The Stalin Orgy in Putin’s Neo-Soviet Russia

Arseny Roginsky, a founder and Chairman of Memorial, Russia’s largest human rights organization, as well as a historian and ex-inmate of the Soviet prison camps, writing on Open Democracy:

State-owned "Russia Today" tells the world Stalin wasn't really so bad after all

State-owned "Russia Today" tells the world Stalin wasn't really so bad after all

The memory of Stalinism in contemporary Russia raises problems which are painful and sensitive. There is a vast amount of pro-Stalinist literature on the bookstalls: fiction, journalism and pseudo-history. In sociological surveys, Stalin invariably features among the first three “most prominent figures of all times”. In the new school history textbooks, Stalinist policy is interpreted in a spirit of justification.

There are also hundreds of crucial volumes of documents, scholarly articles and monographs on Stalinism. The achievements of these historians and archivists is unquestionable. But if they do have any influence on the mass consciousness, it is too weak. The means of disseminating the information have not been there, and nor in recent years has the political will. However, the deepest problem lies in the current state of our national historical memory of Stalinism.

I should explain what I mean here by historical memory, and Stalinism. Historical memory is the retrospective aspect of collective consciousness. It informs our collective identity through our selection of the past we find significant. The past, real or imaginary, is the material with which it works: it sorts through the facts and systemizes them, selecting those which it is prepared to present as belonging to the genealogy of its identity.

Stalinism is a system of state rule, the totality of specific political practices of the Stalinist leadership. Throughout the duration of this system, a number of characteristic features were preserved. But its generic feature (which arose from the very beginning of Bolshevist rule and did not disappear with Stalin’s death) is terror as a universal instrument for solving any political and social tasks. It was state violence and terror that made possible the centralization of rule, the severing of regional ties, high vertical mobility; the harsh introduction of an ideology which could be easily modified, a large army of subjects of slave labor, and many other things.

Thus, the memory of Stalinism is primarily the memory of state terror as the defining feature of the age. It is also what links it in so many respects with today.

Victims, not crimes

Is that really what the memory of Stalinism means in today’s Russia? I’d like to say a few words about the key features of this memory today. Firstly, the memory of Stalinism in Russia is almost always the memory of victims. Victims, not crimes. As the memory of crimes it does not register, as there is no consensus on this.

To a great extent this is because popular consciousness has nothing to hold onto from a legal point of view. The state has produced no legal document which recognizes state terror as a crime. The two lines in the preamble to the 1991 law on the rehabilitation of victims is clearly insufficient. There are no legal decisions that inspire any confidence – and there have not been any trials against participants of the Stalinist terror in the new Russia, not a single one.

There are other reasons too.

We killed our own people

When popular consciousness has to come to terms with historical tragedies, it does so by assigning roles of Good and Evil. People identify themselves with one of the roles. It is easier to identify oneself with Good, i.e. with an innocent victim, or better still with a heroic battle against Evil.

Incidentally, this is why our Eastern European neighbors, from Ukraine to Poland and the Baltic States have no serious problems with coming to terms with the Soviet period of history, while in Russia, people identify themselves with victims or fighters, or with both at the same time. Whether or not this has anything to do with history is quite another matter – we’re talking about memory, not knowledge.

It is even possible to identify oneself with Evil, as the Germans did (not without help from the outside), in order to distance oneself from this evil: “Yes, unfortunately we did that, but we’re not like than anymore and we’ll never be like that again”.

But what can we do, living in Russia?

In the Soviet terror, it is very difficult to distinguish the executioners from the victims. For example, secretaries of regional committee in August 1937 all wrote death sentences by the bundle, but by November 1938 half of them had already been shot themselves.

In national, and particularly regional memory, the “executioners” – for example, the regional committee secretaries of 1937 – are not unambiguously evil: yes, they signed execution warrants, but they also organized the construction of kindergartens and hospitals, and went to workers’ cafeterias personally to test the food, while their subsequent fate is worthy of sympathy.

And one more thing: unlike the Nazis, who mainly killed “foreigners”: Poles, Russians, and German Jews (who were not quite their “own” people), we mainly killed our own people, and our consciousness refuses to accept this fact.

In remembering the terror, we are incapable of assigning the main roles, incapable of putting the pronouns “we” and “they” in their places. This inability to assign evil is the main thing that prevents us from being able to embrace the memory of the terror properly. This makes it far more traumatic. It is one of the main reasons why we push it to the edge of our historical memory.

The search for a Great Russia

At a certain level, that of personal recollections, the terror is also a passing memory. There are still witnesses, but they are the last of their kind, and they are dying, taking with them the personal memories and experiences.

This leads on to my next point: memory as recollection is succeeded by memory as a selection of collective images of the past. These are no longer formed by personal, and not even family memories, but by various socio-cultural means. One significant element in determining this is the politics of history, ie the attempts of the political elite to form an image of the past that suits it.

Since the 1990s those in political power have been looking to the past to justify their own legitimacy. But if the government craved legitimacy after the collapse of the USSR, people craved identity. And both the government and the population looked for a way to make up for these in the image of a Great Russia, of which present-day Russia is the successor. The images of the “bright past”, which the government proposed in the 1990s – Stolypin, Peter the Great and so on – were not accepted by the population: they are too remote, not closely enough related to the present day. Gradually and insidiously, the concept of Great Russia came to mean the Soviet period as well, particularly the Stalinist era.

The post-Yeltsin leadership saw that people were ready for another reconstruction of the past, and made full use of it. I do not mean to say that the government of the first decade of the 21st century intended to rehabilitate Stalin. It just wants to offer its fellow citizens the notion of a great country, one which is timelessly great, one which overcomes all ordeals with honor. The image of a happy and glorious past was needed to consolidate the population, to restore the continuity of the authority of state power, to strengthen its own “vertical” etc. But whatever the intention, against the background of the newly arisen panorama of a great power, which as ever is “surrounded by a ring of enemies”, the whiskered profile of the great leader showed through. This result was inevitable and predictable.

The two images of the Stalinist era were in harsh contradiction. There was that of Stalinism, of a criminal regime responsible for decades of state terror. And there was that of an era of glorious victories and great achievements. Above all, of course, there was the image of the main victory -victory in the Great Patriotic War.

Conflicting memories of the Great Patriotic War

The memory of Stalinism and the memory of the war. The memory of the war became the foundation on which national self-identification was re-organized. A great deal has been written on this topic. I would only note one thing: what is currently called the memory of the war does not quite correspond to its name. The memory of the hardships of the war, of everyday life, of 1941, of imprisonment, evacuation, and the victories of war – this memory was extremely anti-Stalinist in the Khrushchev era. It was organically intertwined with the memory of the terror.

Today the memory of the war has been replaced by the memory of Victory. This change began in the mid-1960s. At the end of the 1960s, the memory of the terror was banned – for a whole 20 years! By the time this changed, there were virtually no soldiers left, and there was no one left to correct the collective stereotype with their personal recollections.

The memory of victory without the memory of the price of victory cannot, of course, be anti-Stalinist. So it does not fit in well with the memory of the terror. To simplify drastically, this conflict of memories goes like this: if state terror was a crime, then who was the criminal? The state? Stalin as the head of state? But we won the war against Absolute Evil, and so we were not the subjects of a criminal regime, but a great country, the embodiment of everything good in the world. It was under the rule of Stalin that we overcame Hitler. Victory means the Stalinist era, and the terror means the Stalinist era. It is impossible to reconcile these two images of the past, except by rejecting one of them, or at least making serious corrections to it.

And this is what happened – the memory of the terror receded. It has not disappeared completely, but it has been pushed to the periphery of people’s consciousness.

Monuments

Under the circumstances, it is surprising that the memory of the terror has survived at all, that it has not become a Great National Taboo, but that it is still alive and evolving. Let us briefly review the means whereby we have managed to hold onto this memory.

The first and most obvious sign of the memory of historical events is the monuments. Contrary to popular opinion, there are a lot of monuments and signs in commemoration of the Stalinist terror in Russia – over 800. They were not erected by central government, but through the efforts of the community and local administration. Federal power has played almost no part in bringing this about. It has not been seen as a priority by the state. There has probably also been a certain unwillingness on their part further to legitimize this painful subject.

All of these sculptures, chapels, crosses and memorial stones immortalize the memory of victims. But there is no image of the crime, or the criminals associated with this memory. There are victims – either of a natural disaster, or of some other catastrophe, the sources and meaning of which remains incomprehensible to the popular consciousness.

In cities, most of these monuments and signs are not in central squares, but in remote areas, where the remains of the victims are buried. At the same time, many central streets are still named after the people who were directly or indirectly involved in the terror. The combination of present-day urban toponymics inherited from the Soviet era, while the memory of the victims is relegated to the outskirts – this is a clear image of the state of historical memory on Stalinism in Russia.

Books of memory

Books of memory are one reference point about the memory of Stalinism. These books, published in the majority of Russian regions, form a library of almost 300 volumes. They contain a total of over one and a half million names of people who were executed, sentenced to imprisonment in camps, or deported. This is a serious achievement, especially if we recall the difficulties in accessing many of our archives which contain materials about the terror.

However, these books do almost nothing for the formation of national memory. Firstly, they are regional books, and the contents of each one individually do not form the image of a national catastrophe, but rather a picture of a “local” disaster. The regional compartmentalization is matched by methodological discrepancies: each book of memory has its own sources, its own principles of selection, its own size and format for presentation of biographical information. This is because there is no common state program for publishing books of memory. The federal government also balks from its duty here.

Secondly, these memories are hardly a public matter: only a small number of copies are printed, and they are not even always received by regional libraries.

Memorial has posted a database on the Internet which unites the data base of the books of memory, supplemented by data from the Russian Interior Ministry, and also from Memorial itself. Here there are over 2,700,000 names. In comparison with the scale of the Soviet terror, this is a very small figure, and if work continues at this rate it will take several decades to compile a complete list if work.

Museums of terror

Museums. Here things are also not as bad as one might expect. True, Russia still no national Museum of state terror which could play an important role in crystalising the image of the terror in popular consciousness. There are fewer than ten local museums dedicated to the subject of the terror. But still, according to our information, the topic features occasionally in the exhibitions, and mainly in the archives, of around 300 museums across the country (mainly regional and city museums of local studies).

However, the common problems of memory of the terror play their part here too. In the exhibitions, the theme of the camps and labor settlements are usually embedded in displays about the industrialization of the region. The repressions themselves – arrests, sentences, shootings – are generally consigned to biographical stands and window displays. On the whole, the terror is represented in a very fragmented way, and only included in the history of the country in a provisional way.

Memorial places

Memorial places connected with the terror. Today these are mainly burial sites: mass graves of people shot during the Great Terror, and large camp cemeteries. But the secret surrounding the shooting was so great, and so few sources have been found on this topic, that today we only know of around 100 burial sites of people shot in 1937-1938 – less than a third of the total, according to our calculations. For example, despite much searching, it has not been possible to find even the graves of the victims of the famous “Kashketin shootings” near the Brick Factory by Vorkuta. As for camp cemeteries, we only know a few dozen of the several thousand that once existed.

In any case, the cemeteries are again only a memory of the victims.

Buildings connected with the terror in cities do not become places of memory – regional offices a d buildings of the OGPU/NKVD, prison buildings and camp offices. Industrial objects built by political prisoners also do not become places of memory – canals, railways, mines, factories, combines and houses. It would be very easy to turn them into “places of memory” – simply by hanging a memorial plaque by the entrance to the factory, or at a railway station.

Culture

Another means of furnishing popular consciousness with historical concepts and images is mass culture, primarily television. Television programs about the Stalinist era are quite numerous and diverse: glamorous pro-Stalinist kitsch such as the TV series “Stalin-life” compete with talented and conscientious screen adaptations of works by Shalamov and Solzhenitsyn. Viewers can choose their own preferred vehicles for reading the era. It would appear, alas, that the number of viewers who choose “Stalin-life” is growing, while the number who choose Shalamov is shrinking. This is inevitable. Those whose world outlook is formed by anti-Western rhetoric and endless rants by TV political analysts about this great country that is surrounded by enemies on all sides hardly need to be told which image of the past best accords with this outlook. And no amount of Shalamovs or Solzhenitsyns are going to change their minds.

School history curriculum

Finally, the most important institution for controlling collective ideas of the past is the school history curriculum. Here (and also to a significant degree in journalism and documentary television programs), the state’s policy on history, unlike in many areas discussed above, is pro-active. This has the effect of making one appreciate that neglecting historical memory is not as dangerous as using history as a political tool.

In the new history textbooks, Stalinism is presented as an institutional phenomenon, even an achievement. But the terror is portrayed as a historically determined and unavoidable tool for solving state tasks. This concept does not rule out sympathy for the victims of history. But it makes it absolutely impossible to consider the criminal nature of the terror, and the perpetrator of this crime.

The intention is not to idealise Stalin. This is the natural side-effect of resolving a completely different task – that of confirming the idea of the indubitable correctness of state power. The government is higher than any moral or legal assessments. It is above the law, as it is guided by state interests that are higher than the interests of the person and society, higher than morality and law. The state is always right – at least as long as it can deal with its enemies. This idea runs through the new textbooks from beginning to end, and not only where repressions are discussed.

Conclusion: our historical memory is divided, fragmentary, passing away. It has been pushed to the periphery of popular consciousness. Those who hold onto the memory of Stalinism in the sense that we use these words are very much in the minority today. Whether or not this memory can become embedded nationwide; what information and what values need to assimilated by popular consciousness, what needs to be done here – this is the topic for another discussion. Clearly, society and the state need to work together on this. Clearly, historians have a special role in this process. They bear a special responsibility.

35 responses to “The Stalin Orgy in Putin’s Neo-Soviet Russia

  1. “Firstly, the memory of Stalinism in Russia is almost always the memory of victims. Victims, not crimes. As the memory of crimes it does not register, as there is no consensus on this.”

    Sorry, but, Arseny Roginsky explanations of Stalin’s continued popularity aren’t working for me. Or, worse, what does add up makes me want to see them rot for another century.

    Hubris, stupidity, moral bankruptcy and as Hannah Arendt observed “the banality of evil” are at work with Stalin’s present day admirers. God knows how many Russian families have aged or departed relatives that were part of his killing machine. The state failed to de-Stalinize the country unlike the Germans who de-Nazified theirs.

    As long as Russia fails to own up to Stalin they will be victim to another one as Putin proves and they will continue to eat their own. But, then, every person makes a choice as to what are core values and the basic truths that are central to their lives. The whole generation of morally challenged sovoks and today’s Putin replacements are going to have to be dead before Russia advances out of the Middle Ages.

  2. A friend of mine once suggested that Russians as a people suffer from one curious problem — a combination of mania and inferiority complex. They believe themselves to be great achievers, and at the same time fear not to be. They seem to need to justify themselves by declaring their past to be cleaner than it was, either in absolute terms (‘Stalin’s terror was revolting but necessary!’ ) or in comparison to other countries (‘but America exterminated her Indians, too!’).

    I have often wondered what could shake Russians out of this curious psychological situation. My mother-in-law, who is a Ukranian Russian and who admits she wept when Stalin died, is so proud of Putin and of his strong-willed attitude; it is so easy for her to believe that the world is really against Russia… and yet she’s one of the sweetest ladies I know, and also an achiever who has done so much in her life that you can only admire her strong will.

    People so much need to believe they’re part of ‘something special’… I think Russia needs a new generation of people willing to come to terms with the past, a generation who will stop thinking of the world as enemies and starts thinking about what Russia itself was. I don’t know when this will happen, or if it ever will… judging by the Serbs, it might never happen.

  3. Stalin got a bad rap. He helped Russia industrialize rapidly and to prepare for the war with Nazi Germany in the 1930’s. (Russia won the war with the US and UK really in supporting roles only.) Under Stalin’s watch Russia was transformed from a backward agricultural Kulak infested land into one of the world’s largest industrial powerhouses. Stalin accomplished this miracle while the economies of the Western powers were all mired in the “Great Depression,” which was quite an achievement.

    Stalin wasn’t guilty of most of the alleged “crimes” that he was later accused of by his political enemies. The later attempts to smear the good name of Joseph Stalin were done purely for political motives. Though large numbers of people in the West believe the anti-Stalin smears as “gospel truth,” the majority of Russians to not believe them.

    Stalin made Russia strong and Stalin was probably the Best Russian leader since Peter the Great. The fact that Stalin was also a dedicated communist and a “man of the people” (promoting the interests of the common people) was just an added bonus. Stalin would have been great leader communist or not.

    Russian’s want their leaders to be strong in dealing with Russia’s enemies and they love it when a strong leader such as Stalin comes on the scene. (They also love Putin for the same reason by the way, because Putin is a strong leader, after 8 years of that wishy-washy alcoholic Yeltsin. Yeltsin let the West and especially the US push Russia around too much.)

  4. I’m not going to say anything about Russia “winning the war singlehandedly”. I am not.

    However,
    “Under Stalin’s watch Russia was transformed from a backward agricultural Kulak infested land into one of the world’s largest industrial powerhouses”

    Oh come on, industrialisation in Russia started later than in Western Europe because Russia had slavery for so long into the 19th century (1860’s – just as long as in USA). The industrialization process was well underway by the time the revolution started. Every proud Communist knows that factory workers led the revolution. And what are factories a sign of? industrialization!

    Unfortunately you can’t grow cabbages in factories and you can’t eat your metal rods, which of course disgrunteled the low-paid factory workers and grew resentment against the country-people.

    when the slavery was abolished, then the former slave had very little options: either rent the land from the former master for a much higher rate than they had to relinquish during the slavery or work their own and their families’ asses off to buy some land. And once they had the land, then they immediately became Kulaks. Yes, that’s Russia: work really really hard for the betterment of your future generations and you get repaid in death.

    So you see: the great and original russian revolution was really about exactly the same stuff as all other revolutions – the ability to afford necessities. Such as food.

  5. er…

    Don’t forget, that there were two events one close after the other that now go under the name of Russian revolution: February revolution that abolished despotic rule in Russia, and October bolshevik coup that brought the tyranny back in a much harsher form.

    That’s it. Freedom in Russia is defined as a brief period between when one tyranny crumbles and the next one is consolidated – if a handful of brief periods like that merit any definition at all

  6. Well I guess Misha is proof that Kremlin brainwashing works.

    Er… Has given an excellent rebuttal.

    USA & Britain in “suppoting roles”, well considering those of us in the British commonwealth went to war in 1939, we were in it for a lot longer than the Russians.
    But…. THATS RIGHT in 1939, the SOVIET UNION INVADED POLAND IN SUPPORT OF ITS ALLY NAZI GERMANY!!
    Without allied bombing of German war idustries, and the allied supply shipments to the USSR, Russia would have gone under in 1942.

    Far from spending the 1930’s getting ready for war with Nazi Germany, The USSR spent the 1930’s helping Nazi Germany build up its war machine, helping Nazi Germany circumvent the conditions placed on it by the allies at the end of WW1.

    As for “Stalin wasn’t guilty of most of the alleged “crimes” that he was later accused of by his political enemies.” If you really believe this you probably also think Mao & Pol Pot were good types too! And “the majority of Russians to not believe them” just shows how disgustingly stupid the Russian people really are. Though to be fair, they have had several generations of being selectively bred by the communist part to be stupid, through the execution of anyone who showed the slightest morals or intelligence.

    Sorry, Stalin was guilty of everything he was accused of, and probably much more. No amount of slimy russian dodging can get you out of the fact that you are venerating a mass murderer. Funny how the KGB government of Putin has stolen over 20 years of research by Memorial documenting the horrors of Lenin, Stalin, and his successors.

    As for Stalin “promoting the interests of the common people” you must be joking. I did not know that Gulags, mass executions, forced collectivisation (and the resulting starvation), suppression of “minority” cultures such as the Ukrainians, Georgians, Baltic republics, Crimean Tartars, Chechens, Ingush, and central asians & siberians was in the common peoples interests!!

    Russian “Industrial acheivement” was built on the graves of millions of its own people. Not exactly what I would call a miracle. More like the road to hell. Huge inefficient factories producing sub standard junk, and poisoning the land and its people, great!!

    If we needed any further evidence that Russia has no place in the civilised world, you just supplied it in spades

  7. Andrew – I don’t think Misha is brainwashed… I think he is the brainwasher. So what you see – is an example of brainwashing in action. Whether it works or not – you will need to ask “a man in the street”. My observation is that it works in “small town Russia” and doesn’t work in large cities (Moscow, for sure, but also Nizhny, Vladivostok, etc.)

  8. Felix, good point, very good point.

  9. Hey, Misha, you immoral degenerate sovok, 30 million murdered Russians is Stalin’s major legacy. It cancels out everything else about him.

    You are disgusting.

  10. Tower Bolshevik

    Stalin was the greatest leader of the USSR that the West could count on. I have taken the liberty to list Stalin’s TRUE CRIMES of his bureaucratic dogmatic lie of “Socialism in One Country”, and the favors he did for the West’s capitalist leaders.

    GREAT BRITAIN 1926, GENERAL STRIKE: The UK General Strike, coal miners throughout the country stages a wave of strikes to stop the British government’s wage reductions and against the worsening of the living and working conditions of coal miners. Councils were set up all over the workers’ disctricts in the UK, over 1.75 million workers and miners were on strike. Frightened by the revolutionary spirit of the miners and its effectiveness, the reformist trade union bosses called off the strike. Stalin had set up the Anglo-Russian Committee linked directly to the bureaucracy of the Trade Union Congress. During the strike break, Stalin refused to call for the workers to break from the strike breakers, and continue the struggle. Stalin told them to submit to the pro-capitalist union leadership. Workers who went back to work and then blacklisted. Result: What could’ve evolved into a revolution and topple the British monarchy and free those enslaved by the evil British Empire was lost.

    CHINESE REVOLUTION 1927: In response to the Japanese imperialist invasion of China, Stalin tells the CP to unite in a popular front with the pro-capitalist Kuomintang.
    Result: Kuomintang murdered tens of thousands of Communists and militant workers; Revolution derailed.

    USSR, early 1930s: Stalin takes his first step in forming diplomatic relations with the U.S imperialists, and makes deals with American corporations who supply contractors to assist Soviet industry. Soviet muscles strain to produce the utopia of ‘Socialism in one country’ while American contractors vacationed on Soviet beaches.

    LEAGUE OF NATIONS 1934: Stalin has the Soviet Union join the imperialist League of Nations, which had tried to topple the Bolshevik government during the Civil War. Lenin denounced the League of Nations as a “den of thieves”.

    FRANCO-SOVIET PACT 1935: Stalin betrays French workers and signs Franco-Soviet Pact with French imperialist PM Pierre Laval against Nazi Germany.
    Result: French Communist Party told not to oppose French imperialism and suspends its prevous calls for self-determination in French colonies; no workers mobilization against French imperialism.

    SPANISH CIVIL WAR 1936-1939: Stalin abandoned the POUM Communists holding their fronts against Franco’s fascists backed by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, United States, and Great Britain. Many of these brave POUM revolutionaries were pulled from the front and shot by Stalinists.
    Result: Fascist victory; imperialists: Nazis, Italians, Americans, British, French, League of Nations, and others happy that no workers state was established, Revolution crushed, Stalin upheld his image to the imperialists as a respectable statesman.

    POLISH COMMUNIST PARTY 1937: Great Purges, 90% of the Communist Party of Poland were killed under Stalin’s orders including Adolf Warski, Henryk Walecki, and Wera Kostrzewa. Party later dissolved by Stalin for refusing Stalinization.
    Result: Pilsudski and the Polish ruling class secured.

    NAZI-SOVIET PACT 1939: Stalin signs Nazi-Soviet Pact with Nazi Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. Stalin is assured that no aggression will be taken against the USSR by Nazis. Result: Poland invaded and divided, Stalin gets Baltic states and does not support class struggle against Nazis. Many Communists from Germany and Austria who sought refuge in the Soviet Union from Nazi terror(such as Austrian revolutionary Franz Koritschoner) are handed over to Nazis who then executed them.

    USSR 1936-1940, GREAT PURGES: All of Lenin’s comrades, the old Bolsheviks are charged with treason and executed. The same men who led the revolution that overthrew the imperialist regime loyal to the USA and Britain. Leon Trotsky, Bela Kun, Jaan Anvelt, Grigory Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev, Vladimir Osveenko, and all the rest are dead by 1940. The Red Army too is decapitated of its generals including Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Iona Yakir and 90% of the Red Army commanders are dead on Stalin’s orders.
    Result: Stalin’s bureaucracy in place; Nazis then attacked and with so few generals Red Army is beaten back.

    WORLD WAR II 1941-1945: The second interimperialist war; after the Nazi-led attack on the USSR, Stalin sides with the imperialist Allies against the imperialist Axis. He also kept pressuring the imperialists to invade Europe from the west on behalf of the Soviet Union. Heroic Red Army defeated fascists, but Stalin shares Europe with the imperialists.
    Result: division of Europe, western European workers chained to imperialism.

    POST WAR EUROPE, late 1940s: By agreement between Stalin and the imperialists Europe is divided between a Soviet sphere and a U.S led imperialist sphere. Stalin promises not to promote revolution in U.S sphere and agrees to stay within the Eastern Bloc; established deformed workers states in Poland,and Hungary without working class mobilization. Eventhough the Red Army liberated Germany from Nazi hordes, Stalin allows imperialist occupation, and agrees to divide Germany while implementing the lie of German collective guilt over Nazi crimes. Stalin also agreed to the creation of the U.N, and joins the USSR in this U.S controlled imperialist institution.
    Result: Western European workers chained to capitalism and U.S imperialism, Eastern European workers subjugated to Stalinist misrule and lies.

    GREEK CIVIL WAR 1946-1949: Stalin collaborating with the imperialists cuts Europe in half. Greece is given to that capitalist tub of lard Churchill. Stalin assures Churchill that he has no interest in seeing a Red Greece, stops all support for the Greek Communists, thus leaving them to be slaughtered by the British and their right-wing fanatics.
    Result: Greek ruling class secured, Revolution smashed, tens of thousands of Communists abandoned to their deaths.

    ITALY AND FRANCE, late 1940’s early 1950’s: Stalin orders Communists to embrace U.S/British imperialist invasion of Europe, and let the French and Italian bourgeoisie take power. Communist resistance is then ordered to throw down their guns by their own leaders.
    Result: Capitalist regimes in France and Italy.

    AUSTRIA, OCTOBER STRIKE, September-October 1950: Austrian workers led by the Communist Party stage a nation-wide strike that began in the nitrogen plants in the American sector. Workers councils were formed and established Communist commandos who took over factories all over the Austria. Stalin tells the Austrian CP to stop the strikes and trust the social-democrats. Stalin also ordered the Red Army in Austria not to intervene.
    Result: Strikes ended. Austria remains a neutral capitalist country. I guess that explains why post-war occupied Austria is left out of the history books.

    During World War II the Stalinist CPUSA and British CP embraced their leaders Roosevelt and Churchill. The CPUSA supported the racist internment of Japanese Americans, and even went as far as to expell its Japanese American members while it applauded the U.S war effort. The British CP suspended its call for self-determination of Ireland, India, and Britain’s colonies in Africa and Asia until the start of the Cold War.

