June 7, 2012 | David F. Coppedge

Stalin's Railroad of Death Unearthed

Stalin, who read Darwin in divinity school and turned atheist, became a ruthless dictator whose reign of terror killed multiple millions more than Hitler.  One of his evil deeds is being remembered: a railroad project in Siberia that was never completed despite causing the deaths of at least 100,000 people.

The BBC News told the story through an eyewitness, Lyudmila Lipatova, who survived the brutal years 1947-1953 when a third of the 300,000 slave laborers sentenced to work on the railroad perished due to weather, starvation, or brutality of the guards.

The story is horrific in the Stalin style.  The same dictator who ordered soldiers into minefields to clear them for the motherland certainly had no conscience when rounding up bodies to work his grand scheme for a thousand-mile railway to link eastern and western Siberia.  Russian men and women could be accused of crimes for the flimsiest of reasons, or no reason whatsoever, their fate doomed to hard labor in camps in temperatures of -50°C in winter, continuing the work in deep snow, and insufferable heat and mosquitoes in summer.  Merciless guards would sometimes strip naked workers who were less than cooperative and tie them to posts to leave them to the onslaught of the mosquitoes, a torment Lipatova called “worse than any torture instrument.”  The article includes rare photographs.  One  haunting portrait is of a beautiful young woman who was sentenced to the railroad when she was accused of embezzlement for no fault of her own: rats had eaten bank notes in her employer’s safe.

The railroad was never finished, and the fate of the prisoners was largely forgotten–till now.  Lipatova, now in her 70s, is determined to keep their story alive.  Sixty years later, the current regime is considering reviving the “Railroad of Bones” project, hopefully, this time, more leniently for the construction workers.

Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruits.”  The divinity student who quickly ditched his faith for Darwin shows he had no true faith at all, except in his newly chosen idol, who promised success to the fittest.  Stalin took “survival of the fittest” as a law of nature that favored ruthless strength.  His Darwinian faith transformed him into a monster, torturing and killing ministers, citizens and even his own nearest advisors in a Reign of Terror the likes of which made Hitler look like a novice.  While he himself endulged in luxurious pleasures, he created a cult of personality that succeeded in brainwashing his own victims to practically worship him as the savior of their country.  This tactic made him a role model to the dictators of China, North Korea, Cambodia, Iraq (Saddam Hussein), Cuba, and others.  Had not a stroke disabled and killed him in 1953, Stalin might well have turned nuclear weapons on the west.

It’s mind-boggling to consider the pain and suffering one man can inflict.  Yet today, academics continue to preach the communist “gospel” to impressionable students who never learned the history of the 20th century dictatorships that put Marxism into practice.  They are also not told of the connection between Marx and Darwin.  Are you surprised that Stalin transformed many churches into museums of atheism, and sent many tens of thousands of pastors to the gulags and Siberia?  (These were the ones who were not shot.)  The BBC is to be commended for re-telling this story, even though like most news organizations they still embrace Darwin.  The Railroad of Bones is but one episode of a horrific 12-year dictatorship that killed at least 20 million of Stalin’s own citizens and imprisoned many more.  If you know these things, teach them to misguided youth who think Darwin is cool and Stalin was a hero.

Exercise:  Try not to think about the 77 million that Chairman Mao killed (11/30/2005).  If you don’t succeed, by all means don’t think about the 148 million citizens of communist regimes who perished in state-sponsored terror.  If you still don’t succeed, try counting the victims, one name every 5 seconds, day and night with no breaks.  That should keep you busy for 28 years.


(Visited 152 times, 1 visits today)


  • rockyway says:

    For anyone interested in knowing what conditions were like working on projects like this I recommend; Man Is Wolf to Man: Surviving the Gulag – Janusz Bardach
    – This is the most amazing biography I know of; but it’s not for the faint of heart.

  • Bill says:

    Not to take anything away from this tragedy, I always wonder when I see temps of -50C. I live in Canada’s Eastern Arctic above the tree line and I can already tell we are colder by the fact they have trees. I looked up historical temps for Salekhard and rarely found anything in the -40’s, between Dec and March. Like us they occassionally get something in the -40’s but it’s definately not average. And extremely rare to get -50C. I couldn’t find a -50C day in Salekhard in the last 7 years. The closest seems to be in 2006. After 17 years in Canada’s Arctic, I don’t ever recall a -50C day. Must be with windchill but the article does not say that… Here we hit -50 to -80 with the windchill, in a blizzard.

  • Buho says:

    Bill, is the present the key to the past? I’m on the fence with AGW, but global warming in general has occurred. The best thing to do would be to look up historical weather reports of Siberia.

Leave a Reply