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As this article has a connection to Polish history I thought it might interest forum members. I was also curious how many forum members are aware of the scale of this. Also an interesting publication to be publishing such stuff ~~~> UAE?
CRIMES of the past keep intruding into present-day politics. Germany
has just opened a new memorial to Jewish victims of Nazi
persecution. Armenians demand Turkey admit Ottoman-era massacres
were genocide. Japan is being blasted anew by its Asian neighbours
for denying wartime atrocities.
Yet the greatest crime in modern history, and the bloodiest
genocide, have almost vanished from our collective memory. This week
marks the 70th anniversary of the Great Terror in the Soviet Union
in which tens of millions were murdered or imprisoned.
Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, at least commemorated for the
first time what he termed `colossal' Soviet crimes by attending a
memorial service at a killing ground near Moscow where the Soviet
secret police shot 20,000 `enemies of the people.' It was
interesting watching Putin, a former head of the FSB security
service, denouncing crimes of its direct predecessors, KGB and NKVD.
This was also the same Putin who recently called the Soviet Union's
collapse a `tragedy.' Still, we applaud his long-overdue recognition
of Communist-era crimes.
The Soviet terror began in the 1920's when Lenin ordered the
extermination of Cossacks and opponents of the Bolsheviks. Next came
Catholics of White Russia, and resisters to communism in the Baltic
states and Moldova. Stalin then ordered liquidation of two million
small farmers, known as `Kulaks.'
In 1932-33, Stalin unleashed genocide against Ukraine's independent-
minded farmers. Six to seven million Ukrainians were shot or died of
starvation in a famine created by NKVD. The man who directed this
genocide, Lazar Kaganovitch, the Soviet version of Nazi exterminator-
in-chief Adolf Eichmann — was made Hero of the Soviet Union and died
peacefully in Moscow in 1991. Neither he nor any of the other
surviving officials who committed mass murder and torture ever
prosecuted for their crimes.
When Communist Party bureaucrats were slow to obey Stalin's orders
to transform the Soviet Union from a backwards rural society into a
modern industrial powerhouse, `Koba,' as he was called, had NKVD
shoot 700,000 party members. Thereafter, his orders were promptly
obeyed. Almost all the party and military hierarchy were executed
during the Great Purges of 1937-38, which culminated in the
notorious Moscow Show Trials.
From 1934-1941 alone, some seven million victims were sent to the
system of concentration camps known as the `gulag,' including nearly
one million Poles, hundreds of thousands Lithuanians, Latvians and
Estonians, and half the entire Chechen and Ingush people. Volga
Germans, Crimean Tatars, Bashkirs, Kalmyks followed. Stalin's gulag
did not need gas chambers: cold, disease and overwork killed 30 per
cent of inmates each year.
To this day, Russian and foreign historians are unsure of the number
of Lenin and Stalin's victims. Estimates range from 20-40 million
deaths from 1922 to 1953 — not including war dead.
Stalin committed his worst crimes well before Hitler's major
atrocities got under way. Germany did not alone begin World War II,
as most believe. Germany and the USSR jointly did by invading Poland
in 1939; Stalin then invaded Finland. Two years later, Britain and
the USSR invaded neutral Iran. History indeed remains the propaganda
of the victors.
If we keep demanding Germany and Japan admit guilt for events of the
1930's and 40's, is it not time the United States, Britain and
Canada admit their own guilt in becoming allies of Stalin, a
monstrous criminal who killed over four times the number of Hitler's
What's more, Stalin's concentration camps were operating a decade
before Germany's. The murder of millions of Ukrainians and Balts
took place 6-7 years before World War II. The foolish Franklin
Roosevelt, who hailed Stalin as `Uncle Joe,' and the cannier Winston
Churchill both knew they were allied to the biggest mass murderer
since Genghis Khan. They used a larger devil to fight a smaller,
less dangerous one — then paid his price by handing over half of
Europe to the Soviet Empire. We should remember this when today's
neocon warmongers wax poetic about the glories of World War II — and
call for WW III against the Muslim World.
Western powers should practice what they piously preach to Germany,
Japan and, lately, Turkey, by at least apologising for their sordid
collaboration with Stalin. Which was every bit as immoral as if they
had made a deal with Hitler, as Stalin long feared they would, to
destroy the Soviet Union.
There are two halves to this analysis. The first half defining the aberrant evil that was the Soviet Union is spot on. It is the second half which falls flat. Britain was not being bombed by the Soviet Union nor were the Soviets allied to the Japanese that attacked Pearl Harbor. Be it accident of history or cunning and guile from Stalin, the point is that one can but play the cards that are dealt.
There is also in this article the pervasive tone from the Arab and Muslim world of being victims of some grand conspiracy. “and call for WW III against the Muslim World” No one of any consequence is calling for any such thing you crazy, paranoid, delusional bastards. Time for you to set your own societies in order.
Schleppy, Stalin didn't attack western Europe because in his mind that would happen in the next stage of Soviet world domination.
Forget bloodthirsty muslims for a moment - in the grand order of things they are small fry.
The Soviets were the worst, most evil thing to have ever happened to the world, but even now they are not vilified to the extent they deserve.
In western European societies it is acceptable to be a communist, but not a nazi. Race hatred is taboo, mainly because of the holocaust. Class hatred on the other hand, which inspired Soviet slaughter ideology, is OK. One hatred resulting death is bad, another hatred resulting in death is at worst 'misguided idealism'.
