‘Communism is not love. Communism is the hammer which we use to crush the enemy.’ – Mao Zedong
On 25 March, twenty thousand candles, one for each of the men, women and children deported by the Soviets to Siberia in 1949, will be lighted in Tallinn, Tartu and Pärnu. Nearly 3% of the Estonian population were seized in a few days and dispatched to remote areas of Siberia.*
In the summer of 1940 the Soviet Union occupied Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as a result of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union on 23 August 1939. In the aftermath of the Second World War, Estonia lost approximately 17.5% of its population.
This historian is in conflict with other parts of the Ukrainian community. In this interview, he outlines the evidence of OUN and UPA explicitly killing Jews, advocating their displacement, and rounding them up on behalf of the Nazis.
OUN/UPA viewed Russian and Poles as their main enemy, but believed Jews were also against a Ukrainian state, and in some cases sympathetic to the Soviets.
I would be curious to look for evidence of the reasoning behind these decisions. Was there an association between the Communism, the Red Terror and Holodomor on one hand, and Ukraine’s Jewish community on the other. This association certainly exists in today’s far-right communities. Is this a recent invention, or was it palpable then?
I’ve heard elsewhere that some UPA leaders made a distinction between religious Ukrainian Jews who weren’t communism, and secular Russian Jews who were fervently Communist.
On this day 1933, Koisor writes to Stalin that “the famine still hasn’t taught many collective farmers a lesson.”
Having studied the Soviet Union as extensively as I have, the parallels between today’s cultural Marxists, and yesterdays economic Marxists are terrifying.
The communists didn’t just murder people one day. They spent decades building an ideological bulwark that made it okay to murder people. They’d have traveling theaters go to villages and put on vulgar plays that blamed everyone’s suffering on the priests and the more successful farmers.
In every bureaucracy, they promoted the most fervent supporters of class hatred, and excluded its detractors.
They created such class hatred, that in some cases, after the “red terror” visited a region, the bodies of victims would be left on the street to rot. Their relatives were scared to bury them, because sympathy would indicate counter-revolutionary sentiment.
When burials did happen, it was at night. This is a recurring theme in almost every book I read about the Soviet Union.
Lazar Kaganovych, responsible for the red terror in Ukraine, set a quota of 10,000 executions a week.
I think this historic reality is similar to how everyone is afraid to condemn people who explicitly call for, or celebrate violence against white people — because pointing it out that makes a member of the condemned class.
Now in his 70s, and alarmed by the perverse sympathies toward communism and socialism he’s seeing in our new America, especially among Millennials, Cole in 2017 marked the centenary of communism by writing a memoir of his six surreal months in the USSR, in hopes of not only preserving that history but begging Americans to pay heed to the lessons of the failed communist experiment. He hopes to offer truth as an antidote to “mind-numbing propaganda,” then and still today.
Cole’s account is titled In Russian Wonderland, an engaging journey through unique remembrances of everything from Russia’s laughable but scary “Aeroflot” airlines, to the Russian people’s shocking abuse of “oceans of vodka,” to the omnipresence of state surveillance, to the grim behavior of Soviet workers from waitresses and waiters to hotel maids, to the diabolical annihilation of religion — from what the Kremlin called its approved “working churches” to the desecration and conversion of great holy places like Leningrad’s Kazan Cathedral into the Museum of the History of Religion and Atheism.
On and on it went, this strange life in the worker’s paradise. Truly, it was a Wonderland, at times more bizarre than the oddest scenes from Lewis Carroll’s classic. Indeed, Alice might have found herself less confused in her weird Wonderland than this baffling Bolshevik rendition drawn up in Russian.
Among Cole’s many telling anecdotes, here are a few that beg our attention and remembrance:
At one exhibit in Kazan, which, as usual, was monitored by heckling KGB hacks pretending to be passersby, an elderly gentleman discreetly brought Charles a bag of freshly picked apples. He asked Charles to accept it as a gift from an old Russian who admired the United States. Before walking away, he winked at Charles and whispered, “The sweetest of these apples are toward the bottom of the bag.”
Charles later retrieved from the bottom a piece of paper folded into a tiny cube. He opened it to find this note from the old timer: “We have a totalitarian regime. If we had a democratic republic, we would have progressed further and achieved more. Nowadays the psychiatric hospitals are filled with dissidents. All the positive comments in your comments book are immediately torn out by the KGB. You should take pride in having such a democratic country and not be overly tolerant in the face of those who have been blinded and deceived by propaganda.”
