Stalin, Communists, and Fatal Statistics

The Macon Telegraph
Article Type: 
Published Date: 
Sunday, January 8, 2012

"One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic," said Joseph Stalin (1879-1953). It is estimated that between 20 to 40 million people, mostly Russians, were killed by Stalin during his dictatorship (1924-1953). Stalin, the Soviet dictator, not only exterminated purported "enemies of the peoples" but also liquidated almost the entire slate of communist Bolshevik leaders, who had been his and Lenin's friends during the Russian Revolution of 1917. The Great Leader, Joseph Stalin, in fact, killed in peacetime more communists of all nationalities, than all his fascist, Nazi, and Western democratic enemies combined.

This is not a comprehensive list; others have done that already. This report is only an interesting sampling of vignettes of "communists devouring communists" during the twenty-nine year performance of the macabre Soviet symphony conducted by the director Joseph Vissarionovich Djugashvili, better known as "the man of steel," Stalin.

 Stalin and Old Bolsheviks
Old Bolshevik Cadres

"We will destroy every enemy, even if he is an Old Bolshevik,
we will destroy his kin, his family. Anyone who by his actions or thoughts encroaches on the unity of the socialist state, we shall destroy relentlessly." I.V. Stalin, November 1937 (Quoted from Stalin's Loyal Executioner: People's Commissar Nikolai Ezhov 1895-1940 by Marc Jansen and Nikita Petrov).

乐动体育APPEveryone knows that after Kangaroo trials, Stalin purged and had the great Bolshevik leaders Lev Kamenev, Gregory Zinoviev, and Ivan Smirnov, accused of being "leftist Trotskyites" and shot (1936) by his dreaded secret police, the NKVD, a precursor to the KGB.

Then the "right-wing" communists were arrested later in 1936, and so Nikolai  Bukharin and his followers, Rykov, Krestinsky, and Rakovsky, were also executed as members of the "rightist Trotskyite Bloc."

乐动体育APPVladimir Antonov-Ovseyenko (1883-1938): Leader of the Military Bolshevik Organization that "stormed" the Winter Palace during the October Revolution and who also brutally suppressed the Tambov Rebellion (1920-1921); he was purged in 1938 and executed.

乐动体育APPMariya Spiridonova was one of the leaders of the Left Socialist-Revolutionary party (Left SR). This radical revolutionary faction represented the peasants, and felt betrayed by the Bolsheviks. On July 4, 1918, at the Fifth All-Russian Soviet Congress dominated by the Bolsheviks, Mariya Spiridonova, a 32-year-old woman with dark hair and wearing pince-nez, rose to the podium and attacked the Bolsheviks with words of fire: "I accuse you of betraying the peasants, of making use of them for your own ends. In Lenin's philosophy, you are only dung — only manure. When the peasants, the Bolshevik peasants, the Left SR peasants and the non-party peasants are alike humiliated, oppressed and crushed — crushed as peasants — in my hand you will find the same pistol..." The British secret agents, Bruce Lockhart and Sidney Reilly, were both there at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow where the Congress had convened and vacated by the events of the day. The expected Left SR against the Bolsheviks had failed, and Spiridonova awaited her fate calmly and composed. She was arrested and jailed that summer of 1918. Twenty Left SR hostages were shot. Spiridonova was sent to the gulag. The rest of her Left SR comrades — just like the Kadets and Mensheviks had been — were hunted down thereafter and virtually exterminated by both Lenin and Stalin. Spiridonova was shot in the gulag in 1941.

Pavel SudoplatovWe all remember from history and from reading Pavel Sudoplatov's remarkable book, Special Tasks (1994), how he, an NKVD general and his trusted lieutenant Leonid Eitingon tracked down Leon Trotsky to Mexico. After stalking Trotsky for sometime and then befriending him, Ramon Mercader, a Spanish communist, assassinated Trotsky with a pick ax on Stalin's order (1940).

乐动体育APPGeneral Sudoplatov (photo, left) was a Soviet spymaster, as well as chief of  "Special Tasks" or "wet affairs'" (assassinations) of the NKVD. Assigned by Stalin to execute Trotsky in Mexico,  Sudoplatov, who knew the lethality and "wet affair skills" of  Comrade Eitingon, decided to use him. Eitingon had served in Spain during the civil war (1936-1939) "with distinction." Yet, as Stalin had been purging the NKVD leaders serving abroad, Eitingon himself had come close to being executed by Stalin. Sudoplatov fished him out of prison for the "special task" of arranging the assassination of Trotsky, which Eitingon successfully accomplished using his communist Spanish mistress, Caridad Mercader's, son Ramon.

The Great Illegals and the Foreign Intelligence Services

"Illegal" agents were Soviet spies working under deep cover in Western countries with no diplomatic cover or immunity. Some of them became legends in Soviet hagiographic history for their masterful espionage activities against the West, particularly where it involved the recruitment  and running of the celebrated British "Cambridge Five" traitors also dubbed the "Magnificent Five":  Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, and John Cairncross.

乐动体育APPDr Arnold Deutsch: Jewish-Austrian intellectual; another illegal deep cover Soviet agent, recruiter and controller of the infamous British traitors, the "Cambridge Five"; Dr Deutsch was recalled, denounced as a traitor and executed.

Theodore Maly: Head of the Illegal London (Soviet) "residency" (1936). He completed the recruitment, training, and running of the "Cambridge Five" spy ring. He was recalled, denounced as an enemy of the people, and shot.

Moisei Axerold: Deep cover Soviet agent operating in Italy; denounced as a traitor to the motherland, recalled to Russia, and executed during the Great Terror (1937-1938).

It was not only the Soviet agents who were hunted down; so were the Soviet foreign spymasters. Abram Slutsky, head of the secret police, foreign intelligence (INO), was found dead of a "heart attack" (most likely cyanide poisoning) in his office in 1938, as his department was being purged of enemies of the people in the Great Terror.

His immediate successors, Zelman Pasov and Mikhail Shpigelgas, soon followed him to the grave, executed as enemies of the people. Their counterparts in the internal security police, General Jan Berzin乐动体育APPthe NKVD, Genrikh Yagoda and Nikolai Yezhov, as we shall see, would also be purged and executed during Stalin's Great Terror.

General Jan Berzin (photo, right): Latvian Bolshevik and Chekist; creator of Soviet military intelligence (GRU); he served with as Head of Red Army Intelligence in Spain (1936-1937); purged by Stalin and shot in 1938.

The Red Army

All students of Russian military history know of the purge, trial, and execution of the most distinguished  and most capable general in the Red Army, Marshall of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Tukhachevsky (photo, below) in 1937. According to Stalin and the NKVD, the Marshall was a traitor to the Motherland, a member of the Trostkyite-Bukharinite-Fascist counterrevolutionary conspiracy. Along with Tukhachevsky, 40,000 Red Marshall Mikhail Tukhachevsky乐动体育APPArmy personnel were eliminated during the Terror of 1937-38. Consider the fact that the entire Defense Council of the Red Army, Generals Mekhlis, Dybenko, Lukin, Yegorov, Zhigur, all would be shot within six months after the trial and execution of Tukhachevsky. Only one of these generals did not brake under interrogation, General Blyuker, who died in prison after being repeatedly tortured. Forty-five percent of the Army and Navy command and political staff from the position of Brigade commander up the officers' ranks were eliminated by Stalin's security police, according to . When the World War II came only two years later and the German Panzers rolled over the western expanse of the USSR, the Red Army was not ready. It had been decapitated.

NKVD and Security Services

乐动体育APPStalin also routinely purged his security services (secret police). Genrikh Yagoda, head of the NKVD, was purged and executed (1936) for his failure to promptly falsify evidence to convict the "right-wing" Bolshevik leader, Nikolai Bukharin. His successor was the blood-drenched, dwarfish Nikolai Yezhov.

As we mentioned before, the "right-wing" communists were finally arrested in 1936 by Yagoda; Bukharin (i.e., Lenin's "Beloved of the Revolution"), Rykov, Krestinsky, Rakovsky were also executed as members of the "rightist Trotskyite Bloc." Their final persecutor was Nikolai Yezhov (photo, left), Yagoda's NKVD successor, who presided over the Great Terror and Purges of 1937-1938, the "Yezhovina," as if Yezhov was chiefly responsible. Yezhov would be arrested, purged by Stalin, and executed a couple of years later.

Yakov Blyumkin: Assassin of the German Ambassador to the USSR during the Brest-Litovsk negotiations (pardoned in 1919); shot on order of Stalin in 1929 as a Trotskyite.

Martyn Latsis (1883-1938): Bolshevik, assistant to Feliks Dzherzhinsky, "Iron Feliks," founder and first chief of the Cheka (i.e, the first Soviet secret police authorized by Lenin to spread terror and eliminate enemies of the people "without bourgeoise moral prejudices"). During Lenin's Red Terror of 1918, Comrade Latsis ordered the extermination of White suspects and prisoners in the Crimea. He exhorted: "We are not carrying out war against individuals. We are exterminating the bourgeoisie as a class. We aren't looking for evidence or witnesses to reveal deeds or words against the Soviet power. The first question which we ask is — to what class does he belong, what are his origins, upbringing, eduation, or profession. These questions define the fate of the accused. This is the essence of Red Terror." But for Latsis, the chickens came home to roost. During Stalin's Great Terror, Latsis was purged and executed in 1938.

乐动体育APPGleb I. Boky: Deputy head of Cheka under Dzherzhinsky; purged 1937; died in the gulag in 1941.

Viktor Abakumov: Former SMERCH ("Death to Spies") commander during World War II and then NKVD Chief, arrested during; purged, imprisoned, and tortured; finally shot in 1954 under Khrushchev.

Internationalist Communists

乐动体育APPYakov Ganetsky: Polish communist; Lenin's liaison with the German High Command during the Great War; purged and shot 1937.

乐动体育APPFritz Platten: Swiss Social Democrat and guarantor of the sealed train affair that brought Lenin and his Bolsheviks through Germany to Russia in 1917; the man who had saved Lenin's life during an assassination attempt was purged by Stalin and died in a labor camp in the gulag.

Eino Rahja: Finnish communist, Lenin's friend and bodyguard in the early years of the Revolution; purged and shot 1936.

Karl Radek: Polish communist, Bolshevik, and Internationalist (Comintern). He was purged in the 1937 and sent to the gulag, where was shot by an NKVD operative in 1939.

Solomon Mikhaels: Leader of the Jewish Antifascist Committee; assassinated on Stalin's direct order in Minsk in 1948.


Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930): Decadent poet, early supporter of the Bolsheviks; disillusioned with Stalin's Russia, committed suicide.

