soviet dogma. Despite thirty years of ’re-education’, those ’capitalist vestiges’ proved to be extraordinarily tenacious and, when transferred to other conditions, flourished again in all their beauty.

    In 1945 every Soviet officer in Germany could buy a car at the price of a month’s pay. In this case the policy of ’control through the ruble’ was ineffective. So the authorities had to resort to other methods. Patrols of the Military-Automobile Inspection, armed to the teeth, combed out all the yards in Karlshorst, and searched the garages and cellars for cars whose possession was not ’licensed’. Documents showing that they had been acquired quite legally made no difference whatever. Anyone could buy a car, but who would drive it was another matter. By such radical methods officers were deprived of cars that they had purchased officially and quite regularly, but for which they had failed to obtain a license. They had to deliver their cars to the State, or have them confiscated. Expropriation as a method of socialist education!

    In 1945 any officer holding the rank of major or higher could venture to apply for permission to own a private car. From May 1946 onward only officers of colonel’s or higher rank were allowed to apply, and this practically amounted to a ban on all officers. The Germans could come to Karlshorst in their cars and call on you. But the Soviet officers often had to use streetcars when visiting Germans. ‘I’ve left my bus round the corner’ was the usual formula in such cases.

    The golden days of 1945, when the Soviet western frontier was practically non-existent, was now part of the legendary past. The majority of the champions of private property, who had nursed the hope of showing off in their ’private’ cars in their home towns, and of traveling on their own horse-power all the way from Berlin, through Poland, to the Soviet Union, had their secret wish-dreams shattered: on reaching the Soviet frontier they had to leave their cars behind, and to drag their heavy cases to the train. The import tax on a car greatly exceeded its purchase price. It might have cost 5, 000 Reichsmarks, the equivalent of 2, 500 rubles; but the customs authorities fixed the tax according to the purchase price of the corresponding Soviet machine, i. e., between 10, 000 and 12, 000 rubles, and then imposed a tax of 100 to 120 per cent of this hypothetical purchase price. Of course nobody had such a large sum in his pocket.

    His fellow travelers in the train consoled the sinner thus being brought back to the Soviet fold: ‘Don’t worry, Vania. It’s better so. It only saves you further trouble. You think it out. Supposing you arrive in Moscow. Before you can dare to register the car you’ve got to have a garage built of brick or stone, and you yourself will have to live in a timber house with accommodation of nine square yards per soul. And you’d never get a license for purchasing petrol, and buying it on the side means either bankruptcy or the clink.’

    An obviously highly experienced individual poked his head down from the upper berth of the sleeper, and rubbed balm into the late car-owner’s soul: "You thank your lucky stars you’ve got out of it so easily. There was a demobilized captain in my town-he brought back a wonderful Mercedes with him. And what happened? He’s likely to be a nervous wreck for the rest of his life. He was just an ordinary sort like you or me, not a district Soviet chairman, and not an active worker. And suddenly this quite ordinary sort of individual goes driving around in an elegant automobile. All the local leaders were peeved. And they put their heads together to think up a way of swindling the Mercedes out of him. And then he had had it! Somewhere in the district a cow was run over by a train, and he was summoned before the public prosecutor: ’Why did you kill that cow?’ Somewhere a bridge collapsed with old age; he was called to the court again: ’What did you smash that bridge for?’ Whenever some misfortune happened in the district he was charged with it: ’You did it with your auto!’

    ‘At last this comedy began to get him down, so he decided to sell his car. But that wasn’t so easy: nobody would buy it. After much worry and trouble he arranged with the head of the local Machine-Tractor Station to exchange the car against a calf and a few sacks of corn from the next harvest. But then the Party Central Committee issued a regulation ’Concerning the Squandering of the Property of Collective Farms and Machine-Tractor Stations’. The head of the Tractor Station was arrested for his past sins, and the captain didn’t dare say a word about the calf and corn he was owed. So you see how that sort of game ends? Of course you’d have been wiser to sell your car and get drunk on the proceeds. But you can’t foresee everything.’

    After this story the car-owner felt greatly relieved, and began to think he’d been rather clever to leave it at the frontier. He even started to argue that under socialist conditions the non-existence of a car was an advantage. ‘Yes, you’re right,’ he remarked. ‘It’s only unnecessary trouble. In Germany, if your car goes wrong even on a country road, you’ve only got to whistle and a German jumps out of the nearest bush and puts it right for you. But in Russia you could have a breakdown in the middle of a town and you’d be as badly off as Robinson Crusoe.’

    When he arrived home that man felt he had been fortunate in ridding himself of the burden and becoming again a full member of Soviet society.

    ‘The best thing to do with this tobacco is stuff a mattress with it.’ The captain with a bleached greatcoat and his cap pushed back on his nape flung his half-smoked German ersatz Mixture Six furiously on the ground and contemptuously crushed it into the loose sand. A group of officers was sitting at the foot of the five-yard high obelisk, hurriedly knocked up from strips of veneer and painted all over with red paint, that stood outside the S. M. A. building. The socle of the obelisk was in the shape of a five-pointed star, and was made of red-painted boards, the center being filled with sand. The officers were warming themselves in the slanting rays of the autumn sun. In Germany the sun is genial, and apparently it is accustomed to order. It never forces you to seek shade; it only warms you, pleasantly and affably.

    The officers had made themselves comfortable on the veneer star while waiting to be summoned into the staff. The years of life at the front had taught them never to be in any unnecessary hurry, and to shorten the time of waiting with cigarettes and philosophical chats.

