A New Film on Russia’s Katyn Atrocity

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The New York Times reports on a new movie about Russian atrocities in Katyn; if you are in New York City, go out and support this film, which calls for justice as a neo-Soviet regime rises in Moscow (if you’ve seen it already, we’d love to hear your reactions in a comment or e-mail):

The first scene in “Katyn,” Andrzej Wajda’s solemn and searing new film, takes place on a bridge somewhere in Poland in mid-September 1939. The bridge is aswarm with people fleeing in opposite directions. Panicked families trying to escape the Germans, who invaded on the first of the month, collide with equally terrified compatriots coming from the eastern part of the country, scene of a recent Soviet intervention.

The chaos and terror form a living tableau of Poland’s terrible predicament in the middle of the last century, when it was caught in the pincers of two toxic strains of European totalitarianism. In 1939 Hitler and Stalin pledged mutual nonaggression, a pact that lasted long enough for their armies to collude in the destruction of Polish sovereignty.

In the spring of 1940 the Soviets proceeded with the “liquidation” of the Polish officer corps, shooting nearly 15,000 men in Katyn Forest, including Mr. Wajda’s father, and burying them in mass graves. As Mr. Wajda makes clear, the intent was not simply to destroy Poland’s military command but also to purge its population of engineers, intellectuals and other citizens whose education and expertise might help the country to function independently.

The Nazis, meanwhile, contributed to this project by shutting down universities and rounding up professors. Just as one character, the army captain Andrzej (Artur Zmijewski), awaits his fate at the hands of the Russians, his father, a professor in Krakow, falls into the hands of the SS.

Afterward, when the Nazis and the Soviets resumed their customary aggression, each used the other’s barbarity for propaganda. The Germans dug up the bodies in Katyn and promoted themselves as protectors of the Poles against Bolshevik terror. When the tide of war turned, the Red Army repeated the exercise, blaming Hitler and fudging the dates of the massacre so it could be added to the list of German atrocities.

After the war the falsified Russian version of history was enforced by the usual police-state means. Even as the truth about Katyn continued to haunt Poles’ memories, it became, for much of the rest of the world, a hazy footnote, a symbol of Poland’s enduring historical bad luck.

But Poland has at least been fortunate to have, in Mr. Wajda, a tireless, clear-sighted chronicler. At 82, he has produced, in movies like “Ashes and Diamonds” and “Man of Marble,” an unparalleled cinematic record of Polish history, and “Katyn,” nominated for an Academy Award last year, is a powerful corrective to decades of distortion and forgetting.

With elegant concision, the film explores both the events leading up to the massacre and its aftermath, following a group of officers and their families through the agonies of war and the miseries of peacetime under Communism, circling back to end with an unsparing reconstruction of some of the killings.

The deaths are terrible and painful to watch, but the film’s dramatic momentum is carried by the sisters, mothers and widows of the dead, whose attempts to hold on to the truth are almost unbearably poignant. Maja Ostaszewska is quietly magnificent as Andrzej’s wife, Anna, who clings to the hope that he has, somehow, survived. Others, like the sisters of a young lieutenant, try to figure out how to honor his memory and carry on with their lives. One of them risks arrest by commissioning a gravestone with the accurate date of his death, while the other resigns herself to an occasional gesture of subversion and the knowledge that “Poland will never be free.”

The existence of “Katyn” contradicts her certainty — Poland is now free to take stock of its own past — but Mr. Wajda is too honest and sensitive a filmmaker to foreshadow an eventual redemptive ending. Instead, he focuses on the grief and confusion of his characters, and on the ferocity with which they hold on to the dignity that history conspires to strip from them. The result is a film with a stately, deliberate quality that insulates it against sentimentality and makes it all the more devastating.

KATYN

Opens on Wednesday in Manhattan.

Directed by Andrzej Wajda; written by Mr. Wajda, Wladyslaw Pasikowski and Przemyslaw Nowakowski, based on the novel “Post Mortem” by Andrzej Mularczyk; director of photography, Pawel Edelman; edited by Milenia Fiedler and Rafal Listopad; music by Krzysztof Penderecki; produced by Michal Kwiecinski; released by Koch Lorber Films. At Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street, West Village. In Polish, with English subtitles. Running time: 2 hours 1 minute. This film is not rated.

WITH: Maja Ostaszewska (Anna), Artur Zmijewski (Andrzej), Andrzej Chyra (Jerzy) and Jan Englert (General).

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81 responses to “A New Film on Russia’s Katyn Atrocity

  1. Good and important movie! Very recommended!

  2. Thanks for the heads up. What an awful story.

  3. No Russia Katin but Soviet Katin which was made by communist leader Stalin (Stalin was not native of Georgia and monuments of Stalin are standed in Georgia now).
    You constantly substitute a different conceptions and you missed USSR and Russia as way as you want. You make a mistake which was grounded by erroneous belief.

  4. “New”, as in from 2007.

    Compared to the best Wajda’s films (Canal, Man on Iron) it’s not that good, but pretty good anyway.
    http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/katyn

  5. Btw, Russia just refused to formally rehabilitate the victims last month. Stated reason? “That these people were found shot desn’t mean they were murdered, and also it would be not a counter-revolution crime.” (Poland says it was an act of genocide.)

    Also,

    http://wyborcza.pl/1,76842,5252086,Russian_Court_Laughs_in_Katyn_Victims__Face.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/poles-take-russia-to-court-over-1940-katyn-massacre-475375.html

    http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11579381

    And so on.

