Medvedev’s War with Stalin


Dear Leader

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has made an outspoken attack on those seeking to rehabilitate former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin.

BBC has reported that Russian President Medvedev has launched a scathing attack on the latest attempt at revisionist history.  Now this has two implications.  One, its about damned time that someone in power in Russia put a stop to this nonsense in trying to glorify one of the greatest murderers in world’s history.  Its also part of the bigger problem with revisionism in Russia regarding its Communist past.  The second issue it that he indirectly takes on the former Russian president and his political mentor Vladimir Putin, who is one of the revisionists.  Could this mean a beginning of a break and a possible power struggle in the Kremlin?  Or is it a one off issue with sanity prevailing?

Russia has a problem in dealing with its history.  In this it is not unique, what is unique is that it lost a war, as Cold as it was, and Empire, without feeling properly defeated.  So Russia struggles to understand with what and how it was allowed to happen.  Its people remember a strong glorified USSR while forgetting the bad parts.  Nostalgia run amok.  They see the former Warsaw Pact nations and the former Soviet Republics as ungrateful and anti-Russian.  In that they are correct, save Belorussia, but they do not understand the reason why the formerly oppressed peoples did not appreciate the benevolent rule of the Soviet Proletariat.  So there is friction between Russia and most of its former satellites.  But to justify their rule Russians have started to justify communism, USSR, Soviet Imperialism, and worst of all, even Josef Stalin.  And here is where president Medvedev drew the line.

And where he comes against Putin’s policy and politics.  Putin’s party glorified Russian and Soviet history.  It essentially became the Russian nationalist party.  And as such it needs heroes from the past.  It does not deal with nuances.  Stalin beat Hitler and saved the USSR, therefore they see Stalin as a hero, sure he might have murdered countless millions but he won The Great Patriotic War where the peaceful workers and peasants of the Soviet Union crushed the Nazi menace.  Of course when put like that, and when Stalin’s other great achievements are highlighted, a little thing like millions of dead, and decades of horrible opression is not important.  Until now.  To most of sane people world over Medvedev’s speech would not seem news worthy, after all, he said nothing none of us did not know.  But the fact that the president of Russia had to make such a speech is news worthy itself.  It shows the level of revisionism in Russia, and the willingness to glorify evil in the name of the Motherland and to justify its history.

Russia still did not shed its imperialist aspirations.  It still sees itself as a world power with a sphere of influence larger than its true capacity.  It still sees the West as its natural rival.  And because of this it needs Stalin to be a good leader.  Recently there was even a libel court case in Russia where Stalin’s descendants sued to have Stalin rehabilitated.  Fortunately they lost in the Russian high court.  It unbelievable really how the rest of the world says nothing.  If Germans wanted to rehabilitate Hitler we would all be going apeshit, and rightfully so.  Yet, while president, Putin was allowed to instruct for history books to be written in a way to highlight Stalin’s “glorious achievements.”  How?  Will Medvedev’s move be a new direction in Russian history or is this just a one off and Putin will tell him to shut up.  Putin’s reaction will be interesting, after all it was he who put Medvedev at the head of the Kremlin, while satisfying himself with only the role of premier because the constitution would not allow him to be president for life.

If Putin wont like Medvedev’s statement then it could lead to a break up in their relationship and a possible power struggle in Russia.  A clash between the two most powerful men in Russia could lead to instability in a very fragile democracy ( here I use the term very loosely).  And it could have far reaching implications.  On the other hand it could be just a propaganda move to placate the West and everything will go back to business as usual once Western Europe stops cheering for president Medvedev and his Great War on Revisionism.


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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I was quite surprised when I read this. Is it just a PR stunt for the West?

  2. I certainly hope not. Hopefully its an honest shift and it might let the Russians to deal with some of their past demons. Until they do nothing will change.

  3. Just letting you know that I read your blog…or you might not speek to me…lol

  4. Russia and Syria renew old ties…

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  6. Due to a bizarre set of circumstances, neither due to my Jewishness or my wife being a Polish Catholic, we ended up at the museum this week. The museum itself is of course very well done, high tech, mixed and multimedia. A good couple of hours walk through 1000 years. That’s the easy bit.
    I then read the comments in the Polish papers (where they don’t have moderators) and 90% were “why do we have a Jewish museum and not a Polish one”, “did they also say how the Jews were communists who killed Poles”.
    You see, the anti-semitism in Poland today is about a resentment to the world for not acknowledging the suffering of Poles while they feel continually reminded about what happened to the Jews of Poland when they were killed by Germans (Obama even talked about “Polish” concentration camps). Worse, is that not only are they reminded, but they have been implied in the work that Hitler did. And while there are instances – such as Jedwabne, but let’s not forget more Jews were betrayed proportionally in Holland than Poland.
    An equal amount of non-Jewish Poles died in the war as did Jews (of course the proportions are massively different) but they feel that is not acknowledged. After the Jews, Hitler considered the Poles a slave race and destroyed Poland. Further Poland’s 18 years of independence were whisked away by the Soviets and they lived for a further 45 years under a totaliatarian state. Yet the story of their country in the second half of the twentieth century is about the Jews, as far as some Poles are concerned.
    The other issue is similiar to the rest of the world. Jews have tended to be more proportionally successful in their chosen fields of expertise – whether this be film, music, science … or good and bad politics. And they are resented for that. Hence the biggest accusation from some Poles today — that Jews were communists who killed Poles.
    From my own personal life, I wish to wave a magic wand and for everyone to move on. A big wish. But there does need to be some recognition in the West that the Second World War and the subsequent Soviet occupation was an enormous tragedy for Poland and still feeds a lot of thinking today. The second world war was not – as is taught in England – about Britain standing proud (with 25% Polish pilots, by the way) but about a human destruction and tragedy that we in England have no conception of.
    Equally, Jews outside of Poland need to recognise that while – like all other countries of Europe – the Jewish population was decimated in the war, more Jews were saved by Poles than anywhere else. And I guess that is what the museum was about – that there were Jews and Poles living together for 1000 years …

    • The West understands very little. Thanks for the insightful comment btw. I agree with your sentiments and conclusions.

