“Anti-Tauger”. Debates with Mark Tauger.
Interview for the project “Fascism-XXI at your door”.
November 30, 2012.
Video part 1.
I would like to highlight one important thing. Very ridiculous and annoying stereotypes dominate in the West even among the people who consider themselves left-wing, among the people who study history. These stereotypes emerged during Cold war era, when the Soviet Union was portrayed as “evil empire”. Later they were aggravated, thanks to our domestic, post-Soviet historians repeating those negative myths and making them up into scary tales about their own country.
How this process really affects the public state of mind? For example, here we have an opinion of a reputable expert, antifascist and a professional historian.
«It seems to me that the actions of neo-Nazi groups like the ones in the Baltics are less significant. For example Estonia had that march of the Waffen SS veterans, but on the other had Estonia established a day of remembrance for the Holocaust and other crimes against humanity. And it should be remembered that Estonia suffered both from the Nazis and from the Soviets and some groups in particular suffered more from the Soviets than from the Nazis and it would be unfair to portray Estonia as a hotbed of neo-Nazis without mentioning that much longer experience of oppression under the Soviets. »
This is just a repetition of a very popular old fairy tale, that Soviet Union came to Estonia and deprived it of democracy, independence and freedom; that Estonia was essentially conquered by Soviet Union and was under occupation. It was not quite like that, actually, it was completely different!
First of all, Estonia was formed only after WWI, before that it was a part of Russian Empire and had significant percentage of Russian-speaking population. After WWI Estonia, indeed, became a republic. Obviously, newly formed small republic could not be completely independent, but there was a certain degree of freedom. However, this freedom was came to the end without participation of Soviet Union, just through the efforts of Estonian Prime Minister Konstantin Päts. In 1934 he carried out a military coup, later he banned all political parties, all opposition newspapers, established very strict censorship and started to persecute political opponents. In 1938 he awarded himself a post of president. So, by 1940 Estonia actually had fascist regime based on the sole ruling of a small local führer. Indeed, it was vulgar Nazism, fascism.
This fascist regime — that was what Soviet Union actually eliminated when Soviet troops entered Estonia. Yes, some part of Estonian population was against it, but another part welcomed it and was looking forward to Soviet troops. The overturn of power in Estonia was not conducted by Soviet troops; it was done by the opponents of Päts. This is why it's incorrect to speak about occupation. It's also incorrect to call Estonia a colony, because after Great Patriotic War all Estonians got the same civil rights as all other citizens of Soviet Union, there was no discrimination on any ground. This is all about the views on Estonia.
Now, let's take a look at the views of the same expert on the current international politics.
«For example, Syria and Iran have broadcast blatantly false anti-Semitic television and radio programs and published anti-Semitic books and newspaper reports as well as such events as that conference in Iran that minimize the Holocaust and so forth, yet Russia still supports these countries militarily and diplomatically.»
Here we have to keep in mind that Syria and Iran are hostile not to Jews, but to the state of Israel. At the same time Israel constantly calls for bombing sites in Iran and occupies part of Syrian Golan Heights, right now at this very moment the troops of Israel are located on the Syrian territory. This is why anti-Israeli sentiment in Syria and Iran has very strong reason, here we deal with states being adversaries to each other with long history of conflicts, at least Syria and Israel were at war several times.
Here they mention the conference intended to minimize the Holocaust. We should cover this in more detail. The Holocaust is genocide of Jews by Nazis. But the Jews are not unique in this regard; many different nationalities were subjected to genocide by Nazis. And if we take Syrians or Iranians, they might be much more familiar with the genocide of Armenians committed by the Turks. This is not right to concentrate only on the Holocaust.
Here it says: «Now the problem is the fundamental one of anti-Semitic attitudes…»
This is a quote from the same expert.
The concentration on the Holocaust is a serious global problem. This is sort of Nazism too — to proclaim only one nationality as a victim, to concentrate on the suffering of Jewish people without any consideration of genocide committed against Slavs, Gypsies and others, by the way, percentage wise there were more victims among Gypsies rather than the Jews. This is fundamentally wrong. The Holocaust is a tragedy of Jewish people; let them honor it as their tragedy. But for the Slavs, there is a tragedy of Russian people, a tragedy of Serbian people, who were subjected to genocide and extermination at no lesser extent.
