Before the breakup of the Soviet Union, do you remember watching news stories that reported that the Soviet Union used to kill their own citizens who tried to escape/defect?
Yes I do. I know/knew several people who defected and they had horror stories of what happened in their country.
The wrong-side Germans were deadly serious about their wall back then I can tell you. Literally. And it wasn't to keep anybody out, it was to keep everybody in.
For some reason, I remember stories from the Soviet satellite countries. People shot while trying to escape from East Berlin or Czechoslovakia. All socialism has to end up suppressing freedom to control.
I don't understand why a single person under 21 said yes lol. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, and the question specifically said BEFORE its collapse.
Now they just kill them for protection $$.
Yes that was common knowledge and also true.
No I was only 11 so I don't recall very much.
Correction - Russia is lead by an x KGB agent and as a result there isn't any old days with Russia - still a murderous dictatorship masking as a democracy.
I have heard about it but i wasnt old enough to remember.
I wasn't even in the womb when that haooened
I remember reports about East Germany killing people who tried to escape to West Germany.
Of course, East Germany was part of the Soviet Union.
Kind of. They were still German, though.
No. I wasn't born yet.
However, up until Gorbachev, that was pretty much the norm, especially those trying to leave East Germany. They were to shoot on sight.
No, I was not born when the USSR collapsed.
We're you born in the US or Russia?
Russia. In a city in the east called Birobidzhan in the JAO.
Have your parents told you stories about how the KGB spied on and killed citizens? About long lines for the basics, like toilet paper?
Oh yes. There were long lines still when my sisters were little. Not as bad but still long lines.
They spied on everyone.
During Stalin's time there was an underground metro for government workers. It went on into the 80's I think. Anyway, the buildings were marked so if they wanted an address, they could find it underground. Then they could slip into the building and take whoever they wanted. No one would even see them enter. The residents often did not know about hidden doors.
Lines were horrible. You stood in line for bread, shoes, milk, meat, cloth, clothing, fresh produce when it was available.....everything. If you were a well connected party member you could shop in well stocked stores.
They have horror stories.
Wow! I heard about these things from defectors' stories, I was never certain to what extent they may be true. Thank you for responding. Very interesting.
Yet, there were things that were wonderful too. My mother remembers swimming in the Moskva pool, on a visit there with young pioneers, when she was younger. It was a huge open heated outdoor pool and you could swim in it year round. She lived in a kommunalka with other families and her best friend. It turned out well. They learned to not be soft and to know the world owes you nothing. Yet, they are happy the Soviet Union collapsed.
They say it's true that "if you don't look back on Soviet days with some fondness, you are in denial but if you want it to return, you are insane"
I hope you will always treasure those stories. Thank you for sharing.
Yes. They did that.