When I published the translation of a 6-year-old article “So many? Really?” Germans do not know how many Russians were killed by their ancestors, I got some vehement response, and even more vehement responses came to Lada’s repost of my translation at FuturistTrendcast.
What scares me is how the history is being rewritten right in front of our very eyes, while a few of the contemporaries of WWII are still alive, and while their ancestors still remember their stories, like I remember the story of my grand-uncle. The most scary part is the passive acceptance of the twisted half-truths and lies, peddled by the media, by the general populace. What can we say about the events of 1812 and before (like when the Dutch have forgotten the Russian help in restoration of their state), what can we say about the changes done to our history, when the history is being so thoroughly rewritten right now?!
Three articles on RT caught my eye today, vividly illustrating this.
Lesson to learn from GoT: Stories are powerful, be careful which ones you believe
There is one very poignant part in this article:
Orwell’s dystopia takes to its logical extreme the old adage that “history is written by the victors,” but it’s not too far off. Much of Western history about WWII, for example, came from the pen of Winston Churchill, who naturally made sure he was the hero by scrubbing out inconvenient facts like the 1943 Bengal famine or the betrayal of Yugoslavia, for instance.
These narratives were then taken up and amplified by Hollywood, which has from its very beginning manufactured institutional memory for most Americans. As a result of blockbusters like ‘Saving Private Ryan,’ and ‘Band of Brothers’ (another HBO show), the US contribution to defeating Hitler has become grossly inflated in the public mind, not just at home, but abroad as well. Meanwhile, the massive Soviet role in the war has been minimized or erased entirely.
This narrative violation of history made it possible for US President Donald Trump to argue that America single-handedly defeated Nazism and Communism, without a peep from his critics and legions of fact-checkers normally eager to seize every opportunity.
To paraphrase Varys, power is all about perception management.
And right on cue, case in point:
Soviet Union oddly missing from US-made coin ‘saluting’ WWII Allies
After fierce resistance and four years of bloody battles, the Red Army repelled the invasion and liberated Eastern Europe from the Nazi occupation.
In 1945, Soviet soldiers captured Berlin. After the warfare in Europe was over, Moscow agreed to US requests to enter the war against Japan, defeating its forces in Manchuria.
More than 26.6 million Soviet citizens died in the war, with 8.7 million killed in combat.
A US-made collectable coin lists Britain and France among the honored US allies in WWII, but, strangely, the Soviet Union, whose Red Army delivered a crushing blow to the Nazis in Europe and fought Japan, is omitted.
I want to round these musings with a news from Sweden, where they are mulling to forbid… Nordic runes:
Swedes up in arms as govt mulls potential ban on ancient ‘Nazi’ runes
First the Rus runes were pushed into oblivion, and now it’s the turn of the Norse runes, and with them even more of our history will be forgotten. Nazis seem to be an awfully convenient excuse to achieve such goals of first maligning and then outright banning the old and venerated symbols, as it’s already been done with the symbol of the “wheel of time” – “kolovrat”.
Obviously, in the case of omitting the USSR from the “victorious Allies” it is simply anri-Russian propaganda from the US and the UK.
However, with WWII in general, I believe it is not “History being rewritten”. WWII is still too emotional, still too much of a Political, rather than an objective Historical, topic.
As you stated, the “History” was largely written by the Western victors, primarily to glorify themselves, and to demonize the defeared Axis countries.
What the UK and US fear is a truly objective historical investigation of WWII, from the Causes of the War, to who did or did not commit atrocities, to what the effects of the War actually were.
It is for this precise reason that any “alternative” beliefs in aspects of the War are now illegal in many countries…including Russia. Why would anyone make it illegal to look into these issues? Because they know what actual objective, scientific investigation and examination would ultimately reveal.
The Truth never needs to be defended by Lawd. Only Lies do. When an IDEA is outlawed, the meaning is clear.
It likely won’t be in our lifetimes, but eventually there will be such objective analysis of every aspect of WWII. And the results will expose our modern History books as Fiction.
But most probably what you’ll see is an even further perversion of the WWII history with Russia/USSR (the victim) becoming the culprit (for an example of how it’s done look at what is being said in Ukraine), and with Stalin becoming further vilified and demonised. And speaking of ideas being outlawed – the idea of Stalin doing the right thing for the country is also being outlawed as we watch.
