Author Topic: No Stalin, no Hitler?  (Read 92052 times)

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Alixz

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #345 on: April 19, 2009, 10:26:30 AM »


Personal opinions on this issue are not allowed.  Nor would they be allowed in any cases where posts hint at racism.

As you can see I mentioned racism as well.  Of course no type of personal opinion that would or could be construed as personal bias would be allowed.  And that would be for any subject.

That goes for nationality, race, color, creed, and personal lifestyle.  There is also no gender bias or anti gay or lesbian sentiment allowed.

Everyone here should be treated with respect and dignity.  No one or any one segment of the world's population past or present should be libeled in any way.

Please contact the FA if you have any confusion about this.

Alixz

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #346 on: April 20, 2009, 01:05:57 AM »
I would like to offer my support to the directions of Alixz.

Some of the remarks posted recently by members make it sound as if the killing of 700,000 people is justified by the fact that the government in question did the killing - and in another case, that the killing of 6 million Jewish people is justified by the supposition that they knew they had done things that made their countrymen dislike them. (And that saying anything in defense of these Jewish people is insulting to them.)

These types of remarks are bound to cause hard feelings at the very least among our members, but they have not been removed because understanding cannot take place without discussion. However, as Alixz said, we are watching them very carefully because they could be seen as anti Semetic and/or advocating genocide - or seem to be very close to that. I would urge posters to be careful about what they say, because as she said, we will not tolerate hate speech here, nor should we.

Offline RichC

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #347 on: April 20, 2009, 10:59:24 AM »

These types of remarks are bound to cause hard feelings at the very least among our members, but they have not been removed because understanding cannot take place without discussion.

Thank you very much, Lisa, for making this important statement.  I'm glad the posts weren't removed because, as abhorrent as they are, such views about various types of minorities do exist among a great many people and it's a fact of life that we have to live with.  I'm not Jewish, but I'm gay and as a gay man, I've found the best thing to do when confronted by such hatred is to fight back with every ounce of one's energy rather than run away, pretend you didn't hear what was said, etc.  It's a hard thing to do but it's better in the long run.  I guess what I'm saying is it's better to know your enemies than to pretend they do not exist.


Quote
For instance, in the chapter on the Great Terror, it's explained how the order promulgating the Great Terror of 1938 (in which almost 700,000 innocent people were summarily shot) had to be proposed to the Politburo by Sergei Ezhov, the head of the NKVD.

The tragic events of 1937-38 were just an overreaction to very real foreign and domestic threats. About one-third of those given a death sentence were from Polish, German, Finnish, Latvian nationalities that composed about one percent of the country's population. A large proportion of thsoe repressed were also members of the Communist Party, government burreaucrats, and common criminals. When the Russian Government saw how things got out of control, Yezhov and his henchmen were appropriately punished. To call these events "Great Terror" is improper, because repression was carried out by the legal organs of the Russian state; it's not like death squads were not despatched to carry out massacres.

Sorry Zvezda, but did it ever occur to you that these so-called "foreign and domestic threats" could have just been sent home instead of shot?  Because you are basically saying that Stalin was justified in killing them because of their nationality.  That's pretty sick.  Maybe it meets some kind of standard in your particular set of values (I guess that means you're ok with Katyn) but not mine. 

And what about the quotas?  You seem to be forgetting that the law was passed first and the victims supplied after the fact.  The whole purpose was to impose terror on the civilian population; NOT to remove threats to the system.




Offline Zvezda

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #348 on: April 20, 2009, 04:43:08 PM »
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Some of the remarks posted recently by members make it sound as if the killing of 700,000 people is justified by the fact that the government in question did the killing - and in another case, that the killing of 6 million Jewish people is justified by the supposition that they knew they had done things that made their countrymen dislike them. (And that saying anything in defense of these Jewish people is insulting to them.)
For you to conflate the mass repression of suspected traitors, spies, and criminals carried out in a disorganized, ad hoc way to the premeditated, industrialized slaughter of millions of people by the fascist hordes borders on Holocaust denial. No one justified the tragic events of 1937-38. In fact, Stalin was denounced at the 1956 Party Congress for the unjustified repression of many thousands of people.

Offline RichC

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #349 on: April 20, 2009, 04:58:17 PM »
Quote
Some of the remarks posted recently by members make it sound as if the killing of 700,000 people is justified by the fact that the government in question did the killing - and in another case, that the killing of 6 million Jewish people is justified by the supposition that they knew they had done things that made their countrymen dislike them. (And that saying anything in defense of these Jewish people is insulting to them.)
For you to conflate the mass repression of suspected traitors, spies, and criminals carried out in a disorganized, ad hoc way to the premeditated, industrialized slaughter of millions of people by the fascist hordes borders on Holocaust denial. No one justified the tragic events of 1937-38. In fact, Stalin was denounced at the 1956 Party Congress for the unjustified repression of many thousands of people.

