#361
Trotsky was an undeniably great thinker, his analysis of uneven development is still very relevant.

Trotskyists are mostly awful though, especially wacky crap like Raya Dunayevskaya. I definitely recommend reading some orthodox trot writings and left-communists like Bordiga.
#362

COINTELBRO posted:

Trotsky was an undeniably great thinker, his analysis of uneven development is still very relevant.


I am leaning towards it being very deniable. Leaving aside the fact that most of his followers are full of shit, I am yet to read about some supposedly great thought bubble of his that doesn't sound like muddled anti-Soviet claptrap or simply a kind of pessimist idealism. What is insightful, let alone relevant, in this idea of 'uneven and combined development'?

#363
It's not my job to educate you.
#364
jk it's the very simple insight that productive forces and capitalist relations of production developed later in some areas than others. This uneven development of the productive forces and relations of production under capitalism created the preconditions for imperialism. This is taken for granted among the internet Stalinist revival (20 ppl on twitter) but maybe yall don't know you're dealing with impure Trot scripture.

Also you clearly are illiterate about all these near-century-old Leninist disputes and your understanding doesn't go beyond a childish cartoon of "big daddy Stalin vs effeminate nerd pansy Trotsky", which is fine because you're a 21st century liberal subject LARPing communism who doesn't know a word of Russian like most everyone here, but a little humility about our knowledge of all this huge history & politics that millions lived and died for would be nice.

Edited by COINTELBRO ()

#365
chears
#366

COINTELBRO posted:

but a little humility about our knowledge of all this huge history & politics that millions lived and died for would be nice.



catchphrase

#367
do you know russian, cointelbro? that's cool if you do. i wish i did!
#368
[account deactivated]
#369
Ха-ха.. Да, я не говорю по-русски... Как будто я не мог понять, легкий язык, как русский язык только потому, что он имеет странный алфавит...
#370
[account deactivated]
#371

COINTELBRO posted:

jk it's the very simple insight that productive forces and capitalist relations of production developed later in some areas than others. This uneven development of the productive forces and relations of production under capitalism created the preconditions for imperialism. This is taken for granted among the internet Stalinist revival (20 ppl on twitter) but maybe yall don't know you're dealing with impure Trot scripture.


Now I'm confused because that sounds like the basic idea of uneven development which preexisted Trotsky, not his confusing elaboration of 'uneven and combined development' which I have seen described as a 'law' which underpins the theory of permanent revolution. PR is exactly the kind of pessimist idealism I was complaining about. Stalin may not have been a great theorist but at least he upheld Lenin and, you know, actually got stuff done, so although there is no such thing as Stalinism, I'd rather be called Stalinist than mistaken for a muddle-headed trot.

#372

COINTELBRO posted:

jk it's the very simple insight that productive forces and capitalist relations of production developed later in some areas than others. This uneven development of the productive forces and relations of production under capitalism created the preconditions for imperialism. This is taken for granted among the internet Stalinist revival (20 ppl on twitter) but maybe yall don't know you're dealing with impure Trot scripture.



That was Lenin

It goes without saying that if capitalism could develop agriculture, which today is everywhere lagging terribly behind industry, if it could raise the living standards of the masses, who in spite of the amazing technical progress are everywhere still half-starved and poverty-stricken, there could be no question of a surplus of capital. This “argument” is very often advanced by the petty-bourgeois critics of capitalism. But if capitalism did these things it would not be capitalism; for both uneven development and a semi-starvation level of existence of the masses are fundamental and inevitable conditions and constitute premises of this mode of production. As long as capitalism remains what it is, surplus capital will be utilised not for the purpose of raising the standard of living of the masses in a given country, for this would mean a decline in profits for the capitalists, but for the purpose of increasing profits by exporting capital abroad to the backward countries. In these backward countries profits are usually high, for capital is scarce, the price of land is relatively low, wages are low, raw materials are cheap. The export of capital is made possible by a number of backward countries having already been drawn into world capitalist intercourse; main railways have either been or are being built in those countries, elementary conditions for industrial development have been created, etc. The need to export capital arises from the fact that in a few countries capitalism has become “overripe” and (owing to the backward state of agriculture and the poverty of the masses) capital cannot find a field for “profitable” investment.

https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/ch04.htm



try again

#373
trotskyism is defined by a barbaric, absolute contempt for the peasantry. Read Trotskyism by Moissaye J. Olgin for more info.
#374
Trotskyism, like all Marxist deviations, strikes me as definable only in terms of what it is not - what it is against. Whenever it tries to make any positive theoretical statements, they sound to me very muddled, a symptom of the attempt to disguise what is really just a smear against AES. What else does "permanent revolution" stand for? It's simply some arbitrary preconditions for socialist revolution designed to deny the reality of a socialist USSR. An ice pick hasn't made me happier since Sharon Stone told Michael Douglas she liked rough edges.
#375

COINTELBRO posted:

Trotsky was an undeniably great thinker, his analysis of uneven development is still very relevant.

Trotskyists are mostly awful though, especially wacky crap like Raya Dunayevskaya. I definitely recommend reading some orthodox trot writings and left-communists like Bordiga.



"Everybody makes mistakes, so Stalin must have made some. But I don’t think this is what you’re getting at.

Stalin tried very hard to follow Lenin’s guidelines. He had tremendous respect for Lenin, and always referred to himself as “a pupil of Lenin’s.”

The problem was that Lenin did not know how to go from the situation the USSR found itself at the end of the Civil War in 1921 to a communist society. Nobody knew! Marx and Engels had not laid out a blueprint for this. Lenin did not have one either.

Lenin and Stalin were brilliant men, sincerely dedicated to the goal of communism, devoted to the working class. They had no personal ambitions except to try to bring about that society of justice and equality which the communist movement has always stood for, and that the working people of the world desperately desperately needed then and still do.

Despite titanic efforts, immense sacrifices, and great achievements, in the end the communist movement failed. Trotsky, and later Khrushchev, said these failures were due to Stalin’s personal failings. That is, if somebody else besides Stalin had been in the leadership, all would have been well.

I think this is all wrong. The problem was the Bolsheviks’ line – not just Stalin’s, but Lenin’s too, and Marx’s and Engels’ as well.

Stalin, and the Bolsheviks generally, had a social-democratic conception of socialism. It was the left wing of the social-democratic conception, of course. The right-wing of it -- the German S-D party, the Russian Mensheviks -- took the extreme economic determinist position that capitalism had to do its historic work of industrializing, developing, etc. In the meantime, capitalism itself was not to be overthrown. In fact capitalism was to be cultivated, because it was still "progressive."

Once you decide to retain money, wages, and inequality -- all of which go inseparably together – together with social welfare benefits for the working class, you have a society that is, in important ways, very similar to a bourgeois social-democratic society. This concept of socialism is at least as compatible with Marx and Lenin as any other concept, and probably is the version that is most compatible to what Marx, Engels, and Lenin had written.

The Bolsheviks even tried governing with opposition socialist parties. It was those parties that betrayed them -- the S-Rs and Mensheviks. The S-Rs tried to overthrow the Bolsheviks; tried to assassinate Lenin, did manage to severely wound Lenin and to kill a few Bolsheviks. They were not interested in anything else because their own conceptions of socialism were that outright capitalism had to complete its work, and anything more than that was premature, doomed to failure, doomed to be a "dictatorship", and so on.

Trotsky's view was a version of this, with a few different wrinkles, but really, not very different at all, and not really “left” either. In essence it was a more defeatist version, straddling the fence between the Bolshevik and Menshevik conceptions, just as Trotsky himself had straddled the fence between the two parties in his life.

What I showed in my two-part article was that Stalin was committed to a social-democratic concept of political democracy as well. Now, I didn't use that term. And it certainly would have worked differently with a communist party in control of the state, than it would with capitalists in control of the state, as in classic social-democracy.

But the conception of democracy was the same. The 1936 “Stalin” Constitution was predicated on a conception of democracy familiar to progressive capitalism: universal, equal, and secret voting, representative democracy, contested candidacies. The latter was never implemented. But that was what the Constitution stated. .

This is why I say that the "socialists" of today are "Stalinists.” To put it another way: what doomed Soviet socialism is what keeps POST-Soviet socialism down too. Because post-Soviet socialism bases itself on a social-democratic concept of socialism.

The "democratic socialists" all share the social-democratic conception of socialism that united Stalin, Trotsky, the S-Rs, and the Mensheviks. The Chinese CP still justifies its fascist state and economy with social-democratic rhetoric -- "capitalism has not yet fulfilled its historical mission."

We are all taught that it was Stalin who "allied with Hitler", either publicly or secretly. But who was it really? It was the Rights and Trotskyists! Bukharin, Radek, Piatakov, et al. All the evidence we have today supports this conclusion – which is hotly denied by all the anti-communist researchers and, of course, by Trotskyists.

We are taught that "Stalin killed hundreds of thousands" during 1937-38. But what happened in reality? It was Ezhov, with his rightist helpers in the Party leadership. And Ezhov himself was part of the Rightist conspiracy, planning to overthrow the Stalin government, and linked directly with Bukharin, Trotsky, et al.

(Recently-published testimony of Ezhov himself and of his right-hand man Frinovsky confirm this, and some virulent anti-communist researchers who saw these same documents years ago accept them as genuine.)

So it was the "nice, democratic Bukharinist" Right-wing that murdered all these innocent people, knowing they were innocent -- to cover up their own conspiracy, and cover their own tracks. This is what happened. But how many present-day “Marxists” want to hear it? Or are capable of hearing it? To say nothing of the overt anti-communists.

So to sum up: the USSR failed to attain communism. But it was not because of any personal failings on Stalin’s, or Lenin’s, parts. It was because their concept of socialism was faulty. Could they have known this at the time? I don’t see how they could have known it. We can see it now – but only because of their heroic attempts. In retrospect, we can see what they did that worked, and what did not, thanks to their experience. Of course they could not have known that then.

In the last years of his life Stalin was preparing the USSR to move to the next stage on to communism. The move to communism was the watchword of the 19th Party Congress in October 1952. I’ve just finished reading the reports of that Congress in Pravda."

https://www.reddit.com/r/communism/comments/26q148/qa_with_grover_furr/chvfiay

From this post it seems like Furr himself is pretty close to Bordiga.

#376
i've never seen Furr call China fascist or say that lenin and stalin had a faulty conception of socialism, you sure that's real? I wouldn't put it past reddit people to fake a grover furr Q&A
#377

chickeon posted:

i've never seen Furr call China fascist or say that lenin and stalin had a faulty conception of socialism, you sure that's real? I wouldn't put it past reddit people to fake a grover furr Q&A


Although the reddit q&a was fake, all the answers seem to have been lifted from previous genuine interviews. The part quoted by marimite is genuine and taken from a 2006 interview: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/furr-celticfire.pdf. It would be interesting to know if he still holds these beliefs 10 years later, having undertaken so much more research in the interim. Even if he does, I don't think it reflects poorly on the factual claims he makes in his work, based as they are in the historical evidence. (If anything, surely such work coming from someone who isn't a ML would be more convincing?)

#378
there is no more trotskyism since it only existed to hedge your bets in the cold war
#379

Petrol posted:

Even if he does, I don't think it reflects poorly on the factual claims he makes in his work, based as they are in the historical evidence. (If anything, surely such work coming from someone who isn't a ML would be more convincing?)

Yeah definitely not it's just surprising

#380
furr is basically defending the position of the Progressive Labor Party there, which he is close to. essentially they believe that the conditions for communism are overripe and that the USA must leap into communism without an intermediate stage of wages/prices/etc. and they hold the attempt to create such a stage as a social-democratic deviation which doomed the USSR.
#381
i was reading more of ernest mandel's defence of trotsky today which didn't seem that convincing. it has been useful because i don't know much about it yet, though. like the discussion on economics sort of arrives at mandel's views, which is that there needs to be an overall planning function that coordinates market activity focused on worker's control and proletarianization. but he suggests the way they could have arrived at that is in the 1920s ratcheting up taxes on kulaks and nepmen over time until they disappeared. to me that doesn't make a lot of sense because presumably if you announced a credible plan to phase out individual accumulation like that then presumably the kulaks and nepmen would counter-attack at that point anyway.

but it's still useful in that most of the bolsheviks involved at that level have more interesting things to say about politics than like most other people (probably true for other communist countries too).
#382
i can't remember if canada has an equivalent of the PLP, i don't think so. the communist party did have a legal front party called the Progressive Labour Party though. i don't think canada ever had a marcyite party either. or an equivalent of the FRSO (at least 1990s onwards). the impossiblists controlled the "Socialist Party" name for a long time, i see them on campus and i have no idea why anyone would join them. i guess parties fit niches in an ecosystem based on motives sometimes. it mildly annoys me that our reformist labour party is called New Democratic Party instead of something that explains what they represent or believe (like Labour or Socialist). there is going to be a leadership race and i'm guessing at least one of the candidates will demand changing the name to just Democratic Party... as if that would matter....
#383

getfiscal posted:

New Democratic Party ... what they represent or believe (like Labour or Socialist).


citation needed

#384

shriekingviolet posted:

getfiscal posted:

New Democratic Party ... what they represent or believe (like Labour or Socialist).

citation needed

Well, I mean in the party's founding ideology... look at other anglo countries.... UK, Australia, NZ.... all "Labour Party"... CCF wasn't even an affiliated labour party... Sad!

#385

glomper_stomper posted:

furr mentions that trotskyist conspiracies were corroborated in his archives. are there any essays on this?



GLomp, Furr wrote a long essay called "Evidence of Leon Trotskys Collaberation with Germany and Japan" - 2009 in which he talks alot about evidence in the Harvard Trotsky archive and the evidence that things had been deliberatly removed from it, plus lots on the Moscow trials, Dewey commission etc etc. - idk for certain but am guessing based on reviews, blurbs etc that "Trotskys amalgams" builds on what was written in the essay so it won't have all the info that's in the book but is availible free

availible here: http://clogic.eserver.org/2009/furr.pdf

#386

tears posted:

glomper_stomper posted:

furr mentions that trotskyist conspiracies were corroborated in his archives. are there any essays on this?

GLomp, Furr wrote a long essay called "Evidence of Leon Trotskys Collaberation with Germany and Japan" - 2009 in which he talks alot about evidence in the Harvard Trotsky archive and the evidence that things had been deliberatly removed from it, plus lots on the Moscow trials, Dewey commission etc etc. - idk for certain but am guessing based on reviews, blurbs etc that "Trotskys amalgams" builds on what was written in the essay so it won't have all the info that's in the book but is availible free

availible here: http://clogic.eserver.org/2009/furr.pdf


thought id check google scholar to see if it has any articles citing this. welp,

#387
the person almost certainly posting it in that thread is a good guy, very manly.
#388
Chapter 8. Snyder's Fraudulent Claims About the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in Bloodlands Ch. 4

Snyder writes more often about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact than about any other single subject except the Soviet famine of 1932-33. These events - or, to be accurate, a fraudulent version of them - are foundational to contemporary right-wing anticommunist Polish and Ukrainian nationalism respectively. This cannot be mere coincidence. Snyder's articles and Bloodlands present this nationalist mythology to English readers with something the nationalists are not able to provide for themselves: the prestige of a Yale professor.

Snyder does not cite any of the primary source evidence concerning the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and Soviet actions in September 1939. In fact he shows no knowledge of it at all. Nor does he cite, much less refute, the accounts of Western, Soviet, or Russian historians. Perhaps this is because all except a few of the most right-wing of these scholars disagree with him completely.

"Joint Invasion" of Poland by "Allies": The "Big Lie" At Work

The notion that the Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany were "allies" from 1939 to 1941 is one of the central falsehoods in Snyder's book. This allegation is false and there is no evidence whatever to support it. But by the principle of the "Big Lie" a falsehood repeated over and over again as if it were simply the obvious truth may eventually be assumed to be true by those who hear or read it enough times. This is especially so if the Big Lie emanates from a source thought to be "authoritative" such as a full professor at Yale University.

Therefore Snyder simply assumes - takes for granted - his contention that the USSR and Nazi Germany had an alliance. Snyder refers to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as an "alliance" fifteen times in this book. He calls Germany and the USSR "allies" eight times. He asserts three times that they were "allied." Snyder uses the word "joint" or "jointly" fifteen times to refer to the "invasion" and occupation of Poland. This is the Big Lie at work with a vengeance!
Chapter Six of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf is the classic source for the doctrine of the "Big Lie."

The USSR did not invade Poland. As a practical matter Poland as a state had ceased to exist when its government abandoned its governmental functions. It ceased to exist in a legal sense when its government interned itself in Rumania without appointing a successor government, even one in exile.

As a legal as well as a practical matter Poland ceased to exist as a state when Germany could no longer locate the Polish government to try to open negotiations with it. On September 15, 1939, German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop informed the Soviet Union that Poland no longer existed. This implied that Germany no longer recognized the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact since that was an agreement about "the Polish state."

Despite German insistence that the USSR invade Poland the Soviet leadership was slow to send any troops into Eastern Poland. When the Red Army did cross the border it was only to prevent German troops from coming right up to the Soviet frontier. No government would have permitted that to happen. Winston Churchill recognized this in a speech of October 1, 1939; we quoted his remarks in the previous chapter.

The USSR was not an "ally" of Nazi Germany, as Snyder repeatedly claims. There was no "alliance." The USSR declared its neutrality in the German-Polish war. This claim was accepted by all the powers at the time and by the League of Nations.

That the Soviet Union was not in any way "allied" military with Hitler's Germany can be shown by the facts. A good source of these facts is the book by Russian historian Oleg Vishliov, On The Eve of June 22, 1941. Олег Викторович Вишлёв, Накануне 22 июня 1941 года. М.: 2001. (Oleg Viktorovich Vishliov. Nakanune 22 iiulia 1941 goda. Moscow 2001). Vishliov demonstrates in great detail that there is no evidence for any "military collaboration," which is a fiction constructed by anticommunists:

Publications that pursue the aim of exposing the "Polish policy" of the USSR in 1939 are distinguished by one remarkable trait: they fail to set forth any concrete examples of how the Russians and Germans fought against the Poles "shoulder to shoulder." The difficulties of authors who write about the "military cooperation" of the USSR and Hitlerite Germany but who fail to cite any concrete evidence of such collaboration, may easily be accounted for. There is no such evidence, and there is no place to obtain any, since the Soviet Union never intended to take part in, and never did take part in Germany's war against Poland, and the Red Army command did not work out with the Wehrmacht command any operational plans aimed at Poland, did not plan any military operations against the Polish army together with the German armed forces, and did not carry out any such. Germay had its war of conquest, the USSR its campaign of liberation. Their actions were not synchronized, different in character, and were directed towards the attainment of different aims.
Vishliov, Ch. 4. - Вишлёв, гл. 4: «"Дружба, скрепленная кровью?" (К вопросу о характере советско-германских отношений. 1939-1940).»



Who Destroyed the Polish State?

There was no "joint invasion" of "Poland." There was no Polish government, legitimate or otherwise, after sometime in the middle of September of 1939. Neither the Soviets nor even the Germans "destroyed the Polish state." The Polish government did that by interning itself in Rumania and leaving no government behind.

The Polish government was uniquely cowardly and unprincipled. Hitler himself was ready to negotiate with the Polish government and leave a shrunken Poland in existence. But there was no government with which to negotiate - it had fled the country and deserted its people. No other government on any side of the war did this.

There Was No "Joint Victory Parade"

Snyder twice refers to a supposed "joint victory parade" by German and Soviet troops. This is a falsehood. There was no such "joint victory parade." Brest, on the border between the German and Soviet spheres of influence, was handed over the to the Soviet commander General Semion M. Krivoshein by the German commander, Heinz Guderian.

Both men wrote about this event in their memoirs. Krivoshein wrote that a parade had been stipulated in the agreement between the Soviet and German commands and therefore he was forced to agree to one, though unwillingly. But Krivoshein refused to have a joint parade since the German troops had been rested for a week while his own had just made a night march of 120 kilometers and would not have the spit-and-polish appearance necessary for a parade. The two commanders agreed that the German troops would march by while the Soviet troops, upon entering Brest, would stand on the side of the road and salute the German troops while the two orchestras played military marches.
Krivoshein, Mezhdubur'e. Voronezh-Belgorod, 1964, p. 258.

Guderian called this a "farewell parade" and "ceremony of changing of flags", after which the German troops withdrew from Brest:

Eine Abschiedsparade und ein Flaggenwechsel in Gegenwart des Generals Kriwoschein beendete unsern Aufenthalt in Brest-Litowsk.
Heinz Guderian, Erinnerungen eines Soldaten (1951) p. 74.

Krivoshein described the great joy with which the Belorussian inhabitants of Brest greeted the Soviet forces as they approached the city:

Подъезжаем к окраине, все улицы забиты народом, поздравления, радость, слезы. Танки остановились, пройти невозможно. Люди лезут прямо на танки, целуют, обнимают ребят, угощают яблоками, арбузами, молотом - ну, словом, всем, что есть. Народ с красными транспарантами и лозунгами: «долой панскую Польшу!», «да здравствует Советский Союз - польских панов!» Из окон и с балконов многих домов свисают целые красные полотнища. На мой танк поднялся старый крестьянин, в лаптях и рваной свитке. Долго, no-крестьянски обстоятельно, рассказывал он о горькой доле белорусов в панской Польше.

Другой оратор - старый рабочий - говорил о том, что в панской Польше для получения работы недостаточно было иметь квалификацию отличного слесаря. Требавались еще свидетельство о благонадежности от полиции, справки о прохождении исповеди от ксендза и рекомендация от фашистской организации «Стрелец». Затем на танк взобрался ученик старшего класса и со слезами на глазах кричал, что они больше не позволят, чтобы их секли розгами и били линейками.

- Такая встреча - доказательство того, что нам здесь рады, что нас считают большими друзьями, - сказал я. - Это очень хорошо. Теперь займемся подготовкой людей к проводам немецких частей из города. Разыщи, пожалуйста, нашего капельмейстера и передай ему мое приказание, чтобы шумел не меньше немцев.
(Krivoshein 263-4)

Translated:

We drive to the outskirts, the streets clogged with people, congratulations, joy, tears. The tanks have stopped, it is impossible to pass. People are climbing right on the tanks, kissing, hugging children, giving us apples, watermelons, milk - well, in a word, everything. People with red banners and slogans: "Down with bourgeois Poland", "Long live the Soviet Union - the liberator of the Belorussian people from the yoke of the Polish pans {gentry}!" From the windows balconies of many homes hang the whole lengths of red cloth. An old peasant in bast shoes and tattered peasant's overcoat climbed upon my tank. At length, in peasant fashion and in detail, he told me about the bitter lot of Belorussians in Poland of the pans.

Another speaker, an old worker, said that in the Poland of the pans, to get a job it was not enough to have the qualifications of an expert mechanic. They also demanded a certificate of loyalty from the police, a priest's certification that you had taken confession, and a recommendation of the fascist organization "Sagittarius" (Strzelec). Then a student from the senior class climbed up on the tank and with tears in his eyes shouted that they would no longer allow themselves to be whipped with rods and beaten with rulers.

- A meeting like this is proof that people are glad to see us, that they consider us to be great friends, I said. It is very good. Now let us prepare the people for the transit of German units out of the city. Please locate the conductor of our orchestra and tell him that I command him to make no less noise than the Germans.

Krivoshein and - surprisingly - Guderian agree that the Soviet forces prevented the Germans from driving off with trucks of booty looted from Brest. There is an article online, in Russian, that gives yet more evidence. Vishliov's well-documented refutation of the "joint parade" fiction is strongly recommended. Vishliov 108-110.

The Soviets Did Not "Occupy" or "Annex" "Poland" or "Polish Territory"

The areas of the former Polish state that the Red Army entered had been taken by Poland by conquest from the Russian Republic at the Treaty of Riga in 1921. They were east of the Curzon Line - the line marking the area west of which speakers of Polish were in the majority - and had only a minority of Polish inhabitants. Most of the inhabitants were Belorussians and Ukrainians, as well as a great many Jews, who were counted as a separate nationality.
The Curzon Line and the boundaries since 1919 may be seen here. A slightly different view, with the post-1945 borders clearly marked along with the Curzon Line, is here.

Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine were in Poland solely due to the Polish imperialist conquest during the Russo-Polish War of 1920. The Polish leadership wanted Ukraine and Belorussia, or as much of both as they could conquer, because at its height in the 18th century the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth had possessed Belorussia and most of Ukraine. The map shows that it reached to the Black Sea. Readers should recall that in January 1939 Polish Foreign Minister Jósef Beck told German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop that Poland still had aspirations to the Black Sea.

Within a month representatives of the populations of Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine had voted to join the USSR. Whatever one thinks about this vote, we note that Poland had never permitted the inhabitants of these areas to hold any plebiscite about whether they preferred to be part of Poland.

What "Legitimate Polish Government"?

Snyder claims that the Polish government in exile, first in Paris, then in London, was the "legitimate" government. This is the logical fallacy of petitio principii, "assuming that which must be proved"; in plain English, of "begging the question." Who says the "legitimate" government of Poland was in London?

The Polish government ceased to be a government when it interned itself in Rumania without appointing a successor government. Great Britain and France recognized the Polish government in exile in Paris because they were at war with Germany and that government was anti-German. But by international law the former Polish government now in internment in Rumania could not perform any political function, including appointing a successor government in Poland or in exile. And without a government Poland was no longer a state.

The USSR only recognized the Polish government-in-exile, which had by that time having moved to London, once Germany had invaded and the USSR was at war with Germany. The USSR withdrew its recognition of the London Polish government when that government took Hitler's side on the "Katyn massacre" issue despite its formal alliance with the USSR. The USSR severed relations with the London Polish government on April 25, 1943 and then recognized another, pro-Soviet Polish entity, the Union of Polish Patriots. After the war the UPP became the basis of the pro-Soviet socialist government of Poland.

Why doesn't Snyder explain this issue for his readers? That is the responsibility of an historian. Instead, he simply "assumes what is to be proven" - that the London-based Polish government was the "legitimate" one.

Great Britain and the United States withdrew recognition of the London Polish government on July 6, 1945, and recognized the pro-Soviet Polish government in Warsaw. Thereafter the self-proclaimed London-based "Polish government" remained in the U.K., recognized by no major country.

Specific Falsehoods in Bloodlands, Chapter 4

On page 120 Snyder states, without explanation:

Poland fought alone.

Poland did indeed fight Germany alone - because of the anti-communism and brinksmanship of its government. The Polish government refused any military alliance with the Soviet Union, the one force that could have had troops in Poland in time to fight the German army. The British had tried in vain to point out to the Poles the obvious: that only the Red Army could give them any real help in the event of a German invasion. The Poles were firm in rejecting any treaties with the USSR. This sealed their fate.

On pages 120-121 Snyder outlines some German atrocities against the Poles. Snyder ignores alleged Polish atrocities against German civilians in Poland. For example, Polish nationalists have long denied the Nazi charges that Poles massacred German civilians in Bromberg/Bydgoszcz when the war began. Włodzimierz Jastrzębski, a professor at the Bydgoszcz University who had specialized in studying this event, concluded in 2003 that there was no "German provocation" and that the German civilians were indeed massacred by Poles.
See http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Кровавое_воскресенье_(1939) : "Włodzimierz Jastrzębski: To co się zdarzyło w Bydgoszczy miało podłoże emocjonalne." RMF September 1, 2003. At http://www.rmf24.pl/tylko-w-rmf24/wywiady/news-wlodzimierz-jastrzebski-to-co-sie-zdarzylo-w-bydgoszczy-mial,nId,138894

On page 122, Snyder states:

Poland never surrendered, but hostilities came to an end on 6 October 1939.

Once again Snyder fails to explain something important: Why did Poland never surrender? The answer is simple: The Polish government could not surrender because there was no Polish government. Having interned itself in Rumania it could not exercise any governmental functions, including that of surrender, ceasefire, negotiation. Because the Polish government had failed to appoint a successor government outside the country, no one else could exercise those functions either. No doubt the reason Snyder does not state why "Poland never surrendered but hostilities came to an end" is that the true explanation would expose the bankruptcy of the Polish regime.

The Lie the USSR Entered the German-Polish War on Germany's Side

Snyder states:

Germany had all but won the war by the time the Soviets entered it on 17 September. (123)

This statement is false. The USSR never entered the German-Polish war at all. The USSR declared its neutrality from the very outset. This neutrality was accepted by all parties, including the U.K. and France, who were, in a formal sense, at war with Germany.

Snyder begins to pay at least some lip-service to the political reality that the Polish government created.

The Soviets claimed that their intervention was necessary because the Polish state had ceased to exist. Since Poland could no longer protect its own citizens, went the argument, the Red Army had to enter the country on a peacekeeping mission. Poland's large Ukrainian and Belarusian minorities, went the Soviet propaganda, were in particular need of rescue.

True enough - but Snyder does not tell his readers the evidence for and against this position. Nor has he given his readers any of the explanation or context for these statements. He never explains why the Soviets claimed "the Polish state had ceased to exist" - i.e. what realities this claim was based on. He never outlines Polish oppression of the Belorussian and Ukrainian majorities. He fails to inform his readers about the anti-Polish uprisings that accompanied the outset of the Polish-German war.

Snyder continues:

Yet despite the rhetoric the Soviet officers and soldiers were prepared for war, and fought one. The Red Army disarmed Polish units, and engaged them wherever necessary.

Snyder fails to explain to his readers why the Polish army had to be disarmed. It was no longer the army of the Polish state, which had disappeared when its government interned itself in Rumania without appointing a successor. But some Polish units did not know their government had abandoned them - the Polish government had not informed them. So some Polish military units did oppose the Red Army and had to be fought.

Whereupon Snyder writes:

Half a million men had crossed a frontier that was no longer defended, to fight an enemy that was all but defeated.

This is false. The Red Army did not cross the border to fight with the Poles but to keep German troops away from its borders and to keep a fascist pro-German state, probably a Ukrainian Nationalist state, from being formed there. Quotations from the relevant documents can be found in the preceding chapter and my online article.

The Lie that Stalin Spoke of an "Alliance" with Hitler

Snyder concludes:

Soviet soldiers would meet German soldiers, demarcate the border, and, in one instance, stage a joint victory march. Stalin spoke of an alliance with Germany "cemented in blood." It was mainly the blood of Polish soldiers, more than sixty thousand of whom died in combat. (123)

This paragraph is replete with evasions and falsehoods. The Soviet Union entered Poland because not to do so would have been to allow the German Army to stand on the Russian border. Since there was no government any longer that claimed sovereignty in Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia, the Soviet Union claimed sovereignty. Germany had already informed the USSR that "new states" - most likely, a Ukrainian fascist state closely tied to Nazi Germany - would arise if the Soviets did not claim sovereignty.

An essential aspect of sovereignty is the monopoly of force. The Red Army became the only legitimate military force. Since there was no Polish government anywhere, the Polish Army has no legal status and was obliged to disarm. Some commanders did not know about this, and the Red Army had to engage them.

Snyder writes that "Stalin spoke of an alliance with Germany 'cemented in blood.'" He gives his source for it as follows:

n. 12 - Quotation: Weinberg, World at Arms, 57.

Snyder's statement is false. Weinberg notes that Stalin did not mention the term "alliance" at all. Instead, in response to von Ribbentrop's congratulations to him on his 60th birthday in December 1939, Stalin used the word "friendship."

Here is the full text of Stalin's reply telegram to Ribbentrop.

Министру иностранных дел Германии господину Иоахиму фон Риббентропу

Берлин

Благодарю Вас, господин министр, за поздравления. Дружба народов Германии и Советского Союза, скрепленная кровью, имеет все основания быть длительной и прочной.

И. Сталин
Text at http://old.novayagazeta.ru/data/2009/092/22.html

Translated:

To the German Foreign Minister Mr. Joachim von Ribbentrop, Berlin:

Thank you, Mr. Minister, for your congratulations. Friendship between the peoples of Germany and the Soviet Union, cemented by blood, has every reason to be long and strong.

J. Stalin

Weinberg uses the word "friendship", as did Stalin. This means that Snyder deliberately deceived his readers when he used the word "alliance." The USSR vigorously declared its neutrality in the Polish-German war.

The term "cemented in blood" cannot refer to fighting the Polish Army. As Vishliov points out, Stalin did not speak of friendship between the German and Soviet governments, but between the German and Soviet people.

Не о "дружбе" большевизма и нациза говорил Сталин, как это нам сегодня преподносят, а о дружбе народов двух стран. Эту дружбу он с полным основанием мог назвать скрепленной кровью. Напомним, что немцев и русских связывали прочные революционные традиции, что народы обеих стран принесли немалые жертвы на алтарь общей борьбы за социальный против фашизма на земле Испании.
Vishliov, 502. - Вишлёв, «О какой дружбе говорил Сталин?». http://militera.lib.ru/research/vishlev/04.html c. 502.

Translated:

Stalin spoke not of "friendship" between Bolshevism and Nazism, as we are falsely told today, but of the friendship of the peoples of the two countries. This friendship he could describe as "cemented by blood." Let us remember that strong revolutionary traditions bound Germans and Russians, that the peoples of both countries had made great sacrifices on the altar of the common struggle for social progress, that German and Soviet internationalists fought shoulder to shoulder fascism on the earth of Spain.

Concerning Polish POWs taken by the Red Army Snyder writes:

The removal of these men - and all but one of them were men - was a kind of decapitation of Polish society. The Soviets took more than one hundred thousand prisoners of war, but released the men and kept only the officers. More than two thirds of these officers came from the reserves. Like Czapski and his botanist companion, these reserve officers were educated professionals and intellectuals, not military men. Thousands of doctors, lawyers, scientists, professors, and politicians were thus removed from Poland. (125)

Sources (n. 15 p. 475):

* "Hrycak estimates 125,000 prisoners of war ("Victims," 179)";
This is a misprint; Snyder obviously means Polish nationalist scholar Grzegorz Hryciuk.
* Cienciala, 230,000-240,000 (Crime, 26).
* "The Soviets also kept about fifteen thousand people for hard labor in the mines and in road-building, of whom some two thousand died in 1941 during evacuations; see Hryciuk, "Victims," 180."

Hryciuk does cite the figure of 125,000 POWs (on page 180, not page 179). The problem with all of Hryciuk's other estimates is that they come from the Polish Katyn volumes, which are based upon tendentious interpretations of Soviet archival materials. On the same page he gives the figure of approximately 2,000 killed during the 1941 evacuations.

Here as elsewhere Hryciuk's numbers do not add up. On page 180 he states that "nearly 39,000 {Polish} prisoners" remained in the USSR in December 1939, while on the next page he states that in July 1941, after the alleged Katyn killings and the 2000 supposedly killed during evacuations there still remained 25,184 Polish prisoners "in Soviet captivity." That would mean a difference of about 12,000, far fewer than the number of victims usually attributed to the Katyn massacres.

Cienciala ("Crime", page 26) states that Polish historians figure about 10,000 Polish officers ended up in Soviet captivity. This figure too does not tally with the total number of officers supposedly killed in the Katyn massacre plus those remaining to join the "Anders army" in 1941. Numerical problems like those of Hryciuk's and Cienciala's contribute to the mystery of the Katyn massacres. We discuss this controversy further in Chapter 10 of the present work.

Meanwhile, Snyder "wants it both ways." If the officers were the "head of Polish society", then the Polish Army itself "decapitated" Poland by surrendering to the German forces and by fleeing to internment in Hungary (35,000), Rumania (32,000), and the Baltic states (12,000). Meanwhile the Polish government and military high command "decapitated Poland" by interning themselves in Rumania, thus leaving their country with no leadership.

How Many Poles Did the NKVD Arrest, and Why?

In the background, the NKVD entered the country, in force. In the twenty-one months to come it made more arrests in occupied eastern Poland than in the entire Soviet Union, seizing some 109,400 Polish citizens. The typical sentence was eight years in the Gulag; about 8,513 people were sentenced to death. (126)

Sources (n. 17 p. 476):

* "On the typical sentence, see Jasiewicz, Zagłada, 172."
* "On the 109,400 people arrested and the 8,513 people sentenced to death, see Hryciuk, 182.
* "On the disproportion between arrest and imprisonment numbers, see Khlevniuk, Gulag, 236; and Głowacki, Sowieci, 292."

Jasiewicz, Zagłada, 172 states correctly that the maximum sentence was eight years. The Osoboe Soveshchanie (Special Commission) of the NKVD, essentially "troikas" operating like military courts and without appeal, was not empowered to impose sentences longer than eight years.

According to Jasiewicz, 74% of the sentences of Polish residents of Western Belorussia who were put on trial were for the maximum of eight years. This was the Polish imperialist infrastructure: police, government officials, and the "settlers" (osadnicy) sent to "polonize" the conquered territories.
All Polish citizens in the USSR were freed after the fascist invasion of the USSR in June 1941 and the treaty of alliance between the Soviet government and the Polish government in exile.

Hryciuk, 182 does give the number 109,400 for "Polish citizens" arrested - that is, including Belorussians and Ukrainians from Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine (on the following page Hryciuk says "roughly 110,000"). In reality, of course, all these people were former Polish citizens since the state of Poland no longer existed and Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia were now part of the USSR. These arrests were for all reasons.

Hryciuk notes that:

Among those imprisoned, an increasingly large group came from Polish conspiratorial organizations, which had begun to take shape in 1939 after the September defeat. They made up a considerable part of all Poles arrested in 1940 and 1941. (182)

In a good example of "bias by omission" Snyder fails to mention this important fact. Naturally the USSR was justified in arresting such people, as any government would do. No state would permit hostile conspiratorial groups to carry on their activities with impunity.

Snyder also fails to note that on page 183 Hryciuk includes "7,305 persons murdered" in the Katyn massacres. That is, once again Hryciuk rejects the numbers normally given for the Katyn killings of 14,000, 22,000 etc. Hryciuk doesn't explain this. We discuss "Katyn" in a later chapter.

Khlevniuk (Gulag, 236) says nothing at all about "the disproportion between arrest and imprisonment numbers." In any case Khlevniuk's book is biased by many assertions that are not supported either by the documents Khlevniuk cites or by any footnotes.

Głowacki (Sowieci, 292) says nothing about any "disproportion between arrest and imprisonment numbers" either. The top half of the page is a list of political crimes and the sentences for them. This passage does occur:

Ustalnie bezpośredniej zależności między wysokością kary a narodowością ofiary jest trudne. Związek taki chyba nie istniał. Niewątpliwa surowość wymiaru ,,sprawiedliwości,, miała w założeniu działać odstraszająco wobec wszystkich obywateli.

Establishing a direct relationship between the amount of the punishment {i.e. sentence} and the nationality of victims is difficult. I do not think such a link existed. The undoubted severity of the dimension of "justice" was designed to act as a deterrent to all citizens. (Emphasis added, GF)

If this is the passage that Snyder had in mind when he referred to a "disproportion between arrest and imprisonment numbers", then he has misunderstood the passage. The remainder of the page is a summary of the statistics of persons imprisoned and in exile in 1939-1941 published by the well-known Russian scholar Viktor N. Zemskov in 1991.

Snyder writes:

After the conquest of Poland was complete, the Germans and their Soviet allies met once again to reassess their relations. On 28 September 1939, the day Warsaw fell to the Germans, the allies signed their treaty on borders and friendship,... Poland had ceased to exist. (127)

This is all wrong.

* Germany and the USSR were never "allies." No agreement between Germany and the USSR mentions any "alliance." Like some other anticommunist writers Snyder simply asserts that the Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany were "allies." They do this repeatedly. Perhaps their aim is to create the impression in the readers' minds that this is "common knowledge" for which no evidence needs to be cited.

* Poland ceased to exist not on September 28, 1939 but from the time the Polish government ceased to exercise control over it. This was, at the latest, on September 17 when the Polish government crossed into Rumanian internment. As a practical matter it was some days before that, when the government was in flight towards the Rumanian border and out of touch with its military command and its ambassadors.

Snyder writes:

On 4 December 1939 the Soviet politburo ordered the NKVD to arrange the expulsion of certain groups of Polish citizens deemed to pose a danger to the new order: military veterans, foresters, civil servants, policemen, and their families. Then, on one evening in February, 1940, in temperatures of about forty below zero, the NKVD gathered them all: 139,794 people taken from their homes at night at gunpoint to unequipped freight trains bound for special settlements in distant Soviet Kazakhstan or Siberia. ... The special settlements, part of the Gulag system, were the forced-labor zones to which the kulaks had been sent ten years before. (129)

Sources (n. 24 p. 476):

* "On the 139,794 people taken from their homes, see Hryciuk, "Victims," 184."
* "Głowacki records temperatures of minus 42 Celsius, which is minus 43 Fahrenheit; see Sowieci, 328."
* Jolluck, Exile, 16.

Hryciuk does cite the number 139,794 (on page 186, not 184) while admitting that this count is approximate. The recent Russian account, Sovetskie deportatsii, states "approximately 140,000."

Głowacki (Sowieci, 328) states the following:

Akcję wysiedleńcza rozpoczęto o świcie 10 II 1940 r. Mróz dochodził wtedy nawet do minus 42°C....

Translated:

The resettlement began at dawn on February 10, 1940. The frost reached as low as minus 42° Celsius {=Centrigrade}...

What is the evidence that the temperature at the time of deportation was minus 42° Celsius (= -44° Fahrenheit)? Głowacki admits that he has no definite reference, much less any evidence, for this assertion.

Jolluck, (Exile, 17), whom Snyder cites here, quotes an account from one of the deportees that mentions "that freezing and gloomy day 10 February 1940." "Freezing" suggests at or below 0° C or 32° F, whereas minus 40° C equals minus 40° F, literally a killing temperature. It is unlikely that anyone would refer to a temperature of -40° C as "freezing." To establish such facts is the job of historians; Snyder ignores this responsibility.

It is interesting to note that Głowacki does not claim anyone died from the cold. Some surely would have, if they had really been shipped off in -42° C temperatures. He states that he has taken his accounts of deportation from personal accounts:

Jej przebieg szczegółowo dokumentuje bardzo liczna już dziś literatura wspomnieniowa, relacje i wydawnictwa żródlowe (patrz bibliografia). W tym miejscu ograniczę się jedynie do wskazania przykładowych pozycji: ,,W czterdziestym nas Matko na Sibir zesłali,,. Polska a Rosja 1939-42. Wybór i opracowanie J.T. Gross, I. Grudzińska-Gross. Wstep J.T. Gross (Warszawa 1990); Wspomnienia Sybiraków,{t.} 1-9, Warszawa 1989-1997.

Translated:

A very large body of literature - memoires, reports and primary source publications available today - documents in detail the course of the deportations (see references). At this point I will confine myself only to indicate the sample items: "On the fortieth day Mother sent us to Siberia." Poland and Russia 1939 to 1942. Selection and development by J.T. Gross, I. Grudzinska-Gross. Introduction J.T. Gross (Warsaw 1990), Memories of Siberians, {t} 1-9, Warsaw, 1989-1997.

Though it's not our purpose here to delve deeply into this memoir literature we note in passing that this very paragraph of Głowacki's - evidently a direct quotation from the memoir in his footnote - contains some important contextual information. For example:

Do otoczonych domów (mieszkań) osób przewidzianych do zsyłki załomotali uzbrojeni funkcjonariusze NKWD. Nierzadko asystowali im cywile - przedstawiciele lokalnych władz.

Translated:

Armed NKVD officers were called to the surrounded homes or apartments of the persons proposed for exile. They were often assisted by civilians - representatives of the local authorities.

And:

Czasami wręczali gospodarzom spis pozostawionego przez nich dobytku, który miał być później sprzedany, a uzyskany przychód - przesłany na zesłanie (w zasadzie cały majątek zesłańców powinien zostać opisany przez rejestratorów i oddany pod kontrolę komitetów chłopskich).

Translated:

Sometimes a list was handed to the owners of their property, which was to be later sold and the resulting money sent to them in exile (in fact all the property of the exiles was supposed to be described by a recorder adn put under the control of the peasant committees).

The "local authorities" and "peasant committees" were made up of the local peasants - Ukrainians or Belorussians - who had been exploited by the Polish landowners imposed upon them after the conquest of Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia by Poland in 1920.

This account confirms what is well known: those exiled were the "osadniki" (in Polish, osadnicy), settlers or colonists sent to "polonize" these non-Polish areas. When Poland had conquered Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia in 1920 the Polish authorities had repressed Ukrainian and Belorussian communists, and then all the non-Polish ethnics. The Soviets could hardly have tolerated the presence of the Polish imperialist administration in what was now the Ukrainian and Belorussian Republics of the USSR.

The term "forced labor" implies imprisonment. This is false: they were not imprisoned but sent to settlements where, of course, they had to work to support themselves.

Did Soviet Journalists and Teachers Keep Saying "Poland Will Never Rise Again"?

Snyder writes:

As Soviet journalists kept writing and teachers kept saying, Poland had fallen and would never rise again. (130)

If this statement were true - "Soviet journalists kept writing and teachers kept saying" - there must be considerable written record of it. But Snyder does not give a single citation for this statement! Surely he would cite at least one if he could do so. In fact this sounds like a quotation from one of Hitler's speeches after the conquest of Poland, when he said: "Poland of the Versailles Treaty will never rise again."
"Das Polen des Versailler Vertrags wird niemals wieder erstehen!" - Speech before the Reichstag, October 6, 1939. In Der Grossdeutsche Freiheitskampf. Reden Adolf Hitlers vom 1. September 1939 bis 10 März 1940. Munich: Franz Eher Vgl, 1940, p. 93. English here.

In the following statement Snyder tells a part of the truth:

When the Soviets said that they were entering eastern Poland to defend Ukrainians and Belarusians, this had at least a demographic plausibility: there were about six million such people in Poland. (131)

But Snyder fails to inform his readers that in Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine there were more Belorussians and Ukrainians than there were Poles. Nor does Snyder mention the Curzon Line, Polish imperialism, the Polish government's "polonization" policy, or the official racism against non-Polish nationalities.

Snyder describes the prisoner-of-war camps where the Polish officers were kept as follows:

The three camps were a sort of laboratory for observing the behavior of the Polish educated classes. Kozelsk, Ostashkov, and Starobilsk became Polish in appearance. (134)

Snyder has invented the "laboratory" fantasy. It has no basis in reality. It sounds sinister; as though the Soviets were planning to do something to "the Polish educated classes" and wanted a "laboratory" to see how they behaved. No doubt this is the effect Snyder is trying to achieve. But what evidence is there that the Soviets used the camps "for observing the behavior of the Polish educated classes?" None.

Moreover, Snyder does not bother to argue that these prisoners were representative of "the Polish educated classes" - as, of course, they were not. Snyder does not mention the fact that, even if the Katyn "smoking gun" documents were genuine - there has long been serious doubt about that - they mention only 9631 Polish officers. All the rest mentioned in these documents are:

civil servants, landlords, policemen, intelligence agents, military policemen (gendarmes), immigrant settlers, and prison guards; ...11,000 members of various counter-revolutionary organizations engaged in spying and sabotage, former landlords, manufacturers, former Polish officers, clerks and refugees:...

This is not a sample of the "Polish educated classes." Yet Snyder has to claim that they were because he wishes us to believe that the Soviets were "decapitating" Polish society, "killing off its elite", etc.

The Nazis were indeed killing off the Polish elite in a special murder program called "AB-Aktion." Therefore, since Snyder wants to compare or equate the Soviets with the Nazis whenever he can, he has invented this fiction. Here as throughout Bloodlands Snyder is simply parroting the rightwing Polish nationalist historical "line."

We will discuss the "Katyn massacre" story, and Snyder's treatment of it, in Chapter 10.

Snyder claims:

At the same time, in March 1940 NKVD chief Beria had ordered a deportation of people who had declined to accept a Soviet passport. This meant a rejection of the Soviet system, and also a practical problem for Soviet bureaucrats. Polish citizens who refused to allow their identities to enter Soviet records could not be observed and punished with desirable efficiency.

This is just anticommunist nonsense. The Soviets did not need a person's permission to "enter their identities in Soviet records." Snyder wishes his readers to believe that the Soviets wanted to "observe and punish" everybody. Of course he has no evidence to support this statement; he has invented it. Historians are not supposed to "make things up."

As it happened, the vast majority of people who had rejected the Soviet passport were Jewish refugees from western Poland. These people had fled the Germans, but had no wish to become Soviet citizens. They feared that, if they accepted Soviet documents, they would not be allowed to return to Poland - once it was restored. So, in this way, Jews proved to be loyal citizens of Poland, and became victims of both of the regimes that had conquered their homeland.

Snyder has no evidence concerning what they "wished" or whether some of them wanted to "return to Poland." Then we have this interesting factoid:

They had fled the depredations of the SS, only to be deported by the NKVD to Kazakhstan and Siberia. Of the 78,339 people deported in the June 1940 action that targeted refugees, about eighty-four percent were Jewish. (141)

Source (n. 54 p. 478):

"Of the 78,339 people deported, about eight four percent were Jewish; see Hryciuk, "Victims," 189."

This statement is false. There are problems with Hryciuk's figures. Hryciuk cites the "84% Jewish" figure (though on page 191, not page 189) from a 1989 article by Parsadanova. On page 175 of his article Hryciuk notes a very serious error of exaggeration in Parsadanova's article. Gur'ianov, whose work on the repression of Poles Snyder cites, also notes Parsadanova's "curious error in interpretation." Since Snyder cites both Hryciuk and Gur'ianov, he knows this but fails to inform his readers.
A. Ie. Gur'ianov, "Obzor sovetskikh repressivnykh kampanii protiv poliakov i pols's'kikh grazhdan," in A.V. Lipatov and I.O. Shaitanov, eds., Poliaki i russkie: Vzaimoponimanie i vzaimoneponimanie, Moscow: Indrik, 2000, 199-207, at 205.

In addition to whatever errors she made Parsadanova's article was published in 1989, long before the release of many documents from former Soviet archives. There seems to be no evidence that "the vast majority of people who had rejected the Soviet passport were Jewish refugees from western Poland", as Snyder claims.

The recent Russian collection of documents on Soviet deportations includes nothing about the ethnic breakdown of the deportees. Stalinskie deportatsii 1928-1953. Dokumenty. Moscow: MDF / Izd. "Materik", 2005, 156-168. - Сталинские депортации, cc. 156-158. However, it does discuss the intention of the Soviet state to find them all employment fit for their qualifications. Ibid. № 2-37 cc. 159-160.

Snyder has this to say concerning the city of Vilnius:

Throughout the interwar period Lithuania had claimed the city of Vilnius and its environs, which lay in northeastern Poland. (142)

Snyder fails to inform his readers how Vilnius came to "lie in northeastern Poland" and how it was that "Lithuania had claimed this city." The reason for Snyder's silence is not hard to understand. The seizure of Vilnius from Lithuania by Poland in 1920 was another egregious example of Polish aggression and imperialism. The Red Army had given Vilnius to the new Lithuanian state on July 7, 1920. Poland recognized Vilnius as belonging to Lithuania. Nevertheless, two days later a Polish army occupied Vilnius and part of Lithuania. Lithuania never recognized this annexation and continued to refer to its capital as "occupied Vilnius."

Thus Vilnius "lay in northeastern Poland" because Poland had seized it by force. Just as Poland had seized Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia by force in 1919-1921. On October 10, 1939 the USSR returned Vilnius and the part of Lithuania formerly annexed by Poland to Lithuania.

Did Stalin Refuse Hitler's Offer to Accept Two Million Jews? (No, He Didn't)

Snyder claims:

The Germans proposed a transfer of European Jews in January 1940. Stalin was not interested. ... The Soviets had rejected a deportation of Jews to the Soviet Union,..." (144-145)

Snyder has made this claim elsewhere as well:

In early 1940, the German leadership tried to persuade its Soviet ally to take two million Jews from Polish territory; Stalin refused. (2011-2)

Snyder's evidence is as follows:

"On Eichmann and the January 1940 proposal, see Polian, "Schriftwechsel," 3, 7, 19."

It is instructive to check this reference. The bibliography in Bloodlands informs us that this is a reference to the following article:

Pavel Polian, "Hätte der Holocaust beinahe nicht stattgefunden? Überlegungen zu einem Schriftwechsel im Wert von zwei Millionen Menschenleben," in Johannes Hurter and Jürgen Zarusky, eds., Besatzung, Kollaboration, Holocaust. Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 2008, 1-20.

But this is a secondary source; what we need is evidence. Continued searching reveals that the source is in Gennady Kostyrchenko's very anticommunist book Tainaia politika Stalina. Vlast' i Antisemitizm (Moscow: Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniia, 2001). Here we read:

Между тем нацистами предпринимается новая попытка давления на Москву. На сей раз инициатива исходила из структур Центральной имперской службы по делам еврейской эмиграции, которой также руководил Гейдрих. Но, как и следовало ожидать, советские власти ответили категорическим отказом, / 189 / обоснованным начальником Переселенческого управления Е.М. Чекменевым в запнске к Молотову от 9 февраля 1940 г.:

«Переселенческим управлением при СНК СССР получены два письма от Берлинского и Венского переселенческих бюро по вопросу организации переселения еврейского населения из Германии в СССР - конкретно в Биробиджан и Западную Украину. По соглашению Правительства СССР с Германией об эвакуации населения на территорию СССР эвакуируются лишь украинцы, белорусы, русины и русские. Считаем, что предложения указанных переселенческих бюро не могут быть приняты».

Translated:

Meanwhile, a new attempt was made by the Nazis to put pressure on Moscow. This time the initiative came from the structure of the Reich Central Service for Jewish Emigration, which was also headed by Heydrich. But, as expected, the Soviet authorities responded with a categorical refusal, / 189 / which was explained by the head of the Resettlement Department E.M. Chekmenev in a note to Molotov on February 9, 1940:

"The Resettlement Department at the CPC {Council of People's Commissars, the executive part of the Soviet government} has received two letters from the Berlin and Vienna Offices of Resettlement on the question of the resettlement of the Jewish population from Germany to the Soviet Union - particularly to Birobidzhan and the Western Ukraine. According to the agreement between the Government of the USSR and Germany concerning the evacuation of the population into the territory of the USSR only Ukrainians, Belorussians, Ruthenians, and Russians are to be evacuated. We consider that the proposals of the Offices of Resettlement cannot be accepted." (Emphasis added)

Now we have the text from a primary source - something Snyder should have given his readers but did not, possibly because he never bothered to locate it himself. From it we can draw certain conclusions.

* The German letters have not been published or even directly referred to. Apparently they have not been located.

* Judging from the Soviet reaction reproduced above Heydrich offered to resettle not "European" but German Jews to the USSR. The wording is unequivocal: "the resettlement of the Jewish population from Germany."

Hitler did not allow non-German Jews into Germany. Therefore the Jews in question were German Jews - no more than 214,000 persons (see below).

* These people were not volunteering to be deported to the rugged pioneer agricultural life of Birobidzhan, the Soviet Jewish Autonomous Region in Eastern Siberia. Nor were they volunteering for Western Ukraine, where there were already millions of inhabitants. They were not volunteering to be sent to the USSR at all!

German Jews had applied in large numbers to be allowed to move to Western Europe and the United States. As is well known, in 1939 the United States and Canada rejected the Jewish refugees on the MS St Louis, a trip often called the "Voyage of the Damned" after a book about this event. They were eventually accepted by Great Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. None of the countries was willing to accept more than 288 of them, the number accepted by Great Britain.

* Neither the figure two million nor "Polish territory" are mentioned in the Russian original. In fact no number of Jews is mentioned in the Russian document. By the beginning of the war there were only about 214,000 Jews remaining in Germany.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Holocaust Encyclopedia. "German Jews During the Holocaust. 1939-1945."

* In his 2011 article Snyder falsely states that the Germans wanted the Soviets "to take two million Jews from Polish territory." In Bloodlands, published the previous year (2010), Snyder appears confused. In the passage quoted above he mentions neither the two-million figure nor anything about "Polish territory", only "a transfer of European Jews." Later, on pp. 160-161, he again cites the "two million" figure.

Snyder may have copied the error from Polian's article. Polian writes:

Jedoch hat Čekmenev den wesentlichen Inhalt der fehlenden deutschen Briefe ebenso knapp wie deutlich übermittelt: Hitler schlägt Stalin vor, alle Juden zu übernehmen, die sich zu diesem Zeitpunkt unter dem deutschen Stiefel befinden. (3)

Translated:

However Chekmenev did briefly and clearly transmit the essential content of the missing German letter: Hitler proposes that Stalin accept all the Jews who were under the German boot at that point in time. (Emphasis added)

Now it is obvious that Polian was in error. The Russian document says nothing about "all the Jews who were under the German boot at that point in time." Nor is it a question of mistranslation, for the German translation quoted by Polian clearly says "Umsiedlung der jüdischen Bevölkerung aus Deutschland" - the resettlement of the Jewish population from Germany, not "under German control" or "from German-occupied territory." In other words, at most about 214,000 unwilling persons.

Once again, Snyder's claim is false.

The Wnuk brothers, who hailed from a region that had once been in east-central Poland but was now quite close to the German-Soviet border, met the same fate. Bolesław, the older brother, was a populist politician who had been elected to the Polish parliament. Jakub, the younger brother, studied pharmacology and designed gas masks. Both married in 1932 and had children. Jakub, along with the other experts from his institute, was arrested by the Soviets and killed at Katyn in April 1940. Bolesław was arrested by the Germans in October 1939, taken to Lublin castle in January, and executed in the AB-Aktion on 29 June 1940. He left a farewell note on a handkerchief: "I die for the fatherland with a smile on my lips, but I die innocent." (149)

n. 75 Zagłada polskich elit, 77.

This book is a catalog of an exhibition. It does not document the quotations, and only makes the claim without evidence.

Jakub Wnuk is number 4121 in the German list, p. 272 in the official German report Amtliches Material zum Massenmord von Katyn. We explore the Katyn issue in Chapter 10.

Deportations Just Prior to June 22, 1941

According to Snyder:

The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists now began to take action against the institutions of Soviet power. Some leading Ukrainian nationalists had interwar connections with German military intelligence and with Reinhard Heydrich's SS intelligence service, the Sicherheitsdients. As Stalin knew, several of them were still gathering intelligence for Berlin. Thus a fourth Soviet deportation from the annexed territories of eastern Poland chiefly targeted Ukrainians. The first two operations had targeted mainly Poles, and the third mainly Jews. An action of May 1941 moved 11,328 Polish citizens, most of them Ukrainians, from western Soviet Ukraine to the special settlements. The very last deportation, on 19 June, touched 22,353 Polish citizens, most of them Poles. (151)

As we have seen above, Snyder has no evidence of a deportation that "targeted...mainly Jews," nor is this recorded by the most authoritative Soviet volume.

