General Books/Reading Discussion

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:56 am

Hanebrink's book is not strong. It is very basic, to be charitable.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:47 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:56 am
Hanebrink's book is not strong. It is very basic, to be charitable.
My main issue with it so far is the uneven sourcing but it might just be my electronic copy.
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:05 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:39 am
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:36 am
Jeffk 1970 wrote: I also got the Kindle version of A Specter Hainting Europe: the Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism.
Started this up again.
Thanks, Jeff. That's going to be my next read, followed by the Antoniou & Moses series mentioned by StatMech. My most recent read was an old book, Primo Levi's "The Drowned and the Saved." Levi gave the definitive answer to those (including even my friend and idol Raul Hilberg!) that the Jews should have fought back. He pointed out how really, really hard it is to fight back when you are stripped naked in the cold. He did once strike back at a prison guard and paid a terrible price for that. His final chapter, I think, was the best, in which he summarized the various letters he got from Germans, most of whom seemed to be guilt-ridden and some of whom were desperately trying to spin the Holocaust differently.
Avoid this topic for a bit:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=25117

I’ll be posting things there about it and I don’t want to ruin the book for you.
:D
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:58 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:47 pm
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:56 am
Hanebrink's book is not strong. It is very basic, to be charitable.
My main issue with it so far is the uneven sourcing but it might just be my electronic copy.
I think it is a pretty shallow dive. A quick read, nothing special.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:04 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:58 pm
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:47 pm
Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:56 am
Hanebrink's book is not strong. It is very basic, to be charitable.
My main issue with it so far is the uneven sourcing but it might just be my electronic copy.
I think it is a pretty shallow dive. A quick read, nothing special.
I’ll post more about it later. I haven’t gotten far enough in to form an opinion yet.
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:27 pm

Decided to be more careful with reading this year. I get a rush of books in December, read them all by March and left scrambling around for the rest of the year.

I have some books on hold with the library:
Iron, Fire and Ice (about the real history that inspired the Ice and Fire fantasy series)
Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy by Max Hastings
The American Revolution: A World War by David Allison
The Story of Britain: A History of the Great Ages by Roy Strong

This is a departure from our melancholy subject that would do me some good. I’m also going to re-read and post some things that I’ve been thinking about.
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:24 am

Forgot my Kindle at home today so I started something different:
The Evacuation, Dismantling and Liberation of KL Auschwitz.
Lucky for me I stuck it in my car when it arrived.
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:54 pm

I highly recommend Slavko Goldstein's 1941. It is a simply written book that gets into difficult and complex issues. A Jew, whose family saw many members perish at the hands of the Ustasha and also the Romanians and Germans, Goldstein focuses much of his narrative on the genocide of the Serbs and ethnic conflict in Croatia (Serbs, Croatians) and lays out his case for the criminal failures of the Tito government after the war (Goldstein served as an officer with Tito's partisans). The Holocaust receives less attention. The book focuses on events in Karlovac and in the Kordun region, in particular two neighboring towns, one Serbian, one Croatian, taking their history up through the 1990s. Goldstein explains how policy and larger developments played out in these places, where he spent time during the war and before joining the partisans.

Some points I noted, Goldstein shows that contra Mary Q and many deniers, and also contemporary theorists of mass violence, Croatian perpetrators (e.g., quoting from a supporter of the Ustasha, Fr Nikšić and from an August 1941 report of a gendarme platoon in Slunj) understood cleansing (Fr Nikšić referred to "the so-called cleansing") as including mass murder and other violence; how Jews were almost wiped out in Croatia before some of those surviving began gravitating toward Tito's partisans (which movement mushroomed after the Jews were largely gone, contra the tenets of "Judeo-Bolshevism"); and how German observers were horrified by Ustasha genocide of the Serbs even as they egged on mass murder of the Jews - and that Italian observers saw the extermination of the Jews as potentially upsetting security in their zones.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:53 pm

I finished up part of a project I've been working on and, after dealing with some fallout of the big chill (still -23F here and my house doesn't like it this cold), having been sitting by a fire staring at Tomasevich, War and Revolution in Yugoslavia. It's a major commitment, ~850 pp, overlarge trim size, small type. I dunno . . .
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:37 pm

Working my way through “The Evacuation, Dismantling and Liberation of Auschwitz.”

Funny, one of my workers came in, saw my book and said “Good God, another book on Auschwitz??????”

:lol:
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:16 pm

In the spirit of the public opinion polling on the Holocaust, I asked my wife to name a few ghettos and camps: she promptly said, "Wudj [Łódż], Vilnius, Majdanek." After noting "Sobibór, Bergen-Belsen, and Bewzhets [Bełżec]" she finally mentioned Auschwitz. :)
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:23 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:16 pm
In the spirit of the public opinion polling on the Holocaust, I asked my wife to name a few ghettos and camps: she promptly said, "Wudj [Łódż], Vilnius, Majdanek." After noting "Sobibór, Bergen-Belsen, and Bewzhets [Bełżec]" she finally mentioned Auschwitz. :)
Hey, the brainwashing is working with her!!!
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Denying-History » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:52 pm

Not sure if I’ve mentioned this book here yet, but I’m considering ordering it:

https://twitter.com/katstupidski/status ... 23392?s=21

After talking about Jasenovac here I kinda got an interest in Croatian-Serbian revisionism about their past war crimes. Outside of my reading on Srebrenica I’ve taken the time to read in full Franjo Tudjman‘s “Horrors of War: Historical Reality and Philosophy” after reading a very manipulative critique by Diana Johnstone in her book “Fools Crusade”. Based on reading Goldstein and Goldstein’s book it contains serious errors which they refute between pages 524-535. The book above is a critique of some of Tudjmans Serbian critiques, which would be interest to have for checking G&G’s claims about the book.
« 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. »
Joseph E. Davies

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:58 pm

What book is that?
Last edited by Statistical Mechanic on Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:39 am

Denying-History wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:52 pm
Not sure if I’ve mentioned this book here yet, but I’m considering ordering it:

https://twitter.com/katstupidski/status ... 23392?s=21

After talking about Jasenovac here I kinda got an interest in Croatian-Serbian revisionism about their past war crimes. Outside of my reading on Srebrenica I’ve taken the time to read in full Franjo Tudjman‘s “Horrors of War: Historical Reality and Philosophy” after reading a very manipulative critique by Diana Johnstone in her book “Fools Crusade”. Based on reading Goldstein and Goldstein’s book it contains serious errors which they refute between pages 524-535. The book above is a critique of some of Tudjmans Serbian critiques, which would be interest to have for checking G&G’s claims about the book.
Am I missing something in that tweet?
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:41 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:56 am
Hanebrink's book is not strong. It is very basic, to be charitable.
BTW I’m starting to get what you mean. I dropped it. I’ll pick it back up again but it started to get really repetitive.
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:47 am

A disappointment as, it would seem we all concur, it is an important and interesting topic.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Denying-History » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:25 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:39 am
Denying-History wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:52 pm
Not sure if I’ve mentioned this book here yet, but I’m considering ordering it:

https://twitter.com/katstupidski/status ... 23392?s=21

After talking about Jasenovac here I kinda got an interest in Croatian-Serbian revisionism about their past war crimes. Outside of my reading on Srebrenica I’ve taken the time to read in full Franjo Tudjman‘s “Horrors of War: Historical Reality and Philosophy” after reading a very manipulative critique by Diana Johnstone in her book “Fools Crusade”. Based on reading Goldstein and Goldstein’s book it contains serious errors which they refute between pages 524-535. The book above is a critique of some of Tudjmans Serbian critiques, which would be interest to have for checking G&G’s claims about the book.
Am I missing something in that tweet?


Wasn’t buying any book between October-January
« 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. »
Joseph E. Davies

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:59 pm

Although the small type and oversized trim result in my reading just a page every two days, I have to say that this Tomasevich book, of which I've some parts before, is superb and deserves being read cover to cover, even if doing so will take me a decade and a half.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:24 pm

One interesting point, relevant to the strange case of Individual-1 today, arises in the early chapters of Tomasevich's book. He writes about how the Poglavnik, Ante Pavelić, held meetings before assuming power in Croatia with Mussolini to confirm terms that were treasonous not only to Yugoslavia but also to Croatia; subsequent meetings Pavelić held with Italy and Germany as head of state of the NDH, in supposed pursuit of his ultra-nationalist course ("Croatia First"), continued to undermine the territorial and other claims of Croatian nationalism in favor of German foreign policy and Italian aspirations in the region. These meetings, in some instances to the consternation of Mussolini, were not memorialized. "Pavelić," explains Tomasevich, "never wrote about his meetings with Mussolini, nor did he confide in even his closest associates about what was discussed. In fact, if at all possible, Pavelić attended all meetings with German and Italian officials as the sole representative of the Croatian side." p 57
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:59 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:37 pm
Working my way through “The Evacuation, Dismantling and Liberation of Auschwitz.”

Funny, one of my workers came in, saw my book and said “Good God, another book on Auschwitz??????”

:lol:
Finished this today.
Not quite what I wanted or expected. It dealt more with evacuation and very little with Dismantling.

Still good. I recommend if you can find a decently priced copy. More to come...
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:07 pm

I just got a recent one from 2017: "The Evil of Banality" by Elizabeth Minnich. And I'll bet no one would have suspected she was a student of Hannah Arendt ( :D ). Minnich sets out to analyze genocide in general, and mainly to account for the thinking processes of the Enablers/Bystanders. I've read only a little of it so far, but I like her style. The Nazi Holocaust was unique, and there's a lot of material on both the Perpetrators and the Bystanders (among them, of course, Arendt's own books). Outside that, one can often see ethnic hatreds behind the genocides, as in Rwanda and Kosovo. But the Soviet atrocities were not really a genocide, and ethnic hatreds don't account for it. Nor was there at the beginning any particular support for the policies that Stalin pushed through a compliant Politburo and Central Committee. Maybe Minnich can explain to me the seemingly insane policy of setting quotas of people to be arrested and shot, sending those quotas to regional agents of the NKVD. Perhaps she can also explain why those agents didn't show any reluctance (perhaps fear of themselves being the next victims?) and frequently asked for increases in the quotas. That makes the Soviet massacres also unique in this macabre category.

Side issue: Of late, I find more and more new books being printed on paper that I always associated with the Russian library that I acquired in the 1960s. If you have samples of it, you know what I'm talking about. It's the farthest possible thing from being acid-free paper, and it will crumble to dust within 50 years; In short, it brings home vividly the aura that the word "Soviet" conjures up. Well, sic transit.... Perhaps the publishers finally recognize that they aren't going to make any money from what they print once a couple of decades pass, so why not get the cheapest materials that will hold together that long? (The wisdom we might have acquired, had we only paid attention to the USSR!)
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:54 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:07 pm
But the Soviet atrocities were not really a genocide, and ethnic hatreds don't account for it.
What Stalin did is something I struggle with because I agree that what he did doesn’t necessarily equal genocide.

I’ve read things about what is called “The Holodomor” or the mass starvation deaths of the Ukrainians. Stalin purged the Ukrainian Communist Party leadership and made mass starvation possible by stripping the countryside of food. It caused famine and the deaths of millions of ethnic Ukrainians. On the surface that looks like genocide but after a year or so Stalin relented and ethnic Ukrainians survived. It’s also important to note that this famine went on in different areas of the USSR and not just the Ukraine (though it was particularly harsh there). What isn’t as acknowledged is that one of the underlying causes of Stalin’s harshness towards peasants is that there were collective protests and downright insurrection from peasants over collectivization.

As for the Great Purge, as you said Troikas shot or deported many based upon quotas and even asked those quotas to be increased. But they were in some ways indiscriminate, directed towards a semi-imaginary class of “Kulaks” or ethnic minorities like Poles, Germans,or Jews. Stalin became very paranoid about the possibility of war and it was his way of clearing the decks and eliminating possible traitors. Ironic how Lenin embraced cultural ethnicities and Stalin made it a potential death sentence.
Nor was there at the beginning any particular support for the policies that Stalin pushed through a compliant Politburo and Central Committee. Maybe Minnich can explain to me the seemingly insane policy of setting quotas of people to be arrested and shot, sending those quotas to regional agents of the NKVD. Perhaps she can also explain why those agents didn't show any reluctance (perhaps fear of themselves being the next victims?)
Their enthusiasm didn’t save them, Stalin purged many them and had them shot.
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:20 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 8:54 pm
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:07 pm
But the Soviet atrocities were not really a genocide, and ethnic hatreds don't account for it.
What Stalin did is something I struggle with because I agree that what he did doesn’t necessarily equal genocide.

I’ve read things about what is called “The Holodomor” or the mass starvation deaths of the Ukrainians. Stalin purged the Ukrainian Communist Party leadership and made mass starvation possible by stripping the countryside of food. It caused famine and the deaths of millions of ethnic Ukrainians. On the surface that looks like genocide but after a year or so Stalin relented and ethnic Ukrainians survived. It’s also important to note that this famine went on in different areas of the USSR and not just the Ukraine (though it was particularly harsh there). What isn’t as acknowledged is that one of the underlying causes of Stalin’s harshness towards peasants is that there were collective protests and downright insurrection from peasants over collectivization.

As for the Great Purge, as you said Troikas shot or deported many based upon quotas and even asked those quotas to be increased. But they were in some ways indiscriminate, directed towards a semi-imaginary class of “Kulaks” or ethnic minorities like Poles, Germans,or Jews. Stalin became very paranoid about the possibility of war and it was his way of clearing the decks and eliminating possible traitors. Ironic how Lenin embraced cultural ethnicities and Stalin made it a potential death sentence.
Nor was there at the beginning any particular support for the policies that Stalin pushed through a compliant Politburo and Central Committee. Maybe Minnich can explain to me the seemingly insane policy of setting quotas of people to be arrested and shot, sending those quotas to regional agents of the NKVD. Perhaps she can also explain why those agents didn't show any reluctance (perhaps fear of themselves being the next victims?)
Their enthusiasm didn’t save them, Stalin purged many them and had them shot.
Thanks, JeffK. I've been studying the USSR and Communism for 60 years, and have lived in Moscow (1988--89, now 30 years ago!). And, of course, I have many Russian friends who (sadly) are quite naïve about their own past. Some way has got to be found to make sense of the Lenin/Stalin atrocities. A book I recently read (Москва в улицах и лицах by Lev Kolodny) savages Lenin as an upper-class twit who deprived Soviet citizens of all the advantages he himself had under the Tsar. (Lenin was allowed to enroll in Kazan University, even though his brother Aleksandr had been hanged for an attempt on the life of the Tsar; just TRY to imagine that being allowed under the USSR, which had invented the crime of being a "member of the family of a traitor to the homeland"!) At the same time, Kolodny rates Stalin as a great hero and patriot whose energy single-handedly vanquished the Nazis and saved the people. This is the kind of fatuous stupidity that Russians tend to indulge in.

And I like your last point: After he murdered all the enemies of the people, he set about murdering the murderers who worked for him. It reminds me of CS Lewis's version of Hell in The Screwtape Letters in which a senior Devil tells his subordinate: Bring us food or become food yourself. Now that I think of it, Lewis had a pretty good understanding of the mentality of these atrocities:
CS Lewis wrote:I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.
(Preface to The Screwtape Letters)
Last edited by Upton_O_Goode on Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:27 am, edited 3 times in total.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:36 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:20 pm
Some way has got to be found to make sense of the Lenin/Stalin atrocities.
I'll bite. He committed genocide for a variety of self serving reasons. What beyond that fact alone has to be understood in any way that justifies such action? You don't have to go deep, when the truth is right on the surface.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:39 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:36 pm
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 11:20 pm
Some way has got to be found to make sense of the Lenin/Stalin atrocities.
I'll bite. He committed genocide for a variety of self serving reasons. What beyond that fact alone has to be understood in any way that justifies such action? You don't have to go deep, when the truth is right on the surface.
I want to go deeper. Stalin didn't "commit genocide." Nobody can do that. He had to have the assistance of hundreds of thousands of others. What was the mentality of those who supported him? Probably, there was considerable variation, from careerism to honest faith in Communism and (in between) rational desire not to be found with no place to sit down when the music stops. Given that everybody is in a life boat and people are jostling to keep from being pushed overboard by others, cooperation is not a likely outcome, and homicide becomes routine.

It's the same question that Tolstoy asked in War and Peace: Why did hundreds of thousands of soldiers volunteer to serve with Napoleon in his disastrous Russian expedition of 1812? Tolstoy was a genius at posing questions and an idiot at answering them, so we can't accept his answer, involving the irrestible force of History (the same "explanation" that Victor Hugo gives in Les misérables for Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo).
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:04 am

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:39 am


I want to go deeper. Stalin didn't "commit genocide." Nobody can do that. He had to have the assistance of hundreds of thousands of others. What was the mentality of those who supported him? Probably, there was considerable variation, from careerism to honest faith in Communism and (in between) rational desire not to be found with no place to sit down when the music stops. Given that everybody is in a life boat and people are jostling to keep from being pushed overboard by others, cooperation is not a likely outcome, and homicide becomes routine.
I remember something Laurence Rees wrote in his book on Auschwitz. He interviewed former Nazis, Communists and Japanese soldiers for various projects he did for the BBC. Out of all of them he noticed that former Nazi perpetrators most often believed (if that’s the right word) in the rightness of their cause. Far from being robots they used their initiative to get things done. They were given a lot of leeway in working things out.

The Communists were more convinced that someone somewhere knew why they had to commit the acts they did. They took comfort in that (keep in mind these were more of the foot soldier type). I don’t remember what he said about the Japanese.

I remember that because after all I’ve read I think some of this is true but it’s more complex than what Rees said it was. Yes, you had foot soldier types but even their motivations could be complex. A Polish woman recounted how an NKVD soldier made sure she kept her doll when she and her mother were deported to Siberia. He made sure they took their warm things with them. The woman came to realize how important that doll was when her mother traded it for food.

As for those higher I think all those motivations hold true, the ones you speak of. I also include devotion to (and being afraid of) Stalin. Nikolai Yezhov was extremely devoted to Stalin and did his bidding. Naturally that didn’t save his life. It often became a catch-22. I don’t remember the name off hand but an NKVD deputy falsified evidence and “unmasked” a massive “Polish-Fascist Center” (if I remember it right) in his province. He proudly turned over the evidence...only to face very sharp questions on how he could allow such a thing to happen under his watch. He was later purged and executed. Everyone he betrayed died as well.
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:17 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:04 am
As for those higher I think all those motivations hold true, the ones you speak of. I also include devotion to (and being afraid of) Stalin. Nikolai Yezhov was extremely devoted to Stalin and did his bidding. Naturally that didn’t save his life. It often became a catch-22. I don’t remember the name off hand but an NKVD deputy falsified evidence and “unmasked” a massive “Polish-Fascist Center” (if I remember it right) in his province. He proudly turned over the evidence...only to face very sharp questions on how he could allow such a thing to happen under his watch. He was later purged and executed. Everyone he betrayed died as well.
That Catch-22 was recognized early on. There's a book on the 1936 hearings in the Academy of Sciences to consider charges against the mathematician Nikolai Nikolaevich Luzin (1883--1950), English translation now available from the American Mathematical Society. ("The Case of Academician Nikolai Nikolaevich Luzin"). Luzin's students (who were among the elite of Soviet mathematicians) had nearly all quarreled with him and wanted him out of the way. But only a couple of stupid zealots wanted to accuse him of being anti-Soviet. His most vicious accuser, Pavel Sergeevich Aleksandrov (topologist) tied himself in knots insisting that there couldn't possibly have been any anti-Soviet intention on Luzin's part. This was mere prudence, because if the master was found guilty of anti-Soviet activity, then his students would soon follow him into the GULag. (In the end, Luzin was allowed to make a groveling confession of his errors and was not sent to prison. He never forgave Aleksandrov, who, despite being President of the Moscow Mathematical Society from 1932 to 1964, was not elected to the Academy of Sciences until after Luzin's death. Luzin had kept his post in the Academy and made damned sure Aleksandrov didn't get in.)
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:22 am

One of these days I’m going to get back to the history of the USSR I purchased last year. It’s a point of interest but right now I’m tied up with different things.
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by landrew » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:30 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:22 am
One of these days I’m going to get back to the history of the USSR I purchased last year. It’s a point of interest but right now I’m tied up with different things.
Does it mention that Lenin was sent by the German government to disrupt Russia?
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:38 am

landrew wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:30 am
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:22 am
One of these days I’m going to get back to the history of the USSR I purchased last year. It’s a point of interest but right now I’m tied up with different things.
Does it mention that Lenin was sent by the German government to disrupt Russia?

Oh, yes. The German Government helped fund the Bolsheviks.

Edited to clarify....

The German Government allowed Lenin through and provided funding to keep the Bolsheviks afloat for awhile in order to increase chaos. They also thought the Bolsheviks would be easier to negotiate with.
Last edited by Jeffk 1970 on Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=31585&p=713843#p713843

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:56 am

Upton: so its not a question about why did Stalin do it but rather how/why did society go along with it? OK.........I think the answer there is pretty standard as well. An issue of philosophy or social studies or human psychology rather than History? Genocide is more common than generally given credit:

The Banality of Evil: Hannah Arendt on the Normalization of Human ... and facing evil, in which she observed: “Throughout our nervous history, we have constructed pyramidic towers of evil, ofttimes in the name of good. https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/02/0 ... y-of-evil/

Fun/better question: How far from genocide is any ((chose your own country.....or pick a country of your choice)) country? USA is a history of little else...........if you tweak the definition just a little bit. Indians then Blacks.....now the middle class.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:19 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:56 am
Upton: so its not a question about why did Stalin do it but rather how/why did society go along with it? OK.........I think the answer there is pretty standard as well. An issue of philosophy or social studies or human psychology rather than History? Genocide is more common than generally given credit:

The Banality of Evil: Hannah Arendt on the Normalization of Human ... and facing evil, in which she observed: “Throughout our nervous history, we have constructed pyramidic towers of evil, ofttimes in the name of good. https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/02/0 ... y-of-evil/

Fun/better question: How far from genocide is any ((chose your own country.....or pick a country of your choice)) country? USA is a history of little else...........if you tweak the definition just a little bit. Indians then Blacks.....now the middle class.
Well, precisely!! And that was Hannah Arendt's point and also the point made by her student, so far as I'm able to penetrate her labyrinthine syntax. (Reading almost any of her paragraphs is like walking through a briar patch up to your waist in mud.) The point, which you are also alluding to, is that this (admittedly) monstrous evil is not really out of the ordinary. Minnich is trying to get at the thought processes that make it possible for a Tutsi to murder with a machete an old man who had lived next door to him for all his life and with whom the murderer had frequently had friendly visits and shared meals. After killing the old man, the murderer went home and told his wife, and then they retired for the night and slept peacefully.

Minnich points out that what looks like a drastic inversion of human values is really the result of a very gradual deviation from the norm, each bend in the road being so slight that the mind accepts it as a straight line. When the others we use for reference show no sign of alarm, we (and she does mean WE) accept as normal things that would previously have disturbed us slightly. After enough of such changes, we find we are going calmly in a direction opposite to the one we were once pursuing. (See also the quotation of Molotov in my new signature. There's a perfect example of a man who couldn't, at any one point, say "Enough!") Minnich opens her book with a reference to The Plague by Albert Camus, which I have read twice. The roots of the plague were dormant germs that had lived on in closets and drawers and cellars for perhaps centuries, and the earliest signs were the strange deaths of rats. At first, the dead rats were hardly noticed, and people began to take them as just another fact of everyday life. Then the people started dying, and still the responsible authorities tried to pretend all was well.

Despite the fact that I think I understand only about 25% of what she is writing, I'm grateful to Minnich for that insight. The analogy that the causes and outbreaks of a plague have with the causes and outbreaks of anti-Semitism and other varieties of hatred leading to genocide will stick with me. And that, I think is the point that Minnich is elaborately and ponderously trying to make: The basic problem in all these atrocities is the human tendency to normalize things, facilitated by mutual support in a delusion.

I have often noted that anti-Semitism dies down only to the root, but soon regenerates. Some 40 years ago, when the TV miniseries Roots was being shown, there were furious protests in the southern states against this "Jew-produced slander of the South." But it was at the time popular, even fashionable, to be Jewish. That easy acceptance of Jews has been somewhat eroded since 2016, and it is now necessary to note this (as yet) slight bend in the road and exert every effort that we can to get back on the straight path.

Hindsight is good, of course. In Judgment at Nuremberg, Spencer Tracy's character visits the Nazi judge he has sentenced, and the judge tells him, "I never thought it would come to that." Spencer Tracy says, "It came to that the first time you sentenced a person you knew to be innocent." Yes indeed, that's all too easy to see in retrospect. The difficult thing is to see it in prospect.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Goody67 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:33 pm

Last week I ordered:

Vladimir Lenin, Development of Capitalism in Russia
Tom Bottomore, A Dictionary of Marxist Thought
Bertram Wolfe, Three Who Made a Revolution
Ronald Clark, Lenin: The Man Behind the Mask
John Plamenatz, Karl Marx's Philosophy of Man
Isaac Deutscher, Marxism in Our Time
Leonard Schapiro, The Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Robin Blackburn, Revolution and Class Struggle: Reader in Marxist Politics
Howard Selsam, Reader in Marxist Philosophy
Christopher Hampton, Socialism in a Crippled World

I shall read whichever one comes through the post first. :D
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Goody67 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:39 pm

Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:07 pm
But the Soviet atrocities were not really a genocide, and ethnic hatreds don't account for it.
Ukraine and 15 other countries would disagree with you on the Holodomor.

How does the ethnic hatreds not account for anything? Stalin's dictatorship resulted in many forms of discrimination against different ethnic groups e.g. the Poles and the Jews.
Nor was there at the beginning any particular support for the policies that Stalin pushed through a compliant Politburo and Central Committee.
That's because like the Nazis, the Soviets were full of {!#%@} and told people what they wanted to hear. Although Soviet figures publicly condemned nationalism and racism, they practiced the complete opposite. The Soviets were responsible for large transfers of peoples (including the ethnic cleansing of minorities) and state-sponsored anti-Polish and anti-Jewish racism.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:50 pm

Upton: thanks for the expanding reply. I think the analogy to the Plague is more an example of literature than analysis? Most metaphors are. The only commonality is "things coming on slowly." Genocide, Wars, that Tutsi killing the old neighbor: more directly than "unrecognized causation" is more basic and is just mans inhumanity towards man. We basically don't care about one another and only care about our own self advancement or security. Nothing to do with lack of recognition. Where to draw any line you can think of: just right before ME. Same as it always has been. 94% care and concern FOR ME. 3% to wifey. 2% to kiddies. 1%: anyone else I don't actively hate.

Just look.
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:10 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:56 am
Hanebrink's book is not strong. It is very basic, to be charitable.
Here's my problem with it. As you say, it's very basic. It takes a very broad view without answering why.

What I prefer is answering the why it's a myth. The author admits that many top Communist officials were Jewish. What made them that way? Also, one of the strongest areas of the book was detailing numbers of Jews that were actually Communist or voted that way. I'll post the numbers when I finish but the number of Jews that voted Communist were small.

I think a better route would be to take a country by country view and give numbers. I also would not have minded more insight into Jews who became Communists.
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:40 pm

Andre Gerrits’ book, The Myth of Jewish Communism, whilst not that well written, gets into many of those issues better, I thought.
. . . all right we are two nations . . .

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:10 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:40 pm
Andre Gerrits’ book, The Myth of Jewish Communism, whilst not that well written, gets into many of those issues better, I thought.
I think I’m going to dig through the secondary sources on this one. The bibliography is what I’m going to focus on once I finish.
A sober appraisal would put Himmler himself in the racially average band, or to some extent even below it: his face was round rather than oval, his nose more broad than slim, his normal bearing more ‘sagging’ than erect...
Longerich: Himmler

Hhhhhhhmmmmmm, is it possible that Carlo Mattogno is the greatest scholar the world has ever known?
:lol: :lol:
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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:45 pm

Goody67 wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:39 pm
Upton_O_Goode wrote:
Sat Feb 02, 2019 6:07 pm
But the Soviet atrocities were not really a genocide, and ethnic hatreds don't account for it.
Ukraine and 15 other countries would disagree with you on the Holodomor.

How does the ethnic hatreds not account for anything? Stalin's dictatorship resulted in many forms of discrimination against different ethnic groups e.g. the Poles and the Jews.
Nor was there at the beginning any particular support for the policies that Stalin pushed through a compliant Politburo and Central Committee.
That's because like the Nazis, the Soviets were full of {!#%@} and told people what they wanted to hear. Although Soviet figures publicly condemned nationalism and racism, they practiced the complete opposite. The Soviets were responsible for large transfers of peoples (including the ethnic cleansing of minorities) and state-sponsored anti-Polish and anti-Jewish racism.
Yes, certain ethnic groups were targeted for persecution (like the Ukrainians) and/or relocation (such as the Tatars), but they were not targeted for extermination. Hence, this was not a genocide. The underlying drive was to eliminate opposition to Stalin's policies, by murdering a lot of people. But look at the criteria for the roundups. Only the Germans, in the late 30s, were targeted because of their nationality, and that was because Stalin thought they were loyal to Hitler.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)