What will happen, is the same what happened to the history of the First Great Patriotic War of 1812-14, where the West completely wrote Russia out of that history, only mentioning Napoleon’s campaign to Moscow in passing, glorifying Napoleon and forgetting that, for example, Holland exists today in its present form only thanks to Russia: https://stanislavs.org/russians-are-coming-restoration-of-the-dutch-kingdom-year-1813/
And then, when the history is written so as to depict Russia as the bad guy, another crusade will start…
Once you are talking about historical markers, one such marker is the demonisation of the Russian rulers who did something good for Russia and who were not playing to the Western tune. Ivan III, Ivan IV “The Formidable” (whom the British “accidentally” mistranslated as “Terrible”), Paul I, Nikolai I, Stalin, and now, Putin. The very fact that Stalin is demonised should be a red flag. He was no angel, but we cannot judge his actions out of today’s sentiments. WWI and WWII were actually one Great War on Russia (and, yes, on Germany too – through Germany was masterfully played into becoming a battering ram against Russia), and we cannot look at them as two different wars. It was only by 1920 that Russia managed to kick most of the Western interventionists out (among them, the Americans who killed the people in Siberia: http://www.stalkerzone.org/occupation-american-style-100-years-ago-the-us-army-invaded-russia/). What passed for peace between 1920 and 1938 was a brief regrouping of forces, and Russia was at a disadvantage. Industry destroyed, economy under sanctions, Western powers demanding grain for any trades. Stalin had an option of rebuilding the industry and the defensive capacity at the cost of the population or surrendering the whole country to the imminent invasion. And he had to get rid of the 5th column. And then he had to keep the country mobilised after the war to get it rebuilt again. And then there were many in the lower-ranks, who used the situation to their advantage, settling scores and grudges by telling on other innocent people. My grandmother was such innocent victim and she blamed Stalin all her life for being sent to a labour camp in the Far East from 1946 and until Stalin’s death, whereupon she was released and rehabilitated. But it was not Stalin personally, but rather someone with a grudge who wronged her. She became a victim of the mobilisation period, where the country basically lived under martial law, when few questions were asked before someone was deemed guilty.
By the way, Russia that Putin inherited from Yeltsin and the Western Reformers was in almost equally bad state as Russia that Stalin inherited from Lenin and the Bolsheviks. Putin luckily had the nuclear deterrent, which ensured that Russia could be mobilised and reformed at a slower pace without the fear of an outright invasion and without limiting the democratic freedoms. Stalin did not have that luxury.
Saying that ““alternative” beliefs in aspects of the War are now illegal in many countries…including Russia” is wrong. Russia has opened up its archives, a lot of research is being done, not least into uncovering the details of the Munich Conspiracy which triggered WWII phase of the Great War on Russia. The atrocities committed by the German troops on the Russian soil are well-documented by many survivor and witness accounts. My grand-uncle, who fought the whole war from Moscow to Berlin had nightmares for the rest of his life, not only from being under fire, but also from seeing terrible sights on the liberated territories.
The only thing being taboo now, is applying any scientific analysis to Holocaust. And it’s true that it’s taboo both in Russia and the West. But even here we start seeing a shift as more archival data becomes public.
It’s not wrong. Russia has a Law making it illegal to say that the Germans were anything other than Pure Evil.
As for “well-documented by many survivor and witness accounts”..
First, in a Proper Court of Law, “witness” accounts alone can never bring a verdict of ‘Guilty’. Which is precisely why the Nuremberg Show Trials were anything but an actual Court of Law.
Then, there is the fact, that there are ‘well-documented survivor and witness accounts’ of the alleged atrocities that Serbia committed against the so-called “indigenous Kosovars”. When, in fact, the reverse is more accurate. It was the pro-Albanian NATO troops that committed atrocities against the Serbs. But that’s not what “History” tells us. and so the idea of Milosevic as Hitler II persists. And, there are “well-documented survivor and witness accounts” to apparently ‘back this up’. Same as the ‘German atrocities’.
Of course, there were IDENTICAL reports of ‘German atrocities’ during the FIRST World War. Ones that nobody today believes to be anything other than wartime propaganda, fabricated by the Allied Government to stir up their population to want War. Today, people can say this about the “German atrocities” of the FIRST World War. But saying it about the “German atrocities” of the SECOND World War is a crime in many countries. And met with anger and disgust in many others. It may only be in another 50, 100 years that people may start to look at the Second World War with any sort of objectivity. Or perhaps, Hitler will remain, like Ivan IV, portrayed as a two-dimensional comic book character.
