Nazis and Communists compared

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Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:56 am

Although it’s not exactly Holocaust Denial, many people I have talked to try to equivocate between Hitler and Stalin, that is, between the Holocaust and the purges. I think it would be worthwhile to compile a list of the significant differences between the two. Here are a couple of differences that occur to me, and maybe others can add more.

First, the Communists began their purges with the motive of removing opposition to their political program, and that opposition was real and had been supported with military intervention by the Western powers. The people they arrested, sent to camps, and shot were accused of crimes against the state, interrogated (brutally), and given a specific sentence. (I’m not forgetting that, as the terror spread among the higher Party officials and the OGPU/NKVD, the need to demonstrate pro-Party zeal led to the mindless imposition of quotas of people to be shot, but that came later.) Even the horrific famine imposed in Ukraine in the 1930s had the (very irrational) political purpose of forcing collectivization and procuring food for the urban areas where the Party needed to keep its support.

In contrast, the groups that the Nazis murdered, primarily the Jews, were not interfering with any political or economic program and were not accused of any crimes. Indeed, they were lied to and told they were going to be “resettled.” The motive for rounding them up was racial hatred, independent of any economic or political considerations. Not that economic motives were entirely absent, but they were not the main issue. Just as the terror in the USSR got out of hand and changed the nature of the purges, the original Nazi program of expelling the Jews from Germany became infeasible and was changed when the Germans conquered Poland and other east European territory: there was simply nowhere to send all the Jews from these places, and so the Final Solution was implemented. (Germany did NOT profit economically or culturally from dispossessing the Jews, any more than France had profited from expelling the Huguenots in the seventeenth century.)

Second, in my view at least, the jury is still out on socialism as an economic system. The fact that the Communist movement went the route of violence early on discredited the economic ideas at its base and has made it difficult to discuss this rationally in a political debate. I myself prefer private enterprise, but only when it is strictly regulated by a democratically elected government. And there are several areas, including education, medical insurance, and delivering the mail that I would like the government to administer directly.

Again, in contrast, the Nazi system itself was rotten to the core, based on absurd theories of race that should have been discarded long ago. There was nothing good in Nazi Germany that had not already been present before the Nazis came to power.

I'd be interested in any elaborations or corrections others would care to make.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:08 pm

Three comments:

1. Many here will disagree with this, and I admit to not having studied the question (Stalinism) for years, but my impression is that Stalinism did not have the same expansionary, imperialist dynamic in which the Third Reich was so rich.

2. "Germany did NOT profit economically or culturally from dispossessing the Jews": I don't think that the first part of this statement is correct. Recent work by Gotz Aly, Gerard Aalders, and Frank Bajohr, among others, shows the extent to which the Third Reich benefited economically from Aryanization, looting of Jewish possessions - from homes to art collections, from savings to securities, from household goods to furs/clothing - and other financial strategies aimed at transferring Jewish wealth to the Reich (and, not to be minimized) Nazi officials. There's disagreement about motive, balance, etc but not on the question, I don't think, that the Nazis benefited economically from massive theft of Jewish property, including displacing Jews from their various roles in the economy, including business ownership and professions. One needs to revise Kazimierz Sakowicz's adage - “For the Germans 300 Jews are 300 enemies of humanity; for the Lithuanians they are 300 pairs of shoes, trousers, and the like" - to account for how the Germans, alongside and related to their conspiratorial animus, accumulated capital and wealth from their victims.

3. On socialism, I've long distinguished socialism and communism - communism, in my view, strictly speaking has meant to be a system in which a class owns the basic means of production. Communism also explicitly proposes a dictatorship, albeit supposedly of a class, the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is to control state and economy before "withering away." The problem, as Rosa Luxemburg trenchantly noted, in her assessment the Bolshevik system, at the origin, was that a party/bureaucracy quickly became the masters of economy and state, not the people - and that the ensuing bureaucratic mess did precious little withering away. Recognizing that some communists thought of socialism as the transition period to communism, I think rather that usage of the term socialism comprises a variety of flavors, running the gamut from democratic flavors (where differing degrees of interventionist government, welfare state/insurance programs and public investment/ownership are blended with private enterprise) to the supposed transitional forms (which seem more like state capitalism plus authoritarian one-party government).

Most democratic socialists no longer advocate state ownership of the means of production as a whole, or in majority, but emphasize public insurance and social programs in key areas of life; witness Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez's definition of socialism on Colbert: “I believe that in a modern, moral and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live. So what that means is health care as a human right. It means that every child, no matter where you are born, should have access to a college or trade school education if they so choose it. And, you know, I think that no person should be homeless if we can have public structures and public policies to allow for people to have homes and food and lead a dignified life in the United States.” I don't think Ocasio-Cortez's definition is particularly good - but it is representative.

Like you, I'm partial to bottom ups systems, as human fallibility, cupidity and ruthlessness are so often enshrined where there's too much top down; not only are such systems oppressive but they are insecure, lacking the the robustness of systems evolving from the bottom up. The insecurity seems to lead to repression, brutality, violence, and war. OTOH, a (debatable) degree of public-minded intelligence is, however, a good, not a bad, thing. The so-called far left in the US advocates for this - and for nothing like the extremism, not to mention communism or socialist dictatorships, as the right-wing - and Clinton Democrats - caricature their positions.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:21 pm

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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:26 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote: "Germany did NOT profit economically or culturally from dispossessing the Jews": I don't think that the first part of this statement is correct. Recent work by Gotz Aly, Gerard Aalders, and Frank Bajohr, among others, shows the extent to which the Third Reich benefited economically from Aryanization, looting of Jewish possessions - from homes to art collections, from savings to securities, from household goods to furs/clothing - and other financial strategies aimed at transferring Jewish wealth to the Reich (and, not to be minimized) Nazi officials. There's disagreement about motive, balance, etc but not on the question, I don't think, that the Nazis benefited economically from massive theft of Jewish property, including displacing Jews from their various roles in the economy, including business ownership and professions. One needs to revise Kazimierz Sakowicz's adage - “For the Germans 300 Jews are 300 enemies of humanity; for the Lithuanians they are 300 pairs of shoes, trousers, and the like" - to account for how the Germans, alongside and related to their conspiratorial animus, accumulated capital and wealth from their victims.
Excellent replies there. The only one I would like to discuss further is the one I've quoted above. How much allowance is made for the economic disruption caused by the expropriation of Jewish enterprises? Very many Germans were employed in Jewish businesses, for example. How many of those businesses continued to operate under "Aryan" ownership? And how did their growth compare with what could have been expected under the continued proprietorship of their previous owners? I suspect these questions can't be answered, and I doubt if anyone has tried. It would probably be easier to answer the same question by studying the French economy after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. That might at least suggest some plausible estimate. But I don't know where to look for that information, even though some PhD candidate in history or economics must have written on it, somewhere.