    All of you Russophobes and right-wing western patriots have much to thank Stalin for. For it not for him, Europe would’ve been Red, in the same way as it came to Russia: through class struggle and revolutionary unity.

  11. Tower Bolshevik

    For Andrew:

    “Far from spending the 1930’s getting ready for war with Nazi Germany, The USSR spent the 1930’s helping Nazi Germany build up its war machine, helping Nazi Germany circumvent the conditions placed on it by the allies at the end of WW1.”

    I don’t know from where you’re getting this. There was no link between the Nazis and Soviets before 1939. They were bitter enemies. Who helped the Nazis build their war machine was actually people like Bush’s grandfather Prescott and of course Churchill who until 1939 sought to make a useful ally of Nazi Germany for a future war against the Soviet Union.

    Here are the words and wisdom of Winston Churchill from the 1939 edition of “Great Contemporaries”:

    “The Story of that Struggle cannot be read without admiration for the courage, the perseverance, the vital force which enabled him to challenge, defy, conciliate, or overcome, all authorities or resistance which barred his path…I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war, I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations.”

    On 20 January 1927 speaking in Rome Churchill praised Mussolini:

    “I could not help being charmed, like so many other people have been, by Signor Mussolini’s gentle and simple bearing and by his calm, detached poise in spite of so many burdens and dangers. Secondly, anyone could see that he thought of nothing but the lasting good, as he understood it, of the Italian people, and that no lesser interest was of the slightest consequence to him. If I had been an Italian I am sure that I should have been whole-heartedly with you from the start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism. I will, however, say a word on an international aspect of fascism. Externally, your movement has rendered service to the whole world. The great fear which has always beset every democratic leader or a working class leader has been that of being undermined by someone more extreme than he. Italy has shown that there is a way of fighting the subversive forces which can rally the masses of the people, properly led, to value and wish to defend the honour and stability of civilised society. She has provided the necessary antidote to the Russian poison. Hereafter no great nation will be unprovided with an ultimate means of protection against the cancerous growth of Bolshevism.”

  12. Well TB, there were the secret arms agreements, and this little quote

    “For its part, the Soviet Union was not interested in maintaining a status quo, which it saw as disadvantageous to its interests, deriving as it did from the period of Soviet weakness immediately following the 1917 October Revolution and Russian Civil War. Helping Germany grow strong had accordingly been Soviet policy from 1920 to 1933. A fourth partition of Poland was suggested at regular intervals, satisfying Lenin’s imperative that Versailles be undermined by destroying Poland. Once Hitler renounced the military cooperation between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia that Hans von Seeckt had arranged, Stalin adopted the Popular Front policy, trying to draw the Western powers into war with Germany.”

    The USSR laid the foundations of the Nazi military, and then actively cooperated with it later.

    Where is your evidence that Churchill assisted the Nazi’s?

    He was opposed to the Nazi’s from the beginning, and was the greatest denouncer of “appeasement” in any western country.
    At the time he was a voice in the wilderness.
    The fact that he hated Bolshevism (for the same reason he hated Nazism) only makes him MORE worthy of respect.

    In addition, when defeated in elections after the war, he stepped down quietly. More than we can say for ANY Russian politician past, present, or probably future.

  13. As for some of your other inane comments:

    China 1927. Stalin wanted a united China at war with Japan to forestall a potential Japanese invasion of the USSR. He used the “united front” to infiltrate the Nationalist government and military with high level agents, including several top Nationalist generals, who were directly responsible for the Communist victory in 1948

    RESULT – Communists win chinese civil war, estimated 100 MILLION dead due to horrific Stalinist style communist government.

    Great Britain 1926 General Strike: From wikipedia:

    Causes of the General Strike
    The British coal-mining industry suffered an economic crisis in 1925, largely caused by five factors:

    The First World War: The heavy domestic use of coal in the war meant that rich seams were depleted. Britain exported less coal in the war than it would have done in peacetime, allowing other countries to fill the gap. The United States, Poland and Germany and their strong coal industries benefited in particular.
    Productivity, which was at its lowest ebb. Output per man had fallen to just 199 tons in 1920–4, from 247 tons in the four years before the war, and a peak of 310 tons in the early 1880s.[1]
    The fall in prices resulting from the 1925 Dawes Plan that, among other things, allowed Germany to re-enter the international coal market by exporting “free coal” to France and Italy as part of their reparations for the First World War.
    The reintroduction of the Gold Standard in 1925 by Winston Churchill: this made the British pound too strong for effective exporting to take place from Britain, and also (because of the economic processes involved in maintaining a strong currency) raised interest rates, hurting all businesses.
    Mine owners wanted to normalise profits even during times of economic instability — which often took the form of wage reductions for miners in their employ. Coupled with the prospect of longer working hours, the industry was thrown into disarray.
    Mine owners therefore announced that their intention was to reduce miners’ wages, the MFGB rejected the terms: “Not a penny off the pay, not a second on the day.” and the TUC responded to this news by promising to support the miners in their dispute. The Conservative government under Stanley Baldwin decided to intervene, declaring that they would provide a nine-month subsidy to maintain the miners’ wages and that a Royal Commission under the chairmanship of Sir Herbert Samuel would look into the problems of the mining industry.

    This decision became known as “Red Friday” because it was seen as a victory for working-class solidarity and Socialism. In practice, the subsidy gave the mine owners and the government time to prepare for a major labour dispute. Herbert Smith (a leader of the Miners’ Federation of Great Britain) said of this event: “We have no need to glorify about victory. It is only an armistice.”

    The Samuel Commission published its report in March 1926: it recognised that the industry needed to be reorganised but rejected the suggestion of nationalisation. The report also recommended that the government subsidy should be withdrawn and that the miners’ wages should be reduced to save the industry’s profitability. A previous Royal Commission, the Sankey Commission, had recommended nationalisation a few years earlier to deal with the problems of productivity and profitability in the industry, but Lloyd George, then Prime Minister, had rejected its report.

    After the Samuel Commission’s report, the mine owners published new terms of employment for all miners. These included an extension of the seven-hour working day, district wage agreements, and a reduction in wages. Depending on a number of factors, the wages would be cut by between 10% and 25%. The mine owners declared that if the miners did not accept the new terms then from the first day of May they would be locked out of the pits. The Miners’ Federation of Great Britain (MFGB) refused the wage reduction and regional negotiation.

    The General Strike
    A Conference of the TUC met on 1 May 1926, and subsequently announced that a general strike “in defence of miners’ wages and hours” was to begin on 3 May

    The leaders of the Labour Party were terrified by the revolutionary elements within the union movement and were unhappy about the proposed General Strike. During the next two days frantic efforts were made to reach an agreement with the Government and the mine owners. However, these efforts failed, due mainly to an eleventh-hour decision by printers of the Daily Mail to refuse to print an editorial condemning the General Strike entitled “For King and Country”. They objected to the following passage: “A general strike is not an industrial dispute. It is a revolutionary move which can only succeed by destroying the government and subverting the rights and liberties of the people”. When Baldwin heard of this, he called off the negotiations with the TUC by saying that this refusal was interfering with the liberty of the press.

    King George V took exception to suggestions that the strikers were ‘revolutionaries’ saying, “Try living on their wages before you judge them.”[2]

    The general public mainly backed the government as they thought that the strikers were undermining democracy supporting a communist overthrow of the British way of life.

    The TUC feared that an all-out general strike would bring revolutionary elements to the fore. They decided to bring out workers only in the key industries, such as railwaymen, transport workers, printers, dockers and ironworkers and steelworkers.

    The Government had prepared for the strike over the nine months in which it had provided a subsidy, creating organizations such as the Organization for the maintenance of supplies, and did whatever it could to keep the country moving. It rallied support by emphasizing the revolutionary nature of the strikers. The armed forces such as the army and volunteer workers helped maintain basic services. Even in 1920, the government’s Emergency Powers Act had been passed. It was an act to maintain essential supplies.

    On 4 May 1926, the number of strikers was about 1.5 – 1.75 million. There were strikers “from John o’ Groats to Land’s End”. Workers’ reaction to the strike call was immediate and overwhelming, and surprised both the Government and the TUC; the latter not being in control of the strike. On this first day, there were no major initiatives and no dramatic events, except for the nation’s transport being at a standstill.

    On 5 May 1926, both sides gave their views. Churchill (at that time Chancellor of the Exchequer) said in his newspaper British Gazette : “I do not agree that the TUC have as much right as the Government to publish their side of the case and to exhort their followers to continue action. It is a very much more difficult task to feed the nation than it is to wreck it”. In the British Worker, the TUC’s newspaper: “We are not making war on the people. We are anxious that the ordinary members of the public shall not be penalized for the unpatriotic conduct of the mine owners and the government”. In the meantime, the government put in place a “militia” of special constables, called the Organisation for the Maintenance of Supplies (OMS). They were volunteers to maintain order in the street. A special constable said: “It was not difficult to understand the strikers’ attitude toward us. After a few days I found my sympathy with them rather than with the employers. For one thing, I had never realized the appalling poverty which existed. If I had been aware of all the facts, I should not have joined up as a special constable”[citation needed]. It was decided that Fascists would not be allowed to enlist in the OMS without first giving up their political beliefs as the government feared a right-wing backlash so the fascists formed Q Division under Rotha Lintorn-Orman to combat the strikers.

