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hardcore_gamer

Why doesn't anyone talk about Stalin?

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After almost 70 years of Nazi killing in both films and video games Hitler is viewed as having been a baby eating zombie and a living walking talking representation of everything that is wrong with humanity. But lately I have been reading about Stalin and Soviet Russia in a book called The Black Book of Communism and I have also watched some documentaries about him. And after reading about the man and his regime the guy doesn't strike me as having been any less evil then Hitler in the slightest. Not simply because he killed tens and millions of people but for other reasons as well.

The biggest Nr.1 reason people argue that Hitler was much much worse then Stalin or any other 20.century dictator for that matter is that Hitler killed his victims for no reason and that everything he did was just one big racist act that served no purpose and mention the holocaust to prove their point. But guess what, not only was Stalin both a racist and a anti semite just like Hitler, but he even started a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Jews just like Hitler did AND KILLED EVEN MORE JEWS THEN HITLER DID! And if he had not suddenly died he would have killed even more of them.

Then there is also the appropriately named "Holodomor" or the great Ukrainian famine where Stalin stole all of the food from the Ukriane in 1933 (at roughly the same time where Hitler got to power) where Stalin killed something like 7-10 million people in less then a year. That's almost as many people as the ones killed in the entire holocaust in less then a third the amount of time.



Why isn't anybody giving 2 shits? People talk about the holocaust all the time and how its important to learn from it and never forget history, and while I use to agree I now think those same people are just a bunch of hypocrites since they have in fact not learned anything that their TV hasn't fed them yet.

I mean think about it for one moment here, if it weren't for the fact that Nazis just so happen to populate 75% of all first person shooters and 25% of all action movies then would you even know anything about the holocaust besides what you learn (and forget) at school?

I don't think so.

There are those who argue that the holocaust taught humanity that racism and prejudice is wrong, but I think the holocaust had very little to do with it.

"The winner writes history" is a common excuse but its no longer valid since we now know it for a fact just what exactly happened.

Anyways, I guess I went a little bit off-topic there. But regardless, what is your take on this? Why do people constantly talk about Adolf and his pals while ignoring everything else that LITERALLY happened in the same period? (and before you argue that people did not know, they did. Just not all of the details).

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Since correlation proves causation, I can only conclude that moustaches make people evil.

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Hitler is viewed as being far more sinister because he very nearly dominated the planet. While Stalin had barely more than a handful of some very outdated equipment, Hitler had german production cranking out that which was far superior and he was on the move. Those Tigers are the first thing that come to mind. Yes, there is debate. But without lend-lease it would have been a whole other story. And Stalin ends up on the side of the winning team because they needed him.

I would guess that Stalin still gets recognition for his atrocities amongst the jewish community?

Yeah that Stalin was a real MF, too.

Hitler's pagan symbols were/are stronger.

And keep reading history! See the patterns. Then apply it to what you see today.

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gggmork said:

Since correlation proves causation, I can only conclude that moustaches make people evil.






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I think having three moustaches, like the last one, actually makes you sexy, not evil. Also, I think godwin's law will be reversed for this thread.

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Mr. T said:

Because Stalin won.



Agreed. The only thing distinguishing him from Hitler is that he was able to rewrite part of his own history. Who knows for how many deaths he is truly responsible? And what would he have done, hadn't there been a Hitler at the same time?

I think they both were equally bad.

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hardcore_gamer said:

Why do people constantly talk about Adolf and his pals while ignoring everything else that LITERALLY happened in the same period? (and before you argue that people did not know, they did. Just not all of the details).

Because hitler was the 'big bad' that did some heinous things before and throughout ww2, a war that is more heavily mythologized and romanticized than any other by western world (read: america). Because it is perhaps the one time that war itself was seen as the right and noble thing to do to save the world from him. Had the western armies decided that the soviets were no longer necessary after the fall of berlin and continued to push eastward and had they somehow succeeded in liberating those oppressed by stalin, then maybe history would look at him differently.

Arguing that hitler gets more press than other despots is silly because he has more or less been turned into a comic book villan by history and peoples ideas about him.

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Quast said:

Arguing that hitler gets more press than other despots is silly because he has more or less been turned into a comic book villan by history and peoples ideas about him.

With the swastica becoming a standard symbol of rebellion.

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Politics, gentlement, politics. Someone, sometime in the future will consider George W. Bush and Henry Kissinger to be almost as bad.

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OK, so there are a couple things going on here...

A) Russia wasn't considered "civilized" at the time, at least to Americans. Germany was.

Remember that compared to most of Europe, Russia was 300 or so years behind in social development. At the turn of the century, the legacy of feudalism was still extremely strong, having not even been abolished 50 years ago. Furthermore, there were not many Russian-Americans at the time. But there were a lot of German-Americans (perhaps more than any other naturalized nationality) and a bunch of Western European Jews.

I know I sound like a jerk for saying this, but it's true. The further away an event is from you, the less likely you are to care. Most Americans didn't have any sort of connection with Russia, so millions of their people dying? Eh, who cares.

B) They were our ally. (Then.)

Yes, America, Britain, and France probably could have beaten the Germans eventually on their own. World War II, however, would have not have been anywhere near as short without the entry of the USSR. But since the USSR had a crippled production capacity (and never really had decent factories to begin with, despite Stalin's best efforts during the 30s.) We then proceeded to send millions of dollars worth of equipment to attack our enemy. So regardless of what happens to the citizens of this pretty much uncivilized nation, as we have established, as long as they win the war to protect the people we care about we have to believe they are good people.

C) Lasting Legacy

As I'm writing this I'm getting ready to head to the airport and drop off a group of Ukrainian Diplomats I have been working with all week. If there is one thing I have learned about their culture, it is that the USSR has not been forgotten. The director of policy for all youth education in Ukraine, who I have been spending quite a bit of time with due to this program, is a raging communist. What I mean by this is, he seems enamored by the previous governments and it would appear that he politically hopes for the exact, same counterintuitive results. He repeats all of the slogans, he sings all of the songs, he calls people his Comrades and won't shut up about the workers. Stalin, just as Lenin, is a part of this legacy. It was beaten into people's heads by slogans and propaganda. The Soviets were GOOD. They were making PROGRESS. This concept has been so ingrained by the ex-Soviet schools, political officers, flyers and posters, officially re-written histories, that people in former Soviet countries actually believe that Stalin was a great guy who did a lot of good.

The Germans, when defeated in WWII, went the emo route of political self loathing because of their defeat. Were it the Russians to get defeated, perhaps their conquerors would have forced the same guilt on them. Remember, nowadays Germans are some of the loudest people to decry the Nazis. How many Russians do you hear very vocally saying that Stalin was the worst person on earth?

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Shaikoten said:

people in former Soviet countries actually believe that Stalin was a great guy who did a lot of good.


Then again, their "alternative" was having Tzaric families that only cared about drinking tea in European courts and didn't give a fuck about their people (that "social development" thing you mentioned).

Some of the countries that later became their satellites essentially passed from feudalist monarchies straight to hard-core communism. Albania was an extreme example, even though they somehow managed to fuck things up even more for themselves, while others such as Bulgaria were actually better off than their "capitalist" neighbors.

To make a comparison between Greece, a supposed "allied" non-commie country during the 50s-80s, we've been ravaged by a civil war right after WWII, were some 30 years behind in social development compared to Western Europe, and on top of that we had a military Junta and never developed any serious industry/R&D in all those years, which is also part of the reason we're in deep shit now. We only got nation-wide express ways as of the late 90s, and our electricity is still generated by coal power plants.

By comparison, our "commie" neighbors including Jugoslavia had nuclear power plants, expressways, had their own automobile industries (even though they were ZASTAVAs and license-built LADAs, we had NOTHING), had expressways, and in general there was heavy industry and even electronics, again, pitted vs our complete nothingness (to this day, our only "heavy industry" is tourism!

