Volume 43 ~ 2021          

Ely Pittner

 
 
 
 

Far From Home

 

     Artyom Aleksandrovich stepped off of the ocean liner into the Boston Harbor, finally escaping the turmoil in the Ukraine, ready for just about anything the world had ready for him. He read somewhere that the Communists in some city were having a drive for recruits from all across the world. Artyom simply had to find them, but only speaking Russian would be a small problem that he would simply have to overcome. He looked around for posters that had any signs of where a recruiting office could be, but only found people staring at him. Artyom found a recruiting office but it was not for the Socialists; it was for the local government in the area known as New England. Artyom asked for a map from the Russian market that was down the street and found the city known as Philadelphia, where the SAOF was based. He then went to the train station to ask for a ticket to this great city, but there were no civilian trains that went into the city, but military trains were. Artyom asked where he would have to go to get a ride and found a man from Petrograd that had only a horse, the clothes on his back, and a revolver around his hips. His name was Dimitri, and he soon became Artyom’s best friend. Artyom asked if he was heading around the Philadelphia way; it just so happened that he was, and he needed a travel companion. Dimitri was also heading towards the city in order to join the 17th International Brigade, which was made up of all different races and creeds. The journey to the great city took three days on horseback. On the way Dimitri had begun giving Artyom lessons in the English language, and he had started to pick it up. When he was younger, Artyom was forced to learn Hebrew by his parents. He had long since forgotten to speak the tongue of his ancestors, but he was willing to learn the language of his new home, it was the least he could do. 

Poyekhali! April 1962

 

Lift off

To the stars

First man to enter

Not the last to leave.

Through the sky and clouds

Man whose name shall never be forgotten

5 foot 2 inches, larger than life.

Smile that can warm a thousand hearts

Journey of a thousand miles.

Dedication to the furthering of humanity

A name that shall live forever.

Yuri Gagarin

Ad Infinitum

An Ode to the 15th Brigade - Spanish Civil War

 

Far from home they fight for a freedom, not of their own

Russians, Germans, Yanks and the Dutch

They fight for liberty, is that so much?

 

Against Carlists, Fascists, and Franco himself

For their glories do not deserve the shelf

 

The Fighting Fifteenth, as they were known

The face of Lincoln, flying all alone

 

Lost to history because they lost

Won in the end, was it worth the cost?

 

Of hundreds dead, thousands even

For a return of Spain, sore and beaten?

 

Was all their fighting fought in vain?

No, for they all live on

With one little saying

 

¡NO PASARAN!

Beast in Black


     Oskar Desmond stepped off the ocean liner onto Ellis Island with only the clothes on his back and the world before his feet. He was wearing a worn military tunic that he had gotten when he fought in the war. He could speak very little English, but was still better than most of the people who came off the boat. Behind the gaze of a simple immigrant was something far more sinister. Oskar fled Germany after an investigation into the disappearance of a Polish man had all the fingers pointing to him, but he was already gone. First to Denmark, then to Norway, then to England, and finally to New York. Oskar had come to America for the opportunity it offered, all the farmland and all his fellow Germans… a place to finally have peace and quiet, but then the war had come. Oskar had traveled to St. Paul to join up with a militia, the 15th Minnesota Workers Battalion, a group infamous for its brutality. Oskar had risen through the ranks of the battalion like a firework and eventually became its Komandant. During his time with the battalion, it had been designated by Chairman Bronstein to be the “Front’s Penal Forces,” whatever that meant. The numbers of the 15th swelled and eventually numbered over 3,000, all of them were former criminals released from Federalist prisons. Desmond was always under investigation for whatever murders and robberies that sprang up where his troops were stationed. All of them came up empty, just like Desmond’s pockets. When the Front finally collapsed in ‘53, the Desmond Brigade, as it had become known, fled to the Rockies to regroup and keep fighting. This is when Oskar Desmond returned to the beast that was Oskar Dirlewanger.