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6 Crazy Ways Prisoners Escaped



6th

Beat the chess supervisor

Ossip Bernstein was a chess master who is a radical title but failed to pay the bills in the last days of Imperial Russia. Bernstein worked as a finance attorney, and it was this job that got him into trouble. Oh, as far as we can tell, he hasn’t committed any financial crimes (which makes him the most honest finance attorney in history). By advising wealthy bankers, he described himself as an enemy of the people after the outbreak of the revolution. In 1918 he was arrested and was about to be fired.

Should have been a bricklayer, Ossip. 
via Wiki Commons
Should have been a bricklayer, Ossip.

He even stood against the wall with his fellow inmates when an officer recognized his name. “Are you really the famous chess master Ossip Bernstein?” he asked. Bernstein said it was, but surely everyone would have said “yes” if there had been a chance not to be shot 30 times immediately, so the officer had to be sure. The two of them would play chess, he said. If the condemned were to play with the skill of a grand master, he would to earn even a respite. If not, the punishment would be immediate death.

So Bernstein sat down and played. It was like the stories of a dying man playing a game against death – another half century would pass The seventh seal came out, but this picture is taken from an older and more universal myth. Indeed, maybe that officer was Death. Sources do not record his name, so we cannot be sure.

He carried a scythe, but maybe only because he was a communist.
Albertus Pictor
He carried a scythe, but maybe only because he was a communist.

Bernstein beat the officer handily, was released and came to the devil from Russia to Paris. The adventures of his life were not quite over yet. After a few decades of more professional chess, he saw the Nazis take over France, and so it was time to flee again, suspecting that even chess skills would not convince the Nazis to spare a Russian Jew. He had a heart attack while traveling to Spain on foot, but he got through. A decade later, he survived another heart attack, and it had nothing terrible to do. He was fair so excited because he finally returned to Russia to play chess again.

Here’s a surprisingly common question you’ll see online: “If a Siamese twin commits murder, do we sentence them to death as that would kill their twin too?” The answer is more obvious than people seem to realize. From course we wouldn’t. We avoid constantly punishing or even prosecuting various crimes for a variety of reasons, and when it comes to the death penalty we have all kinds of room to forego it if we want. Dishes won’t even kill you if you have a fetus inside, let alone a full-fledged twin. It is possible that the people asking this question are trying to take a broad philosophical point of view and not really asking about the legal process.

All of the folks who complain about trolley problems may not really care about rail infrastructure either.
Wolfgang Rottmann / Unsplash
All of the folks who complain about trolley problems may not really care about rail infrastructure either.

So the really surprising thing here is not the answer to the question, but whether the question ever needed to be answered in real life, given how few conjoined twins ever really existed. And it seems that historians say such a case really did emerge.

Lazarus and Joannes Baptista Colloredo were 17 twinsthCentury Genoa, in Italy. Or, as some would instead describe it, Lazarus had a parasitic twin named Joannes – Lazarus was intelligent and even handsome, while Joannes was just hanging on to him with his mouth open and eyes closed. Lazarus usually covered him with a cloak. Which wouldn’t have been much fun if Joannes had been aware of it, but based on the vague reports from historians, it sounds like Joannes didn’t know anything.

The two supposedly looked like that.  Or maybe this is the king of the clubs.
via Wiki Commons
The two supposedly looked like that. Or maybe this is the king of the clubs.

Lazarus killed another man in a pub fight and was executed for murder, but successfully defended himself by saying that his execution would kill Joannes Baptista as well. Well, all literary analysts have definitely noticed that “Lazarus” was the guy in the Bible who came back from death, and Lazarus Colloredo came back from a death sentence. And John the Baptist is best known for having his head on a platter, while Joannes Baptista Colloredo was basically just a lifeless head. It sounds like a fable. However, historians say these two really existed.

They toured on freak shows and Lazarus got married and had children. Which one could answer that other The most common question people have about conjoined twins, but sadly Joannes never commented what it’s like to be bound to a twin while they are boning.




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