Russian Stalin Quotes

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Though I obviously have no proof of this, the one aspect of life that seems clear to me is that good people do whatever they believe is the right thing to do. Being virtuous is hard, not easy. The idea of doing good things simply because you're good seems like a zero-sum game; I'm not even sure those actions would still qualify as 'good,' since they'd merely be a function of normal behavior. Regardless of what kind of god you believe in--a loving god, a vengeful god, a capricious god, a snooty beret-wearing French god, or whatever--one has to assume that you can't be penalized for doing the things you believe to be truly righteous and just. Certainly, this creates some pretty glaring problems: Hitler may have thought he was serving God. Stalin may have thought he was serving God (or something vaguely similar). I'm certain Osama bin Laden was positive he was serving God. It's not hard to fathom that all of those maniacs were certain that what they were doing was right. Meanwhile, I constantly do things that I know are wrong; they're not on the same scale as incinerating Jews or blowing up skyscrapers, but my motivations might be worse. I have looked directly into the eyes of a woman I loved and told her lies for no reason, except that those lies would allow me to continue having sex with another woman I cared about less. This act did not kill 20 million Russian peasants, but it might be more 'diabolical' in a literal sense. If I died and found out I was going to hell and Stalin was in heaven, I would note the irony, but I couldn't complain. I don't make the fucking rules.
Chuck Klosterman (Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto)
Americans talked about voters the same way Russians talked about Stalin. They had to be obeyed.
Ken Follett (Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2))
We must distinguish between ‘sentimental’ and ‘sensitive’. A sentimentalist may be a perfect brute in his free time. A sensitive person is never a cruel person. Sentimental Rousseau, who could weep over a progressive idea, distributed his many natural children through various poorhouses and workhouses and never gave a hoot for them. A sentimental old maid may pamper her parrot and poison her niece. The sentimental politician may remember Mother’s Day and ruthlessly destroy a rival. Stalin loved babies. Lenin sobbed at the opera, especially at the Traviata.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Russian Literature)
Nazism did not destroy civil society. Bolshevism did destroy civil society. This is one of the reasons for the “miracle” of German recovery, and for the continuation of Russian vulnerability and failure. Stalin did not destroy civil society. Lenin destroyed civil society.
Martin Amis (Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million)
For twenty-five years I've been speaking and writing in defense of your right to happiness in this world, condemning your inability to take what is your due, to secure what you won in bloody battles on the barricades of Paris and Vienna, in the American Civil War, in the Russian Revolution. Your Paris ended with Petain and Laval, your Vienna with Hitler, your Russia with Stalin, and your America may well end in the rule of the Ku Klux Klan! You've been more successful in winning your freedom than in securing it for yourself and others. This I knew long ago. What I did not understand was why time and again, after fighting your way out of a swamp, you sank into a worse one. Then groping and cautiously looking about me, I gradually found out what has enslaved you: YOUR SLAVE DRIVER IS YOU YOURSELF. No one is to blame for your slavery but you yourself. No one else, I say!
Wilhelm Reich (Listen, Little Man!)
If the Russian people and the Russian elite remembered - viscerally, emotionally remembered - what Stalin did to the Chechens, they could not have invaded Chechnya in the 1990s, not once and not twice. To do so was the moral equivalent of postwar Germany invading western Poland. Very few Russians saw it that way - which is itself evidence of how little they know about their own history.
Anne Applebaum (Gulag: A History)
It is estimated that Josef Stalin killed more than twenty million people during his reign of terror. The Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia lost more than a third of their population during the Soviet genocide. The deportations reached as far as Finland. To this day, many Russians deny they ever deported a single person. But most Baltic people harbor no grudge, resentment, or ill will. They are grateful to the Soviets who showed compassion. Their freedom is precious, and they are learning to live within it. For some, the liberties we have as American citizens came at the expense of people who lie in unmarked graves in Siberia. Like Joana for Lina, our freedom cost them theirs. Some wars are about bombing. For the people of the Baltics, this war was about believing. In 1991, after 50 years of brutal occupation, the three Baltic countries regained their independence, peacefully and with dignity. They chose hope over hate and showed the world that even through the darkest night, there is light. Please research it. Tell someone. These three tiny nations have taught us that love is the most powerful army. Whether love of friend, love of country, love of God, or even love of enemy - love reveals to us the truly miraculous nature of the human spirit.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
The degeneration of the revolution in Russia does not pass from the revolution for communism to the revolution for a developed kind of capitalism, but to a pure capitalist revo­lution. It runs in parallel with world-wide capitalist domination which, by successive steps, eliminates old feudal and Asiatic forms in various zones. While the historical situation in the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries caused the capitalist revolution to take liberal forms, in the twentieth century it must have totalitarian and bureaucratic ones.
Amadeo Bordiga
The fervor and single-mindedness of this deification probably have no precedent in history. It's not like Duvalier or Assad passing the torch to the son and heir. It surpasses anything I have read about the Roman or Babylonian or even Pharaonic excesses. An estimated $2.68 billion was spent on ceremonies and monuments in the aftermath of Kim Il Sung's death. The concept is not that his son is his successor, but that his son is his reincarnation. North Korea has an equivalent of Mount Fuji—a mountain sacred to all Koreans. It's called Mount Paekdu, a beautiful peak with a deep blue lake, on the Chinese border. Here, according to the new mythology, Kim Jong Il was born on February 16, 1942. His birth was attended by a double rainbow and by songs of praise (in human voice) uttered by the local birds. In fact, in February 1942 his father and mother were hiding under Stalin's protection in the dank Russian city of Khabarovsk, but as with all miraculous births it's considered best not to allow the facts to get in the way of a good story.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
Stalin is one of the most extraordinary figures in world history. He began as a small clerk, and he has never stopped being a clerk. Stalin owes nothing to rhetoric. He governs from his office, thanks to a bureaucracy that obeys his every nod and gesture. It's striking that Russian propaganda, in the criticisms it makes of us, always holds itself within certain limits. Stalin, that cunning Caucasian, is apparently quite ready to abandon European Russia, if he thinks that a failure to solve her problems would cause him to lose everything. Let nobody think Stalin might reconquer Europe from the Urals! It is as if I were installed in Slovakia, and could set out from there to reconquer the Reich. This is the catastrophe that will cause the loss of the Soviet Empire.
Adolf Hitler
If circumstances should make it impossible (temporarily, I hope) for me to be a Russian writer, perhaps I shall be able, like the Pole Joseph Conrad, to become for a time an English writer... ("Letter To Stalin")
Yevgeny Zamyatin
Half of the population is behind bars and the other half is guarding them,' Russians have said of their country since the times of Stalin.
Masha Gessen (Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot)
Bolshevik intellectuals did not confine their reading to Marxist works. They knew Russian and European literature and philosophy and kept up with current trends in art and thoughts. Aspects of Nietzsche’s thought were either surprisingly compatible with Marxism or treated issues that Marx and Engels had neglected. Nietzsche sensitized Bolsheviks committed to reason and science to the importance of the nonrational aspects of the human psyche and to the psychpolitical utility of symbol, myth, and cult. His visions of “great politics” (grosse Politik) colored their imaginations. Politik, like the Russian word politika, means both “politics” and “policy”; grosse has also been translated as “grand” or “large scale.” The Soviet obsession with creating a new culture stemmed primarily from Nietzsche, Wagner, and their Russian popularizers. Marx and Engels never developed a detailed theory of culture because they considered it part of the superstructure that would change to follow changes in the economic base.
Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal (New Myth, New World: From Nietzsche to Stalinism)
The golden stock of the Russian Revolution.' Where is this golden stock today? These people have come to replace them. From the top to the bottom.They are offering up Russia,they driving people to their deaths.Sasha remembered:Panait Istrati had called those who had opposed and fought against Stalin in the 1920s and who were annihilated by him in the 1930s 'the golden stock of the Russian Revolution
Anatoli Rybakov (Dust and Ashes (Arbat tetralogy, #4))
To survive and be happy, Russians have so much to bury, to willfully ignore. Small wonder that the intensity of their pleasures and indulgences is so sharp; it has to match the quality of their suffering.
Owen Matthews (Stalin's Children: Three Generations of Love and War)
Many rightist movements, refraining from hyperinflammatory rhetoric or arming vigilante “brotherhoods” to combat leftists and Jews and assassinate public figures, were considerably less volatile than the Union of the Russian People.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
Outside of your relationship with God, the most important relationship you can have is with yourself. I don’t mean that we are to spend all our time focused on me, me, me to the exclusion of others. Instead, I mean that we must be healthy internally—emotionally and spiritually—in order to create healthy relationships with others. Motivational pep talks and techniques for achieving success are useless if a person is weighed down by guilt, shame, depression, rejection, bitterness, or crushed self-esteem. Countless marriages land on the rocks of divorce because unhealthy people marry thinking that marriage, or their spouse, will make them whole. Wrong. If you’re not a healthy single person you won’t be a healthy married person. Part of God’s purpose for every human life is wholeness and health. I love the words of Jesus in John 10:10: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” God knows we are the walking wounded in this world and He wants the opportunity to remove everything that limits us and heal every wound from which we suffer. Some wonder why God doesn’t just “fix” us automatically so we can get on with life. It’s because He wants our wounds to be our tutors to lead us to Him. Pain is a wonderful motivator and teacher! When the great Russian intellectual Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was released from the horrible Siberian work camp to which he was sent by Joseph Stalin, he said, “Thank you, prison!” It was the pain and suffering he endured that caused his eyes to be opened to the reality of the God of his childhood, to embrace his God anew in a personal way. When we are able to say thank you to the pain we have endured, we know we are ready to fulfill our purpose in life. When we resist the pain life brings us, all of our energy goes into resistance and we have none left for the pursuit of our purpose. It is the better part of wisdom to let pain do its work and shape us as it will. We will be wiser, deeper, and more productive in the long run. There is a great promise in the New Testament that says God comes to us to comfort us so we can turn around and comfort those who are hurting with the comfort we have received from Him (see 2 Corinthians 1:3–4). Make yourself available to God and to those who suffer. A large part of our own healing comes when we reach out with compassion to others.
Zig Ziglar (Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can't Wait to Live)
In the broad field of Russian letters in the USSR, I was the one and only literary wolf. I was advised to dye my fur. Absurd advice. You can dye a wolf, clip a wolf - he still doesn't look like a poodle. - to Joseph Stalin, May 30, 1931
Mikhail Bulgakov
The Union of the Russian People helped invent a new style of right-wing politics—novel not just for Russia but for most of the world—a politics in a new key oriented toward the masses, public spaces, and direct action, a fascism avant la lettre.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
Russia was a genuine great power, but with a tragic flaw. Its vicious, archaic autocracy had to be emasculated for any type of better system to emerge. Unmodern in principle, let alone in practice, the autocracy died a deserving death in the maelstrom of the Anglo-German antagonism, the bedlam of Serbian nationalism, the hemophilia bequeathed by Queen Victoria, the pathology of the Romanov court, the mismanagement by the Russian government of its wartime food supply, the determination of women and men marching for bread and justice, the mutiny of the capital garrison, and the defection of the Russian high command. But the Great War did not break a functioning autocratic system; the war smashed an already broken system wide open.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
The Japanese conquest of Manchuria and their full-scale invasion of China in 1937 led to clashes on the badly mapped Soviet-Manchurian frontier. Some of these were serious and involved large-scale tank battles, which the Russians, under Marshal Zhukov, won.
Paul Johnson (Stalin: The Kremlin Mountaineer (Icons))
Now we will live!” This is what the hungry little boy liked to say, as he toddled along the quiet roadside, or through the empty fields. But the food that he saw was only in his imagination. The wheat had all been taken away, in a heartless campaign of requisitions that began Europe’s era of mass killing. It was 1933, and Joseph Stalin was deliberately starving Soviet Ukraine. The little boy died, as did more than three million other people. “I will meet her,” said a young Soviet man of his wife, “under the ground.” He was right; he was shot after she was, and they were buried among the seven hundred thousand victims of Stalin’s Great Terror of 1937 and 1938. “They asked for my wedding ring, which I….” The Polish officer broke off his diary just before he was executed by the Soviet secret police in 1940. He was one of about two hundred thousand Polish citizens shot by the Soviets or the Germans at the beginning of the Second World War, while Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union jointly occupied his country. Late in 1941, an eleven-year-old Russian girl in Leningrad finished her own humble diary: “Only Tania is left.” Adolf Hitler had betrayed Stalin, her city was under siege by the Germans, and her family were among the four million Soviet citizens the Germans starved to death. The following summer, a twelve-year-old Jewish girl in Belarus wrote a last letter to her father: “I am saying good-bye to you before I die. I am so afraid of this death because they throw small children into the mass graves alive.” She was among the more than five million Jews gassed or shot by the Germans.
Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin)
This is a man who has shown a complete disregard for human life, cynicism and hypocrisy, and a willingness to use war and the deaths of thousands of Russian soldiers and innocent civilians as a PR instrument in his election campaign. This is a man who raised a toast on the anniversary of Stalin’s birth, had the plaque commemorating former KGB head Yury Andropov restored to its place on the wall of the Lubyanka—Federal Security Service headquarters—and dreams of seeing the statue of butcher Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police, stand once again in the center of Moscow.
Garry Kasparov (Winter Is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped)
In the center of the movement, as the motor that swings it onto motion, sits the Leader. He is separated from the elite formation by an inner circle of the initiated who spread around him an aura of impenetrable mystery which corresponds to his “intangible preponderance.” His position within this intimate circle depends upon his ability to spin intrigues among its members and upon his skill in constantly changing its personnel. He owes his rise to leadership to an extreme ability to handle inner-party struggles for power rather than to demagogic or bureaucratic-organizational qualities. He is distinguished from earlier types of dictators in that he hardly wins through simple violence. Hitler needed neither the SA nor the SS to secure his position as leader of the Nazi movement; on the contrary, Röhm, the chief of the SA and able to count upon its loyalty to his own person, was one of Hitler’s inner-party enemies. Stalin won against Trotsky, who not only had a far greater mass appeal but, as chief of the Red Army, held in his hands the greatest power potential in Soviet Russia at the time. Not Stalin, but Trotsky, moreover, was the greatest organizational talent, the ablest bureaucrat of the Russian Revolution. On the other hand, both Hitler and Stalin were masters of detail and devoted themselves in the early stages of their careers almost entirely to questions of personnel, so that after a few years hardly any man of importance remained who did not owe his position to them.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
This is outrageous and demonstrates the danger of permitting religion in the public square,” Liebowitz said. “History teaches us, or should have by now, that wars caused by religion, and especially Christianity, have killed more people than all other causes, combined.” “I'm afraid that's not accurate. Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot each killed millions and they were all confirmed atheists,” Cardinal Guzetti replied. “Remember the Great Peoples Cultural Revolution? Over twenty million died before it was over. The killing fields in Cambodia claimed the lives of unknown millions, but some estimates suggest twenty five percent of the country's population died at the hands of the Camere Rouge. Joseph Stalin starved ten to twelve million Russian peasant farmers to death and killed another two million building the great Canal outside of Moscow. All three of these monsters were confirmed atheists . . . Probably five thousand people were killed during the Inquisition. In America, thirteen were put on trial during the Salem witch trials. Horrible and indefensible, no doubt. But millions of human beings were slaughtered by Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao. I'm afraid we Christians are amateurs compared to you atheists.