Why should we think only about the tragedy of Jewish people? The Nazism is when one ethnic group oppresses all the other ethnic groups, it is not limited to oppression of Jews only.
Video part 2.
There is one more aspect how propaganda affects an opinion of seemingly trained experts.
And I quote again: “As far as the question regarding the comparison between Nazism and communism, of course there is considerable basis for comparing the Nazi and Soviet regimes. The Nazis persecuted people on the basis of what they called race, the Soviets - on the basis of what they called class. In both cases, lots of innocent people got arrested, jailed, tortured and killed, people who at least conceivably would've supported a more tolerant dictatorship”.
In fact, this is an attempt to equate Nazism to Communism. But there is a fundamental difference here. What is it?
The exploitation of man by man was banned in the Soviet Union. Capitalist cannot exist without the exploitation of man by man in principle, because this is fundamental operational rule of capital.
And when the individuals, who were forbidden to do that, reaped a profit on exploiting labor of others, or engaged in usury, then, accordingly, they found themselves outside the law.
There was no persecution on the basis of class. Simply, some classes were eliminated in the Soviet Union, but it does not mean that people, who formed these classes, were eliminated. Only, these people had to work on a par with everyone else, get paid on a par with everyone else, they had to live like other people, they were deprived of the privileges that belonging to a different class gave them. And only those who broke the law - they were prosecuted.
When Jews, Gypsies and Slavs were exterminated on the territory controlled by the Nazis; they were killed, because they belonged to another nation. There was no intention to make them German and they were not prosecuted for having returned, for example, to a Jewish background. No, they were exterminated, because they belonged to a different nation, and were indeed physically eliminated.
That is, the Nazi regime provides for quality segregation of people, and that includes plain human garbage, that should be exterminated. The Soviet system provides for people’s status equalization so that they could be equal to each other and have the same opportunities and that one person could not exploit another one.
I do not understand how one can find considerable basis for comparison here. It is also incomprehensible how one can state that people were imprisoned, tortured and killed on the basis of belonging to a certain class.
In the Soviet Union there were many former noblemen, former capitalists, who cooperated with the Soviet authorities, and held prominent positions.
Such well-known Soviet people, as the creator of the Cheka (Emergency Commission), Dzerzhinsky and the chief of the General Staff during World War II, Marshal Shaposhnikov were former noblemen.
After this, when someone says that people were imprisoned, tortured and killed only for belonging to a certain class – those people should be treated as victims of propaganda, who repeat nonsense that was hammered into their heads over the years.
In addition, it says here, again, and I quote: “Both regimes had fanatical and irrational ideologies…”
Regarding fanatical ideology I do not even know what to say. For example, the idea that man, man's success is measured by his bank account, is, in my opinion, also a form of fanaticism and urge towards making as much money as possible. It’s hard to say what is so irrational about the idea that people should be equal, because Communist ideology implies exactly that people should be equal, that all people should work for the good of society, and that they should put the interests of the humanity above their personal interests.
If this is irrational…
Video part 3.
Now a little bit about knowledge of history. I quote: “I don't know the exact anecdote but there was a famous case when Truman was vice president he… he thought that the Nazi and Soviets should destroy each other this sort of, this kind of extreme…”
How shall I say, it was much more extreme than that. Truman said the following: "If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible…”1
Admit, that this is not quite that he thought they should destroy one another. That is, in this case, the idea of extermination of as many as possible Russians and Germans, in fact, this is the American idea.
Video part 4.
Moreover, they like to discuss the NKVD and the Gestapo cooperation in the West.
There was no cooperation of the NKVD and the Gestapo but just regular intercommunication that exists between any countries that have diplomatic relations.
So, for example, there is a problem of refugees in Poland - someone does not want to live on the territory occupied by Soviet troops, someone does not want to live on the territory occupied by Germany. The migration of people is going on and to work on this issue the organizations interact. Why? Well, because you have to provide somehow passage of people, their filtering, and so on.
