Fierce disputes about the interpretation of events and actions committed by various individuals in our history never stop. Who was a tyrant and who was a benefactor? Who deserves monuments in their honor and who should be blamed of all deadly sins? Our writer Alexander Shirokorad encourages opponents to at least stop manipulating and adjusting facts in their pseudo-scientific concepts.
Look at the creepy photo: children - prisoners of the Gulag. The inscription on the wooden board above them reads: "Those who talk through the wire will be killed." The caption says: "Russia, the successor of the Soviet system. Collective Gulag." This is disgusting.
But then there was a wicked Stalinist, who published the photo in full. It turned out that the upper part of the inscription on the wooden board was written in the Finnish language. The children on the photos are prisoners of the Gulag indeed, but it was a Finnish camp, namely the 6th Finnish concentration camp in Petrozavodsk. During the occupation of the Soviet Karelia by the Finns, there were seven camps built in the city of Petrozavodsk for local Russian-speaking residents. Camp No. 6 held 7,000 people. The photo in question was taken after the Soviet troops liberated Petrozavodsk on June 28, 1944.
This picture was presented as part of the evidence at Nuremberg war crimes trials.
The girl, who is second right from the column, is Claudia Nyuppieva. Many years later that moment, she published her memoirs: "I remember how people would faint from heat in the so-called bathhouse and then they would pour cold water on them. I remember the disinfection of barracks, after which there was buzzing in the ears. Many had nose bleeds."
Another photo depicts a mountain of human corpses. Caption: "Victims of the Gulag." Alas, that photo was also featured at Nuremberg. This is a photo of Klooge camp in Estonia.
What is this? Separate errors? No. Russian liberal anti-Stalinists have been trying to convince Russian people for half a century already that concentration camps were invented by Stalin. Just take a look at the media on the Internet and pay attention to the adjectives used with word combination "concentration camp." Eighty percent of such occurrences will be - "Stalin concentration camps" and 20 percent - "Hitler concentration camps." Well, the British, Polish, Finnish, American and other concentration camps are no mentioned at all - no references. They can probably be found in special literature with a circulation of 100-500 copies.
However, it is the "enlightened sailors" who are considered to be the pioneers of death camps. In 1900, the British tried to drive all civilians Boers into camps (descendants of Dutch settlers). I am stressing it out - women and children only. They sent all the men to concentration camps on the island of St. Helena and to India. As many as 4,000 women and 22,000 children were killed in concentration camps in only two years. That does not seem a lot compared to 3 million of Gulag prisoners.
However, these three million victims died during 70 years in the 180-million-strong country. The British destroyed one-sixth of the Boer women and children in two years. I give most minimal numbers here. According to other sources, there were 30-40 thousand women and children killed.
Americans destroyed over 90% of Indians in the XIX century, whereas the British exterminated more than 90% of Aboriginal people in Australia. On the island of Tasmania, the size of which is equal to the Moscow and Vladimir regions combined, colonial troops and white settlers were scouring the territory for 40 years, killing all local residents, including women and children. By the time the world saw the birth of Joseph Dzhugashvili (Stalin), all the natives had been killed in Tasmania to the last one of them!
During World War II, the basic strategy of England and the United States was the killing of women and children. While Russians and Germans were fighting near Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kursk and Kiev, the Anglo-Americans were systematically destroying German women and children. Huge amounts of money were spent on the construction of thousands of huge strategic bombers that leveled dozens of German cities, but were not very effective in operations against tanks and infantry.
In Dresden alone, in February of 1945, the Allies killed more than 250,000 civilians in three days. There were no defense factories in the city was not. The entire anti-aircraft artillery was sent to the Eastern Front - Soviet tanks were 70 km far from Dresden.
Surprisingly, Western propagandists hold Stalin responsible for killing 250,000 women and children in Dresden. Stalin supposedly persuaded Churchill in Yalta to bomb the city. Churchill allegedly tried to resist, he cried, but in the end could not stand the pressure of the Kremlin dictator.
In fact, with the destruction of Dresden, the British prime minister wanted to frighten "Uncle Joe" before the Yalta Conference. The weather turned out to be not the best, and the city was destroyed after the end of the conference.
The Allies were fighting with the Japanese civil population in 1942-1945 in a similar fashion. The Japanese in Pearl Harbor, Singapore, Darwin, Colombo and other places attacked only military targets and did not touch residential quarters. Well, the Yankees, by contrast, preferred large cities of Japan. In Hiroshima, there were no military objects. But U.S. strategists were not interested in those objects. They targeted the density of the housing development of the city and a large percentage of wooden houses.
Noteworthy, by August 8, 1945, the Japanese army was occupying much larger areas than during the beginning of the war. The Red Army for a month, from August 9 to September 9, defeated the million-strong Kwantung Army and occupied the entire Manchuria. Our tanks were about 100 km from Beijing. And what did the Americans do during that month? By tradition, they bombed Japanese cities.
How many millions of civilians in North and South Vietnam did the Americans kill in 1960-1970's?
But let's get back to our anti-Stalinists. Their favorite argument is as follows: "Would you like to be thrown in the Gulag?" No, we wouldn't. But if I had to choose between the Solovetsky monastery prison of the XIX century, a British concentration camp in 1918 on the Kola Peninsula and in Arkhangelsk, a Solovetsky camp in 1920-1930s or a modern American secret prison in Guantanamo Bay, I would not hesitate to choose a Solovetsky camp. And, of course, not out of reverence for Stalin, but out of the sense of self-preservation. There were more chances to survive there.
Thousands of articles and dozens of books have been written about how the prisoners were building Belomorbalt, Moscow and Volga-Don canals. There was a mass of creepy, but, alas, technically illiterate details. For some reason, no honest man has ever compared them to the construction of Panama and Suez canals. How many people were employed there? How many of them died? Alas, Russian anti-Stalinists have no interest in any canals whatsoever. They only want scary stories.
For example, the Volga-Don Canal was built by Turkish sultans, and Peter the Great was building it for ten years. It was Stalin who completed the construction in 3.5 years.
As with the construction of other canals, prisoners' labor was used massively. As many as 236,778 prisoners were involved in the works. "Of these, 114,492 people were released, 1,766 died and 1,123 escaped. The maximum number of slave laborers fell on January 1, 1952 - 118,178 people ..."
Thus, during three years of hard work, a half of the prisoners was freed; 3,000 of them were decorated with government awards.
I'm curious how the prisoners of colonial prisons of the first half of the twentieth century of Britain and France react to the proposal to go to the construction of the Volga-Don? I'm afraid they all would rush to the Gulag.
There is a paradoxical situation. "Stalinists" demand all archives of the NKVD should be exposed, without exception, to learn the truth about Stalin's crimes, the number of prisoners, charges against them, and so on.
Anti-Stalinists, who were foaming at the mouth before 1992 demanding transparency and open archives, suddenly changed their mind. They are strongly opposed to the opening of NKVD archives. How not to be afraid? The lists of prisoners are full of hundreds of thousands of Trotskyists, Ukrainian, Baltic and other nationalists. There are hundreds of thousands of honest people there too. But the cases say who reported what and against whom. This is what our "refined" intelligentsia does not need to have exposed. The lists of informants include their idols, teachers and relatives.
Here is what one of the leaders of Russian anti-Stalinists, Marietta Chudakova says in response to the requirement to open the archives. "They say that archives are closed, and nothing is known. How is that?" And then lists a long list of books of her adherents. Chudakova offers a pile of unscientific literature, stipulating that archives do not matter at all.
Imagine for a moment what would happen if people like Chudakova win. Stalin and his legacy would be cursed. Well, were Peter the Great, Ivan IV and Ivan III better? They destroyed a lot more people than Stalin. Or did they observe human rights? The Russian people would then have to acknowledge that their state was created by monsters of the human race. And we should all be on our knees in front of the "civilized world" begging forgiveness.
The Kuril Islands, Karelia, Smolensk, Krasnodar, Russian sector of the Arctic - take it all, Russia is large enough!
One can go to a bookstore and buy there a book titled "The Beast on the Throne." This is a biography of Peter the Great. By the way, 90 percent of it is true. However, if you compare our "blood-thirsty tyrants" with the rulers of the East and West at the same point in time, the two Ivans, Peter and Stalin would look bloody, but quite moderate rulers.
Is it time to recall that there are hundreds of monuments to Napoleon in France and Italy, that many squares and streets are named after him?
In the U.S., Roosevelt and Truman are regarded as national heroes. They were the presidents who ordered to kill millions of women and children.
In Turkey, there is still a cult of Ataturk, and it is stronger than the cult of Lenin in the USSR during the 1970s. The Turks revere him for mass murders of hundreds of thousands of Armenians and Greeks. The day of May 19 is a holiday in Turkey and Greece. The Turks celebrate the day in honor of Ataturk, who ordered to slaughter the Greeks. The Greeks mark the day as the day of genocide of the Pontic people.
In Finland, there is a national hero - Marshal Mannerheim. It was him, who in the summer of 1918 organized the first concentration camp in the former Russian empire.
Poland also has a national hero - Marshal Pilsudski. He arranged first concentration camps in the country in 1919. In 1921, about 70,000 Soviet POWs were killed in the Polish camps.
Is that not enough? Let's take the great Mao, who killed 20 times more people than Stalin. Why are there so many monuments to the great Mao in China? And it did not stop the Chinese from making their economy the world's second largest after the United States.
In Mongolia, they put up monuments to Mongolian national hero Genghis Khan.
Finally, let's consider a small example, which has been a subject for heated debate in the country and abroad for 80 years. We are talking about the famous Pavlik Morozov. It was his mother, Tatiana Morozov, who testified against Pavlik's father, Trofim Morozov. Pavlik only confirmed her testimony. He has never been a pioneer, and there was no pioneer organization in his village.
Tatiana wrote: "Comrades, my husband gives fake certificates to wealthy peasants so that they could go home, and he lives for 3 years with his young lover. Punish the villain and return him to the family!"
Trofim Morozov was sentenced to ten years "on the horns." For three years, he was working on the construction of Belomorbalt, was then released, received an award for his work. Then lived quietly in Tyumen.
On September 4, 1932, the bodies of 14-year-old Pavlik and his 9-year-old brother Fyodor were found in the woods. The boys were stabbed. The criminal has never been found. However, the authorities massacred the whole Morozov clan. The 81-year-old grandfather and 80-year-old blind grandmother had been tortured in prison. Pavlik's uncle and cousin had been shot.
Interestingly, in the U.S. there were polls conducted to study the public opinion about the acts committed by Pavlik Morozov. The overwhelming majority of Americans approved of denunciations of his father and said that Pavlik adequately fulfilled his civic duty.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea