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Friday, November 30, 2007

Putin HEARTS Stalin

Bloomberg reports:

Josef Stalin may have been cruel, but he was first and foremost a great leader.

That rewriting of the history of the ruthless Soviet dictator who killed millions of real and imagined enemies comes from a new manual for Russia's high-school teachers endorsed by President Vladimir Putin. The book exemplifies Russia's growing nostalgia for its bygone superpower days -- a sentiment Putin stokes at every turn in his quest for political hegemony.

Russia feels that it was ``humiliated during the 1990s, when it lost its international weight,'' said Fyodor Lukyanov, who edits a quarterly journal for the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy in Moscow. ``Our leaders now believe it is necessary to consolidate the nation.''

Putin, 55, may achieve that goal on Dec. 2, when parliamentary elections will likely make his United Russia party almost as powerful as the Communists were in the USSR. Much of his overwhelming popularity stems from his ability to reinvigorate Russia's patriotic pride. He has gained support by confronting the West with Cold War zeal and has paid little price for clamping down on dissent with similar intensity.

Putin, who was a career officer in the KGB, calls the Soviet Union's collapse ``the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.'' After members of an Arctic expedition laid Russia's claim to the region's oil and gas last August, he gave them a hero's welcome at his residence outside Moscow, reminiscent of the triumphant homecoming Stalin hosted in 1938 for the Soviet Union's first North Pole explorer.

15 Million Victims

Stalin ruled as head of the USSR's Communist Party from 1922 until he died in 1953. His security forces routinely imprisoned or executed people suspected of disloyalty. During the Great Terror of 1937-38, when the purges peaked, about 1.5 million people were arrested and 700,000 shot, according to Memorial, a Russian human-rights group. In all, at least 15 million people died in labor camps or were killed, Memorial says.

Millions more perished from famine after widespread state confiscation of farm land, or collectivization. Tens of thousands of others died of hunger or exposure when Stalin deported entire ethnic groups to Central Asia, including Chechens and Crimean Tatars accused of collaborating with invading Germans in World War II.

No Enumeration

The new teachers' manual -- ``A Modern History of Russia 1945-2006,'' -- refers to the purges without enumerating the victims, specifically mentioning only 2,000 killed in the late 1940s.

While it calls Stalin's rule ``cruel'' and says he engaged in ``political repression,'' it also declares him the USSR's ``most successful leader'' because his tactics transformed the country into an industrialized counterweight to America's military and economic might.

``The result of Stalin's purges was a new class of managers capable of solving the task of modernization at a time of a shortage of resources, loyal to the executive power and faultless from the point of view of discipline,'' the manual says.

Many Russians already view Stalin favorably. In a May poll by the independent Levada Center in Moscow, 54 percent said Stalin -- who defended the nation from Hitler's armies and ultimately led it to victory in World War II -- did ``more right than wrong.'' Half deemed him a ``wise leader.''

At a meeting with teachers at his residence in June, Putin said the new manual will help instill young people with ``a sense of pride'' in Russia. He argued that Stalin's purges pale in comparison to America's atomic bombing of Japan. ``We shouldn't allow anyone to impose a feeling of guilt on us,'' he told the teachers.

`All That Is Best'

Putin elaborated at a memorial for Stalin's victims on Oct. 30, at a firing range near Moscow where 20,000 people were executed during the Great Terror: While Russians should ``keep alive the memory of tragedies of the past, we should focus on all that is best in the country.''

Mikhail Gorbachev, 76, the Soviet Union's last leader, criticized attempts to portray Stalin's era as a ``a golden age'' and urged Russians not to forget the ``terrible lessons of history'' at a 70th anniversary conference on the Great Terror in September.

The new manual is less kind to another Russian leader -- Boris Yeltsin, the country's first post-Soviet leader and Putin's predecessor. It says his weak policies allowed the West to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into former Soviet satellite states in eastern Europe.

A Children's History

The manual was written by Alexander Fillipov, the deputy director of the National Center for Foreign Policy, a research group that does consulting work for Putin's government. Fillipov also is writing a children's history book that, starting in September, state schools will use to replace older texts that remember Stalin less fondly. One currently in use chronicles the Great Terror, estimating that 2 million perished in 1935-39.

Fillipov, who declined to be interviewed, told the government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta that his manual is needed to counter foreign ``propaganda.'' Similarly, Putin says some Russian history books are biased because their authors received Western grants.

Arseny Roginsky, Memorial's chairman, is troubled by Stalin's new cachet among influential Russians. ``They want schoolchildren to be proud of their Soviet past and to forget that these victories were achieved at the expense of people's blood,'' he said. Roginsky's father died in 1951 while imprisoned by Stalin's forces.


