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When referring to the Second World War, it is important to remember
that there were several wars, not one. The war led by the
Anglo-American and French imperialists against their German
counterpart had little in common with the national anti-fascist war
led by the Soviet Union. During its struggle against the
invasion, the French ruling class did not and could not mobilize and
arm the working masses in a fight to the death against Nazism. After
the defeat of his troops,
French World War I hero, signed
the act of capitulation and became a major collaborator. Almost en
masse, the French big bourgeoisie followed
trying to make the
most of the German New Order. The war in the West was more or less a
`civilized' war between `civilized' bourgeois.
Nothing of the kind took place in the Soviet Union. The Soviet people
faced a completely different war; one of Stalin's merits is to have
understood this in time and to have prepared appropriately.
Before Operation Barbarossa began,
had already announced what
was to occur. In his Journal,
took notes of a
speech given by
to his generals on March 30, 1941. The
führer spoke of the upcoming war with the Soviet Union:
`Battle between two ideologies. Damning judgment of Bolshevism:
it is an asocial crime. Communism is a frightening danger for
the future .... It is a battle of annihilation. If we do not see
things in this manner, we will still beat the enemy, but in thirty
years, the Communist enemy will oppose us once more. We are not
waging war to maintain our enemy ....
`Battle against Russia: destruction of Bolshevik commissars and
of the Communist intelligentsia.'
, pp. 119--120.
Note that discussion refers to a `final solution', but not against the
Jews. The first promises of a `war of annihilation' and of `physical
destruction' were addressed to the Communists. And, sure enough, the
Bolsheviks, the Soviets, were the first victims of mass extermination.
wrote in September 1941:
`Unlike the diet for other prisoners (i.e. British and U.S.) we are
under no obligation to feed the Bolshevik prisoners'.
La Guerre à l'Est (Paris: Robert
Laffont, 1966), p. 250.
In the Auschwitz and Chemno extermination camps,
`Soviet prisoners of war were the first, or among the first, to be
deliberately killed by lethal injections and gassing.'
Why Did the Heavens Not Darken? The
``Final Solution'' in History (New York: Pantheon Books, 1988), p. 349.
There were 3,289,000 Soviet prisoners of war, dead in the concentration
camps, `while travelling' or under `various circumstances' ! When
epidemics took place in the barracks of Soviet prisoners, Nazi guards
only entered `with flame-throwing teams when, ``for hygiene reasons'',
the dying and dead were burned along with their lice-ridden beds'.
There can easily have been 5,000,000 assassinated prisoners, if we
take into account the Soviet soldiers who were `simply killed on the
spot' when they surrendered.
, p. 251.
Therefore the first extermination campaigns, in fact the biggest, were
against the Soviet peoples, including Soviet Jews. The peoples of the
USSR suffered the most and endured the greatest number of dead
(23 million), but they also showed utter determination and amazing
Until the invasion of the Soviet Union, there were no large massacres
of Jewish populations. At the time, the Nazis had not encountered any
serious resistance. But with their very first steps on Soviet soil,
these noble Germans had to face adversaries who were fighting to the
last man. Right in the first weeks, the Germans suffered important
losses, against an inferior race, the Slavs, worse even, against
Bolsheviks! The exterminating rage of the Nazis was born in their
first massive losses. When the fascist beast started to bleed under
the Red Army's blows, it dreamed up the `final solution' for the
On November 26, 1941, the German 30th Army Corps, occupying a large
Soviet territory, ordered that be taken as hostages
` ``all individuals related to partisans''; ``all individuals
suspected of being in contact with partisans''; ``all members of the
party and the Komsomol, as well as party caretakers''; ``all former
party members''; and ``all individuals who ocupied official positions
before the arrival of German and Rumanian troops.'' These hostages
were to be held ``in concentration camps.'' For every German or
Rumanian soldier killed by a partisan, ten of these hostages were to
, p. 251.
