Author Topic: Soviet Atrocities and the Killing of Disabled and Innocent Children  (Read 70608 times)

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Offline Zvezda

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #210 on: February 06, 2008, 08:54:48 PM »
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I can not believe that you are trying to "protect" Stalin, when in my opinion he was far worst than Hitler.
I acknowledge that there were abuses and excesses in Stalin's period; this was even acknowledged by the post-Stalin leadership. But these errors do not negate the overall positive legacy of his era.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #211 on: February 07, 2008, 12:42:25 AM »
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I can not believe that you are trying to "protect" Stalin, when in my opinion he was far worst than Hitler.
I acknowledge that there were abuses and excesses in Stalin's period; this was even acknowledged by the post-Stalin leadership. But these errors do not negate the overall positive legacy of his era.

Stalin's programs were driven by terror that left a land strewn with millions of dead whilst the survivors expressed hatred and fear.

Stalinist policies provided the following:

. Liquidation of minorities and classes of people deemed undesirable.

. To create socialist order: collectivization meant that millions of families were displaced and deported against their free will.  Millions died.

. Intelligence gathering became an artform of unprecedented proportions, which the ordinary citizen came to fear.

. The use of penal labor to build dams and railways.

. Siberia became an expansive penal colony. Any offense against the regime, including non-conformism ensured a sentence.

. Rigid control and strict censorship of all internal and foreign press and publications in all forms.

. Free speech between individuls at home, school, university and in the work place became a perilous exercise.

. Rampant extermination of political opposition, whether real or imagined.

. Occupation of the Baltic States.

. The forced repatriation under the Yalta Agreement, of cossacks, military personnel, non-combatant personnel who were captured by the nazis in WWII, met their death upon return to the homeland. Women were not excluded.

. Purging of musicians, artists and other individuals considered to be intellectuals.

. A one party system ensured that there were no opponents.

. Suppression of religion and the destruction of religious buildings and extermination of the clergy and believers.

These are just a few realities of the stalinist regime.

For anyone to suggest today that there was a positive legacy fails to truely comprehend the political, social and psychological consequences of the brutal and inhumane regime that shrouded the nation against their will. 

Margarita
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 12:50:11 AM by Belochka »


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Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #212 on: February 07, 2008, 12:57:38 PM »
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I can not believe that you are trying to "protect" Stalin, when in my opinion he was far worst than Hitler.
I acknowledge that there were abuses and excesses in Stalin's period; this was even acknowledged by the post-Stalin leadership. But these errors do not negate the overall positive legacy of his era.

And what would that positive legacy be, pray tell?

I can remember studying that in 1910, the Ukraine supplied 10% of the world's grain exports. Stalin and his cronies (we cannot exempt the cronies from complicity in his crimes) destroyed such a viable agricultural region to the extent that after his Reign of Terror, the Soviet Union needed 10% of the world's total grain to import to feed a starving populace. So, is it your opinion that destruction of an agricultural infrastructure is a positive legacy in terms of population reduction?

Offline amelia

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #213 on: February 07, 2008, 02:39:18 PM »
I would like to know, very much, the positive aspects of Stalin legacy. Could you please mention them?

Thanks Amelia

Offline Zvezda

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #214 on: February 07, 2008, 02:50:08 PM »
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Stalin and his cronies (we cannot exempt the cronies from complicity in his crimes) destroyed such a viable agricultural region to the extent that after his Reign of Terror, the Soviet Union needed 10% of the world's total grain to import to feed a starving populace.
Actually, as late as the early 1970s, the Soviet Union was a grain exporter. Russia endured agricultural problems during and after the 1970s due to a large extent to frequent drought. While Russia endured three famines between 1921-1991, Russia had endured dozens of such famines in the 19th century. The Finnish famine of 1866-68 killed a staggering 20 percent of the population.