What nerve.  YOU are the one engaging in denial with your use of the word "repression" as a euphemism for murder. 

And BTW, the Great Terror was hardly disorganized or ad hoc.  As the records of the Soviet archive shows, it was carefully planned down to a "T" by the highest "organs" of state power in the same manner as a Five-Year Plan. 

Stalin was denounced in 1956 but it was done in secret.  The public (who were the families of the victims after all) was never told. 

At least in Germany, those who participated in genocide were brought to justice.  Not so in Russia.  Those who weren't themselves exterminated in Stalin's meat grinder (like Ezhov) got away scot-free.  You don't think Khrushchev and Brezhnev did their share of butchering? 

Perhaps if you tried to imagine how you would feel if you had a loved one (think of someone dear to you) and that person is suddenly taken away and never seen or heard from again.  You are given no reason except that the person is to be imprisoned for 10 years and no communication is allowed under any circumstances.  You don't even know where the person is going or what he or she is doing.  You don't know anything at all except that he or she is going to be gone for 10 years.  What is happening here is you are being terrorized.  You do not DARE do anything which may endanger your loved one locked away in some gulag. 

In reality of course, your loved one (who you are pathetically waiting for) is lying in some common unmarked grave, shot in the back of the head along with 700,000 other innocent people.  And the loved one is killed by someone who is picked because he has a bright future in the communist party and may some day rise up to be one of the ruling class of the Soviet Union.  (One of Ezhov's biggest practical concerns in organizing the Great Terror was arranging for enough quantities of vodka to be shipped to the killing fields for the benefit of the executioners -- most of them were drunk while they were slaughtering). 

So, 10 years go by and nobody shows up for the big homecoming.  What happened?  Inquiries follow and go unanswered.  Finally, after hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people start bombarding government offices asking for word of their loved ones, the government lies to them, generates phony death certificates (so-and-so died from TB in 1942, etc.) and that's the end of it. 

That's how terror works.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 05:21:29 PM by RichC »

Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #350 on: April 20, 2009, 07:54:19 PM »
Quote
Some of the remarks posted recently by members make it sound as if the killing of 700,000 people is justified by the fact that the government in question did the killing - and in another case, that the killing of 6 million Jewish people is justified by the supposition that they knew they had done things that made their countrymen dislike them. (And that saying anything in defense of these Jewish people is insulting to them.)
For you to conflate the mass repression of suspected traitors, spies, and criminals carried out in a disorganized, ad hoc way to the premeditated, industrialized slaughter of millions of people by the fascist hordes borders on Holocaust denial. No one justified the tragic events of 1937-38. In fact, Stalin was denounced at the 1956 Party Congress for the unjustified repression of many thousands of people.

Stalin got off easy. Not so his victims. If he was only denounced (kind of ineffective for a dead guy, don't you think?) for the "repression" - and here I agree with Rich C - how dare you use a euphemism for murder! - of thousands - when he murdered millions of people, spare me your hanky. Here is where I agree with you - the murder of so many of its own people by a government was a tragedy. The murder of so many military officers nearly cost Russia her nationhood when Hitler invaded.

We can go ahead and have our disagreements, Zvezda, but do not insult the memories of those who died in the Holocaust or in the Stalinsit purges by using euphemisms for murder, I must insist on this point.

Offline Zvezda

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #351 on: April 21, 2009, 01:35:32 PM »
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What nerve.  YOU are the one engaging in denial with your use of the word "repression" as a euphemism for murder. 

"Murder" is not the proper term, for repression was carried out by the judicial organs chosen by the Russian people themselves. Many of those repressed were undoubtedly guilty of serious crimes against the state and society while others were wrongly convicted of crimes they did not commit. While many mistakes, excesses, and errors were made during the events of 1937-38, that does not meant that the concept of punishing people for serious crimes is inhuman. The intentions were correct, but the ends were excessive.

The events of 1937-38 were no less murderous than the executions of Vlasov, Krasnov, and other traitors to the motherland. The main difference for the events of 1937-38 was that some people were wrongly convicted of anti-state crimes.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2009, 01:37:50 PM by Zvezda »

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #352 on: April 21, 2009, 03:27:33 PM »
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What nerve.  YOU are the one engaging in denial with your use of the word "repression" as a euphemism for murder. 

