Recently CPI (M) General Secretary Prakash Karat called President George Bush a fool andsaid that he had a poor understanding of history. Mr. Karat was attending a function commemorating the 90th anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution was angry that President Bush had compared Lenin to Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler. But guess who has a poor understanding of history?
Following an assassination attempt on Lenin, Stalin wanted a policy of “open and systematic mass terror” to be enforced and Lenin agreed. Red Terror was announced as a policy on September 1, 1918.
“To dispose of our enemies, we will have to create our own socialist terror. For this we will have to train 90 million of the 100 million of Russians and have them all on our side. We have nothing to say to the other 10 million; we will have to get rid of them.”
Do not look in the file of incriminating evidence to see whether or not the accused rose up against the Soviets with arms or words. Ask him instead to which class he belongs, what is his background, his education, his profession. These are the questions that will determine the fate of the accused. That is the meaning and essence of the Red Terror.[Purpose of the Soviet Red Terror]
According to some historians between 1917 and 1922 about 280,000 people were killed through summary executions and supression of rebellions. The repression was against peasants, industrial workers and any one who did not agree with the revolutionaries. Still such brutality is not called holocaust by historians because that credit goes to Hitler alone.
The Sunday edition of New York Times had two stories related to that era and the first one is about the last Russian czar Nicholas II, and his family whom Lenin ordered to be killed in July 1918. Eleven people (czar,the czar’s wife, five children, doctor and three servants), were killed, but the remains of only nine were found. A bunch of amateur detectives have now found some bones and pieces of jars that held the acid used to disfigure the bodies and DNA tests will decide if they belong to Aleksei, 13 and his sister.
The second story is about the time of Stalin. In his book The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia, Orlando Figes writes about what happened to millions of ordinary people during the time of the great communist revolution.
Each story had its own disheartening logic. Stalin’s campaign to intimidate the population had no moral limits. Figes tells of Pavlik Morozov, a teenager said to have been killed by older family members because he had denounced his father for selling false papers to kulaks living in nearby “special settlements.” (The kulaks were a category of so-called richer peasants who were regarded as the principal obstacle to collectivization.) The father was sentenced to a labor camp and later shot. After the boy’s death, the Soviet press created “a propaganda cult” around his case. Maxim Gorky called for a monument to be erected because the boy had “understood that a relative by blood may also be an enemy of the spirit, and that such a person is not to be spared.”[Stalin’s Children]
Similar to how Jihadis around the world worship Osama bin Laden people like Prakash Karat worship mass murderers like Lenin and Stalin and they get offended when the truth about them is told. Mr. Karat may hate George Bush, but at least the latter has his history right.