If it's Stalin's era you want to talk about, the fact that his policies helped to greatly modernize Russian agriculture. Above all, the introduction of the tractor to Russia helped to greatly increase agricultural productivity.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 02:57:36 PM by Zvezda »

Offline antti

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #215 on: February 11, 2008, 02:35:31 AM »
[color=yellow]"Actually, as late as the early 1970s, the Soviet Union was a grain exporter. Russia endured agricultural problems during and after the 1970s due to a large extent to frequent drought. While Russia endured three famines between 1921-1991, Russia had endured dozens of such famines in the 19th century. The Finnish famine of 1866-68 killed a staggering 20 percent of the population."[/color]

Dear Zvezda,
The finnish famine was caused by extreme wether conditions for several years in a row. Actually the Tsar did everything that something like that would not happend again in his Grand Duchy.
Please read more.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_famine_of_1866-1868

Offline Belochka

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #216 on: February 13, 2008, 05:25:59 PM »
It seems that not everyone has noticed that the red star (krasnaya zvezda) no longer dominates the Kremlin.

Russia has changed and her people are no longer interested in reading revisionist communist interpretation of history based on disinformation and bombasitic prose.

Today's Russian people are becoming aware of the atrocities, the purges and how the stalinist regime had attempted to destroy the very essence of society.

Time to respect the rejuvenated Russian nation and her people and begin to offer original thoughts and evidence based history.

Margarita


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Offline AGRBear

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #217 on: February 25, 2008, 10:26:36 AM »
My one ancestor,  who was an inventor and a dreamer,  brought in the first tractors in the Odessa area before he migrated in 1910.

This was when the farmers were producing more wheat, etc.  then Russia was in the 1970s.



When I first joined this forum there was a group of pro-communists spouting their  age old facts which Stalin and his  comrads wanted the Russians and the rest of the world to believe.   It little mattered what I wrote and used as sources,   they just refused to believe them,  and, now, I can make a sure bet that you will, also.  But here goes another attempt to disclosed the truth.

One of the topics we went into was that of the  two famines ( the first   in the early 1920 and  the second starvation early 1930s.  I gave the estimated  number of people  who died between 1920 and 1935.  Your fellow conrades gave their numbers,  which were very low,  and what Stalin wanted us to believe.  However, slowly but surly the facts have been collected.  For example,  just in one area Tirraspol and one Catholic diocese which had 352,000 souls some 100,000 starved to death.  And with each area and each group, be it religious or ethnic,  the numbers grew  and grew and grew....   5 million then to 10 million then to 25 million....  ?? million....

Stalin and his comrades blamed the "drought".   A  drought  did occured in 1921.  But was this drought different than other droughts?  If just speaking of the weather, then the answer is: "  No."  It was not different.  Then what was different and what created the famine? 

In the fall of 1918 the Bolsheviks'  oganization called the Soviet Food Commissarian who granted the "worker columns"  the right to  collect food from the peasants whenever they wished,  and there was no limit as to how much they could take....  To the peasants this "was the largest wholesale looting operations in history"   wrote Joseph S. Height in his book Paradisse on the Steppe p. 322.  Exactly how much did they loot?  Half a million tons in 1918.  Two million tons in 1919.  1920 almost six million tons.  And,  when this occured they not only took a huge amount they didn't leave the farmer anything in his  storage which would have been used for  farther bad harvests or what we called "those rainy days".   Added to this,  it wasn't just the grain,  the looters took the seeds.... the horese,  the cows,  the sheep, even the chickens....

When there was nothing left to loot,  the Bolsheviks took the village men, lined them up and with machine guns killed them in hopes to scare other farmers into revealing their hiding places because they couldn't seem to understand there was nothing left.....

If you do not believe me,  then you do not believe the truth of what occured.

If you claim there was terrible injustices by everyone,  the starving people really can't put up much of a fight  ....

This is how it worked before the insanity and greed of the Bolsheviks:

p. 329:

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In the days of the Czar there used to exst in all the German colonies a wonderful institution-- the communal wheat storage granary.  In periodical years of poor harvest there occured a scarity of food,  epsecially bread, fr the poor people.  But no one ever died of starvation, because in the years of plenty every farmer had to deliver a certain part of his wheat crop into the communal granary.  When there was a poor year, these reserves were divided among the needy.  But no such reserves were avaiable under the Bolshevikst regime of reckless exportation.