Any joint type of activity with some kind of common, shared goals between the NKVD and the Gestapo is out of the question - it's just a blatant, barefaced lie that was fomented during the Cold War
Besides, the idea, that the Soviet Union helped Germany to create military power, is discussed. For example, I quote again: “So here's the background: the Soviet-German there was cooperation between the Soviet Union and Germany in the 1920s based on the Rapallo agreement of 1922 and this was enable the Germans to develop their military capacities behind the Soviet border and also the Soviets acquired military technology from the Nazis.“
In fact, the extent of this cooperation is greatly exaggerated and no military potential of Germany was developed on the territory of the Soviet Union. I mean, yes, there were some occasions, attempts to do something, but Germany has done much more, for example, in Sweden, where their tanks were built at Landsverk company2, and in Holland, and Spain, where according to German designs the submarines were built, elaborated and run in.
Interaction with the Soviet Union was quite weak, and it went on only at the time of Weimar Republic3, that is, when the authorities were not Nazi, when Germany had democratic government at power.
Therefore, saying that we have helped the Nazis in some way - well ... it's not true. Hitler came into power only in 1933.
Video part 5.
The next quotation: "And the second, the direct aid: the beginnings of the Holocaust took place in Poland during the Nazi-Soviet pact and the Soviets contracted with the Nazis to provide food and other goods in exchange for Nazi materials...“
Well I’d say that all the countries that were not at war with Germany traded with it.
At that time the Soviet Union was not at war, but the scale of alleged aid of the Soviet Union to Germany is grossly exaggerated.
Soviet Union held only 7% of all of Germany's foreign trade in 1939-1940's, which is much less than, say, Romania.
And to call it aid, once again ... Well, then, it means that the whole world at the same time helped not only Germany, but Britain and France also, because all of these countries traded with both sides.
Admit, this is somewhat ridiculous.
Video part 6.
And it is interesting to see same flatness in the perception of contemporary Russian politics. Again, the same effect of propaganda. For example, what is said about Putin: "…protests against his rule seem to be being suppressed rather harshly like the two-year sentence for this group of Pussy Riot.”
What one can say about this? Of course, serious protests, posing a threat to the authorities, they are suppressed, and not only in Russia - they are suppressed in absolutely any country.
And this is normal. To give an example of Pussy Riot as a crackdown on protests and as a restriction of freedom is pretty stupid.
The thing is that the members of the group were imprisoned not for the protest, but for hooliganism (disorderly conduct). They got only two years in prison. Moreover, this group has caused a stir by many other actions, for example, its main activist engaged in public sex in Museum of Biology4, before visitors’ eyes, in children’s presence.
So, people, who are capable of such hooligan tricks, should really be punished, it is necessary to isolate them from public for some time just to protect society from them.
That’s why imprisonment for two years is absolutely normal, lawful sentence according to the criminal code.
And finally, very amusing quotation: “Certainly Russia is not communist anymore but there are patterns that some people can construe as reminiscent of that, so this is the concern about Russia.”
Well, I do not know why it should be of concern that the country is communist. Only because of the sacred right of private property? Because of the acute reluctance to admit that people, in principle, should be equal? Not only on paper but in reality. Because a millionaire will never be equal to an unemployed.
At this point we should keep in mind that Nazism emerged in Europe under the slogan of struggle against communism, the Bolsheviks, that it is, just the reaction of capitalist society, and there was no Nazism in any communist country.
Video part 7.
Also very popular myth is an allegation about mass atrocities and mass rapes committed by Soviet troops in Europe and Germany in 1945. This mainly relies on works of someone named Beevor5.
Where did this myth come from? This is exactly a myth. Speaking even more precisely – this is a blatant slander!
Beevor's allegations were based on research on abortions, conducted in one of the hospitals in a small town. So the German women sought to terminate pregnancy.
And here we have an interesting situation: very sanctimonious Europe in the middle of XX-th century, all men are at the fronts of war for a long time and some lady is looking to have an abortion, quickly and for free. Do you think she is going to admit that she had sex for a few cans of corned beef, just to have better nutrition? Or she would rather state that some vile abusers raped her, considering that nobody is going to verify her words in either case?
Or let's say, some German grandma today telling her grandkids about what happened at war time would prefer to tell that their parents were born as a result of rape, but not because she prostituted for a few cans of meat.