Snyder's evidence is as follows (n. 78 p. 479):

* "On the Ukrainians targeted, see HI 210/14/7912. These operations were part of a series of June 1941 deportation actions that were then organized throughout the newly annexed regions of the Soviet Union, from the Baltics to Romania."

* "On the 11,328 and 22,353 Polish citizens, see Hryciuk, "Victims," 191, 193."

* "See also Olaru-Cemirtan, 'Züge.'"



"HI 210/14/7912" is an archival identifier of the Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, CA. The Hoover Institution Library has informed me that this number is insufficient to identify the document in question.

Moreover, no citation of this nature is of any use unless it is accompanied by source criticism. The mere fact that a piece of paper is in an archive somewhere does not make it "evidence." Much less can we assume it is truthful. We need to know what the document is - when written, by whom, its relationship to the events recorded in it, etc. Snyder knows this - or ought to know it, since he is a historian. But he tells his readers nothing about any of this.

The Ukrainian Nationalists were fascists like the German Nazis. They were more active in the Western Ukraine than in the Eastern Ukraine in the USSR. Naturally the Soviets had to deal with them.

Snyder's second source, Hryciuk, ("Victims," 191, 193) does not mention any "11,328 Poles." He does mention 22,353 Poles from Western Belorussia. These are described as family members of the Polish imperialist infrastructure: persons arrested, sentenced to death, persons "in hiding", i.e. fleeing arrest, persons who had fled the country, "leaders and active members of counterrevolutionary insurgent organizations," imprisoned landowners, arrested gendarmes and policemen, merchants, traders, repressed Polish military officers and former high-ranking Polish officials.

Hryciuk takes his figures from a Polish article published in 1994 and therefore written well before that year. But we cannot consider the information in this article to be accurate, as most Soviet archives now available had not been opened by 1994, and no other sources would have recorded accurate data about deportations. Snyder has to know this - or should know it, since he is a historian working in this area. But if he does, he ignores it.

Olaru-Cemirtan, "Züge" is a Rumanian article translated into German that outlines the deportation of Rumanian governmental and other figures from Bessarabia, which was being transferred to the USSR from Rumania and renamed Moldovia. It has nothing to do with Poland at all.

The recent Russian document collection to which I have referred previously records 21,000 "counterrevolutionaries and nationalists" deported from Western Belorussia (p. 792, l. 3 col. 5), without accompanying documents.

Snyder then states:

Germany invaded the Soviet Union in a surprise attack on 22 June, and its bombers caught up with the Soviet prison trains. About two thousand deportees died in the freight cars, victims of both regimes. (Emphasis added, GF)

This is a good example of Snyder's bias. Members of the Polish imperialist infrastructure were hardly "victims" of the Soviets by any normal meaning of the word. When the Germans killed them, they were "victims" only of Germany, not of the Soviets. Moreover, the Soviets were, in fact, moving them out of the way of the Nazi invasion - that is, attempting to fulfill internationally-recognized obligations to care for prisoners.

In the previous two years, the Soviets had repressed about half a million Polish citizens: about 315,000 deported, about 110,000 more arrested, and 30,000 executed, and about 25,000 more who died in custody.... (51)

Sources (n. 80 p. 479):

* "Some 292,513 Polish citizens were deported in four waves, along with thousands more individually or in smaller actions. See Deportacje obywateli, 29"

* "... and Hryciuk, "Victims," 175."

* "Of the deportees, some 57.5 percent were counted by the Soviets as Poles, 21.9 percent as Jews, 10.4 percent as Ukrainians, and 7.6 percent as Belarusians; see Hryciuk, "Victims," 195.

* "For overall counts I rely on Hryciuk, "Victims," 175;

* "...and Autuchiewicz, "Stan," 23."

* "See also Gurianov, "Obzor," 205."

A highly anticommunist historian of the Russian "Memorial Society" has stated that Polish historians have exaggerated the figure of rougly 300,000 Poles deported by five to eight times - that is, that the real figure should be in the order of 40,000.

Таким образом, оценки традиционной польской историографии (от 200 тысяч до свыше 300 тысяч человек) оказываются завышенными в пять-восемь раз. Возможно, что не все высланные с указанных территорий сами считали себя польскими гражданами, даже если они формально и были таковыми до 17 сентября 1939 г. - например члены семей участников Организации украинских националистов, составлявшие, согласно донесениям УНКВД/НКВД регионов расселения, большинство среди ссыльнопоселенцев из западных областей УССР.

Translated:

Therefore the evaluation of traditional Polish historiography (from 200,000 to over 300,000 people) is too high by from five to eight times. It is possible that not all those expelled from these territories regarded themselves as Polish citizens, even if they were formally until September 17, 1939 - for example, the family members of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists {OUN}, which constituted, according to the reports of the UNKVD/NKVD regional settlement, the majority of exiles from the western regions of the USSR. (Emphasis added)
A.E. Gur'ianov, "Masshtaby deportatsii naselenia v glub' SSSR v mae-iiune 1941 g." Repressii protiv poliakov I pol'skikh grazhdan. Moscow: Zven'ia, 1997.

The OUN members were pro-Nazi nationalists on whom Hitler counted heavily and who later participated in the Holocaust of Jews and immense mass murders of Poles known as the "Volhynian massacres."

Who was deported? The best evidence we have is the order signed by NKVD Commissar Lavrentii Beria. It specifies deportation of the following groups:

1. Members of counterrevolutionary parties and anti-Soviet nationalist organizations;

2. Former policemen, security guards, leaders of the police and prisons, and rank and file police.

3. Officers and jailers if there is evidence to incriminate them;

4. Landowners, large-scale merchants, factory owners and officials of the bourgeois state apparatus;

5. Former officers and White Guards {=those who had fought against the Soviets during the Civil War}, including officers of the Tsarist army and the officers who had served in the territorial corps of the Red Army (formed from the units and the national armies of the former independent states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia after their incorporation into the Soviet Union);

6. Criminals;

7. Prostitutes registered with the police and continuing to work as prostitutes;

8. Family members of persons enumerated in points 1-4;

9. Family members of participants in the counterrevolutionary nationalist organizations, whose heads were sentenced to capital punishment or who went into hiding;

10. Anyone who had escaped from Poland and refused to accept Soviet citizenship;

11. Persons repatriated from Germany as well as Germans who were registered to emigrate and refuse to go to Germany.
Gur'ianov, "Masshtaby deportatsii naselenia v glub' SSSR v mae-iiune 1941 g." This information is not in the 2000 version of Gur'ianov's article that Snyder cites.

Here we will discuss only Snyder's allegations about those who were killed or died.

1. Snyder gives no source at all for his claim that "25,000 more who died in custody." This factoid is another of Snyder's fabrications.

2. By "30,000 executed" Snyder appears to be just "rounding up" the figure of 22,000 allegedly shot by the Soviets at Katyn, Ostashkov, and Starobelsk, the "Katyn massacre." We will return to the Katyn issue in much more detail in Chapter 10. But where do the other 8,000 "executed" come from? All the footnotes above concern deportations. Snyder appears to have invented this figure.

Together, between September 1939 and June 1941, in their time as allies, the Soviet and German states had killed perhaps two hundred thousand Polish citizens, and deported about a million more. Poles had been sent to the Gulag and to Auschwitz, where tens of thousands more would die in the months and years to come. Polish Jews under German occupation were enclosed in ghettos, awaiting an uncertain fate. Tens of thousands of Polish Jews had already died of hunger or disease. (153)

"Allies" again! There was no alliance between the USSR and Germany. Snyder evidently thinks that if he repeats it often enough his readers - or some of them, at least - will believe it. This is the technique of "the Big Lie."

But the main falsehood is this: To write "the Soviet and German states had killed perhaps two hundred thousand Polish citizens" is to suggest some kind of equivalence between the numbers killed by each. But Snyder claims the Soviets "killed" 30,000 Poles. Even if that were true that would still be only 15% of 200,000, which would mean that the Germans killed 170,000, or 85%. And Snyder ignores the whole scholarly dispute over Katyn while blithely attributing 22,000 of those 30,000 dead Poles to the Soviets.

So even with his fraudulent arithmetic Snyder cannot really demonstrate any equivalence at all between the number of Poles killed by Germany and those killed by Soviets. All he can do is assert that there was such an equivalence. Moreover, Snyder assumes that all of the Poles "executed" by the Soviets were "innocent", since those killed by the Nazis certainly were - they were killed on a racial basis because the Nazis wanted to eradicate any Polish elite through mass murder. No one has ever claimed that the Soviets had any such aim.

Did the Soviets Aim to "Decapitate Polish Society?" (No, they didn't)

Snyder declares that the Nazis and the Soviets had similar, basically genocidal, intentions:

A particular wound was caused by the intention, in both Moscow and Berlin, to decapitate Polish society, to leave Poles as a malleable mass that could be ruled rather than governed. (153, emphasis added, GF)

Snyder does cite some evidence that this was the Nazis' intention:

Hans Frank, citing Hitler, defined his job as the elimination of Poland's "leadership elements."

But what is his evidence that the Soviets intended anything of the kind?

NKVD officers took their assignment to a logical extreme by consulting a Polish "Who's Who" in order to define their targets.

"A Who's Who? So what?" you may ask. Here is Snyder's exegesis:

This was an attack on the very concept of modernity, or indeed the social embodiment of Enlightenment in this part of the world. In eastern Europe the pride of societies was the "intelligentsia," the educated classes who saw themselves as leading the nation, especially during periods of statelessness and hardship, and preserving national culture in their writing, speech, and behavior. The German language has the same word, with the same meaning; Hitler ordered quite precisely the "extermination of the Polish intelligentsia." The chief interrogator at Kozelsk had spoken of a "divergent philosophy"; one of the German interrogators in the AB-Aktion had ordered an old man to be killed for exhibiting a "Polish way of thinking." It was the intelligentsia who was thought to embody this civilization, and to manifest this special way of thinking. (153-4)(Emphasis added, GF)

So by consulting a "Who's Who" the Soviets were "attacking the social embodiment of Enlightenment", "the very concept of modernity" - or so Snyder claims. How terrible! Just as though the Soviets were promoting the geocentric theory of the universe or the burning of witches!