But there is one other thing about the Second World War that has been questioned. And again, it is met with anger and outright banning in West and East alike. As far back as 1964, Udo Walendy’s book (whose English translation is titled ‘Who Started World War II’) was published. There is nothing ‘sensationalistic’ or ‘conspiratorial’ about it. It uses only actual documentation from the 1930’s and 1940’s to illustrate the reality of why and how the Second World War really broke out.
It could have been dismissed as “German propaganda”, but in 2016 the British historian Doctor Nicholas Kollerstrom published his “How Britain initiated both World Wars”. And at least one Russian site has commented.
But that’s only World War ONE. (A War which Germany had to sign a Treaty saying that they had “full guilt” for. In that case, according to Google..
“The Second World War was started by Germany in an unprovoked attack on Poland.”
Not only was the “attack” not ‘unprovoked, but it says nothing of the USSR “attacking” Poland at the same time.
But, if the Truth that Britain and France started World War One is starting to emerge, maybe the Truth about who started World War II(Britain) and why(money and power) may yet come to light.
You seem to be mixing up two distinct questions: 1. who started the war and 2. the atrocities committed by the German troops. Those questions have nothing to do with each other.
In your last sentence you answer question 1, and as I wrote earlier, Russia was one of the first to demonstrate how Britain, France and US through the Munich Conspiracy (or Munich Accord) got Germany into starting WWII. That is by no means banned in Russia.
The second question, that of the German atrocities (specifically on the Russian soil) is indeed well-documented. I also wrote about that several times, but it falls on deaf ears. There are such records as population census before and after the war, video record (kilometres of footage, filmed by almost 300 front-line correspondents), eye-witness records, like that of my grand-uncle, and the sheer amount of cities and villages that had to be rebuilt (Minsk is one such example).
The fabricated Serbian “atrocities”, created to justify NATO’s war on Yugoslavia have already been de-buffed by a multitude witness accounts. It’s just the Western MSM press that is not allowed to talk about them.
Btw, Russia Insider is not a Russian site, but rather an American one, run by American journalists, sympathetic to Russia. I do quote it from time to time myself.
You also mentioned USSR moving into Poland. That was a self-preservation move – to move the potential front away from the border. That fact is not denied. In the modern days it’s a miracle that Russia does not do the same with all the NATO troops and nuclear rocket sites amassing on the Russian border…
The “two issues” are directly connected. Before, during and after the War, the Allies(Western and Eastern alike) promoted anti-German propaganda, designed to stir the people up for a War that nobody, apart from the politicians and bakers, wanted.
Germany was smeared with multiple “crimes”..being solely responsible for the outbreak of the War, wanting to rule the entire world, having ‘death camps’ where a ‘Holocaust’ took place, performing grotesque medical experiments of human beings, and the wholesale slaughter of civillians. None of these exist in isolation. They were ALL coming from the same sources, for the exact same reasons. And, just as there is “survivor and eyewitness accounts” of the civillian massacres, so there is the exact same of “survivor and eyewitness accounts” of the ‘Holocaust’, and of the alleged crimes of Doctor Josef Mengele. Why should ALL the other wartime atrocity propaganda be just that, whereas ONE orchestrated claim be 100% truthful and accurate?
So, what of the evidence? “Eyewitness accounts”? As noted, there are similar “eyewitness accounts” of alleged Serb atrocities against Albanians. Which as you said were “created to justify NATO’s war on Yugoslavia “. Well, substitute “Allies” for “NATO”, and “Germany” for “Yugoslavia”.
A for destroyed cities and villages, the same is true of Germany, of France, of Poland, and elsewhere. That is one of the horrors of War. Especially in the modern age. The destruction of buildings does not equate with the deliberate annihilation of the civillian population of those cities.
The Census? Here’s something very interesting. According to multiple websites, there was Soviet Census of 1937, and the next time a Soviet Census was held was in….1959! In 1939, the population was given at 170.6 million, and in 1959 at 215 million.
Just one example..
quote.. “The new Soviet Census (1939) showed a population figure of 170.6 million people,….No other censuses were conducted until 1959.”
By contrast, Germany dropped from 79,375,281 in 1939, to 65,137,274 in 1946. More than 14 million people, and surely not all of them military.
Thus, we are left with “video records”. But we have no way of knowing for certain who is who. In fact, it has been exposed that certain piles of GERMAN bodies were used as “proof” of a ‘Holocaust’ of Jewish people BY the Germans themselves.
