Tag Archives: USSR

Lina Shtern and the blood brain barrier

Irving Rosen Toronto, Ontario, Canada   Dr. Lina Shtern (1878-1968), an esteemed Russian physiologist did pioneering work with the blood brain barrier, and experienced distress as a result of her involvement in the WWII Russian war effort. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image No. SIA2009-3768. Future generations will remember our age for unbelievable electronic progress, but also […]

Atrocities in Asia: Japan’s infamous Unit 731

Howard Fischer Uppsala, Sweden   Bayonet practice, wherein Japanese soldiers used dead Chinese for targets. photographed by an Associated Press photographer near Tientsin. Date, 5 September 1937. Source, LIFE, Oct 11, 1937. page 30. Via Wikimedia In 1931 the Japanese army occupied the province of Manchuria in north-east China and continued to invade and occupy […]

Schizophrenia in Nikolai Gogol’s Diary of a Madman and Lu Xun’s A Madman’s Diary

Janet Ming Guo Atlanta, Georgia, United States   Photograph of Lu Xun on 8 October 1936, 11 days before his death, attending the Second Woodcarving Exhibition in Baxianqiao, Shanghai. Photograph taken by Sha Fei. Circa 8 October 1936. Public Domain. Wikimedia Commons. Lu Xun’s 狂人日記 (A Madman’s Diary; 1918)1 was inspired by Nikolai Gogol’s Записки […]

A Cold War Vaccine: Albert Sabin, Russia, and the oral polio vaccine

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Albert Sabin (second from left) and Mikhail Chumakov (third from left). Credit: Courtesy Hauck Center for the Albert B. Sabin Archives, Henry R. Winkler Center for the History of the Health Professions, University of Cincinnati Libraries. Fair Use. In the midst of the 2020 Covid–19 pandemic, when […]

The Montreal Experiments: brainwashing and the ethics of psychiatric experimentation

Shaan Bhambra Montreal, Canada   The Allan Memorial Institute (pictured here), where the Montreal Experiments were conducted as a part of the CIA’s MKUltra project on brainwashing, continues to serve patients of the Psychiatry Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Photo by Flickr user chrisinphilly5448. “We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.” […]

Cultural warfare: investigating childbirth practices in “Doctor Zhivago”

Stephanie S. Colello New York, United States   Caption: “Stalin’s tenderness to our future children shines!” I was fortunate to spend a year studying the transformation of Russian childbirth practices through the lens of Russian literature—an endeavor that at first glance may seem farfetched. However, I quickly realized that no birth scene is written as […]