Author Topic: No Stalin, no Hitler?  (Read 95352 times)

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Offline Zvezda

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #210 on: February 07, 2008, 06:27:26 PM »
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We can save the story for later of how after the war Stalin turned in a distinctly anti-Semitic direction...

Historians do not accept the theory that Stalin was an anti-Semite. Indeed, many of Stalin's comrades including Kaganovich, Mekhlis, Ehrenburg, and others were themselves Jews. The Communist Party in Hungary was dominated by the Jews Rakosi, Gero, Revai, and Farkas. It seems your motive for attributing anti-Semitism to Stalin is part of your campaign to equate him with Hitler in an effort to rehabilitate capitalism from its role in unleashing the second World War.

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Stalin's error cost the lives of millions of his own people.

In no way can Stalin be held responsible for Hitler's choice to invade Russia. It would be more convincing to blame Chamberlin and other Western leaders for emboldening and abetting fascist aggression in order to have Hitler eliminate Russia for them.

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Since the early 1920s he was moved by a determination of battle what he called "Jewish Bolshevism."

The way you frame this seems as though you are blaming the Communists for the rise of Hitler. While you seem to take the view that Nazi anti-Semitism came from the presence of Jews in the Communist movement, this is something of a fallacy. Karl Liebknecht, the most prominent German Communist, was not a Jew. Yet, Nazi propaganda still identified him as one.

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His mistake was to assert that Hitler was motivated by materialistic considerations and so would never invade the USSR if the Soviets gave him freely in trade what he (and the German capitalists) wanted.


It is incontrovertible that the motivations of the fascist rush to war was indistinguishable from that of their predecessors of World War I. Similar to the regimes on the eve of World War I, the Nazis sought the repartition of the world and spheres of capital investment. German big business pressed for a policy of expansion into eastern Europe. As nations at the core of capitalism competed to expand their exploitative sphere, their interests intersected and conflicted with one another, producing the two deadly world wars.

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In the meantime on June 22, 1941 trains from the USSR were running west carrying goods essential to the German war machine.

There was nothing extraordinary about trade between Russia and Germany in the 1930s. American oil cartels in 1938 sold some $35 million worth of petroleum to Germany. Throughout the 1930s, a large volume of Poland's foreign trade was with Germany. Looking at the big picture, the USSR was by no means an arsenal for Germany the way the United States was for England in 1939-41. America had even been the arsenal for Japan in its aggression against China to a far greater extent than Russia ever was for Germany. The only trade between with Russia and Germany involving a war commodity was oil. While Russia sent up to a million tons of oil, the United States supplied more than three times that to Japan.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 06:31:39 PM by Zvezda »

Offline Zvezda

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #211 on: February 07, 2008, 06:30:39 PM »
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Because we find Nazi ideology repugnant, we should not delude ourselves into missing the point that many people at the time in Germany (and in many other parts of Europe), found it very attractive.


While you continue to insist that that Hitler and the Nazis received some sort of consensus from the German populace, the fact remains that the Nazis only polled about one-third of the in elections. Hitler was even defeated by the senile geezer Hindenburg in the 1932 election. The popularity of the Nazis did not exceed that of the combined forces of the Social Democrats and Communists. Of course the Nazis had widespread popularity in the 1930-32 period. But the exact same statement can be made about the Social Democrats and Communists in Germany.

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Tartars were indeed persecuted as Tartars. The same fate followed for more than a dozen ethnic groups, from the Kalmyks, Karachays, Balkars, Ingush, all the way and perhaps most infamously to the Chechens. Massive numbers were involved in this ethnic cleansing -- which has been likened to genocide.

There are numerous flaws in your statements. While of course "massive numbers" of them died, in no way can this be attributable to the process or resettlement or their presence in Turkestan. There will always be a death rate among a populace of about 10 to 15 per 1000 from natural causes. Russian demographic records demonstrate that the crude death rate among the Crimean population in Turkestan was no different from the Russian population as a whole in 1950. Available evidence on the livelihood of these people suggests that the Crimeans and Germans in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan were significantly better off in terms of economic status than the local titular population.

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Tellingly, non-Tartar spouses could stay behind, suggesting that race was indeed a major factor in who was persecuted and who was spared.
German women married to Russian males were able to stay behind. This fact undermines your theory that the resettlement of these groups was motivated by race.