"Murder" is not the proper term, for repression was carried out by the judicial organs chosen by the Russian people themselves. Many of those repressed were undoubtedly guilty of serious crimes against the state and society while others were wrongly convicted of crimes they did not commit. While many mistakes, excesses, and errors were made during the events of 1937-38, that does not meant that the concept of punishing people for serious crimes is inhuman. The intentions were correct, but the ends were excessive.

The events of 1937-38 were no less murderous than the executions of Vlasov, Krasnov, and other traitors to the motherland. The main difference for the events of 1937-38 was that some people were wrongly convicted of anti-state crimes.

I don't know whether to scream or to hope you eventually can develop compassion for people who are killed (murdered, butchered, executed, deprived of life) unjustly by their governments. No one here has suggested that it is inhuman to punish people for truly serious crimes. Every civilized country does this, and that's not the point.

The point is, you can not seem to distinguish between justice and murder by government. I do hope some day you can do this.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #353 on: April 21, 2009, 07:10:08 PM »
I think George Steiner had a point when he said in one essay that Hitler's idea of murdering every last Jewish child that existed on earth was particularly reprehensible and somehow even worse (if anything could be worse) than what happened in the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin. But he should have included the Roma (Gypsies) in this ultimate condemnation of the Nazi regime. That's the thing, whenever anyone's arguing a particular side on this issue, they always leave at least one crucial part out of it.

The fact of the matter is, Nazi genocide was directed not only against Jews but also against the Gypsies. Gypsy children and even infants went to the gas chambers. And the next target on the list? Slavs. In fact, as far as I recall, Russian POWs were the first (experimental) victims of the poisonous gas Zyklon B at Auschwitz. In other words, Slavs were only one step above Jews and Gypsies on the Nazi racial ladder. They, too, were ultimately expendable.

I think the normal human mind has difficulty grasping the full range of human evil. Which is to say, that the Soviet democide (which is to say, deliberate and/or negligent governmental actions resulting in the mass deaths of certain civilian populations, usually on the basis of class or nationality or political allegiance) was, to my mind, somewhat different than the Nazi genocide, although both were similar in their results - millions of deaths of innocent people. In the end, it hardly matters who was responsible for more deaths in the cursed twentieth century - Stalin, Hitler, or, for that matter, Mao. They were all mass murderers and they all have blood on their hands. I hope they are all rotting in hell, and indeed, I wish Dante had invented a special circle of Hell for criminals of this kind.



 
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Offline LisaDavidson

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #354 on: April 21, 2009, 11:22:16 PM »
I think George Steiner had a point when he said in one essay that Hitler's idea of murdering every last Jewish child that existed on earth was particularly reprehensible and somehow even worse (if anything could be worse) than what happened in the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin. But he should have included the Roma (Gypsies) in this ultimate condemnation of the Nazi regime. That's the thing, whenever anyone's arguing a particular side on this issue, they always leave at least one crucial part out of it.

The fact of the matter is, Nazi genocide was directed not only against Jews but also against the Gypsies. Gypsy children and even infants went to the gas chambers. And the next target on the list? Slavs. In fact, as far as I recall, Russian POWs were the first (experimental) victims of the poisonous gas Zyklon B at Auschwitz. In other words, Slavs were only one step above Jews and Gypsies on the Nazi racial ladder. They, too, were ultimately expendable.

I think the normal human mind has difficulty grasping the full range of human evil. Which is to say, that the Soviet democide (which is to say, deliberate and/or negligent governmental actions resulting in the mass deaths of certain civilian populations, usually on the basis of class or nationality or political allegiance) was, to my mind, somewhat different than the Nazi genocide, although both were similar in their results - millions of deaths of innocent people. In the end, it hardly matters who was responsible for more deaths in the cursed twentieth century - Stalin, Hitler, or, for that matter, Mao. They were all mass murderers and they all have blood on their hands. I hope they are all rotting in hell, and indeed, I wish Dante had invented a special circle of Hell for criminals of this kind.

 

Me, too. Thanks, Elisabeth.

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #355 on: April 22, 2009, 09:20:25 AM »
Quote
For instance, in the chapter on the Great Terror, it's explained how the order promulgating the Great Terror of 1938 (in which almost 700,000 innocent people were summarily shot) had to be proposed to the Politburo by Sergei Ezhov, the head of the NKVD.

The tragic events of 1937-38 were just an overreaction to very real foreign and domestic threats. About one-third of those given a death sentence were from Polish, German, Finnish, Latvian nationalities that composed about one percent of the country's population. A large proportion of thsoe repressed were also members of the Communist Party, government burreaucrats, and common criminals. When the Russian Government saw how things got out of control, Yezhov and his henchmen were appropriately punished. To call these events "Great Terror" is improper, because repression was carried out by the legal organs of the Russian state; it's not like death squads were not despatched to carry out massacres.


