Stalinism & Nazism: A History lesson for Europe: Trend News commentator
Trend Commentator Polad Hamidov
At a special meeting last week the Latvian Saeima approved a Memorial Day for the Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. Thus, Latvia has become the second country out of the post-Soviet states which has established a memorial day in connection with the grave crimes committed by Stalinism and Nazism with the help of the institutions. In May, a corresponding memorial day was established in Estonia.
European countries which have suffered under these regimes for 80 years have gone on the offensive on the ideological front. It all started on July 3, when the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly adopted a resolution which condemned Stalinism and Nazism as regimes, where genocide and crimes against humanity became their defining characteristics.
The European Union needs an ideology by which people will be prepared to work and build together. It is easier to unite the entire people by creating an image of a single enemy. The OSCE has found those enemies, Stalinism and Nazism, under which Post-Soviet countries suffered a significant degree.
And why on Aug. 23 in particular? 70 years ago on this day, the USSR and Germany signed a non-aggression pact in Moscow, which included a secret clause, according to which Stalin and Hitler would divide Europe ''fairly'' between themselves.
By means of this contract, the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union's ruling elite allowed the Third Reich to occupy those European countries. In this way Stalin proved his confidence in Hitler.
And why did Stalin choose Hitler over other European leaders? Even intelligence that the German army would begin aggressions against the USSR without declaring war, seemed to him misinformation. Till the very end, Stalin was convinced that Hitler would not violate the non-aggression pact. After all, Stalin and Hitler, very charismatic leaders, ruled over their countries using almost identical methods: the cult of personality, despotism, the denial of dissent, etc. Birds of a feather...
The famous philosopher, Leschek Kolakovsky, wrote: "Stalin's achievements in creating corpses were much greater than Hitler's. But it is difficult to compare them in terms of number, when you consider that the Nazi state only existed for 12 years, and that there was a terrible war at that time..."
The ideology of Communism and Nazism are similar in that they were both built on fantastic illusions for the people, who were egged on by a leader or Fuhrer with voluntaristic speeches and an iron hand. What's more, in this case the iron hand does not mean implementing compliance with the law, but it refers to implementing the will of the leader, based sometimes on paranoid speculations and doubts.
Communist leaders always feared exposure to the falsity of their ideologies. They did not recognize the principle of a civil society, because they considered citizens as raw materials, the "screws" in a huge machine.
I remember Stalin's toast at a reception in the Kremlin in honor of those participants of the Victory Parade on June 25, 1945: "I would like to drink to the health of those of low rank and unenviable title. For those people who are seen as "screws" in the great state machine, without which all of us - the marshals and commanders of fronts and armies, to put it crudely, aren't worth a thing. If any one "screw" goes wrong - everything is over".
The "screws" were constantly being changed - a cycle of repression in the country took the lives of millions of dissident people; during Stalin's regime many people were in prisons and psychiatric hospitals, and many intellectuals were deported.
Stalinism was afraid of "living" people. "They only know how to love the dead," Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who unmasked Stalin's crimes to the world, wrote about the Bolsheviks.