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Tartar culture was put to the torch, and records of their identity (like birth certificates) were erased. Tartar historians estimate half their people died in this nightmare, but even those who survived were expressly forbidden to return to what had been their homeland even long after the war.
This is incorrect. A Crimean Tatar section had been set up within the Uzbekistan Writers Union and a section for Crimean publications was established in Tashkent. The Crimean Tatars were not necessarily forbidden to return to Crimea: the 1989 census shows the presence of 40,000 Crimean Tatars in Crimea. Conviently, you do not consider the fact that Chechens, Ingushetians, Kalmyks, Karachais, and Balkars were all permitted to return to their homelands in the mid-1950s.

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The total of all the ethnic groups inside the Soviet Union who were deported or destroyed during the war reached the astounding figure of  nearly 2 million, of whom an estimated 300,000 died.
The allegation that their deportation led to large numbers of death is misleading and exaggerated. Out of a population of 225 thousand, some 30,000 Crimean Tatars died between 1944-45. But this was because Russia as a whole endured great hardship during the war and immediate reconstruction period; a famine resulting from drought in 1946 killed some one million people throughout the country. By 1950, the Crimean Tatar crude death rate of 11 per 1000 was on par with the Soviet crude death rate of 10 per 1000. The Crimeans, Germans, and others experienced nothing different from the rest of the Russian population.

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Stalin failed to take Nazi ideology seriously, a problem that many on the Left shared. 

This is a distortion of history. The Fourth Comintern Congress (1922) recognized the organization of resistance to world fascism as one of the most important tasks of communists; it pointed to the tactic of a united labor front as the main means of struggle against fascism. In response to the fascist offensive, the antifascist movement unfolded in Italy in 1921. Beginning with antifascist strikes and demonstrations, the workers later moved to armed resistance against the blackshirts. The high point of the antifascist movement in Italy was the bloody battles that accompanied the general strike declared in August 1922. The September Uprising of 1923 in Bulgaria enriched the experience of the antifascist movement in other countries. The fascist putsch in France in February 1934 failed because of the decisive actions of the antifascists led by the Communists. In 1936-39, workers from over 54 countries came to the defense of Spain in the international brigades.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 06:37:42 PM by Zvezda »

Offline Zvezda

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #212 on: February 07, 2008, 06:41:37 PM »
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The entire Crimean Tartar population of around 200,000 was deported in May 1944.

While you like to talk about "ethnic cleansing" in Russia, you do not provide any context or background on the situation that necessitated these measures.  The Crimean Tatars were not the only ones resettled from the region. Greeks, Bulgars, and Armenians were subject to similar measures. In regard to the German population in Russia, similar measures were taken in other countries in far less threatening circumstances. The justification of the deportation of the Kalmyks, Karachais, and Balkars was not as convincing, for only small numbers of them collaborated with the invaders.

The Germans wanted to make Crimea into a German Riviera. Hitler allowed the formation of Tatar "self-defense" units in January 1942. The Muslim Committee, established by the Germans in Simferopol, raised eight Tatar batallions. Tatar units acted in cooperation with the SS Einsztsgruppe D and were involved in atrocities against prisoners of war, Gypsies, and Jews. They fought the Red Army in Sevastopol and Kerch. In total, 20,000 persons enlisted in Tatar batallions and "self-defense" units. Out of a Crimean Tatar population of 180,000, males constituted about 50 percent. Therefore, nearly one-quarter of all Crimean Tatar able-bodied males committed treason by collaborating with the enemy. By extrapolating this rate of collaboration to the ethnic Russian population, one would be able to infer that Russia today be ruled by Reichskommissariat Moskau.

The Chechens did not collaborate with the Germans because of the fact that Chechnya was occupied. However, some 10,000 Chechen bandits were engaged in an anti-Soviet insurrection in 1941-44 that proved to be of assistance to the German invaders. When the authorities attempted to conscript Chechens into the army in 1942, the police reported "all the male population fled to the montains." Out of 14,000 Chechens liable for conscription, only 4395 were enlisted and of those 2365 deserted. At one point the number of registered deserters and draft evaders reached 13,000 men. 16 percent of Kabardins, 20 percent of Karachis, but only 4 percent of Chechens and Ingush were drafted many of whom deserted. From Nov. 1941 to June 1943, the NKVD Security Regiment in Chechnya kiled 973, captured 1167 bandits, and arrested 1413 insurgents. The regiment suffered 88 fatalities.

Of course the deportation of these groups was unfair in that the Latvians were no subject to similar sanctions. But this still does negate the fact that there was widespread collaboration and rebellion at least among the Crimean Tatars and Chechens.

For further reading on anti-Soviet rebellion and collaboration during 1941-44:
http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/kritika/v006/6.2statiev.html
« Last Edit: February 07, 2008, 06:46:20 PM by Zvezda »

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #213 on: January 01, 2009, 09:47:29 PM »
I don't entirely buy the idea that had there been no Stalin there would have been no Hitler.

Yes, The German People were afraid of Communism and of The Communist Soviet Union, and Hitler did effectively use that as one of his tools in his climb to power, but it was not his only tool.

There was a worldwide economic depression in the 1930's and Germany was especially hard hit by it. I've read stories of people in Germany taking wheelbarrow loads of money to the store to buy bread. That depression was bigger than one country or one economy and it would have been there regardless of whether Russia was Communist or not. It would have been there even if Russia had remained Tsarist.

Also, the treaty that ended World War 1 was especially harsh to Germany. It blamed Germany for the war, it imposed tough sanctions on Germany, and badly humiliated Germany and The German people.

Hitler played on both the humiliation factor and the economic factor. He promised The German People that he would make Germany proud, and strong, and prosperous again. In the person of The Jews he even had a ready made enemy to blame the economic problems on and rally The German People against. It didn't matter that The Jews had nothing to do with Germany's economic problems, there was already anti-semitism in Germany, they were just an easy target for Hitler.

Even without Stalin, the economic factors and the humiliation from the end of World War 1 would have still been there, regardless of what kind of government there was in Russia. Even if Tsar Nicholas II had still been on the throne of Imperial Russia in the early 1930's, the economy and the humiliation would still have been there in Germany waiting for someone like Hitler to use them. Hitler and his Nazi Party would still have come to power in Germany and there would still have been a World War 2. 

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #214 on: January 12, 2009, 03:42:31 AM »
I don't entirely buy the idea that had there been no Stalin there would have been no Hitler.

Yes, The German People were afraid of Communism and of The Communist Soviet Union, and Hitler did effectively use that as one of his tools in his climb to power, but it was not his only tool.

There was a worldwide economic depression in the 1930's and Germany was especially hard hit by it. I've read stories of people in Germany taking wheelbarrow loads of money to the store to buy bread. That depression was bigger than one country or one economy and it would have been there regardless of whether Russia was Communist or not. It would have been there even if Russia had remained Tsarist.

Also, the treaty that ended World War 1 was especially harsh to Germany. It blamed Germany for the war, it imposed tough sanctions on Germany, and badly humiliated Germany and The German people.

Hitler played on both the humiliation factor and the economic factor. He promised The German People that he would make Germany proud, and strong, and prosperous again. In the person of The Jews he even had a ready made enemy to blame the economic problems on and rally The German People against. It didn't matter that The Jews had nothing to do with Germany's economic problems, there was already anti-semitism in Germany, they were just an easy target for Hitler.

Even without Stalin, the economic factors and the humiliation from the end of World War 1 would have still been there, regardless of what kind of government there was in Russia. Even if Tsar Nicholas II had still been on the throne of Imperial Russia in the early 1930's, the economy and the humiliation would still have been there in Germany waiting for someone like Hitler to use them. Hitler and his Nazi Party would still have come to power in Germany and there would still have been a World War 2. 

All this could well be true, but the fact remains that Hitler and the Nazi party might never have come to power in Germany if it had not been for Stalin, who directed German Communists not to support the Social Democratic party in the March 1933 election in Germany. According to Donald Treadgold, in his book Twentieth-Century Russia, "in February 1933 the [German] Social Democrats made a final effort to win over the Communists to an agreement to stop the Nazis. The German [Communist] party leadership replied, 'The Nazis must take power. Then in four weeks the whole working class will be united under the Communist Party'" (290). Actually, as Treadgold explains, after the Nazis won a slim majority in the March 1933 election, "the German Communists were among the first to feel the full force of Nazi terror...the party was soon destroyed" (290). The German Communists got their political comeuppance, in other words, because their concerted attempts to "bring down the [Weimar] Republic" succeeded only too well, but obviously not with the outcome they had intended.

BTW, has it occurred to anyone else that this "Zvezda" person with his/her multiple, inordinately lengthy as well as inordinately propagandistic posts, all celebrating the glory that was the superpower formerly known as the Soviet Union, might in reality be working as an agent of reactionary forces in the Putin/Medvedev government? It seems like a definite possibility to me.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 04:02:43 AM by Elisabeth »
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Offline Olga Maria

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #215 on: February 06, 2009, 07:26:01 AM »
Was the Bolshevist Lenin an inspiration to the Nazist Hitler?

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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #216 on: February 06, 2009, 09:12:15 AM »
Personally, I doubt that very much. They had opposing views on economy to start with.  Hitler was an expansionist while Lenin gave territory away. Lenin aimed for a classless society while Hitler wanted to cultivate the upper classes for support. Hitler wanted "racial purity" whereas Lenin did not care as far as I know. Lenin was a revolutionary while Hitler  used the status quo to achieve his  goals. This could go on, but I have given my view
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #217 on: February 06, 2009, 10:50:52 AM »
Was the Bolshevist Lenin an inspiration to the Nazist Hitler?

No. As a matter of fact, it was Stalin who was an inspiration to Hitler. The two dictators had a sort of unofficial mutual admiration society going on back in the 1930s. Stalin apparently admired Hitler's quick and efficient destruction of Roehm and the SA in 1934 (the "Night of the Long Knives") and took it as an example of how to seek out and destroy enemies in his own military (during the Great Terror a few years later). As for Hitler, even in the early 1940s, in his "table talk" to his Nazi cronies, he is recorded as saying how much he admired Stalin, who, unlike himself, didn't have any bourgeois hang-ups about the use of violence. Isn't that sweet?

Hitler and Stalin also exchanged political prisoners after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This meant that German communists who had sought refuge from Hitler in the Soviet Union suddenly found themselves back in Nazi Germany, incarcerated in concentration camps for the duration of the war, if they survived that long. As for political refugees from Stalin who had sought refuge in Germany - they were promptly handed back to Stalin - and they apparently met a similar fate, only this time in Soviet concentration camps.

The two totalitarian systems had such a lot in common. I have even read that during the long "honeymoon" period of the 1930s, prior to Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, that the Gestapo and SS and the Soviet secret police shared technical knowledge with each other - not only effective ways of torturing political prisoners, but also how to design and establish concentration camps. Frankly I don't know if all this is strictly speaking true. It nevertheless rings true.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 10:55:51 AM by Elisabeth »
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Offline Olga Maria

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #218 on: February 07, 2009, 03:41:52 AM »
What a sinister conspiracy, huh?! Thanks, Elisabeth....

I think in those times that the Germans and Russians met each other revived the thought of "Pogroms".

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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #219 on: February 07, 2009, 08:40:55 AM »
I do not believe that there was any "conspiracy" at all. It is obvious that Hitler used the  so-called "honeymoon" to lure Stalin into a false sense of security. It worked, he almost did conquer Russia. See Montefiore books on Stalin.
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #220 on: February 07, 2009, 02:23:33 PM »
I do not believe that there was any "conspiracy" at all. It is obvious that Hitler used the  so-called "honeymoon" to lure Stalin into a false sense of security. It worked, he almost did conquer Russia. See Montefiore books on Stalin.

I have to agree, there was no "conspiracy" per se. It was just a case of two genocidal dictators who appreciated each other's talents and seized the opportunity to learn from each other. I mean, how often do two genocidal dictators appear during the same historical period? They must have felt extremely gratified. Nevertheless they remained, I suspect, deadly rivals to the end... after all, if you're a genocidal dictator, then only one dictator's allowed to remain standing at the end of the day.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 02:27:58 PM by Elisabeth »
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #221 on: February 07, 2009, 02:44:19 PM »
Elisabeth, you use " genocidal" for both brutal dictators. Well, there is no argument with Hitler. He used it as a justification for "racial purity" and a slave workforce as well as scapegoats for the ills of Germany.. On the other hand, Stalin just called it population movement, which, in the outside of logic, could be justified. Remember, he, Stalin himself was not Russian but Georgian. I do not think he reminded many people of that fact, though.  I think Hitler has been analyised to the hilt, but Stalin? I doubt we have even scratched the surface on that man.
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #222 on: February 07, 2009, 03:34:19 PM »
Elisabeth, you use " genocidal" for both brutal dictators. Well, there is no argument with Hitler. He used it as a justification for "racial purity" and a slave workforce as well as scapegoats for the ills of Germany.. On the other hand, Stalin just called it population movement, which, in the outside of logic, could be justified. Remember, he, Stalin himself was not Russian but Georgian. I do not think he reminded many people of that fact, though.  I think Hitler has been analyised to the hilt, but Stalin? I doubt we have even scratched the surface on that man.