Joseph Max Lewis (Separation of Church and State)
It is estimated that Josef Stalin killed more than twenty million people during his reign of terror. The Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia lost more than a third of their population during the Soviet annihilation. The deportations reached as far as Finland. To this day, many Russians deny they ever deported a single person. But most Baltic people harbor no grudge, resentment, or ill will. They are grateful to the Soviets who showed compassion. Their freedom is precious, and they are learning to live within it. For some, the liberties we have as American citizens came at the expense of people who lie in unmarked graves in Siberia.
Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray)
If life ends at the grave, then it makes no ultimate difference whether you live as a Stalin or as a Mother Teresa. Since your destiny is ultimately unrelated to your behavior, you may as well just live as you please. As the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky put it: “If there is no immortality … then all things are permitted.
William Lane Craig (On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision)
It turned out that the Germans were not, in fact, a master race. Hitler had accepted this possibility when he invaded the Soviet Union: “If the German people is not strong enough and devoted enough to give its blood for its existence, let it go and be destroyed by another, stronger man. I shall not shed tears for the German people.” Over the course of the war, Hitler changed his attitude towards the Soviet Union and the Russians: Stalin was not a tool of the Jews but their enemy, the USSR was not or was no longer Jewish, and its population turned out, upon investigation, not to be subhuman. In the end, Hitler decided, “the future belongs entirely to the stronger people of the east.
Timothy Snyder (Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning)
Later bad things will be said about Stalin; he’ll be called a tyrant and his reign of terror will be denounced. But for the people of Eduard’s generation he will remain the supreme leader of the people of the Union at the most tragic moment in their history; the man who defeated the Nazis and proved himself capable of a sacrifice worthy of the ancient Romans: the Germans had captured his son, Lieutenant Yakov Dzhugashvili, while the Russians had captured Field Marshal Paulus, one of the top military leaders of the Reich, at Stalingrad. When the German High Command proposed an exchange, Stalin responded with disdain that he didn’t exchange field marshals for simple lieutenants. Yakov committed suicide by throwing himself on the electrified barbed wire fence of his prison camp. *
Emmanuel Carrère (Limonov: The Outrageous Adventures of the Radical Soviet Poet Who Became a Bum in New York, a Sensation in France, and a Political Antihero in Russia)
Nationalism and socialism as actually lived and applied in the 20th century are the same thing (and in the 18th and 19th century, nationalism was often a force for classical liberalism!). It’s all a kind of reactionary tribalism (another “ism” which becomes poisonous quickly as you up the dosage). When you nationalize an industry, you socialize it. When you socialize an industry you nationalize it. Yes, international socialism rejected this formulation. And that’s why international socialism failed! People wanted to be Germans or Russians or Italians and they wanted to be socialists. Even the Soviet Union embraced national-socialism (socialism in one country) because that 'workers of the world unite' crap wouldn't fly. After Stalin, no Communist or socialist regime failed to exploit nationalism to one extent or another.
Jonah Goldberg
All Russians I knew hoped passionately that, with Hitler beaten, the War allies might continue friendship into long years of peace. They knew, of course - they had known all through the war - that there were elements in America that sabotaged the alliance, and even some who would rather see Hitler win. For two years while Russians perished by millions, they had watched their Allies delay the promised "second front" in the west.
Anna Louise Strong (The Stalin Era)
More than any of the other new states that came into being at war’s end, Poland changed the balance of power in eastern Europe. It was not large enough to be a great power, but it was large enough to be a problem for any great power with plans of expansion. It separated Russia from Germany, for the first time in more than a century. Poland’s very existence created a buffer to both Russian and German power, and was much resented in Moscow and Berlin.
Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin)
Stalin knew that to get the Russian people to fight to the end with their backs to the wall, he needed something more than Marxist materialism. (...) What he did do was a characteristic Stalinist thing, he fetched the patriarch (of the Russian Orthodox Church) and one or two other prelates from the labour camp where they were languishing and brought them to the Kremlin and set them up in business again. It's one of those very significant incidents that tends to get forgotten.
Malcolm Muggeridge (The End of Christendom)
The Korean Peninsula was kind of left over when the Second World War ended. Stalin and Truman each occupied a bit in brotherly agreement, and decided that the 38th parallel would separate north from south. This was then followed by negotiations lasting forever about how Korea should be able to govern itself, but since Stalin and Truman didn’t really have the same political views (not at all, in fact) it all ended up like in Germany. First, the United States established a South Korea, upon which the Soviet Union retaliated with a North Korea. And then the Americans and the Russians left the Koreans to get on with it. But it hadn’t worked out so well. Kim Il Sung in the north and Syngman Rhee in the south, each thought that he was best suited to govern the entire peninsula. And then they had started a war. But after three years, and perhaps four million dead, absolutely nothing had changed. The north was still the north, and the south was still the south. And the 38th parallel still kept them apart.
Jonas Jonasson (The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared)
The Finnish government never deluded itself that the nation could inflict absolute defeat on the Russians: it aspired only to make the price of fulfilling Stalin’s ambitions unacceptably high. This strategy was doomed, however, against an enemy indifferent to human sacrifice. Stalin’s response to the setbacks, indeed humiliations, of the December offensive was to replace failed senior officers—one divisional commander was shot and another spent the rest of the war in the gulag—and to commit massive reinforcements.
Max Hastings (Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945)
The point, of course, is not that Communist China is different from Communist Russia, or that Stalin’s Russia was different from Hitler’s Germany. Drunkenness and incompetence, which loom so large in any description of Russia in the twenties and thirties and are still widespread today, played no role whatsoever in the story of Nazi Germany, while the unspeakable gratuitous cruelty in the German concentration and extermination camps seems to have been largely absent from the Russian camps, where the prisoners died of neglect rather than of torture.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
Some Russian anticommunist writers such as Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov, and many U.S. anticommunist liberals, maintain that the gulag existed right down to the last days of communism. If so, where did it disappear to? After Stalin's death in 1953, more than half of the gulag inmates were freed, according to the study of the NKVD files previously cited. But if so many others remained incarcerated, why have they not materialized? When the communist states were overthrown, where were the half-starved hordes pouring out of the internment camps with their tales of travail?
Michael Parenti (Blackshirts and Reds: Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism)
saw the crew of a Tiger burning up with their vehicle – each man slumped in his hatch, presumably killed by a high-explosive burst as they tried to escape. The flames rose around them, fed by their gasoline reserves, a column of orange as high as an oak tree against the sunset. I saw the crew of a Stalin, disembarked from their bogged-down vehicle in a crater, being set upon by Panzergrenadiers from a Hanomag. Our troops were venting their anger and frustration, and yet conserving their precious ammunition, by bayoneting the Russian crews and clubbing them down with entrenching spades.
Wolfgang Faust (Tiger Tracks - The Classic Panzer Memoir)
Let’s see what we have here. In the north we have everything in order and normal. Finland has given way to us and we’ve pushed the frontier up from Leningrad. The Baltic region – which consists of truly Russian lands! – is ours again; all the Belorussians are now living with us and so are the Ukrainians and the Moldavians. Everything’s normal in the west. What have we got here? . . . The Kurile Islands are now ours, Sakhalin is wholly ours: doesn’t that look good! And Port Arthur and Dalni [Darien] are both ours. The Chinese Railway is ours. As to China and Mongolia, everything’s in order.
Joseph Stalin
The First All-Union Census of the Soviet Union, in 1926, had a secondary agenda beyond a simple count: it overtly queried Soviet citizens about their nationality. Its findings convinced the ethnic Russians who comprised the Soviet elite that they were in the minority when compared to the aggregated masses of citizens who claimed a Central Asian heritage, such as Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Tajiks, Turkmen, Georgians, and Armenians. These findings significantly strengthened Stalin’s resolve to eradicate these cultures, by “reeducating” their populations in the deracinating ideology of Marxism-Leninism.
Edward Snowden (Permanent Record)
A debilitating absence of government machinery was compounded by White failure in the realm of ideas. Red propaganda effectively stamped the Whites as military adventurists, lackeys of foreign powers, restorationists. The Whites mounted their own propaganda, military parades, and troop reviews blessed by Orthodox priests. Their red, white, and blue flags, the national colors of pre-1917 Russia, often had images of Orthodox saints; others had skulls and crossbones. The Whites copied the Bolshevik practice of the agitation trains. But their slogans—“Let us be one Russian people”—did not persuade.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
To the Jews who wanted a land of their own, where they could organise themselves and live according to their traditions, Stalin had offered a bleak territory in Eastern Siberia: Birobidzhan. Take it or leave it. Anyone who wanted to live as a Jew should go to Siberia; if anyone refused Siberia, that meant he preferred to be Russian. There was no third way. But if a Jew wanted to be Russian, what can, what should he do, if the Russians deny him access to the university, and call him a zhid, and turn the pogromists on him, and form an alliance with Hitler? He can't do anything- especially if he's a woman.
Primo Levi (If Not Now, When?)
The secret protocol of the Hitler-Stalin Pact partitioned Poland between the two signatories and gave the Soviets a free hand over Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Bessarabia, and Northern Bukovina. Most of these new countries were Catholic, which in Stalin’s mind meant subordinated to a foreign power—the Vatican. That was unacceptable for the man who had become the Soviet Union’s only god—at whose order 168,300 Russian Orthodox clergy had been arrested during the purges of 1936–1938 alone, 100,000 of whom had been shot.4 The Russian Orthodox Church, which had had more than fifty-five thousand parishes in 1914, was now reduced to five hundred.5
Ion Mihai Pacepa (Disinformation: Former Spy Chief Reveals Secret Strategies for Undermining Freedom, Attacking Religion, and Promoting Terrorism)
Such is Fascist planning-the planning of those who reject the ideal postulates of Christian civilization and of the older Asiatic civilization which preceded ti and from which it derived-the planning of men whose intentions are avowedly bad. Let us now consider examples of planning by political leaders who accept the ideal postulates, whose intentions are good. The first thing to notice is that none of these men accepts the ideal postulates whole-heartedly. All believe that desirable ends can be achieved by undesirable means. Aiming to reach goals diametrically opposed to those of Fascism, they yet persist in taking the same roads as are taken by the Duces and Fuehrers. They are pacifists, but pacifists who act on the theory that peace can be achieved by means of war; they are reformers and revolutionaries, but reformers who imagine that unfair and arbitrary acts can produce social justice, revolutionaries who persuade themselves that the centralization of power and the enslavement of the masses can result in liberty for all. Revolutionary Russia has the largest army in the world; a secret police, that for ruthless efficiency rivals the German or the Italian; a rigid press censorship; a system of education that, since Stalin "reformed" it, is as authoritarian as Hitler's; an all-embracing system of military training that is applied to women and children as well as men; a dictator as slavishly adored as the man-gods of Rome and Berlin; a bureaucracy, solidly entrenched as the new ruling class and employing the powers of the state to preserve its privileges and protect its vested interests; an oligarchical party which dominates the entire country and within which there is no freedom even for faithful members. (Most ruling castes are democracies so far as their own members are concerned. Not so the Russian Communist Party, in which the Central Executive Committee acting through the Political Department, can override or altogether liquidate any district organization whatsoever.) No opposition is permitted in Russia. But where opposition is made illegal, it automatically goes underground and becomes conspiracy. Hence the treason trials and purges of 1936 and 1937. Large-scale manipulations of the social structure are pushed through against the wishes of the people concerned and with the utmost ruthlessness. (Several million peasants were deliberately starved to death in 1933 by the Soviet planners.) Ruthlessness begets resentment; resentment must be kept down by force. As usual the chief result of violence is the necessity to use more violence. Such then is Soviet planning-well-intentioned, but making use of evil means that are producing results utterly unlike those which the original makers of the revolution intended to produce.
Aldous Huxley (Ends and Means)
Krebs, who knew some Russian and at one stage in his career had been embraced by Stalin, was "a smooth, surviving type." And so, with almost incredible effrontery, he tried to talk to Chuikov as an equal, opening the conversation with the general comment: "Today is the first of May, a great holiday for our two nations..." With seven million Russian dead, half his country devastated, and fresh evidence mounting daily of the unspeakable barbarity with which the Germans had treated Soviet captives and civilians, Chuikov's answer was a model of restraint, a standing testimony to the cool head and dry wit of that remarkable man. He said: "We have a great holiday today. How things are with you over there it is less easy to say.
Alan Clark (Barbarossa)
To celebrate the Russian/Ukrainian partnership, in 1954 the 300th anniversary of the Pereiaslav Treaty was marked throughout the Soviet Union in an unusually grandiose manner. In addition to numerous festivities, myriad publications, and countless speeches, the Central Committee of the all-union party even issued thirteen "thesis", which argued the irreversibility of the "everlasting union" of the Ukrainians and the Russians: "The experience of history has shown that the way of fraternal union and alliance chosen by the Russians and Ukrainians was the only true way. The union of two great Slavic peoples multiplied their strength in the common struggle against all external foes, against serf owners and the bourgeoisie, again tsarism and capitalist slavery. The unshakeable friendship of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples has grown and strengthened in this struggle." To emphasize the point that the union with Moscow brought the Ukrainians great benefits, the Pereiaslav anniversary was crowned by the Russian republic's ceding of Crimea to Ukraine "as a token of friendship of the Russian people." But the "gift" of the Crimea was far less altruistic than it seemed. First, because the peninsula was the historic homeland of the Crimean Tatars whom Stalin had expelled during the Second World War, the Russians did not have the moral right to give it away nor did the Ukrainians have the right to accept it. Second, because of its proximity and economic dependence on Ukraine, the Crimea's links with Ukraine were naturally greater than with Russia. Finally, the annexation of the Crimea saddled Ukraine with economic and political problems. The deportation of the Tatars in 1944 had created economic chaos in the region and it was Kiev's budget that had to make up loses. More important was the fact that, according to the 1959 census, about 860,000 Russians and only 260,000 Ukrainians lived in the Crimea. Although Kiev attempted to bring more Ukrainians into the region after 1954, the Russians, many of whom were especially adamant in rejecting any form of Ukrainization, remained the overwhelming majority. As a result, the Crimean "gift" increased considerably the number of Russians in the Ukrainian republic. In this regard, it certainly was an appropriate way of marking the Pereiaslav Treaty.
