Yugoslav communist Milovan Đilas' chilling account of confronting Stalin about the Red Army's mass rapes in Eastern Europe at the end of WWII.
“I explained to him that it had not been my intention to insult the Red Army, but I had wished to call attention to irregularities of certain of its members and to the political difficulties they were creating for us. Stalin interrupted: ‘Yes, you have, I know, read Dostoevsky? Do you see what a complicated thing is man’s soul, his psyche? Well then, imagine a man who has fought from Stalingrad to Belgrade - over thousands of kilometres of his own devastated land, across the dead bodies of his comrades and dearest ones. How can such a man react normally? And what is so awful in his amusing himself with a woman, after such horrors?”
Probably the finest poem ever composed about Iceland, by Megas back in 1972. The rough English title would be "Ingólfur Arnarson's unnecessary propensity for finding things.". [Ingólfur is traditionally regarded as the first Norse settler on the island.]
My loose (and obviously imperfect) translation of the lyrics is as follows:
Ingólfur was the name of the man who, long ago, found and settled Iceland and built a homestead and the politicians celebrate him in speeches and one can see where his statue stands upon the hill. But what sustains the people of this land? Do you know what it is? To me it’s a mystery. For fire and ice wages war on the folk of this country but worst of all, though, is the cursed cold in the night. And so I drink to this land, and its people, and all that and to the braves who have struggled and died there We remember Ingólfur Arnarson in our feasts but we wish that his ship, it had sunk.
Um óþarflega fundvísi Ingólfs Arnarsonar Ingólfur hét hann sem endur fyrir löngu Ísaland fann og nam og bjó sér þar ból og stjórnmálamennirnir minnast hans í ræðum og menn geta séð hvar hann stendur uppi á Arnarhól En hvað er það sem verndar viðkomu landans? Vitið þér hvað það er? Mér er það hulið því á landsmenn og konur herja eldar og ísar en allra verst er þó bannsett næturkulið Því segi ég skál fyrir Fróni og Fjölni og allt það og fyrir þeim snjöllum sem þar hafa skrimt og hrokkið við minnumst Ingólfs Arnarsonar í veislum en óskum þess að skipið hans það hefði sokkið