Anonymous said...

During the 1990s, there were no hateful "purges", yet the population of Russia decreased by one million annually, and when people were shot in the backs of their heads in the entrance halls of their own homes instead of the NKVD basements, the result was the same. :(. Neither was this historic period marked by such achievements as industrialization or victory in World War II; moreover, Russia was subjected to the humilitation of having to capitulate to tiny Chechnya. Having lived through all this, a lot of Russians see the Yeltsin era as a negative proof of Stalin's rightness.

Artfldgr said...

Here are his ethinic deportations…

The wholesale removal of potentially trouble-making ethnic groups was a technique used consistently by Joseph Stalin during his career: Romanians (1941 and 1944-1953) Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians (1941 and 1945-1949), Volga Germans (1941), Chechens, Ingushs (1944), Large numbers of kulaks regardless their nationality were resettled to Siberia and Central Asia. Shortly before, during and immediately after World War II, Stalin conducted a series of deportations on a huge scale which profoundly affected the ethnic map of the Soviet Union.[2] It is estimated that between 1941 and 1949 nearly 3.3 million were deported to Siberia and the Central Asian republics.[4] By some estimates up to 43% of the resettled population died of diseases and malnutrition.[5]

After the Soviet invasion of Poland following the corresponding German invasion that marked the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviet Union annexed eastern parts (so-called "Kresy") of the Second Polish Republic. During 1939-1941 1.45 million people inhabiting the region were deported by the Soviet regime, of whom 63.1% were Poles, and 7.4% were Jews.[6] Previously it was believed that about 1.0 million Polish citizens died at the hands of the Soviets, [7] however recently Polish historians, based mostly on queries in Soviet archives, estimate the number of deaths at about 350,000 people deported in 1939-1945.[8][9]

During World War II, particularly in 1943-44, the Soviet government conducted a series of deportations. Some 1.9 million people were deported to Siberia and the Central Asian republics. Treasonous collaboration with the invading Germans and anti-Soviet rebellion were the official reasons for these deportations. Out of approximately 183,000 Crimean Tatars, 20,000 or 10% of the entire population served in German battalions.[10]

The deportations started with Poles from Belarus, Ukraine and European Russia (see Polish minority in Soviet Union) 1932-1936. Koreans in the Russian Far East were deported in 1937. Volga Germans[11] and seven (overwhelmingly Turkic or non-Slavic) nationalities of the Crimea and the northern Caucasus were deported: the Crimean Tatars,[12] Kalmyks, Chechens,[13] Ingush, Balkars, Karachays, and Meskhetian Turks. Other minorities evicted from the Black Sea coastal region included Bulgarians, Greeks, and Armenians. From the newly conquered Eastern Poland 1.5 million people were deported.[14] The same followed in the Baltic Republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.[15] More than 200,000 people are estimated to have been deported from the Baltic in 1940-1953. In addition, at least 75,000 were sent to Gulag. 10% of the entire adult Baltic population was deported or sent to labor camps.[16][17] Likewise, Romanians from Chernivtsi Oblast and Moldova had been deported in great numbers which range from 200,000 to 400,000.[18] All Crimean Tatars were deported en masse, in a form of collective punishment, on 18 May 1944 as special settlers to Uzbek SSR and other distant parts of the Soviet Union. Nearly 20% died in exile during the year and a half by the NKVD datas and nearly 46% according to data from the Crimean Tatar activists.[19][20]

In February 1956, Nikita Khrushchev in his speech On the Personality Cult and its Consequences condemned the deportations as a violation of Leninist principles, asserting that the Ukrainians avoided such a fate "only because there were too many of them and there was no place to which to deport them." His government reversed most of Stalin's deportations, although it was not until as late as 1991 that the Crimean Tatars, Meskhs and Volga Germans were allowed to return en masse to their homelands. The deportations had a profound effect on the non-Russian peoples of the Soviet Union and they are still a major political issue - the memory of the deportations played a major part in the separatist movements in Chechnya and the Baltic republics.

After World War II, the German population of the Kaliningrad Oblast, former East Prussia was replaced by the Soviet one, mainly by Russians. Between 1941 and 1952, almost a million German POWs died in the camps.[21] Of the 91,000 German POWs captured at Stalingrad, only 6,000 survived to return home.[22] The Red Army occupation led to the deportation to Siberia of more than 200,000 ethnic Germans of Romania (around 75,000 Transylvanian Saxons), Hungary and Yugoslavia. Most of them died in prison camps. Forced labor of Germans in the Soviet Union was considered by the Soviet Union to be part of German war reparations. The reported death rate was 39% among “arrested internees” from Upper Silesia and East Prussia.