    ‘Thank goodness the war’s over, at any rate,’ said a young artillery lieutenant dreamily. "You didn’t think much in those days: today you were alive, tomorrow you were for the Land Department or the Health Department-who cared? Only when you had a letter from your mother did it occur to you to take care of yourself. So as not to worry the old people.

    ‘Yesterday I was sitting in the little square opposite the ’Capitol’,’ he went on. ‘There’s a marble woman stands there with a small mound at her feet, and on it is a little stick with a tricoloured flag. I asked some passing Germans: ’What’s all that?’ and they told me a Frenchman was buried there. Just where he fell, poor devil, there they buried him in the middle of the street. A rotten spot; I’d far rather be buried in a field, where there’s grass growing and the wind blowing. But that Frenchman isn’t allowed a moment’s rest. On 7 November our Pioneers had a fireworks display on that very spot in honor of the revolution. They buried six-inch shell cases in the earth and began such a firing that half Berlin was stood on its head. The Germans thought war had broken out again and Karlshorst was being bombed.’

    The lieutenant enjoyed talking, and he went on: ‘Yes, you can say what you like. It’s better on top than under the earth. I’m sorry for those who have to lie underneath. They say there used to be a memorial to the Unknown Soldier somewhere in Berlin. Fire burned everlastingly in front of it and in the roof above was a round hole and you could see the blue sky through it. And when you went inside you felt as though you were midway between this world and the next. That’s where the Germans soothed their consciences over those who had fallen in the fields and forests. And any mother who went there could think the fire was burning for her son. They say they’ve got a similar idea in Paris. So they haven’t forgotten the little Frenchman lying opposite the ’Capitol’.’

    An older captain, who had been only half listening, was interested in this theme and commented: "There are lots of strange things in this country. You’ll find a memorial to fallen soldiers even in the smallest of villages. And none of your veneer rubbish, but a real memorial; as you look at it you feel you’ve got to take off your cap. Made of granite or unhewn stone, the soldiers’ names carved in it, all overgrown with moss, and a spring with waters gurgling just by it. Great people, these Germans! They even make the dead comfortable.

    ‘There was a memorial in the little town where I worked in the commandatura,’ he continued. ‘It was in the shape of a large stone ball, probably to represent the earth, with a dying soldier spread out over it, with his face turned to the ball, his arms out-stretched, his hands clawing into the ground as though he were trying to embrace all the world. Our political commissar wanted the commandant to have it blown up, he said it was military propaganda. The commandant looked at him and said: ’Listen, commissar! You devote your attention to the living, and leave the dead in peace. Understand?’’

    The lieutenant agreed: ‘Yes, the Germans know how to respect their dead. One day I happened to drive on my motorbike into a cemetery, and I felt ashamed. It was so tidy, it suggested everlasting peace. But in Russia the only time I visited the cemetery was to strip zinc from the coffins. All the graves were opened, and the dead lay arse upward. And there were scoundrels fleecing the dead, because you could get more off the dead than the living, I had to go there to get hold of zinc for accumulators,’ he explained in self-justification.

    A third officer, who had a strong pair of spectacles with thick lenses on his nose, and a shock of curly hair on his head, joined in the conversation. You’ll always find someone who must take the opposite side of a question. He smiled: "That’s all bosh! In my hometown of Gorky the dead are cared for as well as anyone. Why, they’ve even made a dance floor.

    ‘Whom for?’ the lieutenant asked. ‘For everybody, living and dead.’ The others looked at him dubiously and expectantly. He explained: "There was a cemetery in the center of the town. The Town Soviet ordered that it was to be turned into a park. And so it was done, in accordance with all the rules of science and technique. The cemetery was ploughed up and a Park of Culture and Recreation named after Sverdlov was made of the site, with a dance-floor and other amusements. And the whole town called the park ’The Club of the Living and the Dead.’ The daughters dance a fox-trot on their fathers’ bones. But the old women cross themselves as they go by: ‘0, Jesu! Jesu!’’

    ‘A similar sort of thing happened in Rostov, where I come from,’ said the lieutenant. ‘They built a new theater there, the Maxim Gorky. The plans provided for the front of the building to be faced with white marble. They looked around to see where they could get the marble from, and decided to put a tax on the dead. All over the district of Rostov they took down the white marble monuments and lined the theater front with marble plates.’

    ‘Yes, it’s a fine theater, but its acoustics are rotten. I was in it once,’ said the officer with the shock of hair.

    ‘When it was finished everybody concerned with the building of it was arrested,’ the lieutenant explained. ‘It was an extraordinary thing, but you could hear better in the gallery than in the front row of the stalls. Of course they blamed the builders: sabotage. But the people whispered among themselves that it was the dead playing a trick.’

    The captain spat into the sand. The lieutenant thrust his next lot of Mixture Six into the sand, rose, stretched himself luxuriously, and tidied his tunic. The officers, thoughtfully, did not throw their cigarette ends and litter on the green grass, but thrust them into the sand of the star socle.

    They would have been not a little shocked if the earth had opened in front of them and the indignant spirit of their former supreme commander, the hero of the drive into Berlin and the city’s first Soviet commandant, Guards’ Colonel-General Bersarin, had risen from his grave beneath the littered sand and the peeling veneer. Neither the Soviet officers, nor the German workers who hung hopelessly around the staff headquarters, suspected that the nameless red construction which disfigured the yard, offending the eye with its lack of taste, was a memorial raised over a grave, that it was intended to honor the memory of the Soviet hero who played a part only second to Marshal Zhukov in the battle for Berlin.

    There was an absurd turn of Fate for you! To go unscathed right through the war on the most dangerous sections of the front and at the head of an army breaking through all resistance, to survive to see the victorious end, to enter the conquered metropolis as a conqueror crowned with fame, and then literally the next day to be the victim of a stupid traffic accident!

