Monday, August 28, 2006


I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer or anything, just trying to point out how government officials have a long history of slaughtering their own people and others too.

by Eric Margolis

Five years ago, I wrote a column about the unknown Holocaust in Ukraine. I was shocked to receive a flood of mail from young Americans and Canadians of Ukrainian descent telling me that until they read my article, they knew nothing of the 1932–33 genocide in which Stalin's regime murdered 7 million Ukrainians and sent 2 million to concentration camps.

At the end of World War II, Stalin's gulag held 5.5 million prisoners, 23% Ukrainians and 6% Baltic peoples.

Almost unknown is the genocide of 2 million of the USSR's Muslim peoples: Chechen, Ingush, Crimean Tatars, Tajiks, Bashkir, Kazaks. The Chechen independence fighters today branded "terrorists" by the US and Russia are the grandchildren of survivors of Soviet concentration camps.

Add to this list of forgotten atrocities the murder in Eastern Europe from 1945–47 of at least 2 million ethnic Germans, mostly women and children, and the violent expulsion of 15 million more Germans, during which 2 million German girls and women were raped.

Ukraine stands out as the worst in terms of numbers. Stalin declared war on his own people.

Furious that insufficient Ukrainians were being shot, Kaganovitch "the Soviet Adolf Eichmann" set a quota of 10,000 executions a week. Eighty percent of Ukrainian intellectuals were shot.

During the bitter winter of 1932–33, 25,000 Ukrainians per day were being shot or dying of starvation and cold. Cannibalism became common.

The mass murder of 7 million Ukrainians, 3 million of them children, and deportation to the gulag of 2 million (where most died) was hidden by Soviet propaganda. Pro-communist westerners, like the New York Times' Walter Duranty, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and French Prime Minister Edouard Herriot, toured Ukraine, denied reports of genocide, and applauded what they called Soviet "agrarian reform." Those who spoke out against the genocide were branded "fascist agents."

When war came, Roosevelt and Churchill allied themselves closely to Stalin, though they were well aware his regime had murdered at least 30 million people long before Hitler's extermination of Jews and gypsies began. Yet in the strange moral calculus of mass murder, only Germans were guilty.

Though Stalin murdered 3 times more people than Hitler, to the doting Roosevelt he remained "Uncle Joe." At Yalta, Stalin even boasted to Churchill he had killed over 10 million peasants. The British-US alliance with Stalin made them his partners in crime. Roosevelt and Churchill helped preserve history's most murderous regime, to which they handed over half of Europe.


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