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Putin heralds teachers' manual glorifying Stalin as great leader

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  • Carol Dove
    Group, Another artical and my response at the bottom. Carol Historical amnesia ... the evidence of history to stay that way. ... them is to forget the painful
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 31, 2007
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      Group,
      Another artical and my response at the bottom.

      Carol

      Historical amnesia
      > Putin heralds teachers' manual glorifying Stalin as great leader
      >
      > Calgary Herald
      >
      > Monday, December 03, 2007
      >
      > It's generally best for historical figures who are vilified by
      the evidence of history to stay that way.
      > There is usually good reason for their infamy and to rehabilitate
      them is to forget the painful lessons their brutality taught the
      world in the first place. Unfortunately, such arguments cut no ice in
      the provocative and fervidly nationalist Russia of President Vladimir
      Putin.
      > Long known for his confrontational stance on foreign relations,
      authoritarian instincts and nostalgia for Soviet power, Putin took a
      dangerous step down the road of historical amnesia recently when he
      began promoting a new manual for Russian high school teachers that
      glorifies the murderous Soviet dictator Josef Stalin as a great
      leader who, while cruel, modernized Russia and transformed it into a
      world power.
      > Now, a pro-Stalin revisionist movement has long existed in
      Russia, but it has only been in the 16 years since the collapse of
      the Soviet Union that ordinary people, frustrated at the
      uncertainties of life in a violent and poorly governed Russia, have
      turned to it in greater numbers as a salve for insecurities and
      battered pride.
      > This offers a convenient way for Putin to strengthen his hold
      over the Russian public. More disturbingly, there is little doubt
      that he honestly shares this nostalgia. Putin's grandfather was the
      tyrant's chef.
      > Such misplaced pride cannot hide the evidence of Stalin's crimes
      nor can it erase names like the Katyn Forest Massacre, the Ukrainian
      famine or the Great Purge. A ferociously paranoid man, Stalin's mass
      deportations, executions, show trials, gulags and haphazard style of
      government left a body count in the tens of millions, exceeding even
      the number of victims of Adolf Hitler's megalomania.
      > Far from being a great leader, Stalin was the sort of man who saw
      and believed only what he wanted to. In 1939, despite clear evidence
      of Hitler's propensity for breaking peace treaties, Stalin agreed to
      the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Germany that stipulated non-
      aggression between the two nations. When the Nazis invalidated the
      pact by invading Russia in June 1941, Stalin at first refused to
      accept reality and resorted to having messengers bringing news of the
      invasion killed.
      > By the time he realized the truth, the Germans had destroyed much
      of the lacklustre Soviet war machine -- Stalin had killed most of the
      Red Army's best leaders before the war -- and it was only the onset
      of the Russian winter combined with Hitler's stubborn refusal to
      retreat that allowed the Soviets to regroup and counterattack.
      > Stalin's vaunted industrial reforms were built on sand. The
      corruption, inefficiency and lack of economic freedom fostered by his
      system crippled the Soviet Union and contributed significantly to its
      eventual collapse. Were it not for high oil prices, Russia today
      would be an economic dwarf equivalent to a middling European country.
      > Russians need to carefully consider where their nostalgia might
      lead them. Otherwise, they may wake up one day to find they have put
      on the shackles of the past and thrown away the key.
      > © The Calgary Herald 2007



      Group,

      After reading this I had to reflect on how Pres. Putin can get away
      with this? When we look at how many are not educated to the truth
      and the silence placed over Communist Poland, and the magnitude of
      exiled Polish family's, it is amazing they were silenced as long as
      they were. It was if a wave of reality hit as of 1989 and then the
      whole truth really hit the world. Even today the Polish I speak to
      were told of our exiles as running to a life of luxury and felt we
      abandoned them. Not the truth that they were, "enemies of the state"
      and would have faced arrest and death.

      Children in Poland today that I spoke to are taught very little of
      our family's plight. One girl (16 years old)told me a teacher took
      them to the "holocaust" and she saw where the Jewish were killed.
      When I asked her about Roman/ Greek Catholics, her reply was yes she
      heard of the military killed. Others said they were told nothing.
      Sadly, I think we all know how our own country's teach the subject.

      How many new members join the group and speak of parents that never
      spoke to them of Siberia, amnesty or a loved one that had passed
      away. I would say the number one question is how can I get them to
      talk? If they are unable to talk it is our responsibility to learn
      and talk for them as Jagna did so well.

      Stalin further added to this with what I consider "tower of babble"
      he just never foresaw this age of computers and translators. We need
      to tear down the "tower" and speak out for the ones that are listed
      on the memorial wall.

      Never should "Stalin" have a place in history where he is glorified
      as a great leader. It is now up to us to demand respect for our loved
      ones. I am sorry for drawn out reply I just feel this behavior is
      unacceptable and thoughtless to all victims.

      Carol Celinska Dove
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