    General Bersarin had the habit of going for a motorcycle ride every morning. In a sports shirt with short sleeves, coatless and hatless, he drove a powerful German motorcycle out of a side street into the main Treptow-Allee, which runs to Karlshorst. A heavily loaded column of military Studebakers was driving along the Treptow-Allee at full speed. No one ever knew whether the general was affected by that sporting daring which possesses most motor-cyclists, or whether it was just an accident. In any case, he tried to dash between two of the speeding lorries. The driver who went over him swore at first at the fool who had torn right under his wheels; then, when he saw the general’s insignia, he drew his pistol and shot himself. It is not known where the driver is buried, but probably he is resting more peacefully than General Bersarin.

    During the early days after the victory we were reminded at every step of those who had won that victory. Once Major Dubov and I were taking a walk through side streets not far from the Kurfurstendam in the British sector. It was Sunday; the streets were deserted. We just felt like wandering around and plunging for a few moments into the real Germany as we had imagined it before the war: quiet, clean, and orderly.

    The broad streets were lined with trees. Like archaeologists, we attempted to discover and reconstruct the pre-war Berlin in the ruins all about us. Not the ’dens of the fascist monsters’, as it had been presented to us and thought of by us during the past few years. We wanted to see the city and the people who for many of us were a genuine symbol of culture before they began to be dominated by megalomania.

    We came to a little shady island at the intersection of three streets. Under the spreading boughs of chestnut trees two mounds had found shelter in a fraternal community in the middle of this chaotic ocean of the enormous city. Struck by the uncommon sight, we went closer. At the heads were two plaited crosses of birch bark. On one of them was a German steel helmet, on the other a Soviet helmet. A Soviet helmet! All around the unbridled passions of the world were raging; but here.... The living should follow the example of the dead.

    Apparently, when the street-fighting ended the people of the neighboring houses found the two bodies at the corner and buried them as best they could, in the shade of the chestnut trees. Respect for the dead was stronger than earthly hate.

    Suddenly I noticed something which caused an inexplicable, almost painful feeling to rise in my breast. The major had noticed it too. Fresh flowers! On both mounds lay fresh flowers, put there by a kindly hand. As though at a word of command we took off our caps, then we exchanged glances. The major’s eyes went moist, heavy puckers gathered round his mouth. He took out his handker-chief and wiped his brow, which was suddenly damp with sweat.

    ‘Our first thought was to raze all the German cemeteries to the ground,’ he said in a thick voice, ‘Damn this war and whoever invented it!’ he added quietly, after a moment.

    An old woman walking with a child not far from us stopped to stare inquisitively at the Russian officers, rare visitors to this part of the city.

    ‘Who put those flowers on the graves?’ The major turned to her. His voice was sharp and cold, as though he were giving a battle order.

    She pointed to a house; we went up its half-ruined steps. The elderly German woman who opened the door to us started back in alarm when she saw the crimson bands on our caps. A twilit corridor, a neglected home, with none of the usual comfort to be seen, and obviously lacking several of its former inhabitants.

    The major waved his hand to reassure her. ‘We saw the flowers on the graves. Did you put them there?’

    The woman had not recovered from her fright and she had no idea what the question was leading up to. She answered irresolutely: ‘Yes... I thought....’ She nervously gripped her hands together under her apron.

    The major took out his letter-case and laid all the money it contained-several thousand marks-on the table without counting it.

    ‘Go on laying flowers there,’ he said. Then he added: ‘On both graves.’

    He spread a sheet of notepaper with the Soviet crest and the S. M. A. address on the table and wrote: ’In the name of the Red Army I order all soldiers and officers to give Frau... every help and support.’ He signed it and gave it to the astonished woman. ‘If you have anything to do with Russians, this paper will help you,’ he said. Then he looked round the empty room and asked, as though he had just thought of something else: ‘Tell me, have you a husband or a son?’

    ‘My husband and one son fell at the front. My second son is a prisoner of war,’ she answered.

    ‘Where?’ he asked curtly.

    She hesitated a moment, then whispered: ‘In Russia.’

    He looked at the standard prisoner-of-war postcard, which she held out to him, and noted down the name and the field-post number of the prisoner-of-war camp.

    ‘I shall write to the camp commandant and the higher authorities. I’ll intercede for his earlier release,’ he turned and said to me.

    I had come to know Major Dubov while still at the front. He had been head of the Reconnaissance Department of the divisional staff, and he had had to screen the prisoners. If he saw the S. S. death’s head emblem on a prisoner’s cap, he knew that the man had dozens of men’s lives on his conscience, and did not hesitate to send him as one of a special group to the rear, though he knew their lives would end beyond the next turn in the road.

    In the street, pigeons were strutting about the pavement; they politely made way for us, like equals with equals. The full September sun streamed down on the lindens and chestnuts of Berlin, the leaves rustled quietly. Life went on. Life is stronger than death. And life is particularly good when there is no hate in the heart, when a man feels minded to do some good to other men, whether living or dead.

    During the first few months of my work in Karlshorst I was not greatly interested in the surrounding world. I had to work hard, and left Karlshorst only on duty. I forgot the very existence of the calendar on my desk, and when I did remember it I turned over a whole week at a time.

    One Sunday I awoke at the sound of the alarm clock and sprang out of bed as usual. The flowers and trees of the garden were brilliant through the wide-open window, purple plums showed ripely between green leaves. The morning sun streamed down, playing merrily on the walls of my bedroom. The quiet, inviolable peace of the Sunday morning filled my entire small house. The clang of the neighboring church bell rolled through the air. The clear morning air poured into my room, and cooled my hot skin and refreshed my body. I felt like doing something. I wandered aimlessly from room to room. Today I had got entirely to myself. What should I do with it?

