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I do swear this is my last post on Auschwitz this year. But the followup to Putin’s disinvitation is too juicy to resist writing about.

Following in the Polish footsteps, Ukrainian PM Arseny Yatsenyuk has literally claimed that it was the Ukrainians, in particular soldiers from Zhytomyr and Lvov, who liberated Auschwitz. Here is a translation, with my own highlights:

“Today is the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. 70 years ago, fighters from Zhytomyr and Lvov, as part of the First Ukrainian Front, liberated from the Nazis one of the most horrific camps, Auschwitz, where millions of our brothers-Jews were tortured,” Yatsenyuk said, emphasizing that it was an important history lesson.

He also expressed his sorrow for victims of the Holocaust – millions of Jews and Ukrainians, who “became victims of Nazism and Stalinism.”

“Once again, we note the valor of the Ukrainian soldiers who freed Auschwitz and fought against Nazism,” Yatsenyuk added.

Note that this comes only a few weeks after Yatsenyuk claimed that he “would not allow the Russians to go through Ukraine and Germany, as they did in World War II,” a historical perversion that is insulting not only towards Russians and the vast majority of Ukrainians outside the most nationalist/historically collaborationist far western provinces, but also to the German audience to whom he was so evidently (and unsuccessfully) trying to suck up to.

Truly cringeworthy stuff.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRx30_eM1Kc

In response to these repeated Polish and Kiev regime antics, the Russian Defense Ministry unearthed archives with the precise ethnic composition of the 60th Army soldiers who liberated Auschwitz. Of its nearly 90,000 soldiers, there were 42,000 Russians, 38,000 Ukrainians, and numerous other nationalities. Overrepresented as they were on the Ukrainian Front, it must in these circumstances be emphasized that Ukrainians constituted neither a majority nor even a plurality amongst the liberators of Auschwitz.

Ethnic composition of the 60th Army, liberators of Auschwitz
Russians 42398
Ukrainians 38041
Belorussians 1210
Tatars 1088
Jews 1073
Kazakhs 708
Uzbeks 838
Georgians 555
Armenians 546
Poles 439
Mordvins 393
Chuvash 379
Azeris 304
Tajiks 178
Bashkirs 172
Turkmen 139
Kyrgyz 126
Moldovans 106
Udmurts 100
Mari 97
Ossetians 80
Dagestani peoples 55
Buryats 49
Komi 46
Kabardins and Balkars 31
Czechs and Slovaks 29
Greeks 25
Latvians 12
Estonians 11
Kalmyks 11
Finns 8
Bulgarians 7
Chinese 7
Komi-Permyaks 7
Chechens and Ingush 5
Lithuanians 4
Yugoslavians 1
Other peoples 203
TOTAL 89469

Why does Yatsenyuk insist on pulling stunt after rhetorical stunt like this? Okay, sure, for a Ukrainian of the Maidanist persuasion, sticking it to Russia and Russians is explainable in today’s circumstances. But insodoing, he not only insults largely Russia-friendly third parties (e.g. Belorussians, Kazakhs, Jews outside the Beltway) but also millions of his citizens, not only in Crimea and the Donbass, but in Odessa, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, and even Kiev. In a 2010 poll, the percentage of Ukrainians (87%) who consider Victory Day on May 9th as a celebration that belongs to everyone was only marginally lower than amongst Russians (91%). At a time when the Donbass is in open revolt, and widespread dissatisfaction wracks the big south-eastern industrial cities of putative Novorossiya – regions where the memory of the Great Patriotic War is hallowed – this cannot be considered in the least wise.

For a long time I have thought of Yatsenyuk as probably the most nationalistic and ideological of the big Maidan players. (Poroshenko is an oligarch and cofounder of the Party of Regions, and Tymoshenko’s primary concern has always been with her wallet; she became a billionaire as a Ukrainian bureaucrat). His mansion is very modest by high-ranking ex-Soviet politician standards. Then I stumbled across this treasure trove of his speeches from just two years ago, whose titles speak for themselves: “You can’t criticize Putin”; “The US dollar is just paper and a financial pyramid”; “Ukrainization was coercive”; “I have no ideology”; “I allow [the idea of] a confederation with Russia”; “Why isn’t NATO buying our airplanes?” So it’s evidently not “svidomy” ideological zealotry at play here either…

So I really don’t know. What do you think?

PS. Somewhat on-topic, here is Julia Ioffe’s (part of the Masha Gessen circle, with whom Sailer readers should be loosely familiar) take on the affair:

Putin visited a Jewish museum [AK: A museum that Putin had personally contributed to building] on the anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation and said: “Of course, the main burden was borne in the fight against fascism by the Russian people, 70% of the Red Army’s soldiers and officers – were Russians. And Russians constituted most of the victims on the altar of Victory.”

And they say that Putin isn’t an anti-Semite.

In his actual address, as opposed to Ioffe’s cherrypickings, Putin followed this up with an ode to the role of the Jewish people in World War II, noting that more than 500,000 of them fought in the Red Army and more than 40,000 as part of partisan units, that nearly every third of them went to the front as a volunteer, and that 200,000 died in battle.

However, so far as Julia Ioffe is concerned, talking about non-Jewish, and in particular Russian, contributions to the Allied victory is anti-Semitic.

Why should you pay attention to the deranged ramblings of this Sovok Jew, you might ask? Why, because soon, you’ll be seeing a lot more of her. Come this February, she is happy to announce that she will be joining the New York Times as a contributing writer.

A most formidable addition to its talent pool – feel free to send her your felicitations!

 
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  1. Great list! Are Khazaks, as listed here, “Cossacks”, or from geographic are of Khazakstan? If not, what are Cossacks? A tribe? A tradition? I’ve seen them listed as currently serving in Novorussia. Very opaque to me.

    Hey, congratulations on getting Greece back!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    The Kazakh (kazakhi) ethnic group, native to Kazakhstan. Cossacks (kazaki) are a Tsarist-era military caste that had their own villages and traditions, but they were not really a separate ethnic group. They were repressed under the Soviet Union but are seeing a revival today.
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  2. I’m really tired of the likes of Gessen and Ioffe embarrassing my people. They are delusional, probably crazy, and most definitely not representative of Russian-Jewish thought at-large.

    No matter what one’s current opinions of Russia, Putin, or Soviet history may be, NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE, has anything bad to say about the Red Army’s role during the war. It’s always quite the opposite. As someone who’s grandfather was a war hero and who had many other great-uncles and other relatives die during the war I’m disgusted by these witches’ disrespect.

    Unfortunately I never met my grandfather but I’ve spoken to dozens of Jewish Red Army veterans and all have nothing but proud things to say about the Russian war effort. No matter how much they hated the Soviets the day after the war ended, for those years they were truly brothers-in-arms.

    What about “journalism” these days attracts the mentally ill? I say it’s about time to get the tar and feathers out.

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  3. Thanks for the numbers for the Auschwitz liberators; I was looking for them myself and couldn’t find them. Ukrainians were about 30% of the USSR’s population but over 45% of the liberators – but still, Russians were the plurality.

    Note that this comes only a few weeks after Yatsenyuk claimed that he “would not allow the Russians to go through Ukraine and Germany, as they did in World War II,” a historical perversion that is insulting not only towards Russians and the vast majority of Ukrainians outside the most nationalist/historically collaborationist far western provinces, but also to the German audience to whom he was so evidently (and unsuccessfully) trying to suck up to.

    This was clearly a slip of the tongue and he meant to describe the Soviet occupation of eastern Europe after the war, and linking Ukraine’s fate to that of eastern Germany, implying the danger of a resurgent Russia for both Ukraine and Germany and thus asking Germany to stand together with Ukraine.

    His gaffe was the kind of thing that makes good fodder for late night comedy but nobody, it seems, other than some Russians with an axe to grind, believe that Yatseniuk was sincerely publicly defending the Nazi war effort. I’m rather surprised you thought that he meant that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I'm Hungarian. In Hungary I know many people think like that (even people who are otherwise not neo-Nazis) and I could imagine that some politicians would think like that (i.e. continuity with the Hungarian state that fought in alliance with Hitler) and so I tend to think Yatsenyuk meant it that way. Except of course if he was Jewish, then he wouldn't.

