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Mon Jan 14, 2013, 05:53 AM

Untold History: Stalin, the Soviet Union and WWII

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Reply Untold History: Stalin, the Soviet Union and WWII (Original post)
geefloyd46 Jan 2013 OP
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #1
jtuck004 Jan 2013 #3
malthaussen Jan 2013 #2
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #5
Victor_c3 Jan 2013 #6
Victor_c3 Jan 2013 #7
malthaussen Jan 2013 #9
Botany Jan 2013 #4
malthaussen Jan 2013 #8
Botany Jan 2013 #11
malthaussen Jan 2013 #12
Botany Jan 2013 #13
jtuck004 Jan 2013 #10
msanthrope Jan 2013 #14
malthaussen Jan 2013 #15
Diclotican Jan 2013 #16

Response to geefloyd46 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:16 AM

1. I don't know...

 

I generally like his message on everything but this:

While saying Stalin was a dictator, he says:

1. People liked him and there is still nostalgia for him.
2. A lot was achieved in the economy.
3. A lot was achieved in science and such.
4. He was able to mobilize the people in a massive way.

All those same things could be said about hitler.

I highly recommend the book the Unquiet Ghost by Adam Hochschild

http://www.amazon.com/Unquiet-Ghost-Russians-Remember-Stalin/dp/0618257470/ref=la_B000APHVX4_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1358176470&sr=1-4

And also Imperium by Ryszard Kapuscinski

http://www.amazon.com/Imperium-Ryszard-Kapuscinski/dp/067974780X/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358176525&sr=1-2&keywords=imperium

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:59 AM

3. Near as I can tell we killed more Native People than he did others.

Business here paid the equivalent of billions (in early 1900) to enslave and kill workers in coal mines and manufacturing jobs. We invented state-codified racism enslaving and killing off whole generations of people, something we haven't fixed yet as we jail far more black folk than anyone else, though all of us have profited from their misery. Today we talk about how tragic it is to shoot kids in a classroom, while our drones have killed 176 innocent children, who I am pretty sure didn't have terrorist blood running through their veins. We may blow another one or two up just to get through the week, eh?

Having lived in a country where we have fed a steady diet of bullshit for a couple hundred years about how bad other places were, it seems incredibly unpopular to look at our own sins...we even shoot and hang people for daring to talk about them or organize something better.

It's very tough tough to get an accurate picture of others lives from a country where one is taught every day that it has always been better than any other country, even if we have to lie to teach it.





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Response to geefloyd46 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:59 AM

2. The same can be said of many dictators.

As has long been known, single-person rule has advantages and disadvantages. Any balanced assessment of Hitler, Stalin, or Pope Julius II has to take into account both the terrors they caused and the results they obtained. Mussolini, famously, "made the trains run on time."

Stalin's policies probably killed more people than Hitler's. Hitler is hated more because he directly attacked Western Europe and the US, and Western Europe and the US are the sources of our history. This segment is part of "unknown" history, after all, because few of us in the West recognize the contribution of the USSR in the defeat of the Axis to begin with. Much of what Stalin did is shrouded in mystery and obscured by revisionists, at least on this side of what was once called the Iron Curtain.

The fact does remain, however, that not everything done by the dictators was bad. Just as not everything done by democratic countries is good.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:37 PM

5. Good post.

 

The great thing about the "trains run on time" thing is that Mussolini actually failed at that but the Propaganda was so good it has stuck with us!

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:46 PM

6. I'm very interested in this period of history and Stalin and Hitler

You are absolutely right in that most Americans like to think that we were solely instrumental in winning WWII. Not to understate our contribution, but we only faced about 30-40% of the German military strength. The majority of the German military was fighting the Soviets on the Eastern front. The casualties and the losses the Soviets dealt with are mind blowing. I'm just shooting from the hip with these numbers, but roughly 9-10 Soviet Soldiers were killed for every German Soldier killed on the eastern front. Over 20,000,000 Soviets died in WWII - or roughly 14% of their country's population. In the final battle of WWII, the Soviets lost 70,000 people taking Berlin - fighting a defeated and severely weakened enemy. In contrast, the US lost between 14-19,000 during the Normandy Landing facing an essentially full-strength enemy.

I totally can't remember the name of the documentary, but I watched a multi-part documentary about Stalin and the Soviet role in WWII that was very informative. I had no idea that Stalin and Hitler not only had a non-aggression pact, but they had devised plans to separate Poland and add the land to their respective nations before the war started. Stalin even allowed German subs to use his navy bases before the Germans attacked the Soviets. I'll see if I can find that documentary. It was a great series.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:49 PM

7. I found the documentary I was talking about

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:55 PM

9. One curiosity I've always found about apologists for capitalism

... is that they point to the post-war "progress" made by the US and the USSR as illuminating the superiority of capitalism, while totally ignoring the devastation wrought on the USSR during WWII. Not just in population killed, but in destruction of infrastructure, industries, power... the USSR was in a deep hole after WWII, and they did not receive Marshall Plan assistance.

-- Mal

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Response to geefloyd46 (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:06 PM

4. bull shit

In the 1930s as we were going though the great depression Stalin was starving
4 to 9 million people to death in the USSR. Although I couldn't stomach the whole
thing it is garbage for people to come out w/ this revisionist history.