I concede that massive amounts of wealth were confiscated, but much of it was not in the form of liquid assets. Of course, some of it was in liquid form that could be converted into tanks and U-boats, if that is considered wealth.


To my previous note, I would like to add that the Communists really did build a lot of schools, roads, and hospitals when they took over a country. They didn't invest in maintenance, however, and as they became corrupted, the hospitals became degraded. So, they were short-sighted, to say the least. And education was always heavily infested with indoctrination and propaganda. Nevertheless, on the level of communicating facts, especially in science, it was excellent education. The Nazis, on the other hand, had no interest in the welfare of any but Germans and did nothing for the people in the countries they took over.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:08 pm

I haven't read on this topic in eons so apologies in advance for a bit of a jumble: Here’s an article summarizing Bajohr’s book’s findings. He concludes that export-import business Aryanizations (a sector overrepresented in Hamburg) often didn’t work out, but that overall Ayranization was far from disruptive. There was an early prevalence of social climbers and schemers in the group of new business owners; the composition of the new ownership group would change, tilting more toward established business people, after 1938, when Aryanization went into high gear. It’s hard to disentangle Aryanization from recovery from the Depression, the stimulus effect of the military buildup, and German foreign policy. But it’s clear that the Reich - and individuals, party bosses, rapacious bastards - gained. Also, with the auctions of Jewish property in the 1940s, Bajohr concludes that not only businesses, profiteers, and party bosses benefited but also “now the entire population was drawn into the circle of beneficiaries.” This is not to overestimate Jewish wealth or the impact of Aryanization process - one component of wealth transfer; whilst Aryanization wasn’t an economic disruptor, the process didn’t kickstart the German economy either.

In his summary of a USHMM symposium on Jewish confiscations and theft of Jewish property Peter Hayes agrees with Bajohr, “Though this was a public, state-driven process of confiscation, and though only about one-quarter of the total seized assets appear to have ended up in the Reich treasury, a large number of private property owners were able to enrich themselves in the process.”

Tooze (The Wages of Destruction - a must read study) concludes that, of course, Jewish business and wealth never had the bloated significance which the Nazis attributed to the Jews. That said, Tooze says that the state and, in line with Aly and Bajohr, German citizens (taxpayers) benefitted most from the appropriations and wealth transfers. Like Aly, Tooze focuses on the limited benefit to the Reich of the prewar wealth transfers. Devices, as Bajohr outlines, ranged from special taxes, the 1 billion 1938 post-Kristallnacht “fine,” Aryanization of businesses, outright looting and plunder, etc. To take taxes, special levies on German Jews in 1938-1939 alone brought over 800 million RM in to the Reich treasury - this before the FS. According to Tooze, these levies “were devastating for the German Jewish community. And for the Reich’s finances they provided welcome relief at a moment of severe financial embarrassment.” But, Tooze says, the impact on the rearmament spend was minimal in relation to the overall military budget at the time.

One aspect of the many liquidations was a rationalization and modernization effect, also seen in Vichy France and elsewhere: marginal and inefficient small firms were simply eliminated from the economy and business in various sectors somewhat consolidated and streamlined, again, given the position of Jews in the economy, with likely a small effect.

Götz Aly’s book Hitler’s Beneficiaries is also important reading on this topic; I liken his argument about the economic aspects of the FS to - here she comes again - Rosa Luxemburg’s concerning primitive capitalist accumulation. But what Aly focuses on came later than the Aryanizations and involved a wide array of tactics - and I suspect Aly overstates the point. He does see, as do other authors, the flow of stolen wealth going to the state, in his argument as funding for a pseudo-welfare state for the Volksgennosen.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:43 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote: It would probably be easier to answer the same question by studying the French economy after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. That might at least suggest some plausible estimate.
I disagree: too many factors involved. It would give a number which would be part of the range of possible consequences but nothing like an estimate? ..... and any fool can give a range of possible consequences. Here, hold my beer: from a complete crash and negative if not zero growth, to 200% growth over the succeeding 5 years. See?

But, perhaps there are more current relevant demonstrations? I'm thinking of the Uganda economy when Idi kicked out all the Indian shop keepers and business men that "were" the economy. Uganda tanked. Quite an instructive case...why didn't the natives fill the void for the obvious services that were desired? Heh, heh....about anything that follows is racist?....or shows the role of culture?? Racism and culture, two hooman constructs. First one mostly non-sense, the second one too with an occasional good idea.

Not your requested focus, but capitalism "in theory" arguably gives worse results than the other two foundational ideas. Capitalism empowers the individual....a race to the top by forcing everyone else down? At least in theory S & C give a nod to the system being about the GENERAL population. Not so capitalism other than everyone gets to play meaning we all get put down? Pros and Cons......All these systems needing to be fashioned for the greater good so that the people don't revolt? Not a very inspiring call.....
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:06 pm

Upton, as to the differences between the systems, the JK Galbraith once explained, using an old joke, "Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite."
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:57 pm

Which for some reason reminds me of this exchange said to have taken place between Zhou Enlai and Nikita Khrushchev, back when China was still trumpeting its "revolutionary" cred:

Khrushchev: The difference between the Soviet Union and China is that I rose to power from the peasant class, whereas you came from the privileged Mandarin class.
Zhou: True. But there is this similarity. Each of us is a traitor to his class.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Denying-History » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:18 am

When considering the two in comparative analysis we must be cautious, as they relatively had little in common outside the use of terror - and even in this connection used this weapon in different ways. The Gulag flowed more then what we used to think, and tens of thousands of people were released when they were sent to these camps when their sentence had been finished unlike the till death method of the Nazis for a significant number of their victims. Stalins deportations also to special settlements were based on economic backgrounds of settling people in remote areas unwillingly, and for a sufficient slave labor supply.

The genocides that both carried out both targeted different groups on different standards, of which only one falls under the category of the purest form of genocide. Race-ethnic murder, for which there is no Stalinist equivalent. It is also quite interesting considering that also following this line as well the Nazis had radically altered the government structure when compared with the soviets, imprinting a dictatorship with reform, bullying, etc. The Soviets on the other-hand had a system that operated similar to the late Tsarist era in many areas, and it turned to their benefit unlike Hitlers regime which some historians believe would have collapsed had it remained in power without any war - that is the soviet system held more structure.

