Sunday, December 18, 2005
Quantifying the Human Cost of Communism Part I
Every so often I get asked about how many people did Stalin kill. It is impossible to give an exact number because the records are of course incomplete. There is also the question of exactly what categories of death one counts. But, enough data exists to give a rough estimate. The categories I think should be counted towards arriving at a total death toll due to the murderous actions of the Stalin regime include deaths from deprivation in labor camps, deportation trains, special settlements and the artificial famine of 1932 to 1933 as well as executions. Many revisionists seeking to reduce the Soviet death toll in comparison to Nazi crimes seek to dismiss this last category of deaths as something other than state directed mass murder. Chief among these revisionists are Mark Tauger, Barbara Green and Stephen Wheatcroft. The last of these revisionists also seeks to minimize the moral gravity of Stalin's other crimes as well. His claim that Soviet executions during the Great Purges were a lesser crime than Nazi killings because the former were "legal" and the later "illegal" makes no sense what so ever. Both were "legal" under the regimes they took place under. Likewise both would be "illegal" under the system of international law that evolved after World War II. His dismissal of deaths in Soviet labor camps as "manslaughter" rather than murder while claiming that deaths from the same causes in Nazi camps was "murder" also makes no sense. So my series of posts on the subject of mortality in the USSR due to Soviet repression will not be making any such distinctions. In my opinion such revisionists of Stalin's crimes are far worse than David Irving because they teach Soviet history in western Universities without any protests from so called "anti-revisionists."