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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Putin will "Save" Poor Stalin from the Evil West

The Telegraph reports that Putin has launched a new initiative to take control over the teaching of "history" in neo-Soviet Russia in order to protect Stalin the Great from the malicious lies of the West. He also claims that Stalin's murder of 20 million Russians is analagous to the U.S. war in Vietnam, where less than 100,000 Americans were killed, and the nuclear bombing of Japan, where no Americans were killed, as if Stalin had the same right to go to war against the people of Russia as America did to fight Japan or the North Vietnamese Communists, sponsored by the USSR. In other words, he's gone stark raving mad, himself a victim of the censored textbooks by which he learned the "history" of the world.

President Vladimir Putin has raised the prospect of a return to Soviet-style academic censorship after he accused the West of plotting to distort Russian history in an attempt to crush patriotic sentiment in schools. The Russian leader claimed that a generation of schoolchildren was learning a version of their past that had been deliberately skewed by historians in the pay of the West. "Many of our textbooks are written by people on foreign grants," Mr Putin told history and science teachers at a conference outside Moscow. "They are dancing a polka ordered by those who pay for it. This is undoubtedly an instrument for influencing our country."

In a warning that will send a chill through Russia's dwindling ranks of liberal academics, the president indicated that publishing houses that did not print more patriotic textbooks would face state censorship. "Publishing houses should become more responsible," he said. "The state should play a greater role in this respect." According to the president, Western historians have attempted to belittle the Soviet Union's role in World War II and exaggerate the negative aspects of Stalin's Great Terror in the 1930s, which saw millions of Russians die. He said Russia's past was much more benign and much less blood-soaked than that of the United States. "We have fewer such (dark) pages than do some countries, and they were less terrible than in some countries," he said. "We have never used nuclear weapons against civilians and we have never dumped chemical weapons on thousands of kilometres of land as was the case in Vietnam." Vladimir Ryzhkov, a historian and one of the last independent MPs in the Russian parliament, said that Kremlin hardliners were keen to revive Stalin's reputation in order to justify the country's increasingly autocratic path.'

A reader comments by e-mail:

Now THIS I call really disturbing, though, of course, not surprising. Actually the rubbish about America is the least worrying because it is so ridiculous. Excuse me, just where are the mass graves, each with 10,000+ bodies with a single bullet in the back of the skull containing victims of American OFFICIAL execution squads (as in Butovo, Kurapaty, and Katyn) ? They don't exist. And did the Americans rape millions of German women as the Red Army did? (yes "millions" - Anthony Beevor's research identified the huge numbers including that "The scale of rape is suggested by the fact that about two million women had illegal abortions every year between 1945 and 1948"). Did American presidents or British Prime Ministers slaughter seven million of their own people and incarcerate 20 million? Which ones killed most of the members of his own family and his in laws, including their sister in law who they had had an affair with, and put their daughter's boyfriend in a labour camp? None, stupid. What planet are you on Mr Putin? To talk about Hiroshima casualites is also stupid. 90,000-120,000 died in Hiroshima - at the time and from the later effects of radiation. More than twice that number - 300,000 - of Red Army soliders died taking Berlin and over 1,000,000 German soldiers died at the hands of the Red Army as Germany fell. That's war. Stalin's lack of preparedness and the way his generals we put up against each other in a race to be the first to get to Berlin, regardless of casualties cost AT LEAST the same number of deaths as Hiroshima, if not more. Possibly, if you add the Russian POWs that died in German camps because Stalin refused to acknowledge them and they couldn't receive Red Cross parcels, TEN times more. Pollution? Talk to the people in the nuclear sites south of Chelyabinsk, where babies are born without eyes or limbs and the local museums have glass jars containing two headed cows. And elsewhere all over Russia. The 2006 Blacksmith Report on the 34 most polluted cities and regions in the world named SEVEN in Russia and FIVE in other countries of the former USSR. That is ONE THIRD of the worlds most foul spots.

COME ON! Repeat a lie often enough and you get people believing it. But, as I was saying the REALLY worrying thing is the censorship of history that Putin is proposing. Any one who tells the truth, or tries to find it out, is an agent of the West. Historians who come to Russia are suspect if they want to find out anything that doesn't glorify Russia. What else can you expect from a KGB man?