Orest Subtelny (Ukraine: A History)
There is no way of sidestepping this comparison [between Nazism and Stalinism]: both the years and the methods coincide too closely. And the comparison occurred eve more naturally to those who had passed through the hands of both the Gestapo and the MGB. One of these was Yevgeny Ivanovich Divnich, and émigré and preacher of Orthodox Christianity. The Gestapo accused him of Communist activities among Russian workers in Germany, and the MGB charged him with having ties to the international bourgeoisie. Divnic's verdict was unfavorable to the MGB. He was tortured by both, but the Gestapo was nonetheless trying to get at the truth, and when the accusation did not hold up, Divnich was released. The MGB wasn't interested in the truth and had no intention of letting anyone out of its grip once he was arrested.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago, 1918 - 1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books I-II)
Hitler and Mussolini were indeed authoritarians, but it doesn’t follow that authoritarianism equals fascism or Nazism. Lenin and Stalin were authoritarian, but neither was a fascist. Many dictators—Franco in Spain, Pinochet in Chile, Perón in Argentina, Amin in Uganda—were authoritarian without being fascists or Nazis. Trump admittedly has a bossy style that he gets from, well, being a boss. He has been a corporate boss all his life, and he also played a boss on TV. Republicans elected Trump because they needed a tough guy to take on Hillary; previously they tried bland, harmless candidates like Romney, and look where that got them. That being said, Trump has done nothing to subvert the democratic process. While progressives continue to allege a plot between Trump and the Russians to rig the election, the only evidence for actual rigging comes from the Democratic National Committee’s attempt to rig the 2016 primary in favor of Hillary over Bernie. This rigging evoked virtually no dissent from Democratic officials or from the media, suggesting the support, or at least acquiescence, of the whole progressive movement and most of the party itself. Trump fired his FBI director, provoking dark ruminations in the Washington Post about Trump’s “respect for the rule of law,” yet Trump’s action was entirely lawful.18 He has criticized judges, sometimes in derisive terms, but contrary to Timothy Snyder there is nothing undemocratic about this. Lincoln blasted Justice Taney over the Dred Scott decision, and FDR was virtually apoplectic when the Supreme Court blocked his New Deal initiatives. Criticizing the media isn’t undemocratic either. The First Amendment isn’t just a press prerogative; the president too has the right to free speech.
Dinesh D'Souza (The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left)
No one wants to be told that there was another, darker side to Allied victory, or that the camps of Stalin, our ally, expanded just as the camps of Hitler, our enemy, were liberated. To admit that by sending thousands of Russians to their deaths by forcibly repatriating them after the war, or by consigning millions of people to Soviet rule at Yalta, the Western Allies might have helped others commit crimes against humanity would undermine the moral clarity of our memories of that era. No one wants to think that we defeated one mass murderer with the help of another. No one wants to remember how well that mass murderer got on with Western statesmen. “I have a real liking for Stalin,” the British Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, told a friend, “he has never broken his word.”16 There are many, many photographs of Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt all together, all smiling.
Anne Applebaum (Gulag)
Once in power, Stalin’s campaign to succeed Lenin required a legitimate heroic career which he did not possess because of his experience in what he called 'the dirty business' of politics: this could not be told, either because it was too gangsterish for a great, paternalistic statesman or because it was too Georgian for a Russian leader. His solution was a clumsy but all-embracing cult of personality that invented, distorted and concealed the truth. Ironically this self-promotion was so grotesque that it fanned sparks, sometimes innocent ones, which flared up into colossal anti-Stalin conspiracy-theories. It was easy for his political opponents, and later for us historians, to believe that it was all invented and that he had done nothing much at all—particularly since few historians had researched in the Caucasus where so much of his early career took place. An anti-cult, as erroneous as the cult itself, grew up around these conspiracy-theories.
Simon Sebag Montefiore (Young Stalin)
Then I realised that our Tiger too had cut out, and I tried to restart our motor frantically with the hand switch. I could hear that groaning voice from our turret still, and muttered dialogue between Wilf and Helmann, something about the gun. Then I saw our 88mm barrel swing around and depress in elevation, coming down over my head and pointing straight into the Stalin’s upper deck. I could actually see into the JS driver’s position through his vision slit – his lights were still on inside, and men were moving around in there, maybe struggling to restart their engine. In the next moment, we fired. I clearly saw our armour-piercing round burst through their upper armour, and enter inside the compartment. Through the Russian’s vision slit, I saw our warhead ricochet again and again inside there, flying chaotically around the confined space and bouncing off the steel walls, glowing bright red. Finally, the explosive charge in the rear of the shell detonated, in a plume of sparks.
Wolfgang Faust (Tiger Tracks - The Classic Panzer Memoir)
The brave talk from Moscow notwithstanding, the Russian elite itself is probably well aware of the real costs and benefits of its military adventures, which is why it has so far been very careful not to escalate them. Russia has been following the schoolyard-bully principle: pick on the weakest kid, and don’t beat him up too much, lest the teacher intervene. If Putin had conducted his wars in the spirit of Stalin, Peter the Great, or Genghis Khan, then Russian tanks would have long ago made a dash for Tbilisi and Kiev, if not for Warsaw and Berlin. But Putin is neither Genghis nor Stalin. He seems to know better than anyone else that military power cannot go far in the twenty-first century, and that waging a successful war means waging a limited war. Even in Syria, despite the ruthlessness of Russian aerial bombardments, Putin has been careful to minimize the Russian footprint, to let others do all the serious fighting, and to prevent the war from spilling over into neighboring countries.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
With a very few exceptions, all liberal-minded creative forces—poets, novelists, critics, historians, philosophers and so on—had left Lenin’s and Stalin’s Russia. Those who had not were either withering away there or adulterating their gifts by complying with the political demands of the state. What the Tsars had never been able to achieve, namely the complete curbing of minds to the government’s will, was achieved by the Bolsheviks in no time after the main contingent of the intellectuals had escaped abroad or had been destroyed. The lucky group of expatriates could now follow their pursuits with such utter impunity that, in fact, they sometimes asked themselves if the sense of enjoying absolute mental freedom was not due to their working in an absolute void. True, there was among émigrés a sufficient number of good readers to warrant the publication, in Berlin, Paris, and other towns, of Russian books and periodicals on a comparatively large scale; but since none of those writings could circulate within the Soviet Union, the whole thing acquired a certain air of fragile unreality.
Vladimir Nabokov (Speak, Memory)
Can proximity cause vertigo? It can. When the north pole comes so close as to touch the south pole, the earth disappears and man finds himself in a void that makes his head spin and beckons him to fall. If rejection and privilege are one and the same, if there is no difference between the sublime and the paltry, if the Son of God can undergo judgment for shit, then human existence loses its dimensions and becomes unbearably light. When Stalin's son ran up to the electrified wire and hurled his body at it, the fence was like the pan of a scales sticking pitifully up in the air, lifted by the infinite lightness of a world that has lost its dimensions. Stalin's son laid down his life for shit. But a death for shit is not a senseless death. The Germans who sacrificed their lives to expand their country's territory to the east, the Russians who died to extend their country's power to the west—yes, they died for something idiotic, and their deaths have no meaning or general validity. Amid the general idiocy of the war, the death of Stalin's son stands out as the sole metaphysical death.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
He seemed a little surprised that writers in America do not get together, do not associate with one another very much. In the Soviet Union writers are very important people. Stalin has said that writers are the architects of the human soul. We explained to him that writers in America have quite a different standing, that they are considered just below acrobats and just above seals. And in our opinion this is a very good thing. We believe that a writer, particularly a young writer, too much appreciated, is as likely to turn as heady as a motion-picture actress with good notices in the trade journals. And we believe that the rough-and-tumble critical life an American writer is subject to is very healthy for him in the long run. It seems to us that one of the deepest divisions between the Russians and the Americans or British, is in their feeling toward their governments. The Russians are taught, and trained, and encouraged to believe that their government is good, that every part of it is good, and that their job is to carry it forward, to back it up in all ways. On the other hand, the deep emotional feeling among Americans and British is that all government is somehow dangerous, that there should be as little government as possible, that any increase in the power of government is bad, and that existing government must be watched constantly, watched and criticized to keep it sharp and on its toes. And later, on the farms, when we sat at table with farming men, and they asked how our government operated, we would try to explain that such was our fear of power invested in one man, or in one group of men, that our government was made up of a series of checks and balances, designed to keep power from falling into any one person’s hands. We tried to explain that the people who made our government, and those who continue it, are so in fear of power that they would willingly cut off a good leader rather than permit a precedent of leadership. I do not think we were thoroughly understood in this, since the training of the people of the Soviet Union is that the leader is good and the leadership is good. There is no successful argument here, it is just the failure of two systems to communicate one with the other.
John Steinbeck (A Russian Journal)
Every public building carries monster portraits of him. We spoke of this to a number of Russians and had several answers. One was that the Russian people had been used to pictures of the czar and the czar’s family, and when the czar was removed they needed something to substitute for him. Another was that the icon is a Russian habit of mind, and this was a kind of an icon. A third, that the Russians love Stalin so much that they want him ever present. A fourth, that Stalin himself does not like this and has asked that it be discontinued. But it seemed to us that Stalin’s dislike for anything else causes its removal, but this is on the increase. Whatever the reason is, one spends no moment except under the smiling, or pensive, or stern eye of Stalin. It is one of those things an American is incapable of understanding emotionally. There are other pictures and other statues too. And one can tell approximately what the succession is by the size of the photographs and portraits of other leaders in relation to Stalin. Thus in 1936, the second largest picture to Stalin’s was of Voroshilov, and now the second largest picture is invariably Molotov.
John Steinbeck (A Russian Journal)
Nothing demonstrates so clearly as the unfolding of our conflict with Russia how essential it is that the Head of a State must be capable of swift, decisive action on his own responsibility, when a war seems to him to be inevitable. In a letter which we found on Stalin's son written by a friend, stands the following phrase : "I hope to be able to see my Anuschka once more before the promenade to Berlin." If, in accordance with their plan, the Russians had been able to foresee our actions, it is, probable that nothing would have been able to stop their armoured units, for the highly developed road system of central Europe would greatly have favoured their advance. In any case, I take credit for the fact that we succeeded in making the Russians hold off right up to the moment when we launched our attack, and that we did so by entering into agreements which were favourable to their interests. Suppose for example that, when the Russians marched into Rumania, we had not been able to limit their conquests to Bessarabia, they would in one swoop have grabbed all the oilfields of the country, and we should have found ourselves, from the spring of that very year, completely frustrated as regards our supplies of petrol.
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
At Dniepropetrovsk the Stalin regime had made great efforts in construction. We were at first impressed as we approached the suburbs of the city, where we saw outlined the large masonry blocks of the proletarian housing erected by the Soviets. Their lines were modern. The buildings were huge, and there were many of them. Undeniably, the Communist system had done something for the people. If the misery of the peasants was great, at least the worker seemed to have benefited from the new times. Still, it was necessary to visit and examine the buildings. We lived for six months in the Donets coal basin. We had plenty of time to test the conclusions that we had reached at the time of our entrance into Dniepropetrovsk. The buildings, so impressive from a distance, were just a gigantic hoax, intended to fool sightseers shepherded by Intourist [Soviet tourism agency] and the viewers of documentary films. Approaching those housing blocks you were sickened by the stench of mud and excrement that rose from the quagmires surrounding each of the buildings. Around them were neither sidewalks nor gravel nor paving stones. The Russian mud was everywhere, and everywhere the walls peeled and crumbled. The quality of the construction materials was of the lowest order. All the balconies had come loose, and already the cement stairways were worn and grooved, although the buildings were only a few years old.
Leon Degrelle (The Eastern Front: Memoirs of a Waffen SS Volunteer, 1941-1945)
The German and Russian state apparatuses grew out of despotism. For this reason the subservient nature of the human character of masses of people in Germany and in Russia was exceptionally pronounced. Thus, in both cases, the revolution led to a new despotism with the certainty of irrational logic. In contrast to the German and Russia state apparatuses, the American state apparatus was formed by groups of people who had evaded European and Asian despotism by fleeing to a virgin territory free of immediate and effective traditions. Only in this way can it be understood that, until the time of this writing, a totalitarian state apparatus was not able to develop in America, whereas in Europe every overthrow of the government carried out under the slogan of freedom inevitably led to despotism. This holds true for Robespierre, as well as for Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. If we want to appraise the facts impartially, then we have to point out, whether we want to or not, and whether we like it or not, that Europe's dictators, who based their power on vast millions of people, always stemmed from the suppressed classes. I do not hesitate to assert that this fact, as tragic as it is, harbors more material for social research than the facts related to the despotism of a czar or of a Kaiser Wilhelm. By comparison, the latter facts are easily understood. The founders of the American Revolution had to build their democracy from scratch on foreign soil. The men who accomplished this task had all been rebels against English despotism. The Russian Revolutionaries, on the other had, were forced to take over an already existing and very rigid government apparatus. Whereas the Americans were able to start from scratch, the Russians, as much as they fought against it, had to drag along the old. This may also account for the fact that the Americans, the memory of their own flight from despotism still fresh in their minds, assumed an entirely different—more open and more accessible—attitude toward the new refugees of 1940, than Soviet Russia, which closed its doors to them. This may explain why the attempt to preserve the old democratic ideal and the effort to develop genuine self-administration was much more forceful in the United States than anywhere else. We do not overlook the many failures and retardations caused by tradition, but in any event a revival of genuine democratic efforts took place in America and not in Russia. It can only be hoped that American democracy will thoroughly realize, and this before it is too late, that fascism is not confined to any one nation or any one party; and it is to be hoped that it will succeed in overcoming the tendency toward dictatorial forms in the people themselves. Only time will tell whether the Americans will be able to resist the compulsion of irrationality or whether they will succumb to it.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
Who is it that drives the Russians, the English, and the Americans into battle and sacrifices huge numbers of human lives in a hopeless struggle against the German people? The Jews! Their newspapers and radio broadcasts spread the songs of war while the nations they have deceived are led to the slaughter. Who is it that invents new plans of hatred and destruction against us every day, making this war into a dreadful case of self-mutilation and self-destruction of European life and its economy, education and culture? The Jews! Who devised the unnatural marriage between England and the USA on one side and Bolshevism on the other, building it up and jealously ensuring its continuance? Who covers the most perverse political situations with cynical hypocrisy from a trembling fear that a new way could lead the nations to realize the true causes of this terrible human catastrophe? The Jews, only the Jews! They are named Morgenthau and Lehmann and stand behind Roosevelt as a so-called brain trust. They are named Mechett and Sasoon and serve as Churchill’s moneybags and order givers. They are named Kaganovitsch and Ehrenburg and are Stalin’s pacesetters and intellectual spokesmen. Wherever you look, you see Jews. They march as political commissars behind the Red army and organize murder and terror in the areas conquered by the Soviets. They sit behind the lines in Paris and Brussels, Rome and Athens, and fashion their reins from the skin of the unhappy nations that have fallen under their power. “Die Urheber des Unglücks der Welt,” Das Reich, 21 January 1945
Joseph Goebbels
When Surkov finds out about the Night Wolves he is delighted. The country needs new patriotic stars, the great Kremlin reality show is open for auditions, and the Night Wolves are just the type that’s needed, helping the Kremlin rewrite the narrative of protesters from political injustice and corruption to one of Holy Russia versus Foreign Devils, deflecting the conversation from the economic slide and how the rate of bribes that bureaucrats demand has shot up from 15 percent to 50 percent of any deal. They will receive Kremlin support for their annual bike show and rock concert in Crimea, the one-time jewel in the Tsarist Empire that ended up as part of Ukraine during Soviet times, and where the Night Wolves use their massive shows to call for retaking the peninsula from Ukraine and restoring the lands of Greater Russia; posing with the President in photo ops in which he wears Ray-Bans and leathers and rides a three-wheel Harley (he can’t quite handle a two-wheeler); playing mega-concerts to 250,000 cheering fans celebrating the victory at Stalingrad in World War II and the eternal Holy War Russia is destined to fight against the West, with Cirque du Soleil–like trapeze acts, Spielberg-scale battle reenactments, religious icons, and holy ecstasies—in the middle of which come speeches from Stalin, read aloud to the 250,000 and announcing the holiness of the Soviet warrior—after which come more dancing girls and then the Night Wolves’ anthem, “Slavic Skies”: We are being attacked by the yoke of the infidels: But the sky of the Slavs boils in our veins . . . Russian speech rings like chain-mail in the ears of the foreigners, And the white host rises from the coppice to the stars.
