Author’s Note: It is astonishing to perceive the sheer destructive scale of the barbarism visited upon the Soviet people by the invading Nazi Germans (and their Allies) during the ‘Great Patriotic War’ (1941-1945). It is also ‘humbling’ to see (and understand) the selflessness of the Soviet population in its unending fight against fascism, and the willingness of the Soviet people to endure this suffering on behalf of the survival of the non-fascist world! Most of the atrocities that define WWII were done to the Russians and not by them. The Russians were the heroic victims of international fascism and died in their millions so that the rest of us could have a chance to survive! For this Soviet sacrifice – I am very grateful. It strikes me that the type of US anti-intellectualism that has allowed the history of the USSR to be distorted in the way it has, is exactly the same inverted mind-set that voted the fascist Donald Trump into power, and concocted all kinds of racist, sexist and ablest policies that culminated in the fake ‘fixed’ election story – and the Trump inspired ‘White Supremacy’ march upon the Congress building situated in Washington DC! This type of utter stupidity is distinctly American – but it is not new. In the past decades its dictates were accepted without question – but we live in a very different world today. US anti-intellectualism is now under the microscope and the entire world now knows what it looks like! ACW (15.1.2021)
Most people grow-up in the West receiving the standard bourgeois education and naturally ‘ingest’ it’s (a priori) dictate that Socialism is evil and that every country that has adopted this ideology has been instantly transformed into a maniacal regime that exists only to abuse its own citizenship and inflict endless psychological and physical ‘horrors’ upon the world! Of course, this is to be expected as part of the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie in its ongoing efforts to protect the predatory capitalist it gave birth to – and prefers to exist within. This is logical from the bourgeois perspective, as such a strategy seeks to ‘protect’ the capitalist stage of human society’s evolution – whilst preventing it from naturally progressing to the next stage of Socialism. As a defining aspect of bourgeois morality is its hypocrisy – it also naturally follows that it is often wrapped in the paradox of its own contradictions. The bourgeois, for example, claim superiority because (amongst other reasons) everyone in their society supposedly possesses ‘freedom of thought’ – a ‘freedom of thought’ that is moulded from birth to ‘think’ a certain and ‘preferred’ way – and which is diverted away from engaging Socialism in any real or meaningful way as adults – just in case anyone is attracted to the alternatives Socialism has to offer. Every one of the assumed ‘superiorities’ associated with the bourgeois way of life are just as easily dismissed through the rational use of logical observation. Through such an analysis the alleged superiorities of the capitalist system turn-out to be straw-houses blown away in the wind! This includes the notion of Eurocentric (‘White’) racial superiority – a standard bourgeois trope in its drive for eternal dominance (racism is both ‘embraced’ and ‘condemned’ within the bourgeois system – but never fully stamped-out because it serves the agenda of the bourgeois masters).
Many younger people are surprised when told that the Soviet Union fought on the side of the UK and US during WWII! Many believe some sort of ahistorical nonsense – such as the USSR committed the Holocaust – or that the USSR fought with Nazi Germany, etc. This is natural because such views are found in US and UK historical manuals to this day expressing any number of historical falsehoods, omitting evidence and distorting or manipulating the facts to generate a certain (false) point of view. Whilst accusing the USSR of being an aggressive and war-like regime – most Americans and British are unaware that their respective military forces invaded Revolutionary Russia (1918-1921) – with the British Army committing a War Crime at Baku. Another inconvenient historical fact that would probably negatively impact the poppy sales of the right-wing Royal British Legion each year is that between April – November, 1918 – British, American and German troops fought ‘side by side’ for their bourgeois masters within Revolutionary Russia – all pursuing exactly the same war ends; the killing of Lenin and the destruction of the Revolution. This invasion nearly achieved these objectives with the Soviets initially losing around two-thirds of the territory under their control before the newly formed Red Army started fighting effectively under its guiding ideology of Marxist-Leninism! This was all going on whilst British and US troops continued to fight and kill German troops (and vice versa) in Belgium and France! It is the capitalist West under the control of the bourgeoisie that is a ‘war-monger’!