Anonymous said...

And did the Americans rape millions of German women as the Red Army did?

Well, like LR, I checked a few Internet pomoykas and here is what I found:

"According the the information from the London International News Service (January 31, 1946) when American officers' wives came to Germany, they recieved special permission to wear military uniforms, because GIs did not want them to be treated mistakenly as "Fräulein" by their own troops. The author of the article in the New York World Telegram (January 21, 1945) wrote: «Americans see the German women as their booty, same like the Luger cameras". Dr. G. Stewart in his medical report informed General Eisenhower that in the first 6 month of the occupation by American troops the STD rate icreazed 20 times compared to the original Germany level.

"According to testimony given in the United States Senate on July 17, 1945, when the colonial French troops under Eisenhower's command, presumably mostly Africans, entered the German city of Stuttgart, they herded German women into the subways and raped some two thousand of them. In Stuttgart alone, troops under Eisenhower's command raped more women in one week than troops under German command raped in all of France for four entire years. In fact, of all the major belligerents in World War II, the German troops had by far the smallest record of rape and looting. In fact, the German army's incidence of rape in all of Germany's occupied territories was even lower than that of American troops stationed on American soil!" The rapists did not all wear a red star. John Dos Passos, writing in LIFE magazine for January 7, 1946, quotes a "red-faced major" as saying that "Lust, liquor and loot are the soldier's pay." A serviceman wrote to TIME magazine for November 12, 1945 "Many a sane American family would recoil in horror if they knew how 'Our Boys' conduct themselves, with such complete callousness in human relationships over here." An army sergeant wrote "Our own Army and the British Army ...have done their share of looting and raping... This offensive attitude among our troops is not at all general, but the percentage is large enough to have given our Army a pretty black name, and we too are considered an army of rapists." An Italian survivor of American bombing states that Black American troops, stationed in Naples, were allowed by their superiors free access to poor, hungry, and humiliated Italian women. The result of this interracial rape and sexual slavery was the production of a generation of pitiable mixed-race children, a legacy of the brutal conqueror. According to an AP dispatch of September 12, 1945, entitled "German-American Marriages Forbidden", the Franklin Roosevelt government instructed its soldiers that marriage with the inferior Germans was absolutely forbidden, but those having illegitimate children by German women, whose husbands and boyfriends were conveniently dead or held as prisoners or slave laborers, could count on allowance money. And, according to TIME magazine of September 17, 1945, the government provided these soldiers with an estimated 50 million condoms per month, and graphically instructed them as to their use. For all practical purposes, our soldiers were being told: "Teach these Germans a lesson -- and have a wonderful time!" Such were the great crusaders who brought "democracy" to Europe.

Well... Just 50 mln condoms in a month for the soldiers. A real LoveFeast. Comes to 1.5 mln. of German women per day.

Anonymous said...

From the "reader who comments by email":

There is a very good article in todays Moscow Times which says it much better than I did.
check it out ...

Anonymous said...

Russian - I'm not even going to bother reading your post. Why? Because your title says it all. I don't need to read any further.

You wrote:

"And did the Americans rape millions of German women AS THE RED ARMY DID" (my capitals). You said it, Comrade... "DID".

I'm not American. I wasn't talking about America. Don't start coming back to me about what Americans did or did not do. They are nothing to do with me or what I was writing about.

I was talking about the Red Army. And I was talking about Putin's falsification of history.

As you say, the Red Army DID rape millions of German women.

Putin DID say that the atrocities committed under Stalin were not as bad as some other countries.

I reckon a couple of million rapes is so bad that there isn't a need to for an comparison - who was worse, who was better. It was evil. Period. Most civilised people would agree, I think.

In English what you have done is called a "tu quoque". It's Latin, but I'll help you a bit on it. Anytime someone doesn't like an accusation that is true and which they can't answer, and they start to squirm in the face of the truth, they change the subject and say that the accuser is just as bad because of something they allege he has done wrong.

It changes nothing.

It is an old Soviet habit. Read the article I link to. You have done JUST what the writer of that article talks about.

And showed your true colours and your gross immorality.