Stalin was a brutal awful man and the USSR was not a workers paradise in the
the 1930s.

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Response to Botany (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:52 PM

8. What part of "Stalin's policies probably killed more people than Hitler's"

... do you disagree with?

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:06 PM

11. Look up Holodomor

BTW where did i say he Stalin killed more than Hitler?

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Response to Botany (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:08 PM

12. What we have here is failure to communicate.

I said "Stalin's policies probably killed more than Hitler's" in the post you label "bullshit."

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:14 PM

13. sorry



have some quacamole and chips

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Response to Botany (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:04 PM

10. For a moment I thought those were dead children from our own coalfields in the 1900's, but

then I realized they were too clean and and perhaps better fed.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:16 PM

14. 6-0 to keep this post. nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 01:17 PM

15. I should hope so!

Very good comment.

-- Mal

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Response to geefloyd46 (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:18 AM

16. geefloyd46

geefloyd46

Some details in this story is maybe new - but for the most part, everyone who have read some history books, about pre-war EUROPE and the political games behind the official theater, know that Stalin and Hitler was two cynical dudes, who was playing a game of who would end up being the most powerfully nation after the war.. Hitler was a gambler, from early 1920s, he had gambled his way to power - and after he got elected - in 1933, he continued to gamble for higher and higher stakes.. And by the way, the invasion in Rhineland was not in 1936 as the video suggest, it was in 1935, and was the first "foreign debacle" Germany under Hitler was playing out... But the video have it right, when they stated - by Hitler himself, that the invasion of Rhineland was maybe one of the most scary thing he ever did... Some reaction from the other side, and he might have ended up as a Foley rather than a master of most of Europe for a time..

After the west have given Hitler more or less everything he wanted - even the castration of Tsjekkoslovakia, the only democratic country in central Europe by 1938 Stalin decided it was maybe time to make some overtures to mr Hitler.. And Hitler was indeed interesting on playing nice with Stalin - when it come to Poland, who Germany wanted to occupy anyway.. The Ribbentrop-Molotov pact of 1939, was no less of a shock for most of the world - sure enough for the west-allied who also have tried to make some way with Stalin - but who was not interesting of given Stalin anything he was interesting in. A securing of his own borders - some "border adjustments" here and there - aka occupying of other nations land. The old distrust for the Soviet Union, going back to revolution times, where France and UK had been supporting the anti-revolutionary forces who until the civil war of 1922 was over, was making russia a horrible place to be. And many of them, part of the "Old guard" managed to have a great influence when it come to foreign affairs specially when it come to the USSR. In fact, the distrust for Soviet union, and to Stalin was so engraved into the foreign affairs offices in Paris and London, that it was not until the Ribbentrop - Molotov treaty was known, that they was indeed making serious efforts to make some way to a treaty with Stalin.. Of course Stalin had no interest in making another treaty with the Western Powers, as he got more or less a free hand thanks to Hitler. And it tell a lot, that the diplomats in charge from the UK/France corps, who was in Russia in 1939, was not even allowed to make a decision on their own. Where Ribbentrop and his diplomats was given broad powers to make a deal, the western powers had to call back, almost every hour to make a decision about what to do next.
. The war with the Finns in 1939-1940 was given many the idea that the Soviet army for the most part was devastated as the small country of Finland, for mounts could give the mighty Red Army a bloody nose, where many russians was killed as a result of the fact that the finns was better prepared for a winter war than the red army ever was.. In fact it was not until Stalin was given the generals a Chance to do their job - rather than being bullied by the "political officers" who messed up everything, that the finns was getting into real problems - that and the treat about bombing Helsinki (the capital) to ruins.. The images from Warsaw was already known, by then - and the finns was not willing to do that to their nice capital.. But when Hitler in 1941 was invading USSR, the finns was making their best to retake the areas they had lost in the "peace deal" of 1940 - but then stopped by the old border, as they was not willing to gamble to much when it come to Russia.. Who made the german Generals furious because they wanted the finns to do their job, to conquer the mighty symbol of St-Petersburg, or Leningrad as it was known as that.. Hitler was even promising that the finns could have the whole area for them self after the war - if they was just willing to put soldiers on the ground - to squeeze the life out of the city... They refused - and even thought they used big cannons to shoot into the City, no finns in the uniform of Finland's army was ever in the Vincenty of the City (as best as I know it)..

Your late President FDR had maybe a naive view about Joseph Stalin, even though I do believe he was honest, when he wanted to work together with Stalin on many cases.. The cold war started after FDR died - and new, more suspicious presidents got into office, and decided that Stalin was maybe a worse enemy than Hitler was.. What Stalin wanted to do, is maybe not that easy to know, as he was not easy to tell what he really wanted.. But he got more or less all what he wanted after WW2. He won over Hitler - he got all the border adjustments he ever would have wanted to get.. He occupied most of Eastern Europe and made it satellite states of USSR for 40 or so years.. And the West had no interest in risk a war with USSR, over Tsjekkiaslovakia, or Hungary - or East Germany as time was going by..

And then of course we had the massive propaganda on both sides - the russians was a scared about the military might of the West, as the West was scared about the military might of the East.. In fact I suspect the russians was more scared about the possibility of a war with the west, than the west was scared about a war with the East to be honest.. It make an impression when more than 20 million people is killed by the enemy...

Diclotican

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