      The trouble with the West is that a lot of European intellectuals bought commie propaganda hook, line and sinker (the Gulag Archipelago is a great example, Poles have been writing books about the Gulags for a long time, since 1945, yet many Western countries banned those books or ignored them as anti-Russian propaganda. It took decades for Europe to wake up to the horrors of Communism). And so the Home Army (AK) became fascist collaborators who regularly murdered Jews. German Death Camps became ‘Polish,” and are called so to this day. During the partitions, the tsarist pogroms began to be called Polish Pogroms somehow. American and Western European Jews believed that propaganda. And hence the legend of the super anti-semitic Poles was born. To be fair, most Poles were anti-semites, only Polish nationalists would deny it. But they were no more anti-semitic than most people, and less than many, Germans, the French, and Russians for example. Yet in literature and popular culture Poles are portrayed as the biggest anti-semites. The Russians become communists, and they killed everyone, so they couldn’t be the worst. The Germans were cultured, then the became Nazis, and now they are cultured again, so they can’t be the worse, the Nazis were, and that’s not the same. And the French helped write the history books, so they come of nice and sweet.

      Poles resent the Jews because of commie propaganda, which until 1967 glorified the Warsaw Ghetto suffering and uprising, while they minimized the non-communist resistance of Poles. Obviously they had a guilty conscience about it as they murdered so many of Poland’s bravest and best. And as you mentioned, they resent the world for caring about Jewish deaths and not grieving about millions of dead Poles. And the claim that they were oppressed by Jewish communists is somewhat true. A lot of the oppressors of Polish resistance were Jewish in the early days of commie Poland. Then the commies turned into anti-semites themselves. In 1967 they begun a long, and quite successful “anti-Zionist” propaganda campaign, which reeked of anti-semitism. It was filthy and forced so many of Polish Jews to leave. Of course they were the “evidence” of Polish hatred of Jews, as much as Kielce was (which was likely an UB provocation). You add the traditional Catholic anti-semitism and you have a perfect storm of misunderstanding and name calling on both sides.

      Jews for their part felt betrayed by the Poles. It’s a somewhat unfair, but quite understandable accusation. They felt that they found a home in Poland. For centuries they lived there in relative peace. There is a reason why Poland had so many Jews. Before the war Poland was a multicultural and a multi-ethnic state. Before the partitions and nationalism of the XIXth century, Jews found a refuge in Poland. The nationalism divided them. Jews had it much worse than Poles during WWII. And that brought resentment. Each of the people looked at the suffering of their in group and resented the other. They felt that Poles did not care, or do enough to save Jews. Yes in Yad Vashem most of the Righteous Among Nations are Poles but that is normal. Half of those who perished in the Shoah were Polish Jews. Not enough were saved. I feel that way, even though I am a goy. Much was done, under very difficult circumstances, but still. More should have been saved, by everyone, not just the Poles. Whenever I think about it I feel like weeping. Centuries of history that literally went up in smoke. Now Poland is a single entity, almost all ethnically Polish, and with almost no Jews left. All thanks to Stalin and Hitler. It makes me sad. Jews contributed so much to Polish culture, and now there are so very few of them left in Poland, and Poland is the poorer for it.

      Whenever Poles try to remember their own suffering the Jews feel that their tragedy is somehow belittled. Both forget that while the Jews suffered the most, the suffering was shared. And the grief should have been shared. It should have been an opportunity for healing, but thanks to the Cold War, it became an opportunity to drive an even bigger wedge between Poles and Jews. The overall resentment you mention is just small minded bigotry by jealous people. They forget that the Jews have a longer history than most peoples. And are culturally somewhat more advanced than the rest of us. Also, the successful fields in which the Jews excel in today were the fields which they were forced into. Historically they could now own land, so they became merchants and artisans, lawyers, doctors and artists, as well as bankers (in the old days the Christians would not lend each other money at no interest, and were not allowed to charge any, so they turned to the Jews). And these days many of those fields are lucrative. So there are those who resent this and we have so many entertaining conspiracy theories based on Jews running the world. Spread by small minded cretins.

      The museum you mention is a good step toward normalizing relations between Jews and Poles despite some moronic comments online. It’s vital that Poles know that part of their history. And accept it. Just as it’s vital that Jews learn true history of the past 800 years. That the Holocaust and Jedwabne are not the only important things that happened to the Jewish people on Polish soil. I too wish for a wand and for heeling of those very deep wounds. Unfortunately it will take time. At least these days the Church is not anti-semitic, at least officially, because there sure are enough of hateful pricks in churches who spread their vile rubbish from the pulpit.
      All the best.

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