    Suddenly I was overcome by a strange feeling: where was I in such a hurry to get to? A man goes on treading the treadmill all his life without stopping to think about it. But if he does stop to think, then he wonders why one is always in a hurry. Most men only recognize that when it is too late.

    Recently I had got hold of a German propaganda pamphlet, ’In God’s own Country’, in which they poked fun at America and the Americans. They were particularly sarcastic about the rate at which the Americans lived, and their everlasting pursuit of the dollar, of success. ’Your luck’s just round the corner.’ The American tore at full pelt to the corner in the hope of finding his luck. But he found only a vacuum. On the other hand, there were plenty of other corners. And so on all through life.

    On this count I’m with the Germans. But how can one learn the art of enjoying life?

    I took a cigarette from my bronze casket, lay down on my couch and stared at the ceiling. There wasn’t a single fly on that ceiling. What a queer country! You never saw any flies.

    I got up and fidgeted with the electric coffeepot, then went out on to the balcony, stretched myself in a deck chair and lit another cigarette. But after a few minutes I was seized with a deadly bore-dom. In the end I seated myself at my desk and prepared to write letters. I thought with longing of Moscow, and imagined what the people there were doing at that particular moment.

    Just then I heard noisy footsteps in the next room, behind my back. Without turning round I called: ‘Who’s there?’

    ‘Ha-ha-ha!’ There was a roar of laughter behind me. ‘Just look at the way they live here!’

    I turned round. Mikhail Belyavsky was standing at the double doors, and Valia Grinchuk’s fair head appeared over his shoulder. They were both roaring with laughter at the sight of me: I was sitting in nothing but a pair of trunks, with shoes on my sockless feet.

    I hurried to my bedroom, returning fully dressed a minute or two later. ‘How did you get here, Misha?’ I asked, still astonished at this unexpected visit.

    ‘We arrived yesterday. A whole group of us from the college. We’ve been sent here to help you out.’

    ‘How are things in Moscow, and what’s the latest news?’ I asked.

    ‘What news would you expect? Now Germany is all the rage. Everybody in the college dreams of being sent to Germany to work.’ He looked about the room. ‘Yes, you can live here! You’ve already got used to it, so you no longer notice the difference.’

    ‘Do tell me something about Moscow,’ I pleaded.

    ‘Oh, you read the papers!’ he replied evasively. ‘I’m glad I’ve got away from it. I’d rather you told us how things are here.’

    ‘You’ll soon see for yourselves. How would you like to go in to Berlin today? We’ll plunge into the thick of its life.’

    ‘That’s just what Valia and I were wanting to do. That’s why we came to haul you out of it.’

    ‘Well, then, let’s go!’ I exclaimed.

    We left Karlshorst just before midday and took the streetcar for the city center.

    The Reichstag. At one time we Russians regarded this massive building rising against the background of the Brandenburg Gate as the symbol of Hitler’s Reich. ’To the German people’ was inscribed in gold letters above the entrance to this enormous gray mass. Today those words could only seem like a malicious sneer to the Germans. The windows were walled up with bricks, with loopholes in between; the smoky traces of fire played over the walls. Inside, great heaps of scorched brick, puddles of stinking green water; the blue sky showed through the shattered dome. The wind blew about scraps of paper with black eagles printed on them. Half-used machine-gun belts, cartridge cases; gas masks.

    On the walls, innumerable inscriptions: ’Ivan Sidorchuk, of Kuchevka; 14. 5. 1945.’ ’Simon Vaillant, Paris; 5. 7. 1945.’ ’John D. Willis, Chicago; 23. 7. 1945.’ Frequently one could not think how the writer had reached the inaccessible point on which he had written his name in order to leave his everlasting mark in history. The inscriptions were written with coal, ash, pencil, and chalk. One inscription, scratched with a bayonet point by one of the Reichstag defenders, read like the last cry of a drowning man: ’Heil Hitler!’ On the opposite wall, carefully painted with oil paint, were the words: ’Here did Sergeant Kostya of Odessa shit.’

    Truly, the atmosphere of the place reminded one of certain well-known lines in Heine’s poem: ’Germany’. Evidently the Reichstag was being used by quite a number of people as a public lavatory these days. Certainly an instructive historical memorial!

    Between the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate, among the ruins of past glories, a new life was seething. Here was the inter-national black market. Looking about them anxiously, surreptitiously, Germans were selling umbrellas, shoes, and old clothes. The Russians were interested mainly in watches, and offered cigarettes, bread, and occupation notes in exchange. An American jeep pulled up not far from us. Without getting out, the negro soldiers in it began a lively trade: in chocolates, cigarettes soap. They emptied their packs, laughing all over their faces, and looked about them. One of them noticed us, and whispered something to his companion. Then he turned to us with a lively gesture, apparently inviting me to buy something. ‘What?’ I asked.

    He took an enormous army Colt from under his seat and raised two fingers: two thousand. I shook my head. So he pointed to the pistol hanging at my belt and asked the price. To the Allies’ obvious surprise I explained that it was not for sale.

    ‘What are you selling, then?’ the negro asked in businesslike tones.

    ‘Nothing,’ I replied.

    ‘Then what are you buying? Would you like a jeep?’ He slapped his hand on the seat of his car. I only laughed.