History matters – because it is through the distortion of history that the bourgeoisie maintains its hold on the minds of the West. During the various War Crime Trials of Nazi German suspects post-1945 – one continuous tactic pursued by the Defence was the assertion that the Allies – particularly the Russians, Americans and British – had committed acts during the war that fitted into the definitions of ‘War Crimes’ and ‘Crimes Against Humanity’. The Prosecution did not deny this – but rather adopted the position that where such activities were found to be ‘true’ (and not merely ‘rumour’ or ‘speculation’), legal action would be taken against the individuals involved or concerned. The Prosecution legal teams made it clear that whereas any Allied wrong-doing was a product of the deficient behaviour of atypical individuals (and possibly small groups), the Nazi German crimes were entirely different. Adolf Hitler had forged a system in Germany that deliberately pursued ‘genocide’ in war and in peace as a State policy. This deliberate murdering was systematic, widespread and logically prepared for in the psychological and physical conditioning of every German citizen and soldier. From top to bottom – the Nazi German regime was designed toward the committal of mass murder and theft on a staggering industrial level! For ‘racially’ pure Germans to live freely and happily all ‘inferior’ races had to be removed from within their population, their land and private possessions stolen and their minds and bodies destroyed! The Prosecution stated time and again that the crimes of the Nazi German regime were of a unique standing and scope never before seen in the modern world! As a consequence, this type of systematic killing could not be compared (or ‘justified’) by the acts of a few wayward individuals found amongst the millions of soldiers deployed by the West. The West had entered this war in ‘self-defence’ against the aggression of Nazi German tyranny and military aggression! The actions of the innocent masses ‘defending’ themselves against the violence of the political far-right – cannot, under law, have any equivalence when compared with the necessary ‘violence’ elicited during the need for such ‘self-defence’!
This was the position in 1945 and 1946 and it applied to the United Kingdom, France, the United States and the Soviet Union – the four main Allies. However, following the death of President Roosevelt in 1945 and the subsequent election of President Truman – things changed dramatically. As the disinformation of the US Cold War unfolded, the USSR was rhetorically ‘detached’ from the other Allies and re-positioned in the camp of the Nazi Germans. Joseph Stalin – once referred to as a ‘defender’ of democracy in the West – was now presented as being no different to Adolf Hitler. Indeed, Truman’s new world view stated that there was ‘no difference’ between the USSR and Nazi Germany – both being despicable, totalitarian regimes. The Red Army was re-defined as being just another version of the Nazi German Forces – and the Soviet NKVD as nothing but a reflection of the Nazi SS! The fact that none of this made any historical or logical sense did not matter at the time. How could a USSR that fought for the US and UK (and which sustained around 40 million casualties) against the Nazi Germans, be considered an ‘Ally’ of Nazi Germany? How could the well-documented War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity of Nazi Germany now be associated with the Soviet Red Army – when the Nuremberg Trials made no reference to such a reality and even ‘denied’ any deliberate mass-killing carried-out by the Western Allies? The Nazi Germans even perpetuated a great portion of the Holocaust on Soviet soil – and the Soviets are blamed for this by the Americans! More to the point, why did the academic establishment in the West adopt this ‘new’ narrative knowing full well that it was ahistorical and the product of a flawed political bias and US anti-intellectualism?
