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87,253. In spite of this grotesque misery, a prodigious impulse was given to public education. Such a thirst for knowledge sprang up all over the country that new schools, adult courses, universities and Workers’ Faculties were formed everywhere. Innumerable fresh initiatives laid open the teaching of unheard-of, totally unexplored domains of learning. (Russia & Revolution & Soviet Union) Victor Serge
87,254. In the years of the greatest peril the soviets and the central executive committee of the soviets included left social revolutionaries (who were part of the government in the first nine months), Maximalists, anarchists, Menshevik social democrats, and even right social revolutionaries – the latter unalterable enemies of the new power. Far from fearing discussion, Lenin seeks after it, having Martov and Dan, who had been expelled from the All-Russian executive, invited to come to take the floor. He feels that he has something to learn from their merciless criticism. (Russia & Revolution & Soviet Union) Victor Serge
5,124. It is necessary to be able to withstand all this, to agree to any and every sacrifice, and even – if need be – to resort to all sorts of stratagems, manoeuvres and illegal methods – to evasion and subterfuges - in order to penetrate the trade unions, to remain in them, and to carry on Communist work in them at all costs. (Trade Unions & Soviet Union) Vladimir Lenin
49,673. Communism is Soviet Power plus the electrification of the whole country. (Communism & Soviet Union) Vladimir Lenin
49,479. The Russian revolution was isolated. The working class which had made the revolution was almost entirely wiped out by war and famine. Of the three million adult workers in Russia, only 1.2 million remained in 1921, and many of those were driven out of the cities in search of food. Effectively the only revolutionary workers who were left were those who had taken over the reins of political power. The Bolsheviks still ruled, but there were no Bolshevik workers to maintain ‘control from below’ – the essence of the revolution. The inevitable happened quite quickly. The revolution perished. (Revolution & Russia & Soviet Union) Paul Foot, The Case For Socialism ch2
49,615. Russia was not a socialist society at all. It was a state-capitalist society presided over by a tyranny every bit as savage as any stock exchange-based capitalist tyranny anywhere else in the world. (Socialism & Russia & Soviet Union & Tyranny) ibid.
49,717. And thus to my final and most melancholy point: a great number of Stalin’s enforcers and henchmen in Eastern Europe were Jews. And not just a great number, but a great proportion. The proportion was especially high in the secret police and ‘security’ departments, where no doubt revenge played its own part, as did the ideological attachment to Communism that was so strong among internationally minded Jews at that period: Jews like David Szmulevski. There were reasonably strong indigenous Communist forces in Czechoslovakia and East Germany, but in Hungary and Poland the Communists were a small minority and knew it, were dependent on the Red Army and aware of the fact, and were disproportionately Jewish and widely detested for that reason. Many of the penal labour camps constructed by the Nazis were later used as holding pens for German deportees by the Communists, and some of those who ran these grim places were Jewish. Nobody from Israel or the diaspora who goes to the East of Europe on a family-history fishing-trip should be unaware of the chance that they will find out both much less and much more than the package-tour had promised them. It’s easy to say, with Albert Camus, ‘neither victims nor executioners.’ But real history is more pitiless even than you had been told it was. (Communism & Jew & Soviet Union) Christopher Hitchens, Hitch-22: A Memoir
89,151. The Soviet Union has indeed been our greatest menace, not so much because of what it has done, but because of the excuses it has provided us for our failures. J William Fulbright, cited Observer 21st December 1958
89,152. On my return from Spain I thought of exposing the Soviet Myth in a story that could be easily understood by almost anyone. George Orwell, author Animal Farm
89,153. The Soviet Union have no idea and no wish to interfere with the internal affairs of any other country. I know that from the lips of Stalin himself. Sir Stafford Cripps MP, Ambassador to Russia 1940-1942, wartime address
89,154. All power to the soviets. Petrograd 1917 workers’ slogan
89,155. By psycho-politics our chief goals are effectively carried forward. To produce a maximum of chaos in the culture of the enemy is the first most important step. Our fruits are grown in chaos, distrust, economic depression and scientific turmoil. At least a weary populace can seek peace only in our offered Communist State, at last only Communism can resolve the problems of the masses. (Soviet Union & Russia) Lavrent Pavlovich Beria, in charge of Stalin’s secret police
89,156. Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin
29,531. The easiest way to gain control over the population is to carry out acts of terror. The public will clamour for such laws if the personal security is threatened. (Terrorism & Soviet Union) Joseph Stalin
89,157. It was the supreme expression of the mediocrity of the apparatus that Stalin himself rose to his position. Leon Trotsky, My Life 1930
89,158. I came out of the Soviet Union no longer a communist, because I believe in personal freedom. (Soviet Union & Communism) Rose Wilder Lane
89,159. I found that our Soviet espionage efforts had virtually never, or had very seldom, produced any worthwhile political or economic intelligence on the Soviet Union. (Soviet Union & Spy) Aldrich Ames
94,762. Bolshevism is a menace that must be destroyed. Warren Harding
89,160. Back in the USSR. John Lennon & Paul McCartney, title of song 1968
89,184. The war against Russia will be such that it cannot be conducted in knightly fashions. The struggle is one of ideology and race difference ... And will be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. All officers will have to rid themselves of obsolete ideologies. I know that the necessity for such means of making war is beyond the comprehension of generals, but I insist that my orders be executed without contradiction. The commissars are bearers of ideology directly opposed to National Socialism. Therefore the commissars will be liquidated ... German soldiers guilty of breaking international law will be executed. Russia has not participated in the Hague Convention and therefore has no rights under it. (Soviet Union & Russia & World War II) Adolf Hitler
89,185. Firstly to rule. Secondly to administer. Thirdly to exploit. (Soviet Union & Russia & World War II) Adolf Hitler
26,546. The Soviet Red Army invades Poland from the east. (World War II & Soviet Union & Poland) Visions of War: The World in Flames 2012
26,547. After Finland the Red Army will go on the defensive. (World War II & Soviet Union & Finland) ibid.
26,677. Like in the West, the German leaders rely on the concept of the Blitzkrieg in the East too. Tank units roll over Soviet lines, surround entire divisions and push forward immediately. The Red Army taken by surprise loses a large part of its armed forces in a few weeks. (World War II & Russia & Soviet Union) Dying for Hitler
26,678. In 1941 alone more than 3,000,000 Soviet soldiers are taken into German captivity as prisoners of war ... More than half of the prisoners die in German camps. (World War II & Russia & Soviet Union) ibid.
26,679. What is not destroyed in the fighting is commandeered by the German occupiers. (World War II & Russia & Soviet Union) ibid.
26,680. They are beginning to realise just how vast Russia is. (World War II & Russia & Soviet Union) ibid.
89,161. Millions were to die and disappear. Of course in the despotic terror of Stalinism lay a fearful dilemma for the democracies, which explains much of what has been called appeasement. In the 1930s who was worse: Hitler or Stalin? (Soviet Union & World War II) World War II: The Complete History: The Stumble Into War
89,162. In the steps to war in these last months of peace the Soviet Union, so distant and removed from much of European affairs throughout the decade, became increasingly involved. If Hitler was the prime mover of war, the originator of the events that propelled the continent to conflict – it was Stalin that opened the door for Hitler to walk to war. (Soviet Union & World War II) World War II: The Complete History: The End of Illusion
89,163. Stalin was obsessed with territory, and saw the extension of his border westward as a resolution of old scores, and in his paranoia an insurance against invasion. (Soviet Union & World War II) ibid.
27,228. From the very beginning of Nazism, from its earliest days, Hitler’s philosophy of National Socialism was a theory of history that explained the past and predicted the future. Hitler saw National Socialism’s destiny as confronting and destroying Soviet communism in the East. It was a fight to gain living space for the superior German race at the expense of the inferior Slavic people of Russia. (World War II & Soviet Union & Russia) World War II: The Complete History: The World Shall Hold Its Breath
89,164. The German army, unequipped to fight in winter, suffered terrible losses in the deepest cold ... Barbarossa ended in the snow before Moscow. There were still much fighting and dying to be done. (Soviet Union & World War II) World War II: The Complete History: The Day of Infamy