Saturday, February 23, 2008

On this day

On February 23, ...
... 1898 (110 years ago today), following a 2-week trial, a court in Paris convicted renowned author Émile Zola of libel for J'Accuse (I Accuse) (right), the 4,000-word commentary, styled as an open letter to the President of France, in which he'd described as a "crime of high treason against humanity" the 1897 conviction by court-martial of Capt. Alfred Dreyfus, a result linked to anti-Semitism.
... 1944, Soviets acting on orders of leader Joseph Stalin began a 2-day operation in which "nearly half a million Chechens and Ingush were systematically gathered together ... and transported in freight trains" east to Siberia and to 2 Soviet Socialist Republics that today are the independent states of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. As a result of the cold, hunger, and disease they suffered, an estimated 50% of these peoples, whose homelands had been in the Caucasus region of the Soviet Union, perished within a year of this forced deportation.

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