Black Ribbon Day

I wrote the following bellow text originally in Portuguese for the 75th anniversary on the defeat of Fascism. But the topic is actually way more relevant for today (August 23rd – the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism). The International Federation of Resistance Fighters has approached the topic, from a different perspective, upon the approval by the European Parliament of a resolution equalizing the Nazism and Communism.

The crimes of Nazism are well documented, known to those who wish to seek that knowledge, supported by hard undisputable facts. On the other hand, the crimes ascribed to Soviet Communist are involved in mist hard evidence seems to be hard to find – even after all of the Warsaw pact countries and some of the Soviet republics left “Moscow’s sphere of influence” (as those defending the existence of such crimes on a proportion equalising Nazism also defend that the Russian Federation is no more than the USSR with make-up).

Yes… there were crimes by Soviet Union, like by most, not to say all, governments at the time (people tend to compare USSR in the 30-60s with modern days European Union, which is, let’s say, biased). But for how many of the claimed crimes are there hard evidence? Don’t the governments of Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have all the interest in showing the material evidence of those crimes? …of going beyond the void claim?

I went and look for that evidence. Started with the “bible” of those crimes: Bloodlands. By the great disseminator of crimes Timothy Snyder. Here’s what I found and resumed in that abovementioned text, here below translated excised of it’s first paragraph that is a mere introduction related to the specific date:

The book Bloodlands, by Timothy Snyder, presents itself as “the story of the people killed by distant leaders”, displaying the area between Moscow and Berlin as a slaughter courtyard for the Nazi and Soviet regimes. And that both share equal responsibility. Snyder then moves on to compare the number of deaths in this specific area (Baltic States, Poland, Belarus, and Ukraine), for the both the Soviet Union (for the period from 1933 to 1945) and the Third Reich (from 1939 to 1945). Yes… the periods under analysis are not the same… details.

In the preface we can learn that, excluding those who died in the battle front, there was a total of 14 million deaths: “of the fourteen million people deliberately murdered in the bloodlands between 1933 and 1945, a third [note: 4.7 million] belong in the Soviet account” (throughout the full preface no other aggregated reference is made to the other two thirds). From 1933 to 1945. And the counting starts. I used as only information source the preface of this Snyder’s book, the great spreader of Soviet crimes.

Nazi side:

  • 5 million Jews [note: no other social group is mentioned – religious, ethnic, political, etc – and Snyder seems not to bother that his counting is one million short];
  • 3 million Soviet prisoners of war (killed by starvation);
  • 1 million Soviet citizens (starved while besieged in Stalingrad);
  • 1 million in labour camps (with no reference to social or national groups);
  • In a total of 10 million.

For the Soviet side (no clear enumeration is ever presented):

  • 3 to 4 million during the Holodomor [note: the great Ukrainian hunger, to which I shall one day return);
  • Further down Snyder mentions that “in Soviet Ukraine, Soviet, Belarus, and the Leningrad district (…) the Stalinist regime starved four million people in the previous 8 years [as from 1941]”. This included the 3-4 million of the Holodomor.

There isn’t anywhere else in the preface another report of Soviet perpetrated deaths in the bloodlands for the period in question. Still… the Soviet numbers appear mentioned 3 times more than the Nazi one in these 12 pages. In the Bloodlands, the deadliest area of Europe in the XX century, Nazis killed, and this solely in observance of Snyder’s report, more than the double than the Soviets, except they did it in half of the time. And those ascribed to the Soviet tab are, for its near totality, those from the Holodomor. There is today western scientific literature (as in revised by peer scientists) that overwhelmingly dismantles the theory of the Soviet negative intervention the in the great hunger of 1932-33. Quite the contrary, the scientific-historical knowledge about that period, and that of the cyclic famines that up to 1933 occurred in that area, point for a preventive and famine relief, at the prejudice of other areas in the Soviet Union. Furthermore, we now know that half a dozen years before another deadlier famine had place in the exact same reason without it ever being so disseminated. But as mentioned above, I shall one day come back to this topic.