They also had extremely different economic and social structures/systems in place. To expound Stalin destroyed the old social structures of the old system (Market economy, Private property, Social and Economic elites) while Hitler chose to reinforce them.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:39 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:I haven't read on this topic in eons so apologies in advance for a bit of a jumble: Here’s an article summarizing Bajohr’s book’s findings. He concludes that export-import business Aryanizations (a sector overrepresented in Hamburg) often didn’t work out, but that overall Ayranization was far from disruptive. There was an early prevalence of social climbers and schemers in the group of new business owners; the composition of the new ownership group would change, tilting more toward established business people, after 1938, when Aryanization went into high gear. It’s hard to disentangle Aryanization from recovery from the Depression, the stimulus effect of the military buildup, and German foreign policy. But it’s clear that the Reich - and individuals, party bosses, rapacious bastards - gained. Also, with the auctions of Jewish property in the 1940s, Bajohr concludes that not only businesses, profiteers, and party bosses benefited but also “now the entire population was drawn into the circle of beneficiaries.” This is not to overestimate Jewish wealth or the impact of Aryanization process - one component of wealth transfer; whilst Aryanization wasn’t an economic disruptor, the process didn’t kickstart the German economy either.

In his summary of a USHMM symposium on Jewish confiscations and theft of Jewish property Peter Hayes agrees with Bajohr, “Though this was a public, state-driven process of confiscation, and though only about one-quarter of the total seized assets appear to have ended up in the Reich treasury, a large number of private property owners were able to enrich themselves in the process.”

Tooze (The Wages of Destruction - a must read study) concludes that, of course, Jewish business and wealth never had the bloated significance which the Nazis attributed to the Jews. That said, Tooze says that the state and, in line with Aly and Bajohr, German citizens (taxpayers) benefitted most from the appropriations and wealth transfers. Like Aly, Tooze focuses on the limited benefit to the Reich of the prewar wealth transfers. Devices, as Bajohr outlines, ranged from special taxes, the 1 billion 1938 post-Kristallnacht “fine,” Aryanization of businesses, outright looting and plunder, etc. To take taxes, special levies on German Jews in 1938-1939 alone brought over 800 million RM in to the Reich treasury - this before the FS. According to Tooze, these levies “were devastating for the German Jewish community. And for the Reich’s finances they provided welcome relief at a moment of severe financial embarrassment.” But, Tooze says, the impact on the rearmament spend was minimal in relation to the overall military budget at the time.

One aspect of the many liquidations was a rationalization and modernization effect, also seen in Vichy France and elsewhere: marginal and inefficient small firms were simply eliminated from the economy and business in various sectors somewhat consolidated and streamlined, again, given the position of Jews in the economy, with likely a small effect.

Götz Aly’s book Hitler’s Beneficiaries is also important reading on this topic; I liken his argument about the economic aspects of the FS to - here she comes again - Rosa Luxemburg’s concerning primitive capitalist accumulation. But what Aly focuses on came later than the Aryanizations and involved a wide array of tactics - and I suspect Aly overstates the point. He does see, as do other authors, the flow of stolen wealth going to the state, in his argument as funding for a pseudo-welfare state for the Volksgennosen.

Thanks. I have a lot of learning to do here, but it's clear that I got this wrong. Now that I think of it, I should have seen obvious differences between the Huguenots and the Jews. For one thing, Germany already had a well-educated populace, and France in 1685 didn't. That also is a huge contrast with Soviet Russia, where the Communists had to build an educational system and break the long-standing habits of grotesquely ignorant peasants.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by NathanC » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:44 pm

Timothy Snyder’s article comparing Hitler and Stalin’s death tolls (hint: Hitler killed more)


http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2011/03 ... lled-more/

Similarly, Stephen Wheatcroft’s comparative study. Wheatcroft is a Sovietologist, so most of his info is on the Soviet side using Soviet documents (hint: Hitler still killed more)

http://sovietinfo.tripod.com/WCR-German_Soviet.pdf

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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by NathanC » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:53 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:First, the Communists began their purges with the motive of removing opposition to their political program, and that opposition was real and had been supported with military intervention by the Western powers. The people they arrested, sent to camps, and shot were accused of crimes against the state, interrogated (brutally), and given a specific sentence. (I’m not forgetting that, as the terror spread among the higher Party officials and the OGPU/NKVD, the need to demonstrate pro-Party zeal led to the mindless imposition of quotas of people to be shot, but that came later.) Even the horrific famine imposed in Ukraine in the 1930s had the (very irrational) political purpose of forcing collectivization and procuring food for the urban areas where the Party needed to keep its support.
I doubt that the “Foreign Supported Opposition” was real. If it was, it was probably magnified by the Communist Revolutionary belief that the capitalists were out to get them, as well as Stalin’s own megalomania and paranoia.

While the some of the Purges’ victims were by no means innocent (especially Yagoda and Yezhov, as well as the Holodomor perpetrators who were purged in the late 30s), the fact remains that the “cases” against them tended to be built on completely false evidence. Whether in the form of forced confessions or some random stuff that the OGPU/NKvD made up. These people were “tried” sure, but the fake evidence makes it clear that the legality was a complete sham. It’s not as awful as the Nazis executing Jewish people based on conspiracy theories and racism, sure. But it’s not that much better.

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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:03 pm

Thanks for the links, NathanC. Lots of interesting material in this interesting thread. I haven't liked Snyder's books but that's a good piece from NYRB. D-H's important point about differences in economic transformations between the USSR and the Third Reich also speaks to how the Nazis viewed the "revolutionary" nature of what they were up to.

Also, from Snyder: "The total figure of civilians deliberately killed under Stalinism, around six million, is of course horribly high." Hmmm, coincidence? I think not. :mrgreen: been-there can add this to his clipping service . . . even if it confuses the point he keeps trying to make . . .
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:36 pm

NathanC wrote:I doubt that the “Foreign Supported Opposition” was real. If it was, it was probably magnified by the Communist Revolutionary belief that the capitalists were out to get them, as well as Stalin’s own megalomania and paranoia.

While the some of the Purges’ victims were by no means innocent (especially Yagoda and Yezhov, as well as the Holodomor perpetrators who were purged in the late 30s), the fact remains that the “cases” against them tended to be built on completely false evidence. Whether in the form of forced confessions or some random stuff that the OGPU/NKvD made up. These people were “tried” sure, but the fake evidence makes it clear that the legality was a complete sham. It’s not as awful as the Nazis executing Jewish people based on conspiracy theories and racism, sure. But it’s not that much better.
Indeed. And . . . FSS when dissent is criminalized, whether echoing foreign views or home-grown opinions, we have a pretty big {!#%@} problem! Capitalist pigs, kulaks, counter-revolutionaries of all stripes, crackpots, and insincere {!#%@} should "still" be able to express their views, come the revolution.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:56 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Thanks for the links, NathanC. Lots of interesting material in this interesting thread. I haven't liked Snyder's books but that's a good piece from NYRB. D-H's important point about differences in economic transformations between the USSR and the Third Reich also speaks to how the Nazis viewed the "revolutionary" nature of what they were up to.

Also, from Snyder: "The total figure of civilians deliberately killed under Stalinism, around six million, is of course horribly high." Hmmm, coincidence? I think not. :mrgreen: been-there can add this to his clipping service . . . even if it confuses the point he keeps trying to make . . .
Wait, someone else is claiming the sacred six million?????

Sacrilege!!!!!
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:56 pm

NathanC wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:First, the Communists began their purges with the motive of removing opposition to their political program, and that opposition was real and had been supported with military intervention by the Western powers. The people they arrested, sent to camps, and shot were accused of crimes against the state, interrogated (brutally), and given a specific sentence. (I’m not forgetting that, as the terror spread among the higher Party officials and the OGPU/NKVD, the need to demonstrate pro-Party zeal led to the mindless imposition of quotas of people to be shot, but that came later.) Even the horrific famine imposed in Ukraine in the 1930s had the (very irrational) political purpose of forcing collectivization and procuring food for the urban areas where the Party needed to keep its support.
I doubt that the “Foreign Supported Opposition” was real. If it was, it was probably magnified by the Communist Revolutionary belief that the capitalists were out to get them, as well as Stalin’s own megalomania and paranoia.

While the some of the Purges’ victims were by no means innocent (especially Yagoda and Yezhov, as well as the Holodomor perpetrators who were purged in the late 30s), the fact remains that the “cases” against them tended to be built on completely false evidence. Whether in the form of forced confessions or some random stuff that the OGPU/NKvD made up. These people were “tried” sure, but the fake evidence makes it clear that the legality was a complete sham. It’s not as awful as the Nazis executing Jewish people based on conspiracy theories and racism, sure. But it’s not that much better.
The foreign-supported opposition was REAL. The western powers sent an expeditionary force, with American soldiers among them, to overthrow the Bolsheviks. You can read about this in any history of the Civil War of 1919--1920.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:58 pm

NathanC wrote:Timothy Snyder’s article comparing Hitler and Stalin’s death tolls (hint: Hitler killed more)


http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2011/03 ... lled-more/

Similarly, Stephen Wheatcroft’s comparative study. Wheatcroft is a Sovietologist, so most of his info is on the Soviet side using Soviet documents (hint: Hitler still killed more)

http://sovietinfo.tripod.com/WCR-German_Soviet.pdf

Nice links. Thanks. I deliberately didn't put any numbers in, simply because millions of murders simply overloads the imagination. And the issue is the motive for the murders, not the numbers.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:03 pm

Denying-History wrote:When considering the two in comparative analysis we must be cautious, as they relatively had little in common outside the use of terror - and even in this connection used this weapon in different ways. The Gulag flowed more then what we used to think, and tens of thousands of people were released when they were sent to these camps when their sentence had been finished unlike the till death method of the Nazis for a significant number of their victims. Stalins deportations also to special settlements were based on economic backgrounds of settling people in remote areas unwillingly, and for a sufficient slave labor supply.
I think we need to mention the timetables involved with that, until 1939 or so the concentration camps also released their prisoners. Even recidivists were released and those releases included Communists. Auschwitz released some of its prisoners.
They also had extremely different economic and social structures/systems in place. To expound Stalin destroyed the old social structures of the old system (Market economy, Private property, Social and Economic elites) while Hitler chose to reinforce them.
This is the argument I bring up to those right-wingers who try and spin the Nazis as a leftist movement.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:05 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
NathanC wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:First, the Communists began their purges with the motive of removing opposition to their political program, and that opposition was real and had been supported with military intervention by the Western powers. The people they arrested, sent to camps, and shot were accused of crimes against the state, interrogated (brutally), and given a specific sentence. (I’m not forgetting that, as the terror spread among the higher Party officials and the OGPU/NKVD, the need to demonstrate pro-Party zeal led to the mindless imposition of quotas of people to be shot, but that came later.) Even the horrific famine imposed in Ukraine in the 1930s had the (very irrational) political purpose of forcing collectivization and procuring food for the urban areas where the Party needed to keep its support.
I doubt that the “Foreign Supported Opposition” was real. If it was, it was probably magnified by the Communist Revolutionary belief that the capitalists were out to get them, as well as Stalin’s own megalomania and paranoia.

While the some of the Purges’ victims were by no means innocent (especially Yagoda and Yezhov, as well as the Holodomor perpetrators who were purged in the late 30s), the fact remains that the “cases” against them tended to be built on completely false evidence. Whether in the form of forced confessions or some random stuff that the OGPU/NKvD made up. These people were “tried” sure, but the fake evidence makes it clear that the legality was a complete sham. It’s not as awful as the Nazis executing Jewish people based on conspiracy theories and racism, sure. But it’s not that much better.
The foreign-supported opposition was REAL. The western powers sent an expeditionary force, with American soldiers among them, to overthrow the Bolsheviks. You can read about this in any history of the Civil War of 1919--1920.
The Poles also sent in spies. I think some of that included sabotage but all that activity ceased in the early 1930’s. Those incidents were blown out of proportion to justify some of the purges and repression after 1934.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
Benjamin Ferencz in a letter to Telford Taylor, December 1951

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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by NathanC » Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:08 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
NathanC wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:First, the Communists began their purges with the motive of removing opposition to their political program, and that opposition was real and had been supported with military intervention by the Western powers. The people they arrested, sent to camps, and shot were accused of crimes against the state, interrogated (brutally), and given a specific sentence. (I’m not forgetting that, as the terror spread among the higher Party officials and the OGPU/NKVD, the need to demonstrate pro-Party zeal led to the mindless imposition of quotas of people to be shot, but that came later.) Even the horrific famine imposed in Ukraine in the 1930s had the (very irrational) political purpose of forcing collectivization and procuring food for the urban areas where the Party needed to keep its support.
I doubt that the “Foreign Supported Opposition” was real. If it was, it was probably magnified by the Communist Revolutionary belief that the capitalists were out to get them, as well as Stalin’s own megalomania and paranoia.

