The outgoing president Putin's contribution to Our Cause
January 31, 2006
Circular Hall, The Kremlin, Moscow
You know, the Poles and the Russians are essentially one and the same family. We should not forget that we all share a common cradle in the Carpathians. It is from there, during the first millennium after the birth of Christ, that the Slavs spread out throughout Europe. Some went west, and these were the Lyakhs, and some went east, and these were the Polyans, Drevlyans and so on. But we all share the same cradle. We never forget this and we have immense respect for Poland for its contribution to world culture, to the world economy and to European and international affairs today.
As is always the case with close relatives, we have had our share of problems. I won't list them all now because we would simply create confusion, putting forward all our claims against each other, starting with the occupation of the Kremlin (in the seventeenth century). We would get ourselves tangled up in all these claims.
To speak absolutely frankly and openly, both in Russia and in Poland there is a certain wariness in some quarters of our respective societies with regard to each other. The politicians in both countries are aware of this, but instead of looking to the future in the interests of their citizens and building relations for the future for the good of the Polish and Russian peoples, they are always trying to raise the problems of the past in order to boost their own prominence at home. I think that this is a very short-sighted approach and that it is very harmful both for Poland and for Russia. I very much hope that in both Poland and in Russia political forces will come to the fore that, based on the foundation of the wealth of our past relations - and there were also many positive aspects in our history, for example, our fight against Nazism* together and much that was positive at other times too - will follow policies that look to the future. This is not only possible but also necessary in both Poland and Russia.
Concluding my answer to your question, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Polish leadership and people following the recent tragedy in your country that took the lives of more than 60 people. This is a terrible catastrophe and we are together with you in mourning the victims. I would like the Polish people to know this.
*Germanic colonialism suits much better. National Socialism - so called Nazism - has nothing in common with Germanic degeneracy.
Long life Slavija and long life the National Republic of Poland - Narodowa Republika Polska.
We are a country with 1000 years heritage - we don't need to force anybody to become a Pole.
Another Pole in Soviet Army - Mikhail Tukhachevsky -...
Long life the National Federation of Russia, the National Republic of Serbia, the National Republic of Croatia and so on... National Republics and Federations are the answer - and the ultimate goal is Slavija - Confederation based on equal rights of every Slav and those who fit with us - in my view for example the Tsiganie people are important part of our folklore. Even Jews can participate, but only if share our goals and ideals, because for Zionist the best solution is Israel, not America. America dies under Zionist pressure.
Dushko said : « Reply #18 on Jan 29, 2006, 1:38am »
"When I was a child, the USA was a great place with many leaders who had honorable intentions. Now it is ruled solely by the greed mongers who will sell their own mother to the devil for money and power. For this I am very disgusted with my country, but I hope I can make a difference to change it."
We are a country with 1000 years heritage - we don't need to force anybody to become a Pole.
Post by CHORNYVOLK on May 27, 2008 16:39:54 GMT -5
What really happened at Potsdam? 21:47 | 28/ 06/ 2005
MOSCOW. This, the latest in our series of articles about the less known aspects of World War II, is the second part of the story about the Potsdam (Berlin) conference of the leaders of the Soviet Union, the U.S. and Britain, held from July 17 to August 2, 1945, at the Cecilienhof Palace.
The conference was convened to determine the future of the defeated Germany and the structure of the world in the second half of the 20th century.
Historian Valentin Falin talks with RIA Novosti military commentator Viktor Litovkin.
Question: Last time you stopped by saying that the Potsdam conference would not have been held if the U.S. had not needed Soviet assistance to defeat Japan. However, some situations during the conference threatened to derail the talks.
Answer: You are right. It was a conference of light and shadows. Let us try to determine why that was.
What did the Soviet leaders know about the intrigues of their adversaries in the West? Some Western historians exaggerate by saying that the Kremlin knew absolutely everything about the secret moves and intentions of London and Washington. It is true, however, that Moscow knew very well where the political barometer was moving. It knew why the Western powers avoided fulfilling the commitments they had made at Yalta and why the British maintained combat-ready Wehrmacht divisions in Schleswig-Holstein and southern Denmark. The Kremlin also knew why Truman started talking in the language of ultimatums during his talks with Molotov and other Soviet representatives. And it knew many other things.