Peter Pomerantsev (Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia)
I got a servant, a nice clean German girl from the Volga. Her village had been devastated—no other word can convey my meaning—by the liquidation of the Kulaks. In the German Volga Republic the peasants, who had been settled there two hundred years before to set an example to the Russians, had been better farmers and so enjoyed a higher standard of life than most peasants in Russia. Consequently, the greater part of them were classified as Kulaks and liquidated. *** The girls came to the towns to work as servants, and were highly prized, since they were more competent, cleaner, more honest and self-respecting than the Russian peasants. Curiously, they were the most purely Teutonic Germans I had ever seen, Germans like the pictures in Hans Andersen fairy tales, blue-eyed, with long golden plaits and lovely, fair skins. Being Protestants, and regarding the Russians around them as no better than barbarians, they had intermarried little and retained a racial purity which would no doubt have delighted Hitler. *** My Hilda seemed a treasure. She could cook, she could read and write, she kept herself and the rooms clean and looked like a pink and flaxen doll. I could treat her as an equal without finding that this led to her stealing my clothes and doing no work. The servant problem in Moscow for Jane and me lay in our inability to bully and curse and drive, which was the only treatment the Russian servant understood. It was quite natural that this should be so, since Soviet society, like Tsarist society but to a far higher degree, was based on force and cheating. *** I was amazed at the outspoken way in which Hilda and Sophie (another German girl who worked for Jane) voiced their hatred and contempt of the Soviet Government. Sophie, one of thirteen children of a bedniak (poor peasant) would shake her fist and say: “Kulaks! The Kulaks are up there in the Kremlin, not in the village.” Since the word “Kulak” originally signified an exploiter and usurer, her meaning was quite plain.
Freda Utley (Lost Illusion)
How many rapes occurred inside the walls of the main camp of Ravensbrück is hard to put a figure to: so many of the victims—already, as Ilse Heinrich said, half dead—did not survive long enough after the war to talk about it. While many older Soviet women were reluctant to talk of the rape, younger survivors feel less restraint today. Nadia Vasilyeva was one of the Red Army nurses who were cornered by the Germans on the cliffs of the Crimea. Three years later in Neustrelitz, northwest of Ravensbrück, she and scores of other Red Army women were cornered again, this time by their own Soviet liberators intent on mass rape. Other women make no excuses for the Soviet rapists. ‘They were demanding payment for liberation,’ said Ilena Barsukova. ‘The Germans never raped the prisoners because we were Russian swine, but our own soldiers raped us. We were disgusted that they behaved like this. Stalin had said that no soldiers should be taken prisoner, so they felt they could treat us like dirt.’ Like the Russians, Polish survivors were also reluctant for many years to talk of Red Army rape. ‘We were terrified by our Russian liberators,’ said Krystyna Zając. ‘But we could not talk about it later because of the communists who had by then taken over in Poland.’ Nevertheless, Poles, Yugoslavs, Czechs and French survivors all left accounts of being raped as soon as they reached the Soviet lines. They talked of being ‘hunted down’, ‘captured’ or ‘cornered’ and then raped. In her memoirs Wanda Wojtasik, one of the rabbits, says it was impossible to encounter a single Russian without being raped. As she, Krysia and their Lublin friends tried to head east towards their home, they were attacked at every turn. Sometimes the approach would begin with romantic overtures from ‘handsome men’, but these approaches soon degenerated into harassment and then rape. Wanda did not say she was raped herself, but describes episodes where soldiers pounced on friends, or attacked them in houses where they sheltered, or dragged women off behind trees, who then reappeared sobbing and screaming. ‘After a while we never accepted lifts and didn’t dare go near any villages, and when we slept someone always stood watch.
Sarah Helm (Ravensbruck: Life and Death in Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women)
It was a story no one could tell me when I was child. The story of Russian Jewry had been told in English, by American Jews; to them, it was a story that began with antiquity, culminated with the pogroms, and ended with emigration. For those who remained in Russia, there had been a time before the pogroms and a time after: a period of home, then a period of fear and even greater fear and then brief hope again, and then a different kind of fear, when one no longer feared for one's life but fear never having hope again. This story did not end; it faded into a picture of my parents sitting at the kitchen table poring over an atlas of the world, or of me sitting on the bedroom floor talking at my best friend. The history of the Soviet Union itself remains a story without an narrative; every attempt to tell this story in Russia has stopped short, giving way to the resolve to turn away from the decades of pain and suffering and bloodshed. With every telling, stories of Stalinism and the Second World War become more mythologized. And with so few Jew left in Russia, with so little uniting them, the Russian Jewish world is one of absences and silences. I had no words for this when I was twelve, but what I felt more strongly that anything, more strongly even than the desire to go to Israel, was this absence of a story. My Jewishness consisted of the experience of being ostracized and beaten up and the specter of not being allowed into university. Once I found my people milling outside the synagogue (we never went inside, where old men in strange clothes sang in an unfamiliar language), a few old Yiddish songs and a couple of newer Hebrew ones were added to my non-story. Finally, I had read the stories of Sholem Aleichem, which were certainly of a different world, as distant from my modern urban Russian-speaking childhood as anything could be. In the end, my Jewish identity was entirely negative: it consisted of non-belonging. How had I and other late-Soviet Jews been so impoverished? Prior to the Russian Revolution, most of the world's Jews lived in the Russian Empire. Following the Second World War, Russia was the only European country whose Jewish population numbered not in the hundreds or even thousands but in the millions. How did this country rid itself of Jewish culture altogether? How did the Jews of Russia lose their home? Much later, as I tried to find the answers to these questions, I kept circling back tot he story of Birobidzhan, which, in its concentrated tragic absurdity seemed to tell it all.
Masha Gessen (Where the Jews Aren't: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region)
General Groves came for dinner at the Chadwicks’ and in the course of casual banter over the dinner table, he said, “You realize of course that the main purpose of this project is to subdue the Russians.” Rotblat was shocked. He had no illusions about Stalin—the Soviet dictator had, after all, invaded his beloved Poland. But thousands of Russians were dying every day on the Eastern Front and Rotblat felt a sense of betrayal.
Kai Bird (American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer)
But the concentration camps are not where most of the victims of National Socialism and Stalinism died. These misunderstandings regarding the sites and methods of mass killing prevent us from perceiving the horror of the twentieth century. Germany was the site of concentration camps liberated by the Americans and the British in 1945; Russian Siberia was of course the site of much of the Gulag, made
Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin)
But the experts do not seem to know much more. It is appalling how little is really known, or, at least, how little is known by those who have to make decisions affecting peace and war. Think a moment about the questions to be treated in this book - beginnings, outcomes, and consequences of war – and think about the performance of leaders in recent military conflicts. For example, the leaders of the major powers at the beginning of World War I did not realize that a war was coming or the nature of the war their nations were going to have to fight. The comment made by one German general on the behavior of British soldiers, << they fight like lions but they are led by asses,>> should not, in justice, be restricted to the British alone. Did French, Italian, or heaven help us, Russian leaders perform any better in World Wars I or II? Stalin, even after being told by both Roosevelt and Churchill that the USSR was about to be invaded, refused to believe that Hitler would violate the 1939 pact and was immensely surprised when he did.
A.F.K. Organski, Jacek Kugler (The War Ledger)
best evoked in The Apocalypse of Our Time by the philosopher Vasili Rozanov in 1919, who had died that same year of emaciation in the Troitse-Sergeev monastery: La divina Commedia With clanking screeching an iron curtain is lowered over Russian History.
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
Upon arriving in the Azov steppes, the Welshman and his party established themselves in the homestead of Ovechii, a small settlement founded by Zaporozhian Cossacks back in the seventeenth century. But Hughes was hardly interested in the Cossack past of the region. He had bought the land and come to Ovechii for one simple reason—four years earlier, Russian engineers had designated that area as an ideal site for a future metal works, with iron ore, coal, and water all in close proximity. The government had tried to build a plant in that area but failed, lacking expertise in constructing and running metal works. Hughes provided proficiency in both. In January 1872, his newly built iron works produced its first pig iron. In the course of the 1870s, he added more blast furnaces. The works employed close to 1,800 people, becoming the largest metal producer in the empire. The place where the workers lived became known as Yuzivka after the founder’s surname (“Hughesivka”). The steel and mining town would be renamed Staline in 1924 and Donetsk in 1961.
Serhii Plokhy (The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine)
The Soviets could have become a mortal danger to us, if they had succeeded in undermining the military spirit of our soldiers with the slogan of the German Communist Party: "No more War!" For at the same time as they were trying by Communist Party terrorism, by strikes, by their press, and by every other means at their disposal to ensure the triumph of pacifism in our country, the Russians were building up an enormous army. Disregarding the namby-pamby utterances about humanitarianism which they spread so assiduously in Germany, in their own country they drove their workers to an astonishing degree, and the Soviet worker was taught by means of the Stakhanov system to work both harder and longer than his counterpart in either Germany or the capitalist States. The more we see of conditions in Russia, the more thankful we must be that we struck in time. In another ten years there would have sprung up in Russia a mass of industrial centres, inaccessible to attack, which would have produced armaments on an inexhaustible scale, while the rest of Europe would have degenerated into a defenceless plaything of Soviet policy. It is very stupid to sneer at the Stakhanov system. The arms and equipment of the Russian armies are the best proof of its efficiency in the handling of industrial man power. Stalin, too, must command our unconditional respect. In his own way he is a hell of a fellow ! He knows his models, Genghiz Khan and the others, very well, and the scope of his industrial planning is exceeded only by our own Four Year Plan. And there is no doubt that he is quite determined that there shall be in Russia no unemployment such as one finds in such capitalist States as the United States of America...
Adolf Hitler (Hitler's Table Talk, 1941-1944)
In deviation from the historic pattern of Russian autocracy, the Soviet Russian state arose as a novel form of party rule.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
What is remarkable is that Herzen, in the earlier years of Alexander II’s reign (1855–81), combined this “Russian socialism,” as it came to be called, with the theory of progressive autocracy. He called upon Alexander to be a “crowned revolutionary,” and a “tsar of the land,” and to continue Peter the Great’s cause of reform by breaking with the Petersburg period as resolutely as Peter had broken with the Moscow period.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
What supplanted the notion of progressive autocracy, then, was the idea that a revolutionary seizure of power from below should be followed by the formation of a dictatorship of the revolutionary party, which would use political power for the purpose of carrying through from above a socialist transformation of Russian society.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
When members of the radical intelligentsia went out into the villages in the “going to the people” movement of the eighteen-seventies and preached socialism to the peasantry in an anti-tsarist spirit, the peasants themselves turned very many of them over to the police. The absence of a monarchist theme from the educated young radicals’ socialist propaganda may help to explain the negative peasant response to the movement. Not until the turn of the century did this situation change. By that time the Russian peasant and especially the peasant-turned-worker was finally becoming receptive to revolutionary propaganda of non-monarchist character.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
The populists of the seventies had been divided over revolutionary tactics, some advocating the gradual conversion of the peasants to their cause through propaganda (as in the “going to the people” movement of that decade) and others arguing for propaganda “by deed,” meaning terrorist action. The latter group saw the Russian peasant as a potential rebel against authority, and reasoned that an act like the assassination of the tsar might spark a general conflagration in the countryside, a greater and successful Pugachev movement. The assassination of Alexander II in 1881, by members of the People’s Will, aroused no such peasant response, however, and led to more severe reaction under his successor, Alexander III. In the sequel many radicals from the populist camp turned away from the tactics of terrorism and lost faith in the peasantry as a revolutionary constituency.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Meanwhile, another potential constituency was appearing in the still small but growing Russian industrial worker class, which numbered upwards of three million before the end of the century.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
In 1883 a populist turned Marxist, Georgi Plekhanov, launched Russian Marxism on its career as an organized movement by forming a group for “The Liberation of Labor” in Geneva, Switzerland, where he resided.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
The founding documents were Plekhanov’s anti-populist tract Socialism and the Political Struggle and its continuation, Our Differences. In them he concentrated his attack squarely upon Russian Jacobinism.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
In these early writings, as it turned out, Plekhanov was laying the theoretical foundations not of the Russian Marxist political movement as a whole but of its Menshevik wing. The opposing, Bolshevik, wing, of which Lenin became leader, showed the influence of some of the very ideas Plekhanov was attacking. But not until much later did all this become clear.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Leninism was in part a revival of Russian Jacobinism within Marxism.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
the man of the future in Russia was the peasant, the muzhik; and economically backward, not-yet-capitalist Russia, blessed by the survival of its archaic village commune, might in fact be destined to lead the world to socialism.[11] Here in embryo was the socialist ideology of the Russian populist (narodrik) revolutionary movement that developed among the radical intelligentsia in the late fifties and sixties.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
The vision of a “Jacobin Romanov” effecting a socialist transformation of Russia from the throne in St. Petersburg was wildly utopian, and the radicals would obviously have been disillusioned even if the land arrangements under the reform of 1861 had not proved so unsatisfactory as to provoke serious peasant unrest in the aftermath of emancipation. The latter circumstance, however, spurred the growth of the militant populism of the sixties, which declared war on official Russia and saw in Alexander II, whom Herzen himself had earlier christened the “tsar-liberator,” the greatest enemy of the Russian people.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
and said in effect: “Perish—the sooner the better.” So it was that Serno-Solovevich, for example, became a founder of the revolutionary secret society Zemlia i Volia (Land and Liberty), predecessor of the Narodnaia Volia (People’s Will) organization, whose leaders finally carried out the assassination of Alexander. But the change of mind was most clearly reflected in the proclamation written by a student, Karakozov, to explain his unsuccessful attempt on the tsar’s life in 1866. Russian history, it said, shows that the person really responsible for all the people’s sufferings is the tsar himself: “It is the tsars who through the centuries have gradually built up the organization of the state, and the army; it is they who have handed out the land to the nobles. Think carefully about it, brothers, and you will see that the tsar is the first of the nobles. He never holds out his hand to the peasant because he himself is the people’s worst enemy.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
July 1900, several months after completing the term of exile, he went abroad again and entered the recently founded Russian Social Democratic Workers’ party’s leadership as one of the editors of Iskra (The Spark)—a new foreign-based party organ that he himself had done much to organize.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
In the Marxist-populist debates of the nineties Lenin trained his polemical fire upon his populist contemporaries; he did not attack the early Russian populism of Chernyshevsky and his generation.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
His political writings around the turn of the century reflect the emergence of Leninism (a word he himself never used) as an amalgam of the Russian revolutionary heritage and Marxism. One of his themes was the paramount importance of the practical side of the movement—program, organization, and tactics.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
The Tasks of the Russian Social Democrats, a pamphlet written in Siberia in 1897 for uncensored publication abroad and, appropriately, the first of his writings to appear under the name “Lenin.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
It has been observed that one common characteristic of “classical populism” in all its forms was the feeling that the “Russian state of bureaucratic absolutism has been the primordial enemy of the popular masses and their intrinsic communal-socialist tendencies.”[
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Organizational questions,” Lenin’s views on them in particular, were a fateful bone of contention when fifty-seven delegates from Russia and abroad met in Brussels in July 1903 for the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ party’s Second Congress—a meeting with more claim than the earlier one in Minsk to be considered the constituent congress.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
During a few years of unpeaceful factional coexistence there were efforts, sponsored by Trotsky among others, toward unification. The split became formal and irrevocable in 1912 when Lenin called an all-Bolshevik meeting in Prague, where his faction constituted itself the “Russian Social Democratic Workers’ party (Bolshevik).