Maxim Gorky乐动体育APPMaxim Gorky (1868-1936; photo, left): Poet, novelist, proletarian writer, early supporter of the Bolsheviks, then later critic of Lenin's communist repressive tactics; exiled; enticed to return to Russia by Stalin, and then utilized as a captive, useful idiot in Stalin's Russia; probably poisoned along with his son on orders of Stalin.

Dr. Yakov G. Etinger: Jewish intellectual and renown physician; arrested, tortured, and died in the custody of the secret police (MGB) before fully confessing in Stalin's plot against the Jewish Doctors (1951).

乐动体育APPNikolai C. Krylenko: People's Commissar for Justice  (1929-1931) and Prosecutor General of the USSR; exponent of socialist legality (i.e., political consideration, rather than guilt or innocence determines culpability and punishment). Under this sham legal theory, he sent thousands to their deaths, but he received his just dessert. He was arrested during the Great Purge, confessed to "wrecking" and "anti-Soviet agitation" and was summarily executed in 1938. He was succeeded by another sanguinary prosecutor in the mold of Fouquier-Tinville, Andrey Vyshinsky, who would survive Stalin.

Kulaks and the Proletariat

乐动体育APPWe tend to remember the Great Terror of 1937-1938 when so many old Bolsheviks and communist party functionaries were eliminated by Stalin during the the Great Purge. But the Soviet State continued to grind down upon the very citizens whom the Revolution had sworn to liberate and protect. And it began with Lenin from the inception of the Revolution of October 1917 to the end of the Soviet era. Stalin only intensified the repression to unimaginable limits. And the common Russians suffered too.

Millions of Kulaks and poorer Russian peasants were killed during the forced establishment of collective farms. Peasants fought requisition and collectivization by killing farm animals, hoarding or burning crops. Stalin's militia and secret police fought back by drowning, shooting, and starving the peasants. Others were sent to the gulag for slave labor, used in the construction of the White Sea and Volga canals, timber and lumber projects in the tundra and taiga, etc., so that the lifespan of peasants and workers (the proletariat in chains) was barely 3 months in the labor camps!

Likewise, millions of  workers (the sanctified proletariat) denounced each other in the suspicious, paranoid atmosphere of Stalinist Russia. Many of them heard the dreaded knock on the door and were taken away by the feared secret police in Black Marias, or were removed directly from the workers' assemblies or workplaces, taken to the gulag or summarily shot as "wreckers, spies, and saboteurs," enemies of the people. The dead count is an estimate by various scholars, but from 20 to 40 million perished during the 29-year rule of Stalin, the Great Teacher.

Commissars of Death

Yakov Sverdlov (1885-1919) was a hard-working Bolshevik, confidante and closest advisor to Lenin, and probably after Lenin, the person most responsible for authorizing the execution of Czar Nicholas II, Czarina Alexandra, and the Imperial family at the Ipatiev House in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg, which subsequently was renamed after him, Sverdlovsk.

This Bolshevik Commissar died a natural death in 1919, but in what can only be conceptualized as an "eye for an eye" justice, consider the fate of the actual murderers of theTsar Nicolas II and Family Imperial family (photo, right), the Czar, the Czarina, the Grand Duchesses, Olga, Tatiana, Mariya, and Anastasia, the Tsarevitch Alexei, and four of their servants.

Other than Sverdlov and Lenin himself, no other persons were more directly responsible for the murder of the Imperial family, by either insisting on their execution or carrying it out, than the following blood-thirsty trio:

Yakov Yurovsky: Urals Cheka chief; he actually took his Chekists to the Ipatiev House, armed them and led the shooting of the captive family; Yurovsky was purged by Stalin and shot as a Trotskyite in 1937 or 1938.

Aleksandr Beloborodov: Urals Soviet District chief, who kept urging Moscow for the execution; he was himself purged and shot by Stalin in 1938.

F. I. Goloshchekin: Commissar of the Urals; like his Comrade Beloborodov, he urged for execution of the Tsar; and like his Soviet District chief counterpart, he was purged and died in the gulag in 1941.

The "Greatest Russian"

乐动体育APPUnder the entry for Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin, page 392 of , editor Martin van Creveld summarizes:

"Stalin, as general secretary, convened the 17th Communist Party Congress, dubbing it "the Congress of Victors." In the 10-member Politburo chosen at the end of the congress, only Stalin remained of those who had been included in the first post-Lenin Politburo a decade earlier….

"The wave of arrests and executions that followed was bolstered by draconian emergency laws proposed by Stalin. The blood purges lasted until Stalin's death, interrupted only by World War II, and in the end struck virtually every pre-existing institution in the Soviet Union: the Communist Party (98 of 135 central committee members were shot and 1,108 of the 1,966 delegates to the 17th Congress of the Communist Party were arrested and tried); the Red Army (3 of 5 marshals were executed, as were almost all the commanders of armies, and about one-third of the officer corps was arrested); the political police (two of its heads were purged); the governmental apparatus and cultural organizations."

Yet, in 2008 a widely conducted poll in Russia found that the number one spot for "the Greatest Russian" went to the greatest mass murderer, not only of Russians but of his communist comrades, Joseph Stalin; distant second and third places went to the legendary Aleksandr Nevsky, and surprisingly, the assassinated Prime Minister, Pyotr Stolypin (1911), who served under Nicholas II, the last Czar of Russia.

Let's repeat that between 20 to 40 million sons and daughters of Russia were killed by Stalin and Soviet communism.

