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Tags "The Fall of Berlin 1945" , Anthony Beevor , war crimes , World War II history

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Old 22nd May 2013, 04:15 PM   #81
dudalb
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Originally Posted by Cleon View Post
Even on the Marxist left, people tend to roll their eyes at the Maoists. Between ultra-left Black Bloc-type tactics and their bizarre cult of personality around Chairman Bob, they're kinda self-isolating.

At demonstrations, though, they're very good at getting themselves noticed, so they often wind up on right-wing sites like zombietime.
BTW the guy I was debating on IMDB is a fanatic Bob Avakian follower.
What is scary about Avakain is makes no bones that he wants total and absolute power and sees himself as a Stalin/Mao type dictator.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 05:16 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Hutch View Post
Originally Posted by Lenbrazil
Seems like a way to rationalize war crimes
Well, I disagree, the man saw war up close (and caused a fair amount of death and destruction) and so I'll take him as my expert witness.
Would you apply such thinking to the tactics of the Axis as well as Allied attrocities during WWII? Wouldn't such thinking justify them?
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Old 22nd May 2013, 05:27 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
Originally Posted by dudalb
Orwell also caught on that great many intellectuals on the left basically held the working class in comtempt. This of course was the inspiration for the way the Party holds the Proles in contempt in 1984.
Sadly, this is still true today. In the US we have a problem,and,frankly, you see it displayed on JREF,with people on the left holding blue collar workers and people in rural communties in total contempt.And this has bitten a lot of Democrats in the butt come election time. But it is never the fault of progressives having problems with adressing the concerns of the Blue Collars workers. No, it is because the common people are too damn stupid to vote the right way. And it happens time and time and time again. I guess it is more important to feel superior to somebody then actually win elections and get things done.....
You had one guy here who regulary engaged in some pretty far out left wing rants but advocated that only people with College Degrees should be allowed to vote.....
You must be a carpenter because you hit the nail right on the head. The greatest frustration I have with the pseudo-left is their utter contempt for the working class. Whenever I read the word "sheeple" or any negative reference to bible belt rednecks and blue collar workers I die a little inside.
Well it was a Republican not a Democrat who made contentious remarks about the "47%"; country club conservatives are equally if not more likely look down on the lower-middle class. And the people who blather about sheeple are generally conspiracy kooks who are more likely to fans of Ron Paul than of Obama or Kucinich.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 05:29 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by Lenbrazil View Post
I wasn't referring to Communist in general but specificity Stalinists and Maoist.
And I was specifically referring to Stalinists and Maoists. Sometimes they're referred to as Maoist-Stalinist, in fact. And they are the radical wing in many radical left parties.

But... look at your original comment. The flip side is the more important limiting factor to what I was commenting on... Hitler's fans. There are perhaps more Hitler fanboyz on this website and in noisy forums around the internet, but as Prof. Terry has noted, they're sort of a dying breed. They're just a noisy dying breed and have a disproportionate internet presence to their numbers. Maoists? Go out on the streets of any Asian country, especially China, and you won't have to go far to find admirers and defenders of All Things Mao.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 05:36 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
And I was specifically referring to Stalinists and Maoists. Sometimes they're referred to as Maoist-Stalinist, in fact. And they are the radical wing in many radical left parties.

But... look at your original comment. The flip side is the more important limiting factor to what I was commenting on... Hitler's fans. There are perhaps more Hitler fanboyz on this website and in noisy forums around the internet, but as Prof. Terry has noted, they're sort of a dying breed. They're just a noisy dying breed and have a disproportionate internet presence to their numbers. Maoists? Go out on the streets of any Asian country, especially China, and you won't have to go far to find admirers and defenders of All Things Mao.
Yeah it makes sense that it could be an East Asian phenomenon; I don't think I encountered more than a handful in Europe, North or South America
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Old 22nd May 2013, 05:37 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
BTW the guy I was debating on IMDB is a fanatic Bob Avakian follower.
What is scary about Avakain is makes no bones that he wants total and absolute power and sees himself as a Stalin/Mao type dictator.
So does Lyndon Larouche, Jeff Schoep, and a handful of other fringe figures. I don't consider that "scary" so much as "delusional."
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Old 22nd May 2013, 10:17 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Ah! You nicely added some data there Joey McGee, you cheeky sausage you!