But what is Snyder's evidence? He cites the following (n. 85 p. 479):

* "On Frank, see Longerich, Unwritten Order, 47."

* "On the NKVD, see Kołakowski, NKWD, 74."

* "On Hitler, see Mańkowski, "Ausserordentliche," 7. Compare Aly, Architects, 151."

Of these works only Kołakowski, NKWD, is about the Soviets; the other books are about the Germans. Checking Kołakowski, we see that, once again, Snyder has fabricated this "fact" - invented it.

Kołakowski, NKVD, 74:

Dane te potwierdzają pogląd o skierowaniu pierwszej fali represji na ziemiach północnowschodnich II Rzeczypospolitej głównie przeciwko przedstawicielom społeczeństwa polskiego. Objęły one rzeczywistych i domniemanych przeciwników systemu komunistycznego spośród wszystkich warstw społecznych. Listy osób przewidzianych do zatrzymania sporządzono posługując się miejscowymi informatorami oraz wykorzystując dokumenty przejęte z polskich archiwów, urzędów i przedsiębiorstw, a także zarekwirowane podczas rewizji w mieszkaniach. Do celów tych wykorzystywano książki i opracowania, które wymieniały nazwiska osób walczących o granice II Rzeczypospolitej w latach 1918-1921. Takimi wydawnictwami były m.in.: Książka Bolesława Waligóry "Bój pod Radzyminem" lub opracowanie pod red. Stanisława Łozy "Czy wiesz, kto to jest", wydane w Warszawie w 1938 r. jako polskie "Who is who."

Translated:

These date support the view of directing the first wave of repression in the north-east of the Second Republic mainly against representatives of the Polish society. These include real and suspected opponents of the communist system from all social strata. Lists of people prepared for detainment were prepared using local informants and documents seized from Polish archives, offices and businesses and confiscated his review of residences. For these purposes they used books and studies containing the names of those who fought for the boundaries of the Second Republic in 1918-1921. Such releases included the book of Boleslaw Waligora "The Battle of Radzymin" {a battle in the Polish-Soviet War, August 12-15, 1920} or the work, edited by Stanislaw Łoza "Do you know who this is", published in Warsaw in 1938 as a Polish "Who's Who." (Emphasis added.)

Kołakowski makes it clear that the two books he cites were used by the Soviets to identify "the names of those who fought for the boundaries of the Second Republic in 1918-1921." Snyder's own source contradicts Snyder's statement that the Soviets aimed repression at "the leadership elements" of Polish society. The Soviets had no aim to "decapitate Polish society" or to target the intelligentsia. They aimed to remove the structures of Polish imperialism that had been responsible for the racist oppression of Belorussians, Ukrainians, and Jews in Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine.

Moreover, Kołakowski says that "real and suspected opponents of the communist system from all social strata" were targeted. Kołakowski does not even mention "the intelligentsia." Much less does he claim that the Soviets targeted it.

So this is yet another attempt by Snyder to associate the Soviets with the Nazis, and again Snyder has to flagrantly abuse his sources in order to do it.

#389
This is the bit pertaining directly to the "purging" of the Harvard Trotsky Archives for anyone who doesn't fancy reading 170 pages:

Furr posted:

Trotsky’s Archive Falsified
We also know that there has been a practice of falsifying what Trotsky did that
extended to the Trotsky papers themselves. Getty has pointed out that the correspondence
between Trotsky and Oppositionists in the USSR has apparently been taken out of the
Trotsky Papers at Harvard at some time before they were opened to researchers in
January 1980.

Broué and Getty both note that Trotsky secretary Jan van Heijenoort
reminded Trotsky and his son Leon Sedov of his correspondence about the bloc at the
time of the Dewey Commission hearings. As we noted above, Trotsky chose to lie about
this. Van Heijenoort, who did not die until 1986, worked with the Trotsky Papers and was
interviewed by the New York Times about them (NYT Jan. 8, 1980 p. A14). But neither
there nor in his memoirs

did van Heijenoort ever reveal he had personal knowledge that Trotsky (and Sedov)
had deliberately lied to the Dewey Commission.

Isaac Deutscher was also given special access to the Trotsky Papers by Trotsky’s widow
so he could write his famous three-volume biography of Trotsky. Deutscher did
not reveal the existence of the bloc of Rights and Trotskyites nor of van Heijenoort’s
letter. Yet he had earlier access to the same “closed” archive that Getty studied only
much later. It is logical to conclude that Deutscher saw the same evidence Getty saw and
also knew that Trotsky had lied to the Dewey Commission but chose not to reveal it.
The two most likely persons to have “purged” the Trotsky archives of the
correspondence with his supporters within the USSR are Deutscher and van Heijenoort.
Trotsky’s wife also had access. But at least one very personal letter of Trotsky’s to his
wife remains in the archives – something that his wife might be expected to have
removed.

In any case, it is clear that van Heijenoort concealed Trotsky’s contacts with
his followers in the USSR. Either van Heijenoort, or Deutscher, or conceivably some
other defender of Trotsky’s legacy with rare privileged access has deliberately falsified
his archive.

This makes one doubly curious as to exactly what was in those letters from
Trotsky to the Oppositionists that have been removed and for which Getty found only the
certified mail receipts. The question remains: What information in those letters to his
followers in the USSR would have been so sensitive that persons loyal to Trotsky felt it
necessary to remove them even while leaving sensitive personal materials alone? The
logical answer is: sensitive political material. But this could not have been mere evidence
that Trotsky was in contact with his followers in the USSR. That evidence still remains in
the Archive.

As Getty says:
Sedov’s address book contained the exile addresses of Trotskyists in the USSR.
Trotsky Papers 15741. The Exile Correspondence section of the Trotsky Papers
contains copies of such letters. (Getty-Trotsky 34 n. 16)

So those of Trotsky’s followers who had access to the Trotsky Papers did not feel that
this material was politically sensitive enough to remove. So what would have been? At
the top of any such list would be: material that confirmed the accusations made against
Trotsky at the Moscow Trials. Such evidence would have irreparably ruined Trotsky’s
reputation, while justifying, in the eyes of many, the repressions of the late 1930s and,
therefore, Stalin. Such evidence would have threatened to cut the foundation out of
Trotskyism.



Again from: http://clogic.eserver.org/2009/furr.pdf p38-39

#390
Speaking of mensheviks, there's a lot of "socialists" these days that are looking to figures like Elon Musk to bring about socialism through technological obsoletion of wage labor, lol

Edited by fape ()

#391

fape posted:

Speaking of mensheviks, there's a lot of "socialists" these days that are looking to figures like Elon Musk to bring about socialism through technological obsoletion of wage labor, lol



what elon musk is funding is writing on catastrophic risk, one of the leading ways that nazi lies about the thread topic get spread in post-Cold War media. it gets broadcast on cable TV channels all night long, it's inconsequential because capitalism deals with long-term crisis planning through movies about the walking dead, it's also where all the oldest weirdest anti-communism goes. there is not a reader on the topic of catastrophic risk that does not rely on the material getting wrecked above.

#392
has grover furr said anything about the kotkin book?
#393

c_man posted:

has grover furr said anything about the kotkin book?



He actually just posted a review of several books, including Kotkin's, here: https://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/research/gf_marxmem2016.html

edit

lmao

On page 114 Zimmerman states that Kleimenov, an accused prisoner, was “tortured severely,” citing an article by Asif Siddiqi. Siddiqi claims that Kleimenov was “beaten severely” and confessed to “trumped-up charges,” footnoting a Russian-language article by Anisimov and Oppokov. But that article states clearly: “It is not hard to presume the following version of events” – that Kleimenov and others “were subjected to physical and moral pressure.”

Edited by CharlesFomsky ()

#394
Wow, is waterboarding even as bad as direct pressure to the morals?
#395

cars posted:

fape posted:

Speaking of mensheviks, there's a lot of "socialists" these days that are looking to figures like Elon Musk to bring about socialism through technological obsoletion of wage labor, lol

what elon musk is funding is writing on catastrophic risk, one of the leading ways that nazi lies about the thread topic get spread in post-Cold War media. it gets broadcast on cable TV channels all night long, it's inconsequential because capitalism deals with long-term crisis planning through movies about the walking dead, it's also where all the oldest weirdest anti-communism goes. there is not a reader on the topic of catastrophic risk that does not rely on the material getting wrecked above.

i don't understand what you mean here but i'd really like so if you're wondering whether you should talk about it more i say yes you should

#396
[account deactivated]
#397

cars posted:

fape posted:

Speaking of mensheviks, there's a lot of "socialists" these days that are looking to figures like Elon Musk to bring about socialism through technological obsoletion of wage labor, lol

what elon musk is funding is writing on catastrophic risk, one of the leading ways that nazi lies about the thread topic get spread in post-Cold War media. it gets broadcast on cable TV channels all night long, it's inconsequential because capitalism deals with long-term crisis planning through movies about the walking dead, it's also where all the oldest weirdest anti-communism goes. there is not a reader on the topic of catastrophic risk that does not rely on the material getting wrecked above.



wait so what does catastrophic risk have to do with nazi lies and anticommunism though. i didn't even know what 'catastrophic risk' referred to until i looked it up just now so pls walk me through this one if u can. and isn't elon musk also contracting with nasa to build rockets and not just funding think tanks. im not following u???

#398

CharlesFomsky posted:

citing an article by Asif Siddiqi.



on the favorite topic this is the person in charge of rewriting the history of the ussr space program worldwide based on a NSF grant to study "cold war technology" at carmegie mellom

#399
[account deactivated]
#400
so...........