    But I guess that's just our differing assumptions on what we find plausible about Yatsenyuk's (or other Eastern Central or Eastern European politicians') thinking.
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  4. “70 years ago, fighters from Zhytomyr and Lvov, as part of the First Ukrainian Front, liberated from the Nazis one of the most horrific camps, Auschwitz”

    How many Lvov natives could there have been in the First Ukrainian Front? A handful? Zero would not surprise me. Yatsenyuk’s statements about all of this are pure trolling. And concerning his actions as PM, all I can wish him is a speedy verdict at his eventual war crimes trial. And some weepy groveling on the stand. I know he will not disappoint with the latter.

    “Putin followed this up with an ode to the role of the Jewish people in World War II, noting that more than 500,000 of them fought in the Red Army”

    As a grandson of one of those 500,000, I’d like to say that I’m ashamed of co-ethnics like Yatsenyuk. But the worthless little rat won’t even admit that he’s Jewish. He is generally incapable of telling the truth.

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  5. @Jeff Albertson
    Great list! Are Khazaks, as listed here, "Cossacks", or from geographic are of Khazakstan? If not, what are Cossacks? A tribe? A tradition? I've seen them listed as currently serving in Novorussia. Very opaque to me.

    Hey, congratulations on getting Greece back!

    The Kazakh (kazakhi) ethnic group, native to Kazakhstan. Cossacks (kazaki) are a Tsarist-era military caste that had their own villages and traditions, but they were not really a separate ethnic group. They were repressed under the Soviet Union but are seeing a revival today.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Kuznechik
    Any chance Yatsenyuk would get domestic backlash from making those kinds of statements? "Fighters from Lvov and Zhitomir" were already carrying out an insurgency against the Red Army and internal security organs by 1945. It would probably be offensive to their modern forebears to place them in the First Ukrainian Front, even proverbially, liberating Auschwitz.

    Seems the Ukrainian gov't is pushing a two-sided historical narrative, one for foreigners and one for domestic consumption, with the one for NATO and the West being that Ukrainian nationalists leading the way in the fight against Hitler, Nazism, and anti-semitism, while at home the UPA and the anti-Soviet struggle is celebrated. If only someone had asked Yatsenyuk what flag those Ukrainian liberators of Auschwitz were fighting under.
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  6. @Anatoly Karlin
    The Kazakh (kazakhi) ethnic group, native to Kazakhstan. Cossacks (kazaki) are a Tsarist-era military caste that had their own villages and traditions, but they were not really a separate ethnic group. They were repressed under the Soviet Union but are seeing a revival today.

    Any chance Yatsenyuk would get domestic backlash from making those kinds of statements? “Fighters from Lvov and Zhitomir” were already carrying out an insurgency against the Red Army and internal security organs by 1945. It would probably be offensive to their modern forebears to place them in the First Ukrainian Front, even proverbially, liberating Auschwitz.

    Seems the Ukrainian gov’t is pushing a two-sided historical narrative, one for foreigners and one for domestic consumption, with the one for NATO and the West being that Ukrainian nationalists leading the way in the fight against Hitler, Nazism, and anti-semitism, while at home the UPA and the anti-Soviet struggle is celebrated. If only someone had asked Yatsenyuk what flag those Ukrainian liberators of Auschwitz were fighting under.

    Read More
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  7. @AP
    Thanks for the numbers for the Auschwitz liberators; I was looking for them myself and couldn't find them. Ukrainians were about 30% of the USSR's population but over 45% of the liberators - but still, Russians were the plurality.

    Note that this comes only a few weeks after Yatsenyuk claimed that he “would not allow the Russians to go through Ukraine and Germany, as they did in World War II,” a historical perversion that is insulting not only towards Russians and the vast majority of Ukrainians outside the most nationalist/historically collaborationist far western provinces, but also to the German audience to whom he was so evidently (and unsuccessfully) trying to suck up to.
     
    This was clearly a slip of the tongue and he meant to describe the Soviet occupation of eastern Europe after the war, and linking Ukraine's fate to that of eastern Germany, implying the danger of a resurgent Russia for both Ukraine and Germany and thus asking Germany to stand together with Ukraine.

    His gaffe was the kind of thing that makes good fodder for late night comedy but nobody, it seems, other than some Russians with an axe to grind, believe that Yatseniuk was sincerely publicly defending the Nazi war effort. I'm rather surprised you thought that he meant that.

    I’m Hungarian. In Hungary I know many people think like that (even people who are otherwise not neo-Nazis) and I could imagine that some politicians would think like that (i.e. continuity with the Hungarian state that fought in alliance with Hitler) and so I tend to think Yatsenyuk meant it that way. Except of course if he was Jewish, then he wouldn’t.

    But I guess that’s just our differing assumptions on what we find plausible about Yatsenyuk’s (or other Eastern Central or Eastern European politicians’) thinking.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Yatseniuk is supposedly of partial Jewish descent. His political background is fairly liberal, he's travelled abroad, he is young and educated. There is basically zero chance that he believes that Germany likes the Nazis and wishes they had won. On the other hand, expressing solidarity with fellow victims of post-war Soviets, and saying that Ukraine will fight to save Europe from another Soviet/Russian occupation, is something he would try to bring up. Odds are overwhelming, I think, that he was trying to say the latter but made a gaffe. This seems to be how most of the non-Russian "Junta" haters interpreted it and how the comment was treated by the media.
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  8. @reiner Tor
    I'm Hungarian. In Hungary I know many people think like that (even people who are otherwise not neo-Nazis) and I could imagine that some politicians would think like that (i.e. continuity with the Hungarian state that fought in alliance with Hitler) and so I tend to think Yatsenyuk meant it that way. Except of course if he was Jewish, then he wouldn't.

    But I guess that's just our differing assumptions on what we find plausible about Yatsenyuk's (or other Eastern Central or Eastern European politicians') thinking.

    Yatseniuk is supposedly of partial Jewish descent. His political background is fairly liberal, he’s travelled abroad, he is young and educated. There is basically zero chance that he believes that Germany likes the Nazis and wishes they had won. On the other hand, expressing solidarity with fellow victims of post-war Soviets, and saying that Ukraine will fight to save Europe from another Soviet/Russian occupation, is something he would try to bring up. Odds are overwhelming, I think, that he was trying to say the latter but made a gaffe. This seems to be how most of the non-Russian “Junta” haters interpreted it and how the comment was treated by the media.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Glossy
    As per 23AndMe I'm 98.3% Ashkenazi, yet I look less Jewish than Yatsenyuk does. Based on a lifetime of observation I would say that the average person who considers himself to be fully Jewish looks somewhat less Jewish than Yatsenyuk. There is a natural spectrum of looks, and he's at the high end of it.

    The above makes me confident that Yatsenyuk is more than half Jewish. How much more? That I don't know. But the possibility that he's fully Jewish exists and isn't low.

    The thing about Yatsenyuk's statement on Germany that makes me mad is my absolute certainty that he would never call the continued US presence in Germany an occupation. Yet this is how he would characterize the Soviet presence.

    Technically both were occupations. But let's look at the background behind Yatsenyuk's view.

    In that view the country that was at the receiving end of an unprovoked attack from Germany, that suffered enormously from that attack, a country that in victory treated German civilians much, much better than Germany treated Soviet civilians while it had the upper hand, a country that pretty much single-handedly saved Yatsenyuk's ass (neither he nor I would have been born if the USSR was defeated) - to him that's an occupier.

    But the Western allies who attacked Germany before it attacked them, who suffered little from Germans at home (compared to the USSR), who deliberately killed large numbers of German civilians even though that did not move them any closer to a military victory (I'm talking about the air raids at the very end of the war), who had a marginal influence on whether or not Yatsenyuk would have been born, who have troops in Germany to this day - to Yatsenyuk those aren't occupiers.

    The ingratitude of that view is almost as bad as the perversion of the historical record.

    Why does the US continue to have troops in Germany? For the same reason that any occupier does - to be able to squash a native revolt if it happens. For example if those PEGIDA guys become massively popular, we'll quickly see some squashing.

