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Messages - C.J._Griffin

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The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 30, 2005, 09:23:01 AM »

Thank you for mentioning this book. I have also ordered my copy.


You're quite welcome.


I've heard one of his best works is Behind the Front Lines of the Civil War: Political Parties and Social Movements in Russia, 1918-1922


Countering the powerful myth that the civil war in Russia was largely between the "Whites" and the "Reds," Vladimir Brovkin views the struggle as a multifaceted social and political process. Brovkin focuses not so much on armies and governments as on the interaction of state institutions, political parties, and social movements on both Red and White territories. In the process, he exposes the weaknesses of the various warring factions in a Russia plagued by strikes, mutinies, desertion, and rebellions.

The Whites benefited from popular resistance to the Reds, and the Reds, from resistance to the Whites. In Brovkin's view, neither regime enjoyed popular support. Pacification campaigns, mass shooting, deportations, artillery shelling of villages, and terror were the essence of the conflict, and when the Whites were defeated, the war against the Greens, the peasant rebels, went on. Drawing on a remarkable array of previously untapped sources, Brovkin convicts the early Bolsheviks of crimes similar to those later committed by Stalin. What emerges "behind the front lines" is a picture of how diverse forces--Cossacks, Ukrainians, Greens, Mensheviks, and SRs, as well as Whites and Bolsheviks-- created the tragic victory of a party that had no majority support.

This book has important contemporary implications as the world again asks an old question: Can Russian statehood prevail over local, regional, and national identities?

I would order this myself but I don't feel like spending nearly $100 on a book right now.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Truth or Fiction in Hist.Bks About Yrs 1912-38
« on: September 23, 2005, 04:20:58 PM »
I dont understand where is the beef? Lenin said once, that the world is better when the last capitalist is hanged with the guts from the last bishop.

Supposedly Gus Hall said something similar to this:

Gus Hall, General Secretary of the Communist Party, USA, told Americans what to expect when the Communists take over. Speaking at the funeral of Eugene Dennis in February 1961, Hall said:

"I dream of the hour when the last Congressman is strangled to death on the guts of the last preacher and since the Christians love to sing about the blood, why not give them a little of it."

Is there really some difference if the command to kill Romanovs came from Lenin or from some of his deputies?

Not in my opinion. We know that Lenin gave orders for the public executions (by hanging usually, so the public could better contemplate the corpses) of rich peasants, priests and landowners (he would dehumanize them as "bloodsuckers," "insects" and "lice"). This has been documented in historical works such as Lenin: a New Biography by Dmitri Volkogonov and The Unknown Lenin by Richard Pipes. To me, the wholesale murder of people because of their beliefs and/or class status is more despicable than the murder of a deposed autocrat and his family.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 16, 2005, 11:23:00 PM »
TNR article here:


According to Brent, "If Brovkin were indeed the best Gulag scholar, then
nothing would shake me." What this seems to mean is that, while Brovkin may
be the most prolific scholar of his generation, he does not have the stature
of a Pipes or Conquest. Therefore, Brent caved. Brent also says that the
Gulag is not Brovkin's field and that his Russian counterparts wouldn't work
with him on the project. Brovkin counters that he has studied thousands of
secret police documents from the 1920s and 1930s for his new book, Russia
After Lenin. As for the Russian historians, Brovkin says, "They're even more
anti-Communist than we are." Pipes says: "In superb scholarly work Brovkin
has shown how incompetent the revisionist historians were. They're paying
him back."

You might be right. But who knows. Perhaps they were paying him back like Pipes said. I guess he hit the revisionists pretty hard in some of his works:

His first book argued that the real opposition to the Bolsheviks came from the intellectual Marxists--the Mensheviks. At the same time, Brovkin attacked, by name, U.S. revisionists who defended the Bolsheviks.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 15, 2005, 10:04:45 PM »

I agree. But I should have specified in my last posting that I was referring to the far left in academia, and not to liberals in general.  The far left is heavily represented in academia, far more than its actual numbers in the general population would seem to warrant. Naturally their political beliefs (which tend to be Marxist) color their scholarship. This would not be so bad, if there were more "Cold Warriors" like Robert Conquest in academia to present the opposing view. But there simply aren't. And the end result is that Soviet studies at least have become not only incredibly politicized but also very leftist in orientation.