This is the problem with Soviet studies, especially in the area of Stalinism, somehow defintions seem to break down or otherwise lose meaning. Ukrainians even today would argue that the Great Famine was a genocidal policy directed against the Ukrainian people by Stalin and his communist government. Other historians are uncomfortable with the term "genocide" as applied to Stalin's murderous activities, not only against Ukrainians, but also against Soviet citizens in general, and instead term these murders acts of "democide." Frankly, I don't know where I come down on this issue. "Genocide" is sufficient, I suppose, as shorthand for an unprecedented scale of mass murder directed against entire social and ethnic groups - but perhaps you're right and it's not entirely accurate (although this does seem to me to be quibbling over details). At the very least, Stalin was ultimately responsible for the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens (well, the mass graves discovered in Belorussia and Russia proper, not to mention Siberia, in the early 1990s are testimony to that fact). He was also, let us not forget, responsible for ethnic cleansing on a massive scale - directed against the Kazakhs, the Chechens, the Crimean Tatars, and other minority ethnic groups in the Soviet Union. He accused some of these groups of "collaboration" with the Nazis but it's difficult to understand why they wouldn't have initially collaborated with the forces they perceived as their liberators from communist and in particular Stalinist tyranny... At any rate, there's no excuse for the crimes against humanity that Stalin perpetrated during his regime. And that's even leaving out his war crimes, like the cold-blooded massacre of Polish officers at Katyn and other locations during World War II.

Genocide, democide, ethnic cleansing - frankly I think Stalin was guilty of all these crimes, and then some. Perhaps he was even guilty of crimes we haven't yet learned to define, because he as much as Hitler set the precedent for 20th-century mass murder inflicted on civilians by sovereign states operating outside the realm of international law.
   
« Last Edit: February 07, 2009, 03:38:25 PM by Elisabeth »
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Offline Robert_Hall

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #223 on: February 07, 2009, 03:55:38 PM »
Well, treason and collaboration were offences punishable by death, under that regime, and there is no doubt he used that as a justification.  There is also no doubt that the offences were real. Stalin's famous  purges were , in my mind,  a result of paranoia and perceived  rivalries. Many induced by  his inner circle in their own persuit of influence. Settling  grudges, so to speak.
 Now, I am in no way defending Stalin's policies, but I do not see the movement of whole populations as "racial cleansing". HIS justification was that they were  in one way or the other as abetting the opposition to his state.  Hitler murdered the ones he did not care for, Stalin simply moved them.  Which was the more evil ? That is my view, at this time.
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Offline Elisabeth

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #224 on: February 07, 2009, 04:39:10 PM »
Well, treason and collaboration were offences punishable by death, under that regime, and there is no doubt he used that as a justification.  There is also no doubt that the offences were real. Stalin's famous  purges were , in my mind,  a result of paranoia and perceived  rivalries. Many induced by  his inner circle in their own persuit of influence. Settling  grudges, so to speak.
 Now, I am in no way defending Stalin's policies, but I do not see the movement of whole populations as "racial cleansing". HIS justification was that they were  in one way or the other as abetting the opposition to his state.  Hitler murdered the ones he did not care for, Stalin simply moved them.  Which was the more evil ? That is my view, at this time.

Please, Robert. What on earth were the Chechen people remotely guilty of? Most of them were ordinary, law-abiding citizens, not by any stretch of the imagination Nazi collaborators, and yet they were dragged away from their native land, off into exile, and many thousands died on the way, because (obviously) no provisions had been set up for them. And how do you explain Stalin's postwar paranoia about the Jews? The infamous show trial of the JAC, the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee? Or the so-called Jewish doctors' plot? Face it, Stalin was every bit the psychopath that Hitler was. In fact, he was no doubt worse because he lasted longer.

As for Stalin simply "moving" entire populations, that literally meant deporting them by cattle cars into inhospitable regions hitherto unknown to them. (Much as Stalin had earlier deported tens of thousands of "kulaks" during collectivization - they either froze to death in the Siberian or Arctic tundra - because there was initially no shelter provided for them - or else, if they were "lucky," survived long enough to slave away for the state in labor camps.)

Face it, Stalin invented "ethnic cleansing" long before Milosevic. He also engaged in "class cleansing" (and that's not even an official term yet, but after Lenin and Stalin, it should be). I'm ever so confident that Stalin felt he had his reasons for engaging in such actions. But then, Hitler had his own reasons for the Holocaust and the Lebensborn program. Just as Milosevic had his reasons for ethnic cleansing. And so it goes, straight on to hell and damnation.
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