Of course, everyone is trying to look better in the eyes of others, to look profoundly decent.
This is very odd to base rape allegations on this kind of information. It's even odder, considering the real practice of Soviet Armed Forces.
The fact is that the punishment for rapists and looters in the Soviet Armed Forces was the execution.
For example, there were orders of Front commanders to shoot on the spot all military personnel caught in the moment of robbery or rape, with no trial or investigation. So, it's very clear, there could not be any issue of mass rapes and looting. Obviously, such myth was created much later.
All property and valuables transferred from Germany were taken in accordance with the agreement on reparations, to compensate the damage caused to the Soviet Union by German occupation and bombing.
A lot of industrial equipment and different assets were subject to reparations. But there was no rape and looting by Soviet troops, except individual incidents which were severely punished.
However, this lie is very beneficial, it depicts sort of hordes of savage barbarians that invaded the civilized Europe.
What is most interesting in this case, the reverse situation – the atrocities of Germans towards the population of Soviet Union is never looked at. Such atrocities really took place, but they were permitted by Nazi ideology. This is because Nazism segregates people by grades and permits people of the highest grade to treat others like cattle.
This is why looting and rape of Soviet people by German military personnel was almost never prosecuted.
Video part 8.
And finally, it's a very interesting feature of modern Western propaganda – active use of false targets and horror stories to control the minds of their citizens.
I'm quoting again: «My main worry is this problem of climate change and energy use and I feel that all of these movements and fanaticisms are really wasting people’s efforts and what we really need is everybody to work as hard as they can in figuring out what to do when we run out of oil, we have shortages of water, when we are facing real food crises and problems in transporting communications and we can't afford to have more of these irrational moments. We need to find a way to tolerate, to get along and deal with the real issues, environmental issues. »
In 90s they concocted the problem of ozone layer to terrify the whole world. When it became apparent that such problem did not exist, they started to scare the public with the problem of global warming. They just forgot to mention that the global climate changes on Earth occur on the regular basis, such phenomenon is cyclical and related to the solar activity.
For example, there was a global warming in the 8th century and in 14-15th centuries there was a global cooling, at present time another global warming begins. There were even ice ages, before humans emerged on the Earth. There was extinction of species, also before humans.
They forget to explain to the public the details about greenhouse effect. The industrial activity of humankind is not a main contributor into this process, for example the soil formation and volcanic activity has much bigger impact, exceeding any activities of mankind.
What are we supposed to do? Cut down the jungles, put the plugs into volcanoes? This kind of bogey works very well.
Or, for example, let's take this sentence «what to do when we run out of oil». But, why can't we spend it more carefully, more prudently?
I mean, there is no necessity to strive for continuous, steady growth of consumption, nobody really needs this. The level of consumption only defines the status, but not the real needs of a human.
But the bogey still works perfectly. People may forget anything if they keep hearing: «We have a global problem! There is a hole in ozone layer, global warming, greenhouse effect; the penguins in Antarctica are dying!». How could anyone think seriously about the danger of Nazism?
1 Time Magazine. National Affairs: Anniversary Remembrance
Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the thirty-third President of the United States (1945–1953); as vice president, he succeeded to the office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
2 Landsverk (AB Landsverk) was founded in 1872 as Firman Petterson & Ohlsen. It was a heavy industry, manufacturing railroad cars, harbour cranes and agricultural machinery. It was located in Landskrona, Sweden.
3 The Weimar Republic (Weimarer Republik) is the name given by historians to the federal republic and parliamentary representative democracy established in 1919 in Germany to replace the imperial form of government. 1933 is usually seen as the end of the Weimar Republic and the beginning of Hitler's Third Reich.
4 ‘Fuck for the heir Puppy Bear!' was staged on 29 February 2008, the day before the election of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Five couples had public sex in Moscow's Timiryazev State Museum of Biology, including Pyotr Verzilov and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who was nine months pregnant, and gave birth four days later. While there were no immediate legal repercussions, several participants faced disciplinary action by the philosophy department of Moscow University.
5 Antony James Beevor, FRSL (born 14 December 1946) is a British historian, educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst.