On the equating of the Nazis and the Communists in Eastern Europe

Entirely predictable and tedious piece at CiF saying that we really shouldn\’t do that. Gotcha line:

The very definition of \”genocide\” was broadened by local legislation in this part of the world to include wrongful deportation, imprisonment or attempts to rid society of a certain class, thereby \”legally\” placing communist oppression in the same category as Nazism.

And of course we can\’t have that now, can we?

Killing people in the name of an insane ideology which insists that they are \”race enemies\” is entirely different from killing people in the name of an insane ideology which insists that they are \”class enemies\”.

I mean, come on, every fule kno that.

8 comments on “On the equating of the Nazis and the Communists in Eastern Europe

  1. Killing people for what they believe/think/protest/choose to work at *is* entirely different from killing them just because of traits they were born with.

    That doesn’t make the former not insane or evil, but it does make it different, and people who seek to pretend for their own political motives that there’s no distinction are deeply suspect.

    (armed robbery and rape are both very bad things – but you don’t have to claim that rape *is* armed robbery to point out that it’s a serious crime. Same with totalitarianism versus genocide).

    Tim adds: A large number of the victims of the communists were so because of their “social origins”. So even that set of weasel words doesn’t work.

  2. John B: So how is being rounded up, shipped off to Auschwitz and exterminated any different to being rounded up, shipped off to Siberia and worked to death? The same crime, murder, on a mass scale.

    Slightly different MO, outcome the same from the victims point of view. It makes little difference if you are exterminated because you’re called Goldstein or because you are a peasant farmer who offends Stalin’s sense of Communist ideology. The suffering is no less in either case.

    Read ‘Gulag’ by Anne Applebaum. The numbers killed by the communists are easily comparable to the Holocaust. Anyone who tries to deny that the Communists were guilty of genocide is nothing other than an apologist for mass murder.

  3. John B, there is indeed a world of difference in criticising someone for things they elect to do or for their beliefs, than criticising them for things over which they have they have no control such as their ethnicity or mother tongue.

    But murder is murder, to the victim at least.

  4. The Doctors’ Plot:

    Those who knew Stalin, such as Khrushchev, suggest that Stalin had long harbored negative sentiments toward Jews that had manifested themselves before the 1917 Revolution.[1] As early as 1907, Stalin wrote a letter differentiating between a “Jewish faction” and a “true Russian faction” in bolshevism.[1][2] Stalin’s secretary Boris Bazhanov stated that Stalin made crude anti-Semitic outbursts even before Lenin’s death.[1][3] Anti-Semitic trends in the Kremlin’s policies were fueled by the exile of Leon Trotsky.[1][4] After dismissing Maxim Litvinov as Foreign Minister in 1939,[5] Stalin immediately directed Molotov to “purge the ministry of Jews.” This was likely a signal to Nazi Germany that the USSR was ready for talks on non-aggression, however, some critics see a purely anti-Semitic reason for this.[5][6][7] According to historian Iakov Etinger, many Soviet state purges of the 1930s were anti-Semitic and after more intense anti-Semitic policy toward the end of World War II,[1] Stalin in 1946 reportedly said privately that “every Jew is a potential spy.”[1][8] Furthermore, after purportedly ordering the development of bombers capable of reaching America, supposedly convinced that Harry Truman was Jewish, Stalin reportedly remarked in private that “we will show this Jewish shopkeeper how to attack us!”[9]

    Due to the beginning of the Cold War, the State of Israel allying with the West and Stalin’s suspicions of any form of Jewish nationalism (and indeed nationalism in general), the Soviet regime eliminated the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee in 1948 and launched a campaign against so-called “rootless cosmopolitans.” Also, in the course of his career, Stalin became increasingly suspicious towards physicians. In his later years, he refused to be treated by doctors, and would only consult with veterinarians about his health.[10] After show trials of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee[9] thirteen Jewish members were secretly executed on Stalin’s orders in the Night of the Murdered Poets.[11]

    Hitler fantasised about sending all the Jews to Madagascar. Stalin had got there first by creating a Jewish Autonomous Oblaast

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Autonomous_Oblast

  5. Genocide. The clue is in the word: that “geno” bit. You know, genos + cide. Genos meaning tribe.

    Rounding up kulaks and sending them to be worked to death based on their class isn’t genocide. It’s mass murder, and to be condemned in the same terms as the mass murder of Jews by by the Nazis. Not that the Left wish to concede this. They call mass murder by Stalin and Mao “making omelettes”.

  6. JohnB: Millions of people were rounded up and deported, murdered, persecuted etc because they were considered Bourgeois. i.e they were born into middle-class families, a fact over which they had no control. How is that different from selecting people for murder or persecution on the basis of their skin colour?

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