Author Topic: No Stalin, no Hitler?  (Read 99542 times)

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #195 on: December 21, 2007, 04:23:35 AM »
I'm not talking about the attemps of the war, but those of the ideologies. I guess you didn't understand my question.
And where do you get this information about Britain wanting to colonise Poland? I'm Polish and my stepmom is a Polish historyteacher and none of us have ever heard or read anything like this. The British wanted to re-establish the Polish throne, but because of Hitler's invasion, that never happened.

Hi Lyss,
a lot of Poles do not share your opinion, they feel that Britain and France (esp. Britain) sold them out to Russia,
after they fought on the French and British side for so very long.
Britain gave Poland to Russia.
Poles also feel more anger with Russia than Germany, because
"Germany never pretended to be their friend and savior (but still treated them somewhat decently PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS THE WRONG WAY)"
(Just remember what Russia and the Ukraine did to Polish people during this period!)
"While Russia, France and Britain where their Friends, but in turn decimated their country"
I am quoting here thoughts from Polish people!

But back to Hitler,
has anybody ever considered one more reason for the Holocaust,
Germany was economically in ruin after WWI,
as was pointed out previously.
Hitler needed money to keep his promise of giving work and money to the Germans,
so he could gain their confidence and support until he was established as the dictator we know him as!
Of course as we know most of it went into his war machine!

Who still had money during this time and lots of it!

What I am trying to say is>>>
Hitler had some pretentious communistic ideas,
which might have been pleasing to Stalin!

This is just to stimulate a discussion!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2007, 04:33:12 AM by Nicolay »


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #196 on: December 25, 2007, 02:39:19 AM »
Since I can't edit my post I will continue in a separate post!

Browsing through history, I am always coming across partial informations
that American, British and Jewish "Power-Players"  like Bankers, Government Officials ...etc.
actually funded Hitler and his goals in his early years,
didn't they look at his track-record in Vienna/Austria were the whole thing started,
the whole movement was already known for it's brutality in Austria before it even spread to Germany!
(At least it should have been known to those insiders, since they read their newspapers daily)

What made Hitler so attractive - what did he promise or what did they promise them selfs through his regime?

Maybe somebody has an answer as to why Hitler was so attractive to those Power-Players?
Did this include Stalin that early in his rise to power, among many others?
What was going on during this time, that these foreign Financiers look at Hitler as an attractive solution?
(And a solution to what???)
I am hoping for answers from historians!
« Last Edit: December 25, 2007, 02:52:06 AM by Nicolay »


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #197 on: December 29, 2007, 04:38:18 PM »
I am not a qualified historian, but first of all, Britain did not give Poland to Russia, the Russians liberated it, from Germany, while the rest of the allies stood by,
it was obivious to the allies at the time, exactly what was happening on mainland Europe, ie the concentration camps were visible from the air, the Germans let the British army go free at Dunkirk, and the Brits, who were kept busy killing the palistinians, did nothing to counter attack until the yanks joined in, after being attacked by Japan, for some reason,
it would appear, like i said in a previous post that the western governments at the time wanted a change from Stalin and an end to communisim more in Russia, than they did in Hitlers socialist Germany,and they were prepared to use whatever means nessesary even the nazi party, to achieve this, hence the financial support, and the attempts to colonise Poland, to be closer to the Russian borders 
« Last Edit: December 29, 2007, 04:53:02 PM by Colm »


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #198 on: December 29, 2007, 06:29:50 PM »
Hi  Colm,
Thank you for your reply!
Since we all weren't there!
I thought it might be fair to invite a Polish opinion and asked a friend to give us his take/opinion on
this, because all WE can do is assume - what they went through and or feel!
He strongly suggests to read this book
he says it explains the events to those who are interested in it!

Maybe somebody would be so kind and translate his comments,
since I can't read Polish!

Nie trzeba byc wykwalifikowanym historykiem zeby rozumiec sprawy takimi jakie sa na prawde . Tego co wielu ludzi dowiedzialo sie z zaklamanych ksiazek do historii lub komercyjnych programow TV nie mozna nazwac lekcja historii,ale wypadalo by posluchac ludzi ktorzy poniekad byli w to zaangazowani. Historie Polski i jej stosunki z Rosja rozumieja sami Polacy ( w tym Ja) i potrafia ocenic ja prawdziwie gdyz to nas polakow dotyczyla ta nie ciekawa historia. rosja nigdy nie wyzwolila Polski spod niemieckiej niewoli , to czynny opor min. polakow i globalnych rozmiarow wojna doprowadzila do upadku nazistowskich Niemiec. Rosja wykorzystala sutuacje w ktorej znalazla sie na w pol "zywa"   Polska i nie "pomogla " Polsce wyzwolic sie z pod okupacji niemieckiej ale, zagarnela Polske pod takim haslem na 60 lat wprowadzajac ustroj koministyczny z marionetkowym rzadem slurzacym Rosji. Zrobila tak tez z innymi panstwami  nazywanymi pozniej republikami. Tak wyglada prawda a nie telewizyjne lub ksiazkowe ukladanie histori . Jak wiemy :" historie pisza zwyciescy". Sprawa Angli to drugi temat jednak bardzo spojny, odwoluje wszystkich to lektury  opisujaca historie polski i polskich pilotow bioracych udzial w bitwie o Anglie. Ksiazka napisana zostala przez dwoch amerykanskich pisarzy. Orginal dostepny w jezyku angielski. Kawal dobrej prawdziwej histori.i 
« Last Edit: December 29, 2007, 06:32:01 PM by Nicolay »

Kurt Steiner

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #199 on: December 31, 2007, 04:27:32 PM »
Before we end loosing our minds discussing what was anyone doing, as for instance the Brittish (El Alamein to anyone?) or dealing with something that has little to do with the initial sense of this thread, perhaps it would be wiser to return to the original topic or just to let this thread be closed.


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #200 on: December 31, 2007, 05:43:58 PM »
If the claim," no Stalin, no Hitler"  is stated so, what arguments can be made to support the claim, and what arguments can be made to refute the claim?  Or if there had not been a Russian revolution would there have been a German revolution which had such profound effect upon the world?

Maybe what I was writing was to high,
so to answer the original question:
No because there are many more aspects to be considered
as I tried to demonstrate that Hitler and or Stalin did not create each other
nor did they create themselves!

As to closing this thread,
Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

With that said,
I wish everybody a happy New Year and FUTURE,
way wisdom and joy guide you through your live!
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 05:52:50 PM by Nicolay »


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #201 on: February 06, 2008, 08:28:37 PM »
Why indeed was appeasement of the growing Nazi threat such a popular approach throughout the Western world for the duration of the 1930s? IMO, precisely because Hitler represented National Socialism as the final bulwark against Communism. I think it's hard for us now to understand the mindset of most middle-class and upper-class Germans (and other Europeans) in the 1930s - they had a genuine terror of Bolshevism (remember, this terror was not exactly without foundation!) - to the extent that in the 1930s diaries of the German Jewish literature professor Victor Klemperer one even hears German Jews (!) making excuses for Hitler:
This argument is not very convincing because it basically seeks to blame the Communists for the rise of Hitler. In fact, popularity of the Nazis went from negligeable in 1928 to massive in 1932 exclusively because of the failures of the capitalist system. Fascism did not appear out of thin air in the post-war period but was the product of the political tradition in Europe against revolutionary movements. The predecessors of the fascists include the Black Hundreds in Russia and Action Française. This 'theory' that the Communists are responsible for the rise of Hitler and therefore the Final Solution and World War II smacks of cheap imperialist propaganda that seeks to deflect attention from the behavior of the Western Powers that made the rise of Hitler possible. It should not be downplayed that monopolistic cartels like Kirdorf and Thyssen played a significant role in the rise of Hitler. Hitler could have easily been stopped following his illegal re-occupation of the Rhineland in 1936. But the Western Powers were more interested in inciting Hitler to wage war on Russia by their systematic appeasement. Hitler's adventures were influenced by the failure of the Western Powers to act against the aggression of Japan towards China and Italy towards Ethiopoia.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2008, 08:44:12 PM by Zvezda »


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #202 on: February 07, 2008, 02:36:55 PM »
In response to Gellately, I would likle to tell him that his latest book, at least as far as Russia is concerned, is a perfect example of everything that is wrong with historical debate in the English-speaking countries. Though Gellately's work on Germany hold some scholarly validity, he demonstrates a degree of competence inadequate to analyze Russian history. In sections where the Russian Revolution is the focus, Gellately draws almost exclusively from the venomous drivel written or inspired by the right-wing polemecist Richard Pipes. Gellately's lack of knowledge of the Russian language precludes him from being able to carry out new research or contribute original interpretations. As a result, the sections on Russia bear resemblance to a 101 essay paraphrasing the work found in the books of Richard Pipes. With similar books by Alan Bullock and Richard Overy making the arbitrary comparison of Stalin and Hitler appearing several years earlier, there is a serious lack of originality to Gellately’s approach.

To start, Gellately’s approach to the Russian Revolution is deeply flawed. He begins by focusing on the effects the first world war had on Russia and suggests that this was the main reason for the revolution. But this approach is oblivious to the revolutionary upheavals that shook Russia in previous decades. There was a revolutionary situation of the late 1870s and early 1880s that arose as a result of social and political contradictions in post-reform times. In 1878-79 there were 88 strikes and 25 instances of disturbances among the workers. The exacerbation of social contradictions, the growth of public discontent, spontaneous outbreaks among the masses, and the heroic struggle of the People’s Will sowed confusion in the regime. In 1905, the first popular revolution of the era of imperialism developed after the tsar’s troops fired upon a peaceful demonstration of St Petersburg workers. Between January-March 1905, 800,000 workers went on strike. For the first time in history, the workers created soviets, which in 1917 developed into the state form of the dictatorship of the proletariat. Any observation of the Russian Revolution requires the analysis and measurement of the Russian revolutionary struggle in the 1878-1905 period.

Concerning the events of February 1917, Gellately is at best misinformed when he states “The Bolsheviks had nothing to do with this liberal revolution that swept away the Romanovs.”(p.23) Gellately’s lone attempt to prove this controversial argument is by pointing out that Lenin was in Switzerland and Stalin was in Siberian exile as though these two individuals composed the entire Russian Social Democratic Party. But the fact of the matter is the Bolsheviks were the only faction that prepared the people for decisive struggle against the autocracy under the most difficult war conditions. During the war, the Bolsheviks at workers’ gatherings and in leaflets called upon the people to wage a decisive struggle against the autocracy. The Russian Bureau of the Central Committee in Petrograd maintained regular contact with the Foreign Bureau headed by Lenin in Switzerland. Late in 1916 the Russian Bureau in Petrograd under the leadership of Shliapnikov, Zalutsky, and Molotov discussed staging revolutionary demonstrations and a general strike. The Bolsheviks led the strike at the Putilov factory in February 1917, and this served to influence the growth of the workers' struggle in the city. On International Women’s Day, the Bolsheviks held meetings and rallies protesting the war, the high prices, and the hardships of women workers, which were particularly turbulent on the Vyborg side of the city. The meetings developed spontaneously into strikes and revolutionary demonstrations that roused the entire working class of Petrograd. On March 9 the number of strikers grew to 214,000. The next day a general political strike began. Gellately's attempt to erase the Russian Social Democrats from the development of the February Bourgeois Revolution is tantamount to historical falsification.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 03:00:35 PM by Zvezda »


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #203 on: February 07, 2008, 03:21:53 PM »
Gellately writes that Lenin wanted to conquer the world by force of arms. Although Lenin, like every other statesmen, desired growth in the influence of political allies in foreign nations, by no means can this be interpreted as an attempt to conquer the entire the world by force of arms. This allegation by Gellately is inconsistent with Lenin’s writings as well as the existing reality of Russia’s political and economic situation at the time. With the collapse of the military, its economy in shambles and territory under a foreign occupation, Russia could not invade Germany much less Poland in the 1918-20 period even if it wanted to.

The offensive in Warsaw that Gellately refers to was in fact part of a war started by the unprovoked invasion by Poland against the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in April 1920. Gellately is quick to distort Lenin’s words, dishonestly take them out of context, and conveniently ignore other statements by Lenin that refute his thesis. “We wanted peace. It was just because Soviet Russia proposed peace to the whole world that in February German troops attacked us.”, Lenin wrote. “What we prize most is peace and an opportunity to devote all efforts to restoring our economy”, Lenin said in a speech. Lenin’s view was expressed by the Russian government concerning Poland in February 1920, before the Polish invasion: “Our enemies and yours deceive you when they say that the Russian Soviet Government wishes to plant communism in Polish soil with the bayonets of Russian Red Army men. The communists of Russia are at present striving only to defend their own soil; they are not striving, and cannot strive, to plant communism by force in other countries.” Gellately does not understand the politics he tries to analyze, because Lenin wrote that no forces would have been able to undermine capitalism if it had not been undermined by history. Communists proceed from the premise that capitalism is doomed by its own internal laws of development. The fate of capitalism will be decided not by the export of revolution but by the class struggle in the capitalist countries, according to Lenin. “Our slogan has been and remains the same: Peaceful coexistence with other governments, no matter what kind they are.” the Russian government declared in 1920.

Gellately repeatedly tries to demonize Lenin by through quoting that is selective and out of context. At times, Gellately even falsifies Lenin’s words. “Lenin, who talked about how up to 300,000 more “spies and agents” in the Crimea should be tracked down and ‘punished.’ In fact, what Lenin said was: “There are at present 300,000 bourgeois in the Crimea. However, we are not afraid of them. We shall take them, distribute them, and make them submit.” Clearly, Lenin advocated a policy of non-violence. Although there are 55 volumes of Lenin’s writings with each totaling 500 pages, Gellately only cherry picks material for the sake of trying to portray Lenin in the worst possible light. Curiously omitted by Gellately is Lenin’s statement “Violence, of course, is alien to our ideals”.

Gellately slanders Lenin, alleging "he did not care about the suffering of people". This, however, is difficult to reconcile with Lenin’s writings on which Gellately supposedly bases his claims. On the eve of the Balkan wars, Lenin regretted:” Hundreds of thousands and millions of wage slaves of capital and peasants downtrodden by the serf-owners are going to the slaughter for the dynastic interests of a handful of crowned brigands, for the profits of the bourgeoisie in its drive to plunder foreign lands.”

Gellately quotes a telegram by Lenin in which he called for a violent insurrection in Penza to be suppressed and for reprisals to be taken against those responsible. However, the act of suppressing an armed revolt against established state authority has happened thousands of times in history. If rebels have the right to resort to violence, then it would only be consistent for the state to respond with violence. That Lenin called for an armed revolt to be suppressed while Russia was facing a blockade, famine, and foreign occupation would render him a responsible statesmen trying to preserve peace in his country. For the Soviet state to have used violence against its opponents would also have been consistent with the terrorism of the Socialist Revolutionaries and others. Up to July 1918, 4000 Soviet activists had been murdered. In the period August-September, prior to the assassination attempt on Lenin, another 6400 had been murdered in August-September 1918. As a matter of self-defense, the soviet state set out to proportionately respond to the conduct of its adversaries. Overall, about 6000 people were executed by the organs of the soviet state in 1918, including many corrupt officials, hooligans, and common criminals. By contrast, the Kolchak government shot some 25,000 people in the Ekaterinburg area alone. Ataman Krasnov's “All Great Don Host” meted out 25,000 death sentences in the Don province from May 1918 to February 1919. The Denikin and Petliura bands pursued a policy of genocide against the Jews, murdering 150,000 of them. The White Guard regime in Finland executed or murdered in concentration camps some 25,000 people during the brief civil war in Finland. And on and on.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 03:49:50 PM by Zvezda »


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #204 on: February 07, 2008, 03:40:33 PM »
Gellately essentially attributes superhuman qualities to the soviet Russian state by blaming it for a famine that struck Russia in 1921. Gellately claims "Communists demanded more grain, not less from the peasants to the point that they were driven to starvation." Gellately’s characterization of the famine, however, is at odds with the facts. 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. Gellately's 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 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. Gellately gives an excessive degree of emphasis on the surveillance by the Soviet state of famine relief organizations. Evidently, the activities of relief organizations were not obstructed because they fed more than ten million people. Any other government in the Kremlin would have resorted to similar measures; during the famine in 1921 Russian territory in Siberia was still under a foreign occupation.

Gellately violates the standards of scholarly integrity by uncritically accepting second and even third hand sources. Although Gellately writes that 50,000 people were executed following the liberation of Crimea in late 1920, he does not point out that the author of his source Sergei Melgunov was a member of the "Popular Socialist Party", a fringe right-wing faction of the SR Party. Melgunov purports to catalogue the "crimes" of what he calls the "Bolshevist tyranny" by citing the propaganda reports of the Denikin Government. Gellately does not entertain the thought that those invading Russian territory would have good reason to fabricate and exaggerate the actions of their enemies.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 03:44:56 PM by Zvezda »


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #205 on: February 07, 2008, 03:56:27 PM »
Gellately in a sort of sarcastic manner tries to blame the Soviet state for the civil war. But there are significant facts omitted by Gellately that refute his thesis. On November 8, 1917, the ex Prime Minister Kerensky started a civil war by ordering the commanders of the troops at the front, the commanders of the inner military regions, and the Cossack warlords to carry out military aggression against Soviet authority. On November 8, the forces of the Cossack thug Krasnov began an offensive, seized Gatchina and Tsarskoe Selo, and created a direct threat to Petrograd. The Cossack “governments” in the Don, Kuban, and Orenburg, led by the warlords Kaledin, Filimonov, and Dutov, announced their nonrecognition of Soviet authority and began a war against Russia. Curiously, Gellately glosses over the foreign invasion and occupation of Russia. In December 1917, an agreement was concluded between England and France on dividing the spheres of influence in Russia. In February 1918, the Austro-German forces began an offensive along the line from the Baltic to the Black sea, the Romanians seized Bessarabia, and Turkish troops invaded Transcaucasia. In March, the British invaded Murmansk, followed by aggression in Vladivostok by the Japanese. The Germans seized Rostov in May and propped up a regime centered around the Krasnov. In May the Entente prepared and provoked a mutiny of the Czechoslovak Corps that invaded and occupied Samara and Cheliabinsk, followed by Ufa and Ekaterinburg in July. Baku was invaded first by the British in July and then by the Turks in September. On the Don, the German puppet Krasnov invaded Tsaritsyn in August. By the end of the summer of 1918, three-fourths of the territory of Russia was under the occupation of the invaders and their proxies.

Gellately gives disproportionate emphasis to a rather pathetic display of opposition to the rule of the soviets in the winter of 1917-18. He overemphasizes a lockout by a few thousand bankers, clerks, and other insulated bureaucrats. While most continued working as if nothing had happened, others resorted to sabotage cloaked as a strike. However, the lockout was a failure. The workers and soldiers ignored the lockout. The Union of Clerks, Couriers, and Guards organized an anti-strike initiative. The Soviets won over burreaucrats with promises that they would be represented on workers councils. Young women also provided a source of clerks for the soviets. As a result, the sabotage came to an end early in January. While Gellately is quick to highlight signs of opposition to the soviets, he undermines his credibility by omitting the massive displays of opposition against the Provisional Government. Gellately fails to discuss the July Days during which the Bolsheviks were able to lead a massive peaceful demonstration of 500,000 people in Petrograd. One looks in vain for any reference to the massacre by the Government's forces against the demonstrators, leaving about 700 people killed and wounded. Equally significant, there is an omission by Gellately of the more than one million workers on strike on the eve of the October Revolution.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 03:59:50 PM by Zvezda »


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #206 on: February 07, 2008, 04:41:55 PM »
Gellately slanders Lenin by saying that he took money from the Germans. Gellately's allegation, at best, is spurious. While Lenin inevitably came into contact with German agents, he knowingly had no provable operating connections with the German mission in Bern or with other German agents before March 1917. In the 1950s, when the German Foreign Ministry archives were opened for Western use, Z. Zeman and Werner Hahlweg published documents concerning German efforts to bring revolution in Russia. Zeman noted: There is no evidence among the documents of the Foreign Ministry that Lenin, a circumspect man, was in direct contact with any of the official German agencies." Instead, there now developed a picture of go betweens: Alexander Keskula, Parvus-Helphand, Alexander Tsivin, and Carl Moor. That Tsivin, Parvus, Keksula, and Moor worked as German agents of one sort or another, is not to be denied. They certainly gave the Germans information about various emigres, including Lenin. Yet there is no evidence that they transmitted anything from the Germans to Lenin. Regarding Parvus, Scharlau and Zeman in a biography concluded that there was no cooperation between the two. They declared, "Lenin refused the German officer of aid." Parvus's bank account showed that he paid out only a total of 25,600 Swiss Francs between his arrival in Switzerland in May 1915 and the February Revolution of 1917. Parvus simply did nothing noteworthy in Switzerland. There are more grounds for suspicion in considering the activities of of Jacob Furstenburg-Hanecki, a Polish supporter of Lenin who also worked for Parvus in Scandinavia. Polish and Soviet Russian historians insisted that Hanecki's relationship to Parvus was strictly one of business: the two were employees at a firm. Dubious as this may seem, we have no hard and fast evidence to the contrary in the period before the February revolution.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 04:46:44 PM by Zvezda »


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #207 on: February 07, 2008, 05:35:18 PM »
Gellately’s voluntarist revisionism characterizes the October Revolution a “Bolshevik coup”. Gellately downplays a key piece of information significant enough to refute this argument: by a resolution of the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets, state power legally passed over to the Petrograd Soviet of Workers and Soldiers Deputies. The transfer of state power to the soviets was not met with any serious resistance: out of 84 provincial capitals and other large cities, only 15 came under Soviet authority as a result of armed struggle. From Petrograd to Vladivostok the local workers in the soviets took power into their own hands. Gellately ignores the objective development and antagonistic contradictions in the country at the time, an absolute prerequisite for any evaluation of 1917. In that year, a revolutionary situation matured, embracing all spheres of social, economic, and political relations. The February Revolution did not resolve fundamental questions concerning an end to the imperialist war and the conclusion of peace, the elimination of the system of large land ownership, labor questions, and the abolition of national oppression. In April 1917, a crisis arose during which some 100,000 workers and soldiers in Petrograd came out in a demonstration demanding peace and the transfer of power to the soviets. In June, a demonstration with some 500,000 participants was held under the slogans “All Power to the Soviets,” and “Bread, Peace and Freedom.” Meanwhile, the Provisional Government opened an offensive against the Germans in July that quickly collapsed. A spontaneous peaceful demonstration was held in Petorgrad on July 4 with more than 500 thousand people calling for power to be turned over to the soviets and an end to the criminal war. The Provisional Government brutally attacked the demonstrators, murdering or wounding more than 700 people in an episode reminiscent to Bloody Sunday. In September-October 1917 there were strikes involving over 1 million people by the Moscow and Petrograd workers, miners of the Donbas, metalworkers of the Urals, oil workers of Baku, and railroad workers on 40 different lines. The misguided policies of the Provisional Government had brought the country to the brink of a catastrophe. Industrial production in 1917 had decreased by 35 percent from 1916. Fifty percent of all enterprises were closed down in the industrial centers, resulting in mass unemployment. The cost of living increased sharply: real wages fell about 50 percent from the 1913 level. Russia’s national debt in October 1917 had risen to 50 billion rubles. The grain harvest in 1916 was reduced from that of 1913 by 1.5 billion poods, resulting in food riots in the cities. In this context, the revolutionary situation intensified. In conclusion, Gellately places too much emphasis on the politics of the upper leadership of the Bolshevik faction to the exclusion of Russia's deep revolutionary upheavel and economic crisis.


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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #208 on: February 07, 2008, 05:35:35 PM »
Gellately mentions the Constituent Assembly, but does so in a misleading manner. The Provisional Government had blocked the convocation of an assembly throughout 1917 because they feared it would yield a majority to peasants who were more to the left than the Socialist-Revolutionaries. The Bolsheviks did not reject the idea of such a body, but they exhorted the people to a revolutionary struggle, pointing out that practice and the revolution tend to push parliamentary bodies into the background. Lenin emphasized that the soviet was a superior form of democracy than a parliamentary republic with a nominally representative constituent assembly. The SR electorate was part of the Russian peasantry, and political power was held in the city. Numbers could not be translated into power. About half the elctorate did not even take part in the voting, suggesting tacit approval for the rule of the soviets. The machinery for handling the elections was in the hands of commissions appointed by the the Provisional Government, leaving the results susceptible to fraud. There was no clear winner in the election. The Bolsheviks polled 24 percent of the vote and the SRs 38 percent. The result did not reflect the actual interralation of political forces in the country because the influence of the working class and the Bolshevik party on the nonproletarian mases was incomparably stronger in the extra-parliamentary than in the parliamentary struggle. Nor did the election reflect the split of the Socialist Revolutionary Party whose Left faction supported soviet power. The election was held when the Soviet Government was still just becoming established and a sizable portion of the population was not acquainted with its decrees. Even the formal results, however, proved that the Revolution conformed to the laws of history: the Bolsheviks won in Petograd, Moscow, on the Northern and Western fronts, in the Baltic fleet, and in 20 districts of the Northwest and Central Industrial regions. The majority of the working class and almost half of the military voted for the Bolsheviks. When the Constituent Assembly convened, only 410 deputies out of 715 even bothered to show up. The Bolsheviks, the Left SRs, and the representatives of several other groups withdrew. The Constituent Assembly was legally dissolved by a decree of the Central Executive Committee of the Congress of Soviets.

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #209 on: February 07, 2008, 06:22:21 PM »
Gellately slanders Lenin by saying that he took money from the Germans.

The deceased cannot be slandered.

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