Poland and Soviet Ukraine conducted population exchanges - Poles that resided east of the established Poland-Soviet border were deported to Poland (c.a. 2 100 000 persons) and Ukrainians that resided west of the established Poland-Soviet Union border were deported to Soviet Ukraine. Population transfer to Soviet Ukraine occurred from September 1944 to April 1946 (ca. 450,000 persons). Some Ukrainians (ca. 200,000 persons) left southeast Poland more or less voluntarily (between 1944 and 1945).[23]

A more detailed partial listing of some of the repressions committed in the Soviet Union under the regimes of Lenin and Stalin described in the book include:

the executions of tens of thousands of hostages and prisoners, and the murder of hundreds of thousands of rebellious workers and peasants from 1918 to 1922 (See also: Red Terror)
the Russian famine of 1921, which caused the death of 5 million people
the extermination and deportation of the Don Cossacks in 1920
the murder of tens of thousands in concentration camps in the period between 1918 and 1930
the Great Purge which put out of existence almost 690,000 people
the deportation of 2 million so-called "kulaks" from 1930 to 1932
the deaths of 4 million Ukrainians (Holodomor) and 2 million others during the famine of 1932 and 1933
the deportations of Poles, Ukrainians, Balts, Moldavians and Bessarabians from 1939 to 1941 and from 1944 to 1945
the deportation of the Volga Germans in 1941
the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1943
the deportation of the Chechens in 1944
the deportation of the Ingush in 1944.(p. 9-10)

Anonymous said...

US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt also resorted to "wholesale removal of potentially trouble-making ethnic groups": after Pearl Harbor he deported all Americans of Japanese extraction to concentration camps where they were kept until the end of the war.

elmer said...

The difference is that in the US, the treatment of Japanese people during the war has been examined and acknowledged to be flawed.

In Russia, where the people have agreed to be treated like idiots, the russkies are once again glorifying Stalin.

And ignoring all the facts, such as presented above by artfldgr.

Just look at this from the Eurasia Daily Monitor:


Artfldgr said...

Thank you elmer for pointing out what should be an obvious difference among many.

One thing that most are forgetting here, and I am not reffering you you elmer or kim, or certain others, but the many that float through, and the apologists and idealists. They forget that America never ever claimed to be perfect, that was something that socialism and communist ideology claim. And so they attempt to hold America to a standard they (falsely) believe that they are holding (by holding to the revolution). This is how the sociopathi/psychopathic leadership keeps all in thrall (that and fear).

America has made mistakes, and the Japanese internment issue was one of them, but the issue was NEVER that clear cut. As there WERE spies in the midst of the immigrants. Take the dentist that took pictures from his office window.

The whole situation sucked, but remember it was Stalin, Hitler, and Hirohito, playing games. In the absence of their plans for world socialism and a japan imperialist state, there would have been NO Vernichtungslager (extermination camps) and Arbeitslager (work camps), No Auschwitz, Chełmno, Bełżec, Majdanek, Sobibór, or Treblinka.

There is even a chance that without the tempting candy that Stalin might not have ‘invented’ from Hitler the labor camp system. Though I doubt it since it’s the natural way to motivate those that can’t be motivated. The gulag system was a natural next chapter in the development given the Cheka, and who and how they do their thing. From the Katorgas, to the Gulag is how much of a leap? Before WWII there were already 2 million in the camps (Robert Conquest points out), so it was not Stalin that copied Hitler, but the other way around as the Gulags also held people for their religious beliefs and such. After all Dzerzhinsky had to replace the current load of priests with those loyal to the controlling body (willing to do anything without limits – ie. No morals, to achieve world communism/socialism. Though something tells me that when they get a hold of everything, these are not the kind of people to apportion fairly and give it all back, at best they are too capricious for that).

America never claimed to be perfect, and holding it to that standard is an old trick of deflection. A psychopathic trick that deflects attention to the other person and minimizes their offenses. So what I murdered 100 million, or locked up over 5 million people and starved them slowly while working them to death, American locked up the Japanese too.

The two are like night and day… read “inside stalins gulag by Kaz Zarod, or the classic Gulag Archepeligo), or China: L'Archipel Oublie by Jean-Luc Domenach
Lao Gai: The Chinese Gulag by Harry Hongda Wu, to get a feel for China.

For german experience read the diary of anne frank, for the Latvian experience read “Dear god I wanted to live, by ruta u” a child who had to grow up in the gulag being shipped out of Latvia.