    On 6 May 1926, there was a change of atmosphere. Baldwin said: “The General Strike is a challenge to the parliament and is the road to anarchy”. Means of transport began to improve with volunteers and blackleg workers.

    On 7 May 1926, the TUC met with Sir Herbert Samuel and worked out a set of proposals designed to end the dispute. The Miners’ Federation rejected the proposals. The British Worker was increasingly more difficult to operate because Churchill had decided to take over the production of paper. In the meantime, the government took action to protect the men who decided to return to work.

    On 8 May 1926, there was a dramatic moment on the London Docks. Lorries were protected by the army. They broke the picket line and transported food to Hyde Park. This episode showed that the government was in greater control of the situation. In a change of policy, the Army was chosen to move the lorries instead of the OMS.[citation needed] The volunteers who comprised the OMS were seen as reactionaries by the strikers and were often met with violence. Revisionist historians have claimed that use of the OMS in transport would have caused a revolution.[citation needed]

    On 10 May 1926, The Flying Scotsman was derailed by strikers near Newcastle.

    On 11 May 1926, the British Worker, alarmed at the fears of the General Council of the TUC that there was to be a mass drift back to work, claimed: “The number of strikers has not diminished; it is increasing. There are more workers out today than there have been at any moment since the strike began.”

    Also on this day, two unions took the TUC to court to prevent them being called out on strike. The unions won their case against the TUC, and Justice Astbury, the judge, concluded that the General Strike was illegal. This made the TUC and unions liable to huge fines from employers as they were now not covered by the Trade Disputes Act, which basically said that the unions were not liable to loss of work. This also meant that Government had the ability to confiscate all union funds. This became know as the Astbury Judgment, and many people believe that this was the main reason for the TUC calling the strike off.

    On 12 May 1926, the TUC General Council visited 10 Downing Street to announce their decision to call off the strike, provided that the proposals worked out by the Samuel Commission were adhered to and that the Government offered a guarantee that there would be no victimization of strikers. The Government stated that it had “no power to compel employers to take back every man who had been on strike.” Thus the TUC agreed to end the dispute without such an agreement.

    [edit] After the General Strike
    For several months the miners continued to maintain resistance, but by October 1926 hardship forced many men back, especially those with young families. By the end of November most miners were back at work. However, many remained unemployed for many years. Those that were employed were forced to accept longer hours, lower wages, and district wage agreements. The strikers felt as though they had achieved nothing.

    In 1927, the British Government passed the Trade Disputes and Trade Union Act. This act made all sympathetic strikes illegal, and ensured that trade union members had to voluntarily “contract in” to pay the political levy. It also forbade civil service unions from affiliating with the TUC, and made mass picketing illegal.

    The effect on the British coal-mining industry was profound. By the late 1930s, employment in mining had fallen by more than one-third from its pre-strike peak of 1.2m miners, but productivity had rebounded from under 200 tons produced per miner to over 300 tons by the outbreak of the Second World War.[3]

    As you can see, the strike failed due to internal British politics. Stalin had nothing to do with it.

    Also note that the King was particularly sympathetic to the strikers.

    RESULT – UK remains a democracy, UK workers avoid Stalinist death camps.

  14. World War 2 – Stalin did not “Share europe with the allies”, The allies were already in control of western europe & Germany up to the elbe by the time the Soviets captured Berlin.
    In addition the Soviets were in no position to push westwards. Soviet military officers were in no way keen to fight with the far better equipped, trained, and supplied western allies. In addition the western allies would have had TOTAL air superiority against the Soviet forces from day one of any conflict erupting. Russian officers were appalled by the devastation the allied airforces had inflicted upon Germany and their reports to Stalin were instrumental in avoiding a conflict that would have lost Russia all its gains in eastern Europe. Russia was at the bottom of its manpower reserves and in no position to continue the war.

    RESULT – Western European workers live in democracies, enjoy freedom and avoid Stalinist death camps in Siberia.

  15. Austrian Strike 1950: What really happened was this “Because the post-war national economy was totally destroyed, the government had to institute an austere programme of recovery. The planned measures (Vierte Lohn- und Preisabkommen, Fourth wage and price-fixing agreement) included substantial price increases but much smaller wage increases and large-scale strike movements formed in protest from September 26 to October 6, 1950. This, the largest strike action in the post-war history of Austria, started in the Steyr and Voest factories and the nitrogen plants in the American zone of occupation. However, the interruption of the strike to legitimise it with a conference of all Austrian work councils took the momentum out of the movement and in the second phase the concentration of strikes shifted to the Soviet zone of occupation. In the Soviet occupied districts of Vienna, communist commandos stormed power stations and tram-depots. The Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) rejected the strike. The KPÖ took a prominent role in this strike, which is why politicians of the grand coalition feared a coup d’état behind the strikes, with the goal of the installation of a people’s republic. The KPÖ denied any such intentions.

    On October 5 the chairman of the Building and Wood workers Trade Union, Franz Olah, succeeded in the dissolution of the October strikes. Olah organised workers who supported the SPÖ, in clashes with the communists they were able to outnumber and defeat them. This caused great irritation with the communist party and many SPÖ members.”

    Also

    “Retrospectively, it can be assumed that especially the closeness of the KPÖ to Moscow made many voters wary of the party and its aims. In the former territories of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, multiparty democracies were slowly but surely being penetrated and undermined by the local communist parties with the covert or even overt support of the Soviets, as was observable in Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland. As the Iron Curtain was being drawn closed, Austrians feared the same fate as their neighbours.”

    and

    “Talks between the leader Johann Koplenig and Stalin (Sondermappe Codename: Gen. Filipof(f)) resulted in proposals of a possible division of Austria between East and West, similar to Germany. Since the KPÖ was constantly losing votes in the parliamentary elections, a division and establishment of a communist-led East Austria would have been a practical way to consolidate at least a part of their dwindling power. Interestingly, the Soviet authorities in Moscow showed little interest for such a division for various reasons: the size of a newly established East Austria would have been quite small and may not have been capable of existing without massive assistance. Already, the situation in the Soviet sector of Austria was extremely difficult as the Soviets confiscated all industries, factories and goods and transported anything of economic value back to the Soviet Union as part of war-reparations. Strategically, a division of Austria would have ultimately meant that a West Austria, closely linked to NATO, would have provided a connection between West Germany and Italy. A united, neutral Austria however could act as a barrier, together with Switzerland, thereby securing a part of the Central European front for the Soviets. The proposals by the Austrian communists were therefore brushed aside.

    Historians agree that Austria was extremely lucky considering the circumstances. Why was Austria spared the fate of a complete communist dictatorship unlike its neighbouring countries or even state division as in Germany? The position of the communists in Austria was not strong enough in order for them to effectively take over power, as opposed to in Czechoslovakia for example. The potentially important working class preferred to vote for the SPÖ; not even the great strike of 1950 could change that pattern. Besides, even though Austria and Vienna was divided up into four zones controlled by the Allies, similar to Germany and Berlin, an “East Austria” would have been unviable. Stalin was basically not willing to waste any further time and energy for this seemingly difficult situation, focusing rather on consolidation of the rest of eastern and central Europe under Moscow’s rule. The only realistic exit strategy was to come to some favourable agreement with the Americans, British, and French and restore Austria’s independence.”

    RESULT – Austria gains independance via strict neutrality. Communists defeated in democratic elections. Austrian workers avoid Stalinist death camps.

  16. Greek Civil war – Stalin gave public political support to the Greek communists throughout the civil war, and supplied arems to them through Yugoslavia “on the quiet” his clandestine arming of the Greek communists continued until his falling out with Tito, over the amount of control Stalin was bale to exercise in Yugoslavia.

    Communist parties in UK, France, & Italy.
    The communist party in the UK during the early (pre invasion of USSR) part of WW2 actively worked to undermine the UK war effort on the orders of Stalin. The communist parties of France & Italy constantly undermined the resistance struggle against the Nazi’s by engageing in what amounted to a civil war with non communist resistance.

    After the war, the communist parties of France & Italy conducted terror campaigns in both countries, but were unsucessful due to lack of public support for the violent overthrow of the state. Soviet support dried up once the Soviets realised they were flogging a dead horse.
    Communist parties in the UK, Belguim, Holland, Denmark, and Scandanavia were never a real threat to the state, and were treated with derision by well educated voters.

    RESULT – Once again the Bolsheviks fail, and western citizens avoid Stalinist death camps and opression.

  17. People in western Europe avoided the fate of those in eastern Europe not because of Stalins “friendship” but because they could see the evil of his regime. Life was better for them under democracy, where they had civil rights, not to mention the right to criticise the government without fear of being executed (along with their entire family) which was the result of speaking up in the communist block.

    Revolutionary Unity is a joke. Communism was an elitist structure. Special kitchens for party members were authorised by lenin in 1918. The system was rotten from the beginning.

    “Tower Bolshevik” you really should change your name to “Total Boll*cks” or “Terrible Bullsh*t”, it would be more appropriate.

