An American professor defends Stalin

Discussion in 'Historiography' started by kowalskil, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. kowalskil

    kowalskil Junior Member

    The message below has been posted at our university forum. The author once accused me of spreading cold war propaganda (referring to my two books).

    Ludwik Kowalski, author of "Diary of a Former Communist"

    Former Communist: Thoughts, Feelings, Reality

    =================================

    ” March 7 2013

    To the Editor:

    Istvan Deak’s review “Could Stalin Have Been Stopped?” (NYRB March 13 2013 - http://www.nybooks.c...…topped/?page=1) is filled with statements about Soviet history that are factually false. Here is a partial list:

    * There was no “intentional killing by starvation of millions of Ukrainians” by Stalin. Every Western expert rejects the “Holodomor” myth, which originated with pro-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists in the 1950s.

    * Stalin did not “shoot hundreds of thousands of imaginary political enemies in the later 1930s.” NKVD chief Nikolai Ezhov did so, as a part of his conspiracy against the Soviet government. In 1939-40 he and over a hundred of his top NKVD men were tried and executed for these horrific crimes.

    * Stalin did not “attempt” to “eliminate much of the Polish leadership”. It was the Nazis who did so, in their “AB-Aktion.”

    * There exists an important dispute over who shot the Poles in the murders known as the Katyn Massacre and good evidence that the Soviets shot some Polish POWs and the Germans later shot the rest.

    * Stalin was not a “dictator.” He worked collaboratively with other Politburo members and was sometimes defeated. Stephen G. Wheatcroft has termed Stalin’s prewar method of rule “Team Stalin.”

    * There were no “combined Nazi and Soviet invasions.” The Red Army did not “invade Poland” on September 17 1939. Abandoned by its government the Soviets had to prevent the German army from marching up to the existing Soviet border, something no country would have permitted. Winston Churchill said that the Soviets were right to do so.

    * Though armed and equipped by the Soviet Union in 1941-42 the “anti-Nazi army formed by General Władysław Anders” refused to fight the Nazis until 1944.

    * The Polish Home Army”, riddled with anti-Semitism, shot Jews escaping from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 and collaborated with the German army against the Red Army.

    * American and British pilots were not “routinely denied landing rights” when “trying to help the Home Army.” They were denied such rights for a few weeks in August-September 1944 because, like General Władysław Anders, Stalin considered the Warsaw Uprising to be a crime against the Polish people.

    * There is no evidence that the Soviets “massacred thousands of innocent” Poles.

    A Hungarian, Deak fails to mention that Hungary invaded the Soviet Union side by side with Nazi Germany, and Hungarian forces murdered at least hundreds of thousands of innocent Soviet citizens, including many Jews.

    Grover Furr, Montclair State University “
     
  2. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Mr. Furr is well known for such erroneous views, see In Denial, by Haynes and Klehr. Pay him no mind.
     
  3. martin14

    martin14 Senior Member

    doesn't sound like much of a 'former' Communist.


    But how does a guy like this get a job teaching in a university ?
     
  4. Rav4

    Rav4 Senior Member

    That's like saying that Hitler was not responsible for the concentration camp.
     
  5. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    doesn't sound like much of a 'former' Communist.


    But how does a guy like this get a job teaching in a university ?


    For the same reason that the US still needs to import intelligence; it's all gone after the first generation.
     
  6. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    hi tth.08-03-2013,09:56pm.re:defence of stalin.i second your statement..have a good day.bernard85
     
    fritzelblitz likes this.
  7. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Good god, is this chap on the same planet as everyone else?

    What does he say to the SOVIET admission of guilt over Katyn by Gorbechev? I take it that this is more 'evidence' of the increasing anti-communist sentiment just prior to CCCP collapse....

    What a foolish, foolsih man. A scholar, he is not.
     
  8. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    For the same reason that the US still needs to import intelligence; it's all gone after the first generation.

    I beg your pardon, but could you please think before you post such a dismissive, backhanded comment about an entire country?
     
  9. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    doesn't sound like much of a 'former' Communist.


    But how does a guy like this get a job teaching in a university ?

    To give a serious answer to your question...

    Firstly, while Montclair State no doubt has its virtues, I don't think it is ranked among the best American universities.

    Secondly, American political and intellectual history is intertwined. Some worthy persons suffered undeserved damage to their careers in the McCarthy period of the 50's and some iniquitous laws were passed. As a result, some here have therefore tended to dismiss the concern over Communism in that era as entirely unjustified--which it was not. I do not know how old Mr. Furr is, but he seems to have that attitude. Of course, it is also possible that he is old enough to be a survivor of the old left of the 30's and 40's, in which case he would be defending (excusing) his own conduct in supporting Stalin.

    Thirdly, American universities tend to lean leftwards.

    Fourthly, Mr. Furr is an English professor, not a historian or a political scientist. He may be an excellent English teacher, but when he writes about history he is writing outside his area of expertise. If he was a historian his views about Stalin might be of more relevance to his status at his institution.
     
  10. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    I beg your pardon, but could you please think before you post such a dismissive, backhanded comment about an entire country?

    I assure you that a lot of thought went into that observation.
     
    Slipdigit likes this.
  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Righto chaps before a fight starts between the Aussies & Yanks this Pom/Limey asks you pack it in now.
    cheers.
     
    canuck likes this.
  12. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    I assure you that a lot of thought went into that observation.

    No, that is a lie. You are evidently speaking from ignorance and bigotry.
     
    dbf likes this.
  13. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Thirdly, American universities tend to lean leftwards.

    That made me chuckle. If yours are left leaning then ours are certainly 100% Communist.
     
    Slipdigit likes this.
  14. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    That made me chuckle. If yours are left leaning then ours are certainly 100% Communist.

    It's a general tilt, and rather vague. "Left" does not mean the same thing in all countries, either. In Europe, "left" usually seems to mean Marxist (a wide spectrum in itself, from Communist to Labor etc.). Here, "left" can run all the way from mildly liberal (whatever that is) to a Unabomber lunatic fringe. American leftism (like American rightism) is a typically American jumble of beliefs and ideas from a wide range of sources, including Christianity and old-style Progressivism. I have no idea what the situation is in Canada. I try not to comment on the politics of other nations because I don't know the scenes there. Moreover, we have people from many nations on this forum, and for that reason alone easy generalizations and political comments about those nations are out of place. Unfortunately, some people disregard that.
     
    von Poop likes this.
  15. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Old Hickory Recon

    It's a general tilt, and rather vague. "Left" does not mean the same thing in all countries, either. In Europe, "left" usually seems to mean Marxist (a wide spectrum in itself, from Communist to Labor etc.). Here, "left" can run all the way from mildly liberal (whatever that is) to a Unabomber lunatic fringe. American leftism (like American rightism) is a typically American jumble of beliefs and ideas from a wide range of sources, including Christianity and old-style Progressivism. I have no idea what the situtation is in Canada. I try not to comment on the politics of other nations because I don't know the scenes there. Moreover, we have people from many nations on this forum, and for that reason alone easy generalizations and political comments about those nations are out of place. Unfortunately, some people disregard that.

    You're not making the suggestion that someone in this thread would offer broad assumptions concerning other nations that he has never visited or lived in, based largely on what he has probably seen on the television, are you?

    Perish the thought. o_O

    Left vs Right, Conservative vs Liberal. When I tell people that I am a Classical Liberal, one group thinks I have sprouted horns, hooves and pointed tail, while the other think I about to join them in a chorus of Kumbaya.
     
  16. martin14

    martin14 Senior Member

    That made me chuckle. If yours are left leaning then ours are certainly 100% Communist.


    Well, they certainly seem to be these days.

    Cranking lots of degrees which all the hipsters can use down
    the local Timmies.. or Starbucks, for the Masters types. :)




    Thank you for the answers TTH.
     
  17. Rav4

    Rav4 Senior Member

    That made me chuckle. If yours are left leaning then ours are certainly 100% Communist.

    I couldn't agree with you more!
     
  18. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    What does he say to the SOVIET admission of guilt over Katyn by Gorbachev?


    Easy.That was a different Katyn he was speaking of.

    When I tell people that I am a Classical Liberal, ...

    Thank you for your admission, I'm a Baroque Liberal myself.
     
  19. CM3

    CM3 Junior Member

    For the same reason that the US still needs to import intelligence; it's all gone after the first generation.

    At least the foreign monarch's picture is long gone from our currency and we don't have a "Governor General" meddling in our internal affairs either.
     
  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Stalin!
    Please.

    And people wonder why we have a guideline against discussing politics...
     
    canuck likes this.

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