  6. Wow Polands it sounds very funny!

  7. Robert

    Poland was an agressor and German ally. Poland begin with a German a World War 2 when they attack Czechoslovakia and then divide that unfortunate country.

  8. Poland was wery multynational country in 1918. Then Poland became “ETHNICALLY CLEAN” country to 1945.

  9. Genocid which made Poland is one of the greatest crimes in 20 century and Katin (independly on results of investigation) is more less crime then Poland`s genocide.

  10. Polands killed or drive away from country millions people another nation.

  11. And of course, there’s that pesky problem that Russians voted that “Georgian” Stalin the third greatest Russian of all time…

  12. I am Russian,

    The Polish cavalry charged mechanized divisions on horseback. You might think they are stupid, I think they are courageous.

    If Russia had soldiers like that, your nation wouldn’t be the empty shell it is today.

    The world needs to see more movies like this, I would like to recommend making a movie from the book The Long Walk.

    I cannot remember the author. I gave it away immediately after I read it because that wisdom needs to be passed, I actually felt guilty that I had it as long as I did.

  13. “I am Russian” you are an idiot, as always.
    The “Genocide” that you talk about in Poland was that comitted by Russia & Germany.
    Russia and Germany invaded poland in 1939.
    In doing so the Russians viloated 3 treaties or international onligations that they had signed.
    Russia deported millions of Poles in 1939 to 1941, and cut off large areas of Poland and attached them to Russian territories. The germans did the same.
    Russian and Geman actions alone caused the loss of ethnic diversity in Poland.
    Stop being such a moron please.

  14. – the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret Protocol for the partition of Poland

    – the invasion and occupation in September 1939 of Eastern Poland, an area containing eight out of sixteen Poland’s prewar provinces and representing 52 percent of Polish soil with over 13 million people

    – the consequent breaking of two bilateral treaties with Poland, namely – the 1921 Treaty of Riga and the 1932 Polish-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, renewed in 1934 for an additional ten years; moreover, as a member (since 1934) of the League of Nations, the Soviet Union violated at least three multilateral pacts as well

    – the gratuitous handing over of Wilno and the Wilno region to Lithuania in exchange for allowing the Soviets to have military bases in that country

    – the rigged plebiscites on the basis of which the occupied Polish territories were incorporated into the Belorussian SSR and the Ukrainian SSR

    – the wholesale looting of Polish raw materials, agricultural produce and both movable and immovable goods to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union

    – the wrecking of the Polish economy and the banking system

    – the subversion of the Polish educational system, the arts, and the free press

    – the trampling underfoot of human rights, including the freedoms of free speech, assembly and worship

    – the confiscation of all Polish private and state landed property

    – the exorbitant taxation without representation

    – the four massive and other, less-known smaller deportations of entire Polish families to the Gulag

    – the massive arrests of so-called counterrevolutionaries and anti-Soviet elements

    – the internment of Polish POWs in forced-labour camps in occupied Eastern Poland and the USSR

    – the 1940 cold-blooded execution and burial in mass graves in Katyn, Mednoye and Kharkov of 21 857 Polish prisoners (this exact number of those murdered comes from a 1959 KGB memorandum from Aleksandr Shelepin to Nikita Khruschev and represents the total number of executions during the April-May 1940 action, including 7300 persons murdered in Belorussia and Ukraine). The relatives of the victims in the Soviet-occupied part of Poland were subjected to one of the most severe repressions – deportation to the Gulag. In postwar Poland, they were not allowed to speak of the manner in which their loved ones died, and had to mourn them in complete silence

    – the recently-discovered graves filled with Polish corpses near Tavda and Tomsk, east of the Ural Mountains

    – the forced death marches to the interior of the Soviet Union following the June 1941 German invasion

    – the massive, cold-blooded executions of thousands of prisoners in occupied Eastern Poland in the first days of that invasion

    – the establishment of a communist party in Nazi-occupied Poland in early 1942 with orders to destabilize the Polish Home Army by denouncing its members to the Gestapo

    – the Moscow 1943 order to combat the Polish underground with “every possible means”

    – the establishment in 1943 of the Moscow-based Union of Polish Patriots to take over the Polish government after the war

    – the deliberate withholding of material and military assistance to the defenders of Warsaw during the 1944 uprising

    – Stalin’s 1944 order to liquidate the members of all Polish underground forces, which resulted in the execution of thousands of Polish soldiers and the arrest and deportation of tens of thousands to the interior of the Soviet Union

    – the luring of sixteen Polish leaders to Moscow in March, 1945 and their show trial

  15. Found it, Slavomir Rawicz was the author.

  16. I am still in awe, for Russia to eliminate the intellectuals and then call them stupid. Seems to me like an exercise in projection.

    I am Russian, look it up.

  17. seanquixote:

    Actually this charge involved only German halftracks (of the infantry unit) and was very small:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_at_Krojanty

  18. “Robert

    Poland was an agressor and German ally.”

    wtf

    Damn, maybe they SHOULD have agree to the German proposals (and ultimatums) after all…

    “Poland begin with a German a World War 2 when they attack Czechoslovakia and then divide that unfortunate country.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaolzie

    The contested territory (801.5 km² with a population of 227,399 people) was originally demanded by Germany, and no one died during the “attack” (unlike when the Czechs actually attacked it during the Polish-Soviet war).

  19. Andrew

    “Russia and Germany invaded poland in 1939.”.
    Yes but before that German and Poland cancelled Czechoslovakia and shared its terriory (under the bless in UK, France, USA etc. in Munchin). Only USSR protested against German-Poland aggression. Poland also would be happy to join to Hitlerite coalition but Hitler decided to do otherwise. Stalin (who was not an Angel of course) just outwited Polands and gain a respite before World War 2.

  20. Polands killed or drive away from country millions Gypsies, Ukrainians, Belorussians, Germans, Chechs.

  21. And especially many of Poles was participants of genocide of Hebrews!

  22. Really, well so were Russians.
    Russian hatred of Hebrews has been legendary since the 19th century and as for the soviet union..

    http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/articles/pages/5962/Anti-Semitism-in-Russia.html

  23. Oh, and if you had bothered to read any of the articles in the links I listed prior to your inane comments, you would see that large areas of Poland were cut off and parcelled out to Soviet republics such as Ukraine & Byeloruss. So much for ethnic cleansing. Really “I am Baboon” you truly are PATHETIC

  24. A deportation commission was created on 10 May 1862. Each family was to receive 10 rubles compensation. General Yevdokimov declared the action completed on 21 May 1864, although his troops were still pursuing one fleeing family at the time. Cossacks were given the vacated land en masse, and the 400,000 Cossacks north of the Kuban rapidly settled Circassia. As Fadeev relates:

    “The enemy no longer existed… All [the mountaineers’] crops were inherited by the Russian settlers, who were able to live there for the first year without having to plant anything.”(2)

    According to Fadeev, 60,000 Circassians remained after the deportation, representing 6% of the original population, while researcher Galina Malakhova estimates 40,400 remained, or approximately 4 percent. By 1870, 70 percent of the population was Slavic.

    The process of deportation brought wholesale suffering and death on an almost incomprehensible scale. A Russian officer identified only as I. Drozdov (1877) related a string of horrors he had witnessed, including half-dead women and children being eaten by dogs while still alive, and estimated that half of those who survived to embark died at sea. Ottoman reports estimate that 180,000 died shortly after arrival. While the actual number of dead is still a difficult question, it is beyond doubt that no less than one million people were deported, and that well over 50 percent of them died.(3)

    In 1882, Kuban Province had only 36,000 Circassians, less then 3.6 percent of original population. All the Ubykhs were deported, and their civilization was effectively annihilated. The vast majority of Abazas, 50,000, were also deported. In 1883, Kuban Province had only 10,326 Abazas.

    Thus, the Russian action resulted in roughly a 94 percent reduction in the original population of the Circassians and their kin.

  25. Russian, I’m sorry to say this, but you are really stupid (either this of you are just successfully trolling everyone here).

    I won’t waste anymore of my time discussing anything with someone who is apparantly suffering from a minor mental retardation (which is unfortunate), so bye.

  26. About “As Mr. Wajda makes clear, the intent was not simply to destroy Poland’s military command but also to purge its population of engineers, intellectuals and other citizens whose education and expertise might help the country to function independently.”:

    It’s regarding the reserve officers (majority).

    “The Nazis, meanwhile, contributed to this project by shutting down universities and rounding up professors.”

    Much more than this.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_crimes_against_ethnic_Poles

  27. Some of Russians hartred Hebrews but Germans and Polands killed them.

  28. Hmmm…..I don’t see my first post but oh well. Here is one link for cavalry, read thru it because it talks about the Russian cavalry. But it isn’t the one I was looking for…. I’ll keep looking.

    http://www.geocities.com/futuretanks/ponysoldiers.htm

  29. Robert

    I read your reference and it only confirm my statements, especially “Part of Poland (1938–1939)”.

  30. La Russophobe, please ignore the previous submission and post this amended version instead. Kind regards-

    ‘No Russia Katin but Soviet Katin –’

    I am never surprised when Russian’s trot out this aspect of their schizophrenic position with regards to WW2.
    On the one hand they celebrate the Soviet Unions victory over the Nazis, whilst on the other hand they abjectly fail to recognise or acknowledge the full collusion (economic, military, mass murder) of Soviet Russia with Nazi Germany between the period of 1939-41.

    Both were equally despicable mass murdering totalitarian regimes whose methodology and nature (other than a thin veneer of ideological difference) was virtually indistinguishable.

    Whether ‘Russian’ likes it or not Germany was the heart of the Nazism, despite several of it’s leading party members being Austrian. Likewise Russia was the heart of the Soviet Union and Russians were key players in it’s fabric.

    Recently a member of Memorial (A Russian organisation founded in the 1990s to fully acknowledge and investigate Soviet crimes against humanity, that has been subjected to harassment by the current regime) disclosed a list of the known perpetrators of Katyn. All were Russians. Some of whom were decorated for their genocidal crimes whilst serving in the NKVD.

    The Russian still seem to want to illustrate that they are still living in the political Stone Age and their sense of law and justice (see the Poltiskya murder trial as another example) is a disgusting farce –

    ‘ The Iron Logic of Russian Courts’
    http://wyborcza.pl/1,86871,6217444,The_Iron_Logic_of_Russian_Courts.html

    As for this pack of Soviet historical lies from ‘Russian’ just illustrates that little has changed in Russia, from a country that voted mass murder Stalin it’s third greatest Russian of all time in a recent Russian TV poll (imagine what the reaction would be if Germany voted Hitler as one of it’s greatest Germans of all time!) it come as no surprise.

    ‘Poland also would be happy to join to Hitlerite coalition but Hitler decided to do otherwise.’

    Total rubbish and a baseless Soviet lie. Poland was approached twice by Nazi Germany in the 1930s to form an alliance with Nazi Germany, it refused on both occasions in contrast to Soviet Russia in 1939.