Spot on. Where the khaleejtimes goes wrong is in conflating the war years with the pre and post war years almost to the point of suggesting that Britain and the U.S., upon the commencement of the war, considered whether to side with the black socialists or the red socialists.
The article also conveniently neglects to mention the connection, Nassar, Assad and the Ba’athists all had with the Soviet Union.
Stalin got a pass, to say the least, from both Roosevelt and Churchill. Churchill in particular was known for his inability to stand up to Stalin and made sure that Roosevelt gave him whatever he wanted (Poland amongst other things).
But hey, in the grand scheme things, if you want to make an omelet, you gotta break some eggs. They clearly thought that cutting a deal with devil to defeat Nazi Germany was worth it and subsequently made sure that history books were written accordingly.
Good point by Varsovian on how the commie bastards always got good press, while the nazis were unequivocally vilified by everyone. At the end of the day it is hard to tell them apart.
I decided many years ago not to get too drawn into wartime issues but ... Roosevelt thought Churchill far too obstructionist towards Stalin and wanted to sideline him entirely.
Roosevelt even called Stalin "a Christian gentleman" - oops.
Churchill in particular was known for his inability to stand up to Stalin and made sure that Roosevelt gave him whatever he wanted (Poland amongst other things).
I've never heard this before! Churchill was an arch anti-commie who disliked Stalin immensely.
“Churchill was an arch anti-commie who disliked Stalin immensely”
He did a good job playing the part but his actions suggest otherwise. His memoirs illustrate his thought process on the subject. Churchill was more than happy to appease Stalin in order to win the war.
Churchill even accused Poland of “waging a private war on Russia” in reference to the fact that Poles in Warsaw would have rather died in ill-fated uprising than be “liberated” by Soviet and commie Polish troops.
Nevertheless, he was a good wartime leader. In any event, what Varsovian was alluding to is how the Soviets got a pass from the Free World. Keep in mind that a civil war raged in Poland from 1945-1947 between wartime underground and Soviet-backed puppet government. It’s a fact the West chose to ignore at the time.
What is interesting is how those events shaped Polish outlook years after they took place.
Nevertheless, he was a good wartime leader
Churchill...hmmm...The more people do research on this man the more negative things are revealed. The sad fact remains that he was a drunk with a speech impediment, by today standards he would be a hopeless leader, lets not forget he deserted the Poles and sold them to the Russians.
I never understand why people blame Churchill for the the iron curtain. Britain sold out to America during the war. That was the big turning point and the end of the empire. The "special relationship" was formed.
America did not want casualties and let Stalin overun half of Europe with the red army, end of story. Americans technically did not owe Poland anything. If Britain let Poland down, it was at the start of the war and not at the end. Nothing to do with Churchill.
>>The sad fact remains that he was a drunk with a speech impediment, by today standards he would be a hopeless leader
Offbeat: High standards? Who exactly are you referring to!? Nowadays leaders don't even write their own speeches. I won't even bother going into some obvious examples of low standards. Yeah he liked a drink, but then there was a different attitude to that then - I guess the teetotal vegetarian leaders are more your style And what the hell has a speech impediment got to do with anything?
MikeC: Re Churchill's/FDR's attitude to Stalin - what about the latter's resistance to plans to help the Warsaw Uprising? "I see no reason to send that message to Uncle Joe" etc.?
" I never understand why people blame Churchill for the the iron curtain. Britain sold out to America during the war. That was the big turning point and the end of the empire. The "special relationship" was formed. "
The thing is, they (not just Poland, the French are often the same) don't like blaming the Americans who ran the show both politically and economically by the end of the war. They'd rather pretend to believe that somebody else let them down. The truth is often hard to face.
Very clever Jon. All right, I can’t give a short answer here, so here it is.
Given the fact that it was President Wilson who called for the creation of large independent Poland in 1918 and the fact the British delegation fought the idea with everything at their disposal you can surely understand why Poles were always skeptical towards alliance with the British. Years later British leaders gave Czechoslovakia and Austria to Hitler and cheered the idea as “Peace for our Time”. 1939 justified Polish skepticism towards alliances with the British entirely.
FDR was controversial at home, to say the least, and unfortunately he had more socialist tendencies that any other American President. He set the record for the amount of government programs created during his tenure, not to mention he endorsed the idea that people can look to big government for solutions, which was as alien to Americans at the time as freedom of speech in Russia. The point is he was sympathetic towards Stalin. The real American heroes (and freedom fighters) of the 2ndWW were Patton, Eisenhower, and MacArthur. Had General Patton and Eisenhower had their way American and Allied troops would keep on rolling all the way to Warsaw.
Truman was also eager to appease Chinese commies and recalled MacArthur from Korea. It is noteworthy that’s his approval ratings were at record lows when he was leaving office and haven’t been matched since. Luckily Eisenhower got elected and restored real leadership.
History has shown time and again the appeasement does not work – Varsovian’s original point.
CLASSIC Patton quote:
"The difficulty in understanding the Russian is that we do not take cognizance of the fact that he is not a European, but an Asiatic, and therefore thinks deviously. We can no more understand a Russian than a Chinese or a Japanese, and from what I have seen of them, I have no particular desire to understand them except to ascertain how much lead or iron it takes to kill them. In addition to his other amiable characteristics, the Russian has no regard for human life and they are all out sons-of-bitches, barbarians, and chronic drunks."
General George Patton