We know now that Churchill's "perjury" in spring 1945 was not a sudden maneuver. Everyone would agree that the death of Franklin Roosevelt led to a fundamental review of values in the U.S. policy. But Stalin either underrated the scope of the imminent crisis or hoped to keep Washington from making rash decisions. He probably hoped to convince Truman that the U.S. would suffer by sacrificing one of the best chances humankind had ever had to stop relying on military force.
In late May 1945, the Supreme Command warned Marshal Georgy Zhukov that the British were nurturing an opportunistic plan involving German divisions. British forces in Europe did not switch to a peacetime regime, and the Kremlin was worried by London's obstructions to the implementation of the Yalta agreements on occupation zones.
Moscow decided to improve the situation by setting a good example. On June 23, 1945, it adopted a law on the transition of its army and navy to peacetime routine. Demobilization began on July 5, 1945, and the strength of the Soviet Army was slashed from 11 million to below 3 million by 1948. The Soviet Army left northern Norway in September 1945, Czechoslovakia in November, and Bornholm (Denmark) in April 1946. The number of troops deployed in eastern Germany, Poland and Romania was slashed.
In short, the Soviet Union demonstrated readiness to go its part of the road, both before and after the Potsdam conference, to develop the combat unity of the Allied nations into a peaceful construction effort. But the last hope of winning the trust of the partners and encourage them to reciprocate and respect the interests of each other, so as not to waste the invaluable capital accumulated by the anti-Hitler coalition, had waned by autumn 1947.
The Soviet policy at the Big Three meeting was elaborated to suit the principles of honest cooperation. On July 17, the first day of the Potsdam conference, Truman easily received what he came for, he wrote to a friend. Stalin will enter into the war [against Japan]. We can say now that we will end the war a year sooner, and I am thinking of the boys that will not be killed as a result of this.
During the discussion of other issues on the conference agenda, the chief Soviet delegate pursued the tactics that proved reliable at Yalta, which was to accept U.S. proposals as the basis when opinions did not clash. Even when the American ideas clashed with the Soviet stand, Stalin spoke his mind positively, inviting Truman to consider possible variants.
Admiral Leahy, an adviser to President Truman, had in his portfolio a plan of splitting Germany into three or five states. But the plan was buried after the Soviet delegation suggested retaining Germany as an integral state. The Americans were disappointed but preferred to keep their plans secret.
On July 21, as the British prime minister recalled, Truman's mood changed visibly. The friendliness with which he treated his partners disappeared. The president started telling Russians what they should do and how, and in general bossed everyone around, Churchill wrote. He linked the change in Truman's mood to a telegram from Stimson in Washington, who informed the president about the successful test of the A-bomb. The U.S. had got the ultimate weapon and decided that it could order humankind around. The idea of global domination was becoming the axis of the U.S. political and military line.
It is very important that the Potsdam conference opened on July 17, and two days later the U.S. reviewed its military-political doctrine. Previously, the U.S. relied on repelling attacks, while the new doctrine was based on the precept of preemptive strikes against the adversary. Emphasis was made on surprise attack against any source of threat. Washington retained the right to determine the nature and scope of the threat and the time of eliminating it.
The authors of the doctrine had pondered ideas and formulas since May 1945, and the Soviet Union was the main potential enemy. Soviet intelligence acquired initial information about this by June 1945. Taken together with information about Operation Unthinkable [Britain's plan to bomb the Soviet oil fields at Baku], this was certainly highly alarming news.
The headquarters ordered Zhukov to regroup his forces and study the deployment of the Western allies. However, it is not clear to this day if Stalin was informed about the revision of U.S. military doctrine during the Potsdam conference.
In Potsdam the three leaders were seemingly paving the way to peaceful coexistence and a world where every nation would be able to reap the fruit of their common victory. But was it really so? In fact, the expansive statements made by Truman in Cecilienhof Palace camouflaged the degradation of the policy of cooperation into the continuation of the war by different means.
Immediately after leaving Germany, the U.S. president gave instructions to General Dwight Eisenhower to develop Operation Totality, a concept of military confrontation with the Soviet Union. In August 1945, a strategic map of certain industrial regions of Russia and Manchuria was compiled with the assistance of the U.S. Air Force command.
The document included a list of 15 biggest Soviet cities, the priority targets in them and calculations (with due regard for the experience of nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) of the number of nuclear bombs necessary to destroy them. It was cynicism bordering on perversion, and it happened at the time when the Soviet Army was routing the million-strong Kwantung Army in coordination with the U.S. forces.