I haven't even mentioned  Stalin's "Five Year Plan" or his deportation of the peasantry into forced labor camps.  Stalin took the farmer who knew how to be productive and sent them off to Siberian labor camps....   Left were the peasants who had little knowledge of the land and how to grow crops and if they did they weren't given seeds because there wasn't any.... and,  they needed horses or oxen to till the soil and there were few of them around....

In order to protect the loot from the starving peasants,  Stalin hired "agents of justice".  I believe the number is estimated to have been about 700,000  men.    This resulted in Stalin being able to export seven hundred and ninteen thousand tones of wheat in 1931, which is called a "famine year",  while Russians  were hungry and dying... And in 1933 which is called a "famine year",  Stalin sent an addtional one million, eight hundred thousdand tons abroad to pay for te import of industrial equipment.

We have no idea how many Russians starved to death in 1931 to 1933.

As you can see,  the drought s  of 1921  and 1931 were  not the real reason that  millions and millions of  people died in Russia of starvation from 1920 to the 1930s.

AGRBear



« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 10:29:47 AM by AGRBear »
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Offline Zvezda

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #218 on: February 25, 2008, 04:28:42 PM »
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Exactly how much did they loot? 

This is simply wrong. One should keep in mind that the Soviet Government throughout 1918 did not have control of the grain producing regions. Ukraine from February to November 1918 was a German puppet state. The Don and Kuban provinces were controlled by the bloodthirsty Cossack warlords. Siberia were occupied by the Czech and Japanese aggressors, Admiral Kolchak, and bloodthirsty warlords like Semenov.

Some people attribute superhuman qualities to the soviet Russian State by basically blaming it for a famine that struck Russia in 1921. Such claims like “Communists demanded more grain, not less from the peasants to the point that they were driven to starvation.” are at the least misleading. Famine first emerged in Russia in 1916, leading to food riots in the spring of 1917. The shortages turned into a major crisis following the 1917 harvest. The Soviet government was able only to collect a fraction of the necessary grain which was transferred from village to town in normal years. During most of the civil war, the vital agricultural regions of Ukraine, the North Caucasus, Siberia, and part of the Volga were under the occupation of the White Guard forces and foreign interventionists. As a result, Grain collections by the Soviet state declined from 8. million tons in the 1916/17 season to to 2.0 million in 1918/1919. In 1920/21, the grain requisitions increased to 6 million tons, most of which had come from territory that just been liberated. In the spring of 1921,the government moved away from requisitioning and reintroduced the market. The famine resulted from poor weather and a poor harvest in 1920 and severe drought in 1921. The 1920 harvest was only 60 percent of the pre-war level in 1920 and even smaller in 1921. The Soviet Government had always publicly acknowledged famine and accepted proposals from international agencies to organize aid. The claim that the Soviet state was exporting “large amounts of grain” is factually incorrect. Russian statistics show that only 115 tons of grain were exported in 1921-22 compared to 3000 thousand tons in 1926. In other words, the export level of 1921 was basically 0 percent of a normal economic year.

Grain requisitions were put in place by the Tsarist autocracy during the imperialist war. Even in the grain rich areas of Ukraine and South Russia, and Siberia,the regimes of Kolchak, Skoropadsky, Denikin, and Wrangel resorted to coercion to take grain due to shortages. In Siberia, the Kolchak “government” imposed a law requiring all surpluses to be transferred to the state. Wrangel invaded the Crimea in search of grain and even introduced a foreign trade monopoly in order to prevent exports. By the end of 1919 peasants were merely given paper receipts in exchange for requisitioned food.

Quote
And in 1933 which is called a "famine year",  Stalin sent an addtional one million, eight hundred thousdand tons abroad to pay for te import of industrial equipment.
The scholar Mark Tauger, one of the few scholars to have actually carried out research on 20th century Russian agriculture, concludes that the famine resulted from that the famine of 1932-33 famine was the result of a genuine shortage, a substantial decline in the availability of food caused by a variety of factors, each of which decreased the harvest greatly and which in combination must have decreased the harvest well below subsistence. Any understanding of the Soviet famine of 1932-33 must start from the background of chronic agricultural crisis in the early Soviet years, the harvest failures of 1931 and 1932, and the interaction of environmental and human factors that caused them. In 1932, extremely dry weather reduced crops in some regions, and unusually wet and humid weather in most others fostered unprecedented infestations. These conditions from the start reduced the potnetial yield that year, as drought had in 1931.

While Russia experienced chronic drought and other natural disasters earlier, those in 1932 were an unusual and severe combination of calamities in a country with heightened vulnerability to such incidents. That the Russian Government through its rationing systems fed more than 50 million people, including peasants, during the famine indicate that it was genuinely committed to alleviating the situation.

There is no foundation that the Russian Government in 1931 and 1932 had resorted to excessive procurements. With the rapid growth in the urban population, increased requisitions were necessary to feed the workers. Procurement of grain in the period 1930-33 amounted to about 22 million tons. In 1932, procurements were much lower at 18 million tons. As grain procurement continued following the 1933 famine, Russia did not experience another famine in the 1930s.

Tauger's groundbreaking essay is found here:
http://www.as.wvu.edu/history/Faculty/Tauger/Tauger,%20Natural%20Disaster%20and%20Human%20Actions.pdf

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We have no idea how many Russians starved to death in 1931 to 1933.
Actually, the Russian archives provide precise figures of the death rates between 1926-33. They are located here:
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/faculty/harrison/archive/hunger/

The archives demonstrate that excess deaths were as follows:
Ukraine: 1.54 million
Northern Caucasus: 300,000
Volga: 270,000
« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 04:31:35 PM by Zvezda »

Offline klava1985

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #219 on: February 25, 2008, 11:25:59 PM »
Hi Zvezda...

It's nice to have someone on this board who has a very different point of view and who has very different resources and statistics at his or her disposal. It would be helpful if everyone would cite their sources for how many died when, etc.

It is hard to establish a causal relationship vs. a temporal one for some of the alleged improvements brought by Stalin, though. In America, many say that Ronald Reagan was responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union. They believe that because he took such a tough stance, and because he outspent the Russian military on the fictional Star Wars missle defense system, he precipitated the crisis that led to the collapse. But I was working in Washington when Reagan took office; and I was in Leningrad in the summer of 1985, studying Russian at LGU. I studied International Affairs/Soviet Studies in college, writing my thesis on Afghanistan, and took Russian for 7.5 years. My personal take was that the USSR was on the verge of collapse for a variety of reasons, primarily because of the fact that outside of the cities it was a third-world country. Only the cities took the leap forward... Corruption was another reason. As were the gross inefficiencies in the "Communist" system. I believe that it was just coincidence that the Soviet Union collapsed more or less on Reagan's watch, and people mistake this temporal happenstance for cause. In fact, it may be that Reagan's harsh stance delayed the collapse and prolonged the agony.

It's possible that you are making the same mistake with Stalin. You assume that because certain supposed improvement occurred when he was in power, these improvements *resulted* from his administration. Perhaps some did. But you have to ask the question: what would have happened otherwise?

I believe that absent Reagan, the USSR would still have collapsed. And I believe that absent Stalin, the Russian economy and social order would still have improved. This is partly because I believe that, contrary to the cult of personality, "great men" don't matter that much in history. (I also think Russia would have Westernized to some degree without the influence of Peter the Great, even at that time). I completely agree that the autocratic system was a total disaster and that Russia was indescribably backward as a result of the feudal regime. But was Leninism/Stalinism the only alternative? What if the previous revolution had been successful? Or, what if the October Revolution had morphed into the NEP and stuck to that course? Would a capitalistic system have brought more suffering to Russia, or less? More progress, or less? We can say that X and Y events/achievements occurred during Stalin's regime, but can we truly say that they occurred *because* of him, or in spite of him? Here, several have argued that Stalin's policies precipitated the famine. Surely you are right that weather, war, and a variety of other factors contributed. But I think people here are saying that absent Stalin, the famine would not have killed so many, that the country (or countries, it might have been, had the Russian Empire collapsed and the USSR not arisen in its place) would have recovered more quickly under a system that enabled individual initiative (those nasty kulaks) and ingenuity.