What would you choose between moderate communism and a poor "capitalism" like ours? Actually our "capitalism" lacked the elements of a proper capitalism: there was no market competitiveness (and there still isn't), no R&D, no investments, and the economy was still mostly agrarian, relying extensively on foreign imports. Basically it was just the perpetration of a previous status-quo and pre-existing social structures and localized relative wealth, compounded with an imposed/forced lack of communism, not a full-fledged capitalism a-la USA or Western Europe.

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Shaikoten said:

The further away an event is from you, the less likely you are to care. Most Americans didn't have any sort of connection with Russia, so millions of their people dying? Eh, who cares.

I think that is probably one of the most significant factors in this. It's something that you can see time and time again in greater or lesser ways:

News report says a plane crashed killing 300 passengers and specifically mentions that 2 British people were onboard. Why are those Britons more important that the 298 other dead people?

A huge oils spill happens in Africa, who gives a damn? An oil spill pollutes the USA - biggest disatar evar!!!111one

Basically, if something happens to "us", or people we perceive as like us, or who we have a connection to, it gets reported, it matters and we care. If it happens to "someone else" then chances are most people "like us" won't even find out about it, much less care.


I think that there is also the fact that Stalin continued. Hitler didn't. He lost and represented a definite period in time. Stalin carried on doing what he did. What's more, he did it behind the iron curtain. Moreover, there are plenty of other leaders doing similar - if not in such great numbers - of things like Stalin did right now. How many even make the headlines? How many are "we" doing something about?

Also, Hitler fought "us". There is still hardly a family in the Western world that can't recount a tale of some sort about "when Grandad was over in Europe fighting the Germans". Stalin never flew his planes across "our" countries or bombed our people and no-one "we" know signed up to fight Stalin. "We" were at war with Hitler and some of "us" died as a result. The closest we got was cold war with Stalin.

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And Stalin also had nukes so he could look all da other bad mothafuckahs in the 'hood in the fucking eye without flinching (namely, the USA). Like it or not, politics is mainly about who can bully whom, and when you can't totally dominate someone, you have to do more talking and less shootin', knowhatumsayin' ? That's the reason why nations such as NK want to get them: as soon as you acknoledge them as nuclear powers, you must respect them, and won't dare take military action a-la Iraq or Afghanistan against them, unless you want Wall Street EMP-ed.

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Enjay said:

Also, Hitler fought "us". There is still hardly a family in the Western world that can't recount a tale of some sort about "when Grandad was over in Europe fighting the Germans". Stalin never flew his planes across "our" countries or bombed our people and no-one "we" know signed up to fight Stalin. "We" were at war with Hitler and some of "us" died as a result. The closest we got was cold war with Stalin.

That might be part the reason, but it definitely can't be the only one. Stalin did fight "us" (Finland), yet here almost no one talks about his crimes either. And, of course, people talk much more about Hitler even though it was thanks to the thin alliance with Nazis that we were able to stand against Stalin's invasion.

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Jodwin said:

That might be part the reason, but it definitely can't be the only one. Stalin did fight "us" (Finland), yet here almost no one talks about his crimes either. And, of course, people talk much more about Hitler even though it was thanks to the thin alliance with Nazis that we were able to stand against Stalin's invasion.

And from what I understand from a Finnish woman I work with, that thin alliance was something that Finland paid pretty heavily for in order to remain as free from Soviet influence as possible. She also speaks of the genuine and tangible fear of Russia during the cold war years. I should imagine this was far more real than countries like mine which are far more distant from Russia (even though, here, the main fear was ICBMs).

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Mr. T said:

Because Stalin won.


But that isn't really a valid excuse anymore because the old soviet regime is fallen and his crimes are now public knowledge.

Graf Zahl said:

Who knows for how many deaths he is truly responsible? And what would he have done, hadn't there been a Hitler at the same time?


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Maybe because nazism is a villain ideology, but communism is not.

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ducon said:

Maybe because nazism is a villain ideology, but communism is not.


But this becomes a moot point once you take it into account that most people don't thank about it that way.

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In Arab countries nazism is cherished as a "brother ideology" vs the "hideous zionists", while in Asian countries it's something so distant they just consider it one more ideology amongst many. *insert obligatory nazi chic, hitler bar and nazi techno reference here*

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The Holocaust is still fairly unique. Yes, the Soviets and the Japanese had their fare share of atrocities during and after WW2, but the Holocaust was an industry. There's something deeply unsettling about how a western European nation could be so easily mislead into focusing it's considerable industrial prowess on the business of killing people. Stalin never had murder factories like Treblinka.

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hardcore_gamer said:

But that isn't really a valid excuse anymore because the old soviet regime is fallen and his crimes are now public knowledge.

Possibly so, but the crimes have become public knowledge after a period of time. No one gets that bent out of shape by other historical atrocities.

Hitler's crimes were exposed whilst they were current and dealing with them was part of the "healing process" that resulted from the largest conflict humanity has ever known. These crimes have been kept in the public eye either directly or as part of the ongoing preoccupation with WWII. Indeed, it should be remembered that WWII is still very much in the public consciousness for a variety of reasons and Hitler is indelibly associated with that (obviously). Even now, kids at school (who were born more than half a century after WWII) will make not-even-slightly-veiled allusions to Hitler, Nazis or WWII in this country when, for example, they speak about a German teacher. I have a couple of German friends who live in the UK and it is always just a matter of time before someone mentions WWII when talking to them for the first time.

Even now, this isn't too far from the truth:

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david_a said:

Stalin never had murder factories like Treblinka.


Not true.

I don't remember the name, but one of Stalin's most infamous Gulag's (located somewhere in Siberia I think) imposed horrid living conditions on its inhabitants and anyone who was sent there was tasked with a impossible task that was bound to kill you on purpose, like pushing mine carts full of rocks long distances in extremely cold weather while having no chances of being able to finish before your time ran out (and when that happened you were forced to start all over again as punishment). During the soviet era almost a million people died in that camp alone (granted that this is counting the people killed in the camp after Stalin was dead as well, but that's beyond the point)and declassified documents reveal that the survival chances of anyone unlucky enough to be sent there were less then 5%, so while it may not have had gas chambers or the like, it was still basically a death camp in the sense that it was used to systematically murder all of the regimes political (anti-communists, fascists, capitalists etc) and social enemies (Kulags).

It is true that many gulags were basically just work camps where conditions were just cruel rather then outright genocidal, but some Gulags like the one I mentioned above were no less evil then any of Hitlers death camps, with millions being sent via trains (sometimes the commies even put so many people in the same trains that some people just died before they even arrived to the gulag, the same thing happened with the Jews that were shipped to Treblinka and the other death camps) to the Gulag to work them self's to death.

Here are some images of the Gulag, and as you can see the Gulag looks totally different from Nazi camps in almost every way:



Uploaded with ImageShack.us



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Oh wait! It totally doesn't!

My mistake (sarcasm).

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hardcore_gamer said:

But this becomes a moot point once you take it into account that most people don't thank about it that way.

Well people who think that communism is based upon "evil ideology" should do more research on it before speaking about it. :P

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Stalin did the same bad shit that Hitler did but in a different style but nobody wants to admit it since Stalinism is "cool". Stalin was racist and so was everyone else with him and he treated everyone like a piece of shit.

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The fact that the Allies had to accept the USSR in their ranks played a very important role: the Nazis were the systematic target of negative propaganda throughout WWII, while the Soviets changed phase at a certain point.

At first they were equally if not more reviled than Nazis, since they were not only communists, but also -apparently- allied with the Nazis, let alone that the West hadn't forgotten about the Bolsheviks denial and non-recognition of the debts of the Tzaric Russia vs them yet!

Yet, after the Nazis betrayal (operation Barbarossa) things changed, which led to this:



Still, you can see how the use of the word "soviet" was avoided.

And after the war they were left with an awkward situation. Too late to make them appear as beastly as the nazis, and not wise to attack them head-on (despite having all sort of reasons to do so).

The rest, as they say, is history: the two opponents only faced each other indirectly by intervening in more regional and small-scale conflicts (Korea, Vietnam, Cuba etc.) and (especially the US) by supporting anti-communist regimes everywhere around the globe (mostly in Latin America, but also in Europe, e.g. in Greece).

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Another really underrated evil leader was Mao Zedong

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