Medvedev and Putin乐动体育APPLet's hope the Russian people come to their senses and divest themselves of the mistaken "good ole days" nostalgia for "Stalin's greatness" that could lead them to another holocaust! But fortunately, there is hope for understanding and repentance.

In 2009, the administration of Russian Federation President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (photo, left) decreed that , be required reading in Russian high schools. It is a great step forward for Russia to walk away from and look at her Stalinist and communist past, facing the stern and sobering reality of repression, mass terror, and mass extermination of her own people for a false principle and a bold-face lie!

References and Sources

1) Roy A. Medvedev, Let History Judge (1971) and Robert Conquest, The Great Terror: Stalin's Purge of the Thirties (1968) are excellent and more comprehensive sources of this material.

2) Harrison E. Salisbury, Black Night, White Snow — Russia's Revolutions 1905-1917乐动体育APP (1977). An idealized but well-written and researched history of the Russian Revolutions of 1905 and 1917. It is a surreal look at what was to come but it made me aware of Medveded's work.

3) Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, (1918-1956) — An Experiment in Literary Investigation,  Parts I-II (1973) and The Destructive Labor Camps and The Soul and Barbed Wire, Parts III-IV  (1975). Translated into English by Thomas P. Whitney. This is the magnum opus of this subject and told in mesmerizing, graphic detail. It is a must-read work for the fortunate literate of the world.

4) Pavel and Anatoli Sudoplatov, (1994). It is cited in the text as essential, details honestly coming out from one of the main protagonists in this drama.

5) Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin—Triumph and Tragedy (1991). Very important material, particularly as it relates to the military purges.

6) Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, (1999). Essential work as it relates to the decimation of the Soviet Foreing intelligence and the Great Illegal agent network.

7) Amy Knight, Beria — Stalin's First Lieutenant (1993). Excellent biography of Lavrentii Beria, Stalin's henchman and chief of the security police.

8) Marc Jansen and Nikita Petrov, Stalin's Loyal Executioner: People's Commissar Nikolai Ezhov, 1895-1940乐动体育APP (2002). The gruesome biography of Stalin's diminutive executioner during the Great Terror, 1937-1938.

9) The Jewish Doctor's Plot — The Aborted Holocaust in Stalin's Russia! by by Jonathan Brent and Vladimir P. Naumov;

10) Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives by Edvard Radzinsky.

Written by Dr. Miguel A. Faria 

Dr. Miguel Faria is the author of “Cuba in Revolution -- Escape from a Lost Paradise (2002)”; he has presently completed a medical study on Josef Stalin’s death, written about Stalin’s legacy, and the lingering influence of Stalinism in Russia today.

This article can be cited as: Faria MA. Stalin, Communists, and Fatal Statistics. The Macon Telegraph, January 8, 2012. Available from:

I have also recently published an article in a peer-reviewed, medical scientific journal on the clinical death of Stalin, which concludes that within the highest medical certainty Stalin did not die a natural death but was poisoned with warfarin, a compound then widely used as a rat poison, but now more frequently used as a medical anticoagulant (blood thinner). Warfarin caused Stalin’s “stroke.” This silent assassination was motivated by fear, an act of desperation on the part of his inner circle, cowed men who feared for their own lives.

 Readers interested in the article on Stalin’s death can find the complete article at: www.kutahyaevdeneve.com/articles/stalins-mysterious-death

A full page version of this article  also appeared in the "Perspectives" section in the Macon Telegraph on Sunday, January 8, 2012, p. 4D. under the title of Stalinism, Bolsheviks, and the Revolution's Fatal Statistics.

Copyright ©2011 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

Additional references — Stalin and Communism from cradle to grave:






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Stalin, Hitler, and Worl War II



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Comments on this post

"One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic"

乐动体育APPQuotes by Stalin are always popular because they reveal the twisted and evil yet somehow pragmatic sense of humor that Stalin was well known for.

乐动体育APPWe need to remember that Stalin was a master at the art of totalitarian dictatorship, and one of the first rules of this profession is to never say one word more than is absolutely necessary. It has been shown that many of the quotes ascribed to Stalin cannot be linked to him when they are researched in depth. In many cases, it is either someone else who said them, or someone is claiming Stalin said them, but there is no proof that he did.

So, the quote in my title is a good example of this. Apparently, Stalin say did say this, but under radically different circumstances than one might imagine. There are a few versions of the story, but this is the one I find most believable:

"One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic."

'In an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr (11.11.2011) Winston Churchill's daughter, Mary Soames, explained that she overheard Stalin say this to her father. Churchill, was upset having received news that a family friend had died. He apologized to Stalin in light of the vast loss of Russian life. And Stalin then gave this reply.'

Stalin seems to have been making a feeble attempt at consoling Churchill.

乐动体育APPIf Stalin were to have said all of that which was ascribed to him, it would hardly have taken until Nikita Khrushchev's 1956 speech denouncing his crimes for people to have finally realized who was really behind the Red Terror since 1929.

乐动体育APPAs for Roosevelt, we should recall that although his sympathies were always left learning, Stalin did not take long to understand that HIS BRAIN was also severely impaired by vascular disease, and so it was very easy to manipulate him. The biggest mistake on the part of the United States was to ever send such a sick man as Roosevelt to deal with one of the most craftiest men (if not the most evil) who ever breathed.