Excuse me, I don't mean to be rude, but this idea is RUBBISH.  To say the repression (code speak for the murder of 700,000 PEOPLE without benefit of a trial) was  "ok" because it was "carried out by the legal organs of the Russian State" is EXACTLY THE SAME as if you said "To call these events "the Final Solution" is improper because the repression was carried out by the legal organs of the Nazi State: it's not like death squads were not despatched to carry out massacres"

How can the pre meditated murder of 700,000 human beings merely "suspected of some alleged crime" being carried out a totalitarian regime be EXCUSED by anyone??


Offline Zvezda

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #356 on: April 22, 2009, 11:06:06 AM »
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was  "ok" because it was "carried out by the legal organs of the Russian State" is EXACTLY THE SAME as if you said "To call these events "the Final Solution" is improper because the repression was carried out by the legal organs of the Nazi State: it's not like death squads were not despatched to carry out massacres"

Nazi genocide and war crimes were carried out as a result of aggression against the countries of Europe, which was fundamentally illegal. For you to conflate what the Nazis did to the excesses and mistakes of Russia's government is offensive. You are trivializing the Nazis' premeditated genocide against the peoples of Russia, which stops short of Holocaust denial.
Quote
Stalin, Hitler, or, for that matter, Mao. They were all mass murderers and they all have blood on their hands.
It is similarly obscene to conflate Hitler to Stalin and Mao. The latter two political leaders were adored by their people and brought unprecedented progress and propserity for their nations. Both of them worked actively to safeguard world peace and rendered invaluable assistance to people struggling for freedom, democracy, and justice from Korea to Algeria. When they died, everyone in their countries was struck with grief. They are considered to be national heroes: Stalin is buried along the Kremlin wall and Mao has a prominent mausoleum that is visited by many people. By contrast, the death of Hitler brought nothing but joy to people around the world.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2009, 11:11:58 AM by Zvezda »

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #357 on: April 22, 2009, 04:10:33 PM »
Quote
was  "ok" because it was "carried out by the legal organs of the Russian State" is EXACTLY THE SAME as if you said "To call these events "the Final Solution" is improper because the repression was carried out by the legal organs of the Nazi State: it's not like death squads were not despatched to carry out massacres"

Nazi genocide and war crimes were carried out as a result of aggression against the countries of Europe, which was fundamentally illegal. For you to conflate what the Nazis did to the excesses and mistakes of Russia's government is offensive. You are trivializing the Nazis' premeditated genocide against the peoples of Russia, which stops short of Holocaust denial.


You clearly have no idea then about genuine history of the Nazi German Regime...The Nazi Genocide had NOTHING whatsoever to do with "aggression against the countries of Europe..." (sounds vaguely like some old Soviet era textbook to me...) Here is some genuine history for you:

 As early as 1922, Hitler told Major Joseph Hell, at the time a journalist:
“    Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews. As soon as I have the power to do so, I will have gallows built in rows – at the Marienplatz in Munich, for example – as many as traffic allows. Then the Jews will be hanged indiscriminately, and they will remain hanging until they stink; they will hang there as long as the principles of hygiene permit. As soon as they have been untied, the next batch will be strung up, and so on down the line, until the last Jew in Munich has been exterminated. Other cities will follow suit, precisely in this fashion, until all Germany has been completely cleansed of Jews."  Hell, Josef. "Aufzeichnung", 1922, ZS 640, p. 5, Institut für Zeitgeschichte, cited in Fleming, Gerald. Hitler and the Final Solution. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1984. p. 17, cited in "Joseph Hell on Adolf Hitler", The Einsatzgruppen.

Goebbel's diary the day after meeting with Hitler: The Fuehrer again voices his determination to remorselessly cleanse Europe of its Jews. There can be no sentimental feelings here. The Jews have deserved the catastrophe that they are now experiencing. They shall experience their own annihilation together with the destruction of our enemies. We must accelerate this process with cold brutality; by doing so we are doing an inestimable service to humanity

and here are Goebbels own words about his own COUNTRYMEN who were German Jews still in Berlin, on September 23, 1942,
There are still 48,000 in Berlin. They know with deadly certainty that as the war progresses they will be packed off to the East and delivered up to a murderous fate. They already feel the inevitable harshness of physical extermination and therefore they harm the Reich whenever possible whilst they yet live.

I could go on for pages....

Offline Zvezda

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #358 on: April 22, 2009, 10:16:15 PM »
Some factors of the tragic events of 1937-38 in Russia are worth discussing.