    The offer made by the Nazis was if it allowed a rail link to built to East Prussia across it’s territory and allow German troops passage to the same, whilst taking part in a future war against Soviet Russia it was to be rewarded with parts of the Ukraine.

    On both occasions it said no, which contrasts with Soviet Russia’s alliance with Nazi Germany in carving up Europe between them 1939-41, both sharing mass murdering occupation policy in the territories between them.

    This Polish refusal led to Hitler tearing up the non-aggression pact with Poland in 1938, the identicla non-aggression pact between Poland and Russia was still in force when they invaded Poland in cahoots with their Nazi friends.

    ‘ Stalin (who was not an Angel of course) just outwited Poland’s and gain a respite before World War 2.’

    Only a prize size idiot would think Poland was a threat to Soviet Russia in 1939 ‘Russian.’

    Only an idiot would also think Stalin was a tactical genius in forming an alliance with Nazi Germany and assisting him (by means of military, financial and material aid 1939-41) to conquer most of mainland Europe. Which gifted the Nazis a military industrial complex and resources which were then turned on their Soviet Russian allies in 1941 with the subsequent loss of millions of lives.

    However ‘Russian’ should be thanked for illustrating that Russians still seem to be largely ignorant (wilfully or otherwise) of the crimes perpetrated by one of the two worst mass murdering totalitarian regimes of mainland
    Europe of the twentieth century ie Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. Both a blight on Europe that caused the deaths of millions and untold misery on the lives of millions more, in the case of Soviet occupied countries one that went on for 45 years after the war had ended.

  31. Polish cavalry fought against the Panzer quite differently than in the myth (which was created by the pro-Polish Italian journalist). Check out this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mokra

  32. Veritas (In vino veritas?)

    “On the one hand they celebrate the Soviet Unions victory over the Nazis, whilst on the other hand they abjectly fail to recognise or acknowledge the full collusion (economic, military, mass murder) of Soviet Russia with Nazi Germany between the period of 1939-41”.

    Well it is partly true, but as I have already mentioned it happened AFTER YOUR COOPERATION WITH HITLER IN MUNICH. Polish and Germans (under UK, France and USA blessing) destroyed a beautiful country but then they are offended that they appeared in the same situation. You reap what you sow!

  33. I have a copy of the DVD. Bought it last year. It has English subtitles. Buy it. Everyone should. It is an extraordinary film. Katyn in words is one thing, but to see the reality of what it was brings home in a way like no other what the reality of Soviet terror really was. The Russian government should publicly repent of the sins of the past. Willy Brandt, a former Trotskyite opponent of Nazism could kneel in repentance on behalf of the German people for the holocaust, so why not Putin? Stalin didn’t man the camps personally, kill at least 7m opponents or shoot the Poles at Katyn – Russians did. They need to face up to that, especially as most of their victims were their own people.

    seanquixote: The Long Walk is a great book but sadly it is probably a work of fiction. There are numerous little mistakes which a gulag historian can notice. Respect for the author’s (genuine) prison camp experience keeps me from making too public a fuss but it is best put to one side.

  34. Winston

    “The Russian government should publicly repent of the sins of the past”. Undubiously that Russian government and Russia have not any connection with Katin.
    German repented of its sinses ( including Holocost) after the Russian (and other Soviet people) soldiers take by storm Berlin! If German win WW II then all of us (If Germans give to our parents rights for life) would celebrate a new anniversary of Nazy Victory.
    Unlike Germans no one took control over Russian capital. Russia did not lose any war but Russians push communists away by first free voting in 1991. So we have not any necessary to confess anything in relate to Katin.

  35. “Undubiously that Russian government and Russia have not any connection with Katin.
    German repented of its sinses ( including Holocost) after the Russian (and other Soviet people) soldiers take by storm Berlin! If German win WW II then all of us (If Germans give to our parents rights for life) would celebrate a new anniversary of Nazy Victory.
    Unlike Germans no one took control over Russian capital. Russia did not lose any war but Russians push communists away by first free voting in 1991. So we have not any necessary to confess anything in relate to Katin.”

    so you’r saying that 1) it wasn’t Russians 2) even if it were Soviet troops, it wasn’t Russians 3) Even if it were Russians, they did it because they were told to by the Soviets 4) Current Russia has nothing to do with the Soviets

    yes?

    but when you’re talking about who won WWII then it’s not “Soviets”, it’s “Russians”! that is very VERY hypocritical of you.

    you (=all Russians) should decide if you want to claim the victory of WWII and with it all the crimes. Or not. You can’t have it both ways. You just can’t. Wars are won by killing as many of the opposing side as possible and very often civilians get in the way and get killed too. that’s just the way it is and that’s why most of the civilized world thinks of war as a Bad Thing. So if you say that you won, then you also say that you killed a whole lot of people.

  36. Actually dickhead (I am Russian), the East Germans, Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians, Georgians, Estonians, & Ukranians all renounced communism before the Russians, you Russians were last of all to renounce communism. It was a fait accompli. You only gave up on communism once it was alredy dead.

    You will always be hated by those you oppressed until you can say sorry for your crimes. Unfortunately Russians always try to creep away from accepting responsibility for their crimes (which are beyond number) rather than facing up to them and admitting they were wrong.