It's a thought experiment. It's hard to point to parallel examples, except perhaps to point out that capitalism did serve the Western world quite well--they moved out of feudalism faster than Russia did. Perhaps if Russia had gone from the Romanov stagnation to outright capitalism it would have caught up faster. Certainly one could make the case that India has been kicking butt lately, without a whole lot of communism or Stalinist policies going on. Not that it's wonderful there, just that it's moving fast, without such resorting to such dire means.




« Last Edit: February 25, 2008, 11:30:32 PM by klava1985 »

Offline klava1985

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #220 on: February 25, 2008, 11:36:58 PM »
cont'd...

And then you might ask: what's the point of it all, anyway? Russia modernized rapidly (and extremely unevenly)--to what end? Obviously, there needed to be improvements in the quality of life among the peasants and workers. Would this NOT have occurred under almost any other scenario in which the autocratic system collapsed? Was the amount of gain worth the cost in life, and suffering, and worth the cost to the Russian soul? Was it worth being transformed into a nation of thugs and psychopaths and post-traumatic stress victims and alcoholics? All this, just to be a super power? Hey, I live in a super power. Who cares? If Russia had fragmented into a dozen smaller countries with no real standing in the world, what would be the loss, existentially?

So, it would be Sweden. It would be Canada. It would be New Zealand. Is that such a bad life? Would more modest "progress," under less severe conditions, and with a less repressive regime, actually have been preferrable?

The means employed were terrible. They were used according to the premise that the ends justify the means. But what were the ends? To what end has the Soviet Union and its successors come? (The end of dying by low birth rate, it seems, and being swallowed by Islam in a generation or two, face the facts.) And shouldn't it always be the opposite if you mean to be a revolutionary? Shouldn't the means always be *worthy* of the ends you seek?

And, finally, were not those who rose up in protest against the brutality of the Soviet regime the true heroes? Weren't they justified? And if so, weren't the means used to repress rebellion (if you are doing the right thing, there will be no rebellion), truly inexcusable? If the revolution is the people's will and in the people's best interest, then why was there so much need for repression?

The most damning aspect of the Soviet regime was its refusal to let people emigrate. If people want to leave, it means you're not doing a good job. If you're keeping them there by force... what is the logic? How can you argue that it's a superior system, when you have to force people to stay?

Offline klava1985

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #221 on: February 26, 2008, 12:32:39 AM »



The Soviet Union began with revolution, but the totalitarian nature of it and other regimes in the 20th century was previously unknown in previous annuls of recorded history. Of course people suffer in revolutions, but that is completely beside the point.

The government which followed the collapsed Tsarist state and its successor Provisional government practiced an intense hatred and oppression against its own people. It destroyed all kinds of resources and did untold environmental damage. It murdered tens of millions of people, the number of which will never be known. The Aral Sea has virtually disappeared due to Soviet contempt for the environment. It will take many generations for the former Soviet Union to recover from the hateful policies of its state.

And this we could not say was due solely to revolution.


Lisa,

I agree, the regime that followed the Russian revolution was despicable and possibly unprecedented. It had its own special patina of horror... well, there was a lot of atrocity going on in the 20th century, not all of it atrributable to communism, but much of it attributable to totalitarianism (I would argue that Pol Pot, for example, was not really a communist, but a tribal monster). I might not go as far as to say it was the worst in history...perhaps in recorded history, but not in glimpsed history... see Charles Mann's 1491 for a revised view of the Inca empire. But still, at least as ugly as it's gotten so far.

I would still argue, though, that the American Revolution was out of proportion to its cause...that the response was excessive in regard to  the impetus, that if we'd stayed an English colony and turned out like Canada things wouldn't be THAT bad, and the loss of life and general upheaval would have been less. I would also argue that we wear blinders about the cost of our system. To the Native Americans, to the slaves, to the laborers, the unionizers, the coal miners mowed down in corporate massacres, the interned Japanese, and the possibily soon-to- be-rounded-up "illegal" Mexicans... was our approach as bad as Stalinism? Of course not. But there was a cost, a cost disproportionate to the gain, and mostly unsung. And I would repeat my earlier point that capitalism outsources its atrocities. So, we don't turn our guns on our own people as much. But what is the difference? People are people. Is it better that we pay death squads to wipe out entire Latin American villages/regions? That we undo democratic elections in other countries? That we support dictators who disappear their people and gas ethnic minorities? We're not great on the environment, but again we outsource the damage. What's happened to the environments of South America, the Middle East, and Africa as a result of our political and economic policies?