BTW, in my opinion, Dmitri Volkogonov's books on Lenin and Stalin (though now a bit dated) are still the best I have ever read. He is so objective in his writings that one could almost mistake him for a communist sympathizer. Which, I believe, at one time he was. However, he still does not let his anti-communist feelings obscure his very objective analyses. I think it is a terrible shame that we lost him over 20 years ago to pancreatic cancer.
The biographies () of Stalin by Dmitry Volkogonov (Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy, 1988) and Robert Conquests (Stalin — Breaker of Nations, 1991) are excellent, objective but just a bit cut and dry, when compared to more recent ones. As expected Volkogonov is excellent in military matters; Conquests, on the suffering and depopulation of the nationalities under Soviet control on orders by Stalin. For personal detail, Montefiore's Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar [2003] and Young Stalin [2007] are the most titillating, followed very closely by Edvard Radzinsky's Stalin: The First In-Depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents From Russia's Secret Archives [1997].

As far as quotations from Stalin, what he said is vastly inferior (understatements) to what he did; and they are valid if he said or wrote them, no matter the circumstances. This is particularly so if they correspond to his sentiments — an actions. The quotation in question is extremely apropos and descriptive of a man who presided over the killing of 20 to 40 million of his countrymen, friend or foes. --- MAF

Stalin's Character

乐动体育APP"As far as quotations from Stalin, what he said is vastly inferior (understatements) to what he did; and they are valid if he said or wrote them, no matter the circumstances. This is particularly so if they correspond to his sentiments — an actions. The quotation in question is extremely apropos and descriptive of a man who presided over the killing of 20 to 40 million of his countrymen, friend or foes. --- MAF"

Of course! But I just wanted to point out that he was not the type of man that would ever say them. It would give away too much. So I sometimes wonder who first did ascribe them to Stalin.

乐动体育APPYes, I did read part of Young Stalin. I haven't had a chance to read more on this fascinating material in a while. When you bring up this book, it reminds me of how Stalin announced all out collectivization and liquidation of the Kulaks as a class on 21 December 1929, which was also his 50th birthday. It has been generally assumed that (as he had tremendous celebrations all across the USSR when he turned 50) he linked the birthday with these two ominous political announcements so all three could be packaged and remembered as a "legacy."

But then we go back to the baptismal registry, which is still existent, and we find that Stalin's birth is recorded as 21 December 1878, making him 51 on this date in 1929. I don't remember if I read this in Young Stalin, but I just recalled it, and it is interesting how he would go so far as to change the date of his birth by a year in order to drive home a political message. To this day, it is very rare to see his birth year stated as anything but 1879.
Reply: Stalin and Beria were evil geniuses with photographic and encyclopedic memories, so you can imagine the combination: It brought about industrialization, the NKVD, the gulag and the atomic bomb in record time. Stalin kept everyone off balance and was completely amoral. Everything he did was calculated, up to the time of his death.乐动体育APP For example, he kept hinting at different times that he had different biological fathers: all close friends of his mother — sometimes a priest, sometimes a Georgian landowner, other times his cobbler father. When he was imprisoned, the Tsarist guards feared him and he ordered them around. You will learn all this from Young Stalin. But he also had his in-law families exterminated and hardly ever pardon anyone. He made curt, cold-hearted denials to all seeking pardons... Montefiore wrote with unusual sincerity that after writing this two biographies, he himself needed to undergo de-Stalinization, suggesting he had unwittingly come to admire Stalin! --- MAF

Admiring Stalin

Could that be so unusual? When you do read enough about what he was capable of conjuring up without any effort, and which actually worked 100x well as any diabolical scheme you ever saw in the movies, you realize that this was a person of a completely different breed. It is the evil we hate, but the mind was so keen it is not surprising it still holds the fascination of millions daily over 60 years since his death. Yes, the memory was photographic. He never forgot a thing, and he was quite bookish. This gave him great knowledge on a huge variety of subjects, but of course being bookish is a very bad thing when it comes to telling peasants how to farm. You need to do it. This was one thing Sergei Kirov regretted terribly, and he said so many times in his speeches to the Politburo. After all, Stalin was not the only Bolshevik leader to never dirty his hands with a farming implement. Many things sealed Kirov's fate, but this one is often overlooked. Because by denouncing mid to late 1920's policies of Bolshevik leaders towards collectivized farming, he was denouncing Stalin's policies.
Reply —I'm just about to begin reading Arthur Koestler's masterpiece, Darkness at Noon乐动体育APP. We will see how much is factual out of his "historical fiction." I suspect a lot!---MAF

Darkness at Noon.

You seem to be quite praising of it. I am going to look it up a summary and see if I should get a copy. Best, Adam.
And the author, himself, Arthur Koestler, was quite a literary figure, man of letters, historian, and fascinating political philosopher and thinker.--- MAF

Addendum— But don't forget to look up and read about a figure that was as strong a personality as Stalin and greatly his superior in physical and moral courage, in my view . ---MAF

Red Roosevelt, part 2

Thanks for the post Koba; of course, it will stay as an important chronicle and record for us. I have only done a little graphic editorial tinkering. While we have known for some time that the responsibility for the Katyn Forest massacre rested with the Soviets, even before Gorbachev's belated admission and Yeltsin's apology, we had not known of FDR's knowledge and complicity.

乐动体育APPIncidentally, in the discussion of Roosevelt's "achievements," it should also be noted in relation to his fascist authoritarian tendencies the character and number of Presidential decrees, I mean orders, he issued, mostly to circumvent Congress and get his way. According to 1461daysblogspotdotcom," President Obama has to date issued 138 executive orders in this first term. President George W. Bush, in his eight years, issued 291. President Bill Clinton issued 363. President George H.W. Bush issued 165. President Ronald Reagan issued 380, even as he fought the "Evil Empire." The president who issued the most decrees is FDR who issued 3,728 in 12 years, 573 in 1933 alone before World War II.