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Born in strife, the original party of Russian Marxists died in schism.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
The Russian Marxist movement was then experiencing serious internal malaise following its rapid growth during the controversy with the populists during the nineties. It had entered a period of “dispersion, dissolution, and vacillation,” as Lenin observed in the booklet. The vacillation was reflected in the appearance of “economism,” a school of Marxist thought which held that revolutionary struggle for socialist aims was premature in underdeveloped Russia and that her Marxists should therefore confine themselves for the present to assisting the workers in their fight for economic benefits.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
It summoned militant Marxists to form a “new guard” under whose aegis Russian Social Democracy would emerge from its crisis into the full strength of manhood. It breathed a spirit of revolutionary voluntarism, of confidence in the capacity of such a small but well-organized elite of Marxist revolutionaries to build up an oppositional mass movement in Russian society and lead it to victory over the seemingly impregnable tsarist government. Most important of all, it prescribed in clear and definite terms what should be done towards this end, and thus it pointed the way for Russian Marxists from revolutionary talk to revolutionary action, gave them a practical plan and tasks to perform.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Using the various non-party intermediate groups as focal points for their proselytizing activities, they must preach the Marxist revolutionary word by “propaganda,” or the theoretical exposition of Marxist ideas, and by “agitation,” or the discussion of a particular grievance from a Marxist standpoint. To coordinate all these efforts and provide a nationwide forum for protest and political exposures, the party must have a “collective propagandist and agitator” in the form of an all-Russian revolutionary newspaper, published abroad and clandestinely distributed throughout the country by party members.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
This became the generally accepted Russian Marxist position.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
is generally accepted that the beginnings of Bolshevism as a separate movement within the Russian Social Democracy date from around 1903. But this development, as suggested earlier, is not to be satisfactorily explained by the conflict to which the movement owed its name. What gave Bolshevism its original impetus, indeed what brought it into being, was not the quarrel at the Second Congress; it was the appearance of What Is to Be Done?
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
The great popular insurrections that broke out from time to time in Russian history show that the peasant, even at his most rebellious, tended to preserve a loyalty to the tsar or to the idea of being ruled by a tsar.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Hence the abolitionist-minded intelligentsia, along with liberal elements in Russian society and within the bureaucracy, inclined not toward a constitutionalist program, realization of which would only strengthen the political influence of the landowners, but to the idea of a progressive autocracy.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Russian Jacobinism.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
This novel furnished inspiration for several generations of Russian radicals. That it furnished inspiration also for Vladimir Ulyanov is well attested to by, among other things, the fact that he entitled his own revolutionary treatise of 1902—the most important of all his works in historical influence—What Is to Be Done?
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Admittedly, the teaching on proletarian dictatorship had a significant place in classical Marxism, and one which later Social Democratic Marxists, including even Engels in his old age, were inclined to downgrade. But it had not the central place accorded it in Lenin’s Marxism, nor was the proletarian dictatorship conceived by Marx and Engels as a dictatorship of a revolutionary party on behalf of the proletariat. They did not imagine that the working people, once in power, would have need of a party as their “teacher, guide, and leader” in building a new life on socialist lines. The elevation of the doctrine of the proletarian dictatorship into the “essence” of Marxism, as Lenin later called it,[22] and the conception of this dictatorship as a state in which the ruling party would exercise tutelage over the working people, were a sign of his deep debt to the Russian populist revolutionary tradition.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Implementing the policy of national-territorial autonomy was one of the chief tasks of Narkomnats. To that end the commissariat was structured along national lines. Polish, Byelorussian, Latvian, Jewish, Armenian, and Moslem national commissariats were created within it, and national sections were set up to concern themselves with such smaller national groups on Russian territory as the Estonians, the Germans, the Kirghiz, the Kalmyks, and the mountain tribes of the Caucasus.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
White (i.e., anti-Soviet) Russian armies took the field under such former tsarist officers as Generals Denikin, Yudenich, and Wrangel. Anti-Bolshevik regional governments arose, among them the regime headed by Admiral Kolchak and based at Omsk, in Siberia. Military intervention by outside powers—chiefly France, Great Britain, Japan, and the United States—brought the Whites not only munitions and supplies but also some support, however indecisive, in fighting men. Meanwhile, the Reds found their talented war leader in Trotsky, who relinquished the Foreign Commissariat to become war commissar and chairman of the Revolutionary War Council of the Republic. Through mobilization—initially of workers in Petrograd and Moscow—the Red Army grew into a force of 800,000 by the end of 1918 and nearly four times that number a year later.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
A more horrifying Russian chekist was the semi-qualified doctor and virtuoso pianist Mikhail Kedrov, who would slaughter schoolchildren and army officers in northern Russia with such ruthlessness that he had to be taken into psychiatric care. Kedrov’s consort Revekka Maizel personally shot a hundred White officers and bourgeois and then drowned another 500 on a barge.
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
And then with an expansive Russian song They returned home to town.
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
We gossiped, too, and seethed with questions, to which no one could provide answers: Are we free now? Can we go anyplace we wish? Can we listen to Tsoi and Queen openly? Can we buy Levi’s jeans? And if Lenin and Stalin were despicable tyrants who’d cheated millions of people out of their beliefs and murdered all those innocent but insubordinate Russians, who is left to lead this country into the future? What is the future? Can we tour the Gulag?
Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry (The Orchard)
Everything might have come right in the course of time. Russian life could have been pulled into order. . . . What bitch woke up Lenin? Who couldn’t bear the child sleeping? There is no precise answer to this question. . . . Anyway, he himself probably didn’t know, although his supply of vengeance never dried up. . . .
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
In the traditional Russian and Nazi definition of Jewishness, where parentage and surname counts as much as religious and cultural affiliation, such a view is plausible. But what was Jewish except lineage about Bolsheviks like Zinoviev, Trotsky, Kamenev, or Sverdlov? Some were second- or even third-generation renegades; few even spoke Yiddish, let alone knew Hebrew.
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
In the Cheka and the party, Lenin feared, Jewish brains were as much a drawback as an advantage, and the Jews themselves were only too aware of the backlash they might provoke. Lenin took care to see that Trotsky’s name was removed from the commission set up to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church.
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
The prominent role of Jews in the killings of 1918–21 is a very thorny question, if only because one has to share debating ground with Russian chauvinists and plain anti-Semites.18 From Trotsky down to the executioners of Odessa, Russia’s Jews ruthlessly avenged the victims of a century’s pogroms, and the perceived Jewishness of the Cheka, in the minds of not just anti-Semitic fascists but even otherwise fair-minded Russian monarchists and liberals, reflected a widespread view of the Bolshevik party and its Central Committee as a Jewish cabal. We cannot dismiss the upsurge of violence
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
in 1918–21 by Jews against Russians as simply redressing the balance after centuries of Tsarist oppression. One might compare it to the violence in 1947–48 of the Stern gang and Irgun in Israel against Arab inhabitants and British rulers, an explosion of self-assertion after a far worse persecution. The motivation of those Jews who worked for the Cheka was not Zionist or ethnic. The war between the Cheka and the Russian bourgeoisie was not even purely a war of classes or political factions.
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
It can be seen as being between Jewish inter-nationalists and the remnants of a Russian national culture.
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
Therefore I come to the inevitable conclusion that it is now that we must give the most decisive and merciless battle to the obscurantist clergy and crush its resistance with such cruelty that they won’t forget it for several decades.17 On only one point was Lenin sensitive: he feared an anti-Semitic backlash if Jews were seen to be running this “pogrom in reverse” against Russian Christians, so an ethnic Russian had to be nominally in charge of crushing the Church.
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
Tight control over the alchemy of official “Staliniana” has created false and doubly majestic images of Stalin and his accomplishments.39 These images outlive the man himself and have an appeal even in contemporary Russia. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the stresses of the transitional period, corruption, poverty, and glaring social inequality all feed the longing for a social utopia. A significant portion of Russian society seeks recipes for the present by looking to the Stalinist past. Popular images of the greatness of the Stalinist empire—of equality and the fight against corruption, of the joy and purity of this distant life undone by “enemies”—are exploited by unscrupulous commentators and politicians. How great is the danger that a blend of historical ignorance, bitterness, and social discontent will provide fertile ground for pro-Stalinist lies and distortions to take root?
Oleg V. Khlevniuk (Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator)
It wasn’t that I was a fan of Stalin; I didn’t like his eyes, which were beady and shifty in the news photographs; and his hands looked too small for his body. More important, I knew that there were no freedoms in the Soviet Union (or Russia, as we all called it), and I was sure that if I lived there I’d have to be against the government, and that meant I’d end up in Siberia. But I thought there was something amazingly stupid about the Cold War; Stalin was now the devil incarnate, only four years after he had served on the side of the angels, namely us. Either we’d made a mistake during the war, or we were making a mistake now. And there was a larger problem, of which Stalin was part: Why were so many Americans so scared, all the time? We were the strongest country in the world. We won the war. We had the atom bomb. In May, Truman finally broke the Russian blockade of Berlin with a giant airlift. So why were these people shitting in their pants when they thought about communists? The communists won in China, but that didn’t mean they were about to land in Los Angeles. And why did so many people think that the communists might be behind anything that made sense: unions, health care, free education? Even in 1949, there were people saying that we shouldn’t have stopped in Berlin in 1945, we should’ve kept going all the way to Moscow. George Patton, he knew how to deal wit’ dese bastids. Oney thing they respect is force.
Pete Hamill (A Drinking Life: A Memoir)
At home, Russia is facing many challenges, not least of which is demographic. The sharp decline in population growth may have been arrested, but it remains a problem. The average lifespan for a Russian man is below sixty-five, ranking Russia in the bottom half of the world’s 193 UN member states, and there are now only 144 million Russians (excluding Crimea). From the Grand Principality of Muscovy, through Peter the Great, Stalin and now Putin, each Russian leader has been confronted by the same problems. It doesn’t matter if the ideology of those in control is tsarist, Communist or crony capitalist – the ports still freeze, and the North European Plain is still flat. Strip out the lines of nation states, and the map Ivan the Terrible confronted is the same one Vladimir Putin is faced with to this day.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
According to Eden’s personal secretary, Oliver Harvey, his master was ‘horrified’ by Churchill’s plan and tried to talk him out of it. He failed. In despair, he rang the US ambassador, John Winant, who, similarly taken aback, advised that such a visit would not be appropriate until the New Year at the earliest. Harvey too was appalled, noting, ‘I am aghast at the consequence of both [Churchill and Eden] being away at once. The British public will think quite rightly that they are mad.’ If Eden called off his Moscow mission, however, it would send the wrong message entirely to the Kremlin, since ‘it would be fatal to put off A.E.’s visit to Stalin to enable PM to visit Roosevelt. It would confirm all Stalin’s worst suspicions.’20 Eden persisted. He phoned the deputy prime minister, Clement Attlee, who agreed with him wholeheartedly and undertook to oppose the prime minister’s scheme at Cabinet. His objection had no effect: nothing would divert Churchill from his chosen course. When Cadogan spoke to him later that evening, to explain that Eden was ‘distressed’ at the idea of their both being out of the country at the same time, Churchill brushed him aside, saying, ‘That’s all right: that’ll work very well: I shall have Anthony where I want him.’21 Though he did not put it quite so bluntly when discussing this personally with Eden, Churchill left him in no doubt that ‘a complete understanding between Britain and the United States outweighed all else’.22 This conviction was reinforced by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and, according to the new CIGS, Brooke, the pressing need ‘to ensure that American help to this country does not dry up in consequence’.23 Eden’s opposition to Churchill’s visit had genuine diplomatic validity, but neither was he entirely disinterested, for, as Harvey put it, the prime ministerial trip would ‘take all the limelight off the Moscow visit’.24 The unfortunate Foreign Secretary was not only unwell but also disconsolate as HMS Kent set off into rising seas and darkening weather. The British party of Eden, Cadogan and Harvey, accompanied by Lieutenant General Sir Archibald Nye (the newly appointed Vice Chief of the Imperial General Staff) and a phalanx of officials, set foot on Russian soil on 13 December. Their arrival gave Cadogan (who was not a seasoned
Jonathan Dimbleby (Barbarossa: How Hitler Lost the War)
Children of Babylon Early Marxists and Communists understood that to gain the hearts of a generation, seeds must be planted during childhood and early youth. The family of my Jewish-Israeli tour guide, Gideon Shor, originally lived in the Soviet Union. Gideon told me that prior to the 1917 Russian Revolution, Russia was a strong Christian nation. Communism needed to defeat the ideas of Christianity. His grandparents remember attending a public school where there were numerous Christian children. When the time came for lunch, the teacher asked the children to pray to God for food to appear. When they did, no food appeared. They were then asked to pray to “Father Stalin.” Those who did were amazed to see a cart of food, fruits, nuts, and candy roll through the classroom door. This was repeated daily, brainwashing the children into believing that Stalin and the Communist regime were the sole providers of their food. The youth living today are accepting radical ideologies that have totally failed. Multitudes who migrated to America from former Communist and Socialist nations are against both systems as they witnessed first-hand the oppression, government control, loss of freedoms, and hatred toward religion. Personal poverty, oppression, and a basic, simple life eventually rule in the majority of Socialist-Communist countries.