The quality of Western books covering the Nazi German invasion of the USSR (1941-1945) vary in quality and intellectual merit. The worst type is so intellectually ‘deficient’ that they present both sides as being two fascist regimes battling it out in an insignificant side-theatre of WWII! US anti-intellectualism provides the foundation and utter stupidity does the rest! The other type, although bourgeois to varying degrees, tends to avoid the major stupidities and contradictions of the US Cold War view, and provide a reasonable (although often ‘flawed’) historical narrative. Missing is the sheer terror felt by virtually every Soviet citizen (including Stalin) as the Nazi German war machine moved ever steadily closer toward Moscow. This distinctly ‘human’ aspect is missing because of the ‘racist’ elements within the US Cold War rhetoric. The Russians are presented by the West as being racially ‘sub-human’ and culturally ‘inferior’ (ironically, exactly the viewpoint Hitler perpetuated about the Russians)! The US anti-intellectualists perceive Marxist-Leninism as ‘de-humanising’ because it prevents the bourgeoisie from maintaining power in society and exploiting the working-class for profit! The population of the Soviet Union suffered the most from Nazi German aggression during WWII simply because Hitler wanted to eradicate the Slavic race and steal its land! As a consequence, special SS (and other German fanatics) raped, maimed and pillaged their way through a devastated USSR – assisted in their atrocities by the Italians (until 1943), the Hungarians, the Slovakians, the Spanish, the Romanians, the Finns (in the North) and the Bulgarians. There was also Nazi German Units comprised of French, Belgian and Scandanavian ‘Volunteers’ in special (and quite often ‘brutal’) SS formations including Polish and Ukrainians! Supporting this Hitlerite attack upon Bolshevism was, of course, the Roman Catholic Church and the Trotskyites.
Many Western narratives ‘suggest’ some type of excessive Soviet Red Army behaviour as the Russian troops left USSR territory and advanced into Eastern Europe. After reading numerous of these Western diatribes, I note that where these ‘excesses’ are supposed to have happened varies greatly with no real agreement. This is not surprising as unlike the Nazi German atrocities – there is no objective evidence to support this hypothesis. It is an ‘assumption’ that ‘somewhere’, ‘something’ happened which was ‘nasty’ and perpetuated by the Soviets. This has all the hallmarks of a ‘myth’ and yet it is an allegation repeated so often that it is assumed to be ‘true’ – and from this misrepresentation of the historical facts the entire edifice of the USSR being no different from Nazi Germany has been built! It has proven to be an enduring trope of US anti-intellectualism and US disinformation. Professional historians should know better than to indulge this type of ahistorical reporting designed deliberately to mislead an unsuspecting audience. The problem does not start and stop with this particular aspect – but is a familiar schematic observed throughout the entire Western interpretation of Soviet history. This academic dishonesty is nothing less that the bourgeoisie attempting protect its corrupt profiteering. What this essay does is demonstrates how each aspect of US anti-intellectualism must be traced to the ‘root’ – where it can be decoded and deciphered and replaced with actual history. A reader is free to disagree with Communism and with the USSR – but at least present a proper historical account of both subjects!
An excellent book that covers the Nazi German ‘psychology’ of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s is Eric Kurlander’s (2017) book entitled ‘Hitler’s Monsters – A Supernatural History of the Third Reich’. As an efficient and honest historian, the author links rumours of Soviet atrocities to the racist world view entertained by the Nazis. Germany was viewed by the Nazis as a ‘pure’ virginal woman and the German people as a ‘pure’ race. Any ‘inferior’ racial components ‘inside’ the geographical boundaries of Germany polluted the German population and rendered it less efficient and as productive as it could be. Too much of this pollution and the purity of the German race would ‘disappear’ altogether (a standard far-right political ideology today). German women directly reflected the German nation – as they gave birth to ‘new’ racially pure German children to re-populate the ‘Aryan’ race. German men were the harbingers of military conquests and other great endeavours! The Russian Slavs, on the other hand, were considered racially ‘corrupt’ and ‘deficient’. Although Nordic in origin, these former Vikings had rowed their long-boats to Russia hundreds of years ago and had settled amongst the Asiatics of the region. Centuries of mixing culture and races had ‘degraded’ these Vikings into little more than beasts – an observation Hitler used to explain why it was that the Russians had even mixed with Jews – a group Hitler viewed as the lowest of the low. Given all this as being true – many Germans could not understand why it was that if the Nazi Germans were racially ‘superior’, how were the racially ‘inferior’ Slavic and Asiatic troops of the Red Army ‘prevailing’ in warfare and moving ever closer to the German homeland?