Oleg Khlyevnyuk argues that the the government considered repression as its main method of struggle with a potential fifth column. The basis for repression iincluded participation in the civil war on the side of Russia's enemies, membership in opposition groups, previous convictions, and membership of suspicious nationalities in sensitive frontier regions.

To a large extent, the Yezhovschina was aimed at those allegedly tied to hostile outside forces. Diaspora nationalities of the country such as the Germans, Poles, Latvians, Greeks and others made up about one-third of total death sentences, according to Terry Martin's research. These same groups composed less than two percent of Russia's population.

According to Melanie Ilic's research on the social composition of those affected by the repression, about 17 percent of a sample of those convicted in Leningrad province were defined as "without definite occupation". They included people living illegally in Leningrad, religious personnel, and military men. These groups composed less than 0.03 percent of Russia’s population. Also in Ilic’s research, Communist Party members (1.5 percent of the population) composed about 7 percent of death sentences in the Leningrad sample.

Scholars such as J.Arch Getty point to the autonomous and chaotic progress of the repression in the localities and to the extent of denuniciation initiated at a grassroots level -- such as workers against managers, for example. Ordinary citizens were active participants in the shaping of Russia's society and politics in the 1930s.

Offline Elisabeth

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Re: No Stalin, no Hitler?
« Reply #359 on: April 23, 2009, 09:10:43 PM »
Some factors of the tragic events of 1937-38 in Russia are worth discussing.

Oleg Khlyevnyuk argues that the the government considered repression as its main method of struggle with a potential fifth column. The basis for repression iincluded participation in the civil war on the side of Russia's enemies, membership in opposition groups, previous convictions, and membership of suspicious nationalities in sensitive frontier regions.

To a large extent, the Yezhovschina was aimed at those allegedly tied to hostile outside forces. Diaspora nationalities of the country such as the Germans, Poles, Latvians, Greeks and others made up about one-third of total death sentences, according to Terry Martin's research. These same groups composed less than two percent of Russia's population.

According to Melanie Ilic's research on the social composition of those affected by the repression, about 17 percent of a sample of those convicted in Leningrad province were defined as "without definite occupation". They included people living illegally in Leningrad, religious personnel, and military men. These groups composed less than 0.03 percent of Russia’s population. Also in Ilic’s research, Communist Party members (1.5 percent of the population) composed about 7 percent of death sentences in the Leningrad sample.

Scholars such as J.Arch Getty point to the autonomous and chaotic progress of the repression in the localities and to the extent of denuniciation initiated at a grassroots level -- such as workers against managers, for example. Ordinary citizens were active participants in the shaping of Russia's society and politics in the 1930s.

Okay, Zvezda, then by your same logic, back in the 1950s and 60s the government of the United States of America would have been perfectly justified in "repressing" (i.e., shooting in the back of the neck, i.e., literally exterminating) the entire American Communist party, since they were largely (indeed, as it turns out, hugely) funded by the Soviet Union for the precise purpose of conducting subversive activities against the elected American government.

As for what you call the "autonomous and chaotic progress of the repression" against so-called enemies of the state under Stalin, I should remind you that much the same situation prevailed in Nazi Germany. Loads of people "autonomously" denounced their neighbors to the government either out of spite (long-standing personal feuds), or, far more frequently, out of greed, the desire for personal gain (usually the desire to take over someone's house or apartment, which could even include furniture and personal belongings - and considering the overall poverty of Germany after the Great Depression, not to mention the overall poverty of most Soviet citizens in the 1930s, this was a very real incentive).

Zvezda, I would advise you to read the diaries Victor Klemperer wrote as a persecuted Jew in Nazi Germany. They are completely of a piece with the works Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote about the mentality of the average Soviet citizen under Stalin - which could be boiled down to, "either survive, or thrive." The politically "repressed," as you so poetically put it, were bent on surviving, usually without much luck (if they even had a glimpse that they were about to be "repressed," since many of the murdered were ordinary people simply pulled off the streets by the secret police, in order to fulfill top secret death quotas handed down from on high). Those who weren't politically "repressed" (i.e., imprisoned, exiled, and/or murdered out of hand by Stalin's butchers) were quite often the scumbags of the earth, to put it bluntly. These were the very same people who denounced their neighbors for being spies, the very same people who took over their "repressed" neighbors' apartments without a moment's regret. Again, read Victor Klemperer's diaries. He tells very much the same story about Nazi Germany.

People are not very nice to each other, even at the best of times. So try to imagine the worst of times.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 09:17:58 PM by Elisabeth »
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