The article is off line now so here it is reproduced just for you... Wednesday, June 27, 2007.

Worthy of a True, Old-Time Soviet Polemicist
By Yevgeny Kiselyov

I was bewildered, upset and vexed by President Vladimir Putin's recent speech at a meeting with teachers in the humanities who were attending a conference in Moscow. As he discussed recent history and how it should be understood -- as well as how it should be taught -- Putin said the following:

"Concerning some problematic pages in our history -- yes, they exist, as they do in the histories of all states. We have less than some countries. And ours are not as terrible as those of some others."Yes, some pages in our history were horrible: We can think of the events beginning in 1937, and we should not forget them. But it wasn't better in other countries -- in fact, it was far more horrible."

He then rattled off a list of U.S. offenses from history, running from the dropping of atomic bombs on Japanese cities in World War II, the blanketing of thousands of kilometers of Vietnam with Agent Orange in the war there, and the dropping of seven times more bombs on the country than fell during all of World War II.

"We don't have other black pages in our history, like fascism," he added.

The president is right: We didn't have fascism. But we had Bolshevism, which I'm convinced was no better. In fact, there were an enormous number of "black pages" in 20th-century Russian history, and every one of them was terrible. For example:

• The "Red Terror" unleashed by the Bolsheviks soon after they took power in 1917, against both political opponents and innocent civilians, which took up to a million lives;

• Collectivization, which forced 3 million to 4.5 million peasants to flee their villages and caused, in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, another 6 million to 7 million to die of hunger;

• The "Great Purges" from 1937 to 1938, which claimed 1.3 million to 1.7 million victims. About 800,000 of them were executed without investigation or trial, including Stalin's political opponents as well as politicians, bureaucrats, military men and citizens who were completely loyal to him.

There was also the mass deportation of ethnic groups to Siberia, Central Asia and Kazakhstan during World War II: Almost a million Germans were resettled as a preventive measure, along with another 1.5 million Chechens, Ingush, Kalmyks, Balkars, Karachays, Meskhetian Turks and others -- supposedly because their elders collaborated with the Germans during the occupation of their regions. Immediately after the victory over fascism, Soviet soldiers who had been liberated from Hitler's prison camps were marched across the country and straight into the gulag, along with the civilians who had been taken to Germany and forced to work. That was nearly another million people.

And then there was the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which allowed Germany to begin World War II (with the Soviet attack on Poland following just two weeks later). And Katyn, where 22,000 Polish prisoners of war were executed in 1940. We also put down popular uprisings in East Germany in 1953, invaded Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and Afghanistan in 1979. In Afghanistan, we conducted an unnecessary, senseless and shameful war for almost 10 years -- almost as long as the United States fought in Vietnam. How many states can boast of such a "list of honor" in the 20th century?

Putin is being modest -- and deceptive -- when he talks about the importance of 1937. This was the date when Stalin's secret police, the NKVD, unleashed massive purges across the entire country after purging the highest military leaders under Marshal Mikhail Tukhachevsky. But the state has never done anything significant to mark this tragic date in a fitting way. True, it would be strange to expect this from a government led by a former officer of the KGB -- the descendant of the NKVD -- with a ruling elite in which at least half of the members trace their roots back to the same organization.

In Ukraine, President Viktor Yushchenko decreed that the memory of the victims of the Great Purges should be honored with great ceremony, and even instituted a special annual day of remembrance. Russia has a day of remembrance of the victims of political repression, but Kiev is unlikely to have much success in getting senior politicians in Moscow to mark it in any significant way.

When Putin begins pointing to the United States as a country with a worse record than Russia and the Soviet Union, citing the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, the loads of bombs dropped on Vietnam and the vast jungle destroyed by chemical defoliants, he sounds like a caricature of the Soviet polemicists. When they'd run out of arguments, they'd pull an ace out of their sleeves, charging, "But you lynch blacks!"

Indeed they did, prompting the "March on Washington" in 1963, where a crowd estimated at 200,000 to 500,000 gathered on the Mall to protest the lack of civil rights for African Americans. When eight people in Red Square tried to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, they were assaulted by police and seven were arrested.

What the United States did in Vietnam was wrong. And you can question (especially given the current situation in Iraq) whether the country truly condemns or even regrets that military operation.

But there is no question that the experience was examined by some of the United States' greatest thinkers: writers, scholars, and artists. Masterpieces like Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter," Francis Ford Coppola's "Apocalypse Now" and Oliver Stone's "Platoon" were also acts of repentance.

In the center of Washington there is a magnificent memorial where the names of the over 58,000 men and women killed in Vietnam are carved in stone. This extraordinarily powerful memorial is the most visited site in the U.S. capital. In Moscow there is nothing like it commemorating those who died in Afghanistan or Chechnya.

I don't know if Putin has figures on how many bombs we dropped in Afghanistan and Chechnya, but my guess is we didn't scrimp on ammunition. In fact, I'm not guessing -- I know, since I served there for two years . We used both high explosive bombs and volley fire missile systems. These weren't, of course, nuclear weapons, but they weren't much more humane. And in Chechnya we need only recall the ruins of Grozny -- reminiscent of Stalingrad -- that shocked Putin when he first saw the city from the air in the spring of 2004.

It's also worth recalling that as soon as it became known that the U.S. military was using defoliants in Vietnam, over 5,000 American scientists and scholars, including 129 members of the National Academy of Sciences and 17 Nobel Prize winners, brought a petition to the White House protesting the use of chemical and bacteriological weapons. The military was forced to stop using them. In the Soviet Union, only one scholar protested the war in Afghanistan -- the late Andrei Sakharov, who was exiled to the city of Gorky for almost seven years.

Do many people remember all of that today? I'm afraid not. And it seems the authorities would like us to know even less. They need history only as a collection of myths around which they can try to consolidate their electorate, especially young people. To do that, they need heroic pages of history: victories over our enemies, daring feats, discoveries and achievements. Everything else is mudslinging.

But history takes cruel revenge on those who ignore it. As George Santayana famously pointed out: Those who are unable to learn history's lessons are bound to repeat its mistakes.

Anonymous said...

My post does not have a title.
What you thought was a title is in fact the question taken from the material I am commenting on.
Namely from the part with the sub-title "A reader comments by e-mail".
So the reader asked this question and I had the material avalable that could be the answer (or a partial answer)to that question. That is why I posted it. No "tu quoque" intended. Just plain answer to the questioon. That was not me who had mentioned American soldiers first.
If you want to know my opinion on some of the mentioned by you issues, I can tell:
Rape is bad. Rape of German women was a bad thing. There were some psychological factors that made it to happen but, of course it does not justify that kind of behavior. Any war is a bad and cruel thing. Russian History has a lot of bad things done. But the Russians are not worse than any other nation like La Russophobe tries to draw it. Russophobes and all kinds of "ethnophobes" are bad. Stalin was bad. But he died 54 years ago, he is a history now, and it is methodically wrong to dig all that petrified shit and link it to the today's Russia. Same, like to link George Bush's war in Iraq to G. Truman's war in Korea.
This is actually what Putin is trying to oppose to. We have got too many unprofessional or even dishonest "scientists" and "commenters" on Russian History, like the odious La Russophobe, who are digging in Russian History to find something stinky and use it against today's Russia.
Just look at the number of people in the USSR who accordingly to those "scientists" and "historians" perished during the Soviet regime! It already comes to 150 mln! And the whole Russian population in 1914 was about 150 mln too. I wonder how it happend that I had 45 kids in my class when went to school in late 50-ties. "Where all those babies came from"? Were they made in Stalin's GULAG by indusstrial methods?
When Putin begins pointing to the United States as a country with a worse record than Russia and the Soviet Union he may be exaggerating. But there are certain parallels for sure.

Russia has had better records on her foreign policies, and the USA on her domestic (if we drop genocide of Indians and slavery). Stalinism was a deviation from the normal way of History for Russia. But we got what we got. Other than stalinism I do not see anything in the Russian history what was more cruel or unjust or shameful than the parallel things in the Western civilization.
Though Russia is a big country and the scales of all events are bigger there.

P.S. The statistics of German women rapes by Russians soldiers and by American soldiers in 1945 just confirm that truth.

Anonymous said...


But in Hiroshima and Nagasaki they were civilians, so it was a murder not a "war casualty"...