  37. See “I am Baboon”, all (and I mean ALL) of eastern europe got rid of the Communists before you Russians

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7900278.stm

    http://library.thinkquest.org/27629/themes/society/rscollapse.html

    http://www.answers.com/topic/collapse-of-communism

    By the way, it was the failure of a communist coup against Gorbachov in 1991 that resulted in the elimination of communism in Russia, when Boris Yeltsin effectively outlawed the Russian communist party & KGB.

    http://au.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_1481566267/Communism_Collapse_of.html

    You keep on dribbling on about “elections” causing the collapse of communism in Russia in 1991. Funnily enough there are no references to this. It was Yeltsin and street protests, and most importantly the independance movements in the opressed states of Georgia, Ukraine, and the Baltic republics that caused the collapse of communism.

  38. See “I am Baboon”, all (and I mean ALL) of eastern europe got rid of the Communists before you Russians

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7900278.stm

    http://library.thinkquest.org/27629/themes/society/rscollapse.html

    http://www.answers.com/topic/collapse-of-communism

    By the way, it was the failure of a communist coup against Gorbachov in 1991 that resulted in the elimination of communism in Russia, when Boris Yeltsin effectively outlawed the Russian communist party & KGB.

    You keep on dribbling on about “elections” causing the collapse of communism in Russia in 1991. Funnily enough there are no references to this. It was Yeltsin and street protests, and most importantly the independance movements in the opressed states of Georgia, Ukraine, and the Baltic republics that caused the collapse of communism.

  39. To I’m Russian:

    Who staffed the gulag?
    Who guarded those who dug the White Sea Canal?
    Who shot 750,000 RUSSIANS (mainly Russians) in 1937-8?
    Who filled the mass graves at Bikivnia and Kuropaty (between 100,000 and 400,000 bodies between them)
    Who emptied the villages of Kalmyks, Chechens, Tartars etc?
    Who condemned thousands of innocent children to orphanages because of the supposed ‘crimes’ of their parents?
    Who killed hundreds of thousands of religious believers of all faiths?

    Answer: RUSSIANS – Not Martians or ‘Fascists’, but the grandparents and parents of those who are alive in Russia today.

    If my grandfather was a mass murderer you bet I would not only be saying sorry to the families he had destroyed but I would be doing what I could to try to make their lives easier.

    It is your attitude that shows why the morally bankrupt Russia is in the mess it is today AND WILL ALWAYS BE until someone faces up to, and acknowledges, the past.

    And you have completely missed the point about Willy Brandt. He was a communist in the 1930s. NOT a Nazi. Of all people he had a right to have stood up and said ‘I was nothing to do with these people’ but he recognised that someone had to stand on behalf of his nation and offer atonement. As leader that was his responsiblity. Putin can’t do it because he still idolises the people that ordered the killings.

    Brandt’s was one of the most historic gestures of the 20th century.

    Google it.

    It might teach you a thing or two.

  40. I’m Russian:

    Just in case you missed the point…

    NOT Stalin
    NOT Beria
    NOT Yezhov
    NOT Yagoda
    NOT Dzherzhinsky

    … Russians.

  41. Everyone: this guy (“Russian”) is either a troll or is really (really) stupid.

    You are all wasting your time.

    Just ignore him, okay? He’ll eventually go away, maybe.

  42. Good point Robert.

    BTW, I have been having trouble posting too, sometimes they dont come up, and a couple of times they have been multiple posts of the same comment.
    Maybe a problem with internet connection?

  43. Robert:

    “I’m Russian:

    Just in case you missed the point…

    NOT Stalin
    NOT Beria
    NOT Yezhov
    NOT Yagoda
    NOT Dzherzhinsky

    … Russians”.

    Stalin – was Georgian (at least no Russian)
    Beria – was Georgian (at least no Russian)
    Yezhov – was Russian indeed (but he was not a main figure in compare to Stalin)
    Yagoda – was Hebrew
    Dzherzhinsky – was Polish (POLISH!)

    Why only Russia must confess anything?!?!?
    It would be very unfairly. Russians suffered more much than other nations. But you accuse only Russian. Why? I answer that you just hate us because we are obviousle a Great Civilisation we are obviously a competitor of main countries in the world, you need in our Siberian and Far Est, you really hate and want to destroy us! So you insist that Russia is gilty in all crime of the world in 20 century it is typically horsefeather.

  44. Robert
    You suggest to ignore me because you have not anything to say against me. Yours blabber is very pathetic. But you are dumm if you think that I will go away!

  45. No “I am Russian”, Robert says to ignore you because you say nothing of value.

    You (as usual) completely miss the point.
    As with Nazi crimes being mainly comitted by ethnic Germans, so the Soviet Unions crimes were mostly comitted by ethnic Russians.
    What was being said was that it was RUSSIANS who were pulling the triggers and killing people in mass executions, it was RUSSIANS who deported ethnic minorities to Siberia, or just executed them wholesale, it was RUSSIANS who tormented & persecuted dissidents.

    Russia is not a “great civilisation”. You completely miss the point of the word civilisation. It has to do with rule of law, freedom of speech, & human rights. All of which are completely missing in Russia.

    Russia may be a great culture, but you are certainly not civilised in any sense of the word.

  46. so tell me, Russian, if I were to say something like “Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were equally bad”, then would you read that into a glorification of nazis?

    The same way you read posters here syaing “Russians committed war crimes” to mean ONLY Russians have committed ALL crimes in the history of the world?

    it really is all or nothing for you people: all the loot, none of the blame. all the glory, nothing of the suffering?

  47. It is my understanding that Russia officially, by law, is the legal successor to the USSR.

    And there it is again – “Stalin was Georgian, blame Georgia, not Russia.”

    “I am baboon,” you are indeed a stupid jerk.

