Interview for the project
Fascism-XXI at your door
January 18, 2013.
A spectre is haunting Europe and the world - the spectre of a new, previously unknown global Fascism. What are the root causes and preconditions for the resurgence of Fascism/Nazism in Europe and the West in general?
Video part 1
In fact, the revival of some forms of Fascism and Nazism in Europe today is caused, in my point of view, by quite a challenging economic situation in Europe as well as in the rest of the world. The globalizing economy has no more potential to grow, and in order to alleviate popular response without resolving the problem itself we need… There are two options: either revitalize some socialist aspects, which the European elite is generally not prepared to do, or manipulate the population masses using ideas of blatantly fascist, neo-fascist nature.
Here is an example from the sphere of my knowledge - the Baltics. In the Baltics today the issues of economy and its development, social security and all other basic economic issues are actually taken out of control of local governments.
They are delegated to the European Union, and all decisions on these matters are made only in Brussels. Therefore, the local politicians can have no dialogue with their electorate on substantial economic matters. These are beyond their responsibility, out of their control. Therefore, during election campaigns … Because these are democratic countries, although there are many non-citizens with no rights to vote, still these countries are formally democratic as they elect their Parliaments and Presidents―the politicians have to have a dialogue with their voters.
In order to get the dialogue going and still avoid discussing substantial economic matters, the following simulacrum is used: instead of talking about essential problems they talk about a “terrible Russian threat”, about a “Russian fifth column” in the Republics, about the Russian-speaking population menace; about the need to protect the critically endangered Latvian or Estonian language.
Thus, they produce issues to speculate around, issues that only aggravate the polarization between, for example, the Latvian and the Russian-speaking population, issues that are devoid of any sense and completely belong to the field of political speculation―this is the field they resort to.
They resort to it in order to pretend that something can be done, that something is going on in the politics and that the mass migration to the richer countries of the European Union is really not the major problem―but the major problem is the confrontation with Russia.
That is why the rise of neo-fascist attitudes, the rise of revanchist attitudes, has in fact just an auxiliary nature - this is one of the ways for the Baltic States to draw the public attention away from the economic problems, political problems and problems connected with the mass migration and real depopulation of the Republics.
In a similar manner, quite skillfully, other European countries―the Western European countries - tend towards nurturing neo-Nazi sentiments.
Here, again we come across quite an important moment that should not be underestimated. The Baltics are a chemically pure project. It is chemically pure because these states are governed by those who either defected from the local communists or came from expatriate communities. And all their ideology is based on the glorification of the Forest Brothers militants, on the glorification of Waffen SS soldiers and so on.
In Western Europe, for example, in France or Germany, such a blatant glorification of Nazis is definitely impossible. One could hardly imagine a governmental official, for example, Chancellor of Germany or President of France, to honor a former SS solider as it happened recently in Estonia. It is as difficult to presume that the German government would support an annual SS soldiers’ march and provide a police protection to the participants. This is impossible to perceive.
In Western Europe, such overt radical examples hardly ever happen anymore. There are much more inconspicuous processes―the same speculations, the attempts to divert electorate’s attention to some threat, moderate statements that fascism and communism are as like as two peas in a pod.
All this happens, although on a much smaller scale. It is not discussed directly, it is not done directly. These speculations―they do take place, but again, they are usually made outside one’s home country. If something like this is conducted on the home turf, it is done with much greater precautions.
Radical neo-Nazi sentiments in Europe today certainly signify the weakness of the nation, resorting to this path; such countries are less influential and therefore their citizens have no chance to make difference in the current world order. Because the voice of a French national or a German national is far more important in their respective countries and across the European Union than that of a Latvian or Estonian national, not to mention the “non-citizens“ of these Republics.
What do you know about European neo-fascism? What is the attitude of European political establishment to the attempts to whitewash fascism? What do you think about the attempts to transfer historical liability of fascism to other subjects? Why now? What reaction does neo-fascism receive from the European society today?
Video part 2
As I’ve said, for the European political elite, the issue of fascism, the issue of neo-fascism is rather an issue of certain political speculations used to achieve tactical goals. This is one point.