The Katyn Forest Atrocity, FDR and Stalin!!

FDR Knew of Soviet and ("Uncle Joe") Stalin's atrocity: The Katyn Forest Massacre

"WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The American POWs sent secret coded messages to Washington with news of a Soviet atrocity: In 1943 they saw rows of corpses in an advanced state of decay in the Katyn forest, on the western edge of Russia, proof that the killers could not have been the Nazis who had only recently occupied the area.

"The testimony about the infamous massacre of Polish officers might have lessened the tragic fate that befell Poland under the Soviets, some scholars believe. Instead, it mysteriously vanished into the heart of American power. The long-held suspicion is that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn't want to anger Josef Stalin, an ally whom the Americans were counting on to defeat Germany and Japan during World War II.Polish POWs

"Documents released Monday and seen in advance by The Associated Press lend weight to the belief that suppression within the highest levels of the U.S. government helped cover up Soviet guilt in the killing of some 22,000 Polish officers and other prisoners in the Katyn forest and other locations in 1940. (photo, left)

"The evidence is among about 1,000 pages of newly declassified documents that the United States National Archives is releasing Monday and putting online. Historians who saw the material days before the official release describe it as important and shared some highlights with the AP. The most dramatic revelation so far is the evidence of the secret codes sent by the two American POWs — something historians were unaware of and which adds to evidence that the Roosevelt administration knew of the Soviet atrocity relatively early on.Mass Graves Katyn Forest

乐动体育APP"The declassified documents also show the United States maintaining that it couldn't conclusively determine guilt until a Russian admission in 1990 — a statement that looks improbable given the huge body of evidence of Soviet guilt that had already emerged decades earlier. Historians say the new material helps to flesh out the story of what the U.S. knew and when.

乐动体育APP"The Soviet secret police killed the 22,000 Poles with shots to the back of the head. Their aim was to eliminate a military and intellectual elite that would have put up stiff resistance to Soviet control. The men were among Poland's most accomplished — officers and reserve officers who in their civilian lives worked as doctors, lawyers, teachers, or as other professionals. Their loss has proven an enduring wound to the Polish nation..."

Source: AP Exclusive: Memos show US hushed up Soviet crime By VANESSA GERA and RANDY HERSCHAFT. The Associated Press, September 10, 2012. The illustrations used in this comment are not from the AP article cited above, but from a variety of sources.

As to how the shooting was done, a Soviet NKVD officer, Vasili Mikhailovich Blokhin, describes how he went down to the Ostachkov Camp where he and two other fellow officers "outfitted a hut with padded, soundproof walls and decided on a Stakhanovite quota of 250 shootings a night."Mass Graves Katyn Forest

In this fashion, he and his fellow Chekists executed 7,000 Polish officers "in precisely 28 nights using a German Walther pistol to prevent future exposure."

Of the 22,000 Polish officers executed, 4,500 were interred in the Katyn Forest.(Mass grave, photo, left) The others were buried in various places. — MAF

Source: Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar by Simon Sebag Montefiore, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, 2004, pp. 333-334.

乐动体育APP******* FDR and Stalin*********

FDR admired Stalin, whom he called Uncle Joe, but for Stalin the relationship was a marriage of necessity and convenience: He needed supplies and money to fight the Germans. FDR attempted to ingratiate himself with Stalin to the point he made disgusting jokes, some at the expense of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. And yet Stalin did not appreciated FDR's term of endearment "Uncle Joe" and did not really reciprocate the devotion.(1)

No wonder when J Edgar Hoover pointed out to FDR the potential for espionage from communists in his cabinet, FDR cavalierly responded, "many of my good friends are communists." Hoover was left to deal, as best he could, with a nest of communist spies in the government, untouchables, that the President "respected and befriended:"Alger Hiss, convicted perjurer; communist spy (working for GRU) and traitor, one of FDR's closet advisers and also the UN Founding Secretary General; Victor Perlo, communist spy in FDR's War Production Board who worked for Soviet intelligence, the KGB; Harry Dexter White, Assistant Treasury Secretary, communist spy and traitor, who died of fear with a heart attack the day of his Congressional Hearing...

FDR also had to know the specifics of the impeding attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. This was intimated by Pulitzer prize-winner historian John Toland in his book Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath. The historian caught significant flak at the time for his exposure of FDR’s advance knowledge, namely that the president suppressed and did not act on this knowledge, so that the US would be force to enter World War II. Instead, two innocent senior American officers were blamed for the tragic surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, while FDR remained silent. Since that time, Toland has been virtually exonerated.(2,3,4)

We now know that we had broken the Japanese naval codes and could decipher virtually all of the Japanese traffic (messages in code) at the time. In fact, it was by the deciphering one of those messages (classified SIGINT; "Operation Vengeance") that US planes were able to locate and ambush Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s Mitsubishi G4M plane, while the Commander was on an inspection tour of the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. He was assassinated in mid air in 1943 during the war, a major blow to the Japanese high command.Yalta cartoon

FDR ruled almost as a fascist dictator. He threatened to pack the supreme court with his own Supreme Court Justices and judges to get the New Deal through; imprisoned innocent Japanese Americans in internment (concentration) camps; allow the "surprise" bombing of Pearl Harbor to enter World War II (2)(3); would have sent Americans to be massacred in World War in Europe between 1943-1944 to save Stalin (Uncle Joe), but was prevented by British P.M. Winston Churchill (4); prevented the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover from investigating traitors in his administration, as we have mentioned before: Harry Dexter White and Alger Hiss, etc., (blithely stating, "many of my friends are communists"). To prevent the successive accumulation and corruption of vested power in any one person – as evinced in the shameful events described above– the 22th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution had to be passed restricting any one person– popular as he might be with the fickle electorate– for serving more than two terms as president of our Republic.


2) Pearl Harbor: The Seeds and Fruits of Infamy, Percy L. Greaves, Jr., Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2010.

乐动体育APP3) John Toland, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath (Berkley Reissue edition, 1986). Needless to say more evidence, particularly cryptography and SIGINT, are lacking because the government destroyed records.

4) Sacrifice at Pearl Harbor. Our Century. Time Watch BBC documentary. BBC Elstree, 1989. Shown in the U.S. on A&E TV network, 1989.

乐动体育APP5) by Louis C. Kilzer. 1994.

Red Roosevelt.

I saw the AP article today. Not surprising knowing of Roosevelt's commie leanings. He refused to meet Churchill at Yalta individually before meeting Stalin in private. His administration was rife with communist traitors. I printed the far more in-depth article here, but if you think it superfluous, then delete it. There was also a Churchill report to Roosevelt pointing to Soviet guilt, promptly ignored by the Red Prez (a term I now use for the current president). As usual you got the scoop before me. Good work!

"...In the early years after the war, anger by some American officials over the concealment inspired the creation of a special U.S. congressional committee to investigate Katyn.

乐动体育APP"In a final report released in 1952, the committee declared that there was no doubt of Soviet guilt and called the massacre 'one of the most barbarous international crimes in world history.' It found that Roosevelt’s administration suppressed public knowledge of the crime but said it was out of military necessity. It also recommended that the government file charges against the Soviets at an international tribunal — something never acted upon.

乐动体育APP"Despite the committee’s strong conclusions, the White House maintained its silence on Katyn for decades, showing an unwillingness to focus on an issue that would have added to political tensions with the Soviets during the Cold War.

"It was May 1943 in the Katyn forest, a part of Russia that the Germans had seized from the Soviets in 1941. Some American and British POWs were taken against their will by their German captors to witness a horrifying scene at a clearing surrounded by pine trees: mass graves tightly packed with thousands of partly mummified corpses in well-tailored Polish officers uniforms.

"The Americans — Capt. Donald B. Stewart and Lt. Col. John H. Van Vliet Jr. — hated the Nazis and didn’t want to believe the Germans. They had seen German cruelty up close, and the Soviets, after all, were their ally. The Germans were hoping to use the POWs for propaganda and to drive a wedge between the Soviet Union and its Western allies.

"But returning to their POW camps, the Americans carried a conviction that they had just witnessed overwhelming proof of Soviet guilt. The corpses’ advanced state of decay told them that the killings took place much earlier, when the Soviets still controlled the area. They also saw Polish letters, diaries, identification tags, news clippings and other objects — none dated later than the spring of 1940 — pulled from the graves. The evidence that did the most to convince them was the good state of the men’s boots and clothing: That told them the men had not lived long after being captured.

"Stewart testified before the 1951 congressional committee about what he saw, and Van Vliet wrote reports on Katyn in 1945 and 1950, the first of which mysteriously disappeared. But the newly declassified documents show that both sent secret encoded messages while still in captivity to Army intelligence with their opinion of Soviet culpability. It’s an important revelation because it shows that the Roosevelt administration was getting information early on from credible U.S. sources of Soviet guilt — yet still ignored it for the sake of the alliance with Stalin.

"One shows the head of Army intelligence, Gen. Clayton Bissell, confirming that some months after the 1943 visit to Katyn by the U.S. officers, a coded request by MIS-X, a unit of military intelligence, was sent to Van Vliet requesting him 'to state his opinion of Katyn.' Bissell’s note said 'it is also understood Col. Van Vliet & Capt. Stewart replied.'

"MIS-X was devoted to helping POWs held behind German lines escape; it also used the prisoners to gather intelligence.

"A statement from Stewart dated 1950 confirms that he received and sent coded messages to Washington during the war, including one on Katyn: 'Content of my report was aprx [approximately]: German claims regarding Katyn substantially correct in opinion of Van Vliet and myself.'

乐动体育APP"The newly uncovered documents also show Stewart was ordered in 1950 — soon before the congressional committee began its work — never to speak about a secret message on Katyn.

乐动体育APP"The historical record carries other evidence that Roosevelt knew in 1943 of Soviet guilt. One of the most important messages that landed on FDR’s desk was an extensive and detailed report that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sent him. Written by the British ambassador to the Polish government-in-exile in London, Owen O’Malley, it pointed to Soviet guilt at Katyn.

乐动体育APP" 'There is now available a good deal of negative evidence,' O’Malley wrote, 'the cumulative effect of which is to throw serious doubt on Russian disclaimers of responsibility for the massacre.'

"It wasn’t until the waning days of Soviet influence over Eastern Europe that reformist leader Mikhail Gorbachev publicly admitted to Soviet guilt at Katyn.