    A Soviet military patrol came along: two soldiers with red armbands, carrying automatics. Not far away a feeble old man was selling newspapers. He had enormous shoes on his feet, and he had difficulty in moving, either because he was weak or because of those awkward shoes. As the patrol approached him he held out his hand to beg, and smacked his shriveled lips: ‘Comrade, papyros’ (cigarette). One of the soldiers, who evidently thought he was beginning to be a nuisance, took the old man deliberately by the collar and pushed him aside. But he had overestimated the man’s powers of resistance. The beggar went sprawling like a sack into the road, leaving his enormous shoes behind him, while his newspapers scattered fanwise on the stones.

    Before Belyavsky could open his mouth to reprimand the soldier the man again seized the old fellow by the collar and hauled him up, to set him on his feet. He was rough, but there was no malice in his manner; rather was it a mixture of disgust and chagrin. He had not expected his push to have such an effect. The old man hung in his arms like a sack, lacking the strength to keep his feet.

    ‘Let him be! Come along!’ the second patrol said.

    ‘Wait! You bloody Fritz!’ the man scolded roughly, to cover his own embarrassment. ‘You, Fritz, hungry?’ The old man had sunk to the pavement again, and the patrol nudged him with his foot. But the beggar made no answer. ‘He’ll die anyway,’ the soldier grumbled, and looked around as though seeking something.

    A Russian girl in sergeant’s uniform happened to come along, carrying a satchel. It contained several dozen packets of cigarettes wrapped in cloth. Under her arm was a loaf of bread, also destined for exchange.

    The patrol reached for the loaf, snarling: ‘Don’t you know it’s forbidden to trade here?’

    The girl vanished in terror into the crowd, leaving the loaf in the soldier’s hand. He turned back to the old man, who was still sitting on the sidewalk. People standing round had gathered up his papers and put them in a pile beside him.

    ‘Here, Fritz!’ The soldier held out the loaf to him. But the man only blinked, as though blind. The patrol swore at him again, stuck the loaf in the newspaper bag, which was tied to the old fellow’s waist, and went off.

    We were amazed at the crowds of old men and women in the streetcars and on the streets. They were neatly dressed, the passers-by treated them with respect, gave up their seats to them in the cars, helped them across the road.

    ‘Ah, those godly women!’ Belyavsky sighed as he noticed two old women in neat black dresses with white collars get out of a streetcar. ‘In Russia they’ve given up all their souls to God long since. By way of natural selection.’

    What we were seeing was not any novelty to us. We knew a man should show respect for the aged. Not only did we know it, but we ourselves felt the need to behave like that. And yet we could not but admit that we had grown rough, we had forgotten how to be courteous and obliging in our relations with others. Existence forms the consciousness, so dialectical materialism proclaims. Soviet existence has changed old people into a burden and has made the corresponding dialectical adjustments in our consciousness.

    Later, as we came to know conditions in Germany more intimately, we realized that though the German social insurance seemed so small, it always assured a living minimum in the form of pensions and pay, it enabled the old people to live out their days in human conditions. In the Soviet Union old-age pensions are a completely fictitious concept. In practice a man can live only if he works, or if his children support him. And who can expect support from his children when they themselves have nothing?

    We saw many convalescent Soviet soldiers from Berlin hospitals roving around. Many of them were engaged in speculative activities, some of them did not stop at robbery in broad daylight. One man snatched something and fled into the ruins, while his companions used their crutches and sticks to cover his retreat. The war-wounded were embittered and rancorous, many of them were tipsy and ready for a fight. The Germans feared them like the plague, and even Russians kept out of their way if possible.

    What I have just said about old-age pensions in Russia is also true of war pensions. They are too much for death, too little for life. And yet in return we must show our gratitude. ’Our happiness is so boundless that one cannot describe it’, as one of our songs puts it. In conquered Germany the war-wounded of a lost war get higher pensions than those of the victor country. Paradoxical, but true.

    There are many children to be seen in the streets of Berlin. Even in the first world war, but still more in the second, the Germans attached great importance to the birth statistics. Ludendorff and Hitler did all they could to avoid any fall in the birth-rate during the wars, and that, and not humanity, is the main reason why the German soldiers were given regular home leave. The results strike the eye.

    The sight seemed strange to us, for during the war years infants were an uncommon occurrence in the Soviet Union. The Red Army men never had leave during the war. In due course the Soviet leaders will be faced with a serious problem, for in the years 1941 to 1945 the birth statistics dropped almost to zero. That will have its effect when those years are called up for military service.

    Berlin lay in ruins. But out of the ruins new life was reaching up to the light. That new life is particularly striking when seen against that background of dead ruins. Man’s will to live is stronger than the forces of destruction. We were astonished by the numerous florists’ shops in the dead streets. The burnt-out carcass of a building rises to the sky, surrounded by a dead sea of ruin. And in the midst of this joyless world, the brilliant colors of innocent flowers smile at us from the ground-floor windows.

    We returned to Karlshorst late in the evening; we were tired and dusty. During the following days I frequently met Belyavsky and Valia. He had been appointed to a post in the Air Force Directorate of the Control Commission, while she worked in the private office of Marshal Zhukov, the commander-in chief of the S. M. A. They were both very glad they had been able to remain in the capital and had not been posted to the provinces.

    In Moscow I had known Valia only as a fellow student. But here, far from one’s intimate circle of friends, she suddenly became dear and precious to me as a part of that for which I was yearning, as a part of Moscow and all it signified. In Valia I found an unusual quality which made me value her friendship highly: she was a true child of nature, untouched by the filth of life. She said what she thought, and she acted on what she said.

    A Sunday or two later Belyavsky and Valia again called on me. As I looked at him I was not a little astonished. I saw a very elegant young man in irreproachable light coffee-colored civilian dress. A dazzling tie and a brilliant felt hat completed the transformation. Hitherto I had seen him only in uniform.