    For the record, I sympathize with any people, including Germans, who want to preserve their countries' traditional character. More power to PEGIDA. And I'm not saying that the Soviet military presence wasn't an occupation. I'm arguing against the view that it was, but that the US presence isn't. And that is obviously Yatsenyuk's view.

    , @Glossy
    "On the other hand, expressing solidarity with fellow victims of post-war Soviets...

    How is he a victim of post-war Soviets? Do you consider yourself a victim of post-war Soviets? If so, in what way?
    , @reiner Tor
    I think you misunderstood me. I meant in Hungary many people think in terms of "our troops were pushed back in Galicia in April 1944" or "our 'Szent László' Division led a counterattack" or "our troops were encircled near Voronezh" etc., even though they themselves hate Hitler and are happy that the Germans lost the war.

    But if he really is Jewish (is there any proof of this? according to Wikipedia he isn't, and I tried to translate the Hebrew Wikipedia and it still didn't say he was), then I don't think he'd ever think in those terms. At least that's my (limited) experience with Hungarian Jews.
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  9. @AP
    Yatseniuk is supposedly of partial Jewish descent. His political background is fairly liberal, he's travelled abroad, he is young and educated. There is basically zero chance that he believes that Germany likes the Nazis and wishes they had won. On the other hand, expressing solidarity with fellow victims of post-war Soviets, and saying that Ukraine will fight to save Europe from another Soviet/Russian occupation, is something he would try to bring up. Odds are overwhelming, I think, that he was trying to say the latter but made a gaffe. This seems to be how most of the non-Russian "Junta" haters interpreted it and how the comment was treated by the media.

    As per 23AndMe I’m 98.3% Ashkenazi, yet I look less Jewish than Yatsenyuk does. Based on a lifetime of observation I would say that the average person who considers himself to be fully Jewish looks somewhat less Jewish than Yatsenyuk. There is a natural spectrum of looks, and he’s at the high end of it.

    The above makes me confident that Yatsenyuk is more than half Jewish. How much more? That I don’t know. But the possibility that he’s fully Jewish exists and isn’t low.

    The thing about Yatsenyuk’s statement on Germany that makes me mad is my absolute certainty that he would never call the continued US presence in Germany an occupation. Yet this is how he would characterize the Soviet presence.

    Technically both were occupations. But let’s look at the background behind Yatsenyuk’s view.

    In that view the country that was at the receiving end of an unprovoked attack from Germany, that suffered enormously from that attack, a country that in victory treated German civilians much, much better than Germany treated Soviet civilians while it had the upper hand, a country that pretty much single-handedly saved Yatsenyuk’s ass (neither he nor I would have been born if the USSR was defeated) – to him that’s an occupier.

    But the Western allies who attacked Germany before it attacked them, who suffered little from Germans at home (compared to the USSR), who deliberately killed large numbers of German civilians even though that did not move them any closer to a military victory (I’m talking about the air raids at the very end of the war), who had a marginal influence on whether or not Yatsenyuk would have been born, who have troops in Germany to this day – to Yatsenyuk those aren’t occupiers.

    The ingratitude of that view is almost as bad as the perversion of the historical record.

    Why does the US continue to have troops in Germany? For the same reason that any occupier does – to be able to squash a native revolt if it happens. For example if those PEGIDA guys become massively popular, we’ll quickly see some squashing.

    For the record, I sympathize with any people, including Germans, who want to preserve their countries’ traditional character. More power to PEGIDA. And I’m not saying that the Soviet military presence wasn’t an occupation. I’m arguing against the view that it was, but that the US presence isn’t. And that is obviously Yatsenyuk’s view.

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    • Replies: @silviosilver
    It's not a question of whether Nazi Germany was a more oppressive force than the USSR. The question is whether the USSR was an oppressive force. And if it was it deserves to be condemned - not shown gratitude - because oppression is wrong.
    , @AP
    Yes, Yatseniuk looks rather Jewish. All the more reason to suspect that he simply misspoke.

    Do you have data showing that the majority of Germans want the Americans to leave? If they don't, it's not an occupation. During the cold war most Germans seem to have been happy to have American troops protecting them. There was a real, substantial difference between the nature of the US-BRD relationship and the USSR-GDR one.

    As for the Germany-Soviet comparison - obviously Germany was worse. It was a sadistic serial killer. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was like that guy in Cleveland who kept those women in his basement. If the Cleveland kidnapper happened to have saved a woman from Ted Bundy after killing him due to a dispute between the two, should she be grateful to him after all those years spent in that basement, because she at least ended up alive at the end? The Soviets did save the Slavs of Eastern Europe from extinction. But that doesn't mean they weren't awful.
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  10. @AP
    Yatseniuk is supposedly of partial Jewish descent. His political background is fairly liberal, he's travelled abroad, he is young and educated. There is basically zero chance that he believes that Germany likes the Nazis and wishes they had won. On the other hand, expressing solidarity with fellow victims of post-war Soviets, and saying that Ukraine will fight to save Europe from another Soviet/Russian occupation, is something he would try to bring up. Odds are overwhelming, I think, that he was trying to say the latter but made a gaffe. This seems to be how most of the non-Russian "Junta" haters interpreted it and how the comment was treated by the media.

    “On the other hand, expressing solidarity with fellow victims of post-war Soviets…

    How is he a victim of post-war Soviets? Do you consider yourself a victim of post-war Soviets? If so, in what way?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    “On the other hand, expressing solidarity with fellow victims of post-war Soviets…

    How is he a victim of post-war Soviets? Do you consider yourself a victim of post-war Soviets? If so, in what way?
     
    I was writing in national terms. The eastern part of Germany, and by Yatseniuk's account, Ukraine (this can be an entire other argument, let's not go there now) were both occupied and repressed by the Soviets after the war. Yatseniuk would never want something like that to happen to (eastern) Germany and Ukraine again.
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  11. @Glossy
    As per 23AndMe I'm 98.3% Ashkenazi, yet I look less Jewish than Yatsenyuk does. Based on a lifetime of observation I would say that the average person who considers himself to be fully Jewish looks somewhat less Jewish than Yatsenyuk. There is a natural spectrum of looks, and he's at the high end of it.

    The above makes me confident that Yatsenyuk is more than half Jewish. How much more? That I don't know. But the possibility that he's fully Jewish exists and isn't low.

    The thing about Yatsenyuk's statement on Germany that makes me mad is my absolute certainty that he would never call the continued US presence in Germany an occupation. Yet this is how he would characterize the Soviet presence.

    Technically both were occupations. But let's look at the background behind Yatsenyuk's view.

    In that view the country that was at the receiving end of an unprovoked attack from Germany, that suffered enormously from that attack, a country that in victory treated German civilians much, much better than Germany treated Soviet civilians while it had the upper hand, a country that pretty much single-handedly saved Yatsenyuk's ass (neither he nor I would have been born if the USSR was defeated) - to him that's an occupier.

    But the Western allies who attacked Germany before it attacked them, who suffered little from Germans at home (compared to the USSR), who deliberately killed large numbers of German civilians even though that did not move them any closer to a military victory (I'm talking about the air raids at the very end of the war), who had a marginal influence on whether or not Yatsenyuk would have been born, who have troops in Germany to this day - to Yatsenyuk those aren't occupiers.

    The ingratitude of that view is almost as bad as the perversion of the historical record.

    Why does the US continue to have troops in Germany? For the same reason that any occupier does - to be able to squash a native revolt if it happens. For example if those PEGIDA guys become massively popular, we'll quickly see some squashing.

    For the record, I sympathize with any people, including Germans, who want to preserve their countries' traditional character. More power to PEGIDA. And I'm not saying that the Soviet military presence wasn't an occupation. I'm arguing against the view that it was, but that the US presence isn't. And that is obviously Yatsenyuk's view.

    It’s not a question of whether Nazi Germany was a more oppressive force than the USSR. The question is whether the USSR was an oppressive force. And if it was it deserves to be condemned – not shown gratitude – because oppression is wrong.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    Yatsenyuk is an important member of a regime that is much more oppressive than the post-war USSR was. AP called him a liberal in this thread. Yes, if you ask Yatsenyuk if he's a liberal, he'll answer in the affirmative. But the government which he heads is the most illiberal one in Europe.

    A liberal government would have handled separatist sentiments by holding a referendum (Czechoslovakia was an example). Canada, Belgium and Switzerland show how liberal governments handle multilingualism. There is no press freedom in the Ukraine whatsoever. I read two refugee Ukrainian journalists daily - Shariy and Yura from Sumy. Shariy has received death threats from Ukrainian government officials. Both would be dead if the Yatsenyuk-Poroshenko regime could get their hands on them.

    And so on and so on. There are degrees of oppression. Yatsenyuk aims very high in that sphere.

    , @Glossy
    Yatsenyuk is a liar and a war criminal, but if he were honest, then based on his record in government one might assume that his criticism of the post-war USSR's level of oppressiveness was that it wasn't oppressive enough. Because as soon as Yatsenyuk and company got a chance to oppress, they started oppressing much more than the post-war USSR ever did.
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  12. @silviosilver
    It's not a question of whether Nazi Germany was a more oppressive force than the USSR. The question is whether the USSR was an oppressive force. And if it was it deserves to be condemned - not shown gratitude - because oppression is wrong.

    Yatsenyuk is an important member of a regime that is much more oppressive than the post-war USSR was. AP called him a liberal in this thread. Yes, if you ask Yatsenyuk if he’s a liberal, he’ll answer in the affirmative. But the government which he heads is the most illiberal one in Europe.

    A liberal government would have handled separatist sentiments by holding a referendum (Czechoslovakia was an example). Canada, Belgium and Switzerland show how liberal governments handle multilingualism. There is no press freedom in the Ukraine whatsoever. I read two refugee Ukrainian journalists daily – Shariy and Yura from Sumy. Shariy has received death threats from Ukrainian government officials. Both would be dead if the Yatsenyuk-Poroshenko regime could get their hands on them.

    And so on and so on. There are degrees of oppression. Yatsenyuk aims very high in that sphere.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Yatsenyuk is an important member of a regime that is much more oppressive than the post-war USSR was. AP called him a liberal in this thread.
     
    Yatsenuk was from 2009 the leader of the party Front for Change. Here is a description of its ideology:

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A4%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%82_%D0%BF%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%BD#.D0.98.D0.B4.D0.B5.D0.BE.D0.BB.D0.BE.D0.B3.D0.B8.D1.8F
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  13. @Glossy
    "On the other hand, expressing solidarity with fellow victims of post-war Soviets...

    How is he a victim of post-war Soviets? Do you consider yourself a victim of post-war Soviets? If so, in what way?

    “On the other hand, expressing solidarity with fellow victims of post-war Soviets…

    How is he a victim of post-war Soviets? Do you consider yourself a victim of post-war Soviets? If so, in what way?

    I was writing in national terms. The eastern part of Germany, and by Yatseniuk’s account, Ukraine (this can be an entire other argument, let’s not go there now) were both occupied and repressed by the Soviets after the war. Yatseniuk would never want something like that to happen to (eastern) Germany and Ukraine again.

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  14. @silviosilver
    It's not a question of whether Nazi Germany was a more oppressive force than the USSR. The question is whether the USSR was an oppressive force. And if it was it deserves to be condemned - not shown gratitude - because oppression is wrong.

    Yatsenyuk is a liar and a war criminal, but if he were honest, then based on his record in government one might assume that his criticism of the post-war USSR’s level of oppressiveness was that it wasn’t oppressive enough. Because as soon as Yatsenyuk and company got a chance to oppress, they started oppressing much more than the post-war USSR ever did.

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    • Replies: @AP

    Because as soon as Yatsenyuk and company got a chance to oppress, they started oppressing much more than the post-war USSR ever did.
     
    Really?

    So according to you Yatseniuk's government is more repressive than was Stalin's government after the war? Are you sure?

    Or do you mean post-Stalin rather than post-war. In that case, were opposition parties allowed to run in Soviet elections? There was no Berlin Wall, no crushing of Prague Spring, or Hungary, no KGB, no Stasi, no invasion of Afghanistan, etc. etc. Or, is Ukraine's current government doing things worse than all of that.
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  15. @Glossy
    As per 23AndMe I'm 98.3% Ashkenazi, yet I look less Jewish than Yatsenyuk does. Based on a lifetime of observation I would say that the average person who considers himself to be fully Jewish looks somewhat less Jewish than Yatsenyuk. There is a natural spectrum of looks, and he's at the high end of it.

    The above makes me confident that Yatsenyuk is more than half Jewish. How much more? That I don't know. But the possibility that he's fully Jewish exists and isn't low.

    The thing about Yatsenyuk's statement on Germany that makes me mad is my absolute certainty that he would never call the continued US presence in Germany an occupation. Yet this is how he would characterize the Soviet presence.

    Technically both were occupations. But let's look at the background behind Yatsenyuk's view.

    In that view the country that was at the receiving end of an unprovoked attack from Germany, that suffered enormously from that attack, a country that in victory treated German civilians much, much better than Germany treated Soviet civilians while it had the upper hand, a country that pretty much single-handedly saved Yatsenyuk's ass (neither he nor I would have been born if the USSR was defeated) - to him that's an occupier.

    But the Western allies who attacked Germany before it attacked them, who suffered little from Germans at home (compared to the USSR), who deliberately killed large numbers of German civilians even though that did not move them any closer to a military victory (I'm talking about the air raids at the very end of the war), who had a marginal influence on whether or not Yatsenyuk would have been born, who have troops in Germany to this day - to Yatsenyuk those aren't occupiers.

    The ingratitude of that view is almost as bad as the perversion of the historical record.

    Why does the US continue to have troops in Germany? For the same reason that any occupier does - to be able to squash a native revolt if it happens. For example if those PEGIDA guys become massively popular, we'll quickly see some squashing.

    For the record, I sympathize with any people, including Germans, who want to preserve their countries' traditional character. More power to PEGIDA. And I'm not saying that the Soviet military presence wasn't an occupation. I'm arguing against the view that it was, but that the US presence isn't. And that is obviously Yatsenyuk's view.

    Yes, Yatseniuk looks rather Jewish. All the more reason to suspect that he simply misspoke.

    Do you have data showing that the majority of Germans want the Americans to leave? If they don’t, it’s not an occupation. During the cold war most Germans seem to have been happy to have American troops protecting them. There was a real, substantial difference between the nature of the US-BRD relationship and the USSR-GDR one.

    As for the Germany-Soviet comparison – obviously Germany was worse. It was a sadistic serial killer. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was like that guy in Cleveland who kept those women in his basement. If the Cleveland kidnapper happened to have saved a woman from Ted Bundy after killing him due to a dispute between the two, should she be grateful to him after all those years spent in that basement, because she at least ended up alive at the end? The Soviets did save the Slavs of Eastern Europe from extinction. But that doesn’t mean they weren’t awful.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    I have a much more positive view of the post-war USSR than you do. The pre-war USSR was indeed awful. There is a nostalgia movement in East Germany for the DDR, but I haven't looked at opinion polls about this, so I don't know how widespread it is. I'm sure that the older generation, the ones who remember the DDR first-hand, would have a more positive opinion of it than the younger geneation which only knows about it from modern Western propaganda. This is certainly true in the former USSR.

    There would be more nostalgia for the 1945 - 1990 period in East Germany than in Poland, Hungary, etc. for a very simple reason. Other eastern European and former Soviet countries got something pleasant - a nationalistic boost - together with the negative stuff - crime, drugs, oligarchic looting, prostitution, unemployment, immigration, advertising (if you think that's trivial, you've never lived in a place that had no advertising), and in most places (though not in East Germany) serious impoverishment. Nationalism is still verboten in Germany. So outside of the economic sphere East Germans only got the negative stuff. No nationalist boost to compensate for it.

    , @Steve
    "As for the Germany-Soviet comparison – obviously Germany was worse. It was a sadistic serial killer. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was like that guy in Cleveland who kept those women in his basement. If the Cleveland kidnapper happened to have saved a woman from Ted Bundy after killing him due to a dispute between the two, should she be grateful to him after all those years spent in that basement, because she at least ended up alive at the end? The Soviets did save the Slavs of Eastern Europe from extinction."