  18. Tower Bolshevik

    For Andrew:

    Looks who’s talking bollocks. You provide me with a completely baseless quote without indication of who said it or from where you got it. This shows your irresponsibility and simple minded denial. There was no link between the Nazis and the Soviets before 1939. During the Weimar years which you alledge the Soviets built Germany, the Nazis when not confronting Weimar forces were attacking Communists meetings, rallies, and labor unions. Remember what the Weimar forces did the the German Revolution, and yet you alledge with your pseudo-intellectual garbage that the two were allies. I have just shown you with two quote from Churchill on how greatly he admired Hitler and Mussolini, and that he saw them as potential allies for a war with the Soviet Union. I’ve provided you sources AND dates. You’ve provided squat but your own word. Churchill only opposed the Nazis in the late 1930’s when he saw they were committed to rivalry and reclaim what Germany had lost the the First World War. Only then did the Fascists become rivals with Churchill. Give me more than your baseless denial.

  19. Tower Bolshevik

    For Andrew:

    China 1927: That was a Popular Front, not a United Front. There you have it. This course of action that lead to the mass slaughter which I have already commented on which achieved quite the opposite of what Stalin intended as far as the Japanese Empire goes. When the Chinese Communists finally won, the Chinese people were free from the malignant British crown. Mao had murdered some 35 million not 100 million as your absurdities contend. Ironically his style of governing would lead China back into service for the West against the USSR.

    I’ve read the article on wikipedia which directly the fact that Stalin ignored the strike through the Anglo-Russian Committee which I have mentioned, prevented the strike from becoming something bigger. This was one issure that Stalin and Trotsky quarelled over. Moreover the article fails to mention hos the British Communist Party instead of telling the workers to continue the strike, told them to tail the bureaucracy, on Stalin’s orders.

    As for British “democracy”, yeah British workers, the peoples of Ireland, Africa, India, China can certainly vouch for how kindly the British respected democratic rights in their countries.

  20. Tower Bolshevik

    For Andrew:

    WWII: The Soviets faced 90% of the Nazi war machine plus that of their allies. The Allied invasion of Western Europe came in 1944, when the Red Army was already beating back the Nazis and for this reason. The Western allies faced some 10% of the Nazi war machine which explains their swift invasion. Now, you appear to have forgotten the meetings that took place between Stalin, Churchill, Roosevelt (and later Truman). Perhaps your history teacher taught you they got together to talk about how glorious the weather has been, or which one of their countries have the prettiest women. They talked about which nations would remain under the Soviets and which would be under U.S/British occupation. Stalin had no intention of ever pressing to western Europe, again he pleaded since 1941 with the Allies to invade from the West.

    And how “democratic” these western governments were: British slaughter in Malaysia; French wars against Vietnam and Algeria, Dutch war in Indonesia, military dictatorship in Greece, in addition to clamping down on all internal dissent as “Communist conspiracies”. But that’s right, anything anti-Communist os democratic, right?

  21. Tower Bolshevik

    For Andrew:

    Austria 1950: Again all you do is provide me with quotes I’ve read from wikipedia. But with it you provide what I have already said about the Trade Union bureaucracies of which Stalin had always workers to trust and tail. Austrian workers like those in the rest of Europe watched their “democratic” leaders make deals with and appease the Nazis. In Western Europe most of these “democracies” abandoned their people and fled to England with their tails between their legs. In Eastern Europe, one “democracy” after another embrace the Nazis and/or become of fascist regime. If you read what you posted more carefully, you can clearly see the KPO’s leadership’s reluctance to agitate the authorities and not go for total political victory which gave power to the social democrats. The fact that the strike started in the Americans zones not the Soviet zones showed the Austrian workers’ discontent for the system, as they had shown in 1934. In addition Stalin had told the Red Army to stay put and not get involved. This was his whole program since he came to power.

  22. For Andrew:

    Greek Civil War: You continue to show your VERY limited knowledge. The conflicting positions on the Greek Civil War were one of the causes between the split with Tito and Stalin. Tito was the only one willing to support their comrades after Stain agreed that Greece would remain under British control . As I already said, Stalin assured Churchill that he had no interest in Greece through a communique. Unaware to the Greek Communists who fought invain awaiting help that never arrived. Stalin stood by and watched them get slaughtered. If you watch the CNN Cold War production (very anti-Communist), you’ll confirm a lot of what I’ve posted.

    The British CP did undermine the British war effort which was good. But they abandoned it after the USSR was attacked and embraced it. Communist resistance was that the head of the Partisan movements throughout both Western and Eastern Europe in a popular front with bourgeois parties. Site me one instant where the two fought during the war. The CP’s in both Italy and France were told to unite with them. In both countries they had a very high popularity, enough to make a difference. Again, the failure like in China 1927, Spanish Civil War all amounted to Stalin’s popular front politics of uniting with bourgeois left or liberal factions.

    The result was, those who had any sympathy for the popular front was blacklisted. Some “democracy”.

  23. A bit more about Soviet Support for Germany.

    [edit] Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany

    Signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
    Treaty of Rapallo, Joseph Wirth with Leonid Krasin, Georgy Chicherin and Adolf Joffe, 1922
    Cheka Trial in Leipzig, 1925
    Georgy Chicherin and Nikolai Krestinsky in Berlin, 1925
    Ernst Thälmann and Willy Leow leading a demonstration of the Rotfrontkämpferbund in Berlin, 1927
    Gustav Stresemann, Georgy Chicherin, Mrs. Stresemann and Nikolai Krestinsky in Berlin, 1928
    German staff at Tomka chemical weapons facility, Soviet Union, 1928Initially, the Soviet leadership hoped for a successful socialist revolution in Germany as part of the “world revolution”. However, this was put down by the right-wing freikorps. Subsequently, the Bolsheviks became embroiled in the Soviet war with Poland of 1919-20. As Poland was a traditional enemy of Germany (see e.g. Silesian Uprisings), and the Soviet state was also isolated internationally, the Soviet government started adopting a much less hostile attitude towards Germany, seeking closer relationships. This line was consistently pursued under People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs Georgy Chicherin and Soviet Ambassador Nikolay Krestinsky. Other Soviet representatives instrumental in the negotiations were Karl Radek, Leonid Krasin, Christian Rakovsky, Victor Kopp and Adolph Joffe.[9]

    In the 1920s, many in the leadership of Weimar Germany, humiliated by the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles imposed after their defeat in the First World War (especially General Hans von Seeckt, chief of the Reichswehr), were interested in cooperation with the Soviet Union, both in order to avert any threat from the Second Polish Republic, backed by the French Third Republic, and to prevent any possible Soviet-British alliance. The specific German aims were the full rearmament of the Reichswehr, which was explicitly prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles, and an alliance against Poland. It is unknown exactly when the first contacts between von Seeckt and the Soviets took place, but it could have been as early as 1919-1921, or possibly even before the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.[10][11]

    On April 15, 1920, Victor Kopp, the RSFSR’s special representative to Berlin, asked at the German Foreign Office whether “there was any possibility of combining the German and the Red Army for a joint war on Poland”. This was yet another event at the start of military cooperation between the two countries, which ended before the German invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.

    By early 1921, a special group in the Reichswehr Ministry devoted to Soviet affairs, Sondergruppe R, had been set up.[12]

    Weimar Germany’s army had been limited to 100,000 men by the Treaty of Versailles, which also forbade the Germans to have aircraft, tanks, submarines, heavy artillery, poison gas, anti-tank weapons or many anti-aircraft guns. A team of inspectors from the League of Nations patrolled many German factories and workshops to ensure that these weapons were not being manufactured.

    The Treaty of Rapallo between Weimar Germany and the Soviet Union was signed by German Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau and his Soviet colleague Georgy Chicherin on April 16, 1922, during the Genoa Economic Conference, annulling all mutual claims, restoring full diplomatic relations, and establishing the beginnings of close trade relationships, which made Weimar Germany the main trade and diplomatic partner of the Soviet Union.[13] Rumors of a secret military supplement to the treaty soon spread. However, for a long time the consensus was that those rumors were wrong, and that Soviet-German military negotiations were independent of Rapallo and kept secret from the German Foreign Ministry for some time[14]. This point of view was later challenged.[15][16][17] On November 5, 1922, six other Soviet republics, which would soon become part of the Soviet Union, agreed to adhere to the Treaty of Rapallo as well.[18]

    The Soviets offered Weimar Germany facilities deep inside the USSR for building and testing arms and for military training, well away from Treaty inspectors’ eyes. In return, the Soviets asked for access to German technical developments, and for assistance in creating a Red Army General Staff.[19]

    The first German officers went to the Soviet state for these purposes in March, 1922. One month later, Junkers began building aircraft at Fili, outside Moscow, in violation of Versailles. The great artillery manufacturer Krupp was soon active in the south of the USSR, near Rostov-on-Don. In 1925, a flying school was established at Vivupal, near Lipetsk, to train the first pilots for the future Luftwaffe.[2] Since 1926, the Reichswehr had been able to use a tank school at Kazan (codenamed Kama) and a chemical weapons facility in Samara Oblast (codenamed Tomka). In turn, the Red Army gained access to these training facilities, as well as military technology and theory from Weimar Germany.[20]

    In the late 1920s, Germany helped Soviet industry begin to modernize, and to assist in the establishment of tank production facilities at the Leningrad Bolshevik Factory and the Kharkov Locomotive Factory.

