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04/20/2017

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Charles N. Steele

I sort of disagree.

1. Stalin and the communist leadership, not the Soviet people, allied themselves with Hitler. They then proceeded to attack Finland and cooperate with Hitler in the invasion of Poland, but I'm unsure what the average Soviet citizen could have done about that. The average person was too busy trying to survive the latest round of purges.

Clearly the Soviet leadership facilitated and empowered Hitler. But...

2. At least 20 million Soviet people died, probably more. Most of these were civilians who had no voice at all in the system, and the remainder were largely draftees, soldiers in penal battalions included, i.e. just more average people. Stalin and the rest of the communist leadership -- the people who had actually collaborated with the Nazis -- suffered very little. So to say "the Soviets were on the same side as the Nazis for nearly two years. If anyone deserved to sacrifice so much to defeat them, it was the Soviets" is misleading, because it was two different groups of people. The leftist leadership made bad decisions (*evil* decisions, in fact, although evil is an unfashionable concept, I know) and a different group of people -- the citizens -- suffered for it.

3. Apparently 90% of German casualties were inflicted on the Eastern Front. The Africa campaign, Normandy, Bastogne, etc. were titanic struggles, but just drops in the bucket in the grand scheme of things. The Soviet people bore the brunt of the fighting. OTOH...

4. Something like 70% of Soviet military uniforms were made in USA. So too enormous numbers of transport vehicles, all kinds of war materiel (esp. foodstuffs), and western strategic bombing pounded German industrial production. Soviets built most of their own tanks and guns, but much of the stuff that keeps an army runnig, plus enormous numbers of aircraft, came from the West.

It is very roughly correct to say, then, that Capitalist industrial might, plus Soviet (Russian) cannon fodder (common people) defeated the Nazis, and after the Soviet leadership (practitioners of Rich Person's Leftism all) had facilitated it.

Oddly enough, just today this subject was a small part of a lecture I gave, plus another presentation I heard this evening.

John Pepple

I took the question to be not just which country defeated the Nazis, but which system? At least, I assume that most of the people saying the Soviets defeated the Nazis are communists, and I'm sure that's how they take the question. And that's why I answered in the way I did.

I'm not insensitive to all those people dying, though it's hard to tell how many of them were devoted to Stalin and how many weren't. It certainly seems that many communists here in the West remained loyal to Stalin, despite the purges and despite the alliance with the Nazis.

Charles N. Steele

I see. In that case, I agree with you. The communist system utterly failed in defeating the Nazis.

In fact, initially there was an enormous amount of *enthusiasm* on the part of Soviet citizens when Germans entered their villages -- they supposed they were being liberated from communism. The Germans stupidly squandered that support by bringing Nazism -- really another form of leftism -- with them. But Stalin was unable to rally the Soviet people by appealing to Marxist ideals; he had to revive the nationalist ideal of Mother Russia (and rehabilitate the Russian Orthodox Church!) to inspire people to resist to the death. Once he did that, people also found it easy to devote themselves to Stalin, but they fought for Russia, not communism. The communist system had already begun to fail, and people knew it.

If I am getting carried away with the length of my comments, I apologize, but you are on a topic which is one of my main interests.

Maya M

To me: the Soviets. None of the European powers, not even Britain, was any match to Nazi Germany, and America came late. Actually, its coming was needed not to defeat the Nazis but to prevent the Soviets from swallowing all of Europe up to the Atlantic.

I do not blame America. It was tremendously difficult to organize the D-day. There were even know-alls who claimed that the Gallipoli failure proved the impossibility of a success for such an operation.

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