    ‘What are you all togged up for?’ I whistled and examined him from all sides.

    ‘I want to go to the Opera, but Valia doesn’t. So I’ve decided to entrust her to your care.’

    ‘Really, Misha, the more I get to know you the more convinced I am that you’re a fine fellow! You’ve brought Valia along to me and now you’re going to vanish. Have you ever known such a disinterested friend, Valia?’

    I tried to persuade him to drive with us through the city, but he was as immovable as a rock. ‘My legs are still aching after last Sunday,’ he declared.

    The day was unusually sunny and warm. We put Belyavsky down in Friedrichstrasse and decided to go for a drive out of the city. To right and left of us historical relics of the past went by like museum pieces: Unter den Linden, a great name, now lined with ruins, and not a trace of green. The trees of the Tiergarten, shattered with shells and bombs, littered with the wrecked and rusting carcasses of aeroplanes. The Siegessaule, with the faded gold of its angel, the symbol of the victories and glories of 1871. Before us stretched the broad and straight East-West Axis.

    Berlin had its own aspect. The aspect of the capital of the Reich. The stones of Berlin are trodden with history. Germany gave the world dozens of men whose names are precious to every civilized being. The street nameplates testify to that: Mozartstrasse, Humboldtstrasse, Kantstrasse.

    Before us rose the Grunewald. Valia looked about her, then she leaned her head against the leather back of the seat and looked up into the sky, which hung over us like a blue dome, and remarked: ‘D’you know what, Grisha?’ “Yes?”

    ‘Somehow the sun shines differently here....’ “How d’you mean?”

    ‘I can’t explain it myself. I feel strangely different here. Tell me, don’t you feel it?’

    ‘It’s the feeling of the conqueror, Valia. That’s why the sun seems different too.’

    ‘It’s beautiful here,’ she said dreamily. ‘I have such a longing for a peaceful life. I often feel I could throw off this uniform and simply live for the sake of living....’ “What’s preventing you?”

    ‘I sometimes feel sorry I’m in uniform. It had to be during the war; but now... I want to be free.... How can I explain it to you?’

    ‘Explain it to someone else!’ I smiled. ‘And let me give you some good advice: don’t forget that here is the S. M. A. That forest is darker and more dangerous than your partisan forests. Otherwise you’ll feed the gray wolves yet. Get that?’

    She looked at me fixedly, was silent for a while, then said in a quiet, earnest tone:

    ‘You see, Grisha, often I feel so lonely; I’ve got nobody I can talk to. I love everything that’s good, and there’s so little of it in our world.’

    Before us the gray arrow of the river Avus cut through the autumn glory of the Grunewald. I took my foot off the accelerator, the car rolled slowly to a halt. The golden autumn extended all around us in a sluggish languor. The distance danced hazily in the sunlight, it slowly came to meet us.

    ‘Tell me, what are you thinking of?’ she whispered.

    ‘I’m thinking which way to take, left or right. The Wannsee must be somewhere around here.’

    The Wannsee is one of the largest lakes in the vicinity of Berlin. Its banks are lined with fine, large villas, the former residences of the wealthiest inhabitants of the capital. And here, too, was the largest and most modern of Berlin’s bathing beaches.

    We drove round the lake. It was quiet, almost deserted. The stones of the road were all but hidden under a thickly strewn carpet of leaves. To right and left fences overgrown with green, gates standing wide open, empty villas abandoned by their owners. Some had fled to the West before the Red Army’s advance; others had been transferred to other dwellings in the neighborhood, former wooden barracks for foreign workers. I turned the car in through the open gate of a particularly fine villa. Antlers that once had adorned the master’s room lay on the graveled drive; on the steps of the main entrance the wind was turning over papers bleached with rain.

    Below, by the waterside, was a small platform paved with square tiles, bridges from which to fish, and moorings for boats. Close by was the rusting shell of a boathouse.

    We got out and wandered through the garden. High above us century-old trees were murmuring. In between were trenches with caving walls, entangled rolls of barbed wire, cartridge cases. Higher up was a villa with a red-tiled roof, and draped with the colorful autumn attire of a wild vine.

    ‘Let’s have a look at the house,’ I suggested.

    The wind was blowing through the rooms. The boards creaked underfoot. Gas masks, remnants of furniture, cans of conserves were littered about. Upstairs we found the former master’s study. Faded heaps of photographs were lying on the floor, among them the features of bewhiskered men in high, stiff collars. These people could never have suspected that some day Russian officers’ boots would tread on their portraits.

    ‘Let’s get out, Grisha!’ Valia tugged at my arm. ‘It isn’t good to walk in a strange house.’

    After the twilight indoors the sun streaming on to the balcony dazzled more than usual. Below us extended the lightly crinkled surface of the great lake. Stirred by a gentle breeze, the reeds swayed and nodded down to the water. The wind sighed through the crowns of the trees. A dead picture of the collapse of human hopes behind us, and everlasting, inextinguishable life at our feet.

    Valia and I stood silent on the balcony. After the stony chaos of Berlin the peace and stillness of the Grunewald made a deep impression on her. Her face was overcast, as though she had a headache. Her breast rose and fell spasmodically, as though she lacked air..

    ‘Tell me, Grisha, what is happiness?’ she asked without turning to me.

    ‘Happiness? Happiness is man’s ability to be content with what he has.’

    ‘But when he has nothing at all?’

    She turned her face to me. Her eyes were serious, they looked at me searchingly, and they demanded an answer. A furrow clove her forehead between her eyebrows.

