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Good sense from unexpected quarters

Bringing the blood-soaked history of The God That Failed to a nation's attention strikes me as a worthy endeavour. Not that it is happening here, naturally, but rather on the other side of the Baltic (and the Skaggerak / Kattegatt chicane) in Sweden.

More from The Local:

"Sweden's Living History Forum on Monday launched a new project designed to highlight crimes against humanity committed by communist regimes around the world. The project will explore the actions of the Soviet Union, China, and Cambodia. The Forum, which was created by the government and launched in 2003, has dedicated its activities to educating people about the Holocaust for the last four years".

As the Black Book of Communism (a best seller in France, if not here) notes, "Communist regimes are responsible for a greater number of deaths than any other political ideal or movement, including Nazism. The statistics of victims includes executions, intentional destruction of population by starvation, and deaths resulting from deportations, physical confinement, or through forced labor. It does not include "excess deaths" due to higher mortality or lower birth rates than expected of the population".

So I have never thought it was big, clever, ironic or mordantly witty to sport t-shirts with Che Guevara or a hammer & sickle on it, any more than I would wear an Adolf Hitler European tour t-shirt. I have read a lot of Solzhenitsyn, Robert Conquest and others, and the death ships of the Okhotsk Sea, the digging of the Belomor Canal and Pol Pot's Tuol Sleng should be as well known as Auschwitz.

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Blogger Novlangue said... 12:52 pm

Soviet Union 50m + China 50m?

Adolf Hitlaa (Ostrian pronuniation)

20m? (But over 12 years, it's true).  

Blogger Yak40 said... 10:04 pm

Black Book is sobering reading and I've seen it denounced as "inaccurate" on Guardian CiF comments !

It's also true the former Soviets have never been asked for any apologies, reparations etc for their ghastly deeds which were not confined to their own people. The western press, dominated by leftists, has given them a pass, they even give Gorbachev sole credit for the fall of the iron curtain (e.g Denis Healey's egotistic autobiography).

If you can, get a copy of "Kolyma Tales", that'll really chill the blood.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 7:24 am

Yak40 - All very true. I would like to see the fellow travellers and apologists in these parts don sackcloth and ashes. I spent an enormously enjoyable ten minutes mooching around Colletts (a defunct bookshop in Charing Cross Road part funded by Moscow gold) circa '89/90 clocking the look of abject misery in the faces of the staff, but decided asking where I could find Solzhenitsyn would take intruding on private grief a little too far.

I do have Kolyma Tales, but have only read the first couple.  

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