Friday, December 22, 2023

Like Hitler, Stalin Deployed Terror along Ethnic Lines, Eidman Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 19 – Many liberals in both Russia and the West have insisted that Stalin’s terror was fundamentally different from that of Hitler’s and that the Soviet dictator’s system, however horrific, does not deserve to be labelled as such and opposed for that reason, Igor Eidman says.

            Such people argue that the Nazis “from the outset strove toward evil and killed on an ethnic basis, while the Bolshevik chekists wanted something better, namely, the brotherhood of peoples but only later did things turn out as always in a poor way,” the Russian commentator says (

            “All this is nonsense,” Eidman argues. “Stalin’s terror is large measure bore a Nazi-like character and was carried out to a significant degree along ethnic lines.” And the Chekists carried out these measures in much the same way that the Gestapo officers carried out Hitler’s program in that both focused on “destroying the cultural elite of the indigenous peoples.”

            As a result, in the course of “two waves of repression” in the early 1930s and then in 1937-1938, “the majority of non-Russian writers, cultural figures and leading scholars in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and other republics both union and autonomous were destroyed. And after the war, the same thing happened with the Jewish cultural elite.”

            That Stalin also directed his terror against ethnic Russians in these categories does not lessen but only adds to his guilt,” Eidman argues.

            He lists five forms of this terror: repression against the intelligentsia of the national minorities, the terror famine in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, repression against ethnic groups with statehood abroad, deportations of entire peoples, and terror against national-liberation groups in places occupied by the Soviet Union just before and during World War II.

            This ethnic focus was “no accident,” Eidman argues, a horrific reality demonstrated by the fact that “Putin’s Chekist regime has unleashed a genocidal aggression against Ukraine and is trying to destroy the Ukrainians as an independent people. Thus, the chekists ruling in Russia continue the Nazi terror of their predecessors.”


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