At the same time, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff was analyzing the vulnerability of the Soviet Union in case of nuclear bombing. The result of that work was Document 329/1, which provided for nuclear strikes at 20 Soviet cities. Half a year later, the Americans produced Operation Pincer, under which they planned to ruin Russia with 50 nuclear strikes. And it was only the beginning.
The third world war, which was, quite wrongly, called the Cold War, was gathering momentum, destroying normal views of morality and humanness.
Q: Just as in family relations, it is rare that only one side is to blame for the conflict. Maybe the line of limitless confrontation with the Soviet Union was provoked by Stalin's actions?
A: Stalin is guilty of the gravest crimes and sins against the Soviet people. But this is not a reason to blame him for others' sins, above all for the violation of the commitments made by the three powers in Tehran and Yalta and confirmed at Potsdam - to preclude violence, to show tolerance, and to live side by side as good neighbors.
Before, during and after the Potsdam conference, the Soviet side did everything it could to ensure a breakthrough into a just and safe world, for which there had been solid prerequisites. Honest analysts of the past will not question Moscow's readiness at the 1945 crossroads to honor the legitimate interests of the U.S. and other partners in the anti-Hitler coalition. After what it had suffered in the war against Germany, the Soviet Union had no desire to provoke new tensions and conflicts. It was open to friendship and sought it. American intelligence reported to the president that the Soviet Union would pose no danger to anyone in the next 10-12 years.
Q: What exactly did the Soviet Union do to help?
A: Germany was the main enemy of the United Nations. Its giant military potential largely determined the course of World War II, and post-war stability depended on preventing Germany from becoming an apple of discord between the victor nations. How could this be achieved?
Moscow suggested regarding Germany as a single entity, despite changes in its political, social and economic systems. To ensure the practical recognition of this principle, the Soviet Union called for granting left- and right-wing antifascist parties, trade unions and the church the right to act according to the same rules in the four occupation zones, and for allowing Germans to determine their socio-economic regime.
It suggested holding elections on the basis of the same election law in the four occupation zones in order to form local, and subsequently central, governments on the results of voting.
American and British leaders rejected this proposal. They demanded that the principle of regarding Germany as a single state be limited to a common currency (Reichsmark) and barter trade between the zones. The supreme commanders of the armed forces of the four allies were given supreme authority in Germany, each in his zone of occupation, acting on the instructions of their respective governments, and jointly on issues concerning Germany as a whole.
The compromise formula said that a German administration should be created to introduce and maintain economic control as stipulated by the control council, with the reservation stipulating the same attitude to the German population throughout Germany, in as far as this was possible.
The split of Germany was preprogrammed. The French believed that everything should be done openly. They joined the Potsdam settlement with a clause that Paris would not be bound by provisions that stipulated the preservation of German unity. After taking some time to consider the problem, Washington decided to exploit that French proviso. By mid-1946, the Americans drafted a plan to create a separate German state, rearm it and involve the three Western zones in military preparations against the Soviet Union. The results were apparent: The split of Germany was predetermined.
The alienation of the Soviet zone could not be ensured without forming a block of major differences. The U.S., Britain and France soon nullified the provisions on ensuring Germany's democratic economic development. The occupation authorities decided to hold referenda in Hessen and North Rein-Westphalia, expecting the bulk of Germans to vote against the nationalization of banks and major factories, including those whose owners had closely cooperated with the Nazi. Much to their surprise, the overwhelming majority voted for state ownership of key industrial and financial establishments.
The Democrats immediately overruled the public vote and ensured that such appeals to the public, called "the crowd," by politicians, would be banned in the future Bonn constitution. Eventually, the development of democracy was replaced with "de-cartelization," which created problems for a number of concerns but did not limit their influence.
The situation was even worse with the collection of reparations in the Western zones for the Soviet Union, Poland, Yugoslavia and several other countries that suffered most from the German aggression.
Q: But the Potsdam agreements said that 10-15% of equipment dismantled in the American and British zones should be delivered to the Soviet Union.
A: Yes, but that pledge was not honored. The Soviet Union received less than $6 million worth of equipment in money terms from the Western zones, which is a drop in the ocean compared to the required compensation of damage. The Western powers took over Germany's gold reserves, thousands upon thousands of patents worth up to $10 billion, the shares of enterprises, and much more. Washington did not stint with money, especially during the creation of NATO, helping Britain, Italy, Turkey and West Germany. But the Truman administration closely watched that not a dollar or Reichsmark more would be spent on the economic reconstruction of the Soviet Union.