    To state the painfully obvious, which everyone can understand except rashans,

    Stalin
    Beria
    Yezhov
    Yagoda
    Dzherzhinsky
    Kaganovich

    could not have done a single thing without the active support and complicity of RUSSIANS.

    ТИ Є ДУРНИЙ, ПАСКУДНИЙ, НЕКУЛЬТУРНИЙ КАЦАП!

    ШКОДА ЩО В СВІТІ ІСНУЮТЬ ТАКІ ЯК ТИ!

  48. Elmer

    I do not understood your later line. Write by English or Russian please.
    Russians did not support communists. In fact that Russians were not polled or asked by communists until 1991 when Russians (in the first partially free voting since 1917) to push communists avay. Communism was not Russian idea. There were admirers of communism in the Russia as well as in the other parties of the world, but they were minority in Russia. Now also communists got approximately 5-7% in Russian votings. Otherwise there were many Ukrainian, Georgian, Latvian etc. communists. Especially Latvian shooters who were safeguard of Lenin and company or Red Galicijskie secheviki who tormented Odessa, or Dzerdjinskij etc. etc.
    My parents or grand-parents and their parents were not communists, all of them were much tormented by communists. All of them were Russians and all of them were Russian Patriots (as I now). My forefathers honestly worked, served in Russia and Red armies, defended Motherlend in WW I end II.
    MY PARENTS NEVER SUPPORTED COMMUNISTS AND THEIR ACTIONS AS WELL AS THE MOST OF RUSSIANS! You know clearly that fact and you just a LIAR if you wrote otherwise.
    About inheritance of USSR. Yes Russia is a successor of USSR and so Russia bears some obligations and exercises some rights in this connection. But Russia is no USSR. Inheritance of USSR relate to financial debts (very big in 1991) and credits (not much in 1991), nuclear weapons, diplomatic corps. In addition Russia is a USSR successor in refer to other duties and rights in the territory of Russia (RSFSR). BUT OTHER SOVIET REPUBLICS ARE SUCCESSORS OF USSR IN THEIR OWN TERRITORY. So if the Part of West Ukraina want Russian penitence in “Holodomor” their should became as part of Russia firstly. If their do not want so SORRY we have many own historical problems, and “Holodomor” is Inner Ukrainian issue as former UkrSovSocRepublic.

  49. Elmer

    Quote:”To state the painfully obvious, which everyone can understand except rashans,

    Stalin
    Beria
    Yezhov
    Yagoda
    Dzherzhinsky
    Kaganovich

    could not have done a single thing without the active support and complicity of RUSSIANS.”
    Unquote.

    Well only one of them was Russian. And I rememer you there were not a free voting in 1930-1940 in USSR, so Russians have not any possibility to support or not anything.

  50. Er…
    “but when you’re talking about who won WWII then it’s not “Soviets”, it’s “Russians”! that is very VERY hypocritical of you………………………
    Wars are won by killing as many of the opposing side as possible and very often civilians get in the way and get killed too. that’s just the way it is and that’s why most of the civilized world thinks of war as a Bad Thing. So if you say that you won, then you also say that you killed a whole lot of people”.

    What about bombardment of Dresden, Hirosima, Nagasaki. Yes many people were killed in 20 Century one anothe but USA end westerns in whole have not any rights to teach Russians.

  51. Russian –

    The arguments you give are the arguments of the “Good Germans.”

    “My parents were not Nazis – they were only simple Germans.”

    and

    “You westerners are no better. You do horrible things in your colonies in Africa.”

    and

    “It’s all your fault. Nazism is a foreign plot brought upon innocent Germany through the unfair Treaty of Versailles.”

    We have heard it all before. Russia formed the backbone of the Soviet Union. Russians made up the majority of the Army, the Politburo, the Party, and the NKVD.

    Until your nation comes to terms with the darker side of its own past, it will repeat it. In fact, Putin is dragging your beautiful nation back down into fascism even as we speak. And it is ultranationalists like you who make it possible.

  52. Whoa, there it is – Rashan would rather cut out his tongue, and act stupid, than acknowledge anything written in Ukrainian.

    Ти дурний некультурний брехливий кацапе дуже добре розумієш то що я написав

    Anyway, there goes the theory of the rashan chauvinists that Ukrainian and rashan are one and the same language! Rashan can’t read Ukrainian!

    Rashans had no free voting, and therefore “no opportunity” to support anything or not?

    YOU ARE A HIDEOUSLY STUPID LOUT! MY DOG IS SMARTER THAN YOU!

    Who carried out the orders, you moron?

    The rashans who worked for Stalin and the commies had the opportunity to refuse to shoot human beings, whether the orders were given by rashans or not!

    “Just following order” – same excuse the Nazis used.

    rashans like to claim that they are not like the Nazis.

    But rashan just proved that communism = Nazism!

    “just following orders”

    They had the opportunity to refuse to ship people to the gulags!

    And many of them did.

    You really are hideously stupid, rashan.

    I know you don’t believe your own poop – and noone else does.

  53. Yes we do.
    By the way “I am Russian”, it is impossible for dictatorships to function without the support, tacit or otherwise, of a large portion of the population.
    It does not matter if a dictator gives an order when nobody is prepared to carry it out.
    Dictatorships require trigger men.
    The Russians actively supported communism, without Russian support communism would have collapsed, or never even got off the ground.
    Who was it who carried out the communist revolution in Russia? Who was it who manned the armies that invaded and occupied Ukraine, Georgia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kirgyzstan etc? Who was it who guarded the Gulags? Who was it who manned the forces of the OGPU/NKVD/KGB who condemned over 60 million people to death?
    It was RUSSIANS! RUSSIANS! RUSSIANS!
    By the way, I find it funny how you deride democracy in the west, and then complain that Russians did not have a democratic choice in 1939-1940.
    You always have a choice, vote or no vote.
    You can choose to do evil, or you can choose to resist. Unfortunately in the 20th century the majority of Russians chose evil, or to do evil from cowardice which amounts to the same thing.