    In your opinion. In fact if you want to get into such similes, both regimes were 'sadistic serial killers', just with different groups as their targets. As bad as the Holocaust and some other Nazi atrocities were, there were some Soviet ones that were also quite monstrous, even before Stalin's rule. And the Nazis were not aiming to kill off the Slavs outright, a number of Slavic nations were actually allies of Germany, such as Croatia, Slovakia, and Bulgaria, along with large collaborationist groups in some others like Ukraine, even Poland, Russia, and Serbia had such groups to some degree. Treatment of Slavs varied by nation and politics, and at its worst was genocidal, but not consisently so by any means. Mainly targeted were the Poles and Russians, and in part not whole.
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  16. @Glossy
    Yatsenyuk is a liar and a war criminal, but if he were honest, then based on his record in government one might assume that his criticism of the post-war USSR's level of oppressiveness was that it wasn't oppressive enough. Because as soon as Yatsenyuk and company got a chance to oppress, they started oppressing much more than the post-war USSR ever did.

    Because as soon as Yatsenyuk and company got a chance to oppress, they started oppressing much more than the post-war USSR ever did.

    Really?

    So according to you Yatseniuk’s government is more repressive than was Stalin’s government after the war? Are you sure?

    Or do you mean post-Stalin rather than post-war. In that case, were opposition parties allowed to run in Soviet elections? There was no Berlin Wall, no crushing of Prague Spring, or Hungary, no KGB, no Stasi, no invasion of Afghanistan, etc. etc. Or, is Ukraine’s current government doing things worse than all of that.

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    No, I mean post-war, not post-Stalin. Red terror, collectivisation, party purges, the blowing up of churches, etc. - that was all pre-war. I'm sure that some punishment to those who collaborated with the Germans was meted out after the war, but the Kiev junta is just sallivating to do the same to those who are working and fighting for Novorossia now, so it can't claim to be more liberal than post-war Stalin on that issue either.

    The Ukrainian elections were a farce. The SBU is worse than the KGB, though not yet as bad as the NKVD. The junta is trying to crush Russian Spring. And its oversees owners recently invaded Afghanistan. I can't imagine Yatsenyuk condemning THAT. If asked, he'd probably express full support for that particular invasion.

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  17. @AP
    Yes, Yatseniuk looks rather Jewish. All the more reason to suspect that he simply misspoke.

    Do you have data showing that the majority of Germans want the Americans to leave? If they don't, it's not an occupation. During the cold war most Germans seem to have been happy to have American troops protecting them. There was a real, substantial difference between the nature of the US-BRD relationship and the USSR-GDR one.

    As for the Germany-Soviet comparison - obviously Germany was worse. It was a sadistic serial killer. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was like that guy in Cleveland who kept those women in his basement. If the Cleveland kidnapper happened to have saved a woman from Ted Bundy after killing him due to a dispute between the two, should she be grateful to him after all those years spent in that basement, because she at least ended up alive at the end? The Soviets did save the Slavs of Eastern Europe from extinction. But that doesn't mean they weren't awful.

    I have a much more positive view of the post-war USSR than you do. The pre-war USSR was indeed awful. There is a nostalgia movement in East Germany for the DDR, but I haven’t looked at opinion polls about this, so I don’t know how widespread it is. I’m sure that the older generation, the ones who remember the DDR first-hand, would have a more positive opinion of it than the younger geneation which only knows about it from modern Western propaganda. This is certainly true in the former USSR.

    There would be more nostalgia for the 1945 – 1990 period in East Germany than in Poland, Hungary, etc. for a very simple reason. Other eastern European and former Soviet countries got something pleasant – a nationalistic boost – together with the negative stuff – crime, drugs, oligarchic looting, prostitution, unemployment, immigration, advertising (if you think that’s trivial, you’ve never lived in a place that had no advertising), and in most places (though not in East Germany) serious impoverishment. Nationalism is still verboten in Germany. So outside of the economic sphere East Germans only got the negative stuff. No nationalist boost to compensate for it.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Among the older generations there's some nostalgia for Communist Hungary. Not for 1948-56 Hungary, which was truly horrible, or for the repressions after the revolution 1956-63, but for the later, consolidated, somewhat liberalized communist dictatorship (which still had at least a hundred thousand informers among the population, many of them blackmailed into cooperation, and which still harassed and occasionally put to prison people for expressing opposition views), and even some nationalists grudgingly acknowledge that the system had some positive values. For example Hungary has this huge demographic catastrophe, where - except for Gypsies - the population is shrinking. The demographic problems started in the late 1950s, but after a decade of indecision the communist government started to tackle the problem with a strong pro-natalist program, that managed to raise fertility levels, although the demographic decline continued at a somewhat slower pace. This compares very favorably to the demographic catastrophe that befell Hungary after 1990.
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  18. @Glossy
    Yatsenyuk is an important member of a regime that is much more oppressive than the post-war USSR was. AP called him a liberal in this thread. Yes, if you ask Yatsenyuk if he's a liberal, he'll answer in the affirmative. But the government which he heads is the most illiberal one in Europe.

    A liberal government would have handled separatist sentiments by holding a referendum (Czechoslovakia was an example). Canada, Belgium and Switzerland show how liberal governments handle multilingualism. There is no press freedom in the Ukraine whatsoever. I read two refugee Ukrainian journalists daily - Shariy and Yura from Sumy. Shariy has received death threats from Ukrainian government officials. Both would be dead if the Yatsenyuk-Poroshenko regime could get their hands on them.

    And so on and so on. There are degrees of oppression. Yatsenyuk aims very high in that sphere.

    Yatsenyuk is an important member of a regime that is much more oppressive than the post-war USSR was. AP called him a liberal in this thread.

    Yatsenuk was from 2009 the leader of the party Front for Change. Here is a description of its ideology:

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A4%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%BD%D1%82_%D0%BF%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%BC%D0%B5%D0%BD#.D0.98.D0.B4.D0.B5.D0.BE.D0.BB.D0.BE.D0.B3.D0.B8.D1.8F

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  19. @AP

    Because as soon as Yatsenyuk and company got a chance to oppress, they started oppressing much more than the post-war USSR ever did.
     
    Really?

    So according to you Yatseniuk's government is more repressive than was Stalin's government after the war? Are you sure?

    Or do you mean post-Stalin rather than post-war. In that case, were opposition parties allowed to run in Soviet elections? There was no Berlin Wall, no crushing of Prague Spring, or Hungary, no KGB, no Stasi, no invasion of Afghanistan, etc. etc. Or, is Ukraine's current government doing things worse than all of that.

    No, I mean post-war, not post-Stalin. Red terror, collectivisation, party purges, the blowing up of churches, etc. – that was all pre-war. I’m sure that some punishment to those who collaborated with the Germans was meted out after the war, but the Kiev junta is just sallivating to do the same to those who are working and fighting for Novorossia now, so it can’t claim to be more liberal than post-war Stalin on that issue either.

    The Ukrainian elections were a farce. The SBU is worse than the KGB, though not yet as bad as the NKVD. The junta is trying to crush Russian Spring. And its oversees owners recently invaded Afghanistan. I can’t imagine Yatsenyuk condemning THAT. If asked, he’d probably express full support for that particular invasion.

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    • Replies: @AP

    No, I mean post-war, not post-Stalin. Red terror, collectivisation, party purges, the blowing up of churches, etc. – that was all pre-war. I’m sure that some punishment to those who collaborated with the Germans was meted out after the war,
     
    No, it was not all pre-war. Post World War II the Stalinist Soviet regime murdered 100,000s of people and deported millions. The millions of Ukrainians, Poles, Tatars, Chechens, Balts, etc. deported were not all German collaborators. Certainly the leaders and members of the Polish anti-Nazi resistance who were murdered by the Soviets after the war, were not collaborators. Gulags were running until the 1950's. Yes, post-war Stalinist repression was not nearly as bad as it had been pre-war, when millions were killed, but it was not in the same league as what is happening in modern Ukraine.

    Eventually stability was achieved and the USSR was more or less peaceful. It is this USSR that some people are nostalgic for. No random arrests, stable life, access to high culture, nice wholesome movies and cartoons, much less corruption than today, people raised families and had meaningful lives, no real income inequality. But I suspect even Nazi-led Europe would have eventually become a relative peaceful stable place after the Jews and Slavs were gone, and after Hitler died.

