The history Russians and Communists want us to forget

By Jarrett Stepman | The Daily Signal

The Soviet Union did not free the world of tyranny in World War II. It merely helped defeat one evil while ruthlessly attempting to supplant it with another one.

But you wouldn’t know that from reading an Associated Press article on the topic.

The Associated Press originally stated that the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were “allies” at the beginning of World War II. It then issued the following correction:

 … In 1939, despite sharp ideological differences, the two powers entered into a non-aggression pact that paved the way for them to carve up Poland and for the Soviet Union to take the Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. That pact was never formally recognized as an alliance, and in 1941 Germany attacked the Soviet Union.

It’s noteworthy that according to Haaretz, this correction took place after Russia put pressure on the publication. The Daily Signal reached out to AP about the correction, but it didn’t respond to the request for comment.

The truth is that the USSR and Nazi Germany were functionally allies in the early stages of World War II, as historian Timothy Snyder explained in his book “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin.”

The “sharp ideological differences” between these two merciless systems was perhaps not so sharp in reality. Both stood fundamentally opposed to concepts such as “natural rights” and limited government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

This can be seen in the country of Ukraine, which suffered first under Soviet tyranny, then under Nazi tyranny.

In the 1930s, the Soviet Union conducted a program to exploit Ukraine, a breadbasket of the region, by taking their food, the fruit of their labor, and starving them to death.

“Ukrainians would die in the millions, in the greatest artificial famine in the history of the world,” Snyder wrote—a fact badly obscured by a pro-communist propaganda in The New York Times by Walter Duranty.

The Soviets would soon lose control, but Ukraine’s misery was far from over.

“ … In 1941 Hitler would seize Ukraine from Stalin, and attempt to realize his own colonial vision beginning with the shooting of Jews and the starving of Soviet prisoners of war,” Snyder wrote. “The Soviets colonized their own country, and the Nazis colonized occupied Soviet Ukraine: and the inhabitants of Ukraine suffered and suffered.”

This history has often been obscured by the fact that Germany turned on the Soviet Union, pushing the USSR to ally itself with Great Britain and the United States to form a powerful, yet ideologically incompatible alliance in order to defeat a greater threat.

Public domain

Molotov and Ribbentrop after the signing of the Soviet-German friendship treaty and the border between the USSR and Germany. Moscow, Sept. 28, 1939

In August, 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In September, both powers invaded and occupied Poland together under this nonaggression treaty. The two belligerents continued to carve up much of Eastern Europe until Hitler’s ill-fated decision to turn on Stalin in 1941—which pushed the Soviets into cooperation with the Allies.

It’s important to acknowledge this history, as much as Russia would like to ignore it.

Many were certainly saved from Nazi tyranny due to the Soviet Union’s war effort. The Soviet Union played a vital role in defeating Nazi Germany, supplying the manpower needed to grind down the German army on the Eastern Front. The Soviets even liberated most of the prominent Nazi death camps, including Auschwitz.

But those they liberated from Nazi tyranny would soon fall under another tyranny, one based in Moscow.

Only Great Britain and the United States freed people from tyranny writ large.

We must not forget that the Soviet Union entered World War II in league with Hitler and perpetrated its own heinous crimes in conquering Eastern Europe—before, during, and after the war.

The Allies came to Europe as liberators. The Soviets came to conquer, and they spent generations plundering Eastern Europe until the communist system came tumbling down in 1989, proving the failure of its underpinning ideology.

The Soviet Union’s role in World War II has often been misunderstood. Its image as one of the Big Three allies—along with Great Britain and the United States—was only created after a partnership of necessity was forged between the USSR and the free world in the final days of 1941.

While the idea that the Soviet Union “won” World War II and saved us from Hitler is an increasingly common one, we should remember that the Soviet Union played a large part in starting the deadliest war in human history and had no qualms about aligning itself with fascists to accomplish its goals.

Communist and Nazi war machines worked together in the early days of the war to plunder their neighbors and commit mass atrocities unmatched in human history. This dynamic only changed when Hitler stabbed Stalin in the back and invaded.

It is important to keep this history alive, not just for the sake of historical accuracy, but to demonstrate the chasm of difference between the free nations, built on the edifice of protecting individual liberty and freedom, and ones erected on an ideology of tyranny.

We should remember this today as a Russian Embassy attempts to shame the United States for its “inhumane” use of nuclear weapons at the end of the war.

Few countries in history have perpetrated or abetted more inhumanity on planet earth in the name of “progress” than the USSR of the mid-20th century.

The United States is far from a perfect country. It has often failed to live up to its own ideals. But the American way didn’t just produce victory in World War II, it produced prosperity and flourishing for its own citizens, and the citizens of countries it liberated and defeated.

By contrast, communism destroyed not just the satellite countries that the Soviet Union occupied and put under its thumb. It economically and spiritually destroyed Russia too—setting the nation back for generations.

This is a point of rebuke to both Russian revisionists and communist apologists.

Great Britain and the United States stood on the side of freedom, not just for themselves but—when backed into a corner—other people as well.

America did not go into the world seeking monsters to destroy. Villainy arrived at our doorstep, and we defeated it. The Soviet Union only sought to bring monstrous oppression to others, switching sides when it suddenly faced the threat of being gobbled up by another regime.

We need to remember this always, as a nation. Despite our comfortable position in the world we must avoid falling into the trap of thinking ourselves unassailable or freedom inevitable. There was no “end of history” after the fall of the Soviet Union. Today, there are new tyrannies lurking in this world, ones that may also soon challenge our way of life.

And, much like in World War II, we must hope that we can again be a refuge for liberty in a world of spreading darkness—a shining city upon a hill.

Image courtesy of Public domain

5 thoughts on “The history Russians and Communists want us to forget

  1. Russia was the last country to sign a non aggression pact with Germany in 1939. Russia was not ready to go to war and was stalling for time.
    The UK and France already had such pacts.

    The UK had a pact with Poland in case it were attacked by Germany.
    When Germany did attack Poland, the UK declared war on Germany but did nothing to stop the Germans or help the Poles.

    A few weeks later, Russia occupied East Poland to ensure the Germans would not march closer to Russia.
    Those Polish areas are now part of Belarus.

    Germany attacked Russia to get to its oil, gas and coal, etc., in 1941

    Stalin could not believe it, because he had an agreement with Germany that it would not attack.

    Russia had been preparing for war, but it took several weeks for Russia to respond and mobilize, but once it did, and received weapons help from the UK and the US, via Murmansk, Russia became unstoppable.

    Russia was fighting at least 65% of the German armed forces.
    The other 35% of German forces were in West Europe and Africa.

    Russia lost about 20 million people fighting the Germans, which is more than 10 times the losses of the Allies in West Europe.

    It is true Russia stayed in East Europe largely to ensure Germany would not attack it again.
    The cost of occupying East Europe was a major drag on the Russian economy.
    The cost of the arms race was another major drag on its economy.

    After WW2 ended, Russia built oil and gas lines to East Europe to supply it with much needed energy.

    After the Berlin Wall came down, Russia has continued to supply oil and gas and coal to East Europe and West Europe

    Germany is its biggest customer and a major proponent of Nordstream, gas via the Baltic, to ensure neither Poland nor Ukraine will interrupt gas flows to Germany.

    • The Polish ambassador to Germany had a meeting with Hitler during which the Jewish question was discussed in 1939. Just google.

      Hitler told him the plan was to ship all Jews to Africa.
      The ambassador responded: If you do that Poland will erect a beautiful monument in Warsaw.

      The ambassador reported this important conversation to his anti-Semitic government in Warsaw, likely to gain brownie points.

      Little did the ambassador know the documents came into possession of Russia in 1945

      Recently Putin called that ambassador a Jew-hating pig, and said that history proved collusion between Germany and Hitler regarding the Jewish question in 1939, just before Germany invaded Poland in 1939.

    • and Gen MacArthur on Korea and continuing thru China…
      Imagine no commie nations for socialist to imitate for us..
      burnee would be out of a job.. and the majority of the left…

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