For each German soldier killed, the Nazis decided to execute at least
On December 1, 1942, during a discussion with
on the war
against the Soviet partisans,
summed up the German
position as follows:
`In battle, our troops can do as they please: hang partisans, even
hang them head down or quarter them.'
parle à ses généraux (Paris: Albin
Michel, 1964), pp. 39--40.
The bestiality with which the
troops tracked down and
liquidated all the Party members, all the partisans, all the Soviet
State leaders, along with their families, allows us to better
understand the importance of the Great Purge of 1937--1938. In the
occupied territories, unreconcilable counter-revolutionaries who had
not been liquidated in 1937--1938 went to work for the
informing on all the Bolsheviks, their families and their friends in
As the war in the East became fiercer and fiercer, the Nazis'
murderous folly against an entire people intensified.
talking to SS leaders, spoke in June 1942:
`In what was a ``war of annihilation [Vernichtungskampf],''
two ``races and peoples'' were locked in ``unconditional'' combat; on
the one side ``this brute matter, this mass, these primeval men, or
better these subhumans [Untermenschen], led by commissars''; on
the other, ``we Germans''.'
, p. 281.
An unprecedented, sanguinary terror: that was the weapon that the
Nazis tried to use to force the Soviets into moral and political
`During the battles to seize Kharkov, our reputation of
striking fear and sowing terror preceded us. It is an extraordinary
weapon that should always be reinforced.'
Discours secrets (Paris: Gallimard,
1978), p. 191.
And the Nazis intensified that terror.
On August 23, 1942, precisely at 18:00, one thousand airplanes
began to drop incendiary bombs on Stalingrad. In that city of 600,000
people, there were many wooden buildings, gas tanks and fuel tanks for
who commanded the Stalingrad front, wrote:
`Stalingrad was drowned by the misty flames, surrounded by smoke and soot.
The entire city was burning. Huge clouds of smoke and fire rose up
above the factories. The oil reservoirs appeared to be volcanoes
throwing up their lava. Hundreds of thousands of peacable
inhabitants perished. One's heart got caught in one's throat in
compassion for the innocent victims of the fascist victim.'
One must have a clear view of these unbearable truths to understand
certain aspects of what the bourgeoisie calls `Stalinism'. During the
purge, unrepentant bureaucrats, defeatists and capitulationists were
affected; many were sent to Siberia. A defeatist or capitulationist
Party could never have mobilized and disciplined the
population to face the Nazi terror. And the Soviet people did face
it in the besieged cities, in Leningrad and Moscow. And even in the
Stalingrad inferno, men and women survived, never surrendered and,
finally, participated in the counter-offensive!
During the German
aggression, in June 1941,
commander of the Western
Front, displayed grave incompetence and negligence. The result was
the loss of Minsk, the Byelorussian capital, on June 28.
and his staff to Moscow.
noted that `on a proposal of the
Military Council of the Western Front', they were tried and shot.
, p. 260.
of course writes that `Stalin continued to terrorize his
, p. 283.
But, faced with Nazi barbarism, the Soviet leadership had to show
an unflinching attitude and phenomenal endurance; any irresponsible
act had to be punished with the utmost severity.
Once the fascist beast began to receive mortal wounds, it tried to
take up courage by bathing in blood, by practicing genocide against
the Soviet people who were under its talons.
declared on December 16, 1943, in Weimar:
`When I was forced to give in a village the order to march against the
Jewish partisans and commissars, I systematically gave the order to
also kill the women and children of these partisans and these
commissars. I would be a coward and a criminal with respect to our
descendants if I allowed these hate-filled children of subhumans in
the battle between human and subhuman. We always keep in mind that we
are engaged in a primitive, natural and original racial battle.'
, p. 205.
In another speech on April 24, 1943, in Kharkov, the head of the SS said:
`By what means will we succeed in removing from Russia the greatest
number of men, dead or alive? We will succeed by killing them, by
making them prisoner, by making them really work and by giving back
(certain territories) to the enemy only after having completely
emptied them of inhabitants. Giving men back to Russia would be a
, p. 187.