Another point is the misinterpreted solidarity with the new members of the European Union―the countries of the Eastern Europe and the Baltics. For the political elites of these countries―which are much weaker and unable to resolve any economic problems and nevertheless have to work with their voters, their electorate―neo-fascism and some revanchist attitudes are of much greater importance.
That means, let me emphasize again, that there are two levels. The first level represents the Western European countries, the political elite of the Western European countries and European Union. For these groups neo-fascism is not a politically meaningful concept. For them neo-fascism is just a way of political manipulation, used quite infrequently, and a way to solve certain political problems arising in the Eastern European countries of the European Union.
For the elites of the Eastern European countries the use of various theses―right-wing conservative, neo-fascist and even neo-Nazi ones―is much more essential than for their big brothers in the Western European countries.
They use it as a way to talk to their voters, a way to mobilize their population, a way to divert people’s attention from essential economic problems.
And this tool is used very intensively. First of all, it is a solution for domestic political problems. And there is another point―the pursuit of a higher international status for these Eastern European countries.
Internationally they exploit issues associated with the idea of bringing the Soviet Union to trial and condemning communism, they push for establishing a kind of a “Nuremberg-2”―although not for the Nazi Germany but for the Soviet Union. Political elites of these countries push for the creation of universal political and historical ideology of European Union, thus forming their international agenda and boosting self-esteem.
If we omit the issues of history and political reevaluation of the past it’ll become clear that the Eastern European countries lack foreign policy as such. It does not exist; in fact, it has been largely delegated, along with economic functions, to their big brothers―the Western European countries or the United States of America.
Now they pretend they make foreign policy or domestic policy, they need it for the voters as well as for themselves. Because people get really frustrated when they realize that they cannot make any difference, that they are not participants of the political process but rather just puppets―it is emotionally hard to cope with.
Therefore, such historical and political quarrels ignited every now and then across the Eastern European countries by the Eastern European politicians, as well as repeated statements by these countries’ officials in the European Parliament, in the European Union, at the Parliament Assembly of the OSCE and other international bodies are, to a certain degree, not only a conscious choice, a deliberate speculation, but a subconscious speculation as well. It is a kind of an attempt to escape facing the fact that the foundation of these national states has been destroyed and effectively does not exist anymore.
As a matter of fact, the historical policy at the international level is driven, apart from the aforementioned, by a certain hope for some compensations or territorial acquisitions for the Eastern European countries. Naturally, the Eastern European leaders really strive at least to keep some hope for any compensations or concessions from Russia for the Soviet occupation.
This is important, among other reasons, because on the whole, the economies of these countries are inefficient. To a large extent they are subsidized from the EU.
For example, within Estonian or Latvian budget, the overall EU’s subsidies amount to around 20 (twenty) per cent. Well, this proportion can be greater in one country and lower in another, but its typical level is about 20 per cent. This includes various EU subsidies, such as payments under the Kyoto Protocol1 for low air pollution emissions, etc. These 20 percent allow the officials to simulate that the economy of their countries really exists and is somewhat efficient and maybe even developing.
Therefore, the issue of receiving the billions of euros as compensation the very fact of raising this issue is more than vulgar speculation. As for the money, the compensations, even in much lower sums …. I doubt Lithuanian politicians believe that Russia will pay an amount of, say, around one hundred and fifty (150) billion. Even the slightest possibility of such payments is not just an abstract political matter but also a specific material asset.
We got off the subject a little. Actually, our main topic is fascism. So, you said that European elites are not prepared to switch over to a socialist footing and would rather tend towards fascism. Could you explain why there is such a trend?
This is not about tending towards anything; this is about using certain political slogans to deal with population of their countries. The modern political elites have largely detached from their common people. The nowaday democracy in Europe, in the USA and in Russia as well, is quite far from those principles of common equal voting rights, representative voting rights that were put into the concept of democracy, say, in the XIX century. Today, quite sophisticated instruments have been designed to keep the population away from taking part in the real political matters.