I understood this. There is certainly a difference between average liberals and rabid leftists. Most liberals are anti-Communist to some extent (many do hate McCarthy as much as Stalin it seems). More and more people are waking up to the fact that the radical Left has infiltrated our Universities. The imbecilic ramblings of that human garbage named Ward Churchill, which was surprisingly covered to some extent by the mainstream media, demonstrated this.

The article I posted several days ago (the West prefers its dictators red) talks about one Sovietologist, Vladimir Brovkin, who was denied work at Yale because his views were "too hostile to the Soviet Union." (could you imagine a leftist being refused work because he was too hostile to Pinochet or McCarthy? Yeah right!) After reading this I've been interested in tracking down his works. I recently ordered one entitled Russia After Lenin: Politics, Culture and Society, 1921-1929, which looks really interesting:

"Mr. Brovkin's most important contribution is to demonstrate that, if the Bolshevik Party was to hang on to power, Stalinism really was necessary.... For anyone interested in understanding how Lenin and Stalin created that system, Mr. Brovkin's book is indispensable. It is an indictment not just of communism but of American revisionism"

No wonder the leftists in academia hated this guy - he's refuting all their garbage!

(For to admit to Soviet atrocities means that the leftwing produced as murderous and monumentally evil a regime as the rightwing did with the Nazis.)

Actually, the Left not only has Stalin, but also Mao and Pol Pot. The only despot on the political Right who can even hold a candle to these monsters is Hitler. Mussolini, Franco, Chiang, etc. were all pikers by comparison.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 13, 2005, 10:08:44 PM »

While it's true there were always leftists in the US and elsewhere that would make any lame excuse for the horrific atrocities committed by the Bolsheviks, they were not the only ones to overlook these human rights abuses.

The Right, too, was often just as "guilty".

This is true. A perfect example would be the Nixon Administration and the opening of Mao's China to the West. But there is a difference between Nixon viewing China as an ally against the USSR (the enemy of my enemy is my friend mentality - like the way the US viewed Stalin's Russia in WW2) and the nutball leftists (some in academia, no surprise) who are sympathetic with Maoist/Communist ideology. I'd consider the latter to be much worse, and they outnumber the handul of rightists who apologize for Communist barbarity (usually for political, not ideological, reasons) 10 to 1 by my estimation.

What is true is that the Soviets did an excellent job of hiding their crimes so that few people in the 1940's anywhere were aware of the genocide practiced by the USSR against their own people.

The USSR did manage to keep their grisly crimes hidden better than other regimes, but news of the horrors did trickle out from time to time. An excellent example would be the book I quoted from in my previous post, which was published in the mid 1920's and is still considered by many to be a great book on the subject. Several reporters, such as Malcolm Muggeridge, reported the horrors of collectivization accurately. And the Nazis exposed two Soviet massacres at Katyn and Vinnitsa during Operation Barbarossa (but considering their crimes, it's no wonder few took their allegations seriously, although they were proven right in the end).

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 13, 2005, 09:43:36 PM »
Perhaps it's also time to get back on topic: the Civil War, Reds vs. Whites, anyone?

I agree. Now back to the bloody Red Terror with this excerpt from one of the best books on the subject (IMO anyway):