The KGB plants were stationed at every exhibit — watching, staring, brooding. As soon as the American representative would strike up a conversation with curious Russians, the plants would start up with their canned litany of harassing questions, badgering the American about his country being rife with racism, sexism, unemployment, homelessness, excoriating U.S. foreign policy, especially in Vietnam, and on and on (what we’d call liberal talking points). “But you discriminate against black people.” “Why is your government killing babies in Vietnam?”
In one case, something tragic ensued that remains seared in Charles’ memory: During most Q&A sessions at the exhibits, everyday Russians quickly clamped up when the KGB plants started their antics and barrage of mendacity. They didn’t want trouble. One day in Leningrad, however, a young man couldn’t contain his rage at the masquerade of lies dished by the government propagandist. He responded, and then the plant responded, and back and forth it went. Fact vs. falsehood, fact vs. falsehood. The young man would not back down. The crowd watched nervously. The young man’s wife pleaded with him to stop, tugging at his coat to leave. She knew the danger, but the young man couldn’t help himself. This was too unjust. In short order, says Cole, a group of “dour-looking guys in black leather jackets” suddenly materialized, as did a black van at the rear door. A goon in the van got out, signaled to the thugs, and they seized the young man, speeding away.
Charles many times has wondered what happened to that poor kid — hauled off by scoundrels serving their police state.
And if that image doesn’t shake you, picture this scenario reported by Charles when finally departing commie wonderland as his train approached Finland: The locomotive came to an unexpected full stop on an elevated trestle. From the window, Charles and friends glimpsed a powerful searchlight from somewhere below the railroad bridge. It turned out that this was standard procedure for Soviet border guards. They fixed their beaming lights under the train cars to see if any desperate soul had somehow clung himself to the bottom of the locomotive to escape utopia.
In the treaty, Bolshevik Russia ceded the Baltic States to Germany; they were meant to become German vassal states under German princelings. Russia also ceded its province of Kars Oblast in the South Caucasus to the Ottoman Empire and recognized the independence of Ukraine. According to Spencer Tucker, a historian of World War I, “The German General Staff had formulated extraordinarily harsh terms that shocked even the German negotiator.” Congress Poland was not mentioned in the treaty, as Germans refused to recognize the existence of any Polish representatives, which in turn led to Polish protests. When Germans later complained that the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 was too harsh on them, the Allies (and historians favorable to the Allies) responded that it was more benign than Brest-Litovsk.
The treaty was effectively terminated in November 1918, when Germany surrendered to the Allies. However, in the meantime, it did provide some relief to the Bolsheviks, already fighting the Russian Civil War, by the renunciation of Russia’s claims on modern-day Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine and Lithuania.
По всій Україні офіційно було оголошено, що кобзарів з усіх областей запрошують до Харкова на Всеукраїнський кобзарський з’їзд. Всі повинні були з’явитися з бандурами, тому що крім власне з’їзду, будуть і творчі змагання. 30 грудня 1930 – день відкриття з’їзду. У кожного в руках інструмент, кожен одягнений у святкову вишиванку. Делегатів (337 людей) утримували в залі до вечора, потім, під суворим наглядом, стали виводити у двір, щільно уклали в вантажівки і накрили брезентом. Вже через 1 годину всi делегати були в залізничних вагонах для тварин. Їх привезли до околиць станції Козача Лопань, вивели з вагонів до лісосмуги, де були заздалегідь вириті траншеї. Вишикували незрячих кобзарів i їхніх малолітніх поводарів в одну шеренгу. Загін особливого відділу НКВС УРСР почав розстріл. Коли все було закінчено, тіла розстріляних закидали вапном і присипали землею. Музичні інструменти спалили поряд. Комуністична більшовитська верхівка назвала українські народні музичні інструменти «класово-ворожими». Влада зобов’язала музичні фабрики виготовляти гармошки, баяни і балалайки навіть не сотнями, а мільйонами.
It’s nothing new. Communists always want to obliterate culture and history.
It was 1969. Kate invited me to join her for a gathering at the home of her friend, Lila Karp. They called the assemblage a “consciousness-raising-group,” a typical communist exercise, something practiced in Maoist China. We gathered at a large table as the chairperson opened the meeting with a back-and-forth recitation, like a Litany, a type of prayer done in Catholic Church. But now it was Marxism, the Church of the Left, mimicking religious practice:
“Why are we here today?” she asked.
“To make revolution,” they answered.
“What kind of revolution?” she replied.
“The Cultural Revolution,” they chanted.
“And how do we make Cultural Revolution?” she demanded.
“By destroying the American family!” they answered.
“How do we destroy the family?” she came back.
“By destroying the American Patriarch,” they cried exuberantly.
“And how do we destroy the American Patriarch?” she replied.
“By taking away his power!”
“How do we do that?”
“By destroying monogamy!” they shouted.
“How can we destroy monogamy?”
Their answer left me dumbstruck, breathless, disbelieving my ears. Was I on planet earth? Who were these people?
“By promoting promiscuity, eroticism, prostitution and homosexuality!” they resounded.
They proceeded with a long discussion on how to advance these goals by establishing The National Organization of Women. It was clear they desired nothing less than the utter deconstruction of Western society. The upshot was that the only way to do this was “to invade every American institution. Every one must be permeated with ‘The Revolution’”: The media, the educational system, universities, high schools, K-12, school boards, etc.; then, the judiciary, the legislatures, the executive branches and even the library system.
In a masterful dissection of Russian history (Lost Kingdom: The Quest for Empire and the Making of the Russian Nation, 2017) Harvard professor Serhii Plokhy focuses on the sources of identity adopted by Russia’s rulers since the Principality of Moscow launched its drive for territorial expansion in the 15th century.
Plokhy asserts that Russia’s “myth of origin” was the medieval state of Kyivan Rus—a multi-Slavic kingdom centered in modern-day Ukraine and established 200 years before Moscow appeared as a small town located in an outlying province. The Rus were a Norse tribe that founded the ruling Rurik dynasty in Kyiv, but the “Rus” name was subsequently appropriated by Moscow in one of the earliest recorded examples of identity theft. Muscovite rulers feigned descent from the Ruriks and claimed Kyiv as the birthplace of the Russian monarchy, state, and church. This fraudulent history became the legitimizing narrative for Russian tsars when the small autocratic Muscovite polity began its imperial adventure in the 15th century.
Moscow’s earliest propagandists depicted the three developing East Slavic nations (Belarusian, Russian, and Ukrainian) as “tribes” of one Russian nation. Moscow’s rulers consolidated their claims to dominate all Eastern Slavs by declaring Russia as the “Third Rome” or successor to Christian Byzantium, which was extinguished by the Muslim Turks in the 15th century. For the next 400 years, Muscovy annexed its neighbors’ territories and prevented the emergence of other East Slavic states. Its Russification campaign was crafted to eradicate the distinct identities and languages of neighboring Slavic peoples, particularly the Ukrainians, who had a more direct claim to Kyivan Rus.
Very close idea to my essay: A Look at Russian Civilization: Power, Truth, Trust, and War .
I like to state is this way: “Russia is an empire seeking legitimacy through nationhood. Ukraine is a nation seeking legitimacy through statehood.”
On January 29, 1918, in a battle near the train station at Kruty, some 80 miles northeast of Kyiv, a small contingent of Ukrainian forces – composed mainly of a student battalion of the Sich Riflemen and a company from the Khmelnytsky Cadet School – faced a superior Russian Bolshevik force of 4,000 men. The Ukrainian contingent succeeded in blocking the Bolshevik advance on Kyiv for several days. The young Ukrainians’ resistance also enabled the Ukrainian National Republic to conclude the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, a major accomplishment as a result of which the UNR was recognized by the Central Powers despite the Bolsheviks’ attempts to represent Ukraine.
But the losses at Kruty were great. After several days of intense fighting, the Ukrainian contingent was forced to retreat, and 300 young men died defending their country. They were surrounded and slaughtered, noted the late Dr. Orest Subtelny in his book “Ukraine: A History,” and their deaths “earned for them a place of honor in the Ukrainian national pantheon.” As the Encyclopedia of Ukraine underscores, the battle of Kruty “is commemorated as a symbol of patriotic self-sacrifice and is immortalized in numerous literary and publicistic works.”
My excerpts below:
Alain Brossat and Sylvie Klingberg’s Revolutionary Yiddishland: A History of Jewish Radicalism was first published in France in 1983. A revised edition appeared in 2009 and an English translation in 2016. Intended for a mainly Jewish readership, the book is essentially an apologia for Jewish communist militants in Eastern Europe in the early to mid-twentieth century. Brossat, a Jewish lecturer in philosophy at the University of Paris, and Klingberg, an Israeli sociologist, interviewed dozens of former revolutionaries living in Israel in the early 1980s. In their testimony they recalled “the great scenes” of their lives such as “the Russian Civil War, the building of the USSR, resistance in the camps, the war in Spain, the armed struggle against Nazism, and the formation of socialist states in Eastern Europe.”[i] While each followed different paths, “the constancy of these militants’ commitment was remarkable, as was the firmness of the ideas and aspirations that underlay it.” Between the two world wars, communist militancy was “the center of gravity of their lives.”[ii]
It seems like the often referred-to quote, popularized in the movie “Soviet Story” was written by Engels, not Marx. It also mistranslated on word into “racial trash” to make it seem worse.