Q: As far as I remember, the Potsdam agreement also stipulated the denazification and thorough demilitarization of Germany. Was that goal achieved?
A: The decision was indeed stipulated in black and white. The Nazi heritage was rooted out in the Soviet zone zealously, and hence with excesses, and the same was true of the promotion of economic democracy. But the Western states only skimmed the surface and let it go at that. The "Democrats" did not want left-wing elements, who would potentially oppose Germany being attached to the U.S. war chariot, to be allowed to take influential posts in law enforcement, education and information.
As for demilitarization, the Soviet authorities demolished underground military plants and bunkers and other military and engineering structures. The Western representatives in the Allied Control Council commended the Soviet Union for this and promised to catch up with us - but, as the saying goes, [they were] "hurrying slowly," waiting for the time to gather stones, not cast them.
Q: Which questions provoked the most acute disputes at the conference?
A: The western border of Poland was a difficult question. In Yalta, it was decided to draw the border along Oder-Neisse, but Truman did not like to honor the pledges of his predecessor. Flexible and temporary borders better suited the Pax Americana, as it was easier to intrigue around them. Thanks to the persistence of the Soviet side, modus vivendi was found at last. Lands east of the Oder-Neisse line were removed from the Soviet zone and put under the government of Poland, which reflected the fact that almost all Germans had left the area by that time. The formalization of the new territorial status of that area was postponed "until later," which turned out to be in 1991.
Q: And when exactly did the Germans leave the area?
A: In April-May 1945.
Q: Did they flee of their own free will or were forced out of the area?
A: Most Germans fled the area fearing the approaching Soviet Army. Goebbels gave them such a big scare that millions decided not to risk it. Those who stayed behind were forced to leave East Prussia, Pomerania, Sudetenland, Hungary and Romania. The overall number of displaced Germans was about 14 million.
But almost everything is relative under the sun. How many Russians, Belarussians, Jews, Poles and other nationalities left their homes and property trying to save their lives from the Nazi hordes and their henchmen? 30-35 million, I would say. Of them, over 2 million died in German bombing raids and were crushed by German tanks. This is a part of the bitter truth, a part of history.
Q: When Poles report on the Potsdam conference, they either leave out the Soviet advocacy of Polish interests or distort it.
A: As the French say, "No good deed is left unpunished." And the harsher residents of the Middle East say, "Gratitude is a mortal sin."
Q: Let's get back to the beginning. You said that July 21 was the turning point in Truman's conduct, when the A-bomb started to deform the American political and military mentality. Why then did the U.S. still demand that the Soviet Union should enter the war against Japan?
A: This is a tricky question. Washington knew that Japan's top authorities planned to surrender immediately after the Soviet Union entered the war. American military leaders saw Tokyo's decision as proof of the correctness of their decision to team up with Moscow. But Truman and his political advisers did not want the people to associate the surrender of Japan with the Soviet Union's entry into the war.
Acting on President Truman's instructions, his State Secretary John Byrns (this is an obscure fact) started to convince Chiang Kai-shek to obstruct the fulfillment of one of the conditions for Moscow's entry into the war - the recognition of Mongolia's independence by China. Byrns's intrigues were neutralized at the time and the attempt to close the Pacific door in Moscow's face fell through. Truman had to concede to his Joint Chiefs of Staff, with one exception: He did not act on their advice not to drop the bomb on Japan, even though there was no military necessity to do so.
Having learned from Stalin that the Soviet Army would engage the Japanese in the night of August 8/9, 1945, President Truman ordered that the bomb be dropped on Hiroshima on August 6. I would say that Potsdam and the era of United Nations, which joined forces to protect the future generations from the scourge of war, ended not on August 2 but on August 6, 1945.
Hundreds of thousands of people were sentenced to extermination or a deadly doze of irradiation only to show to the world, and above all Moscow, that American military might had acquired a new quality. A new "gentlemen's kit" was added to international relations: "The end justifies the means," "There is no equality among unequals," "The global interests of the strong justify interference in the affairs of any region and nation," and "The strong has the right to shuffle the cards at will."
Washington described unpredictability as "balancing at the edge of war" and a strategic ace.
