Skip to comments.The Devil Comes Back From Georgia (Stalin's resurgence in Russia - God help us!)
Posted on 02/28/2006 9:47:56 AM PST by neverdem
Stalin's resurgence in Russia
Two events last week starkly illustrate the dilemmas of countries grappling with a terrible past. In Austria, Holocaust denier David Irving received a three-year jail sentence for his public assertions that the Nazis did not carry out a systematic extermination of the Jews during World War II. Meanwhile, in Russia, as the country marked the 50th anniversary of its official turn away from Stalinism under Nikita Khrushchev, many people regard the late dictator's legacy as mostly positiveand a new museum celebrating that legacy is about to open.
Irving's sentence reflects Europe's hard-line approach to its Nazi past. Laws prohibiting Holocaust denial and pro-Nazi propaganda are stringent in Germany and Austria, the countries most directly implicated in Nazi crimes against humanity; but they exist in many other countries on the European continent as well. Such laws are troubling to most Americans.
To some, the issue is not clear-cut. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that "while Irving's rants would not have led to legal action in the United States, it is important that we recognize and respect Austria's commitment to fighting Holocaust denial...as part of its historic responsibility to its Nazi past."
While I have no sympathy for Irving (who, faced with jail, tried to weasel out of his position with the ludicrous claim that new evidence has led him to believe people were slaughtered at Auschwitz after all), I still think that the law used against him is a bad idea. The state of Austria can own up to its responsibility to its past without criminalizing even the worst of speech. In the United States, even without legal sanctions, Holocaust denial is effectively marginalized by public opinion.
Meanwhile, the criminalization of Holocaust denial may perversely strengthen the hand of the deniers, leading some to argue that the defenders of Holocaust history must have little confidence in their facts if they feel they must silence challengers. Historian Deborah Lipstadt is concerned that the jail sentence could give Irving publicity and martyrdom instead of the obscurity he deserves.
On to Russia, where from the early 1930s until his death in 1953 Stalin slaughtered his own people on a Holocaust-like scale. It is estimated that at least 20 million died. The extermination was not as systematically deliberate as the Nazis', but the victims, in the end, were just as dead.
Fifty years ago at a secret Communist Party meeting, Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev, gave a speech denouncing Stalin's "personality cult" and the repressions under his rule. This speech began the process of the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, Most political prisoners were released, and many of the dead posthumously exonerated. Yet neither the Soviet Union nor, in later years, post-Soviet Russia fully repudiated Stalin, or fully came to terms with his crimes. In recent years, Russian president Vladimir Putin has been advocating a more positive view of the country's Soviet past. Cities have erected monuments to Stalin.
A Stalin museum is scheduled to open in March in Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad.
Polls show that 30 to 40 percent of Russians now regard Stalin's role in history as mostly "positive," crediting him with turning the Soviet Union into a superpower and defeating Hitler.
Compared with this amnesia about state crimes against humanity, the German experience is certainly a good modelwhatever one thinks of Germany's Holocaust denial laws. Sadly, amnesia about the crimes of communism is common in the West as well; historians who have downplayed and minimized those crimes, such as Miami University of Ohio historian Robert W. Thurston (who argues that there was no "mass terror...extensive fear did not exist...[and] Stalin was not guilty of mass first-degree murder"), have not been ostracized the way David Irving has been for a long time.
The resurgence of the Stalin cult in Russia shows the danger of such amnesia. Holocaust denial and Gulag denial should be finally seen as the twin evils they are.
Cathy Young is a Reason contributing editor. This column originally appeared in the Boston Globe.
More misinformation from the Boston globe ping.
Gulag denial is just as bad as Holocaust denial....we must keep reminding the left of that fact.
This'll make the leftist, socialist, commie, fascist lib-dem trash here, happy, as he's one of their icons.
