Open Letter to Heather Mallick o

Open Letter to Heather Mallick on the Distortions of the Role of Stalin in the Defeat of Hitler Germany

February 7th 2004

Box 168 Slocan B.C.

V0G 2C0

Heather Mallick,

Columnist, Globe Mail,

Dear Heather Mallick

I just read your lengthy piece about genocide in the January 31, 2004 issue of the globe and Mail[1].  Quoting from another author you listed “20th century genocide winding up with this zinger (“It is not clear what to call Stalin’s killing of 50 million citizens.”)

By coincidence 50 million just happens to be the number of people that perished in all theatres of conflict in the Second World War.  Of this number 20 million were Soviet combatants and civilians who died defending their country and liberating Europe in what Russians call the Great Patriotic War against the Hitler Nazi invaders.  Add to this number 12 million victims of Hitler’s extermination death camps.  Death camp victims included 8 million European Jews.  The remainder were Soviet and allied prisoners or war, German anti-fascists and resistance fighters, political victims mainly Communists, trade unionists, Social Democrats, patriots of all convictions, people of religious conviction opposed to Hitler, anti-fascists of all stripes, homosexuals and Gypsies.

Permit me at this point to insert here the oft quoted testament of Reverend Martin Niemoeller, a German Lutheran pastor, arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Dachau in 1938.

 Niemoeller said;

“In Germany, the Nazis first came for the Communists,

And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,

And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,

And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,

But I didn’t speak up because I was a protestant.

Then they came for me,

And by that time there was no one left to speak for me.”

(Quoted from the February 2002 edition of the MILL, the magazine of independent politics c/o SnOwPIRG c/o Lakehead Univeristy, Student Union (LUSU) Lakehead University Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1  email: .)

I visited one such camp at Buchenwald East Germany in the early 1960’s.  Buchenwald was in the east European socialist, Communist if you will, German Democratic Republic (GDR).  When I told some of my acquaintances about what I had witnessed there I was invariably accused of being a “communist dupe”.  At Buchenwald our guide was a mild mannered German Jew who had survived the camp.  In matter of fact language he told us what happened to him and showed us around the remains of the extermination site, a place much like the photo of Auschwitz that appeared beside your piece in the Globe.  There we saw memorials to all those who died including citizens of all European countries, of which Soviet citizens were represented in large numbers, and to our amazement, Canadians.  Recently there was an item in the Globe and Mail written by a Canadian prisoner of war who survived Buchenwald verifying that what we had seen at the memorial in the 1960’s was in fact true and accurate.  I can only hope that those who in the 60’s accused us of being communist dupes will also have read his account.

Soviet losses in the war plus death camp victims together total about thirty two million persons.  The remainder were about 18 million allied combatants and civilians killed in all of the West European, African and Asian theatres of war.  These losses include Canadians who died at Dieppe and in the Second Front period of the European war.  It also includes US British and Australian combatants who died in the African and Pacific theatre.  Add to this, losses suffered by the Philippine, Burmese, Indonesian, Chinese and Korean resistance and guerrilla forces who died in their struggle to drive out Hitler’s axis ally the Japanese occupiers.  Axis losses comprise the remainder.  These include Hitler’s fascist allies among the Italian, Hungarian, Rumanian, Bulgarian, Serbian Chetniks, Croat fascists, Greek fascists, Franco’s Blue Divisions and Finnish fascist combatants, all engaged on the eastern front against the Soviet Union.  Add to this number the civilian victims of the London blitz and the civilians of the axis countries who died during allied bombings and due to hunger and disease caused by war.  And we must never forget the 240,000 who died at Hiroshima and 150,000 killed at Nagasaki in early August 1945.  Without consulting his British or Soviet allies US President Harry Truman unilaterally decided to drop the atomic bombs on these densely populated areas.  Churchill said that dropping the bomb had little affect on the ultimate defeat of Japan, since the Soviet Union was about to enter the war.  It did so and in about two weeks crushed the 600,000 strong Kwantung Japanese Army thus bringing the war to an end in the Asian theatre.

Where then were Stalin’s 50 million victims in this scenario?  They had to be all killed in the period of his tenure as leader of the Soviet Union from 1926 after Lenin’s death up to the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union of June 1941 a period of fifteen years.  Keep in mind that for Stalin to kill 50 million of his own citizens that adds up to staggering average of 3, 333,333.33 persons a year.  Again coincidentally this number is just a little more than the average of 3,000,000 per year that are confirmed by the Allies, the United Nations, and the Nuremberg Trials to be the number that were killed in Hitler’s death camps from the period 1941 to their liberation in 1945.

To kill 12 million people required that the Nazis set up a massive extermination process involving transportation, a vast network of camps capable of housing millions as they awaited their deaths.  It involved designing extermination methods, gas chambers, and crematoria, mobilizing chemists and engineers, construction workers to build the facilities (as you can see by the Canadian air reconnaissance photos they were extensive) and entire military divisions led by Himmler and his SS to run and operate the camps.  We must include the clerks and ciphers that so diligently kept the records.  The clothes, valuables, hair and gold teeth of the victims were stock piled so money could be made out of the property and remains of the victims.  It was a death industry funded by the German corporations like the Krupps and Farbens from which they profited handsomely and now it is revealed even involving George Bush’s grandfather as a US investment partner.

Where is the equivalent of such a horrendous monstrous killing industry in Soviet experience?  Of course Heather Mallik need only assert that it existed because no one even bothers anymore to challenge such assertions.  After 50 years of cold war it is not a requirement for journalists to verify any anti-Communist and anti-Soviet claims.  They are now prima facie.  It has been almost 14 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union, 14 years of capitalist rule, of “democracy”.  During this period all of the legions of anti-Soviet writers and researchers and journalists have had access to Soviet archives to reveal to the world how this vast killing was accomplished.  We are waiting.

It is my belief that the anti-Soviet historical revisionists of our day really don’t care a nit about Stalin or his alleged victims.  What they care about is the re-writing of the historical record of the Second World War.  The objective is to erase from the consciousness of humankind the criminal responsibility of the Fascist Axis and their western supporters for the deaths of 50 million victims of the Second World War.  To do that the guilt must somehow be shifted from Germany, Italy and Japan to the Soviet Union.  The demonization of Stalin is their ace.  And they play the card everyday.  To author an entire piece on genocide and slip into it a reference to “Stalin’s killing of 50 million citizens” and “Stalin’s road to Siberia, literally built on bones” and then fail to name even one of the Nazi perpetrators of the greatest instance of mass death of our epoch seems to me to be a not so subtle contribution to that revisionist project.

The Red Army and their allied partners, Britain and the USA, triumphed over fascism and laid Hitler and his fascist allies in their graves.  Had they failed the world would have been condemned to decades of a Nazi racist dark ages and a proliferation of the “Nazi death industry” into a global enterprise reaching into every continent of the globe.  The fact is that Stalin led the Soviet Union and the Red Army when Hitler and his allies were defeated.  By all accounts their sacrifice was the greatest of all of the allies.  The Second Front did not open until 1944.  The fact is that Stalin was at the table with Churchill and Truman (Roosvelt had just died) when the principles of the United Nations were worked out and later codified at Dunbarton Oaks into the UN Charter.  Nothing that has happened since can erase those facts.  No amount of historical revisionism presented in lurid sound-bites about Stalin can alter those realities.

Don Currie

Heather Mallick, “Look, a map of the murderous mind”, Globe and Mail, January 31, 2004,