It is symbolic and logical that the Potsdam talks did not distract the U.S. from its main task. I said before that the Washington brain trust overhauled the country's military doctrine in parallel with the sittings of the Big Troika. The philosophy of violence in its most exaggerated form found a successor; it became the alpha and omega of the American strategy. Truman would tell his team upon leaving Potsdam: No more summit meetings attended by Soviet representatives. The ultimate ruler does not need partners.
Q: But the world community hailed the Potsdam conference as the crowning of the anti-Hitler coalition.
A: The uninitiated did not want to think that the lessons of two world wars would be forgotten so quickly, that yesterday's allies would lose the historic chance to rebuild the world according to human principles. Political romantics wanted to crown the Potsdam conference with a laurel wreath, refusing to admit that they were witnessing a requiem. It was not a laurel wreath but a crown of thorns that was made in Potsdam.
"SURRENDER LIFE TO MOTHERLAND, SOUL TO GOD, AND HONOUR TO NOBODY!"
Post by CHORNYVOLK on May 27, 2008 16:49:07 GMT -5
RUSSIA WOULD HAVE FACED WORLD WAR III HAD IT NOT STORMED BERLIN
RIA Novosti continues the tale of secrets and hidden mechanisms of World War II, of events that influenced decisions made by Russia's political and military leadership, of a long and hard road to the Great Victory. Our guest this time is Dr. Valentin M. FALIN (History). He shares his thoughts with RIA Novosti military commentator Viktor Litovkin.
Viktor Litovkin: Today, on the eve of the celebration of the Great Victory, the debates around the Berlin operation conducted by the troops of the 1st Byelorussian Front at the final stages of WWII, have become the focus of increased attention again. Experts in the West continue to accuse the Soviet Union and Marshal Zhukov of sacrificing the lives of many Soviet soldiers for the sake of a questionable propaganda move - hoisting the Red Banner on top of the Reichstag. What do you think about that?
Valentin Falin: True, I have always tried to figure out whether the Berlin operation was worth sacrificing almost 120,000 Soviet troops? Were the losses suffered in order to capture Berlin justified? I could not find a clear answer pondering over this question. Although, after reading a series of authentic British documents declassified 5-6 years ago and comparing the information with the data I had come upon in the line of my work back in the 1950s, many pieces of the puzzle set in and the overall picture became clearer.
Behind the determination of the Soviet leadership to capture Berlin and reach the demarcation lines established during the 1945 Yalta conference attended by Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill was a task of great importance - to make all possible efforts to foil a political gamble envisioned by the British leader with the support of influential US circles, and to prevent the transformation of World War II into World War III, where our former allies would have turned into enemies.
Viktor Litovkin: How could it have been possible? After all, the anti-Nazi coalition was in the zenith of its glory and ability?
Valentin Falin: Unfortunately, life abounds with cataclysms. It is hard to find a last century's politician, who would match Winston Churchill's ability to bluff friends and foes alike. Secretary of War in the Franklin Roosevelt administration Henry Stimson characterized Churchill's methods as the most rampant variety of debauchery. The British Premier was especially keen on hypocrisy and crafty designs in relation to the Soviet Union, though.
In his messages to Stalin, he prayed that the Anglo-Soviet alliance would be a source of prosperity for both countries, for the United Nations and for the whole world, and wished "success to this honorable undertaking", meaning a full-scale Red Army offensive on the Eastern front in January 1945, which the Soviet Union was preparing hastily in response to desperate pleas of Washington and London to help the allied troops that had been trapped in Ardennes and Alsace. Those were empty words, though. In reality, Churchill considered himself free of any obligations before the Soviet Union and on the eve of the Yalta conference tried to convince President Roosevelt to confront Moscow. When his plan failed, the British Premier decided to act on his own.
It was at that time that Churchill ordered to store captured German weapons for possible future use against the Soviet Union and to intern German military personnel, placing surrendering Wehrmacht soldiers and officers on divisional basis in the territory of Schleswig-Holstein and Southern Denmark. The purpose of Churchill's treacherous scheme would become clear later.
Let us recall that since March 1945, the Second (Western) front formally and essentially had ceased to exist. German units either surrendered or retreated to the east without offering significant resistance to our allies. German tactics boiled down to the following: to hold the positions along the entire length of the Soviet-German front until the "virtual" Western and the "real" Eastern fronts merge, and the American and British troops take over from the Germans the task of repelling "the Soviet threat" hanging over Europe.