Perry Stone (America's Apocalyptic Reset: Unmasking the Radical's Blueprints to Silence Christians, Patriots, and Conservatives)
Why did the Russian people not rise up in protest?” Maria asked. “They rose to overthrow the Romanovs, but not Stalin. Explain it to me.” Ludmilla replied, “The fear crept up gradually. It was easier to keep quiet while the NKVD were terrorizing someone else’s family. When my mother was arrested I couldn’t find a single person to testify on her behalf. They said she shouldn’t have been so stupid as to make a stand over religion. They thought silence would keep them safe—then they started getting arrested anyway.
Gill Paul (The Lost Daughter)
The Bolsheviks attacked the Russian state not because it was oppressive but because it was weak.
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
The social emancipation of Jewry is the emancipation of society from Jewry.” Leon Trotsky, born Lev Bronstein, was the ideological father of Russian, later Soviet, Communism; along with Stalin and three others, he fought to succeed Lenin as leader of the Communist Party after Lenin’s death in 1924. In 1920, when Trotsky was head of the Red Army, Moscow’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Jacob Mazeh, asked him to use the army to protect the Jews from widespread anti-Semitic attacks (beatings, rapes, and murders of Jews). Trotsky is reported to have responded, “Why do you come to me? I am not a Jew.” To which Rabbi Mazeh answered:
Dennis Prager (Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph)
What thus emerged from the Russian Revolution was a new model of state capitalism which, in turn, would become attractive to the bourgeoisie of “backward” countries and colonies of the Western colonial powers (like Cuba, Vietnam, Mozambique, Angola, etc.). They could use the State to keep Western multinationals from bleeding the country dry, and try to “develop” independently through state mobilisation of the population. Devoid of real proletarian initiative, this was a flawed model, and even the Communist Party of the Chinese People’s Republic abandoned Stalinism after the death of Mao by setting up Special Economic Zones to attract international capital and build a new Chinese capitalist class (so-called “socialism with Chinese characteristics”). What they have in fact returned to is the type of state capitalism that Lenin advocated in 1918, opposed by the Left Communists of that time. Across the world many workers in the former Eastern European bloc still think it was better than what they have now. But neither “state capitalism” nor “state socialism” are socialism as understood by Marx. Both depend on the exploitation of workers whose surplus value is the basis for capitalist profit and who have no actual political say in the system.
Jock Dominie (Russia: Revolution and Counter-Revolution, 1905-1924. A View from the Communist Left)
As the congress began, OGPU found nine copies of an anonymous leaflet addressed to foreign delegates, apparently composed by a group of Soviet writers: . . . We Russian writers remind one of prostitutes in a brothel, with just one difference, that they trade their bodies and we trade our souls; just as they have no way out of the brothel, except death by starvation, neither have we. . . .
Donald Rayfield (Stalin and His Hangmen: The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him)
The Okhrana may have failed to prevent the Russian Revolution, but they were so successful in poisoning revolutionary minds that, thirty years after the fall of the Tsars, the Bolsheviks were still killing each other in a witch hunt for non-existent traitors.
Simon Sebag Montefiore (Young Stalin)
Russians had not grudged it when the world war turned both the Atlantic and Pacific into 'American lakes,' but when these same Americans, who had taken all the oceans and who were building bases on their islands and shores, called Russia greedy for taking back what she formerly owned, this ranked.
Anna Louise Strong (The Stalin Era)
Russians in their hour of victory really hoped that their long isolation had ended; that their terrible war losses had brought for them the friendship of America and Britain, with long generations of peace. Week by week I saw that hope die in their faces. The change began with our atom-bomb on Hiroshima. Fear came back into eyes that had hardly yet seen peace. After the fear came the thought: Why had America slain a quarter of a million people in two Japanese cities, when Japan was already suing for peace?
Anna Louise Strong (The Stalin Era)
The most sophisticated apparatus for conveying top-secret orders was at the service of Nazi propaganda and terror,” Stephenson noted. “The power of a totalitarian regime rested on propaganda and terror. Heydrich had made a study of the Russian OGPU, the Soviet secret security service. He then engineered the Red Army purges carried out by Stalin. The Russian dictator believed his own armed forces were infiltrated by German agents as a consequence of a secret treaty by which the two countries helped each other rearm.* Secrecy bred suspicion, which bred more secrecy, until the Soviet Union was so paranoid it became vulnerable to every hint of conspiracy. Late in 1936, Heydrich had thirty-two documents forged to play on Stalin’s sick suspicions and make him decapitate his own armed forces. The Nazi forgeries were incredibly successful. More than half the Russian officer corps, some 35,000 experienced men, were executed or banished.* The Soviet Chief of Staff, Marshal Tukhachevsky, was depicted as having been in regular correspondence with German military commanders. All the letters were Nazi forgeries. But Stalin took them as proof that even Tukhachevsky was spying for Germany. It was a most devastating and clever end to the Russo-German military agreement, and it left the Soviet Union in absolutely no condition to fight a major war with Hitler.
William Stevenson (A Man Called Intrepid: The Incredible True Story of the Master Spy Who Helped Win World War II)
The scythe went down the ranks, in cities and provinces, lopping the heads of the Party apparatuses, of intellectuals, activists. Nearly the entire Party Central Committee was killed; nearly the entire Soviet war council; nearly the entire Red Army command, starting with its head, Tukhachevsky; 35,000 officers; most Soviet ambassadors, almost the entire staffs of Pravda and Izvestia, most of the officials of the Cheka (including its head, Yagoda), most of the leaders of the Young Communist League . . . From late 1936 into 1939 the slaughter went on. The tortures and shootings that took place in the basement of the Lubyanka, headquarters of the security police, must have set a world record for one building.
Dan Levin (Stormy Petrel: The Life and Work of Maxim Gorky)
A part war drama, part coming-of-age story, part spiritual pilgrimage, Surviving Hitler, Evading Stalin is the story of a young woman who experienced more hardships before graduating high school than most people do in a lifetime. Yet her heartaches are only half the story; the other half is a story of resilience, of leaving her lifelong home in Germany to find a new home, a new life, and a new love in America. Mildred Schindler Janzen has given us a time capsule of World War II and the years following it, filled with pristinely preserved memories of a bygone era. Ken Gire New York Times bestselling author of All the Gallant Men The memoir of Mildred Schindler Janzen will inform and inspire all who read it. This is a work that pays tribute to the power and resiliency of the human spirit to endure, survive, and overcome in pursuit of the freedom and liberty that all too many take for granted. Kirk Ford, Jr., Professor Emeritus, History Mississippi College Author of OSS and the Yugoslav Resistance, 1943-1945 A compelling first-person account of life in Germany during the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party. A well written, true story of a young woman overcoming the odds and rising above the tragedies of loss of family and friends during a savage and brutal war, culminating in her triumph in life through sheer determination and will. A life lesson for us all. Col. Frank Janotta (Retired), Mississippi Army National Guard Mildred Schindler Janzen’s touching memoir is a testimony to God’s power to deliver us from the worst evil that men can devise. The vivid details of Janzen’s amazing life have been lovingly mined and beautifully wrought by Sherye Green into a tender story of love, gratitude, and immeasurable hope. Janzen’s rich, post-war life in Kansas serves as a powerful reminder of the great promise of America. Troy Matthew Carnes, Author of Rasputin’s Legacy and Dudgeons and Daggers World War II was horrific, and we must never forget. Surviving Hitler, Evading Stalin is a must-read that sheds light on the pain the Nazis and then the Russians inflicted on the German Jews and the German people. Mildred Schindler Janzen’s story, of how she and her mother and brother survived the war and of the special document that allowed Mildred to come to America, is compelling. Mildred’s faith sustained her during the war's horrors and being away from her family, as her faith still sustains her today. Surviving Hitler, Evading Stalin is a book worth buying for your library, so we never forget. Cynthia Akagi, Ph.D. Northcentral University I wish all in the world could read Mildred’s story about this loving steel magnolia of a woman who survived life under Hitler’s reign. Mildred never gave up, but with each suffering, grew stronger in God’s strength and eternal hope. Beautifully written, this life story will captivate, encourage, and empower its readers to stretch themselves in life, in love, and with God, regardless of their circumstances. I will certainly recommend this book. Renae Brame, Author of Daily Devotions with Our Beloved, God’s Peaceful Waters Flow, and Snow and the Eternal Hope How utterly inspiring to read the life story of a woman whose every season reflects God’s safe protection and unfailing love. When young Mildred Schindler escaped Nazi Germany, only to have her father taken by Russians and her mother and brother hidden behind Eastern Europe’s Iron Curtain, she courageously found a new life in America. Surviving Hitler, Evading Stalin is her personal witness to God’s guidance and provision at every step of that perilous journey. How refreshing to view a full life from beginning to remarkable end – always validating that nothing is impossible with God. Read this book and you will discover the author’s secret to life: “My story is a declaration that choosing joy and thankfulness over bitterness and anger, even amid difficult circumsta
We must distinguish between "sentimental" and "sensitive." A sentimentalist may be a perfect brute in his free time. A sensitive person is never a cruel person. Sentimental Rousseau, who could weep over a progressive idea, distributed his many natural children through various poorhouses and workhouses and never gave a hoot for them. A sentimental old maid may pamper her parrot and poison her niece. The sentimental politician may remember Mother's Day and ruthlessly destroy a rival. Stalin loved babies. Lenin sobbed at the opera, especially at the Traviata. A whole century of authors praised the simple life of the poor, and so on. Remember that when we speak of sentimentalists, among them Richardson, Rousseau, Dostoevski, we mean the non-artistic exaggeration of familiar emotions meant to provoke automatically traditional compassion in the reader.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lectures on Russian Literature)
June 1943, Stalin passed Molotov a list of twelve questions about the atomic bomb project and demanded swift answers; the Russian foreign minister passed the list to the GRU’s director, Lieutenant General Ivan Ilyichev, who immediately sent a telegram to the London residency, for the attention of Sonya. On June 28, Ursula met Fuchs in Banbury and passed on Stalin’s “twelve urgent requirements.” They were now spying to a shopping list drawn up by the Soviet leader himself. Fuchs duly compiled a complete account of all the intelligence he had furnished to date and everything he knew about the Tube Alloys project, a remarkable testament to his scientific prowess and, if it fell into British hands, the most damning evidence of his guilt.
Ben Macintyre (Agent Sonya: Moscow's Most Daring Wartime Spy)
Disinformation is false information spread deliberately to deceive.This is a subset of misinformation, which also may be unintentional. The English word disinformation is a loose translation of the Russian dezinformatsiya,[derived from the title of a KGB black propaganda department. Joseph Stalin coined the term, giving it a French-sounding name to claim it had a Western origin. Russian use began with a "special disinformation office" in 1923.[Disinformation was defined in Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1952) as "false information with the intention to deceive public opinion”. Wikipedia
Larry Elford (Farming Humans: Easy Money (Non Fiction Financial Murder Book 1))
Month after month, the Russians, bearing the brunt of war, had waited. The Anglo-American landing did not come until June 6, 1944, when the Russian army had already liberated most of the USSR and was driving across Poland. Many Russians had bitterly wondered whether the Allies delayed so that Russia might take the loss, and landed at last in Normandy because they could not afford to let Russians take Berlin alone.
Anna Louise Strong (The Stalin Era)
When the government evacuated citizens from areas invaded by Hitler, deliberate preference was given to Jews. The reason was sound; Jews would surely be killed by the Germans while Russians had a better chance to survive. This policy saved some two million Jews from death, but did not endear them to the Russians left behind.
Anna Louise Strong (The Stalin Era)
Transcending class distinctions, the speaker [Stalin] portrays the relation between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat as a mere division of labor. The workers and soldiers achieve the revolution, Guchkov and Miliukov “fortify” it.[…] This superintendent’s approach to the historical process is exactly characteristic of the leaders of Menshevism, this handing out of instructions to various classes and then patronizingly criticizing their fulfillment.
Leon Trotsky (History of the Russian Revolution)
In spite of everything, all the POWs except for the Russians were receiving food parcels and medication from the International Red Cross. The Soviet Union had withdrawn from that organisation. Stalin said then: “There are no POWs of ours – there are traitors…
Anna Timofeeva-Egorova (Over Fields Of Fire: Flying The Sturmovik In Action On The Eastern Front 1942 45 (Blue Jacket Bks))
For social pathologies like the Great Purges, there are no fully satisfactory explanations. Every individual knows that he is powerless, an actual or potential victim. It seems impossible, at least to minds brought up on Enlightenment principles, that something so extraordinary, so monstrously outside normal experience, could happen “by accident.” There must be a reason, people think, and yet the thing seems essentially unreasonable, pointless, serving no one’s rational interests. This was basically the framework within which educated, Westernized, modern Russians, members of the elite, understood (or failed to understand) the Great Purges. The dilemma was all the more agonizing in that these were the very people who were most at risk in this round of terror, and knew it. For the majority of the Russian population, less educated and less Westernized, the conceptual problems were not so acute. The terror of 1937–38 was one of those great misfortunes, like war, famine, floods, and pestilence, that periodically afflict mankind and simply have to be endured.
Sheila Fitzpatrick (Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s)
I once went to a Russian restaurant called “Stalin’s Café.” All the items on the menu looked tempting, but after careful deliberation, I decided to order the cook to be sent to the gulag for what I took to be insubordination.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
The documentary and anecdotal evidence is overwhelming and indisputable; the Red Army, which had behaved so heroically on the battlefield, raped the women of Germany as part of their reward, with the active collusion of their officers up to and including Stalin. Indeed he explicitly excused their behaviour on more than one occasion, seeing it as part of the rights of the conqueror. ‘What is so awful in his having fun with a woman, after such horrors?’ Stalin asked Marshal Tito about the ordinary Russian soldier in April 1945. ‘You have imagined the Red Army to be ideal. And it is not ideal, nor can it be…
Andrew Roberts (The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War)
There has been much controversy about the numbers of those imprisoned and killed at various times in the Stalin years, but the opening of the archives has led to some convergence towards a middle (but still horrific) figure, some millions fewer than the earlier highest estimates and some millions more than the estimates of those who downplayed the scale of Stalin’s terror. Ronald Suny, the editor of a recent major volume on twentieth-century Russian history, suggests that the ‘total number of lives destroyed by the Stalinist regime in the 1930s is closer to 10–11 million than the 20–30 million estimated earlier’.68 Anne Applebaum, the author of a detailed study of political prisoners in the Soviet Union, arrives at a figure of 28.7 million forced labourers over the whole Soviet period. She includes in that number the ‘special exiles’, such as ‘kulaks’ and particular nationalities, among them the Tatars and Volga Germans, who were deported during World War Two. Applebaum notes that a figure of around 786,000 political executions between 1934 and 1953 is now quite widely accepted, although her own view is that the true figure is probably significantly higher than that number.69 The Russian non-governmental organization Memorial, dedicated to investigating the cases of repression in the Soviet period, more recently came up with the figure of 1.7 million people arrested in 1937–38 alone, of whom, they say, at least 818,000 were shot.70
Archie Brown (The Rise and Fall of Communism)
There were at least 6,185 summary executions in the Red Terror of 1918—in two months. There had been 6,321 death sentences by Russian courts between 1825 and 1917, not all of them carried out.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
recent opinion polls in which a substantial proportion of Russians expressed a desire for “a leader like Stalin” to run their country.
In heeding the summons to help Soviet Russia, he laid down two conditions: that American relief personnel be allowed to operate independently, and that U.S. citizens in Soviet prisons be released. Lenin cursed Hoover and acceded. In a monumental triumph of philanthropy and organization, Hoover mustered more than $60 million worth of foreign food support, primarily in the form of corn, wheat seeds, condensed milk, and sugar, much of it donated by the United States Congress, some of it paid for by the Soviet regime with scarce hard currency and gold (melted down from confiscated church objects and other valuables). Employing 300 field agents who engaged up to 100,000 Soviet helpers at 19,000 field kitchens, the ARA at its height fed nearly 11 million people daily.180 Gorky wrote to Hoover that “your help will enter history as a unique, gigantic achievement, worthy of the greatest glory, which will long remain in the memory of millions of Russians . . . whom you have saved from death.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
For centuries the people in Russia were under a tsar. The Russian people are tsarist. For many centuries the Russian people, especially the Russian peasants, have been accustomed to one person being at the head. And now there should be one.’”366
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
In its extreme Stalinist form the Russian megamachine betrayed, even before Hitler, the most sinister defects of the ancient megamachine: its reliance upon physical coercion and terrorism, its systematic enslavement of the entire working population, including members of the dictatorial party, its suppression of free personal intercourse, free travel, free access to the existing store of knowledge, free association, and finally its imposition of human sacrifice to appease the wrath and sustain the life of its terrible, blood-drinking God, Stalin himself. The result of this system was to transform the entire country into a prison, part concentration camp, part extermination laboratory, from which the only hope of escape was by death. The 'liberty, fraternity, and equality' of the French Revolution had turned, by a further revolution around the same axle, into alienation, inequality, and enslavement.
Lewis Mumford (The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2))
For a while, indeed, Stalin through sheer terrorism almost succeeded in turning himself into a Divine King in the image of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great. he could be addressed, Russians have pointed out, only in the form that was used exclusively in the past in addressing a Czar. Stalin's solemn pronouncement on every subject from the mechanism of genetic inheritance to the origins of language were fatuously hailed as the voice of omniscience. So they became the ultimate guides to scholars and scientists who had spent their lifetime on research without ever reaching such ultimate and irrefragable truths. The same tendency later became magnified even to the point of gross caricature-if that were possible-in the pronouncements of Mao Tse-tung.
Lewis Mumford (The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2))
the anti-Semitic Moldavian Pavalаchii Cruseveanu (b. 1860). Known as Pavel Krushevan, he not only oversaw the text’s compilation in 1902–3 but instigated the major pogrom in Kishenëv (Chişinau) in 1903 and founded the Bessarabian branch of the Union of the Russian People in 1905.53
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
Sergei Kryzhanovsky, who handled the disbursements to the Union of Russian People and similar organizations, saw no distinction between the political techniques and social program of the far right—redistribution of private property from plutocrats to the poor—and
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
In the two weeks before the first Duma opened, between April 10 and 25, 1906, the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party convoked its 4th Congress under the slogan of “unity.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
he boldly rejected the Bolshevik Lenin’s proposal for complete land nationalization as well as a Russian Menshevik call for land municipalization.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
By the beginning of 1946, there were plenty of indications that Stalin was not going to cooperate with the Anglo-Americans, however, and not just with regard to Germany. Russia was refusing, for instance, to carry out its part of the post-war agreement when it came to Iran. The country had been occupied by British, American and Russian troops during the war years, with an agreement that all would withdraw as soon as peace came. The British and American forces duly complied within the time agreed, but the Soviets did not, and, moreover, showed signs of trying to expand their area of occupation. Two ethnically based ‘soviet republics’ were set up by Soviet agents on Iranian territory during early 1946. These were liquidated by the Iranian army, with American encouragement, and their leaders either executed or put to flight, but the crisis atmosphere lingered on for months before Stalin quietly withdrew. The Iran crisis was a key factor in the deteriorating relationship between the Anglo-American axis and its former Soviet allies. While it was still simmering, President Truman reinforced his case by sending the US battleship Missouri to the Mediterranean. The Missouri came to form the core of the Sixth Fleet, which is still there.2 At
Frederick Taylor (Exorcising Hitler)
The revolution is led by pigs with a vision of an egalitarian utopia free from tyrannical human beings, but their ideals are gradually abandoned as power goes to their heads and they become cruel and greedy. They decree that only pigs are allowed to eat the apples grown in the orchard (nutritionally essential for a pig’s brain, they claim), and they breed a terror squad of dogs to police the hens, sheep, cows and horses living on the farm. As the pigs take on the luxuries of the humans they fought to overthrow—sleeping in the farmhouse and swilling whisky—the other animals die of overwork and starvation. Orwell had based Animal Farm on the Russian Revolution of 1917 and Stalin’s fearsome drive to collectivize the Soviet Union’s farmland, resulting in the death of millions of peasants.
Emma Larkin (Finding George Orwell in Burma)
But the powerful and respected party right, particularly Stalin, went so far in the direction of moderation as to support a merger of Bolsheviks and Mensheviks - the proposal of Irakli Tsereteli, the outstanding Menshevik intellect and orator, recently returned from Siberian exile and now in charge of the Petrograd Soviet.
China Miéville (October: The Story of the Russian Revolution)
Americans talked about voters the way Russians talked about Stalin: they had to be obeyed, right or wrong.
Ken Follett (Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2))
More troubling still had been the sickening revelation, in April 1943, that more than twenty thousand Polish officers, police officers, and members of the intelligentsia had, on Stalin’s orders, been murdered in cold blood by Soviet occupation forces in 1940, during the time of the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact. That disclosure — the decomposing Polish bodies unearthed by the Germans in the Katyn forest near the Russian city of Smolensk, but the Soviets denying culpability
Nigel Hamilton (Commander in Chief: FDR's Battle with Churchill, 1943)
Whenever Stalin made a speech his audience would applaud so much that no one dared be the first to stop, applauding even to the point of collapse. The writer and Soviet dissident, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, relates a tale from 1937 when, after eleven exhausting minutes of enthusiastic clapping, a factory director was the first to stop; he got ten years in a gulag. Eventually Stalin permitted the use of a bell to signify a stop. If Stalin, in a speech, mispronounced a word (Russian, after all, being his second language), those speaking after him, if using the same word, would mispronounce it in exactly the same way.
Rupert Colley (Stalin: History in an Hour)
CRITICAL OVERVIEW POLITICAL MEANING The political message of Animal Farm is inspired by the events of the Russian (Bolshevik) Revolution (1917–21), when Russian peasants overthrew the monarchy in favor of socialism, a political system in which land, business, property, and capital are owned by the community as a whole. In Animal Farm, Orwell (a Socialist) shows the animals’ efforts to overthrow human dictatorship and to establish a socialist community in which everyone contributes to the common gain. During the course of the novel, Napoleon takes control, moves socialism in the direction of communism (Stalinism), a political system in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a “totalitarian” state (dictatorship) dominated by a single political group or party that keeps itself in power. Orwell’s intent in writing this fable was to destroy the Soviet (communist) myth of the perfect society and to restore genuine socialist principles. He wanted to show how the original intentions of revolution have all too often been corrupted and perverted by one person or group who, for selfish reasons, seizes power, exploits people, and eliminates all opposition.
W. John Campbell (The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics)
Back at the Davydokovo apartment, we sat mesmerized in front of Grandad's Avantgard brand TV. It was all porn all the time. Porn in three flavors: 1)Tits and asses; 2) gruesome close-ups of dead bodies from war or crimes; 3) Stalin. Wave upon wave of previously unseen documentary footage of the Generalissimo. Of all the porn, number three was the most lurid. The erotics of power.
Anya von Bremzen (Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing)
The peasant rebellion against collectivization was the most serious episode in popular resistance experienced by the Soviet state after the Russian Civil War. In 1930, more than two million peasants took part in 13,754 mass disturbances. In 1929 and 1930, the OGPU recorded 22,887 "terrorists acts" aimed at local officials and peasant activists, more than 1,100 murders.
Lynne Viola (Peasant Rebels Under Stalin: Collectivization and the Culture of Peasant Resistance)
By way of Japan, there had been indications that the Russian dictator, Joseph Stalin, might be willing to parley, but Hitler forbade any dickering with the Untermenschen. “Probing the Soviet attitude,” he wrote the wife of his foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop, “is like touching a glowing stove to find out if it’s hot.”[5]
Charles B. MacDonald (A Time for Trumpets: The Untold Story of the Battle of the Bulge)
I read many books on Russian artists, writers, philosophers, and musicians in an attempt to understand [Vassy, her partner]. I seemed to be concluding that the Russian himself was saying 'We are not to be understood.' It was maddeningly challenging to me. I didn't like not least to my satisfaction. Half savage, half saint. That seemed to be the consensus of opinion among the Russians themselves. The communist government appeared to be irrelevant, merely a continuation in a different form of a system which basically denied the importance of the individual. Vassy had told me in the beginning that the Russian people had the government they needed and understood, and in many respects he even claimed they would want Joe Stalin back because he would, in effect, protect them from themselves.
Shirley MacLaine (Dancing in the Light)
The nationalities question fit ill with Marxism. It was perhaps even more puzzling than the peasant problem. One could at least delude oneself into believing that the peasant problem was soluble in Marxian terms by extrapolating from economic data, constructing Procrustean sociologies, and predicting the inevitable splitting of the peasants along class lines. But how did one fit nationality into the Marxist scheme? Of course, according to Marxian theory national boundaries created superficial divisions compared to economic forces and the relations of production, but nationalist passion seemed to inflame people and mobilize them even more than their class interests. World War I would show how ready people were to make sacrifices for the sake of the national or imperial dignity or, in the case of the Slavs of the Russian Empire, for related ethnic groups and coreligionists. Even the discredited Romanov dynasty would be able to rally its people around the war effort—at least at the outset. This was a complication—indeed, as history has showed, a fatal one—for a Marxian socialist with a genuinely internationalist orientation.
Philip Pomper (Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin: The Intelligentsia and Power)
In a complex situation, when confronted with new considerations, Koba prefers to bide his time, to keep his peace, or to retreat. In all those instances when it is necessary for him to choose between the idea and the political machine, he invariably inclines toward the machine. The program must first of all create its bureaucracy before Koba can have any respect for it. Lack of confidence in the masses, as well as in individuals, is the basis of his nature. His empiricism always compels him to choose the path of least resistance. That is why, as a rule, at all the great turning points of history this near-sighted revolutionist assumes an opportunist position, which brings him exceedingly close to the Mensheviks and on occasion places him in the right of them. At the same time he invariably is inclined to favor the most resolute actions in solving the problems he has mastered. Under all conditions well-organized violence seems to him the shortest distance between two points. Here an analogy begs to be drawn. The Russian terrorists were in essence petty bourgeois democrats, yet they were extremely resolute and audacious. Marxists were wont to refer to them as "liberals with a bomb." Stalin has always been what he remains to this day—a politician of the golden mean who does not hesitate to resort to the most extreme measures. Strategically he is an opportunist; tactically he is a "revolutionist." He is a kind of opportunist with a bomb.
Leon Trotsky (Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin: The Intelligentsia and Power)
It has been estimated that for the next twenty years an average of a million Russian people a year were executed by the Communist regime, which, for much of that time, would be headed by the dictator of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Joseph V. Stalin.29
Winston Groom (The Allies: Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and the Unlikely Alliance That Won World War II)
So the misfit as totalitarian politician (Putin), being of the criminal type, finds intellectual flunkies (like Dugin) to invent vainglorious political theories (like the Fourth Political Theory), which are merely excuses for an attack on normal society, on freedom, on the wellbeing of average people everywhere. For this purpose, and with simplification in mind, America is their natural whipping boy, their intended victim, their object of envy and disdain, and the focus of their strategic malevolence. On Russian television, on this day, 15 March 2015, the evil dwarf-president, demonstrating his thermonuclear manhood by way of compensation, is merely another one of those damn fool misfits – like that scrappy little Stalin, or wee little Lenin. What is needed, perhaps, is a big strapping fellow to sweep this malignant race of dwarfs from the Russian stage. Perhaps Boris Nemtsov would have been that fellow, but Boris was gunned down on the street in Moscow. It is said that the assassin shot him four times in the back. The ultimate coward, of course, is not the one who shot an unarmed man in the back. The ultimate coward was, assuredly, that same totalitarian pygmy who was blaming America on Russian TV, and whose regime has overseen many political killings. It is sad that Putin’s cleverly staged absence pushed the fallen Nemtsov from public remembrance, placing the murderer center stage and, yes, Vladimir, it is all about you after all, isn’t it? Yes, oh yes. In America as well as in Russia, it takes a traitor and a misfit.
J.R. Nyquist
Russian right-wing newspaper had introduced the world to the so-called Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
They were somewhere near Chelyabinsk 56, someone said. You don’t want to go there, a Russian added. One of Stalin’s biggest messes.
Kim Stanley Robinson (Green Earth)
The initials of the Communist Party in the 1930s, VKP, were read by peasant wits to stand for “Second serfdom” (Vtoroe Krepostnoe Pravo), while in the reading of some Leningrad youths the initials of the USSR itself—SSSR [CCCP] in Russian—became “Stalin’s death will save Russia” (Smert’ Stalina Spaset Rossiiu).