The whole idea that Karl Marx called ethnic minorities “racial trash” and that he wanted to exterminate them (i.e. Scottish Highlanders, Bretons, Basques, South Slavs, Slovenes, Croats, Serbs and Czechs) comes from a book titled “Politics and Literature in Modern Britain” and an article in the “Encounter”, both by literary historian George Watson, and published in 1977 and 1984 respectively. Also, in the film “The Soviet Story” Watson is the voice behind the phrase: “[Karl Marx was] the ancestor of the modern political genocide”. This is a popular extract from Watson’s work that can be found on the internet:
In the January and February 1849 issues of his journal ‘Neue Rheinische Zeitung’, Karl Marx published articles calling for the extermination of whole races in Europe. These articles were included in a book of the teachings of Marx, Engels and Lenin published in Germany during 1902 and again in 1913. It is most likely that Engels wrote them. This socialist programme considered the Slav nations to be ‘counter-revolutionary’. The Germans, Poles and Magyars (Hungarians) were considered to be ‘the bearers of progress’. The rest must go:
“The chief mission of all other races and peoples, large and small, is to perish in the revolutionary holocaust”.
It was explained that the Slavs had failed to pursue essential historic evolution, so were therefore counter-revolutionary. All European countries contain ‘left-overs of earlier inhabitants’, now rightly brought into subjugation by more advanced peoples. Amongst such ‘racial trash’ (Voekerabfall) were listed Scottish Highlanders, Bretons, Basques, South Slavs (Slovenes, Croats, Serbs) and Czechs.
“Until its complete extermination or loss of national status, this racial trash always becomes the most fanatical bearer there is of counter-revolution, and it remains that. That is because its entire existence is nothing more than a protest against a great historical revolution. … The next world war will cause not only reactionary classes and dynasties, but also entire reactionary peoples, to disappear from the earth. And that too is progress”.
As Marx and Engels aged, they took greater interest in Eugenics and Social Darwinism suggesting that progress was interpretable in racial terms.
For what I found, the article to which Watson is referring to is titled ‘The Magyar Struggle’, and was published in number 194 of the ‘Neue Rheinische Zeitung’ journal on the 13 of January 1849 (which can be found in full at: http://marxists.anu.edu.au/archive/marx/works/1849/01/13.htm). By reading this article you can clearly see that the main problem with Watson’s theory is that Marx did not write that article!… Engels did!!! That’s a huge mistake for an unbiased literary historian -though he latter seems to reluctantly admit the possibility that it was Engels, and not Marx, wrote it-.
Then we have Watson’s claim that Marx (Engels in any case) called for the extermination of whole races in Europe. Of course, if we pick and choose phrases from the article and take them out of context, then it does look like Engels (not Marx) wanted to get rid of certain ethnic minorities (and not races). But if we read the whole article it seems clear that Engels was talking about those ethnic minorities in the context of the European Revolution of 1848 (a year previous to the publication of the article), on the role that these played in previous conflicts (as fanatical standard-bearers of counter-revolution and supporters of European monarchies), and on them being taken into account in any future revolution as dangerous reactionaries and counter revolutionaries; and not because they were from an ethnic minority or from a different race, as Watson tries to make us believe.
Then we also have the issue of the “Völkerabfälle”, which by the way, doesn’t even mean “racial trash”; it literally translates as “residual fragments of people”, and this is how it’s translated in the English version of the “The Magyar Struggle”. This term was not used by Marx (as he didn’t even write the article in the first place), and it was neither from Engels. It was from Hegel! as Engels explains in the article.
Therefore, it looks to me like the answer to the question on the title of this post is clear: Absolutely not; Marx did not call for the extermination of any ethnic minorities or races. This rumour is nothing more than false anti-communist propaganda and a deliberate and malicious attempt to demonise Karl Mark. As Latvian political scientist and cultural commentator Ivars Ījabs explained: “To present Karl Marx as the progenitor of modern genocide is simply to lie”.
We do however have this quote from Marx, which is not genocidal, but certainly murderous:
“There is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terrorism.”
– Karl Marx, “The Victory of the Counter-Revolution in Vienna”, Neue Rheinische Zeitung, Nov. 7, 1848.