At the same time, Europe remains a community of democratic countries where the popular voice, the voice of the voter still matters.
And during an economic crisis, the point is not to choose a strategy (nobody cares what people think about it), the point is how to deal with the electorate, meaning what tools to use in order to keep it within acceptable bounds, to prevent it from voting for some extremists and make it vote for those from the mainstream.
What is the foundation of the government legitimacy in the West?
Video part 3
I am afraid I cannot answer this question. I mean I surely can but it would take me about an hour and a half. To make it short, the legitimacy of the government in the West rests on a certain balance between the political elite with affiliation based on birth right and education level and population with granted suffrage.
Thus, this is a specific form of democracy - democracy that is emasculated to a certain extent, democracy where the voting right makes no difference in the essential choice of economic or political strategies for the country to follow.
So, such democracy is somewhat drained of its content, brought to heel and used by the current political and economic elites to solve their own problems.
At the same time, this structure, remaining democratic, allows common people of the Western countries to retain certain influence. Although insignificant, such influence still exists.
Here, the question continues. Do you believe that, among other reasons, the image of Russia is deliberately distorted in order to support the legitimacy of the government?
No, not really. The distortion―although, this is not distortion but rather formation, let us put it this way―we are talking about the formation of a certain negative image of Russia, right? Such a negative image is indeed being formed. It is being formed and imposed on people little by little through the media. However, this process―the formation of this negative image―has nothing to do with the issues of the legitimacy of the government in the Western states. The legitimacy of the government in the Western states belongs to another field.
The formation of such a negative image of Russia, which really takes place, is used, again, to solve some secondary issues. The formation of an enemy image as the Soviet Union used to have has not yet been employed at full extent against Russia, at least in the old Western countries.
In the Eastern European countries―the weak Eastern European states―it does take place, although as a way of a certain speculation. And there, the role of the formation of a negative image of Russia to support the legitimacy of the government is substantial. While for the USA, Germany, UK, France, for the old Western countries, the formation of a negative image of Russia has nothing to do with political legitimacy.
For the young Eastern European countries, even not for all of them, it is of certain importance. But again, this importance should not be overestimated. It is important but not utterly.
Many Europeans are allergic to the word «communism». This is a sort of a scarecrow for the contemporary westerner. Do you agree that the Soviet Union was the one standing for equality of people, while the Third Reich was the embodiment of fundamental inequality?
Video part 4
Of course, I agree. The Soviet Union... there has never been communism as such, a communist society has never been built, and no one ever said that there was a communist society in the Soviet Union. That means we can talk about communism as an ideology and about the Soviet Union as its realization. The realization that was quite far from the ideal but nevertheless significant.
Now, if we are talking about communism as an ideology, then, of course, the ideology of communism is fundamentally different from the ideology of Nazism and Fascism.
The ideology of communism is an ideology of equality, an ideology of equality of people, including in issues of access to political power and distribution of material benefits. Meanwhile, Nazism is an ideology of inequality, a racial inequality in the first place.
There are quite intense speculations promulgating that the only difference between socialism and Nazism is the fact that Nazism segregates based on racial, ethnic grounds while communism, socialism does the same based on class grounds, suppressing the bourgeois classes, the upper classes, in favor of the lower classes―workers, peasants etc. This is nothing more than a speculation. For one simple reason: a race or an ethnicity cannot be changed. A person with certain ethnicity, no matter how much he wished to change it, in the Nazi Third Reich would remain a Russian, a Jew, a Roma, and face all consequences.
In the Soviet Union, a person descending from, for example, a noble family or an upper bourgeoisie family could change his social status. Of course, at the early phase, certain restrictions applied to his relatives, so called “the former ones”―those of a noble or bourgeois birth. However, later on all those restrictions were lifted. This certainly did not lead to classless society in the Soviet Union. I do not know if this is possible at all, other than in a communist society.
However, all the huge gaps, the gaps in access to education, in material status and so on―they were leveled out, and the society became, perhaps, more equitable indeed.