This reality, of the unbelievable terror that the Nazis practiced in
the Soviet Union, against the first socialist country, against the
Communists, is almost systematically covered up or minimized in bourgeois
litterature. This silence has a clear goal. Those who do not
know of the monstrous crimes committed against the Soviets are more
likely to believe that Stalin was a `dictator' comparable to
The bourgeoisie covers up the real anti-Communist genocide to better
publicize what it has in common with Nazism: the irrational hatred of
Communism, the class hatred of socialism. And to better cover up the
great genocide of the war, the bourgeoisie shines the light on another
genocide, that of the Jews.
In a remarkable book,
Arno J. Mayer,
whose father was left-Zionist,
shows that the extermination of the Jews only began once the Nazis
had, for the first time, suffered heavy losses. It was in June--July
1941, against the Red Army. The bestiality against the
Communists, followed by the unexpected defeats that demolished the
sentiment of invincibility of the Ubermenschen (Supermen),
created the atmosphere that led to the Holocaust.
`The Judeocide was forged in the fires of a stupendous war to conquer
unlimited Lebensraum from Russia, to crush the Soviet regime,
and to liquidate international bolshevism .... Without Operation
Barbarossa there would and could have been no Jewish catastrophe, no
, p. 234.
Once the Nazis had to face the defeats on the Russian front, they
decided on a `global and final solution' of the `Jewish problem'
during the Wannsee conference of January 20, 1942.
For years, the Nazis had put forward their hatred of
`Judeo-Bolshevism', Bolshevism having been the worst invention of the
Jews. The determined resistance of the Bolsheviks prevented the
from finishing off their principal enemy. So the latter
turned their frustations on the Jews, whom they exterminated with
Since the Jewish big bourgeoisie had been conciliatory to the
state, sometimes even collaborationist, most Jews handed
themselves over to their executors. But the Communist Jews, who acted
in an internationalist spirit, fought the Nazis and led some of the
Jewish Left into resistance. The great majority of the poor Jews were
gassed. But many rich Jews succeeded in escaping to the United
States. After the war, they went to work for U.S. imperialism and
its Middle East beachhead, Israel. They speak at length about the
Jewish Holocaust, but in a pro-Israel light; at the same time, they
freely voice their anti-Communism, thereby insulting the memory of
those Communist Jews who really did fight the Nazis.
We conclude with a word on how
prepared the Nazis to
indifferently massacre 23 million Soviet citizens. To transform his
men into killing machines, he had to make them believe that a
Bolshevik was subhuman, an animal.
warned his troops that the enemy forces were ``largely
composed of beasts, not soldiers,'' conditioned to fight with
, p. 244.
In order to push the German troops to exterminate Communists,
told them that Stalin and the other Soviet leaders were
`bloodstained criminals ... [who had] killed and rooted out
millions of [Russia's] leading intelligentsia in a wild thirst for
blood ... [and] exercised the most cruel tyranny of all times.'
, p. 106.
`(T)he bloody Jew and tyrant over the people ... killed (sometimes
with inhuman tortures) or starved to death with truly fanatical
savagery close to thirty million people.'
, p. 101.
the lie of `thirty million victims of Stalinism'
served to psychologically prepare for Nazi barbarism and the genocide
of Soviet Communists and partisans.
for `thirty million
victims'. This disgusting lie already appeared in 1926 in Mein Kampf,
long before the collectivization and purge! Attacking
`(The Jew) killed or starved about thirty million people with a truly
diabolic ferocity, under inhuman tortures'.
Mein Kampf (New York: Reynal &
Hitchcock, 1941), pp. 450--451.
Half a century later,
U.S. imperialism's official
ideologue, took up these Nazi lies, word for word:
`(I)t is absolutely safe to estimate the number (of Stalin's victims)
at no less than twenty million and perhaps as high as forty million'.
, p. 27.
Next: Stalinhis personality
Up: Stalin and the
Previous: The day of
Fri Aug 25 09:03:42 PDT 1995