Kerry's gaffe


Timothy Nichols, of Annapolis, MD, writes about Kerry's "Treblinka Square" gaffe last night, sparked by our blog item, which used the Soviet era name for it in correcting Kerry.

Yes......somebody else caught it, too, although it certainly didn't come from the mainstream media. You people found it at The Astute Blogger's website, and I congratulate you for it.

A word of further clarification is in order, however. "Lubyanka Square" is what the plaza is called today, taking its name from the from the infamous building where the Soviets headquartered their secret police agencies, from the Cheka to the KGB. The "bowels" of the Lubyanka were in the basement of the building, where the torture and execution chambers were located———and not under the square itself. To a Russian citizen, the very word "Lubyanka" held the same dread that the Prinz Albrecht Strasse (SS headquarters in Berlin) held for Germans under the Nazis.

In Soviet times the square was named "Dzerzhinsky Square," after the first head of the Cheka, "Iron Feliks" Dzerzhinsky——and there was a large bronze statue of him until it was pulled down after the collapse of Communism. Obviously the square's name had to change after that, but unfortunately the Russians have retained a continued reference to the dread building.

For Sen. Kerry to so easily roll off "Treblinka Square"  only demonstrates his penchant for inventing high—sounding gibberish intended to impress the listener with an historical grasp that often doesn't stand up to scrutiny. To confuse Treblinka with Lubyanka is on the level of mixing up Auschwitz with Albany, and the senator should issue a retraction———and an apology.