As for Nazism, we saw what happened; we know what the outcome was. It resulted in huge numbers, millions of people being killed on merely ethnic grounds as they could not change their ethnicity or race. And this is the fundamental difference of Nazism as compared to communism as an ideology and socialism as its implementation.
In view of the fact that today in Europe, attempts are often made to blame communism for various kinds of evil, could this give a new vigor to the rehabilitation of fascism? In other words, could the following pattern apply: communism is rejected, and as its natural antipode fascism appears?
Video part 5
This is what we see in reality. We can see this in the Baltics. We can see this, for example, in the West Ukraine. The more allegations against the communist ideology and the Soviet Union come up, the stronger blatant neo-Nazi attitudes become, the more often outrageous events like SS marches or honoring of former SS soldiers become possible; the louder the voices are to justify the crimes of those who fought against the Soviet Union. Because they allegedly fought against evil, so they were fighting on the good side.
Such a mentality is quite common. We have to realize that the condemnation of the crimes of the Soviet Union almost automatically implies whitewashing of, maybe, not Nazis themselves but at least Nazi collaborators as well as justification of the crimes they committed.
And their crimes were either identical to those committed by the Nazis or were committed in cooperation with the Nazis. Therefore, vindication of the Nazi collaborators will be followed by vindication of the Nazis themselves. Certainly, not Hitler or Göbbels but those who combated against the Soviet Union―the infantry.
Certainly, no one in Europe will ever defend Hitler, but they can rehabilitate, for example, the Baltic Waffen SS legionaries and then rehabilitate the soldiers of Wehrmacht. And after them, or together with them, they can decriminalize the soldiers of the Finnish army who built concentrations camps in Karelia. Or the soldiers of the Hungarian army who were involved in reprisal raids in the Bryansk Region and many other regions of Russia, Ukraine and Belorussia; the angry condemnation of the crimes of the Soviet Union entails their vindication.
Very few understand some really important points. The Soviet Union practiced mass crackdowns on the political opponents. And now, as we look at this from today’s point of view, we find it unacceptable. From today’s point of view, it is inadmissible indeed.
But it is quite another matter that in those days, similar practices in one way or another were used by almost all countries, including the countries of the Western democracies. Surely, concentration camps, for example, in the UK were not created by the national authorities, and this was not done in the USA either. There were camps where people were placed during the war, but the war is a special situation. Those were the camps; while in the Third World, in the former or back then actual colonies such camps were built: in Algeria, Kenya, Vietnam.
The camps that were set up there in order to suppress hostile regimes, to terrify the native population, to terrorize, were a form of the same harsh practices of political crackdowns that were used by the Soviet Union.
Let me emphasize once again a point that is rarely understood. Those were practices of mass political violence very common for the modern states and widely used in 20s-30s by almost all countries. The manner they were used varied according to the national specifics. The Soviet Union had its own background as well, when it was devastated by the Civil War and lost a large number of its professionals, for example, in the law enforcement apparatus, and so on, and had to create it all over again from scratch.
Certainly, these forms of crackdowns sometimes turned very extreme ... Very fearful… However, it was a common practice. And all countries were dismissing these practices in their own way. The Soviet Union renounced these practices around the middle of 1950s. At the 20th Congress of Communist Party of the Soviet Union they were criticized, although the criticism was limited.
But at that time and a little bit later, even in 1960s, the Western countries continued to use these practices on the fringes. They abandoned them, too. They went their own way to stop these approaches to politic violence. As well as the Soviet Union did it in its own way. They got rid of it and the Soviet Union did.
Now these practices are gradually reviving on the fringes. They are coming to life together with the new forms of colonial wars which was for example, the war in Libya or in Syria or the war in Iraq. Along with the resurgence of colonial wars in a new form, new opportunities come up to apply these old school practices in Europe and Russia.
The deeper the economic crisis is, the bigger the danger is that in case of big war – this time it could be a war in the center or a widespread war on the fringes -, the specific forms of political oppression may come to use, like internment of people, limitation in number of rights, direct imprisonment to camps and so on.
Video part 6
There is a very recent example – the Vietnam War. It is Laos, Cambodia; it’s Kenya… no, the Kenya was a little earlier, in 1950s, then to suppress the uprising in Kenya the prison camp system was established for imprisoning the local people under the pretext of fighting against rebels. These camps had a very high death rate and recently there was a trial: the victims sued British administration over this. Actually, it is a poorly studied topic – these forms of political oppression.
Nowadays everyone knows about various forms of political oppression implemented in the Soviet Union. As well everyone knows about the political and racial violence conducted by the Third Reich. But all studies of political violence are usually limited only to these two countries.
Meanwhile, if we look at more distant past of Europe, we may learn that, for example, one of the first occurrences of mass political oppression was in the middle of the XIXth century and related to coup of Luis Bonaparte, when about 25 thousand people were deported to overseas colonies of France for political reasons.
Another example of such political violence is the massacre of Communards in Paris in 1870s when, if my memory doesn't fail me, 20-30 thousand people were executed immediately, and tens of thousands were arrested later, some of them were condemned and deported to overseas territories; it is the same type of practices.
These practices escalated especially during the First World War, when for the first time the measures like mass internments and deportations of the population of the enemy countries were purposefully taken to oppress potentially hostile elements. For example, deportations of 1915 in Russia, mass deportations of Jewish and German population affected, at least, a million people.
The same practices were applied in Austria-Hungary, it was related to the foundation of the camps for disloyal persons: Thalerhof for Russians, arrests of the Czechs and so on. Thus, it was a very powerful police state. At that time France, Britain, and even the United States applied the same practices of oppression.
Then 1920s come and on the territory of disintegrated old premodern Eastern Empires: Austria-Hungarian, Russian, Turkish we see the same practices again, though in peacetime: when nothing has settled down yet after the war we can observe expulsions, deportations, and then creation of detention camps where people are detained by the order of authorities. Such camps were in Poland (“Bereza-Kartushka”), the similar camps were in Latvia, where people were imprisoned by an administrative order without a trial.
So later when the Second World War is around the corner we see more actions taken on isolation and deportation of potentially hostile elements. In August of 1939 there were mass arrests of the Germans, Ukrainians, Byelorussians in Poland, in short period of time about 10 thousand people were arrested and thrown to concentration camp Bereza-Kartushka.
There were Soviet deportations of 1941 from the Baltic countries, from Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia when about 40 thousand people were deported from the Baltic countries by administrative order. The same practices were used in the US when the Japanese were interned. The same practices were applied in 1939 in Great Britain when refugees from Germany, mainly Jews, were isolated in special internment camps and so on.
Video part 7
Unfortunately there are no major historical researches of such political oppressions and their correlations with the revolutions, political nature of the regimes and the economic situation.
I know only a few historians who work on this… historians from the United States, Great Britain... but nobody here in Russia.
Nevertheless, once we understand the phenomenon of modern political violence and its evolution we can view the Soviet history in the new light. The history of modernization sometimes is combined with very harsh political oppressions.
Question: how the issue of fascism is presented in the Baltic mass media?
Video part 8
Only the Russian media in the Baltic countries cover the issue of fascism. The Russian media always write about the danger of this fascism.
For the Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian mass media there is no such a problem at all. Quite the opposite, these mass media contribute to the support of the neo-Nazi regimes, the neo-Nazi parties, and the radical parties.
For example, the leading newspaper of modern Latvia "Latvijas Avize” is practically one of the main media sponsors of the radical nationalist party "All for Latvia", keeps readers timely informed about all news and events happening in Latvia.
The Baltic national media intimidate the population, the ethnic electorate with “Russians are coming” horror stories, exaggerate all collisions of the past and claim that it may repeat.
That is, usually, the newspapers in the Baltic countries don't bother themselves with the problem of neo-Nazism. On the contrary, they support neo-Nazism and form public opinion in this direction.
So, you wrote a book, right? It was named “The tissue of lies”, as I remember.
What do you think about the film “The Soviet story” and what was the feedback from the general public?
Video part 9
“The Soviet story” is practically the official Latvian propaganda. This film was produced with an active support and lobbying efforts of the Latvian deputies in the European Parliament.
The promotion of this film was supported by the Latvian Ministry of Foreign affairs. The director of this film was bestowed the highest Latvian award – Order of the Three Stars, and the scientific supervisor of this film was the Counselor to the President on historical matters, Mr. Zunde.
This film, even though it was not produced by the state, was directly ordered and supported by the state. Therefore, this film is not a creation of some weird freaky person, but a direct response to the state order.
This is a brazen falsification, sponsored and promoted by the state of Latvia. The film was translated into 30 languages, actively promoted in the whole Europe, demonstrated in Europe and the USA, besides, it was customized for specific myths ingrained in the European public mind – all this makes it pretty strong product. This product was made pragmatically and with a purpose. This product was made by the people who didn’t care about credibility or historical validity of any assertions, historical attribution of any documents and photos used in the film. This is an example of aggressive black propaganda, entirely in the spirit of Goebbels.
Tell us about the response to this film.
The response wasn’t as visible as the promoters hoped it would be. The film was shown in prime time on many TV channels of the Eastern European countries. It was shown both in Latvia and Estonia, and if my memory doesn’t fail me, in Georgia.
The film was demonstrated in the number of film festivals, at the European Parliament, in other organizations, there was a great promotional work behind all this… Such work cannot be performed by the volunteers. This is the action of the state.
Sure the European audience was somewhat horrified, some viewers, of course, had questions and doubts because the film clearly went too far, and the concentration of hatred poured out from the screen could provoke the rejection in a viewer. But I am sure the majority of the European audience took it as a certain eye-opener.
There was no Russian official reaction at all. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn’t concern itself with it; it didn’t even make one single statement regarding it, despite the fact that the film was promoted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia.
They preferred to ignore the film completely. I think it is a pretty grave mistake; the silence would have been justified if the film was produced by some kind of weirdos.
But, it is totally different, when we have the power of the state or several states behind this film. I remind you, this gentleman – the film director, Mr. Snore for this concoction was not only honored with the highest award of Latvia, he also received the award in Estonia and in some other countries.
So, when there is a state and most likely more than one behind the promotion of such propagandist and fundamentally anti-Russian film, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs certainly has to react. Unfortunately there was no reaction.
In your opinion why the film was released in 2011? What was the reason for it?
Video part 10
Well, the film was released in 2008. In 2011 there was apparently another promotional campaign in Germany as I believe. The film was released in 2008 and has been promoted quite actively since then.
The new push of promotion in 2011 was related to the so-called "Warsaw declaration". Along with it the Justice Ministers of a number of the European countries signed the declaration about investigation of Soviet crimes.
Then, in 2011, the prototype of the all-European historical and political body was established, the so-called "Platform of European Memory and Conscience". At the same time a significant number of the Eastern European countries, and some Western European2 ones voted against the UN General Assembly resolution «On inadmissibility of certain practices of neo-Nazism and racism»3 endorsed by Russia.
Thus, in 2011 the new round of PR campaign of “The Soviet story” in European countries can be attributed to the certain preparatory work for signing of the Warsaw Declaration and creation of “The Platform of European Memory and Conscience” etc. So, the played card was used again for pure propagandist purpose to impact the European society and the European political elite.
Well, coming back to the film. It tells that 11 million people were repressed in the USSR from 1937 to 1941, could you comment on this? Where did these numbers come from?
Video part 11
If I remember correctly, in the film these numbers were announced by Natalya Lebedeva, the researcher at the World History Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences. She is known for her specific and uncritical approach to the documents.
I understand the situation was as follows: Lebedeva found the records of the NKVD Convoy troops, indicating that from 1937 to 1941 11 million people were transported to various destinations. So she took it as an evidence of the reprisals of 11 million people.
However, the convoy troops transfer the prisoners, for example, for the purposes of relocation, from one prison to another, from one prison camp to another, that is to say, one prisoner could be transported multiple times and every time it was indicated in the records.
The Soviet reprisals statistics are very thoroughly studied: the GULAG prisoners statistics, the capital punishment statistics and the correctional labor camps, correctional labor colonies sentences statistics, deportations by the administrative orders statistics – all these statistics are well known.
And the overall number of the people repressed from 1937 to 1941 doesn’t even come close to 11 million. Moreover, I would like to remind, that this time range includes the period of the largest reprisals of the Soviet period, the reprisals of 1937-1938.
Two thirds from the overall number of the people executed in the Soviet Union from 1921 to 1953 were executed during 1937-1938. One third from the overall number of the people arrested in the Soviet Union from 1921 to 1953 was arrested during 1937-1938. That is, the period of 1937-1938 was an outbreak of violence, outbreak of reprisals, and to draw a conclusion based only upon this period and extrapolate it unreasonably to the other periods is not a scientific approach.
Because it was an exception, a terrible exception, an exception to be remembered. At the same time everyone must remember, that fortunately it was merely an exception.
Were the people lowered in their ranks or fired from work considered as repressed, those who were cleared later or reinstated in their former positions and rights?
Video part 12
Actually, there is no self-contained value in all these issues. First of all, one should not say “repressed” but “convicted” or “arrested”. Second, the person cannot be simply “repressed”; he can be repressed rightfully or wrongfully. Of course, the majority of those who were arrested and then convicted in 1937-1938 were repressed wrongfully. But we cannot say the same about the period of 1941-1945, and after the end of the War, as well, because there were "The Forrest brothers", collaborators and others. For those the convictions were absolutely justified and there were no other ways to go.
The forms of political reprisals include: conviction to death penalty, conviction to imprisonment for various periods in camps or colonies, conviction by the administrative or judicial orders to deportation or exile. This is about the forms.
Repressions can be rightful or wrongful. They are rightful when applied against collaborators, those who committed real crimes and so on. And again speaking about the wrongful repressions, we may look at them from the modern point of view or from the point of view of that time.
Not all of those who are considered as wrongfully repressed from the modern point of view can be considered as such from the historic standpoint, in the context of the time.
How do you feel about the filmmakers of "The Soviet Story" accusing the USSR of complicity in the Holocaust, in particular, in cooperation of NKVD and Gestapo against the “Jewish threat” and the allegation that these issues were discussed at the alleged meeting that NKVD and Gestapo held in 1940?
Video part 13
All of it is nothing but speculations, and absolutely downright and apparent speculations. First of all, the authors of the film use the famous forgery named “General agreement on co-operation between NKVD and Gestapo”.
This forgery seems to be made by the radical Russian nationalists from the society Pamyat (Memory) at the end of 90s. It was quite actively used by the mass media and in the Russian segment of Internet, where apparently the film authors found it, and used as an authentic document.
But this document is absolutely false, forged paper. The forgery of this document is not questioned by any serious historians. And the fact that the authors use it gives full evidence on their approach to production of the film and the study of history.
In 1939-41 the Soviet Union hosted a considerable number of Jewish refugees from Poland. In fact this so-called "cooperation on the Jewish question", mentioned in the film was simply an attempt of Nazis to drive out of their territory as many Jews as possible... And many of these refugees, forced refugees stayed in the Soviet Union... For many of them it was a matter of survival.
There is one peculiar moment - speculating on nonexistent General agreement between NKVD and Gestapo, the majority of the modern political writers don’t even know that there was an actual agreement between Gestapo and the State Security Department of Lithuania.
The State Security Department of Lithuania was the body acting way back in independent Lithuania, in Lithuania of Smetona4. So, there are facts available that in 1939 the agreement on cooperation with Gestapo was signed. Within the scope of this agreement the parties shared the information.
There was a hunt for the English, French, Soviet secret services agents, as well as the Polish underground on the territory of Germany and Lithuania. So this agreement allowed Gestapo and the State Security Department of Lithuania to exchange the arrested persons avoiding the legal formalities, the international formalities and so on.
So such an agreement did actually exist. Only not between Gestapo and NKVD, but between Gestapo and the State Security Department of Lithuania – the predecessor of the Security Services of current Lithuania.