    The Ukrainian elections were a farce.
     
    They were flawed, but not a farce. Turnout was within 10% of previous elections. Given the loss of pro-Russian Crimea and Donbas, the results would have been more or less the same. Remember that even with Crimea and Donbas, Ukrainian elections were split about 50/50 between the pro-Western and pro-Russian candidate. Do you really think that without the pro-Russian voting heartland, a pro-Russian candidate had any chance of winning?
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  20. No, I mean post-war, not post-Stalin. Red terror, collectivisation, party purges, the blowing up of churches, etc. – that was all pre-war. I’m sure that some punishment to those who collaborated with the Germans was meted out after the war,

    Post World War II the Stalinist Soviet regime murdered 100,000s of people and deported millions. The millions of Ukrainians, Poles, Tatars, Chechens, Balts, etc. deported were not all German collaborators. Certainly the leaders and members of the Polish anti-Nazi resistance who were murdered by the Soviets after the war, were not collaborators. Gulags were running until the 1950′s. Yes, post-war Stalinist repression was not nearly as bad as it had been pre-war, when millions were killed, but it was not in the same league as what is happening in modern Ukraine.

    Eventually stability was achieved and the USSR was more or less peaceful. It is this USSR that some people are nostalgic for. No random arrests, stable life, access to high culture, nice wholesome movies and cartoons, much less corruption than today, people raised families and had meaningful lives, no real income inequality. But I suspect even Nazi-led Europe would have eventually become a relative peaceful stable place after the Jews and Slavs were gone, and after Hitler died.

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  21. @Glossy
    No, I mean post-war, not post-Stalin. Red terror, collectivisation, party purges, the blowing up of churches, etc. - that was all pre-war. I'm sure that some punishment to those who collaborated with the Germans was meted out after the war, but the Kiev junta is just sallivating to do the same to those who are working and fighting for Novorossia now, so it can't claim to be more liberal than post-war Stalin on that issue either.

    The Ukrainian elections were a farce. The SBU is worse than the KGB, though not yet as bad as the NKVD. The junta is trying to crush Russian Spring. And its oversees owners recently invaded Afghanistan. I can't imagine Yatsenyuk condemning THAT. If asked, he'd probably express full support for that particular invasion.

    No, I mean post-war, not post-Stalin. Red terror, collectivisation, party purges, the blowing up of churches, etc. – that was all pre-war. I’m sure that some punishment to those who collaborated with the Germans was meted out after the war,

    No, it was not all pre-war. Post World War II the Stalinist Soviet regime murdered 100,000s of people and deported millions. The millions of Ukrainians, Poles, Tatars, Chechens, Balts, etc. deported were not all German collaborators. Certainly the leaders and members of the Polish anti-Nazi resistance who were murdered by the Soviets after the war, were not collaborators. Gulags were running until the 1950′s. Yes, post-war Stalinist repression was not nearly as bad as it had been pre-war, when millions were killed, but it was not in the same league as what is happening in modern Ukraine.

    Eventually stability was achieved and the USSR was more or less peaceful. It is this USSR that some people are nostalgic for. No random arrests, stable life, access to high culture, nice wholesome movies and cartoons, much less corruption than today, people raised families and had meaningful lives, no real income inequality. But I suspect even Nazi-led Europe would have eventually become a relative peaceful stable place after the Jews and Slavs were gone, and after Hitler died.

    The Ukrainian elections were a farce.

    They were flawed, but not a farce. Turnout was within 10% of previous elections. Given the loss of pro-Russian Crimea and Donbas, the results would have been more or less the same. Remember that even with Crimea and Donbas, Ukrainian elections were split about 50/50 between the pro-Western and pro-Russian candidate. Do you really think that without the pro-Russian voting heartland, a pro-Russian candidate had any chance of winning?

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    • Replies: @Glossy
    "It is this USSR that some people are nostalgic for."

    Yes. I've seen Westerners at a loss as to why anyone would risk his life to defend Lenin statues. The people who do that associate these statues with Khruschev's and Brezhnev's USSR. Which was far, far more wholesome, socially fair and culturally sophisticated than the states that replaced it. And in some places people are still behind economically from where they were in the 1980s.

    Lenin's regime was not itself wholesome, fair, propserous or culturally sophisticated. But no one remembers it first-hand. What the older generation remembers instead is that when their lives were better (i.e. under Brezhnev), Lenin's face was everywhere. So they associate the Lenin cult with positive things. The same thing can be said about voting for the Communist Party.
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  22. @AP

    No, I mean post-war, not post-Stalin. Red terror, collectivisation, party purges, the blowing up of churches, etc. – that was all pre-war. I’m sure that some punishment to those who collaborated with the Germans was meted out after the war,
     
    No, it was not all pre-war. Post World War II the Stalinist Soviet regime murdered 100,000s of people and deported millions. The millions of Ukrainians, Poles, Tatars, Chechens, Balts, etc. deported were not all German collaborators. Certainly the leaders and members of the Polish anti-Nazi resistance who were murdered by the Soviets after the war, were not collaborators. Gulags were running until the 1950's. Yes, post-war Stalinist repression was not nearly as bad as it had been pre-war, when millions were killed, but it was not in the same league as what is happening in modern Ukraine.

    Eventually stability was achieved and the USSR was more or less peaceful. It is this USSR that some people are nostalgic for. No random arrests, stable life, access to high culture, nice wholesome movies and cartoons, much less corruption than today, people raised families and had meaningful lives, no real income inequality. But I suspect even Nazi-led Europe would have eventually become a relative peaceful stable place after the Jews and Slavs were gone, and after Hitler died.

    The Ukrainian elections were a farce.
     
    They were flawed, but not a farce. Turnout was within 10% of previous elections. Given the loss of pro-Russian Crimea and Donbas, the results would have been more or less the same. Remember that even with Crimea and Donbas, Ukrainian elections were split about 50/50 between the pro-Western and pro-Russian candidate. Do you really think that without the pro-Russian voting heartland, a pro-Russian candidate had any chance of winning?

    “It is this USSR that some people are nostalgic for.”

    Yes. I’ve seen Westerners at a loss as to why anyone would risk his life to defend Lenin statues. The people who do that associate these statues with Khruschev’s and Brezhnev’s USSR. Which was far, far more wholesome, socially fair and culturally sophisticated than the states that replaced it. And in some places people are still behind economically from where they were in the 1980s.

    Lenin’s regime was not itself wholesome, fair, propserous or culturally sophisticated. But no one remembers it first-hand. What the older generation remembers instead is that when their lives were better (i.e. under Brezhnev), Lenin’s face was everywhere. So they associate the Lenin cult with positive things. The same thing can be said about voting for the Communist Party.

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    • Replies: @AP
    I generally agree with this comment, and with reiner's reply to it. But this was the Khrushchev and post-Khrushchev USSR, not merely post-war one. And the comment was more true of Russia than of the republics or Warsaw pact states.
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  23. @AP
    Yatseniuk is supposedly of partial Jewish descent. His political background is fairly liberal, he's travelled abroad, he is young and educated. There is basically zero chance that he believes that Germany likes the Nazis and wishes they had won. On the other hand, expressing solidarity with fellow victims of post-war Soviets, and saying that Ukraine will fight to save Europe from another Soviet/Russian occupation, is something he would try to bring up. Odds are overwhelming, I think, that he was trying to say the latter but made a gaffe. This seems to be how most of the non-Russian "Junta" haters interpreted it and how the comment was treated by the media.

    I think you misunderstood me. I meant in Hungary many people think in terms of “our troops were pushed back in Galicia in April 1944″ or “our ‘Szent László’ Division led a counterattack” or “our troops were encircled near Voronezh” etc., even though they themselves hate Hitler and are happy that the Germans lost the war.

    But if he really is Jewish (is there any proof of this? according to Wikipedia he isn’t, and I tried to translate the Hebrew Wikipedia and it still didn’t say he was), then I don’t think he’d ever think in those terms. At least that’s my (limited) experience with Hungarian Jews.

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  24. @Glossy
    I have a much more positive view of the post-war USSR than you do. The pre-war USSR was indeed awful. There is a nostalgia movement in East Germany for the DDR, but I haven't looked at opinion polls about this, so I don't know how widespread it is. I'm sure that the older generation, the ones who remember the DDR first-hand, would have a more positive opinion of it than the younger geneation which only knows about it from modern Western propaganda. This is certainly true in the former USSR.

    There would be more nostalgia for the 1945 - 1990 period in East Germany than in Poland, Hungary, etc. for a very simple reason. Other eastern European and former Soviet countries got something pleasant - a nationalistic boost - together with the negative stuff - crime, drugs, oligarchic looting, prostitution, unemployment, immigration, advertising (if you think that's trivial, you've never lived in a place that had no advertising), and in most places (though not in East Germany) serious impoverishment. Nationalism is still verboten in Germany. So outside of the economic sphere East Germans only got the negative stuff. No nationalist boost to compensate for it.

    Among the older generations there’s some nostalgia for Communist Hungary. Not for 1948-56 Hungary, which was truly horrible, or for the repressions after the revolution 1956-63, but for the later, consolidated, somewhat liberalized communist dictatorship (which still had at least a hundred thousand informers among the population, many of them blackmailed into cooperation, and which still harassed and occasionally put to prison people for expressing opposition views), and even some nationalists grudgingly acknowledge that the system had some positive values. For example Hungary has this huge demographic catastrophe, where – except for Gypsies – the population is shrinking. The demographic problems started in the late 1950s, but after a decade of indecision the communist government started to tackle the problem with a strong pro-natalist program, that managed to raise fertility levels, although the demographic decline continued at a somewhat slower pace. This compares very favorably to the demographic catastrophe that befell Hungary after 1990.

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    • Replies: @AP
    This seems about right. Unlike Hungary, western Ukraine hasn't had a post-Soviet demographic catastrophe, though.
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  25. @Glossy
    "It is this USSR that some people are nostalgic for."

    Yes. I've seen Westerners at a loss as to why anyone would risk his life to defend Lenin statues. The people who do that associate these statues with Khruschev's and Brezhnev's USSR. Which was far, far more wholesome, socially fair and culturally sophisticated than the states that replaced it. And in some places people are still behind economically from where they were in the 1980s.

    Lenin's regime was not itself wholesome, fair, propserous or culturally sophisticated. But no one remembers it first-hand. What the older generation remembers instead is that when their lives were better (i.e. under Brezhnev), Lenin's face was everywhere. So they associate the Lenin cult with positive things. The same thing can be said about voting for the Communist Party.

    I generally agree with this comment, and with reiner’s reply to it. But this was the Khrushchev and post-Khrushchev USSR, not merely post-war one. And the comment was more true of Russia than of the republics or Warsaw pact states.

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  26. @reiner Tor
    Among the older generations there's some nostalgia for Communist Hungary. Not for 1948-56 Hungary, which was truly horrible, or for the repressions after the revolution 1956-63, but for the later, consolidated, somewhat liberalized communist dictatorship (which still had at least a hundred thousand informers among the population, many of them blackmailed into cooperation, and which still harassed and occasionally put to prison people for expressing opposition views), and even some nationalists grudgingly acknowledge that the system had some positive values. For example Hungary has this huge demographic catastrophe, where - except for Gypsies - the population is shrinking. The demographic problems started in the late 1950s, but after a decade of indecision the communist government started to tackle the problem with a strong pro-natalist program, that managed to raise fertility levels, although the demographic decline continued at a somewhat slower pace. This compares very favorably to the demographic catastrophe that befell Hungary after 1990.

    This seems about right. Unlike Hungary, western Ukraine hasn’t had a post-Soviet demographic catastrophe, though.

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  27. Ioffe, who served as Moscow correspondent for The New Yorker and Foreign Policy , made no attempt to hide her dislike of Christian Russia in her farewell piece before she moved on TNR:

    http://www.juliaioffe.com/articles/tnr/what-i-will-and-wont-miss-about-living-in-moscow/

    Interesting Quotes:

    “I won’t miss the casual racism and the relax-I-was-just-joking anti-Semitism. I will miss the fact that just about everyone can do a killer Georgian accent and knows a truly wonderful Jewish joke.”

    Okay Julia, which is it? You like their Jewish jokes, but your feeling get hurt when THEY tell them? The single most illustrative passage follows:

    “I won’t miss living in a city where virtually everyone is white and wearing an Orthodox Christian cross, where the only places of worship you see are the onion domes of Orthodox churches, and where the Church and the state are in such close cooperation. The medieval beauty of the architecture wears thin when there’s nothing to contrast it to, and when you know of the abuses happening under its aegis. A monopoly is a monopoly is a monopoly.”

    I won’t miss the fact that Jewish culture and Jewish people have largely disappeared from this city, and that another monopoly—Chabad—has become the only way to be Jewish here.”

    Just try for a second, to envision the reaction if a white western journalist wrote the following about Bangkok:

    Look, pagodas are nice and all, but seriously, this city would be so much better if there weren’t so many Buddhists here. Also, why is everyone brownish-yellow?

    As for her comments about the lack of Jews in Moscow, uhh maybe she should try asking her parents, who left Moscow at the first available opportunity, just like the vast majority of her coethnics. Also from everything I’ve read about Chabad Lubavitch, they actually try to practise Judaism as an ancient religion and spiritual experience, rather than solely as an ethnic category that confers the right to despise goyim, so I’m not quite sure why they deserve Ioffe’s opprobrium.

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  28. He doesn’t say Russians weren’t there, just that Ukrainians were, which is true, so he is not lying but being selective in who he commemorates, based on his own nationality and position (and current differences). Somewhat misleading by omission, but that is sadly enough quite normal in political discourse.

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  29. @AP
    Yes, Yatseniuk looks rather Jewish. All the more reason to suspect that he simply misspoke.

    Do you have data showing that the majority of Germans want the Americans to leave? If they don't, it's not an occupation. During the cold war most Germans seem to have been happy to have American troops protecting them. There was a real, substantial difference between the nature of the US-BRD relationship and the USSR-GDR one.

    As for the Germany-Soviet comparison - obviously Germany was worse. It was a sadistic serial killer. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was like that guy in Cleveland who kept those women in his basement. If the Cleveland kidnapper happened to have saved a woman from Ted Bundy after killing him due to a dispute between the two, should she be grateful to him after all those years spent in that basement, because she at least ended up alive at the end? The Soviets did save the Slavs of Eastern Europe from extinction. But that doesn't mean they weren't awful.

    “As for the Germany-Soviet comparison – obviously Germany was worse. It was a sadistic serial killer. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was like that guy in Cleveland who kept those women in his basement. If the Cleveland kidnapper happened to have saved a woman from Ted Bundy after killing him due to a dispute between the two, should she be grateful to him after all those years spent in that basement, because she at least ended up alive at the end? The Soviets did save the Slavs of Eastern Europe from extinction.”

    In your opinion. In fact if you want to get into such similes, both regimes were ‘sadistic serial killers’, just with different groups as their targets. As bad as the Holocaust and some other Nazi atrocities were, there were some Soviet ones that were also quite monstrous, even before Stalin’s rule. And the Nazis were not aiming to kill off the Slavs outright, a number of Slavic nations were actually allies of Germany, such as Croatia, Slovakia, and Bulgaria, along with large collaborationist groups in some others like Ukraine, even Poland, Russia, and Serbia had such groups to some degree. Treatment of Slavs varied by nation and politics, and at its worst was genocidal, but not consisently so by any means. Mainly targeted were the Poles and Russians, and in part not whole.

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  30. I enjoy nagging people who claim the USA defeated Hitler. You tell them how many Russians died in WW2, and their eyebrows always go up.

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  31. Wally [AKA "BobbyBeGood"] says: • Website

    The entire piece is best described as garbage in, garbage out.

    Communist & Jewish supremacist profitable propaganda has absurdly transformed a labor camp where war materials were produced into a “death camp” with no scientific or physical proof whatsoever. All this discussion of ‘who liberated Auschwitz’ is a laughable con job

    The alleged Auschwitz ‘gas chambers’ were / are scientifically impossible as alleged,
    see:

    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4111

    Also note that the Germans gave Auschwitz inmates the choice of staying to await the advancing Soviets, or retreating with them, most by far chose to leave with the Germans.

    There are no human remains at Auschwitz as alleged that can be shown.
    Nor at any other location can the alleged enormous mass graves actually be shown in spite of the fact that Jews claim to know exactly where they are.

    Think about that. An alleged 6M Jews and 5M ‘others’, yet not a single mass grave as alleged can actually be shown, not one.

    Simply stated, the laughable ‘holocau$t, now a religion, cannot withstand scrutiny.

    The ‘holocaust’ storyline is one of the most easily debunked narratives ever contrived. That is why those who question it are arrested and persecuted. That is why violent, racist, privileged Jewish supremacists demand censorship and the elimination of free speech.

    What sort of ‘truth’ is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth? Truth needs no protection from scrutiny.

    http://forum.codoh.com

    Thanks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Andrew E. Mathis
    You don't really think you're going to keep posting this nonsense over and over without my rebutting it, do you?

    Communist & Jewish supremacist profitable propaganda has absurdly transformed a labor camp where war materials were produced into a “death camp” with no scientific or physical proof whatsoever. All this discussion of ‘who liberated Auschwitz’ is a laughable con job.
     
    This is a nice little bait and switch. You can say these things about Auschwitz or Auschwitz III (Monowitz) and be largely correct.

    Tell us all what war materials were produced in Birkenau. Be specific. And what about all those SS men who testified to the Holocaust? Were they all Jews and communists also?

    The alleged Auschwitz ‘gas chambers’ were / are scientifically impossible as alleged,
     
    Let's play a game. I call it "What was the room for?" Here it is:

    Among the evidence that the rooms labeled Leichenkeller on blueprints were actually gas chambers are the following: (1) Several dozen eyewitnesses, including several SS men, the vast majority of whom testified without any coercion whatsoever over 70 years on four continents; (2) No fewer than four forensic examinations, all of which (Leuchter and Rudolf included) found cyanide levels on the walls of these rooms higher than a single fumigation but lower than the fumigation chambers; and (3) Two documents that refer to a gassing process of some type in the room, referring to the room, respectively, as a Vergasungkeller or a Gaskeller.

    I submit that this is sufficient proof of gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Your role is to tell me what else those rooms might have been that accounts for all of that evidence. So don't tell me it was an air-raid shelter, because no one testified that it is. OK?

    Also note that the Germans gave Auschwitz inmates the choice of staying to await the advancing Soviets, or retreating with them, most by far chose to leave with the Germans.
     
    Please name the specific Birkenau internees given this choice.

    There are no human remains at Auschwitz as alleged that can be shown.
    Nor at any other location can the alleged enormous mass graves actually be shown in spite of the fact that Jews claim to know exactly where they are.
     
    I've already asked you, but would you like to start with Serniki, in Ukraine? There's an Einsatzgruppen-created mass grave there, and I can prove it.

    Think about that. An alleged 6M Jews and 5M ‘others’, yet not a single mass grave as alleged can actually be shown, not one.
     
    There are mass graves all over eastern Europe created by Nazi death squads, and you just keep repeating the same old nonsense.

    Simply stated, the laughable ‘holocau$t, now a religion, cannot withstand scrutiny.
     
    As I said before, I suppose if one is a sociopath, then it's laughable.

    The ‘holocaust’ storyline is one of the most easily debunked narratives ever contrived. That is why those who question it are arrested and persecuted. That is why violent, racist, privileged Jewish supremacists demand censorship and the elimination of free speech.
     
    If it's so easy to debunk, then why won't you debate outside the forum you control?

    What sort of ‘truth’ is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth? Truth needs no protection from scrutiny.
     
    I suppose, since it's illegal to deny Stalinist atrocities in Poland and the Baltic states, that these events also did not happen?

    Your arguments are decades old and have been refuted repeatedly, over and over again. Repeating a lie many times never makes it true. Remember that.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  32. @Wally
    The entire piece is best described as garbage in, garbage out.

    Communist & Jewish supremacist profitable propaganda has absurdly transformed a labor camp where war materials were produced into a "death camp" with no scientific or physical proof whatsoever. All this discussion of 'who liberated Auschwitz' is a laughable con job

    The alleged Auschwitz 'gas chambers' were / are scientifically impossible as alleged,
    see:
    http://forum.codoh.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4111

    Also note that the Germans gave Auschwitz inmates the choice of staying to await the advancing Soviets, or retreating with them, most by far chose to leave with the Germans.

    There are no human remains at Auschwitz as alleged that can be shown.
    Nor at any other location can the alleged enormous mass graves actually be shown in spite of the fact that Jews claim to know exactly where they are.

    Think about that. An alleged 6M Jews and 5M 'others', yet not a single mass grave as alleged can actually be shown, not one.

    Simply stated, the laughable 'holocau$t, now a religion, cannot withstand scrutiny.

    The 'holocaust' storyline is one of the most easily debunked narratives ever contrived. That is why those who question it are arrested and persecuted. That is why violent, racist, privileged Jewish supremacists demand censorship and the elimination of free speech.

    What sort of 'truth' is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth? Truth needs no protection from scrutiny.

    http://forum.codoh.com

    Thanks.

    You don’t really think you’re going to keep posting this nonsense over and over without my rebutting it, do you?

    Communist & Jewish supremacist profitable propaganda has absurdly transformed a labor camp where war materials were produced into a “death camp” with no scientific or physical proof whatsoever. All this discussion of ‘who liberated Auschwitz’ is a laughable con job.

    This is a nice little bait and switch. You can say these things about Auschwitz or Auschwitz III (Monowitz) and be largely correct.

    Tell us all what war materials were produced in Birkenau. Be specific. And what about all those SS men who testified to the Holocaust? Were they all Jews and communists also?

    The alleged Auschwitz ‘gas chambers’ were / are scientifically impossible as alleged,

    Let’s play a game. I call it “What was the room for?” Here it is:

    Among the evidence that the rooms labeled Leichenkeller on blueprints were actually gas chambers are the following: (1) Several dozen eyewitnesses, including several SS men, the vast majority of whom testified without any coercion whatsoever over 70 years on four continents; (2) No fewer than four forensic examinations, all of which (Leuchter and Rudolf included) found cyanide levels on the walls of these rooms higher than a single fumigation but lower than the fumigation chambers; and (3) Two documents that refer to a gassing process of some type in the room, referring to the room, respectively, as a Vergasungkeller or a Gaskeller.

    I submit that this is sufficient proof of gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Your role is to tell me what else those rooms might have been that accounts for all of that evidence. So don’t tell me it was an air-raid shelter, because no one testified that it is. OK?

    Also note that the Germans gave Auschwitz inmates the choice of staying to await the advancing Soviets, or retreating with them, most by far chose to leave with the Germans.

    Please name the specific Birkenau internees given this choice.

    There are no human remains at Auschwitz as alleged that can be shown.
    Nor at any other location can the alleged enormous mass graves actually be shown in spite of the fact that Jews claim to know exactly where they are.

    I’ve already asked you, but would you like to start with Serniki, in Ukraine? There’s an Einsatzgruppen-created mass grave there, and I can prove it.

    Think about that. An alleged 6M Jews and 5M ‘others’, yet not a single mass grave as alleged can actually be shown, not one.

    There are mass graves all over eastern Europe created by Nazi death squads, and you just keep repeating the same old nonsense.

    Simply stated, the laughable ‘holocau$t, now a religion, cannot withstand scrutiny.

    As I said before, I suppose if one is a sociopath, then it’s laughable.

    The ‘holocaust’ storyline is one of the most easily debunked narratives ever contrived. That is why those who question it are arrested and persecuted. That is why violent, racist, privileged Jewish supremacists demand censorship and the elimination of free speech.

    If it’s so easy to debunk, then why won’t you debate outside the forum you control?

    What sort of ‘truth’ is it that crushes the freedom to seek the truth? Truth needs no protection from scrutiny.

    I suppose, since it’s illegal to deny Stalinist atrocities in Poland and the Baltic states, that these events also did not happen?

    Your arguments are decades old and have been refuted repeatedly, over and over again. Repeating a lie many times never makes it true. Remember that.

    Read More
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