Mark Collins – Stalin’s Willing Executioners

Hitler’s Nazi Germany has been thoroughly condemned and the condemnation accepted by almost all Germans (cf. the Japanese about World War II); and then there is Russia and the former Soviet Union.  A brief excerpt at the NY Review of Books (full text subscriber only):

Stalin: His Daughter & His Crimes

Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator

by Oleg V. Khlevniuk, translated from the Russian by Nora Seligman Favorov

Laski Diffusion/Getty Images Joseph Stalin and his daughter Svetlana, Moscow, 1933

…To concentrate only on Stalin’s psychopathology as a cause of the terrible horrors of his era ignores the men who surrounded him and who were equally depraved.

…The irony of making Beria the scapegoat for Stalin’s crimes is that Beria, while as evil and bloodthirsty as Stalin, never manipulated him. On the contrary, Beria and his colleagues were terrified of Stalin until the day he died. Beria managed to survive a huge threat to his position when Stalin initiated a purge of his Party allies in Georgia in 1952. But Beria remained aware, as did his colleagues, that the ax could fall at any moment…

And after Stalin died it did for Beria.  And the rest of the mass murderers lived on.  And the hundreds of thousands of those complicit in mass death just lived on themselves.  More Beria:

Lavrenty Beria
Beria with Stalin and his daughter, Svetlana.


Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


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