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Russian atrocities

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Peppy, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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  2. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Continuation :before the war,the Jews did not leave Germany voluntarily,they were flying,leaving behind all their possessions.
     
  3. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    In France(and maybe also in other countries) the KGB was kidnapping Russian POW's.
     
  4. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Till 1947,Belgium (with one exception) and France were governed by leftwing governments (which were afraid of the communists),in France,the KGB was operating with impunity,the state of war was still existing and the freedom of the press very limited .Weekly ,people(condemned to death) were shot .Paper was rationed,thus the antigovernment press had to be very careful.
     
  5. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I wish that some people who are doubting on the communist influence on the media,and still are talking about generalisations
    and fallacious arguments,should think on the following :
    In 1953 (the cold war was a hot one),the communists were able to mobilise their fellow travelers and useful idiots on the whole world to save the neck of the Rosenbergs (for those who don't know:the Rosenbergs were communist Americans who spied for the USSR and were condemned to death )
    In france most actors and writers joined the communist propaganda.For those having some knowledge of the French "intellectuals",a limited list:
    Cocteau
    Dorgelès
    Gallimard Mauriac
    Vercors
    Camus
    Sartre (of course)
    Rostand
    Duhamel
    Maurois
    de Beauvoir
    Matisse
    And for those who are convinced that such thing (fellow travelers and useful idiots) could not happen in the US:in 1993,the Association of American Lawyers declared the Rosenbergs not guilty (why am I not surprised?)
     
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  6. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    and Sagan, Aragon, Vailland and many more.

    It was more like a trend though. Being a "commie" in 1945 was fashionable and if you were not part of it you were considered "reactionnaire" (right wing retrograde or even fascist) . Some of those you quoted came from the Communist Resistance and sort of idealized the Soviet System. There were other movements too , but the Communists had the biggest mouth those days. You are right to mention 1953 because this is when some realized their Communist Paradise did not exist.
    Rightist writers had been associated with Collaboration and people like Brazillac and Celine were on the stake, so their was a boulevard left for leftish ideology . There were fears for a Commie majority , they reached about a third of the votes at post war elections.
     
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  7. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    AFAIK what happened in the immediate post war is that the right wing intellectuals, many of whom had collaborated with the fascists, and ignored the nazi atrocites, were discredited and so the resurgent left, or what was left of it after the nazi persecutions had a "free ticket" for a while. That's a far cry from "there were no right wing newspapers" or claiming the right wingers were actively persecuted. I have seen no records or this happening on a significant scale, there is a big difference between being ostracized because of former ties to the nazis and persecuted just for your right wing beliefs though I'm ready to believe there were borderline cases.

    Being leftist was "fashionable" for a while after the war, but it wasn't backed by coercitive action as the left was always a political minority and the pro-soviet one an even smaller one, socialists and social-democrats didn't like or trust Moscow one bit and later maoists felt the same. So they simply didn't have the power for any coercitive action, they did try to delegittimize (sp?) and hinder accademic advancement of right wing thinkers when they could, but it was mostly low key and well wthin the "democratic rules of the game".

    Why is 1953 significant? here in Italy the watersheds are 1956 (Hungary) and 1968 (Tchecoslovakia) that opened the eyes of a lot of people to the realities of soviet imperialism.

    BTW:this is interesting but off topic and heading for the stump real fast, maybe if we created a thread in post-war section about "post war left wing intellectuals dominance in countries formerly occupied by the nazis" it could survive a bit longer.
     
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  8. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    1953 was Stalin's death end the end of his myth. It took some longer to react but Communist support dwindled from this date in France.

    Btw here is a little wink to a famous parody of those days that was famous in both our countries. :cool:

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Thanks skipper, while Italy and France post war histories are sometimes similar, details differ.

    Giovannino Guareschi, the inventor of Peppone and a convinced monarchist and catholic published a paper Il Candido, from 1945 to 1957. He is one of the "borderline cases" as he was condemned and jailed for libel of two politicians (but De Gasperi and Einaudi were definetly not left wingers) on what looks like very questionable grounds. IMO not so much a case of his ideas as that he annoyed some very powerful people.
     
  10. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    The reasons why people were condemned are off topic (although thousand of innocents were condemned),but the fact is ,that thousands of people were killed,hundred of thousands condemned,and that there was a climate of spiritual terror:the rightwing papers were afraid of being"right wing",was there any newspaper courageous enough to criticize communism,the USSR,Stalin ?The result was that there was no knowledge of what happened behind the Iron Curtain (of course,people also did not care,they had enough problems at home ).
    After 1947-1948,things were beginning to change,but the communist (direct or indirect) domination of the media,the movies,etc ..did not disappear immediately:the moles,fellow travelers,useful idiots were not leaving immediately .
    To return to the Rosenbergs :even in 1953,some one as Gallimard (whose influence in the French litterature could not be overestimated :if you were boycotted by Gallimard,your chances of succes were nihil) could afford to join the (communist directed) "save the Rosenbergs" campaign .
     
  11. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About the number that returned from the Gulag :I know the "less than 30% dead figure",but I am doubting this claim ,based on official sources.
    Some one as Robert Conquest is giving a much higher % of death.
    When I was writing :few returned,I did not give a % (whe shall never know) ,nor did I give a dead % :you can't subtract the number of death in a camp from the number that arrived,and conclude that the remainder returned :when the camps were (partially) closed,a lot of prisonners did not receive the permission to return to their homes,others were unwilling to return.
     
  12. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Why? if a right wing journalist was condemned for libel of right wing politicians it cerainly doesn't look like a communist plot. While I admire Voltaire's "I don't like what you say but I will fight for your right to say it" expecting the left wing press to go all out in support of a right winger that got himself into a bad corner is not realistic.

    What "thoudands of innocents" are you referring to? IMO in Italy Guareschi's parody, was a lot closer to reality than the dark picture you paint. Are you talking about what happened behind the "iron curtain" ? in Western Europe there was no ideologilal persecution of right wingers and there couldn't be as the governments and judiciary were right wing not left. Former fascists and collaborationist were ostracized but most got away pretty lightly as it was in nobody's interest to keep that wound festering.
     
  13. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    I am not competent for Italy,but some figures for Belgium:
    500000 people were suspect-accused .346283 dossiers were examined by the court-martials,of these 230472 were classified as mistakes (people who were arrested ,but quickly it appeared that the police had arrested the wrong one,etc),but these people were still considered by their neighbours as collaborators,lost all chance for a career in a public service,etc ..58655 were acquitted,58386 were condemned(1202 to the death penalty)
    Even if you were not condemned,you could lose your right to vote .There also were heavy fines (of millions of francs)and after the dead of the "collaborator",his children had to pay the fine .
    A lot of people were condemned by retrospective legislation,between june and october 1940,there was no government and this was accelerating the collaboration with the Germans .
    In France,the situation was much worse :we will never know the number of "unofficial" executions .(between 10000 and 100000),almost 2 million people had "problems"
     
  14. yan taylor

    yan taylor Member

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    I dont Know much about politics after WW2 except that Britain kicked out Churchill (Conserative) to replace him with a Attlee (Labour) and the British army fought the Communists in Greece, now I am not saying that the Conservatives were anti commie and Labour were pro commie, but it may have been a trend to be more for the people and look after the weak then Capitalism and the rich lining there pockets.
     
  15. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    After more than three years of occupation I find it unsurprising that a large number of people were investigated as suspect of "collaboration", as you point out a large percentage of the cases were quickly dismssed as unsubstantiated, from a distance it looks no worse, and a lot more justified than, for example, sen. McCarthy's "witch hunts".