    The Soviets offered submarine-building facilities at a port on the Black Sea, but this was not taken up. The German Navy did take up a later offer of a base near Murmansk, where German vessels could hide from the British. One of the vessels that participated in the invasion of Norway came from this base. During the Cold War, this base at Polyarnyy (which had been built especially for the Germans) became the largest weapons store in the world.

    Most of the documents pertaining to secret German-Soviet military cooperation were systematically destroyed in Germany.[21] The Polish and French intelligence communities of the 1920s were remarkably well-informed regarding the cooperation. This did not, however, have any immediate effect upon German relations with other European powers. After the World War II, the papers of General Hans von Seeckt and memoirs of other German officers became available,[22] and after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a handful of Soviet documents regarding this were published.[23]

    Alongside the Soviet Union’s military and economic assistance, there was also political backing for Germany’s aspirations. On July 19, 1920, Victor Kopp told the German Foreign Office that Soviet Russia wanted “a common frontier with Germany, south of Lithuania, approximately on a line with Bialystok”.[citation needed] In other words, Poland was to be partitioned once again. These promptings were repeated over the years, with the Soviets always anxious to stress that ideological differences between the two governments were of no account; all that mattered was that the two countries were pursuing the same foreign policy objectives.

    On December 4, 1924, Victor Kopp, worried that the expected admission of Germany to the League of Nations (Germany was finally admitted to the League in 1926) was an anti-Soviet move, offered German Ambassador Ulrich Graf von Brockdorff-Rantzau to cooperate against the Second Polish Republic, and secret negotiations were sanctioned.[2] However, the Weimar Republic rejected any venture into war.

    Germany’s fear of international isolation due to a possible Soviet rapprochement with France, the main German adversary, was a key factor in the acceleration of economic negotiations. On October 12, 1925, a commercial agreement between the two nations was concluded.[24]

    Also in 1925, Germany broke their European diplomatic isolation and took part in the Locarno Treaties with France and Belgium, undertaking not to attack them. The Soviet Union saw western détente as potentially deepening its own political isolation in Europe, in particular by diminishing Soviet-German relationships. As Germany became less dependent on the Soviet Union, it became more unwilling to tolerate subversive Comintern interference.[25]

    On April 24, 1926, Weimar Germany and the Soviet Union concluded another treaty (Treaty of Berlin (1926)), declaring the parties’ adherence to the Treaty of Rapallo and neutrality for five years. The treaty was signed by German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann and Soviet ambassador Nikolay Krestinsky.[26] The treaty was perceived as an imminent threat by Poland (which contributed to the success of the May Coup in Warsaw), and with caution by other European states regarding its possible effect upon Germany’s obligations as a party to the Locarno Agreements. France also voiced concerns in this regard in the context of Germany’s expected membership in the League of Nations.[27]

    In 1928, the 9th Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Comintern (international communist organization) and its 6th Congress in Moscow favored Stalin’s program over the line pursued by Comintern Secretary General Nikolay Bukharin. Unlike Bukharin, Stalin believed that a deep crisis in western capitalism was imminent, and he denounced the cooperation of international communist parties with social democratic movements, labelling them as social fascists, and insisted on a far stricter subordination of international communist parties to the Comintern, that is, to Soviet leadership. The policy of the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) under Ernst Thälmann was altered accordingly. The relatively independent KPD of the early 1920s underwent an almost complete subordination to the Soviet Union.[28][29]

    Relying on the foreign affairs doctrine pursued by the Soviet leadership in the 1920s, in his report of the Central Committee to the 16th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (b) on June 27, 1930, Joseph Stalin welcomed the international destabilization and rise of political extremism among the capitalist powers.[30]

    The most intensive period of Soviet military collaboration with Weimar Germany was 1930-1932. On June 24, 1931, an extension of the 1926 Berlin Treaty was signed, though it was not until 1933 that it was ratified by the Reichstag due to internal political struggles. Some Soviet mistrust arose during the Lausanne Conference of 1932, when it was rumored that German Chancellor Franz von Papen had offered French Prime Minister Edouard Herriot a military alliance. The Soviets were also quick to develop their own relations with France and its main ally, Poland. This culminated in the conclusion of the Soviet-Polish Non-Aggression Pact on July 25, 1932, and the Soviet-French non-aggression pact on November 29, 1932.[31][32]

    The conflict between the Communist Party of Germany and the Social Democratic Party of Germany fundamentally contributed to the demise of the Weimar Republic. It is, however, disputed whether Hitler’s seizure of power came as a surprise to the USSR. Some authors claim that Stalin deliberately aided Hitler’s rise by directing the policy of the Communist Party of Germany on a suicidal course in order to foster an inter-imperialist war[33], a theory dismissed by many others.[34]

  24. Origins
    Unlike the other countries in occupied Europe, Yugoslavia liberated itself without major direct support from the western Allies or the Soviet Union. The Red Army merely assisted the Yugoslav Partisans in the capture of Belgrade. Marshal Josip Broz Tito’s leading role in liberating Yugoslavia not only greatly strengthened his position in his party and among the Yugoslav people, but also caused him to be more insistent that Yugoslavia gets more room to follow its own interests than other Bloc leaders who had more reasons (and pressures) to recognise Soviet efforts in helping them liberate their own countries from Axis control. This had already led to some friction between the two countries before World War II was even over. Although Tito was formally an ally of Stalin after World War II, the Soviets had set up a spy ring in the Yugoslav party as early as 1945, giving way to an uneasy alliance.

    In the immediate aftermath of World War II, there occurred several armed incidents between Yugoslavia and the Western Allies. Following the war, Yugoslavia recovered the territory of Istria, as well as the cities of Zadar and Rijeka that had been taken by Italy in the 1920s. Yugoslav leadership was looking to incorporate Trieste into the country as well, which was opposed by the Western Allies. This led to several armed incidents, notably air attacks of Yugoslav fighter planes on U.S. transport aircraft, causing bitter criticism from the west. From 1945 to 1948, at least four US aircraft were shot down.[1] Stalin was opposed to these provocations, as he felt the USSR unready to face the West in open war so soon after the losses of World War II.

    In addition, Tito was openly supportive of the Communist side in the Greek Civil War, while Stalin kept his distance, having agreed with Churchill not to stir up trouble there.

    [edit] First Cominform
    However, the world still saw the two countries as the closest of allies. This was evident at the first meeting of the Cominform in 1947, where the Yugoslav representatives were the most strident critics of the national Communist parties viewed to be insufficiently devoted to the cause, specifically the Italian and French parties for engaging in coalition politics. They were thereby essentially arguing Soviet positions. The headquarters for Cominform were even set up in Belgrade. However, all was not well between the two countries, due to a number of disputes.

    [edit] Trip to Moscow
    The friction that led to the ultimate split had many causes, many of which can be eventually linked to Tito’s regional focus and his refusal to accept Moscow as the supreme Communist authority. Yugoslavs were of the opinion that the joint-stock companies favored in the Soviet Union were not effective in Yugoslavia. In addition, Tito’s deployment of troops in Albania to prevent the civil conflict in Greece from spreading into neighbouring countries (including Yugoslavia), carried out without consulting the Soviets, had greatly angered Stalin. Stalin was also enraged by Tito’s aspirations to merge Yugoslavia with Bulgaria (and therefore create a true “Land of the South Slavs”), an idea with which he agreed in theory, but which had also taken place without prior Soviet consultation. He summoned two of Tito’s officials, Milovan Đilas and Edvard Kardelj, to Moscow to discuss these matters. As a result of these talks, Đilas and Kardelj became convinced that Yugoslav-Soviet relations had already reached an impasse.

    [edit] Letter exchange
    Between the trip to Moscow and the second meeting of the Cominform, the CPSU and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY) exchanged a series of letters detailing their grievances. The first CPSU letter, on March 27, 1948, accused the Yugoslavs of denigrating Soviet socialism via statements such as “socialism in the Soviet Union has ceased to be revolutionary”. It also claimed that the CPY was not democratic enough, and that it was not acting as a vanguard that would lead the country to socialism. The Soviets said that they “could not consider such a Communist party organization to be Marxist-Leninist, Bolshevik”. The CPY response on April 13 was a strong denial of the Soviet accusations, both defending the revolutionary nature of the party, and re-asserting its high opinion of the Soviet Union. However, the CPY noted also that “no matter how much each of us loves the land of socialism, the USSR, he can in no case love his own country less.” The Soviet answer on May 4 admonished the CPY for failing to admit and correct its mistakes, and went on to accuse the CPY of being too proud of their successes against the Germans, maintaining that the Red Army had saved them from destruction. They CPY’s response on May 17 suggested that the matter be settled at the meeting of the Cominform to be held that June.

    [edit] Second Cominform
    Tito did not even attend the second meeting of the Cominform, fearing that Yugoslavia was to be openly attacked. On June 28, the other member countries expelled Yugoslavia, citing “nationalist elements” that had “managed in the course of the past five or six months to reach a dominant position in the leadership” of the CPY. The resolution warned Yugoslavia that it was on the path back to bourgeoise capitalism due to its nationalist, independence-minded positions.