Dead wrong. Nazism was in a sense an aberration in German identity and history. That's why it has been possible to repudiate it - it does not go to the roots of "Germanity". Stalinism, OTOH, was not an aberration but an adequate and direct manifestation of a pretty long and sordid historical identity. That's why there are such difficulties with its repudiation.
The Globe is spinning statistics to create a falisy. The majority of Russians if you read the article do not feel Stalins effect was positive. Futher of those who do many consider that Russia would probably speak german today if not for Stalin in WWII, they still regard Stalin as an evil bastard but regard his somewhat more of his actions as having been positive than negative.
The Globe is spinning a tall tail. I'll take Secretary Rice over them any day:
Statements by Secretary Rice:
"I want to be very clear. It isn't the Soviet Union. You know this place. This Russian Government is not the Soviet Government and sometimes people overstate this to say things have gone all the way back"
"This is not the Soviet Union; let's not overstate the case. I was a Soviet specialist. I can tell you that Russia bears almost no resemblance to the Soviet Union."
Its really imaginary propping up of one of their heros by a leftist publication.
If you read the whole article it's clear that the data does not support the assertions.
GSlob is a racist (he's called Russians baboons on other threads). Just an FYI.
As for 'deep reasons' you'll note that GSlob never mentions what the deep reasons are or provide any support for them, he just insist they exist.
Most Russians hate Stalin, and i know this having been there, but even the article makes that fact plain.
Who said the atheists don't beleive in God?
At least Stalin made the trains to Siberia run on time!
I heard their is trend in russia now to be sporting clothing with CCCP written on it. Its considered hip now.
That american figure skater, Johnny Weir, was seen at the olympics wearing a jacket with CCCP on it. What a moron.
Target of opportunity, IMO.
Cathy Young is a libertarian, and is herself an immigrant from Russia. Although she was still a child when she came here, she knows the true evil of communism. She isn't someone I always agree with, but she's very careful with the facts.
The story I'd heard is that SSSR clothing was popular at the Olympics this year, not in Russia.
From the article "30 to 40 percent of Russians now regard Stalin's role in history as mostly "positive"
Where does that leave 60 to 70 percent of Russians?
Oh, I just ... love ... this gem.
Tell that to the Crimean Tatars, the entire race of whom were deported to Siberia by the Stalin regime
Tell that to the "kulaks": the successful small-holder farmers who were slaughtered because they were successful
Tell that to the millions of Ukrainians who were systematically starved in the 1930s because some of them resisted collectivization
Tell that to the Russian survivors of German POW camps, who were sent off to Stalin's gulags as soon as they were liberated from the Nazis
Tell that to the millions who were worked to death in 50 below zero temperatures in the gulag hellholes of Kolyma and other places
Tell that to the families of people jailed under Article 58 because an informant accused them of anti-Soviet thoughts
Stalin was FAR WORSE than Hitler. Hitler was the wolf, where Stalin was the wolf in the sheep's clothing sewn for him by leftist "useful idiots" worldwide. IMHO, it's a crime that this historical fact continues to be shoved down the memory hole.
with relatives who were murdered by him.
(Numbers wise Stalin and Hitler about tie, and Mao beats them both)
oh i suspect the majority of that 30-40 share that...
Refrain: Yes, old Joe's dead and gone,
He stayed around too long,
And nobody now can save his hide,
'Cause old Joe laid right down and died.
Old Joe won't worry us no more;
He killed the helpless by the score;
Now I hope he's satisfied,
Since old Joe's taken his last ride
While near the end, he couldn't talk,
He's paralyzed and he couldn't walk.
He died with a hemorrhage in the brain.
They have a new fireman on the devil's train.
Although he was a man of power,
He was scared of Eisenhower.
So now the devil can retire,
'Cause old Joe Stalin will keep the fire.
Ray Anderson [Kentucky Records #573, 1953]
This record is a cool, gone, solid platter, although it's hard to find.
You can deny the Moons' existance all you want, but not while it continues to show up at night.
Suppression of speech is a sign of weakness except when it is intended to prevent violence. Does Austria fear a resurgence of Nazism? One way to make sure a man is believed rather than merely heard is to cover his mouth after he speaks. Thank God for America where Speech Police have no authority.
As for Russia I keep in mind that not all that long ago they were subject to the barbarity of the Mongols. It will take time for that poison to wash from their psyche. Let the Chinese boohoo about their poor "Century of Shame" all their nasty selves like - the Russians are the way they are because of the lessons they learned from Chinese occupation. Thanks, Chinese Idiots.
Abraham Lincoln was a wartime dictator too, and we have monuments galore to him - but he was not a peactime dictator like Stalin. If the resurgence of Stalin worship is for his deeds in peacetime, then the Russians need to work on cleansing themselves of the poison the Chinese pumped up their butts.
Russia no longer has the buffer states it relied on as advance defenses, and even in those days they lacked the power to be more than a bad influence - and they knew it. They may have a bad attitude, but they aren't total idiots - they know that their only hope lies with the West. Especially in light of the reality that the only "liebensram" open to China is in Russia.
Much ado about Nada - keep your eye on China.
When polls that purport to be serious rank Bush in popularity with Hitler and Stalin, I think we have major league problems. Bush has made some errors, but the latter two deserve the lowest rung in the Inferno, IMHO.
If 30 - 40 percent of Russians think Stalin was a good guy, the same guy who collaborated with Hitler to bring about the circumstances that precipitated their Great Patriotic War, those folks are seriously DELUDED! It's hard to imagine a worse outcome. Putin's regime enobles all of the worst attributes of the KGB and the mafia.
God help us if we try to put up a small monument of a Medal of Honor winner at the University of Washington Campus, ohh nooo, not allowed!!! But its ok to have a statue of Lenin up in Seattle.
The liberals in this town are brain diseased commie scumbags. I wish they could all get a taste of what it was like to actually live under the rule of someone like Lenin or Stalin. Its easy for them to idolize these monsters when they are already dead and didn't have to live in Russia during their reigns.
Sad and distressing.
I agree with his mother.
At some point when Stalin was dictator of the Soviet Union, and his mother was quite aged, she asked him exactly what it was that he did. He is reported to have offered some explanation, of which only "something like the Tsar" sank in.
"Too bad," his mother is reported to have replied, "It would have been better if you had become a priest."
Fascinates me the number of Jews who celebrate Communism.
They have, however, been trained to despise almost anything German in spite of the Jews in the Nazi hierarchy.
Read Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" - more specifically, his footnotes to it. From personal experience he wrote that quite a few of those leftists would have been embracing the rest of Nazi program, but for Hitler's anti-semitism.
Ohhh, that is more like an idol or a false god.
I've seen 'Stalin Lives' propaganda sites that say Yakov Dzhugashvili, Stalin's first child, was assisted in escaping the Nazi POW camp.
I just can't help but wonder if there is any truth to that.
Gulag denial and Unit 731 denial is just as bad as Holocaust denial....we must keep reminding the left of that fact.
I lived through those years. I know quite a few who did.
They supported the corporate fascist state. I see it happening here and it is revolting.
How do you say No NAIS in Japanese?
See info added to thread also.
By the way, it is rather a myth that Ms.Rice speaks Russian. When she was in Moscow, journalists felt very enthusiastic about it and tried to speak in Russian to her several times, but she looked confused and needed interpreter's help every time. In the end she managed saying couple of common words. She definitely coudn't speak or understand Russian, may be she can read a little bit.
Probably, she studed the language long time ago but likely never used/exercised afterwards.
It is not that it changes anything in an attidute towards her, it's just interesting fact.
Well, a lot of folks in this country are still worshipping someone who's been dead for 2000 years +/-.
Is that a comparison of Stalin to Jesus Christ????
They, each staring in his time, placed pretty similar claims on what could be poetically called human souls. Thus a comparison is both warranted, illustrative and necessary.