tv [untitled] September 26, 2010 11:30am-12:00pm EDT
meanwhile it's time for the technology update and today we explore new methods of saving the environment. building up in one thousand and thirty two in the heart of just. looks imposing even. a new apartment building three hundred meters of the. tennis. every. time. it was meant for soviet russia ruling elite revolutionaries communist functionaries government
ministers and members of parliament. a coveted key to the country's. third of its tenants had been repressed. special house for special people was popularly known as the house of pretrial incarceration. buildings in secret is now known as. alexander. has spent a lifetime house across. the postcard like. a house itself. to me. to say just don't you think it's something.
i'm sick and tired of it but it's. his grandfather alexander in the one thousand. he held the post of minister in a country that had gone through the upheavals of revolution and civil war a person responsible for food supplies was almost as important as all the law makers put together. instantly complied with special paramilitary groups made the rounds of villages to strip peasants of so. as a result many of them to starvation. it. is very extensive included on site executions without trial. and he did what he had to by providing the nation with an adequate supply of grain. alexander to
save the country's scientific and industrial potential by preventing the urban population from starving around about the same time stalin came up with a costly and ambitious project the idea was to build a big apartment house with all modern conveniences for the country's ruling elite the job was given to the architect. a graduate of the italian academy of fine arts . that was the first add up project. a city within a city down to three western as well as domestic architects built on that idea later in the twentieth century. construction got underway on an aisle in the moscow river facing the kremlin that was in one thousand nine hundred twenty eight minister alexander was to be one of the first tenants but he didn't live long enough to see the end of construction so died of a heart attack in that same year. however his family was allowed to move into the
house on the embankment. thirty two family moved out of the kremlin and into a five room apartment just like this one. nine hundred forty i was brought there from the maternity home. my three uncles and the sister and grandmother was very happy to see me that. one hundred twenty square meters was a huge amount of floor space in those days even so it was not enough for a large and growing family but compared to the tiny flat the family had lived in before the five room apartment was like a palace stoves instead of and hot water on tap were seen as marvels of engineering . the architects had introduced a host of technical novelties to make the tenants and lives as comfortable as possible. there was a service left here before the building was revamped and there was a dust bin just outside the door. job it was to collect dust bins used to live to
pick them up from every floor the. tenants didn't need to leave the building if they didn't want to. their daily needs were close at hand shops an outpatient clinic a cinema close to outsiders a tennis court a canteen and even hobby clubs for children. with the idiots because you would be hard put to find anything missing so what there was a crash and there was a kindergarten or kindergarten was in that cabin on the rooftop there was a large veranda on the other side from one children from the creche and kindergarten slept on the verandah in the daytime and. in those days it was not as noisy as it is now yet life in the house was very comfortable. move nice and yes the wool believed in was three minutes into jail it's not clear if it was demanded to be that way but the more if architect. had sensed the trend of the
times in any case that's the way that world was constructed. finding a closed courtyards and a system in general anyone entering or leaving the building was taken every movement was there was a total control of everybody and everything. that never even occurred to the tenants of the modern house that they were living in a large. there were small fountains in the middle of the courtyard with a staff of gardeners looking after flower beds around them there was not a single tree obstructing the guards field of vision no one could cross the. noticed concierge. they were officers of the country's special security units and they had keys to all of the buildings apartments. special service agents. we knew they were because they were wearing.
no outsiders into the house. sometimes took advantage of the situation by seeking safe haven in the house from all sorts of situations with. parents had no worries about their children they knew their kids were under constant observation but. under total control that made the job of the special security units easier the repression machine was gaining momentum in the soviet union in the late one nine hundred thirty s. at that time five hundred five families occupied five hundred five apartments in the complex three hundred eight of them were repressed in one thousand nine hundred . such cars were commonly known as black ravens they are believed to have been used to take people to present. the detainee was bundled into a car where he sent between two men in the special security force said you miss me the detainee was guarded by two special services officers and the driver of the car
had no room. the raven in russia was considered to be a burden who brought on happiness that's why people called the car a black raven the model on which this car was based was presented to soviet russia by henry ford. with. stalin was shown in the car in the kremlin in one thousand thirty three. plated at that time well before he touched the grill and wondered why they were so much chroma. up he was told that in that way soviet engineers had wanted to outdo forward. and said too much chrome was not a good idea do it as for does he order to reform. this was the only mass produced car in the country at the time it was used both as
a taxi and as a limousine for big special service officers also made use of the ominous vehicle. margarita father raised her almost as he would a boy he taught her to swim run and stick up for herself but was a communist worthy of the title he was proud of his party membership but when indiscriminate arrests swept the country in the late one nine hundred thirty s. he realized that storm clouds were gathering over him to. in january one nine hundred thirty seven margaret his parents spent a long time in her father's study talking in whispers margarita was just eight years old at the time. that our mother entered the room children your father is leaving us yeah i said to my father communists don't behave like that.
try to embrace me but i didn't break loose from his grip. and then he said i would understand and forgive him when i grew up he made an attempt to protect our family. filed a divorce suit and moved into a home town in less than a month and he was arrested on the street his formal divorce didn't help a few days after his arrest his apartment in the house on the embankment was searched his family was still there. i thought in my nightmares for very long time after the search. was their custom they had come in the evening when i was already in bed and the first thing that they did of them took my dog. i didn't really play with dolls but this one my father brought from england on the way it was a rag doll but it had
a head made of porcelain one of them took and smashed the doll against the wall. just when my father taught me to strike back so i bit him but. the families of the repressed and stayed in the basement pending a decision on what was to be done with them there was a multitude of workshops catering to the tenants needs in the endless labyrinth underneath the house on the embankment there were also air raid shelters there many people used them during world war two the families of the enemies of the people lived in the bomb shelters accompanied by the noise of the woodworking machines. structure and a staff of some thirty carpenters catered to the house's top notch inhabitants anything that the tenant wanted us to me these blocks floors. but they always
expected us to show up as soon as the ordered us to come for. the basements of the house have undergone no change since the one nine hundred thirty s. even the doors of the now nonexistent service lives that were used to move dust bins are still there. sounds ten years ago there was a big hole here some of the ground had been flushed away when they were building a sewage pipe a few other young man and i went down to a depth of twelve metres we saw there was a sunken underground been sucking in water and soil to be awarded later but it was blocked with concrete. is a professional digger he makes maps and charts of the capitals underground service lines archaeologists and rescue workers turned to him for help. on the embankment a still under construction political prisoners built up bunker and the secret tunnel linking the house to the kremlin. to one theory they died there we. traveled
on to the mosque at a depth of seventeen thousand meters. but we saw several human skulls with holes at the back of the large holes in the forehead. clearly people had been shot and killed their bodies. suddenly highlevel found two underground passages one dates back to the sixteenth century as for the other he believes it was made when the building was under construction he couldn't examine the second passage because it was filled with concrete to prevent pavements and sidewalks above from further sinking into the aisle swampy soil but this is not the only mystery still surrounding the house on the embankment.
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happiness and a few. here lived side by side in this grain summer house built for the soviet elite in the heart of moscow just across from the kremlin eminent tenants walked to the kremlin to report for work carefree children played in the backyards but even they didn't fail to notice that their playmates were disappearing one by one arrests of house tenants became a matter of routine in the late one nine hundred thirty s. there were more sealed uninhabited apartments than occupied ones the exodus of veteran tenants was faster than the influx of new residents. they were tenants only two or three apartments in a block of flats. the others had been sealed up though if the place was incredibly quiet. packed and ready to go they always had some basic necessities close at hand . whenever they had the entrance door slam during the night they thought it was
their turn to be arrested that's how it was. people couldn't stand the stress and committed suicide. one of the two rooms of the small museum of the house on the embankment is devoted to the repressed tenants a tour of the museum lasted for one and a half hours museum guides and spend a lot of that time telling the stories of the families of the so-called enemies of the people most of the immediate relatives of the repressed tenants were sent to prison camps and their children to children's homes the youngest of them usually had their names changed. and it's really been a children's home soon after his talents that a sixteen year old boy wrote a letter to the radio in it he describes his childhood i grew up in a big grey house on the bank of forever my father's name was nikolai were my mother's name was alexandra each morning i was taken to the kindergarten that was
in the same block of flats alexandra the boy's mother survived the christian camp and returned she found her son using the description contained in his letter although his name had been changed. reality and fiction all of that is intertwined in the house on the embankment even in conspicuous engineering concepts or mistakes in construction are often held up as examples of malicious tricks of special operations services. but the. ceiling in this corridor it is much lower than inside the rooms about that means that anyone would have had no difficulty at all so in getting into the air ducts used to be right here above me. there he could have seen and heard everything that was going on inside this room. no doubt he was about this. there was to win in those days it was not necessary to collect incriminating evidence to arrest someone