  54. My prior post about the cavalry was that Polish cavalry used horses to move from attack to attack. Russians did have a head on run with the Panzers…lucky Russians because the Panzers where basically stuck in freezing mud.
    Unfortunately, Poland does not get the acknowledgement for having had, and still having, a terrifically trained military. Ask US special forces dudes about GROM, lots of respect there. It was also Polish cavalry man who George Washington turned to help him, I think its Kazhushko (spell?). Father of US cavalry.

  55. Katin’s tragedy is not only one made by russia…
    Remember What Russia did in UKRAINE, (golodomor), in Poland, in Czechoslovakia, and rest of eastern europe, remember GULAG… and now russia continues USSR’s policy – part of Georgia’s territory is occupied by russia.
    russia with enormous territory, uncounted natural resources has a colossal potential for developing but indeed, russia is occupying neighbor country’s territory… and so on and so on…
    Russia=USSR!!! And there is no doubt. Russia=Source of EVIL.
    Source of EVIL will be destroyed soon!!!

  56. Russia is responsible for the great famine in Ukraine, Russia is responsible for the deportation of the Ingush & Chechens and large numbers of Georgians & Dagesh to Siberia in 1946. The subject states of the USSR, such as the Baltic republics, Georgia, and Ukriane, and the central asian republics were completely subject to Moscow.
    All decisions of substance were taken in Moscow, and the local assemblies were simply a rubber stamp. The modern term is “puppet government”, very similar to the puppet governments the Russians set up in eastern europe after the war.
    So “I am Russian” do the decent thing like the Germans, and accept responsibilty for the crimes comitted by the Russian people.

  57. Scott

    “We have heard it all before. Russia formed the backbone of the Soviet Union. Russians made up the majority of the Army, the Politburo, the Party, and the NKVD”.

    Russians always formed backbone of Russian and Soviet Army and form it now. But until 1937 Russians was ABSOLUTELY LESS in the Politburo, the Party, and the NKVD! I gave above the list of USSR bosses in 1936-1937. If you do not agree with me that you either have pathetic historical knowledges or you are liar. AFTER 1937 Russians were also as a minority in Politburo and NKVD but situation changed during WWII. In the course of WW II Stalin clicked that Russians were able fight better than other groups and nations and better than communists. But at the beginning of WW II Russians hated communists and dreamed to overturn their government. They did not want to fight for communism so Stalin had to change course of inner policy. Communists propaganda go away. Patriotic posters showed Russians heroes e.g. Dmirij Pojarskij, Alexandr Nevskij, Bogdan Chmelnitskij, Alexandr Suvorov, admiral Ushakov, admiral Nachimov etc. Stalin also stopped victimization of Russian Orthodox Church. During WW II Russians became a majority in communists party indeed. But Politburo kept its multinational structure until 1991.

  58. Andrew

    Thanks to Got such as you bigots are minority in Europa!

  59. Elmer

    I speak Russian and learn English now, in addition I learned German, French and Finish, but I did not learn language that I at times see in your messages. I have nothing against this language but I just say that I do not understand your list INDEED . Write please in English or Russian.

  60. Georgian

    “Source of EVIL will be destroyed soon!!!” – only after you! Ha, ha, ha!

    I can`t find the more clever comment for that horsefeather!

  61. “AFTER 1937 Russians were also as a minority in Politburo and NKVD but situation changed during WWII.”

    rashan, you are having a lot of fun pooping all over the place, aren’t you.

    Bohdan Khmelnitsky, according to you, all of a sudden turns into a rashan hero!!!!!

    Bohdan Khmelnitsky, of course, was a Ukrainian Hetman.

    Mazepa was a Ukrainian Hetman, too.

    “Stalin also stopped victimization of Russian Orthodox Church.”

    Rashan, you are just having so much fun, arent’ you.

    Pathetic loser.

    Hideous monstrosity.

  62. Russian – We’ll talk of percentages and lists tomorrow. Today I’d like to focus on a specific error that completely boggles the mind. Bogdan Khmelnitsky was not Russian – he was Ukrainian. Every first grader in Ukraine knows that.

    It’s like calling Lincoln Canadian or Nevsky Estonian. I cannot stress this enough. You have written the historical equivalent of adding two and two and getting thirty-eight!

  63. Robert, I have no idea where you got this line of s)&*.

    “Poland was an agressor and German ally.””

    It wasn’t from me, because I know that is BS without a second thought.

    If Pravda was my only source of information, I still wouldn’t believe it. In fact I could count on the opposite to be true.

  64. I am Russian, you seem very long winded for someone who has nothing to say.

  65. “I am Russian”, prior to 1939 ethnic minorities were not even conscripted into the red army or NKVD due to concerns about “political reliability”, it was only with the advent of WW2, the massive manpower losses of 1941, that there was a change in this policy and ethnic minorities were conscripted en masse.

    In addition it was found that many of the minorities, particularly Caucasians such as the Chechens & Georgians, and central Asians, were markedly superior to the average Russian soldier.

