Putin heralds teachers' manual glorifying Stalin as great leader
Another artical and my response at the bottom.
> Putin heralds teachers' manual glorifying Stalin as great leaderthe evidence of history to stay that way.
> Calgary Herald
> Monday, December 03, 2007
> It's generally best for historical figures who are vilified by
> There is usually good reason for their infamy and to rehabilitatethem 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
> 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
> Now, a pro-Stalin revisionist movement has long existed inRussia, 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
> This offers a convenient way for Putin to strengthen his holdover the Russian public. More disturbingly, there is little doubt
that he honestly shares this nostalgia. Putin's grandfather was the
> Such misplaced pride cannot hide the evidence of Stalin's crimesnor 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 sawand 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
> By the time he realized the truth, the Germans had destroyed muchof 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. Thecorruption, 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 mightlead 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 2007Group,
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