There were IDENTICAL “witness accounts” of German and Austrian atrocities during the FIRST World War. Why should the accounts of one World War be merely ‘wartime propaganda’, whereas the identical, regurgitated accounts of the other World War be taken as accurate?
The same sort of filth was drudged up again by American and British propaganda agents, and used against Saddam Hussein and Iraq, to “justify” illegal invasions of Iraq. And similar smut has been laid against Russia, and supposed ‘atrocities’ in Ukraine committed by pro-Putin forces.
Lastly, you may have said more than you wished to with “You also mentioned USSR moving into Poland. That was a self-preservation move – to move the potential front away from the border. That fact is not denied.” Yet, at that time the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was in effect. And Germany was being attacked on the Western front by the UK, France and Belgium, with the USA chomping at the bit to join in. So, why would the USSR believe so strongly that there would be an Eastern War between USR and Germany in 1939? Were they already preparing for one?
I feel that we are talking past each other, agreeing on most issues, but disagreeing on one specific – the action of the German troops on the Soviet territory.
First let me dismantle one of your arguments in the opening of your post: “(Western and Eastern alike) promoted anti-German propaganda”. That is not true for USSR. Germany was seen as a possible friend, German language was one of the most popular elective foreign languages and a lot of German specialists were in USSR. There was definitely no warmongering propaganda at that time, and definitely not against Germany – I’ve watched quite a lot of films from the 30s and they are a “propaganda” of building and cooperation.
Once the war started, the Soviet population did not need any propaganda either – German troops marching through our land leaving desolation, them being a few kilometres from Moscow was enough. Much the same as the people of Donbass don’t need any propaganda against the ukro-Nazis – the daily shellings coming from their positions, killing and destroying are enough.
And I said exactly what I wished with that sentence about Poland (which is complacent in starting of WWII, jumping together with Germany of the British-sanctioned land grab). Moving border and creating a buffer with the West was also the aim of Stalin’s agreement with Roosevelt and Churchill in Yalta, and that held until the Warsaw Pact fell and NATO started creeping East, now sitting right on the Russian border. At the time when Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was signed, there were no illusions as to the fact that the War on Russia would continue (I wrote about it before as well, WWI and WWII being in fact one war with a short détente – that’s why the leadership of USSR was sure an aggression would come from the West, one way or another). In fact it was already going in the East, with Japan advancing. that pact was a way of buying time for USSR, securing its Eastern border in Mongolia and starting to re-deploy the troops to the West. And even then that tactical manoeuvre came almost too late.
As for “Germany was being attacked on the Western front by the UK, France and Belgium” does not rhyme well with German troops marching into Paris and being met with flowers… When Germany attacked USSR, its Western flank was all but secured. Stalin begged UK to open the second front several times, and it took the victory under Stalingrad which turned the tide of the war for the Western “allies” to open the second front, or, in fact, not to be late to the party.
When it comes to the number of German casualties – you’ll find no disagreement from me. I’ve mentioned post-war Roosevelt’s concentration camps for Germans before, I mentioned carpet bombings. Conversely the Soviet troops acted surgically, trying to minimise damage to the cities (Krakow stand today as it was before the war thanks to the Russian sacrifices) and people.
And it does not matter that most German soldiers were only doing what they were ordered to do and had no evil feelings against the Russian civilians. It does not matter that some of the officers read Bismark and knew that treating the Russians cruelly and unfairly on the occupied lands would only increase resistance. It would take only a small fraction of fanatical German officers to cause a lot of damage. Add to it the fact that it took 4 years to push the Germans back out of Russia/USSR and you’ll see that it was no walk in the park with fluffy innocent Germans.
The census results and dates in USSR have a perfectly logical explanation. Conducting a census requires a lot of resources – simply put it costs a lot, especially in a country the size of USSR. After the devastation of WWII USSR had more pressing matters to attend to – rebuilding whole cities, providing people with housing (a constitutional right in USSR), rebuilding factories and whole industries. (Next time Russia had an even worse population loss in dead and de-industrialisation was during Yeltsin’s Wild 90s.) And then there was the very real looming possibility of continuation of the aggression from the West as USA was preparing its nuclear first strike against USSR (https://stanislavs.org/usas-plans-for-the-nuclear-annihilation-of-ussr-russia-and-china-disclosed/). That was the first priority in usage of the countries resources. By that time, children were born. And also, after the war USSR added Galicia to Ukraine and part of the Polish territories to Belorussia (giving Poland some of the German lands as a compensation). That added a few millions in population. I am not counting Kaliningrad region, though.
I think we conclude this discussion here.