"The place had formerly been a garage, and then the provincial Che-Ka's main slaughter-house. And the whole of it was coated with blood - blood ankle deep, coagulated with the heat of the atmosphere, and horribly mixed with human brains, chips of skull-bone, wisps of hair, and the like. Even the walls were bespattered with blood and similar fragments of brain and scalp, as well as riddled with thousands of bullet holes. In the centre was a drain about a quarter of a meter deep and wide, and about ten meters long. This lead to the sanitary system of the neighboring house, but was choked to the brim with blood. The horrible den contained 127 corpses, but the victims of the previous massacre had been hurriedly buried in the adjacent garden. What struck us most about the corpses was the shattering of their skulls, or the complete flattening out of those skulls, as though the victims had been brained with some such instrument as a heavy block. And there were corpses the heads of which were missing altogether. But in these cases the missing heads cannot possibly have been cut off. They must have been wrenched off. In the main, bodies were identifiable only if they still had left on them some such mark as a set of gold-mounted teeth - left, of course, only because the Bolshevists had not had time to extract it. And in every case the corpses were naked. Also, though it had been the Bolshevists' rule to load their victims on to wagons and lorries as soon as massacred, and take them outside the town for burial, we found that a corner of the garden near the grave already described had in it another, older grave, and that this second grave contained eighty bodies which in every instance bore almost unimaginably horrible wounds and mutilations. In this grave we found corpses with, variously, entrails ripped out, no limbs remaining (as though the bodies had literally been chopped up), eyes gouged out, and heads and necks and faces and trunks all studded with stab wounds. Again we found a body which had had a pointed stake driven through its chest, whilst in several cases the tongue was missing. And placed together in one corner of the grave we found a medley of detached arms and legs, as well as, near the garden fence, some corpses that no sign at all of death by violence. It was only a few days later that, on these unmarked bodies being subjected to post-mortem examination, our doctor discovered their mouths and throats and lungs to be choked with earth. Clearly the unfortunate wretches had been buried alive, and drawn the earth into their respiratory organs through their desperate efforts to breathe. And it was persons of all ages and of both sexes - old, and middle-aged, and women and children - that we found in the grave. One woman was lying tied with a rope to her daughter, a child of eight; and both bore shot wounds. Further, a grave in the yard of the building yielded the body of Lieutenant Sorokin (accused of espionage on behalf of the volunteer army) and the cross on which he had been crucified a week before our arrival. Also, we found a chair like a dentist's chair which still had attached to it straps for the binding of its tortured victims. And the whole of the concrete floor around the chair was smeared with blood, and the chair itself studded with clots of blood, and fragments of human skin, and bits of hairy scalp. And the same with the premises of the district Che-Ka, where, similarly, the floor was caked with blood and fragments of bone and brain. There, too, a conspicuous object was the wooden block upon which the victims had had to lay their heads for the purpose of being brained with a crowbar, with, in the floor beside it, a traphole filled to the brim with human brain-matter from the shattering of their skulls." - The Red Terror in Russia (London & Toronto, J.M. Dent & Sons LTD, 1925) by Sergey Petrovich Melgounov, pg 176-177

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 12, 2005, 02:02:03 PM »

Maxim, you don't know that in 1932 the West would have imposed conditions on famine relief as the ARA did back in 1921-22.

Actually, the liberal Roosevelt Administration was very open to the USSR, and officially recognized Stalin's bloody regime in 1933, during the height of the artificial famine. I'm sure Roosevelt would have done whatever possible to help Stalin had he asked for it. After all, during WWII, he aided Stalin in covering up the cold-blooded mass murder of 22,000 Polish citizens by the NKVD at Katyn and elsewhere, not to mention his Administration was filled with spies and Soviet sympathizers (i.e. Alger Hiss).

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 12, 2005, 09:44:16 AM »
Apart from not sourcing your Getty quote, you again can't stick to the topic at hand, C.J., and have just posted your standardised list of USSR crimes again. I havne't got the time nor patience to wade through your pettifogging.

Getty quote taken from The Road to Terror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939 by J. Arch Getty and Oleg V. Naumov, pg. xiii

Actually, that's an updated list from the one in a previous thread (which I can back up with numerous sources). And it is relevant IMO because the bulk of this looong thread is about the crimes against humanity committed by the government of Communist Russia, of which the "Red Terror" and collectivization were just two episodes.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 11, 2005, 11:46:10 AM »
You keep pointing to Getty, yet in light of archival evidence, he grudgingly upped the number of those executed in the late 30's terror and those who died in the Gulag from mere "thousands" to more than a million, and recasts Stalin from moderator of a bureaucratic turf war that got out of control to one of the instigators of the slaughter. "We can now see his fingerprints all over the archives," Getty admits.

And this is just the Great Terror period of 1936-38. There was also:

*Lenin's "Red Terror," in which at least 250,000 "counter-revolutionaries" and "class enemies" were summarily executed by the Cheka, although some estimates run much higher.

*Decossackization - in which 300,000 to 500,000 Don Cossacks were executed or deported out of a population of no more than a few million. This can easily be labeled genocide. The historian Orlando Figes described it as such in his book A People's Tragedy (pg 660).

*The famine of 1921-22, in which the regimes policy of "war communism" (which included forced requisitioning of food and deportation and even execution of peasants who refused to comply) made the famine much worse than it had to be, and killed 5 million. Compare this to previous Russian famines under the Tsars which killed no where near as many.  

*Dekulakization and Collectivization - which caused an estimated 9.5 million deaths. More than a third of these had been shot or tortured, perished on long death marches into exile, or died in the fozen wastes of Siberia and the far north. The rest had died of famine caused by this draconian policy, which Nikolai Bukharin described as "Genghis Khan tactics"

*The massacres and deportations during the Nazi-Soviet pact, in which over 100,000 Baltic citizens were deported or murdered. Over a million Polish citizens were deported, in which over 30% were dead by 1941, and 21,857 were murdered outright by the NKVD, 4,500 of these were buried in mass graves at Katyn forest, which was discovered by the Nazis during Operation Barbarossa.

*The "prison massacres," in which the NKVD murdered Ukrainian and Polish political prisoners (this does not include the aforementioned 21,857 killed) wholesale as they retreated from the advancing Wehrmacht in 1941. Most were machine-gunned to death in batches, but sometimes prisons were set on fire and the helpless prisoners burned to death, in other cases grenades were tossed into crowded cells and prisoners were blown to pieces. An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 were murdered in all.

*The ethnic cleansing of minorities during WW2 within the USSR - such as the Crimean Taters, Chechens, Kalmyks, Volga Germans and others where deported wholesale into exile for supposedly "collaborating" with the Germans, with hundreds of thousands dying in transit or of privation while in exile. Those who couldn't be deported were often killed. In one incident at Khainakh, one of Beria's henchmen, Mikeil Gvishiani, locked several hundred villagers, from newborn babies to men over 100, in stables and set fire to them, gunning down those who broke out.

*Mass death from forced labor and other mistreatment in Gulags and concentration camps from 1918 to 1956 - in which estimates vary widely - from 4.5 milion dead to 12 million. According to Varlam Shalamov, nearly 3 million died at Kolyma alone.

So in all we are talking about millions upon millions of deaths, which is why the USSR can rightly be described as a totalitarian murder machine and deserves utter condemnation along with the other totalitarian monstrosities of the 20th century - Hitler's Germany, Pol Pot's Cambodia, Mao's China, etc.

And as I said before, the best evidence comes not from the archives and various historians and their biases, but from the Russian soil. The aformentioned mass graves are a testament to what kind of regime this was, and something you failed to comment on (no surprise there).

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 10, 2005, 12:08:12 PM »

The West was also openly hostile to the new Bolshevik regime during the 1921-22 famine in the Soviet Union. But that did not stop the American Relief Administration under Herbert Hoover from sending 61 million dollars worth of aid to relieve the famine, thus saving millions of people from certain death. BTW, Hoover was responding to a personal appeal from the writer Maxim Gorky, and not to Lenin's government, which flatly refused to acknowledge that the famine was even occurring, much less ask for aid.

While the American government put politics aside to save millions of innocent Russian lives, the Bolshevik government, by contrast, wielded aid and food as a socialist weapon. Said Lenin:

"it is necessary to supply with food out of the entire state funds only those employees who are actually needed under conditions of maximum productivity of labor, and to distribute the food provisions by making the whole matter an instrumentality of politics, used with the view of cutting down on the number of those who are not absolutely necessary and to spur on those who are really needed." - Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocide and Mass Murder since 1917 by R J. Rummel, pg 43

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 10, 2005, 10:42:59 AM »
Conquest is particularly relevant to the discussion, considering we were trying to discuss the famine, before you went onto your standard tangential cut-and-paste about the conspiracy of Stalinist historians. Conquest's "Harvest of Sorrow" was the canonical work (and still is in many universities) on this issue, despite the fact that it is dated, inaccurate and doesn't draw on a wealth of more newly-available sources. Given the famine context, therefore, I find it especially strange for someone to see this as an excuse to sidetrack discussion onto the bias in Soviet history - if the famine is any guide, the lesson is that people are too quick to jump on the bandwagon of anti-Soviet sources - a position which is fairly obvious, considering the social histories of the West and its violent anti-communism.

I think you mistate or at least oversimplify Getty's position - to find the NKVD figures for executions in 1937-38 I regularly turn to Getty, who is much more apt to cite the actual sources. Getty sees the Terror on the elite as the carrying out of macabre rituals, but is one of the historians more ready to use archival sources than most. I thought Montefiore was an interesting read, but it was rather melodramatic and obvious in its bias to say the least. Apart from painting most figures like they were out of some Russian pantomime (Yezhov the 'poison dwarf') and being selective in use of sources (for instance being cautious generally about confessions and NKVD reports but accepting, without question, the items supposedly found on the arrest of Yagoda), he can't even treat the Soviet Union's quest for a national anthem with any degree of equanimity - instead it becomes some farcical Soviet Eurovision.

As for Rayfield and Yakovlev - well, I'll leave it to others to imagine even by their titles whether they have gone into their research with a dispassionate mind, ready to put a critical and non-biased pen to paper.

As I've said - it would take a whole new thread to even evaluate one of these historians with any degree of depth, which is why I'd prefer we left this thread to discuss either the civil war or the famine or both. I'm merely posting here to mop up old questions and arguments.

You seem to believe that any anti-Soviet source is not reliable because of its "bias." I can't help but think of all the biased books on Hitler (a couple book titles include "Servants of Evil" and "Masters of Death"... talk about bias!!!) and especially Francisco Franco, Augusto Pinochet and Joseph McCarthy. If you're going to dismiss the excellent works of Rayfield, Werth, Pipes, Montefiore, Yakovlev, Volkogonov, Radzinsky, Bullock, Malia, Applebaum, Solzhenitsyn, etc., perhaps we should dismiss all the leftists who have written negative works on the aforementioned Rightists as well, eh? The way you give weight to just a handful of revisionists (Getty, Tauger, etc) over the legion of others who have condemned the Soviet system is very similar to the way Nazi sympathizers dismiss numerous sources in favor of Ernst Zundel, David Irving and others. You can believe Getty and Tauger all you want; I'll take the aforementioned sources anyday. And apparently I'm not the only one:

Wikipedia Joseph Stalin: Death toll

Oh, I guess wikipedia is a rabid anti-communist source as well...


And what do you mean by the "standard tangential cut-and-paste about the conspiracy of Stalinist historians"? All I did was use excerpts from the books I've read to show there are many other historians who have done their own research and have concluded the famine was either deliberate or at least brought about by Soviet policy and therefore not just another famine like under the Tsars, which usually only killed hundreds of thousands - not millions.

As for your comment about the "Terror on the elite as the carrying out of macabre rituals," many victims of the terror were not of the elite, as pointed out in the book Stalin's Terror: High Politics and Mass Repression in the Soviet Union

And hundreds of Americans who moved to the USSR to help Stalin build the "worker's paradise" were also murdered in the purges:

A secret revealed: Stalin's police killed Americans

Take this poor young woman for example:

“Helen Hill, born in Minnesota in 1917, is also listed. Her parents took her to Karelia in 1932 when she was a teenager. She was working as a dispatcher at a lumber camp when she was arrested. A KGB executioner put a pistol to the back of her head and blew her brains out on April 22, 1938, before she was twenty-three years old. According to the KGB her offense was that she “maintained contacts with relatives in the U.S. Collected information in favor of Finland’s intelligence service. Praised life in capitalist countries. Spoke of her intentions to cross the border creating a spirit of emigration in the workers.”In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage by John Earl Haynes & Harvey Klehr, pg 118

I suppose one can argue by pointing to various historians who support their point of view all day long. What is more difficult to refute are the Stalin-era mass graves that have been found all over the former USSR:

Wary of its past, Russia ignores mass grave site

Mass Graves Tell the Tale of Stalin's Terror

Mass grave at Ukrainian monastery

Grisly find beneath Russian court

Mass grave uncovered in Mongolia

Given these horrors, is it any wonder many historians have a hard time giving the benefit of the doubt to this murderous system? And when you add the horrors of Mao Tse-tung, probably the biggest mass murderer in history, Pol Pot's genocidal "killing fields," Mengistu's bloody "Red Terror" in Ethiopia and the hell-state of Kim Jong-Il's North Korea, perhaps the most repressive regime on the planet today, one can plainly see that Communism, in practice anyway, is a killing machine.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 09, 2005, 07:08:08 PM »
C.J. Griffin - It is somewhat ironic that while trying to make some rather nebulous argument about Soviet historians being unduly pro-Soviet, you justify this by showing they disagree with the most rabid cold war warriors - seemingly your 'evidence' therefore tends to suggest quite the opposite: that a large number of 'Soviet historians' are in fact simply polemicists and 'cold war warriors'. Forgive me for actually gratifying your tangential arguments with a question, but while all you seem to be doing for 'leftist' historians is selectively quoting them and showing how other historians disagree (and that therefore they are rabid Reds), on the subject of the most prominent traditional famine 'historian' (Conquest) what do you know about him working for the British Foreign Office in its Information Research Department? My understanding was Conquest was actually officially employed to write anti-Soviet propaganda for a time. Of course, if someone like Tauger or Getty had been employed by the Soviets - well, then you would have no end of fun discrediting them...

Conquest this, Conquest that... You Soviet apologists act like he's the only historian who has condemned Stalin's USSR as a killing machine (which it was). Notice that in my previous response I didn't cite Conquest as a source, but numerous other historians - some former members of the CPSU, and all works post-1991. Yakovlev and Rayfield in particular, A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia and Stalin and His Hangmen are two of my favorite books on the subject. The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore is also an excellent work on Stalin and the terror he unleashed on his nation. I'll concede that Conquest's estimates were perhaps too high in light of post-1991 evidence, but his revised work on the Great Terror (1990) was much closer to the truth than J. Arch Getty's 1985 account of the Terror, Origins of the Great Purges, in which he said only "thousands" were executed AND that Stalin didn't direct the terror. In his reassessment, Conquest said nearly 1 million were executed and that Stalin was intimately involved in the Terror. The archives have proven Conquest right. They show nearly 700,000 executions in 1937-38 alone (this doesn't include those beaten/tortured to death during "interrogation") and that Stalin did direct the terror. Documents were found authorizing mass executions with Stalin's signature on them. This episode alone makes Stalin a horrific mass murderer.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 09, 2005, 04:15:38 PM »
Maxim, you still haven't answered my questions. I find that telling.

When I asked her, "What about the thousands of innocent prisoners slaughtered by the KGB when the Nazis advanced into western Russia in 1941?," she dismissed it by saying, "Oh, they were all Ukrainian nationalists anyway." As if somehow that made it all right...??? Then  the mass graves of innocent civilians - men, women, and children - were discovered in the Ukraine in the early 1990s and this professor at least finally had the grace to shut up about the so-called nationalists...

It's funny the way these leftist academic hypocrites are willing to dismiss wholesale torture and mass murder if it's Communists killing Nationalists (and contrary to her statement, they weren't ALL Nationalists). But when it's the other way around, and Communists are victims of Nationalist or right-wing anti-Communist regimes (Franco, Pinochet, Suharto, etc), then they engage in all kinds of hand-wringing and weep crocodile tears for the "innocent" victims.

Here are some photographs of exhumed victims of the NKVD in Latvia, who were murdered during the brief Soviet occupation in 1940. Just looking at the expression on their mutilated faces shows they suffered brutal torture before death (perhaps your professor should have seen these pictures before dismissing Stalin's murder of "nationalists"). In all, over 30,000 people were murdered or deported during this one year in Latvia alone:

I agree. I do not understand why it is still somehow acceptable in civilized society to defend Soviet atrocities under Lenin and Stalin, whereas if you defend Hitler, needless to say you are rightly thought to be unforgivably ignorant or worse. Why the double standard?  I blame it entirely on the educational system in the West, which treats the Holocaust as if it were an isolated event, whereas in fact genocide was all too common in the twentieth century.

It's not just Hitler and the Holocaust, anyone on the political Right who has committed excesses is considered the epitome of evil by the same fools who defend mass murdering tyrants like Stalin and Mao. You can't even defend Joe McCarthy, who never killed anyone and who has been vindicated by the Venona project, without facing the vengeful wrath of the hypocritical Marxist Left.

The Russian Revolution / Re: Whites Vs Reds The Civil War
« on: September 09, 2005, 10:34:31 AM »
Hello everyone - forgive me for being succinct in this post - I've just tried replying twice and have lost my post both times, so I'm writing this for a third time :(

C.J. Griffin - it seems to me an entirely anti-intellectual argument to just dismiss many historians off hand as part of some conspiratorial 'pro-Stalin' group. If we're talking about the famine in particular, you must acknowledge that the 'official text'  on it in the West was, for a long time, Conquest's "Harvest of Sorrow". It was written by a cold-war warrior at the height of US-Soviet rivalry, with no access to archival sources. It should not be surprising that much of Conquest's account has been challenged since them. History is like science - as soon as you start dismissing ideas because they don't fit in to your prejudices or prevailing paradigm, you have failed to be a practitioner of your art any longer.

I am glad you linked to that Art Ukraine post though. I think anyone who is interested should look through the H-Russia thread it mentions. It is a 5-page thread on the famine of 32-33 with a whole lot of arguments and POVs from well-respected historians on all sides of the issue. Here's the link: . It also deals with a number of the matters we've discussed here, I believe.

It is well known that academia is infested with marxists/communists who have bent over backwards to absolve the Communist system of mass murder while indicting America and her allies as the villains of the Cold War. One of the "academics" who posted on that H-Russia thread is an outright Stalinist - Grover Furr. He should be booted out of his ivory tower just like any Nazi would certainly be.

On the H-Russia thread "historian" Tauger says survivor accounts of the collectivization period should be dismissed entirely. Ok, then lets also dismiss survivor accounts of Nazi concentration camps as well. One of the best accounts of what happened came from famine survivor Miron Dolot, who wrote about his experience in the excellent book Execution by Hunder: The Hidden Holocaust.

Other historians have reached conclusions similar to Conquest. Richard Pipes, Professor of History at Harvard University, sums up the famine this way:

"To break the resistance of the peasants in the Ukraine, the North Caucasus, and Kazakhstan, Stalin inflicted on these areas in 1932-33 an artificial famine, shipping out all the food from entire districts and deploying the army to prevent the starving peasants from migrating in search of nourishment. It is estimated that between 6 and 7 million people perished in this man-made catastrophe. To overcome the resistance of the nomadic Kazakhs in Central Asia, the regime resorted to extraordinary brutality: it is believed that as much as one-third of the Kazakh population perished in the process." - Communism: A History (2001), pg 61

Alexander Yakovlev, once a prominent member of the Soviet elite and architect of "perestroika" who is now head of the Presidential Commission for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Political Repression, has written an excellent account of Soviet tyranny and mass murder entitled A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia (2002). He says about the famine:

"In its was against the people, the criminal Stalinist clique had everything prearranged. In August 1932 it passed a law drawn up by Stalin himself. This monstrous statute authorized imprisonment or even death for the taking of a few sheaves of grain from a harvested field. Punishment was meted out even for the granules scraped from the burrows of filed mice by starving peasants... A direct result of the policy of dekulakization was the mass famine that gripped the country in 1932-33. Cases of cannibalism were not unknown. The authorities had their way: more than five million people died in the famine." pg 99

"The 1932 harvest was removed wholesale from the Don. As was true in other grain-producing areas - the Ukraine, the Volga region, Kuban, the southern Urals - the grain was taken for export. The authorities announced that the country had to have forreign currency to purchase industrial equipment." pg 102

Donald Rayfield, author of Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him (2004), says:

"At Stalin's behest, Menzhinsky concentrated on procuring grain from the starving regions and seeing that OGPU got it to the ports, or, if there was no cover and no transport, that the peasantry were prevented from looting the piles of grain rotting in the rain." pg 193

According to Nicolas Werth, one of the contributors to The Black Book of Communism (1997):

“The great famine of 1932-33 has always been recognized as one of the darkest periods in Soviet history. According to the irrefutable evidence that is now available, more than 6 million people died as a result of it. However, the catastrophe was not simply another in the series of famines that Russia had suffered at irregular intervals under the tsars. It was a direct result of the new system that Nikolai Bukharin, the Bolshevik leader who opposed Stalin on this issue, termed the “military and feudel exploitation” of the peasantry. Famine was a tragic illustration of the formidable social regression that accompanied the assault on the countryside through forced collectivization at the end of the 1920’s” pg 159

"Should one see this famine as a "genocide of the Ukrainian people," as a number of Ukrainian historians do today? It is undeniable that the Ukrainian peasantry were the prinipal victims of the famine of 1932-33, and that this "assault" was preceded in 1929 by several offenses against the Ukrainian intelligentsia, who were accused of "nationalist deviations," and then against some of the Ukrainian Communists after 1932. It is equally undeniable that, as Andrei Sakharov noted, Stalin suffered from Ukrainophobia.” pg 167

Soviet historian Dmitri Volkogonov:

“In the previous five years the mindless collectivization of agriculture over which he had presided had cost 9.5 million lives. More than a third of these had been shot or tortured, perished on long death marches into exile, or died in the fozen wastes of Siberia and the far north. The rest had died of famine.” - Autopsy of an Empire: The Seven Leaders Who Built the Soviet Regime (1995), pg 104

"It is now generally accepted that in 1932-1933 several million peasants - most of them Ukrainians living in Ukraine and the traditionally Cossack territories of the North Caucasus (now the Krasnodar, Stavropol, and Rostov on the Don regions of the Russian Federation) - starved to death because the government of the Soviet Union seized with unprecedented force and thoroughness the 1932 crop and foodstuffs from the agricultural population. After over half a century of denial, in January 1990 the Communist Party of Ukraine adopted a special resolution admitting that the Ukrainian Famine had indeed occurred, cost millions of lives, had been artificially brought about by official actions, and that Stalin and his associates bore criminal responsibility for those actions.” - Soviet Man-Made Famine in Ukraine by James E. Mace, essay taken from the book Century of Genocide: Eyewitness Accounts and Critical Views (1997) edited by Samuel Totten, William S. Parsons, and Israel W. Charny, pg 78

And according to the one link I posted (DENIAL OF UKRAINIAN FAMINE & TERROR CONTINUES UNABATED): "After Ukraine became an independent state in January 1992, the famine question became the subject of countless books and scholarly articles, memoirs, and documents based upon hitherto closed KPU archives. A "Black Book on Ukraine" consisting of 1,000 pages of documents was published by Prosvita in Kyiv in 1998."

But for the sake of argument, even if you absolve the Soviet government of responsibility for the famine, if you add up the victims of the Red Terror, de-Cossackization, dekulakization, the Great Terror, the deportations and massacres before, during and after WW2, and those who perished in exile or in the gulag, we are talking about millions, perhaps tens of millions, of deaths, making the soviet system one of the bloodiest tyrannies in history - never to be rehabilitated.

And given the tens of millions murdered by Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot, Mengistu, Kim Il-sung, etc., the label "cold warrior" should be a badge of honor.

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