on the procedure was much simpler and much more menacing that if they wanted to take someone away they just came and whisk them away then they said they were spying for china or something. curator of the museum of the house on the embankment knows all of the legends surrounding the house and the real events in its history. in one way or another happy and a joyous event concerning its stem from the grim past of this place. the bright side of it is their return of people from prison camps one of them was the mother of ury tryphena of my late husband a soul has given this house its name by writing a great book about it that his mother came back alive is a miracle and a great joy. the status of the house's tenants underwent a gradual change towards the end of the one nine hundred forty s. now communist and other top most officials were not the only inhabitants of the
house world war two heroes and prominent scientists created a new atmosphere there. for the war they were found. but when the war was over they were in a state. because of public pressure the fountains were replaced. it was a volleyball net about five meters high and there were also two professional volleyball players living in the house at the time a minister not together a team. as a result people from all over moscow came here to play for. sometimes they played until. soviet citizens were not allowed to purchase private property in those days only the state provided housing. an official paper authorizing the right to move into the house on the embankment was a very prestigious sign the kind of apartment you got was also important at the end
of the war alexander family was moved into a smaller apartment in a different block his father a red army officer had disappeared without a trace during the war. missing soldiers were seen as enemies of the people my mother was a daughter of an enemy of the people so she was denied official employment. life was hard and she had to work by night as a dressmaker. so private enterprise was banned it literally was hush hush business . today only the walls of the house and the museum serve as a reminder of times gone by the consumer goods shop the outpatients clinic and the laundry are all gone the rooftop kindergarten is no longer there. time was when there were some nice looking cup a troll is here or. there was a concierge and
a telephone but the with the still later the cuppa trauma's only reached the fifth floor and all of them were removed and the telephone disappeared and the concierge went away everything was then as it is now if. the club were only house tenants were is now a popular variety theatre the theatres bar is a pale semblance of a vast canteen that fed thousands of residents at a time there are no children's hobby clubs anymore only the stage and tennis court have survived. visible well here was a tool that sorry for the details. and there was a canteen for personnel. the rest was the same as those the most important tosk was to turn this building into a theatre. but unfortunately with current climb up right now because of the tennis court above us weighs down on the theatre. it was actually
built in the early nineteenth thirty's when the house was under construction. when it. became the theatres artistic director in the late one nine hundred ninety s. he saw to it that the style of decorations in the auditorium and on stage was preserved as much as possible in line with the original design. it's ridiculous. so here you see here is the coat of arms of the soviet union with pretty mild and actually those music sheets. not over there there are the notes or the saw it national anthem those things have survived actually to this day i see them as the most vivid memory. of a great and tragic period in the life of russia just look at the columns the architecture and the imperiled power demonstrated by this construction but they
were kicked order. of government only to move out of the house a long time ago. however having an apartment in the house is still regarded as a symbol of prestige. though many are deterred by its ill fame. actually i first played with the idea of moving into this building in the mid seventy's but my wife she told me she would never answer it because she said the walls in the shed she has here. others however would like to live here precisely because a large stratum of russia's history is associated with this house. as a historian i have always wanted to touch history with my own hands to experiment and explore different options or me it's.
a prominent political analyst in the one nine hundred ninety s. is a relatively new resident of the house on the embankment he bought an apartment and moved here in one thousand nine hundred ninety nine since then he's been enjoying life here. when i first answered disappointment i was surprised by the fact that there was very little light in it. that the leo left almost no like there but that's how it was with the. there was a. few small rooms on both sides of it. perhaps the architect thought that was enough for a living. so i knocked on all the old walls you know all that's left now are the windows and a bookshelf. bourse you know fun designed the building in such a way as to offer
a good view of the kremlin for most of the apartments some of them boasted enormous recessed balconies. as a student of the italian school of architecture and wanted to get as much from the rare sunlight here as possible. to that and he designed a vast verandas like this one a groom only get out it's very large indeed. there are even larger of around as elsewhere show boards legend has it that in winter time water was poured over them so that people could skate there was a couple many modern day businessmen by apartments here but they don't live in them instead they regard them as a profitable investment in real estate others move into the building for the sheer pristine but the descendants of the victimized tenants make it a point of not walking anywhere near it if an apartment has new plastic windows this is a sign that it was only a short time ago the few descendants of eminent ancestors prefer old frames made of wood but their numbers are on the decline. some people living in this house