While the some of the Purges’ victims were by no means innocent (especially Yagoda and Yezhov, as well as the Holodomor perpetrators who were purged in the late 30s), the fact remains that the “cases” against them tended to be built on completely false evidence. Whether in the form of forced confessions or some random stuff that the OGPU/NKvD made up. These people were “tried” sure, but the fake evidence makes it clear that the legality was a complete sham. It’s not as awful as the Nazis executing Jewish people based on conspiracy theories and racism, sure. But it’s not that much better.
The foreign-supported opposition was REAL. The western powers sent an expeditionary force, with American soldiers among them, to overthrow the Bolsheviks. You can read about this in any history of the Civil War of 1919--1920.
That was real, no doubt. However, Stalin’s BS claims about foreigners trying to overthrow the USSR in the 1928 Shakhty trials, the Kirov Trials, the Great Terror etc were absolutely not. Stalin didn’t have the foreign support to the whites in mind when he, Efim Yevdokimov and Yezhov decided to arbitrarily make stuff up for their 30s era purges.

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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Darren Wilshak » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:32 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
NathanC wrote:I doubt that the “Foreign Supported Opposition” was real. If it was, it was probably magnified by the Communist Revolutionary belief that the capitalists were out to get them, as well as Stalin’s own megalomania and paranoia.

While the some of the Purges’ victims were by no means innocent (especially Yagoda and Yezhov, as well as the Holodomor perpetrators who were purged in the late 30s), the fact remains that the “cases” against them tended to be built on completely false evidence. Whether in the form of forced confessions or some random stuff that the OGPU/NKvD made up. These people were “tried” sure, but the fake evidence makes it clear that the legality was a complete sham. It’s not as awful as the Nazis executing Jewish people based on conspiracy theories and racism, sure. But it’s not that much better.
Indeed. And . . . FSS when dissent is criminalized, whether echoing foreign views or home-grown opinions, we have a pretty big {!#%@} problem! Capitalist pigs, kulaks, counter-revolutionaries of all stripes, crackpots, and insincere {!#%@} should "still" be able to express their views, come the revolution.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:40 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:The foreign-supported opposition was REAL. The western powers sent an expeditionary force, with American soldiers among them, to overthrow the Bolsheviks. You can read about this in any history of the Civil War of 1919--1920.
But the victims of later purges and trials later were not tied to foreign intervention at that time.

I notice that I didn't mention Trotskyites as a group that should not be criminalized . . . please don't read anything into that! :oops:
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Denying-History » Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:49 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Denying-History wrote:When considering the two in comparative analysis we must be cautious, as they relatively had little in common outside the use of terror - and even in this connection used this weapon in different ways. The Gulag flowed more then what we used to think, and tens of thousands of people were released when they were sent to these camps when their sentence had been finished unlike the till death method of the Nazis for a significant number of their victims. Stalins deportations also to special settlements were based on economic backgrounds of settling people in remote areas unwillingly, and for a sufficient slave labor supply.
I think we need to mention the timetables involved with that, until 1939 or so the concentration camps also released their prisoners. Even recidivists were released and those releases included Communists. Auschwitz released some of its prisoners.
Mind I did specify that it wasn’t used against all of their victims. POW’s and others were not released.
« The Terror here is a horrifying fact. There is a fear that reaches down and haunts all sections of the community. No household, however humble, apparently but what lives in constant fear of nocturnal raid by the secret police. . .This particular purge is undoubtedly political. . . It is deliberately projected by the party leaders, who themselves regretted the necessity for it. »
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:43 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:The foreign-supported opposition was REAL. The western powers sent an expeditionary force, with American soldiers among them, to overthrow the Bolsheviks. You can read about this in any history of the Civil War of 1919--1920.
But the victims of later purges and trials later were not tied to foreign intervention at that time.

I notice that I didn't mention Trotskyites as a group that should not be criminalized . . . please don't read anything into that! :oops:
Actually, when I took a Russian visitor to meet Bernie Sanders, who was mayor of Burlington at the time, Bernie told the guy he himself was a Trotskyite. Not sure what that meant.

The whole history of the Communist movement is very complicated, and much of it is appalling. It goes without saying that everybody here thinks there should be free and open debate and that no political opinions should be criminalized. The trouble was, the Russian radicals from Narodnaya Volya onward adopted political assassination as a tactic, prompting devastating reprisals from the Tsarist government. That was their first and most disastrous mistake.

A second one, almost as bad, was the belief that they had all the answers, knew how to create the ideal society, and therefore had the right to deal ruthlessly with their opposition. They did that also, very early on, under Lenin. And of course, they didn't have all the answers. Society and economics are far too complicated to fit their oversimplified explanation of everything in terms of economic classes. Bertrand Russell visited Russia in 1920 and had an interview with Lenin. At a time when liberals all over the West were enraptured with the new Soviet regime, Russell expressed grave doubts. He asked what would prevent the Commissars from declaring lavish salaries and benefits for themselves and starvation wages for ordinary workers. The apologists for the USSR that I frequently encountered during the 1960s and 1970s argued that the Communist Party elite did not constitute an economic class. But of course, it damn well did, having its own unique relation to the means of production. (And that objection leaves aside the question of just how useful economic class is as a tool of analysis in the first place.)

But we still need to ask ourselves how quickly WE would be willing to forget an invasion by a foreign army aimed at overthrowing our government. True, the invasion was repulsed, but it is perfectly understandable that fears of foreign intervention and suspicion of sabotage by fifth-columns would linger for a long time. It was unforgivable to starve Ukrainian peasants to death, but it was not inexplicable in the context of the two major Communist errors that I listed above. And the fear of foreign intervention lingered well into the 1930s. A group of mathematicians and physicists drafted a letter to send to the French academy protesting the threat of intervention. (The fact that N.N. Luzin took extraordinary steps and tied himself into knots to avoid signing that letter was one of the gravest accusations against him when he was hauled before a special investigatory commission of the Academy of Sciences in July 1936.)

None of that excuses the insane excesses of Stalin, Beria, Abakumov, and the NKVD thugs who dragged people from their homes based on lists provided to them. If it's possible to quantify suffering, both the purges and the Holocaust go off the scale. All I'm claiming is that there were significant differences in the rationales for the two atrocities.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:10 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:. . . The whole history of the Communist movement is very complicated, . . . But we still need to ask ourselves how quickly WE would be willing to forget an invasion by a foreign army aimed at overthrowing our government. . . . None of that excuses the insane excesses of Stalin, Beria, Abakumov, and the NKVD thugs who dragged people from their homes based on lists provided to them. If it's possible to quantify suffering, both the purges and the Holocaust go off the scale. All I'm claiming is that there were significant differences in the rationales for the two atrocities.
I agree with this. With the first caveat that understanding and contextualizing differ to approbation.

