ISSUE 24: X/Y/Z

TOPICS:

  • Yalta Conference 
  • Xiu Zhui

Yalta Conference

 

The Yalta Conference was a conference that took place in February 1945, just before the end of WW2.
The world leaders at the conference were…

 

Stalin (USSR)     Roosevelt (USA)     Churchill (UK)

 

 

 

 


These were known as the “Big Three” - they corresponded due to the close of the war drawing nearer, with the Allies looking to triumph over the Nazis. They decided on some important legislations and rules that would define much of the latter half of the 20th Century in Europe. These were…

  •  Germany was to be divided into 4 zones: UK, USA, France and USSR.

  • Berlin was also to be divided into 4 zones - a topic of contention between the East and West that continued until the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. It was commonly referred to as “an island of Capitalism in a sea of Communism.” The USSR’s strict opinions on Western influence in Eastern Europe meant that they attempted to extricate the Allies from Berlin even after Stalin’s death in 1953.

  • Japan would be fought against until surrender, even if Germany had conceded before. Stalin also agreed to join the fight against Japan.

  • Liberated Eastern European countries were allowed to hold free elections to determine their new governments. Although Stalin agreed to this at Yalta, he began rigging elections in Eastern Europe to ensure widespread Communist victory. His defence was that he was “protecting” his country from surrounding attack - really, though, it was his first step towards grand plans of Soviet Expansionism, another topic that caused friction between East and West during the ensuing Cold War.

  • Germany was to pay another $23 billion in war reparations, but this was mainly to be collected through Allied takeover of factories and industry. The Allies didn’t want another catalyst for fascist rise to power in Germany.

 

As stated, many of these agreements didn’t come to pass or were quickly disobeyed. The following conference in Potsdam places credence to this, thanks to continually shifting leaders in the Big Three and increasing tensions between the US and USSR, due to new President Truman’s staunch anti-Communist stance.

 

By: Beau Waddell
 

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Xin Zhui

 

Xin Zhui, also known as Lady Dai, was the Marquise of Dai during the Western Han dynasty in ancient China. Her tomb was found almost 2000 years after she had been buried inside a hill called Mawangdui. Her body was found with hundreds of valuable artefacts and fascinating documents.

Zhui’s body is an incredible, significant discovery as it is amazingly preserved. All of her organs and blood vessels remain intact and there are even traces of Type A blood which remain in her veins. Along with this, she still maintains her hair and eyelashes. Scientists have also discovered the remains of melon seeds scattered amongst her stomach. This led to a popular belief that Zhui had died during the summer melon season and she had consumed a melon a few hours before she died.

Zhui’s body had been soaked in a liquid which was soon tested by scientists to find that it was mildly acidic and contained magnesium. It was this formulation that preserved her body and it remains a mystery to scientists whom to this day, remain unsure as to what this liquid mixture actually is.
 


 

 

By: Deepa Patel