I'm sure that you can find all kinds of correspondence in which FDR proclaimed that Stalin may pose some kind of risk. However, your point about FDR being naiive is pretty much what I would have said. FDR naiively believed that Stalin was one of the good guys, if given the chance.
Still too strong of language for the level of threat they thought was possible. Look at what happened with Tito, by many accounts, probably the only right thing to do. People can be forgiven for taking bets. My point about Berlin is that the Americans only let the Russians do certain things to save countless lives, to save morale, and to win the war as soon as possible. A grave injustice and moral cowardice on behalf of the world? Or a calculated retreat? Would you be at Patton's side marching to Moscow or some ******

Quote:
Animal Farm, was obediently turned down by plenty of publishers, partly as the result of the Ministry of Information in Britain wanting nothing bad said about Stalin.

Obviously some people think the reading public, the electorate and publishers of books are not important people, and no doubt people such as Stalin would have agreed.
So what, these were the days of the death of Alan Turing, the society was completely ********** up in a myriad of ways. Any fondness for Stalin was shortlived and entirely cynically faked henceforth. Imagine ww2 without russia... come on it's an attempted hate**** of America based on whims and fantasies that the Allies were delusional about the Russians so hahaha about their silly system of government, right?
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Old 22nd May 2013, 10:32 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Joey McGee View Post
Still too strong of language for the level of threat they thought was possible. Look at what happened with Tito, by many accounts, probably the only right thing to do. People can be forgiven for taking bets. My point about Berlin is that the Americans only let the Russians do certain things to save countless lives, to save morale, and to win the war as soon as possible. A grave injustice and moral cowardice on behalf of the world? Or a calculated retreat? Would you be at Patton's side marching to Moscow or some ******

So what, these were the days of the death of Alan Turing, the society was completely ********** up in a myriad of ways. Any fondness for Stalin was shortlived and entirely cynically faked henceforth. Imagine ww2 without russia... come on it's an attempted hate**** of America based on whims and fantasies that the Allies were delusional about the Russians so hahaha about their silly system of government, right?
Thank you. My favourite colour is blue.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 11:24 PM   #89
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Anyway, Joey, I found it a little difficult to work out what you were saying in your last post but let me try and make a case and you can then argue whether I have got it right.

You said:

Quote:
Churchill was warning about the Russians from day one. The allied decision to let Russian take Berlin saved a few hundred thousand Allied lives, while Stalin played a sick game making two of his commanders compete to see who reached the city center first, wasting countless lives in reckless advances. Everyone knew about this, Russia was never considered the good guys by anyone important at any time.
I can probably agree with you on Churchill, but not unconditionally, as I will spell out a bit later.

However, I think, and could be wrong that not everyone in important circles felt the same way about Stalin. Obviously the official line was that Stalin was a good guy, but you argue that nobody propagating that at the top believed it. Well, I can't say one way or the other.

I also suggested that when it came to FDR he probably did think Stalin was a good guy, or at least far better than we know him to be. Not everyone at the time discovered this with "hindsight" as you say, because Stalin had been a collaborator with Hitler and we knew Stalin to be bad from his ruthless purges and his carving up of Poland.

But, if Stalin was someone who had to be dealt with, did FDR and Churchill only do so for pragmatic reasons, which I think is what you are claiming, or did they deal with him at, say, Teheran and at Yalta, believing that he may be trustworthy?

You say:

Quote:
Your statement obscures the fact that FDR always knew the risk Stalin posed to democracy, and while he looks a tad naive with the benefit of hindsight, to say he thought he was a good guy that posed no risk is utter crap.
Yet, a quote from FDR that I dug up suggests otherwise. I know the risk of finding quotes lying around on websites is a risky business so I put forward this tentatively and would appreciate it if you can come up with some explantion of why it is to be disregarded.

Originally Posted by FDR in 1943
I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of a man. ... and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.
Now, as you say, FDR reveals a level of naiivete that is hard to believe. If perhaps this was a public statement that he didn't believe then maybe you can make that case, but it appears to be an internal one according to the source. Certainly, if it was his true belief then it would be false to claim, as you do, "FDR always knew the risk Stalin posed to democracy". It suggests he did not.

From the same Wiki page, Churchill is seen saying;

Quote:
Poor Neville Chamberlain believed he could trust Hitler. He was wrong. But I don't think I'm wrong about Stalin.
Again, if this quote can be demonstrated to be different from what it appears to show then I would be grateful if you can talk me through the best way to analyse it.

But, in the wider context of this thread, I think it is better for FDR's reputation to have genuinely thought the best of Stalin if only because the alternative explanation, that you gave, is that Eastern Europe was turned over to Soviet slavery in the full knowledge of Stalin's character.
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Old 22nd May 2013, 11:48 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
... But, in the wider context of this thread, I think it is better for FDR's reputation to have genuinely thought the best of Stalin if only because the alternative explanation, that you gave, is that Eastern Europe was turned over to Soviet slavery in the full knowledge of Stalin's character.
This is a hard one. Was it for FDR or the USA to determine what is to happen in these areas? FDR did not "turn over" these lands to Stalin anyway. They were occupied by the Red Army during the course of a war in which the USSR and USA were allies. Nor did Stalin abolish freedom in say, Poland. Indeed it is difficult to imagine that Roosevelt thought the Poles would be worse off under Stalin than under Hitler. And they were not in fact worse off. They were much worse off than they would have been under a democratic form of government.
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Old 23rd May 2013, 02:41 AM   #91
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You've also got to be careful with Yalta, especially around FDR.
He didn't have long to go, after all.
And, IIRC, that quote from him also shows a concern about needing to keep the soviets onside, for the (then) inevitable invasion of Japan.

For Churchill all he had left was the hope that Stalin would agree to handing back the countries the Red Army had "liberated". He knew there was little he could do to prevent it.
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Old 23rd May 2013, 05:38 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
This is a hard one. Was it for FDR or the USA to determine what is to happen in these areas? FDR did not "turn over" these lands to Stalin anyway. They were occupied by the Red Army during the course of a war in which the USSR and USA were allies. Nor did Stalin abolish freedom in say, Poland. Indeed it is difficult to imagine that Roosevelt thought the Poles would be worse off under Stalin than under Hitler. And they were not in fact worse off. They were much worse off than they would have been under a democratic form of government.
Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
You've also got to be careful with Yalta, especially around FDR.
He didn't have long to go, after all.
And, IIRC, that quote from him also shows a concern about needing to keep the soviets onside, for the (then) inevitable invasion of Japan.

For Churchill all he had left was the hope that Stalin would agree to handing back the countries the Red Army had "liberated". He knew there was little he could do to prevent it.
You may have raised some fair points there. I was looking into this a little more and thought I would see what the recent book on Yalta concluded and that is mostly that Roosevelt and Churchill did what they could with a bad and worse hand respectively, and as pointed out, given that Stalin had already occupied Eastern Europe there was very little they could do to save the Poles and everyone else.
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Old 24th May 2013, 05:44 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Yet, a quote from FDR that I dug up suggests otherwise. I know the risk of finding quotes lying around on websites is a risky business so I put forward this tentatively and would appreciate it if you can come up with some explantion of why it is to be disregarded.

Originally Posted by FDR in 1943
I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of a man. ... and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.
Now, as you say, FDR reveals a level of naiivete that is hard to believe. If perhaps this was a public statement that he didn't believe then maybe you can make that case, but it appears to be an internal one according to the source. Certainly, if it was his true belief then it would be false to claim, as you do, "FDR always knew the risk Stalin posed to democracy". It suggests he did not.

The supposed FDR quote is as attributed to him 5 years later by a very disgruntled ex-diplomat, who had been fired by the president and 'thrown under a bus' when he ran for mayor of Philly. Read about the acrimony between the two which started in 1940 and ask yourself would Roosevelt really have had such a discussion with him?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William...ador_to_France
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Old 1st June 2013, 11:42 PM   #94
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Roosevelt knew about the mass rapes and did not condemn it. Churchill knew about the mass rapes and did not condemn it. The "good guys" covering for one of their own. This army of rapists are the same ones who sat in judgment at Nuremberg. Another article on soviet communist mass rape and other crimes -
http://researchlist.blogspot.se/2011...ld-war-ii.html
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Old 2nd June 2013, 12:31 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Mondial View Post
Roosevelt knew about the mass rapes and did not condemn it. Churchill knew about the mass rapes and did not condemn it. The "good guys" covering for one of their own. This army of rapists are the same ones who sat in judgment at Nuremberg. Another article on soviet communist mass rape and other crimes -
http://researchlist.blogspot.se/2011...ld-war-ii.html
Link up to your usual standards, Mondial!
Quote:
As the Soviet Red Army invaded half of Europe with Roosevelt’s blessing, the Russian soldiers and their Jewish commissars raped more women than had been raped in all European wars combined. The American soldiers joined in the mass rape and in widespread killings of German prisoners of war. More than a million German POWs were killed. 12-15 million Germans were looted of their homes, their possessions, even their clothes, and forced out of their ancestral lands in Eastern Europe and in eastern Germany. One fourth of German farmland was taken. This is the greatest ethnic cleansing in world history.

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Old 2nd June 2013, 12:45 AM   #96
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@Mondial. I can say with certainty that no German women were raped by Jewish (or any other) Red Army commissars in 1944 or 1945. Because there were no political commissars in the Red Army in these years.
Quote:
In the Red Army and the Soviet Army, the political commissar existed only during the 1918–1924, 1937–40, and 1941–42 periods; not every Red Army political officer was a commissar. [ ... ] In 1942 the political officer was much more firmly subordinated to commanding officers: the commissars' work was confined to non-combat functions, the term "commissar" itself was formally abolished, and at the company- and regiment-level, the pompolit officer was replaced with the zampolit (deputy commander for political work). Although the Military Councils remained, command authority was the unit commander’s. In 1943, the company-level political commissar was eliminated, yet restored after World War II.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_commissar

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Old 2nd June 2013, 01:52 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Mondial View Post
Roosevelt knew about the mass rapes and did not condemn it. Churchill knew about the mass rapes and did not condemn it. The "good guys" covering for one of their own. This army of rapists are the same ones who sat in judgment at Nuremberg. Another article on soviet communist mass rape and other crimes -
http://researchlist.blogspot.se/2011...ld-war-ii.html
And if FDR condmens it, the Soviets initially shrug then keep their massive, pissed off Army marching into western Germany then France do we, in turn, condemn FDR for making a huge blunder in poking at the rabid dog?
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Old 3rd June 2013, 02:49 PM   #98
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I think the rape of civilian women by invading forced is not unique to the Red Army and Germany.

There was great loss of life in Germany immediately after the war, and I think this is widely accepted now. There was great loss of life in the East when Germany as advancing and winning the war also.

_

That said, one of the most touching things I ever read was at the end of a book by a guy called Anthony Beevor called "Stalingrad"

At the end after the Germany and Romanian armies are finally defeated, he wrote about German prisoners of war being forced to carry some heavy load from here to there...

And they are hungry, miserable, weak, sick... and these Russian working class women came up and helped them carry it.

... After everything, all the death, all the fighting, a violence of arms so great that dogs were supposed to have thrown themselves into the river and drowned to escape the destruction, there was still some human instinct to help another human who was suffering. And well, we all know now there was more death and violence to follow - but you can sometimes choose to pick something that is wonderful about humans out of the chaos and violence and destruction.
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Old 24th June 2013, 06:44 AM   #99
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More info on the mass rapes and mistreatment of German women - www.exulanten.com/humanloot.html
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Old 24th June 2013, 07:24 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Mondial View Post
More info on the mass rapes and mistreatment of German women - www.exulanten.com/humanloot.html
As I just asked on another thread, where you have done exactly the same thing: are your posts mere excuses to publish links to Nazi websites?
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Old 24th June 2013, 09:08 AM   #101
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And so this excuses the crimes of the Nazis and some how exonerates Hitler???
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Old 24th June 2013, 09:49 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Mondial View Post
During world war 2 the red army of Joseph Stalin raped one million German women. This rape was condoned by Stalin and the other communist leaders. Soviet soldiers also raped tens of thousands of other women from countries they claimed to be "liberating". Many Poles, Balts, Romanians, Hungarians and Yugoslavs were also raped.
www.guardian.co.uk/books/2002/may/01/news.features11
www.geocities.ws/avflf/RavishingTheWomen_1.html
Another crime of the so called "good guys".
The Russians are no worse than any other country when it comes to raping women. I imagine it was partly in retaliation from the horrible treatment Russian civilians received from occupying germans. I'm sure many Russian women were also raped.

Americans raped Vietnamese women in villages thought to be friendly to the communists I'm sad to say. I used to hear returning vets brag about it.

The storys made me sick and I'm glad I never did anything like that. In fact telling me that story cost me a friendship. I told him I wanted nothing to do with a rapist.
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Old 24th June 2013, 10:41 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
This is a hard one. Was it for FDR or the USA to determine what is to happen in these areas? FDR did not "turn over" these lands to Stalin anyway. They were occupied by the Red Army during the course of a war in which the USSR and USA were allies. Nor did Stalin abolish freedom in say, Poland. Indeed it is difficult to imagine that Roosevelt thought the Poles would be worse off under Stalin than under Hitler. And they were not in fact worse off. They were much worse off than they would have been under a democratic form of government.
Good point. I'm not convinced that anything we could have done short of turning on the Soviets after Hitler was defeated would have made much of a difference in the outcome. We might have changed the location of the "Iron Curtain" by a few kilometers here and there had we been more aggressive militarily or at the conference table, but the Soviet Union still would have dominated Eastern Europe.
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Old 27th June 2013, 07:34 PM   #104
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I presume the only way the West could have gotten Stalin to have accepted a more eastward Iron Curtin would have been the former making a major increase in their war effort, i.e. more troops i.e. more casualties.
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Old 28th June 2013, 03:21 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Lenbrazil View Post
I presume the only way the West could have gotten Stalin to have accepted a more eastward Iron Curtin would have been the former making a major increase in their war effort, i.e. more troops i.e. more casualties.
If that had the effect of forcing the German political and military elites to remove Hitler in time, capitulate, and at once renounce all Germany's territorial acquisitions subsequent to the remilitarisation of the Rhineland. Perhaps then they could have got a deal. It might have prevented Stalin from keeping his 1939 share of Poland and compensating the Poles at the expense of Germany, with Silesia, Pomerania and half of East Prussia. Something like that is what the Italians did. They got rid of Mussolini as soon as the Allies established themselves on the Italian mainland. Their German equivalents appear to have been hypnotised into a zombified state by their master's staring eyes. If it hadn't happened, it would be hard to believe it.