    “On 22 June 1941 the Red Army had 99 divisions organised according to TO&E 4/100 (10,298 peace-time strength, called 12-thousand man divisions due to historical reasons) and 78 according to TO&E 4/120 (5,864 peace-time strength). Zaloga notes that the Red Army formed at least 42 ‘national’ divisions during the Second World War, including four Azeri, five Armenian, and eight Georgian rifle divisions and a large number of cavalry divisions in Central Asia, including (five?) Uzbek cavalry divisions.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soviet_Union_divisions_1917-1945

  66. The soldiers sent as cannon fodder to die in Finland were in large part Ukrainians.

    A disproportionate share of Ukrainians was also sent to Afghanistan 40 years later…

  67. And a disproportionate number of Georgians sent to Afghanistan too, and Chechens, and Balts.
    Might be why they were so keen on independance.

  68. Rashan, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. You and your group of buddies, all of you who call themselves “I am Russian,” take the sovok approach of trying to say something even when you have nothing to say. It’s the old sovok bluster approach – propagandize everyone to death with lies.

    Soo –

    put yourself in the Katyn forest. You have been ordered to shoot 15,000 defenseless men in cold blood.

    You (all of you, since “I am Russian” is clearly a group of rashans who are enjoying their sophistry) claim that your family was “against the communists.”

    What do you do?

    What does the lousy Russian orthodox church teach?

    rashans are fond of pointing to the oily orthodox mother roosha church.

    But there don’t seem to be any Christian principles in Russia – except for Protestants and Catholics.

    So what do you do, rooshan, you who claim that your family was against the communists?

    Do you wait for a free and fair election? Would that be your excuse for shooting these men in cold blood?

    Do you claim that you were “forced” to shoot them in cold blood?

    What do you do, rooshan?

  69. Barb,

    Kosciuszko’s history has an interesting and very pertinent postscript. He returned to Poland after the war, and was very active in attempting to put the nation on a modern footing under an American-style Constitution. Unfortunately, he ran into opposition from no other than Russia and Prussia, who invaded and annexed approximately half of what remained of Poland between them in the Second Partition. In response, Kosciuzsko led a Polish uprising against his enemies, which led to more intervention and a Third Partition (this time including Austria as well) which was the death knell of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

    Kosciuszko was, in effect, the main victim of the dress rehearsal for Molotov-Ribbentrop.

  70. Bohdan Khmelnitsky was a Russian indeed – it was getman of Russian area in Rzech Pospolitaja (Русская Украйна в Речи Посполитой) as well as Russians Ukrainies in the former USSR (in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Kazachstan, Moldavia, Georgia etc.) and in the rest of the world (e.g. Israil, Argentina, Germany, Cyprus etc.). Russia was then (as well as now) a very peaceful country and so firstly our country have no intentions to take this Russkaja Ukraina away and add it to Russia. So originally Russia did not support any national movements in Poland. But then Poland`s government began a politic to put into practic a politic line to culture, religion or national liquidation of its Russian Ukraina and its russian citizens so Bohdan Khmelnitsky rise in rebellion against western genocide of Russians. Russia was reluctant to support Russian Ukraina (as well as Abkhazia and Ossetia now)!

  71. If Kosciuszko was the dress rehearsal for Molotov-Ribbentrop so Bohdan Khmelnitsky was the dress rehearsal for future Russkaja Ukraina.

  72. On Khmelnitsky

    1) Look on the map. Notice how closely that Hetmanate and Sich territory corresponds to modern day Ukraine.

    2) Yes, Khmelnitsky was the dress rehearsal for 300 years of alternating waves of repression and paternalism. That’s why some Ukrainians (such as the Kobzar himself, Shevchenko) don’t like the guy. Of course, you are also correct in that Polish rule in the 17th Century was harsh on Ukraine as well – which is why other Ukrainians love him.

  73. Now on Russians in the USSR

    Your contention is that since of your list of six individuals, only one was Russian, that means that the Russian people had nothing to do with the USSR from the period of 1917 to 1991 and presumably were all in Mongolia at the time (except for 1941-45 when they all just happend to be home for a bit.)

    So if I can name a few Russians, that should do the trick, right?

    Molotov, Krushchev, Malenkov, Zhdanov, Voroshilov, Voznesenskii, Kuznetsov

    I may add that since Dzerzhinskii died in 1926, I can go on and add a few more like, Bukharin, for instance, or LENIN!

  74. Oh, by the way, the universally accepted pronunciation for Khmelnitsky’s title is “Hetman.” Notice the “H” sound being used as in the Ukrainian Г as opposed to the “G” as in the Russian Г.

  75. Scott

    “Molotov, Krushchev, Malenkov, Zhdanov, Voroshilov, Voznesenskii, Kuznetsov”

    Tere were some ukrainians among them e.g. Krushchev, Zhdanov, Voroshilov.

  76. Yes – they were born in Ukraine. But you have made very clear by your classifications of men like Kaganovich and Yagoda that you define being Russian as a matter of blood, not of place of geographical birth – in which case all three of the Ukrainians you mentioned would have to be defined as Russian. Your own racism and anti-Semitism condemns you to positions you cannot defend.

    Furthermore all three subscribed fully to Russian culture, with the possible exception of Krushchev, who would occasionally pop up in a Ukrainian peasant shirt for shock value and did hand over the Crimea to Ukraine as an anniversary present. Still, even he considered himself to be Russian, not Ukrainian.

  77. To “I am Russian”:

    You are an embarrassment to your own people. Besides your very silly opinions and your clear lack of differentiating fact from fiction you need to know how to write grammatically and spell correctly before you embark on a dialogue with English speaking people. How can we take you seriously? when you are so sloppy in your presentation?

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