U.S.S.R. and communism historical discussion.
[ Login ] [ Active ]

"Stalin: Inside The Terror", anyone watched it yet

Log-in to remove advertisement.
Post 14 Jun 2005, 03:51
This documentary talks about Stalin's life, so anyone watched it yet? I don't think it is Capitalist propaganda as Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of the book "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar" translated some letters from Stalin and the people who were interviewed were close to Stalin. This documentary is based on the newly opened soviet archives.

They didn't say that Stalin ordered men to kill Kirov but after Kirov died he ordered those people(I don't know who) to be killed. Strangly, Stalin have made confessions in secret four times.

The purges... I heard it was 5 million in total during at the height of the terror? Can anyone confirm again as I did not pay full attention to the numbers.

I don't know want to say about Stalin after watching it, I pity him for his very bad life. If wasn't for his father and te beatings by the teachers and priests, he won't turned out to be a brutal man. I guess his character was badly damaged...
Post 15 Jun 2005, 09:04
T saw some of it, and it looked good. Figures regarding the terror are often open to debate but i think it goes without saying between outright executions and people dumped in labour camps it numbered tens of millions. Although, i dare say some of the more fanactical comrades on this forum will debate that. Dont get me wrong, i am in many degrees a socialist but you can only apologize and deny Stalin's crimes so much.
Post 15 Jun 2005, 14:21
I'm not very sure about the figures regarding the purges, but I found it is strange to have 5 million at the height of Stalin's terror. They didn't say where this figure came from so I may brush that off.

The figures and his crimes are very messy as anyone can post a number and say this is the number of people he purged.

Anyone is free to debate on the figures but I guess it will not end.
Post 15 Jun 2005, 21:49
The best Stalin biography I've read is Stalin by Edvard Radzinsky.

After reading a few biographies of Stalin, I can't bare to watch a lot of History Channel documentaries about Stalin. However, I don't remember if I've seen this particular documentary.

The Fall of Stalin documentary was the worst that I've seen. They started with his rise to power, but played it down as well as all of his achievements, but through the whole show his crimes and conspiracies are the biggest thing since sliced bread.

Oh, and about Kirov, that's still a mystery to me. The possibilities of what really happened are endless.
Post 15 Jun 2005, 23:18
Those TV documentaries are of no value in my opinion. It’s usually the same rehashed anti-Stalin rhetoric, and judging by the name of this one it’s no different. They never back up anything they say, it’s generally “just take our word for it” as they queue in their dramatic holocaust music. Whatever…

I’ll take a good book over that any day. They have more depth, concrete evidence, and sources that can be checked.
Post 18 Jun 2005, 17:36
i have seen the programe but prefer the book stalin cout of the red tsar
Post 28 Jul 2005, 00:26
I dont know about the Kirov murder but the implication that Stalin had him killed is odd to me, from what little Ive read on the matter they didnt seem like enemies. In fact were they not friends at least for a while?
Post 28 Jul 2005, 00:53
I dont know about the Kirov murder but the implication that Stalin had him killed is odd to me, from what little Ive read on the matter they didnt seem like enemies. In fact were they not friends at least for a while?

Yes, they were very close. In fact, Kirov was one of Stalin's closest allies in Leningrad. However, Kirov was seen as a possible rival to Stalin, someone who might be a credible replacement for him if he were ever to be overthrown. Stalin, possibly, resented this and had him killed for it. Who knows?

My own feeling is that Stalin probably did not have Kirov killed. The assassin, Nikolaev, was a deranged megalomaniac - if Stalin wanted Kirov dead, he would have used a deadly, highly-trained assassin, not the bumbling misfit who actually killed Kirov. What's more, Kirov was completely loyal to Stalin - when Zinoviev and Kamenev approached him in the hopes of forming a bloc against Stalin, Kirov refused and immediately told Stalin about the conversation. Stalin had no reason to doubt his loyalty. And all eyewitnesses at the time record how shaken Stalin was when he learned of Kirov's murder. Almost certainly, Stalin did not order his death.
Post 28 Jul 2005, 04:07
I don't think it is Capitalist propaganda

With a name like "Stalin, Behind the Terror", I'm sure its very pro-Stalin
Post 09 Aug 2005, 18:52
Figures given by Robert W. Thurston in his book "Life and terror in Stalin's Russia 1934-1941", 1996, Yale University Press, New York:

Arrests for CounterRevolutionary crimes (CR) by year and executions (these include ALL crimes, i. e., CR and "normal")

1930 - 266,679 - 20,201
1931 - 343,734 - 10,651
1932 - 195,540 - 2,728
1933 - 283,029 - 2,154
1934 - 90,417 - 2,056
1935 - 108,935 - 1,229
1936 - 91,127 - 1,118
1937 - 779,056 - 353,074
1938 - 593,326 - 328,618
1939 - 63,889 - 2,552
1940 - 71,806 - 1,649
1941 - 75,411 - 8,001

Two things must be taken into account:

1.- The number of actual convictions (sentences) is ALWAYS lower than that of arrests (I have given you only CR arrests). Then the number of executions is also much lower than even the number of convictions. The figures come like this in the book: ARREST ("normal", THEN CR) - CONVICTION (CR PLUS "normal") - EXECUTION (CR PLUS "normal").

2.- The worst years (this is the height of the terror, or "purges") are 1937 and 1938 (total 681,692 executions). For the rest of the years, the figures are very moderated for a country like the USSR. And they are real, for the sources are, for instance, a report prepared for Stalin's successors in 1953 (like Khruschev, who was to "denounce" Stalin's "crimes"). These are the famous "closed" KGB archives that were to reveal all the soviets' horror.

The book I have used is worth your attention and money.

Another interesting fact is this one:

Percentage of inmates sentenced for CR activity:

1934 - 26.5 %
1935 - 16.3 %
1936 - 12.6 %
1937 - 12.8 %

The rest are criminals, not counterrevolutionaries.

The author also makes a calculation for the number of people targeted for repression in 1937 (the height of the purges) in several oblasts (regions and in some cases entire Republics), comparing their total population and the number of people executed and exiled, the results are:

Moscow 0.41 %
Leningrad 0.059 %
Belorussia 0.038 %
Kirghiziia 0.018 %
Uzbekistan 0.012 %
Kazakhstan 0.049 %
Western Siberia 0.076 %

Moscow 0.25 %
Leningrad 0.15 %
Belorussia 0.19 %
Kirghiziia 0.037 %
Uzbekistan 0.06 %
Kazakhstan 0.098 %
Western Siberia 0.18 %

You see it was very rare to even know somebody who was actually harassed or arrested by the NKVD. In another book I read that few people, among DEFECTORS living outside the USSR, could actually say the name of some person that had been actually "purged", from their families or acquaintances.

It is clear that there was a thin range of people targeted, and these were usually ancient exploiters, provocateurs and wreckers, most likely high-placed people, not the common folk. The "regime" DID NOT TERRORISE ITS PEOPLE.

What do you think of all this?
Post 10 Aug 2005, 00:06
Thanks Asti. The source you use is definitely worth a read. I'm glad that people like you understand and attempt to convince others that Stalin's terror (while real) is highly exaggerated by most sources. We must all continue to search for the truth about various communist leaders, who's legacies are continually harassed and lied about, not only degrading the individuals, but socialism itself (exactly the goal of many of these "historians").
Post 17 Jul 2006, 22:42
It doesn't surprise me anymore. Stalin is the favourite topic for all anti-communists.
Post 17 Jul 2006, 23:51
"Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar"

Hmmm ... that reminds me of someone.
More Forums: The History Forum. The UK Politics Forum.
© 2000- Privacy.
[ Top ]