But absent the reacquisition of sanity by the German elites, FDR could do nothing about Stalin's aspirations in E Europe. The USSR was bearing the human cost of the war; and for every ten German soldiers killed, nine died on the Eastern Front.
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Old 23rd July 2013, 12:12 PM   #106
Hubert Cumberdale
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Did anybody ever call Stalin a good guy ?
Yes. Not explicitly, but my grandparents and great grand parents thought the soviets were jolly good chaps. My great-grandfather enough to (evidently) betray his country and my grandparent's correspondence clearly indicates that in the CPGB, WII was seen as a showdown between the socialist/communists pact on one side and western imperialism on the other. My grandfather only thought WWII worth fighting after Barbarossa.

Originally Posted by paiute View Post
As I recall, the front-line Soviet troops were pretty professional, but the second wave of reserves and support personnel were much more savage.
Not according to Beevor and Hastings and their accounts of the invasion of East Prussia. I think its just a matter of front liners having a job to be getting on with and occupation troops having more time to get beastly drunk and abuse the natives.

Originally Posted by Lukraak_Sisser View Post
Of course the main difference between the Soviet and Nazi armies is that, eventually, the Soviet government actually stopped the atrocities in the name of expediency, whereas the Nazi government kept encouraging it's troops.
Both Russians and Germans used slave labour. One of the principle differences was that the Russians varied the slave rations to optimise productivity. The Germans simply beat and starved their slaves to death. That speaks volumes about who was the lesser of the two evils.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
You may have raised some fair points there. I was looking into this a little more and thought I would see what the recent book on Yalta concluded and that is mostly that Roosevelt and Churchill did what they could with a bad and worse hand respectively, and as pointed out, given that Stalin had already occupied Eastern Europe there was very little they could do to save the Poles and everyone else.
From what I have read, Roosevelt was naive about Stalin. He distrusted Churchill's warnings about Stalin as naked British imperialism. If both Roosevelt and Churchill had been able to provide a united front against Stalin, things may have ended better. As it is, we have Churchill to thank that Greece did not fall behind the iron curtain in spite of Roosevelt.

Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Orwell also caught on that great many intellectuals on the left basically held the working class in comtempt.
Plus ca change.... Much of what you can read in the Guardian is patronising contempt for the old working class. The modern left's love of mass immigration having, IMO, more than just a little to do with replacing the working class with cheap foreign labour.
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Old 23rd July 2013, 09:22 PM   #107
Craig B
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@Hubert Cumberdale

When Belz asked if anyone ever called Stalin a good guy, I think he may have meant in this Forum. Because as is well known, lots of people have at verious times called him a good guy, to put it mildly. Here is Khrushchev discoursing on the topic in his 1956 "Secret Speech".
Quote:
Comrades! The cult of the individual acquired such monstrous size chiefly because Stalin himself, using all conceivable methods, supported the glorification of his own person. This is supported by numerous facts. One of the most characteristic examples of Stalin's self-glorification and of his lack of even elementary modesty is the edition of his Short Biography, which was published in 1948. This book is an expression of the most dissolute flattery, an example of making a man into a godhead, of transforming him into an infallible sage, "the greatest, leader," "sublime strategist of all times and nations."
So, among many others, Stalin himself called Stalin a good guy!

Your opinion that the Left want mass immigration to destroy the working class is fascinating, by the way.

ETA Here's Stalin being called a good guy again. From some time in the 1930s.
Quote:
O great Stalin, O leader of the peoples,
Thou who broughtest man to birth.
Thou who fructifies the earth,
Thou who restorest to centuries,
Thou who makest bloom the spring,
Thou who makest vibrate the musical chords...
Thou, splendour of my spring, O thou,
Sun reflected by millions of hearts.
---A. O.Avidenko

Last edited by Craig B; 23rd July 2013 at 09:50 PM. Reason: ETA
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