    The "summary executions" of "collaborators" after the war are another story and still a very a touchy subject, No doubt they did happen but the actual numbers are controversial to say the least. In Italy, apart from the well documented mass executions by Tito's partisans, that could be just as easily be labeled as "ethnic cleansing" as politically motivated killings, it was probably limited in scale but research and hard numbers are really hard to find. There'se a lot of mith aroud them so I wouldn't take any single researcher at face value on such a controversial topic unless he comes up with a lot of hard evidence. I must admit that as I find the subject disasteful I haven't made a lot of effort to resarch it, researching history for me is a hobby, things that raise my blood pressure do not fall into that definition.

    AFAIK though many were politicaly motivated others were more like personal vendettas, immagine a fascist "death squad" killed some of your relatives, as a reaction (or to escape the same fate) you joined a communist partisan group (they were the most commonon ones), if you killed a member of that squad after the armistice is that political or personal? stories like that are not uncommon. Defining what "justice" is in these cases is nearly impossible, not looking too hard into those happenings at the time was possibly the wisest choice, consider the judges themseves had faced some pretty tough personal choices after the 1943 armstice (or 1940 occupation for the French) so strogly biased judgements were very likely.

    Attempting to make political mileage of them after 60 years is ............. well to be nice about it it shows a remarkable lack of ideas and compelling arguments closer to today's issues, not something to inspire my trust.
     
  16. Spartanroller

    Spartanroller Ace

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    Not to forget that in many of the cases where it happened, it was often more to do with the fact that many divergent groups in many countries were armed and organised at the end of the war (enabling both personal vendettas, and the localised jostle for money, land and power), rather than any real concept of punishing collaboration, and these groups often took things in to their own hands for several years even if 'open' civil war wasn't happening, and especially when it was. Those countries that 'formalised' the trials and executions once things had settled down were largely carrying out that same process at a middle class level rather than a working class one, often weeding out political opponents and possible challengers to civil positions, as well as the normal jockeying for cash etc.
     
  17. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Well,IMHO,it is very unwise to compare McCarthysm with the epuration in Western Europe :after all,there were no innocent people shot,imprisoned,condemned because of McCarthysm ;the future Belgian PM Joseph Pholien called the epuration in Belgium "une justice de rois nègres" :a justice of African tribal chiefs .
     
  18. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Many post war trials qualify as "summary justice" or plain vengeance, but the epuration was about collaborations with the nazis, not distributing leaflets, given the prevailing climate at the time excesses were almost unavoidable.
    There were some very real human tragedies at the time, but rekindling old hatreds for political gain is something I don't like, and it's a dangerous thing to do as the history of the Balkans should show, I would welcome serious research but any real researcher into that very "gray" area is going to catch a lot of flak from both sides of the polical fence.
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Some were some weren't and even many of those that did leave Germany didn't leave everything behind. In any case it was still volentary at that point.
    Left wing does not = Communist. Care to document the part about the KGB operating with impunity? I'd be surprised if DeGaule let that happen. The bit about exections is not relevant without material pointing out how it is. How long did the "stae of war" exist?
    Last I read there was still some doubt as to whether Mrs Rosenberg really was a spy. Mr. Rosenberg certainly was. I don't think anyone has claimed that the left didn't have a significant amount of influence with the press ether but that's different from controlling it.

    So you feel free to say "most" but don't have the ability to even give a ball park estimate of the percentage. Of course if you mean by "return" return to the house they were living in pre war you are probably correct but that's not a very meaning full statement either is it?
     
  20. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    About the KGB in France:N.Tolstoy in "the Victims of Yalta" (chapter 16),says there arrived in France a Soviet Repatriarion Commission(all members being KGB officers) ,with as mission the safe return home of all Russians on whom they could lay hands.In addition they were charged with distributing arms and money to the French Communist Party .
    Outside the camps,the NKVD unleashed in Paris a series of surveillances,spyings,kidnappings and murder .Even in march 1946,a Russian was kidnapped in Paris by the KGB.
    102483 Russians were (mostly forcibly)returned .
     

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