"The silence by the U.S. government has been a source of deep frustration for many Polish-Americans. One is Franciszek Herzog, 81, a Connecticut man whose father and uncle died in the massacre. After Gorbachev’s 1990 admission, he was hoping for more openness from the U.S. as well and made three attempts to obtain an apology from President George H.W. Bush.

乐动体育APP“ 'It will not resurrect the men,' he wrote to Bush. 'But will give moral satisfaction to the widows and orphans of the victims.'

"A reply he got in 1992 from the State Department did not satisfy him. His correspondence with the government is also among the newly released documents and was obtained by the AP from the George Bush Presidential Library.

"The letter, dated Aug. 12, 1992, and signed by Thomas Gerth, then deputy director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs, shows the government stating that it lacked irrefutable evidence until Gorbachev’s admission:

" 'The U.S. government never accepted the Soviet Government’s claim that it was not responsible for the massacre. However, at the time of the Congressional hearings in 1951-1952, the U.S. did not possess the facts that could clearly refute the Soviets’ allegations that these crimes were committed by the Third Reich. These facts, as you know, were not revealed until 1990, when the Russians officially apologized to Poland.'

"Herzog expressed frustration at that reply. 'There’s a big difference between not knowing and not wanting to know,' Herzog said. 'I believe the U.S. government didn’t want to know because it was inconvenient to them.'

"Information for this article was contributed from Warsaw by Monika Scislowska of The Associated Press."

A poignant conversation

This article and new revelation, Koba, brings to mind a poignant conversation I had in the early 1990s with a Polish-American friend. It was right after the collapse of the Soviet empire and Gorbachev's admission of Soviet guilt. This woman had been raised in communist Poland under Soviet domination. Teary- eyed she said, "All those years we had been told that my uncle had been killed by the Nazis at the Katyn forest. Now we know the truth. It was the Russians, our supposed saviors, who had done the killing."

Pope Pius XII and Stalin

Pacepa 2
A Lieutenant General in Securitate, the secret political police of communist Rumania, General Ion Pacepa (photo, left) was the highest-ranking intelligence official ever to have defected to the West. He was an advisor to dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, a secretary to the Ministry of Interior and Acting Chief of the foreign intelligence. After his secret defection, he worked for American intelligence providing valuable, essential information. How long he worked for the West, before his defection was revealed in 1978, is still top secret.

I have no reason to doubt his claims in this new book, "Disinformation." In fact, for a long time I have suspected a systematic campaign of disinformation against Pope Pius XII, and Stalin was the man to commence it. Pacepa has a long record of providing invaluable information to the West. Stalin cast aspersions on Pope Pius XII immediately after World War II and called him "Hitler's Pope." With the defeat of Nazi Germany, Stalin's honeymoon of convenience with the West and the Christian Churches were no longer necessary, and the former alliance was ended, bringing again Stalin's paranoid suspicions and renewed hatred of the West and its institutions.Pope Pius XII

乐动体育APPBut the communist campaign against the Pope Pius XII (photo, right) fell on deaf ears because the people of his generation were better informed than the denizens of the world today and knew the Pope's record and his efforts to protect religious minorities. Moreover, the planted calumnies against the good Pope were deflected because Pope Pius was also praised by FDR and such great figures as Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein.

Nevertheless, the aspersions lingered just under the surface and the liberal media, supported by the usual left-wing writers with axes to grind against Christianity and the West, have ever since taken the lead at every opportunity in bringing anew this campaign of deceit and disinformation to attack the Catholic Church. In 1981, the campaign of communism against the papacy came to an inglorious head when the KGB with the assistance of the Bulgarian secret police even attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II "the Great."

乐动体育APPAlthough the KGB was very efficient at compartmentalizing intelligence and keeping secrets "on a need to know basis," the Soviet intelligence apparatus was not infallible, and leaks took place over vodka and other indiscretions.(1) Moreover as a very high level Securitate official, Pacepa could be (and was) privy to information and large disinformation operations of this type. Your post Koba, as always, is an invaluable contribution to this website. I have no reason to doubt Pacepa's allegations but will read the book!

(1) See

Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Thanks kindly for your comment. I loved Dr Zhivago myself, and now that you mentioned it, I will add Dr Zhivago to Random Notes "Great Movie" series, list of historic epic movies. Come back again and again! MAF

Boy talk about 'keeping

Boy talk about 'keeping friends close; but enemies closer'.

While reading this article I am reminded of one of my favorite movies; "Dr. Zhivago" ..

In reality the novel almost didn't get published. Soviet Censors didn't like the subtle criticisms of Stalin and the Gulag.
But it also reminds me of what our own country is experiencing with the constant attempts of 'Class Warfare'!
Very interesting history. I enjoy your articles.


A failed Marxist experiment

乐动体育APPAfter reading this article, I was reminded of the words spoken by former Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow in 1991: "Our country has not been lucky. Indeed, it was decided to carry out this Marxist experiment on us — fate pushed us in precisely this direction. Instead of some country in Africa, they began this experiment with us. In the end, we proved that there is no place for this idea. It has simply pushed us off the path the world's civilized countries has taken..."

乐动体育APPExcellent article about the true nature of communism and men like Stalin who support this evil ideology!

Go Boris Yeltsin, go!

乐动体育APPThank you, Isabella, for the feedback and the quotation from Boris Yeltsin, the first president of non-communist Russia!

乐动体育APPSocialism and communism are nightmarish dystopias, whether of the Soviet, Maoist, or the brothers Castro's variety--- indeed!

乐动体育APPAnd that quotation from Yeltsin is a favorite of mine! MAF