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An American professor defends Stalinism: reality, not fiction. (1 Viewer)

kowalskil

Senior Member
The message below has been posted at our university forum. The author once accused me of spreading cold war propaganda (referring to my two books).


Ludwik Kowalski, author of "Diary of a Former Communist"


Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality


=================================


” March 7 2013


To the Editor:


Istvan Deak’s review “Could Stalin Have Been Stopped?” (NYRB March 13 2013 - http://www.nybooks.c...…topped/?page=1) is filled with statements about Soviet history that are factually false. Here is a partial list:


* There was no “intentional killing by starvation of millions of Ukrainians” by Stalin. Every Western expert rejects the “Holodomor” myth, which originated with pro-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists in the 1950s.


* Stalin did not “shoot hundreds of thousands of imaginary political enemies in the later 1930s.” NKVD chief Nikolai Ezhov did so, as a part of his conspiracy against the Soviet government. In 1939-40 he and over a hundred of his top NKVD men were tried and executed for these horrific crimes.


* Stalin did not “attempt” to “eliminate much of the Polish leadership”. It was the Nazis who did so, in their “AB-Aktion.”


* There exists an important dispute over who shot the Poles in the murders known as the Katyn Massacre and good evidence that the Soviets shot some Polish POWs and the Germans later shot the rest.


* Stalin was not a “dictator.” He worked collaboratively with other Politburo members and was sometimes defeated. Stephen G. Wheatcroft has termed Stalin’s prewar method of rule “Team Stalin.”


* There were no “combined Nazi and Soviet invasions.” The Red Army did not “invade Poland” on September 17 1939. Abandoned by its government the Soviets had to prevent the German army from marching up to the existing Soviet border, something no country would have permitted. Winston Churchill said that the Soviets were right to do so.


* Though armed and equipped by the Soviet Union in 1941-42 the “anti-Nazi army formed by General Władysław Anders” refused to fight the Nazis until 1944.


* The Polish Home Army”, riddled with anti-Semitism, shot Jews escaping from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 and collaborated with the German army against the Red Army.


* American and British pilots were not “routinely denied landing rights” when “trying to help the Home Army.” They were denied such rights for a few weeks in August-September 1944 because, like General Władysław Anders, Stalin considered the Warsaw Uprising to be a crime against the Polish people.


* There is no evidence that the Soviets “massacred thousands of innocent” Poles.


A Hungarian, Deak fails to mention that Hungary invaded the Soviet Union side by side with Nazi Germany, and Hungarian forces murdered at least hundreds of thousands of innocent Soviet citizens, including many Jews.


Grover Furr, Montclair State University “
 

Kevin

WF Veterans
Fascinating subject though little understood by the American populace. In this day and age, I am amazed that there is actually a defender of Stalinism.
 

Bilston Blue

WF Veterans
* There were no “combined Nazi and Soviet invasions.” The Red Army did not “invade Poland” on September 17 1939. Abandoned by its government the Soviets had to prevent the German army from marching up to the existing Soviet border, something no country would have permitted. Winston Churchill said that the Soviets were right to do so.

I'd say this point rests on one's definition of the term invasion. If we understand "invasion" to mean sending an army into the sovereign territory of another nation, then yes, the Red Army did indeed invade Poland, an act which ended with a non-aggression pact and the division of Poland between the Soviets and Nazi Germany.

Grover Furr states the Soviets needed to prevent the Germans from marching up to the border, but doesn't explain how this was done if not by invasion. If by invasion he means something other than sending in between half and three-quarters of a million men in thirty plus army divisions launched from Belarus and Ukraine and what is now the Kaliningrad exclave, then I'm not sure to what he is referring.

Reading the other points briefly, I'd say it'd be a good job for someone in the academic world to put together a thesis on why this man is equally as corrupt as the esteemed revisionist, David Irving. He comes across as a Stalin sympathiser, no more, no less.


Team Stalin! Did they have cheerleaders wearing hammer and sickle vests whilst waving red pom-poms?
 

dale

Senior Member
many american university professors are communists. this doesn't surprise me in the least.
 

WechtleinUns

Senior Member
If my memory serves me correctly, Stalin was born in a small town on the borders of Ukraine, to an abusive, alcoholic father, and to a mother who Sigmund Freud would have attached significance to. He made money as a choir boy for the church, and received an imperial scholarship to study in St. Petersberg. Peter the great was attempting reforms at the time, and part of those reforms was the re-location of promising youth into higher education and prominent positions.

Stalin was a charmer, and popular with women. He had many affairs with older women as a youngster, and many affairs with younger women when he was older. He knew his wife's family, and his wife Nadhza, from childhood, though it should be mentioned that Stalin was already in his twenties when his future wife was born.

There is speculation that the horrors were a result of Nadhza's suicide, which caused him great grief.
 

Blade

Creative Area Specialist (Fiction)
WF Veterans
Fascinating subject though little understood by the American populace. In this day and age, I am amazed that there is actually a defender of Stalinism.

Same here. I always thought that interest in WW2 in the English peaking world ended at the German -Polish border. The war is an extensive topic and possibly the right author could rekindle interest in the eastern front. Problem is, I think, that virtually no one in the west has family, friends or ancestors who were directly involved.
 

kowalskil

Senior Member
If my memory serves me correctly, Stalin was born in a small town on the borders of Ukraine, to an abusive, alcoholic father, and to a mother who Sigmund Freud would have attached significance to. He made money as a choir boy for the church, and received an imperial scholarship to study in St. Petersberg. Peter the great was attempting reforms at the time, and part of those reforms was the re-location of promising youth into higher education and prominent positions.

Stalin was a charmer, and popular with women. He had many affairs with older women as a youngster, and many affairs with younger women when he was older. He knew his wife's family, and his wife Nadhza, from childhood, though it should be mentioned that Stalin was already in his twenties when his future wife was born.

There is speculation that the horrors were a result of Nadhza's suicide, which caused him great grief.

Your recollections are essentially correct. Here are two two minor corrections:

He was born in Gori, a small town in Georgia. And the seminary he attended (but not finished) was also in Georgia. His biographies are worth reading.
 

Whisper

Senior Member
I must say, this particular thread has peaked my interest inRussian history. If I wasn't already tied up in getting my masters so I canbecome a communist university professor I'd do a little research in this. Iguess for now, I'll have to be content in reading this thread. When I wasgetting my BA I had a chance to take a History of Russia class, but it was atoss up between Russian history and South American history. I went the latter.
 

alanmt

WF Veterans
Same here. I always thought that interest in WW2 in the English peaking world ended at the German -Polish border. The war is an extensive topic and possibly the right author could rekindle interest in the eastern front. Problem is, I think, that virtually no one in the west has family, friends or ancestors who were directly involved.

Amongst American hobby wargamers and military historians, there is great interest in the eastern front campaigns. My husband's grandfather was caught in the encirclement after Stalingrad and was a POW for awhile.
 

Rustgold

Senior Member
When I wasgetting my BA I had a chance to take a History of Russia class, but it was atoss up between Russian history and South American history. I went the latter.

I think you made the correct choice, South American history has more depth to it.
 
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