Staunton, January 25 – Vladimir Putin’s “’struggle with the threat of Nazism’” was very much on public view during his speech in Jerusalem this week, but his effort is part of a longstanding campaign not only to burnish his own image but to rehabilitate Stalinism as the only real and acceptable alternative to Nazism, Irina Pavlova says.
Unfortunately, the US-based Russian historian says, “’progressive society’ neither in Russia nor in the West up to now has understood the meaning of all the activity” which may be called “’the struggle with the threat of Nazism’” (ivpavlova.blogspot.com/2020/01/blog-post_23.html#more
And fourth, this “’struggle against the threat of Nazism’” came in response to efforts to learn the truth about World War II and especially about those who were responsible for its unleashing. Documents from the archives published at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s showed that Stalin and Hitler “bear equal responsibility” for unleashing the war.
In order to fight back, Putin had a law adopted in 2014 which “not only banned but made punishable as a crime any independent research on the history of World War II.” And this campaign led Moscow representatives to talk a lot about Nuremberg because that tribunal, held immediately after the war and with Soviet agents of influence taking part declared what Putin wants maintained to this day.
The Nuremberg tribunal held that the allies should consider the guilt “only of Nazi Germany” and not the responsibility of anyone else. (In a transparent effort to restore that world, Putin proposed having the five victorious countries of the UN Security Council convene a summit meeting.)
But even that goal pales in comparison with what Putin, continuing the work of his predecessors, “the Stalinist jurists,” hopes to do. Under the cover of brave words about fighting Nazism, Putin has been insisting on the Stalinist conception of the origins of World War II and is clearly seeking “to rehabilitate Stalinism as an alternative to Western civilization.”
“That ambitious intension” explains Putin’s attacks on Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic countries. But, Pavlova argues, “Putin’s propagandists, developing this thought, go further: they accuse not only all of Europe which in their words ‘lay down’ under Hitler, but also the entire West and all of Western civilization of ‘deep’ anti-Semitism” and thus inclined to neo-Nazism.”
And thus the Putin regime seeks to suggest that the world faces a choice between “Western civilization with its ‘birthmark’ of anti-Semitism or modernized Stalinism [or what could simply be called Putinism] without ‘excesses’ in the form of the mass repressions that occurred under Stalin.”