And a second caveat that different governments - think: Third Reich and the stab in the back, the Versailles diktat, and so on - have different "explanations" for the emergency and foreign machinations requiring special measures. I tend to be a bit of a formalist stickler on some political rights and civic standards, because there's no neutral arbiter of such claims, fears, and/or paranoia.

If, to take your point about asking ourselves one step further, an American senator went bonkers about Reds hiding under beds and infiltrating the State Department and manipulating American policy and undermining our institutions, for example, I'd get myself in a dither over that. Or if an MSNBC news personality repeatedly read the recent history of the US politics as the product of Russian subversion, I'd be rather displeased with her. Or if, say, the American president got all paranoid about Canada's travesty of burning down the White House, I'd oppose his/her emergency measures based on such nonsense.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:13 pm

NathanC wrote: Stalin’s BS claims about foreigners trying to overthrow the USSR in the 1928 Shakhty trials, the Kirov Trials, the Great Terror etc were absolutely not. Stalin didn’t have the foreign support to the whites in mind when he, Efim Yevdokimov and Yezhov decided to arbitrarily make stuff up for their 30s era purges.
No disagreement there. About the ringleaders, you are absolutely right. But they did have people convinced that there were terrorist cells everywhere around them. Here, for example, is an editorial in the Bulletin of the USSR Academy of Sciences from 1936, just after the trial and execution of Kamenev and Zinov'ev. It tells a story you would think only the craziest person could possibly believe, but it was aimed at a highly educated and sophisticated audience, and the editors obviously thought it would be believed. Perhaps they even believed it themselves. (Again, I emphasize that the people at the top knew they were concocting show trials, but just below that level, where the actual dirty work was done, there was very likely sincere belief in these paranoid fantasies. Especially after the Shakhty and Promparty trials that you mentioned, there were probably as many people who believed the Communist Party line as there are Americans who now believe Donald Trump.)
Vestnik Akademii Nauk wrote:
On 24 August a military tribunal of the Supreme Court of the USSR handed down a sentence in the case of the Trotskii--Zinov'ev terrorist center. In its sentence the court expressed the will of the multi-million population of the Soviet Union, which is demanding merciless punishment for the gang of vicious murderers who have plotted against the happy and free life of our country and the life of the best people of our homeland, against the great leader, teacher, and friend of the workers of the world, Iosif Vissarionovich Stalin.

During the trial, this vile band of murderers, still polluting the Soviet land with their presence, told the court with the efficiency of professional murderers about the skullduggery they had carried out and were planning to carry out. This rabble of humanity, united in the Trotskii--Zinov'ev center, used methods of provocation, treachery, and lies unprecedented in human history to carry out their vile activity. All the most dishonorable and criminal weapons in the filthiest arsenals of the dregs of humanity were used in their struggle. This web of provocations, diversions, espionage and murders was woven over many years. The death of the tribune beloved of the people---the ardent warrior in the cause of Lenin and Stalin, the exemplary man Sergei Mironovich Kirov---was the doing of these thrice-contemptible murderers. There were no crimes not listed in the confessions of Zinov'ev, Kamenev, Smirnov, Bakaev, and other murderers. And they were all inseparably bound up with the name of the main criminal and inspiration of all these evildoings, the name and the actions of the Judas Trotskii. It was he, Trotskii, who united the murderers in the Trotskii--Zinov'ev center for conducting terrorism against the great leaders of Communism. It was he, Trotskii, who together with the German secret fascist police (Gestapo) wove a diversionary network of spies into the most important areas of the economy and defense of the socialist land. It was he, Trotskii, who provoked war against the Soviet Union, dreaming of taking power into his own hands. This despised Judas has been condemned by the court of history as a vile traitor and the chief of murderers.


Comrade Stalin is constantly teaching us and reminding us that "one must bear in mind that the increase in might of the Soviet state will strengthen the opposition of the last remnants of the dying classes." It is because they are dying and living out their last days that they will switch from one form of hit-and-run attack to other, sharper forms of hit-and-run attack, appealing to the backward strata of the population and mobilizing them against Soviet power. There is no dirty trick or slander that these people will not use against Soviet power and around which they will not try to mobilize the backward elements. On this basis there may be a resurgence of the defeated groups of the old counter-revolutionary parties---the Social Revolutionaries, Mensheviks, Bourgeois Nationalists of the center and the extremes. The remnants of the counter-revolutionary oppositionist elements of Trotskyites and Right Deviationists may also revive and start to stir. This, of course, is not frightening. But all this must be kept in mind if we hope to finish with these elements quickly and without too much sacrifice.

That is why "revolutionary vigilance is the quality that is especially needed by the Bolsheviks at present" (Problems of Leninism, tenth edition, p.\ 510).

The trial has confirmed yet again the wisdom and astuteness of the observations of Comrade Stalin. The possibility that a now-exposed counter-revolutionary group could arise today can be explained only by the fact that many people in the Soviet land have not yet fully assimilated the information provided by Comrade Stalin on the need for an all-out increase in revolutionary vigilance. By no means all of the staff at the Academy of Sciences have realized and assimilated the full profundity of this indispensable obligation of a Bolshevik and Soviet citizen. Placidity and smug complacency, which also had their origin in the old bourgeois traditions of the academic world, are still today extremely vigorous and strong in the Academy of Sciences. It is therefore no wonder that the Academy of Sciences has never once had to come before the Soviet community in recent years and take political and moral responsibility for the anti-Soviet and anti-government actions of its individual staff and for the acts of outright criminals using the institutions of the Academy of Sciences for their dirty purposes. It suffices to recall a number of lessons that, one would think, should have taught political sophistication and vigilance to the complacent liberals.
...

The final lesson, which lays the heaviest burden of political responsibility on the Academy of Sciences, is the discovery of a terrorist group of murderers within its walls, the Trotskii--Zinov'ev traitors. The witness Yakovlev at the trial, one of the participants in the Trotskii--Zinov'ev band that was ensconced in the Academy of Sciences, said in his testimony that Karev, who worked with him in a counter-revolutionary group in the Academy of Sciences, told him the following: In the autumn of 1932 the Zinov'evites merged with the Trotskyites. A unified Trotskii--Zinov'ev center was established. It was decided that the main method to be used by this center in fighting against the Party and Soviet power would be terrorism directed against the leaders of the Party and the government, primarily against Comrades Stalin and Kirov. "Kamenev personally confirmed this to me in 1934," said Yakovlev, "when he assigned me the task of organizing the terrorist group in the Academy of Sciences. I accepted this assignment. Kamenev then told me that the task of planning terrorist acts had been given to other groups."