Capitalism is built on colonialism. Extraction is its root.

And certainly the growth of our country was utterly dependent on colonialism and on slavery. So I guess it depends on which side of the gun you're on in terms of how repressive you view a particular system. We're nicer to our own people. But an El Salvadoran villager's life is worth just as much as yours or mine.

Which system to live under? Well, I'll pick ours, of course. (Well, actually, I'd prefer the vacation packages and healthcare of Western Europe.) But in terms of worldwide damage done, we're probably a close second or third to Russia and China. Though I would also say that the responsibility for some of the damage is shared by the regimes and groups we've colluded with in other countries.


Offline klava1985

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #222 on: February 26, 2008, 12:35:38 AM »
cont'd...

And think again of the other colonial empires. The English? Nice people? I don't think so. Very civilized within their own borders, utterly barbaric without. Still are. Africa being a case in point. Africa is always the case in point. Any idea how many people have died over sugar and tea? And English history during the medieval period wasn't exactly about treating your own people kindly. There just were only so many people you could kill back then.

The Japanese? My God...the stories about what they did in China and Korea etc will make your skin crawl.

So it it just numbers we're talking about? Was the Soviet regime just quantifiably more evil, or was it qualitatively more evil? Is it fundamentally different if you murder your own people or if you pay someone else to murder theirs when they happen to be in the way of your economic policy? What if *they* (the Soviets) kill 10 million, and you are only responsible (and indirectly, bec you only provided the money and the guns, and oh yeah a few advisors and maybe some mercenaries) for a million or so? Is it just a matter of containing collateral damage?

I'm not sure there's really anything new under the sun. The numbers were higher in Russia, but the mentality? The amorality? I think there are non-communist, even non-totalitarian systems that have been as bad. They just took it outside and did it in the dark.

Does this justify Stalin? Does this justify a system that enables a sociopath to that degree? No. I think even Stalin was horrified at the extremes to which he was able to go, by the end. No one stopped him. Unbelievable. It wasn't just Stalin. The Russian people rolled over and gave him their throat. There was a guy who sat in a basement executing Polish officers with a pistol. Thousands. 8-10 hours per day, a shot to each neck. Just a day's, week's, month's year's, several years' work. What is UP with a person like that? Wouldn't you rather take a shot to your own neck than go back to work at that task, day after day after day? Even the life of my family isn't worth that. Like I said, I think even Stalin was horrified at the extent to which people were willing to go. His subjects were like algae, like lichens, just fighting for a foothold, really. Willing to do whatever it took for a few moments of sunshine. Stalin was like a kid testing limits, and no one set any.

I think utter disgust is a reasonable response.

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #223 on: February 27, 2008, 12:48:04 AM »
While I agree that there were unfortunate outcomes with the American Revolution, these have occured over a period of centuries. The abuses of the Soviet system happened in a couple of generations - and at a far greater cost of human life.

I also disagree about Stalin's horror at his own abuse of power. On the contrary, everything I've read indicates he reveled in the slaughter of innocent people.

Offline Tania+

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Re: Soviet Atrocities
« Reply #224 on: May 31, 2008, 08:03:29 AM »
No matter how much one reads about Lenin and Stalin, their abused of power was beyond the limits of acceptabiity and I believe they both enjoyed very much what they did and enjoyed even more their hold of power over the peoples. Stalin finally had his slap in the face wake up time when he realized all too late of
when Germany moved against Russia. I think that's when he realized even more he needed the people on his side and 'allowed' the peoples to open their churches and places of faith. Not that he was a believer, his only belief was as the devil himself and reveled primarily in destroying people in every way, especially all who opposed him. Look what the brute did to his only son. That's not a father, that's not a leader, that's not a man. But to be sure, he and Lenin were the scourge and monstor of those 'communist years'. Neither of them were worth the extremes of loss of human life in and trough out Russia.

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