    I was silent; I didn’t know what to answer

    A man who is released after a long spell of prison cannot get used to freedom at first; he has a fear of space. There is even a special term for this: aerophobia. We, too, had that same sort of feeling during the early days of our stay in occupied Germany.

    In 1945 we had unrestricted freedom, we could openly visit the sectors held by our Western Allies. Twelve months later we had only the memory of those days. But meanwhile all the allied soldiers’ and officers’ clubs in the western sectors were open to us; we were always treated as welcome guests. To our shame it must be admitted that the guests often behaved in such a way that the hosts were forced to be more prudent.

    The following story was often told in Karlshorst. One day, a Soviet soldier traveling through Berlin got lost, and wandered by mistake into an American barracks. The Americans were delighted at this rare visit and made the mortally terrified Ivan welcome, relieving him of his pack. What else can a Soviet soldier have in his pack but a loaf of black bread and a couple of leg-rags? So the Americans made Ivan sit down at the table, and gave him such a quantity of good things to eat and drink, as he could never even have dreamed about, and persuaded him to spend the night in the barracks. Some versions add that they even provided him with a sleeping partner. Next morning they stuffed his pack full with all kinds of overseas delicacies and saw him to the barrack gates.

    Many of the narrators say that he applied to be taken into the American army. They all swear by God and all the saints that they personally met this Ivan right outside the gate of the American barracks.

    We were all struck by the fact that the Allies were far better equipped than the Soviet soldiers, and enjoyed much more personal freedom. Our officers who worked in the Control Commission used to remark with a smile that the American soldiers smoked the same cigarettes as their generals. In the Red Army, soldiers, non-commissioned officers, officers and generals are allotted various kinds of tobacco or cigarettes according to their rank. This is in token of their general equality and brotherhood.

    At first we lived as though on a forgotten island. As we were all ’living abroad’, we were not subject to any form of Soviet taxation, not once were we bothered with the voluntary state loans that one cannot avoid subscribing to in the Soviet Union. And-something that was completely incomprehensible-we were even freed from political instruction and study of the great and wise book which feeds up every Soviet human being, the Short Course of History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks).

    Stalin committed the greatest of errors when he allowed Soviet citizens to see Europe, and on the other hand showed Europe Soviet conditions. The Soviet personnel began to take a much more critical view of what was going on behind them in the Soviet Union. And as the West came to recognize the true features of Stalinist Communism, it lost a large part of its illusions and was cured of certain rosy intentions.

    The first few months of the occupation were of great significance. In the midst of the chaos of shattered Germany, in the midst of ruined Berlin, in the life of the people who yesterday had been our enemies, we saw things that at first only amazed us. But then we gradually began to understand them aright and our views of things were modified in accordance.

    We had to overcome the enmity we felt for everything connected with the name of Germany. We had to seek new standards of measurement. But meanwhile, out of the dust and rubble left from the long years of the Hitler regime, the total war and the unconditional capitulation, we were able to reconstruct the normal life of the Germans, and of Europe generally, only with difficulty.

    The Soviet personnel were amazed at the astonishingly high living standards of the average western man. The words uttered by a Soviet soldier when he saw the home of a European worker: ‘Are you a capitalist?’, became proverbial among us. During the years of the occupation the Soviet soldier began to give these words an inverse application to his own life. Every Soviet citizen who has seen Europe is lost to the Soviet regime. He continues, like a wound-up piece of clockwork, to perform his functions, but the poison of his recognition of the truth has not left him unscathed.

    As the years pass the impressions of those early days will be erased. Everything will seem more ordinary, the contradictions will lose their sharpness, and men will grow accustomed to them. Others will replace the front-line soldiers and officers who formed the backbone of the occupation forces. And when they return to their homeland it will be difficult for them to share their impressions of Germany with others. Who wants ten years for ’anti-Soviet agitation’?

    Our first meeting with our conquered enemy opened our eyes to many things; we began to recognize our place in the world. We felt our strength and our weakness. In the light of subsequent experiences the impressions of the first post-war months are seen as a distinct phase in the life of the Soviet occupation troops. It was a kind of transient period of post-war democracy. Nobody else in the Soviet Union was as conscious of the victory as we, the men of the occupation forces. We looked victory in the face; we sunned our-selves in its light.

    Simultaneously the victory and our encounter with the West aroused old doubts and engendered new ones. In their turn these doubts strengthened our desire, our longing and hope for something different, for something that differed from what we had known before the war. In the rays of victory we lived in hope of a better future.

    That short period of post-war democracy allowed us to have this hope. That can be understood only in retrospect.

    Sommaire https://seenthis.net/messages/683905
    #anticommunisme #histoire #Berlin #occupation #guerre_froide


  • Ukrainian Soviet mosaics: one final look at the spectacular street art of the past — The Calvert Journal

    https://www.calvertjournal.com/photography/show/9114/decommunized-ukrainian-soviet-mosaics-photo-book-Yevgen-Nikiforov

    Juste époustouflant.

    et d’autres.

    Until recently, it was not unusual to come across bright, eye-catching masterpieces in mosaic on the streets of Ukraine, gracing residential blocks, facades of school, houses of culture, metro stations and bus stops. As with other Soviet relics outlawed by the Ukrainian government in April 2015, including the dismantling of a whopping 1,320 statues of Lenin, mosaics too have gradually begun to vanish across the country. Yevgen Nikiforov’s new book Decommunized: Ukrainian Soviet Mosaics, released by DOM and Osnovy Publishing, brings together over 1,000 of these stunning artefacts, which the Kiev-born photographer has been shooting over the last three years in 109 different cities in Ukraine. He found that those mosaics which have not already been destroyed are lost in the visual noise of post-Soviet cities. “Soviet monumental art had become a mere backdrop, as integral as the air we breathe, and equally invisible,” writes Nikiforov, who hopes his book will restore mosaic art to its former glory. Join us on Thursday 26 October 2017 at London’s Calvert 22 Bookshop, where you can hear Nikiforov talk about Ukraine’s recent “decommunisation” laws and how he managed to hunt down the last surviving mosaics, as well as preview more of the book’s stunning photography. The event is free, with a suggested £5 donation. You can purchase tickets and find out more here.

    #ukraine #mosaïque #images #visualisation #propagande #soviétisme #urss #ex-urss #union_soviétique


  • Outrage: ‘Sites of social condensation are being dismantled, neglected or sold off to the highest bidder’ | Thinkpiece | Architectural Review

    https://www.architectural-review.com/rethink/campaigns/outrage/outrage-sites-of-social-condensation-are-being-dismantled-neglected-or-sold-off-to-the-highest-bidder/10023953.article

    From Moscow to London, promises about new homes are disguising cynical expropriation

    A vast pavilion in the All-Union Exhibition Centre hosts the Moscow Urban Forum 2017: musak, smart cities jargon, flickering LCD screens, Ken Livingstone sitting in the corner eating a sandwich, boutique festival organisers plotting gentrification schemes with developers, and so on. The expo stalls dotted around the premises belong, by and large, to real-estate developers, in particular to those signed up to ‘My New Home’ (Moy Novy Dom) – Moscow’s newly launched housing renovation programme.

    KROST’s giant LCD screens loop quasi-documentary footage of pensioners in their dreary, obsolete Khrushchev-era kitchens followed by triumphant fly-throughs of gleaming new polychrome high-rises. GALS Corp opts for renderings of gleaming new towers decorated with neo-Stalinist cornices and crenellations.

    #dfs #espace_social #espace_public #expropriation #appropriation #expulsions #urban_matter


  • Intersection Observer comes to Firefox
    https://hacks.mozilla.org/2017/08/intersection-observer-comes-to-firefox

    Knowing whether or not an element is #visible has traditionally been difficult on the Web. Most solutions listen for scroll and resize events, then use #DOM #APIs like getBoundingClientRect() to manually calculate where elements are relative to the #viewport. This usually works, but it’s inefficient and doesn’t take into account other ways in which an element’s visibility can change, such as a large image finally loading higher up on the page, which pushes everything else downward.
    These techniques kill performance, drain batteries, and would be completely unnecessary if the browser could just notify us whenever an element’s visibility changed.
    At its most basic, the #IntersectionObserver API looks something like:

    let observer = new IntersectionObserver(handler);
    observer.observe(target); // <-- Element to watch

    IntersectionObserver is available by default in Edge 15, Chrome 51, and Firefox 55, which is due for release next week.

    A polyfill is available which works effectively everywhere, albeit without the performance benefits of native implementations.
    https://github.com/WICG/IntersectionObserver/tree/gh-pages/polyfill


  • Fathom: a framework for understanding web pages

    https://hacks.mozilla.org/2017/04/fathom-a-framework-for-understanding-web-pages

    #Readability, the basis of Safari and Firefox’s reader modes, is 1,800 lines of #JavaScript and was recently shut down. Chrome’s DOM Distiller is 23,000 lines of Java.But what if understanders were cheap to write? What if Readability could be implemented in just 4 simple rules?That scores within 7% of Readability’s output on a selection of its own test cases, measured by Levenshtein distance1. The framework enabling this is Fathom, and it drives the cost of writing understanders through the floor.Fathom is a mini-language for writing semantic extractors. The sets of rules that make up its programs are embedded in JavaScript, so you can use it client- or server-side as privacy dictates.

    const rules = ruleset(
       rule(dom('p,div,li,code,blockquote,pre,h1,h2,h3,h4,h5,h6'),
            props(scoreByLength).type('paragraphish')),
       rule(type('paragraphish'),
            score(fnode => (1 - linkDensity(fnode,
                                            fnode.noteFor('paragraphish')
                                                 .inlineLength))
                           * 1.5)),
       rule(dom('p'),
            score(4.5).type('paragraphish')),
       rule(type('paragraphish')
               .bestCluster({splittingDistance: 3,
                             differentDepthCost: 6.5,
                             differentTagCost: 2,
                             sameTagCost: 0.5,
                             strideCost: 0}),
            out('content').allThrough(domSort))
    );

    Fathom is a JavaScript framework for #extracting meaning from web pages, identifying parts like Previous/Next buttons, address forms, and the main textual content—or classifying a page as a whole. Essentially, it scores #DOM nodes and extracts them based on conditions you specify. A Prolog-inspired system of types and annotations expresses dependencies between scoring steps and keeps state under control. It also provides the freedom to extend existing sets of scoring rules without editing them directly, so multiple third-party refinements can be mixed together.

    https://mozilla.github.io/fathom



  • The Basics of #DOM Manipulation in Vanilla #JavaScript (#No_jQuery)

    https://www.sitepoint.com/dom-manipulation-vanilla-javascript-no-jquery

    Whenever we need to perform DOM manipulation, we’re all quick to reach for jQuery. However, the vanilla JavaScript DOM API is actually quite capable in its own right, and since IE < 11 has been officially abandoned, it can now be used without any worries.

    In this article, I’ll demonstrate how to accomplish some of the most common DOM manipulation tasks with plain JavaScript, namely:

    – querying and modifying the DOM,
    – modifying classes and attributes,
    – listening to events, and
    – animation.