You can read here how people are STILL stuck there

When, in 1957, Mr Volagodsky was finally released he was refused permission to return home. Later he was told that he could return, but his wife, also a Ukrainian former gulag inmate, could not, so he remained.
"For 50 years this place has been like a coffin for me," he said. "I have no money to go and the local authorities tell me I don't qualify for help."
Yevgenia Khaidarova of Memorial said: "These people would all leave tomorrow if they could. But they haven't the means.
"For years Vorkuta was a political gulag. Today it has become an economic gulag."

Contrast this with how the Japanese were treated… and her is a list of childrens books that discuss it..

Here is an interesting page..

The comparative analysis of the facilities provided the internees and the treatment accorded them by the American operated Crystal City Internment Camp (Crystal City, Texas, USA) with that offered by the Japanese operated Civilian Assembly Center at Weihsien, Shantung, China, during World War II. The Crystal City Internment Camp was visited sometime between December 16 and December 22, 1943. This visit was conducted by Augusta Wagner, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at Yenching University, Peking, China who returned to the United States from Weihsien on December 1, 1943. Ms. Wagner was an internee at the Weihsien camp in China.
In a general comment Ms. Wagner's report states, "The contrast with the Weihsien camp [and Crystal City] and the attitude of those in control is so marked as to be best described as the difference between light and darkness. " Taken from Ms. Wagner's report attached to a January 14, 1944 [Special War Problems Division, Department of State] memorandum to The Under Secretary, Mr. Watson from J.H. Keeley The following table contains excerpts from Ms. Wagner's report to the U.S. Department of State.

I think the document above will should be a clear example of the differences…
Internees housed in cottages have private washing and toilet facilities in their cottages. The worst sharing would be 1 toilet to 12 people…

In the other camp… squat toilets that don’t work, 23 toilets in all for 1,800 people…

Adequate hospital and dental facilities in camp and town of Crystal City. Doctors, nurses employed by authorities. Glasses and dentures provided. Question arising how much should authorities be responsible for paying dentures


Hospital facilities and equipment dangerously inadequate together with lack of drugs when those on hand used up, since Weihsien is in isolated community of no hospitals. Permission was given for patients to be taken to Peking--long, dirty, difficult, expensive journey

Here is what America gave them to eat

Adults able to have per week:
• 5 pounds of meat and fish
• 7 eggs
• 7 pounds, 10 oz. milk and cheese
• 1 to 1.5 pounds oils and fats
• 3 pounds 8 oz. of cereals and flour
• 3.5 pounds of dried beans
• 17 oz. of sugar, 3 oz. of syrup
• 3 pounds 1 oz. of leafy vegetables
• 2 pounds 3 oz. of citrus fruit or tomatoes
• 3 pounds 8 oz. potatoes
• 7 pounds 6 oz. other vegetables, fruits, dry fruits
• 11 oz. miscellaneous
• 11 oz. beverages
• Possible for children to have one quart of milk per day

Many lived better than civilians with ration cards on their own.

And in the other camps

Below is the quantity of food in ounces supplied per day. Often it was necessary to discard considerable amounts of meat and vegetables unfit for human consumption.
• Meat 5 oz.
• Potatoes 10.2 oz.
• Vegetables 13.6 oz.
• Bread 16.6 oz
• Sugar 0.6 oz.
• Margarie 0.2 oz.
• Fish 0.8 oz.
• Tea 0.1 oz
• Coffee substitute 0.1 oz.
• Jam 0.03 oz.
• Flour 0.2 oz.
• Oil 0.4 oz.
• Eggs 0.14 (pc)

Lets see… 5lbs of good meat, and other things a week, or 3 lbs of meat that is mostly spoiled…

Oh.. and that was from the GERMAN internment camps… (there were italian ones too).

You can find tons of information, societies, lists, and such..

Let me know what you find in details as to the soviet camps…

Oh, and for an interesting read…

This is about the camp that George Takei of star trek fame ended up… as well as many others… you can see pictures from the place… young women going to school.. children playing..

Let me know when you find similar pictures from gulags, nazi camps, even Chinese camps… don’t worry I wont hold my breath.

Maybe elmer he might look and see the difference? I hope so..

One more difference we forgot to mention.. Americas were nicer, and we stopped them.. because no matter how nice we felt they were wrong!!! But even today there are political prisoners in Russia, china and other places… and in those same countries inconvenient people being killed with impunity and no fear of consequence.

American had camps for a few years… nothing like any one elses outside the free world.. and never had them again…

Stalin had them before the war… and there are camps of sorts still there… china still uses re-education camps…

Thanks elmer.