    [edit] Results
    Main article: Informbiro
    The expulsion effectively banished Yugoslavia from the international association of socialist states. After the expulsion, Tito suppressed those who supported the resolution, calling them “Cominformists”.[citation needed] Many were sent to a gulag-like prison camp at Goli otok.[citation needed] Between 1948 and 1952, the Soviet Union encouraged its allies to rebuild their military forces especially Hungary, which was to be the leading force in an eventual war against Yugoslavia. Stalin’s successor, Nikita Khrushchev, later commented that “Tito was next on Stalin’s list, after Korea.”

    The other socialist states of Eastern Europe subsequently underwent purges of alleged “Titoists”.[citation needed] Titoism was associated with the position that countries should take a nationalist road to socialism different from that of the Soviet Union. While this had been allowed in the years directly after World War II, the rift caused the Soviets to encourage Eastern European leaders to use harsh measures to prevent Tito’s mutiny from spreading. After Stalin’s death and the repudiation of his policies by Nikita Khrushchev, peace was made with Tito and Yugoslavia re-admitted into the international brotherhood of socialist states. However, relations between the two countries were never completely rebuilt; Yugoslavia would continue to take an independent course in world politics, shunning the influence of both west and east. The Yugoslav Army maintained two defence plans, one against a NATO invasion and one against a Warsaw Pact invasion.

    Tito used the estrangement from the USSR to attain US aid via the Marshall Plan, as well as to involve Yugoslavia in the Non-Aligned Movement, in which Yugoslavia was a leading force. The event was significant not only for Yugoslavia and Tito, but also for the global development of socialism, since it was the first major split between Communist states, casting doubt on Comintern’s claims for socialism to be a unified force that would eventually control the whole world.[citation needed]

    Not much here about Greece being the main reason for the split, nor in anything I studied at uni for that matter. Prior to the split Stalin was PUBLICLY only providing political support for Greece, and channeling weapons through Tito.

  25. Stalin also “kept his distance” from Mao during the “Popular front” period in China, but still supplied him with weapons and aid.

  26. In addition, the reason the strikes in Austria started in the western zone was that there was NO WAY anyone was suicidal enough to start a strike in the soviet zone. The Red Army would have been crushing them like bugs before they even got the placards out.
    As was stated previously, the Austrian communist party WAS TOO WEAK to take power, either through revolution or democracy.
    The same was true in the UK, France, or just about any other western country you care to mention.

    As for your pathetic statement that western democracies “embraced the Nazi’s” as history shows (real history, not your bolshie BS), they were INVADED and OCCUPIED by Nazi Germany, just as Eastern Europe was INVADED and OCCUPIED by the Red Army.

    TB, everything you post is a typical twisted bolhevik view of the world.

    Your ideology resulted in the deaths of HUNDEREDS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE from Russia, Eastern Europe, South East Asia, the Causcasus, Central Asia, and Africa, who died while being tortured to death, or worked to death, or just shot in the streets and fields by the Stalinist death squads.

    Stalin agreed a lot of things with western leaders, it does not in any way mean that he intended for one minute to keep those agreements. You forget the dogma of the revolutionist. Lie and deceive.

  27. By the way Total Bollocks, you still have not told us why you choose to stay in the imperialist heartland of California, why are you not back in your beloved Pustinist/Stalinist workers paradise of Russia??

  28. Furthermore TB, you self abuser, your argument seems to run “The glorious peoples revolution in (insert appropriate country) failed , therefore it failed because Stalin wanted it to fail”

    Total Bollocks, revolutions in western Europe failed because they had no popular support.

    Trade Unions in Britain stopped supporting the great strike when their members realised they were being led into a revolution that they did not want.

    As for your assinine comments about british workers etc. Well they must have found the situation preferable to communism, as there was NO REVOLUTION, nor were there successful (or in most cases even attempted) communist revolutions in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc,etc,etc.

    The Irish civil war was as much a war between the democratic Irish Free State forces, and the Communist/Marxist IRA. We all know who won that one, the IRA ended up defeated and banned in both Northern & Southern Ireland.

    TB, you really should grow up little one. As many others have said, try liviung in a communist state, you will see why everyone was trying to get out.

  29. As for the WW2 argument, the Red Army faced 80% of the German LAND FORCES, while the western Allies faced 90% of the German AIR FORCES and NAVY.

    Albert Speer, German minister for war production blames Germany’s defeat directly on Allied strategic bombing. From 1942 onwards the “Round the clock” RAF & USAAF bombing campaign decimated German factories, transportation, and fuel production, tied up over a million men and thousands of large calibre guns that would have been much better used on the eastern front, and in doing so vastly reduced the losses sustained by the allies.
    RAF tactical airpower, particularly in the form of rocket firing Typhoons, destroyed German tank formations enabling western allied forces to crush German opposition with far lower casualties than those suffered by the massive, but poorly trained and equipped Red Army.

    Without Allied strategic bombing, Allied supplies to the Red Army, and allied food supplies to the Russian population, the Soviet Union would have collapsed.

  30. And this quote:

    Stalin Exceeded Hitler in Monstrous Evil; Mao Beat Out Stalin
    By Rudy Rummel, 12/1/2005 11:15:55 AM
    Many scholars and commentators have referenced my total of 174,000,000 for the democide (genocide and mass murder) of the last century. I’m now trying to get word out that I’ve had to make a major revision in my total due to two books.

    One is Wild Swans: Two Daughters of China by Jung Chang, and the other is Mao: the Unknown Story that she wrote with her husband, Jon Halliday. I’m now convinced that Stalin exceeded Hitler in monstrous evil, and Mao beat out Stalin.

    From the time I wrote my book on China’s Bloody Century, I have held to these democide totals for Mao:

    Civil War-Sino-Japanese War 1923-1949 = 3,466,000 murdered

    Rule over China (PRC) 1949-1987 = 35,236,000 murdered

    However, some other scholars and researchers had put the PRC total as from 60,000,000 to a high 70,000,000. Asked why my total is so low by comparison, I’ve responded that I did not include the China’s Great Famine 1958-1961. From my study of what was written on this in English, I believed that:

    (1) the famine was due to the Great Leap Forward when Mao tried to catch up with the West in producing iron and steel;

    (2) the factorization of agriculture, forcing virtually all peasants to give up their land, livestock, tools, and homes to live in regimented communes;

    (3) the exuberant over reporting of agricultural production by commune and district managers for fear of the consequences of not meeting their quotas;

    (4) the consequent belief of high communist officials that excess food was being produced and could be exported without starving the peasants;

    (5) but, reports from traveling high officials indicated that peasants might be starving in certain localities;

    (6) an investigative team was sent out from Beijing, and reported back that there was mass starvation;

    (7) and then the CCP stopped exporting food and began to import what was needed to stop the famine.
    Thus, I believed that Mao’s policies were responsible for the famine, but he was misled about it, and finally when he found out, he stopped it and changed his policies. Therefore, I argued, this was not a democide. Others, however, have so counted it, but I thought this was a sloppy application of the concepts of mass murder, genocide, or politicide (virtually no one used the concept of democide). They were right and I was wrong.

    From the biography of Mao, which I trust (for those who might question it, look at the hundreds of interviews Chang and Halliday conducted with communist cadre and former high officials, and the extensive bibliography) I can now say that yes, Mao’s policies caused the famine. He knew about it from the beginning. He didn’t care! Literally. And he tried to take more food from the people to pay for his lust for international power, but was overruled by a meeting of 7,000 top Communist Party members.

    So, the famine was intentional. What was its human cost? I had estimated that 27,000,000 Chinese starved to death or died from associated diseases. Others estimated the toll to be as high as 40,000,000. Chang and Halliday put it at 38,000,000, and given their sources, I will accept that.

    Now, I have to change all the world democide totals that populate my websites, blogs, and publications.

  31. The total for the communist democide before and after Mao took over the mainland is thus 3,446,000 + 35,226,000 + 38,000,000 = 76,692,000, or to round off, 77,000,000 murdered. This is now in line with the 65 million toll estimated for China in the Black Book of Communism, and Chang and Halliday’s estimate of “well over 70 million.”

    This exceeds the 61,911,000 murdered by the Soviet Union 1917-1987, with Hitler far behind at 20,946,000 wiped out 1933-1945.

    For perspective on Mao’s most bloody rule, all wars 1900-1987 cost in combat dead 34,021,000 — including WWI and II, Vietnam, Korea, and the Mexican and Russian Revolutions. Mao alone murdered over twice as many as were killed in combat in all these wars.

    Now, my overall totals for world democide 1900-1999 must also be changed. I now estimate it to be 212,000,000 murdered, of which communist regimes murdered about 148,000,000. Also, compare this to combat dead. Communists overall have murdered four times those killed in combat, while globally the democide toll was over six times that number.

    Let freedom ring.

    Well there you go, between them Stalin, Mao & communism in killed 70% of all those who died under political repression.

  32. My total of 100,000,000 was not for Mao, it was for Mao, his sucessors, and his puppet regimes in indochina.

  33. Hi , I must say, your article is interesting , yet, I think you should try find out more about the subject….
    I’ll keep an eye on u’r blog.
    M

  34. Andrew, an advice: please, stop talking with yourself, this really looks bizarre.

  35. Andrew is not talking to himself; however, he is wasting his time talking to fools.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s