Sheila Fitzpatrick (Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s)
On the previous day, four Armenian witnesses told the Congressmen how the Bolsheviks had overthrown the Armenian First Republic in 1920. All of them were affiliated with the ARF, and two, Reuben Darbinian and General Dro Kanayan, had served in the government of the First Republic. The Armenian testimonies also appear to have been choreographed with the aim of throwing all possible blame on the Bolsheviks and suppressing the role of other culprits in the fate of the Armenians—in this case, the Turks. So Beglar Navassardian, executive secretary of the still-extant American Committee for the Independence of Armenia (and son of the ARF leader in Egypt), gave a brief excursion through the history of Armenia that surely would have caused apoplexy in his predecessors in that committee in the 1920s.     Navassardian barely mentioned the 1915 Genocide in his testimony. He managed only to say, “Finally during the First World War, the Armenian people made the final and supreme sacrifice. They firmly and squarely sided with the Allies, gave volunteer forces under the Allied Command in the Middle East, on the eastern front and elsewhere. For a people whose numbers had been decimated to less than 4 million, they gave a participation of 250,000, fighting against the Axis Powers.”34     General Dro spoke through an interpreter. The awkward issue of his wartime collaboration with Nazi Germany was not mentioned. The general reminisced about a luncheon in 1921 hosted for him by Stalin, whom he described as an old comrade from the revolution of 1905, at which promises were made and then broken. Dro, a veteran of the Russian-Ottoman war, also conspicuously failed to mention Turkey or 1915. He only spoke about atrocities committed by the Bolsheviks, who, he said, “took over Armenia with a brutality and persecution characteristic of the Middle Ages.”35     A certain kind of Armenia—one that had lost its independence, bravely fighting Soviet Russia—was required by the Cold War American political imagination. Concluding the hearings, the chairman, Representative Michael Feighan, praised General Dro, saying, “Our committee appreciates very much this first-hand testimony from you who have fought so vigorously for the freedom and independence of Armenia.”36
Thomas de Waal (Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide)
Russian Revolution and on Stalin, who was worse than the czars, killing his own people to collectivise agriculture.
First, the whitewashing of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and of his GULAG prison camp system continued and expanded. Last week, Russian officials put up the first Stalin statue in more than 60 years, and to add insult to injury, they did so alongside statues of Churchill and Roosevelt showing the Western leaders deferring to him and in recently occupied Crimea.
In Lenin's view, such changes were positive: nations, as products of capitalist economic relations, fitted into classic Marxist stage theory of development. Even Stalin, who differed on the implications for Soviet policy, agreed that nations were an inescapable phase through which all humans communities must pass. Ultimately, they (like, capitalism) would be superseded, but for precapitalist societies national development and nationalist movements were treated as progressive. Lenin drew a further distinction between great-power nationalism, which oppressed others, and small-power nationalism, which formed in response o it. In places - such as Russia - that had been responsible for national and colonial oppression of others, nationalism was to be combated without mercy and torn out by the roots. Among groups that had been victims of national or colonial oppression, by contrast-such as in the tsarist imperial periphery, where Russian power had created deep economic, political, and social resentment-the Leninist approach was to build socialism while encouraging indigenous development and national differentiation.
Douglas Northrop (Veiled Empire: Gender and Power in Stalinist Central Asia)
And yet, within a mere decade of Stolypin’s demise, the Georgian-born Russian Social Democrat Iosif “Koba” Jughashvili, a pundit and agitator, would take the place of the sickly Romanov heir and go on to forge a fantastical dictatorial authority far beyond any effective power exercised by imperial Russia’s autocratic tsars or Stolypin. Calling that outcome unforeseeable would be an acute understatement.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
American presidents send a million Russians back to Stalin
Thomas E. Woods Jr. (The Politically Incorrect Guide To American History (Politically Incorrect GuideTMs))
Stalin never forgot or forgave. He once told a Russian writer that Ivan the Terrible had not been ruthless enough because he left too many enemies alive.
William Craig (Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad)
I resisted these movements whenever they came to my notice. In this I was supported by Marshal Stalin, who followed the Russian maxim, “You may always walk with the Devil till you get to the end of the bridge.
Winston S. Churchill (Closing The Ring (The Second World War, #5))
The question that has puzzled Kremlin rulers since 1953 is how to perpetuate the house Stalin built without acquiring Stalin’s evil reputation. Unwilling to forfeit their control over Russian society, and unable to fully appreciate the devilish efficacy of arresting and executing millions arbitrarily, the Soviet ruling class charted a middle path that would pacify the West without losing the essential components of empire. This middle path, which brings us to Vladimir Putin, combines low profile red-brown totalitarianism with lip service to democracy and free markets. It is a case of power retained. Instead of genuine democracy, Russia is guided by secret totalitarian structures that govern through fictitious political fronts. In essence, there has been no capitalism in Russia since 1991. There has been no democracy. It was all an elaborate KGB hoax. The mask that hides the totalitarian face of Russia isn’t perfect. It has fooled the experts and pundits only because they wanted to be fooled. The inhumanity of Stalin’s regime was so great, its injustice so mind numbing, that good people don’t want to believe that Stalin’s system was and is a work in progress. We don’t want to admit that Stalin’s murder machine is undergoing renovation, that we ourselves may be included among its next victims. Such an admission would turn our world upside down, and such a turning is not at all desirable – especially when we consider that Stalin saw Hitler as “the icebreaker” of the Revolution. This leads us to the unpleasant possibility that Putin may see Osama bin Laden as an “icebreaker” as well.
J.R. Nyquist
WHO WERE THEY—RUSSIANS OR Soviets? No, they were Soviets—and Russians, and Belorussians, and Ukrainians, and Tajiks… Yet there was such a thing as Soviet people. I don’t think such people will ever exist again, and they themselves now understand that. Even we, their children, are different. We want to be like everybody else. Not like our parents, but like the rest of the world. To say nothing of the grandchildren… But I love them. I admire them. They had Stalin and the Gulag,* 4 but they also had the Victory. And they know that.
Svetlana Alexievich (The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II)
Lenin's difficulty with Marxian revisionism and those who accorded an important role to liberals is symptomatic of a doctrinal and psychological problem peculiar to Marxism and absent in the old narodnik creed. Marx had revealed the systematic necessity of class exploitation. Capitalism was by its very nature savagely unjust. Since most revolutionaries were not simply thinking machines looking for the most rational foundation for production and distribution but possessed of "religious" attitudes, or, in any case, of a sense of mission, they found in Marx and Engels the description of a morally intolerable system in which the wealth of the few could only be gotten at the expense of the poverty of the many. On the other hand, Marx posited the necessary contribution of each historical phase to economic and social progress. The bourgeoisie and their liberal institutions could not disappear from history until they had developed the forces of production as far as they could, when the onset of the inevitable and fatal crisis of capitalism would occur. Capitalism was a necessary evil on the way to socialism. But Marx had no blueprint for its many historical variations, only his laws of capitalism and their consequences. Neither he nor Engels had a revolutionary timetable either, and it was possible for their followers to lapse into a purely "scientific" and morally slothful type of Marxism, an academic Marxism without a sense of urgency about revolutionary tasks to be performed. On the other hand, the most morally mobilized would find ways to hasten capitalism's final hour, even while separating themselves from the narodniki, whose revolutionism was "unscientific." Thus, during a period of mainly doctrinal debates and sectarianism, revolutionaries who were temperamentally quite close to each other engaged in combat; but when the real revolutionary moment arrived, they often found themselves working together.
Philip Pomper (Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin: The Intelligentsia and Power)
Throughout the black night, with every step taken, I left my youth further behind; there would be no turning back.
Joe J. Elder (Dear American Brother)
featured prominently on Russian TV news
Rosemary Sullivan (Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva)
The Russians moved to exploit their northern lands in a way that no other nation has attempted. Using gulag prison labor and internal exile, first under the tsars and then renewed under Stalin, towns were built across Siberia and up into the Arctic in search of minerals, timber, and other resources.
Alun Anderson (After the Ice: Life, Death, and Geopolitics in the New Arctic)
Unlike Stalin, Lenin never made an attempt to seize ultimate power for himself, although he easily could have. During the crackdowns of the Red Terror, for example, Lenin could have easily completed a Stalinesque purge, but as brutal as the Red Terror was, Lenin showed much more restraint than his successor. He never wanted to be the supreme dictator of Russia because, for him, his movement was far greater than what encompassed the Russian borders.
Hourly History (Vladimir Lenin: A Life From Beginning to End (Revolutionaries))
Hitler wanted not only to eradicate the Jews; he wanted also to destroy Poland and the Soviet Union as states, exterminate their ruling classes, and kill tens of millions of Slavs (Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Poles).
Timothy Snyder (Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin)
innovation lay in asserting the autonomy of the Russian national revolutionary process, in making the construction of a socialist society at home independent of the international revolution.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
most controversial of these movies—one whose production had been virtually commissioned by OWI and encouraged by Roosevelt himself—was Warner Bros.’ Mission to Moscow, which seemed more interested in saluting Stalin and his regime than in praising the grit of the Russian people.
Lynne Olson (A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II)
Lenin was fighting factionalism with factionalism. But reading what a Russian might call the “sub-text” of this episode, it seems plain that factional ways were too deeply ingrained in the Bolshevik culture to be eradicated by any resolution on party unity. Although the factions were rarely close-knit and did not make public, as in 1921, their policy platforms, the ban did not eliminate them. Its real effect was, rather, to make factional politics in the party more covert, as a rule, and likewise more dangerous. Acting in the name of “the party,” a victorious faction could accuse a defeated one of factionalism and then invoke against it the sanctions specified in clause seven of the resolution, which was finally made public in 1924. With sufficient support in the Central Committee and the Central Party Control Commission, the victors could demote the losers or even expel them from the party. Such, in fact, was the way in which the Stalin faction dealt with many defeated adversaries in the later twenties.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Russian nationalism was as alien to Lenin’s makeup as it was congenial, deep down, to Stalin’s.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
He had given Bolshevism strong personal leadership without being a dictator who ruled by arbitrary command. The movement had arisen as his political following in Russian Marxism and developed for twenty years under his guidance and inspiration. Although not institutionalized in an office, his role of supreme leader had entered into the unwritten constitution of Bolshevism, its habitual modus operandi. Lenin had been the movement’s organizer, its chief strategist and tactician, the author of its distinctive version of Marxist ideology, and the authoritative interpreter of party doctrine. He had been the commander-in-chief of the party in the political struggles that led up to the revolutionary conquest of power, and in those that ensued after power was won. He had been the dominant policy-making personality of the ruling party and of the new Third International that came into being under its auspices. His unique authority enabled him to unify an extremely disputatious ruling group whose inner conflicts continually threatened to tear it apart into warring factions. As head of the Soviet government, moreover, Lenin was Bolshevism’s chief executive and director of its foreign relations.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Stalin’s championship of the “Uralo-Siberian method of grain procurement,” as he himself later called it, has rightly been described as a great turning-point in Russian history, since “it upset once and for all the delicate psychological balance upon which the relations between party and peasants rested. . . .”[
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Lenin, as we have seen, became alarmed about Stalin’s rudeness; his administrative peremptoriness; his Great Russian nationalism; his tendency to give animosity free rein in official conduct; and his lack of tolerance, loyalty, and considerateness toward others. It was a weighty catalogue of politically significant character defects, but not a reasoned analysis. The others, too, even as their horror of Stalin deepened, stood somehow mentally paralyzed before the enigma of the man’s personality.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Stalin’s dictatorship, as we shall see, was a product of immense structural forces: the evolution of Russia’s autocratic political system; the Russian empire’s conquest of the Caucasus; the tsarist regime’s recourse to a secret police and entanglement in terrorism; the European castle-in-the-air project of socialism; the underground conspiratorial nature of Bolshevism (a mirror image of repressive tsarism); the failure of the Russian extreme right to coalesce into a fascism despite all the ingredients; global great-power rivalries, and a shattering world war.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
Serfdom’s abolition in the Caucasus began three years later than in the rest of the Russian empire, in October 1864.
Stephen Kotkin (Stalin: Volume I: Paradoxes of Power, 1878-1928)
he wrote in the Bakinskii proletarii in August 1909, would bury the party rather than renovate it. In order to overcome the present state of party crisis, it was necessary, first, to end the isolation from the masses and, second, to unify party activities on a nationwide basis. And speaking like the Lenin of What Is to Be Done?, Stalin suggested that the latter objective could best be achieved by creating an all-Russian party newspaper. There was, however, one difference: Stalin insisted upon the paper’s being based inside the country rather than abroad, where party organs, being “far removed from Russian reality,” could not effectively fulfill the unifying function.[245] A seasoned professional revolutionary, a completely committed Bolshevik whose whole world lay in party affairs and who found his element in clandestine activity, Stalin was too rare a resource for Lenin to ignore. Nor did he permit himself to be ignored.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
The proposal for a Russia-based party organ carried an overtone of self-nomination to the editorial role that Stalin in fact came to play when Pravda was founded in Petersburg three years later. In a resolution of January 22, 1910, written by Stalin, the Baku party committee not only repeated the proposal for an all-Russian party organ but called for “the transfer of the (directing) practical center to Russia.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
when the Bolshevik faction was recast as a separate party at the Prague conference in 1912, the Central Committee, now all-Bolshevik in composition, not only co-opted Stalin but also elected him as one of the four members of a “Russian Bureau” for direction of party activities inside Russia.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
It was in this tradition that the priest Georgi Gapon led an icon-bearing procession of workers to the Winter Palace in Petersburg on January 22, 1905, to petition Nicholas for reforms and assistance. The tsar would not receive his loyal subjects, troops fired upon the procession, and the day went down in Russian history as “Bloody Sunday.” The massacre contributed both to the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution and to the decline of credence in the traditional Russian ruler-myth. Its symbolic significance to a tradition-bound Russian mind was expressed in Gapon’s tragic words after the shooting: “There is no tsar anymore.”[6]
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
He also sought out and conversed at length with former members of the People’s Will who were living in Samara as political exiles. In these conversations with surviving representatives of populism’s heroic period, he showed special interest in the old Russian Jacobinists, beginning with Zaichnevsky and his program of revolutionary dictatorship in the manifesto “Young Russia.” “In talks with me,” wrote one of the exiles much later, “Vladimir Ilyich often dwelt on the question of the seizure of power, one of the points of our Jacobin program. . . .
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Djugashvili had furnished evidence in writing of the theoretical learning that he was to display in the Baku prison. In a series of articles published in Bolshevik newspapers in Tiflis under the general title Anarchism or Socialism?, he defended Marxism against critical attacks that were being leveled against it by Georgian followers of the Russian anarchist philosopher Pyotr Kropotkin.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)
Far more than Menshevism and other Russian radical groups of the time, Bolshevism was a leader-centered movement. As a faction and later as an independent party, it was essentially Lenin’s political following in Russian Marxism. As Menshevik opponents liked to say, it was “Lenin’s sect.
Robert C. Tucker (Stalin as Revolutionary: A Study in History and Personality, 1879-1929)