Hitler was of the opinion that ‘blood sacrifices’ had been carried-out by the Bolsheviks (which he perceived as ‘Jewish’ in origin). This ‘devil’ worship had granted the Soviets a certain supernatural power over the Aryan Germans – but this piece of deception could not last forever. Hitler had spells and rituals performed of his own and this is why he kept fighting for as long as he did – expecting a miraculous event that never came. As the Soviet Red Army ‘entered’ Germany the Hitlerite Authorities deployed the rhetoric of Germany as a female country – being ‘raped’ by the unstoppable Soviet beast! Although the Nazi German soldiers (and their Allies) had carried-out mass rapes in the USSR of men, women and children – the West only fixates upon the deluded worldview of Goebbels and Hitler! Hitler attempted to ‘scare’ the German population to fight harder if it believed the Soviets would commit widespread atrocities! What is remarkable is that Western commentators know that the Soviet Red Army was losing hundreds of thousands of soldiers every month – men and women – and yet still think that the conditions somehow existed in this slaughter-house of a war to commit deviant sexual acts! The denial is incredible when dealing with this situation. Many frontline Soviet soldiers did not live long enough to even stand up straight in the day light before being struck down! Even Soviet film footage shows groups of Soviet soldiers running together through the Berlin streets carrying Red Flags whilst individuals are shot and drop dead! Hitler’s rhetoric made women scared and this fed into the general delusion that rape had occurred on a massive scale – but this is not true despite being a very powerful pro-Nazi propaganda tool!
At the time of the final Soviet assault on Eastern Germany – a high percentage of SS troops still fighting manically for Hitler were non-German volunteers attempting to prove the racially superiority of Hitler’s ideology to be ‘correct’. Most were Scandinavians with even a small contingent of British POWs forming the Britisher’s SS Korps. Squads of special SS and Gestapo were roaming the streets of Berlin selecting local Germans to summarily ‘execute’ (for ‘cowardice’ or ‘traitorous’ activities) by shooting or hanging from lamp-posts – these things really did happen but are played –down in later Western narratives so that the myth of Soviet atrocities could be built-up and emphasised. Everything bad the Hitlerites perpetuated upon the German population at the end of the war was blamed upon the Soviet Red Army. Anthony Beevor’s 1992 book about the fall of Berlin – not to be out-done in the false attributing stakes – switched the venue of supposed Soviet atrocities (in the form of mass rapes) from Northern Poland to the suburbs of Eastern Berlin! As a consequence, this book was ‘banned’ in Russia for spreading racially motivated lies – with a number of academic articles published in the Russian language explaining ‘how’ and ‘why’ Beevor lied (it was part of a concerted campaign to persuade the East Germans to ‘give-up’ their generous Socialist System and adopt a US-style free market economics, etc). When I accessed the UN data regarding ‘rapes’ during WWII I found that the British Army committed 500, the Soviet Red Army 4000 and the US Army at least 10,000! A ‘note’ states that the US rapes were often perpetuated by gangs of soldiers targeting young women and involved terrible levels of violence. The Soviet rapes were rare considering the size of the Red Army and were certainly not committed in one place as part of a deliberate policy – with most found ‘guilty’ of the offense usually sentenced to death. By contrast, British and US troops suffered very ‘light’ punishments despite committing proportionally very high percentages of rape. The USSR was never tried for War Crimes because there is no evidence the Red Army committed any war crimes as a deliberate policy. There were even examples of Ukrainian SS men dressed in Red Army uniforms and carry-out ‘terrorist’ activities not only in Russia but also outside of Russia as a means to make non-Russians fear the Soviets!