This is the frank confession of criminals, from which it is clear how this pack of bandits was able to make widespread use of the connivance and gullibility of many of the staff of the older leadership of the Academy, taking over and appointing their own people to the most important parts and organizational centers of the Academy. One has only to list the names of the criminals to clarify how widespread was the use made by the Trotskii--Zinov'ev bandits of the complacency of the Academy staff, which objectively served to promote the strengthening and the spread of the group of terrorist murderers: Yakovlev, Karev, Koshelev, Papayan,Sedykh, Busygin, Gruzdev, Uranovskii, Sharov. This is only a partial list of the inveterate enemies of our homeland who plotted monstrous crimes and were caught red-handed by the organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:33 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote: The Poles also sent in spies. I think some of that included sabotage but all that activity ceased in the early 1930’s. Those incidents were blown out of proportion to justify some of the purges and repression after 1934.
Indeed they did. I've been ambiguous on the Poles for a long time. They had the highest casualty rate of any nation during World War II, having had to fight against both the USSR and the Nazis. At the end of the war, the Poles were devastated, in ruins, and living wherever they could find a place. Unfortunately, the places they found sometimes turned out to be the legal property of Jews who survived the camps and expected to get them back. The result was further violence against Jews, perpetrated by Poles. So, while I have a lot of sympathy for what they suffered, and can understand what they did after the war, I can't excuse it.

Still less, having watched the Lantzmann video in which Simon Srebnik goes back to his home town and is greeted warmly by his fellow citizens, I ended up disgusted, as one egregious ass at the BVM Birthday celebration told a story that he no doubt believed, of a rabbi who counseled his people not to resist the Nazis, citing that horrible passage in Matthew's Gospel where "the whole people cried, 'His blood be on us and on our children!'" I don't believe any rabbi ever gave such counsel or believed that that portion of the Gospel was anything but an anti-Semitic invention (which is what I believe). But the sonofabitch smiled smugly and denied that HE was making such a justification; it was the RABBI, he said, who did that. And may he rot in hell for that lie!

But I'm starting to froth at the mouth here, so I'd better quit for a while.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:46 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:And a second caveat that different governments - think: Third Reich and the stab in the back, the Versailles diktat, and so on - have different "explanations" for the emergency and foreign machinations requiring special measures. I tend to be a bit of a formalist stickler on some political rights and civic standards, because there's no neutral arbiter of such claims, fears, and/or paranoia.

If, to take your point about asking ourselves one step further, an American senator went bonkers about Reds hiding under beds and infiltrating the State Department and manipulating American policy and undermining our institutions, for example, I'd get myself in a dither over that. Or if an MSNBC news personality repeatedly read the recent history of the US politics as the product of Russian subversion, I'd be rather displeased with her. Or if, say, the American president got all paranoid about Canada's travesty of burning down the White House, I'd oppose his/her emergency measures based on such nonsense.

Well said! :D
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:07 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote: And a second caveat that different governments - think: Third Reich and the stab in the back, the Versailles diktat, and so on - have different "explanations" for the emergency and foreign machinations requiring special measures. I tend to be a bit of a formalist stickler on some political rights and civic standards, because there's no neutral arbiter of such claims, fears, and/or paranoia.
Very good point. The fact that people subjectively feared or suspected something is no kind of justification for taking action that would be excessive even if the fear or suspicion were true. I hold that every human being has a moral obligation to think as rationally as possible and make allowances for his/her own bias. That is the virtue that the minimally self-critical fanatics behind Communism and Nazism lacked. Again, there were slight differences between the two.

The plain truth was that the German army and its allies lost World War I; Britain and France had successfully repulsed the desperate offensive of March 1918, and the Germans could not duplicate that effort. They made a breakthrough, but were soon contained. They had no chance at all of prevailing after the United States came in on the side of Britain and France. This defeat had nothing to do with any betrayal by Bolsheviks or Jews. The terms of the Versailles Treaty were harsh, but not as harsh as a renewal of the war would have been, with the US still fresh and bellicose. That FACT didn't stop Hitler and the Nazis for blaming Jews and Bolsheviks, and eventually they got people in Germany to believe them. (It's ironic that it was the humanity of the allies, who didn't want to pursue the German army into the heart of Germany, that allowed Hitler to claim that the Germans had not been defeated.)

Again, there is a slight, perhaps unimportant, difference here in that the opposition to the Communists by many ordinary Soviet citizens was a real opposition. But it should have been dealt with through political debate, not through kangaroo courts and prison camps and firing squads. Like Hitler, Stalin was able to concoct fantastic paranoid tales that many people believed, because they had experience of the foreign intervention and the brutality of the White Guards (which was no better and no worse than the brutality of the Reds in the Civil War---that must be said).
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:46 pm

This discussion is reminding me of the extent to which paranoia about “outsiders” - from the Alien Sedition Act to the anti Catholic riots of the early 1800s to Palmer’s Red Scare to McCarthyism - has been part of the American tradition. Stirred up in many cases as much to go after domestic opponents, and deny them rights and to take away their platform for speech and action, as to “solve” a real problem concerning foreigners. And this is leaving aside for the moment our founding reality and long history of “settler violence” in ethnic cleansing of the North American continent.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Denying-History » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:10 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:Again, there is a slight, perhaps unimportant, difference here in that the opposition to the Communists by many ordinary Soviet citizens was a real opposition. But it should have been dealt with through political debate, not through kangaroo courts and prison camps and firing squads. Like Hitler, Stalin was able to concoct fantastic paranoid tales that many people believed, because they had experience of the foreign intervention and the brutality of the White Guards (which was no better and no worse than the brutality of the Reds in the Civil War---that must be said).
Perhaps saying Stalin concocted false threats of opposition is to a degree pushing it. The Trials were built off from actual opposition groups and there is to effect some evidence supporting that the Trotskyite-Zinovieviet-Rightist center did have members that flirted with the ideas of kidnapping Lenin and assassinating Stalin. Two important characters would be Bukharin and Trotsky's son Sedov, of whom one only considered the idea in the aftermath of the first trial and the start of the 2nd. The main issue is that Stalin's opponents were not simply fantasy, and while the accusations were incorrect he didn't assume they guilty in a irrational sense, especially when the NKVD - despite Getty's assumptions - hid the fact this opposition existed from him until he came to know about it sometime in 1935-1936. It is even quite possible that Yagoda had connections to this oppositionist group - which if the evidence that supports this claim is true, would only further debunk the trials - and this was the reason for his removal, and falls well within the issue that the Soviet Union was surrounded by constant enemies only further pressuring the Soviets. It is part of the reason for the assault on the Ukrainian elites during the 1932-1933 famine was a fear of Poland and Japan; an issue for which there is evidence, only that the reasoning turned out to be faulty.
Last edited by Denying-History on Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
« The Terror here is a horrifying fact. There is a fear that reaches down and haunts all sections of the community. No household, however humble, apparently but what lives in constant fear of nocturnal raid by the secret police. . .This particular purge is undoubtedly political. . . It is deliberately projected by the party leaders, who themselves regretted the necessity for it. »
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by NathanC » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:42 am

Denying_History wrote:t is even quite possible that Yagoda had connections to this oppositionist group - which if the evidence that supports this claim would only further debunk the trials - and this was the reason for his removal,
The Deniers are going to {!#%@} themselves once evidence of this comes out. By no means does it absolve Yagoda, but it really doesn’t help the deniers’ fantasy that Yagoda - and by Proxy “Jews”- were Stalin’s “favorites” And responsible for his crimes.

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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Denying-History » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:03 am

NathanC wrote:
Denying_History wrote:t is even quite possible that Yagoda had connections to this oppositionist group - which if the evidence that supports this claim would only further debunk the trials - and this was the reason for his removal,
The Deniers are going to {!#%@} themselves once evidence of this comes out. By no means does it absolve Yagoda, but it really doesn’t help the deniers’ fantasy that Yagoda - and by Proxy “Jews”- were Stalin’s “favorites” And responsible for his crimes.
Even without it, Stalin was definitely displeased with Yagoda. Removing ether because of a bad reputation with the politburo for using blackmail, or another possibility is for him covering up the Bloc's existence which could be for a multitude of reasons. This was the view after-all that Stalin expressed (See Life and Terror p.35).
« The Terror here is a horrifying fact. There is a fear that reaches down and haunts all sections of the community. No household, however humble, apparently but what lives in constant fear of nocturnal raid by the secret police. . .This particular purge is undoubtedly political. . . It is deliberately projected by the party leaders, who themselves regretted the necessity for it. »
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:33 am

I thank both of you guys, Denying-History and NathanC, for these interesting comments.

I just finished a 1990s biography of Beria, and was surprised to learn that after Stalin died, Beria made a lot of radical changes in the direction of an early Thaw. But Khrushchev was cannier than he was, even though on the face of it Beria's hand was much stronger. Exactly as shown in the recent movie "The Death of Stalin," Beria had Moscow under his control with tens of thousands of MVD troops. Again, exactly as shown in the movie, Zhukov showed up at the crucial time to make the arrest of Beria possible. Officially, Beria was executed six months later, but the evidence for that is still not conclusive. He MAY have been killed immediately after his arrest (again, just as in the movie).

But this is wandering away from the Holocaust connection. Maybe I'll start a new thread on the purges on one of the other boards.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:04 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:But this is wandering away from the Holocaust connection. Maybe I'll start a new thread on the purges on one of the other boards.
IMO the discussion of the purges as part of the comparison of regimes is appropriate here, in this subforum. Also, perhaps selfishly, I am enjoying reading this thread and hearing the various views and getting new, to me, information, so I want it to stay here and handy! :mrgreen:
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:16 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Upton_O_Goode wrote:But this is wandering away from the Holocaust connection. Maybe I'll start a new thread on the purges on one of the other boards.
IMO the discussion of the purges as part of the comparison of regimes is appropriate here, in this subforum. Also, perhaps selfishly, I am enjoying reading this thread and hearing the various views and getting new, to me, information, so I want it to stay here and handy! :mrgreen:
OK, I'll stay here with it. :D
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:31 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:I thank both of you guys, Denying-History and NathanC, for these interesting comments.

I just finished a 1990s biography of Beria, and was surprised to learn that after Stalin died, Beria made a lot of radical changes in the direction of an early Thaw. But Khrushchev was cannier than he was, even though on the face of it Beria's hand was much stronger. Exactly as shown in the recent movie "The Death of Stalin," Beria had Moscow under his control with tens of thousands of MVD troops. Again, exactly as shown in the movie, Zhukov showed up at the crucial time to make the arrest of Beria possible. Officially, Beria was executed six months later, but the evidence for that is still not conclusive. He MAY have been killed immediately after his arrest (again, just as in the movie).

But this is wandering away from the Holocaust connection. Maybe I'll start a new thread on the purges on one of the other boards.
No, you can do it here.
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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Balsamo » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:05 pm

Upton:
Actually, when I took a Russian visitor to meet Bernie Sanders, who was mayor of Burlington at the time, Bernie told the guy he himself was a Trotskyite. Not sure what that meant.
There is more to come as soon as i have the time for it.

But just answer this specific question which is quite important. Trotsky beleived that the goal to achieve - this was the same for him and Stalin - that is the "world revolution" - had to be led internationally, that is thanks for local communist initiatives within every countries, that the USSR should therefore apply a supportive policy to those individual groups. Trotsky conceived that different people had specific character and that the world revolution should take those characters into consideration.
The Revolution should be international in goal as well as in means, if you understand what i mean.

Stalin, on the other hand, did not trust those foreign leaders. In his perspective, the World Revolution had to be centralized in the USSR, in Moscow, and at the Kremlin, and spread directly from there, as he actually did by the end of 1945.

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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Sergey_Romanov » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:10 am

> Officially, Beria was executed six months later, but the evidence for that is still not conclusive. He MAY have been killed immediately after his arrest (again, just as in the movie).

No, that's a conspiracy theory spread by the likes of Mukhin. There are his handwritten notes to the Politburo from prison, hundreds of pages of secret interrogation protocols and trial protocols. It's not "not conclusive", it's just a fact that he was arrested, tried and executed.

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Re: Nazis and Communists compared

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:49 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:> Officially, Beria was executed six months later, but the evidence for that is still not conclusive. He MAY have been killed immediately after his arrest (again, just as in the movie).

No, that's a conspiracy theory spread by the likes of Mukhin. There are his handwritten notes to the Politburo from prison, hundreds of pages of secret interrogation protocols and trial protocols. It's not "not conclusive", it's just a fact that he was arrested, tried and executed.

Thanks. As I said, my source was from the 1990s. Certainly the official announcements were made in December. The author was simply speculating that Beria was a danger to Khrushchev and his cronies, and so they would likely have wanted him out of the way as quickly as possible. The protocols you mentioned may not have been available to the author in the mid-1990s.

In any case, good as the movie was, it gave the impression that Beria was executed immediately after Stalin's funeral, when in fact he wasn't even arrested until May or June. (While I mention the movie, I will point out that the characters were cast very badly from a physical point of view. Khrushchev was far too thin, and Zhukov looked much too young.)
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

― Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850), French economist