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Agony for the Russians

The Russian sacrifices in the Second World War were truly horrendous. Hitler and Stalin share the blame for that. Stalin had terrorized Russia ever since he took power. The military leadership had been killed in the late 1930s on his orders. Russia had tremendous man-power and resources but militarily it was weak and unprepared when Hitler opened the gates of hell on Europe.

Stalin looked on as Hitler's Germany gulped down 'the Second Front' from 1939-41. Churchill even warned Stalin of the massive build up of German forces in 1941 on the Russian border but Stalin ignored that as Britain's pathetic cry for help. Russia kept on supplying Germany with materials and supplies till the day three million Germans assaulted Russia. The Germans didn't show any mercy to the Russians, civilian or military.

The Anglosphere was fighting for the Free World whereas the Russians were fighting to preserve the evil regime of Stalin. But fight they must. More than three million Russians were taken as prisoners of war by the Germans. Stalin declared that all of them were considered traitors. Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by the Russians. That liberation, however, was only for the non-Russians in the camp. The Russians there who had lived through the suffocating grip of evil had to endure the Russian gulag. Such was the experience of a many Russian soldier: mauled by the Germans and then tortured by the Russians.

Indeed, they deserved better:

As to the Soviets, we can and should recognize and respect the extraordinary achievement of the soldiers of the Red Army, without unduly glorifying them, without making excuses for their crimes, and with no illusions about the evil of the regime they served and saved. There is too little recognition of what they accomplished, in the face of a murderous, even psychotic enemy, ruled by a regime almost as bad. We in the West should be grateful that they did so much of the hard work to defeat the Third Reich, a fact the Cold War and a history seen through Western and German eyes did too much to obscure.


Lexington Green

Thanks for the link.

"Stalin looked on as Hitler's Germany gulped down 'the Second Front' from 1939-41." Not exactly. As you note, the USSR was unprepared at that point, due mainly to the purge of the officer corps, and the so they were in no position to intervene. Plus, he was as shocked as everybody else when France went down in six weeks. In Molotov Remembers, Molotov says Stalin was incredulous and sputtered out something like "What happened to the French? Couldn't they put some kind of a fight?" They were all shocked. So, all of a sudden he found himself alone, in a room, with a rabid jackal ... .

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