It is worth pointing out that the Western Allies could have advanced to the east faster than they did, if the headquarters of army groups commanded by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Dwight Eisenhower and Sir Harold Alexander (the Italian theater of operations) had planned their operations more carefully, had coordinated the deployment of their forces more skillfully, and had wasted less time on internal quarrels and the search for mutually acceptable solutions. While Roosevelt was still alive, Washington, for various reasons, was not in a hurry to end cooperation with Moscow. As for Churchill, he believed the Red Moor had done his bit and should leave the scene.
Let us ask ourselves a question: how was the Soviet leadership supposed to act after receiving information about Churchill's duplicity? Were they supposed to content themselves with the illusion that the "common victory" was near and each of the three powers would establish control over proper zones of responsibility established by prior agreements? Were they supposed to rely upon prior decisions on treatment of Germany and its satellites? Or was it still safer to consider more carefully the reliable information about treacherous designs devised by Churchill, who wanted to involve in them US President Harry Truman, his advisors William Leahy and George Marshall, head of US Office of Strategic Services William Donovan and the like?
Viktor Litovkin: It is a tough question.
Valentin Falin: The 1945 Yalta conference ended on February 11. The participants left in the first half of February 12. During the conference, they agreed, by the way, that the Air Forces of the three powers would respect clearly defined zones of operation. On the night of February 12, Allied bombers obliterated Dresden and later made a run over major production facilities inSlovakia, in the future Soviet zone of occupation in Germany, in order to prevent the Russians from capturing them in good condition. In 1941, Stalin suggested to the British and the Americans to conduct bombing raids from airfields in the Crimea on the oil fields in Ploesti. The Allies ignored the suggestion at the time. However, the Allied aviation conducted a series of bombing raids on Ploesti in 1944, when the Soviet troops were approaching this major oil production center, which had supplied the Third Reich with fuel throughout the entire course of war.
Viktor Litovkin: What about Dresden? How did it fit into Allied plans?
Valentin Falin: One of the major targets of Allied bombing raids on Dresden was bridges over the Elbe. Churchill and the Americans shared the plans to delay the advance of the Red Army and keep the Russians as far to the east as possible.
Viktor Litovkin: You mean, the destruction of the city was a "side effect," so to speak?
Valentin Falin: Yes, "the outlays of the war." There was another motive, though. Before the raids, British crews were instructed to demonstrate clearly to the Soviets the capabilities of the Allied bomber force. And so they did, on several occasions. In April 1945, they obliterated Potsdam and Oranienburg, informing the Soviet side that it was the pilots' mistake. The pilots were actually targeting Zossen, where the German Luftwaffe headquarters were located, but somehow missed. It was a classic "devious statement," which the Allies used on numerous occasions. Oranienburg was bombed on Marshall's and Leahy's orders because German uranium labs were located there. They turned the city into dust to prevent the labs, the personnel, the equipment and materials from falling into the Soviet hands.
Today, when we look closely at the events that took place during that hard period and attempt to understand why the Soviet leadership resorted to great losses at the final stages of the war, we realize that it simply did not have many alternatives. Aside from pressing military tasks, it had to deal with complex political and strategic prospects, including the planning of effective measures to counter Churchill's scheme.
Viktor Litovkin: Wasn't it easier to inform the Western Allies that we were aware of their plans and considered them inadmissible? Or to reveal the treacherous plans to the world community?
Valentin Falin: I do not think it would have had any effect. The Soviet leadership attempted to discourage the Allies from plotting against the Soviet Union by showing goodwill. That's what I learned from Vladimir Semyonov, a Russian diplomat. Stalin invited Andrei Smirnov, the head of the Third (European) department of the Soviet Foreign Ministry, who also held the post of foreign minister of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, to discuss, together with Smirnov, the plan of actions in the territories of the Soviet zone of control.
Smirnov reported that in Austria, the Soviet armies, pursuing the retreating enemy, crossed the demarcation lines established at the Yalta conference, and suggested to hold de-facto the new positions in order to test the US reaction in similar situations. Stalin interrupted him and said, "It is wrong. Write a telegram to the Allies." Then he started to dictate, "The Soviet troops, pursuing the retreating Wehrmacht units, had to cross the line we had agreed upon earlier. Hereby, I would like to reassure you that after the conclusion of military actions, the Soviet troops will be pulled back to the established occupation zones."
Viktor Litovkin: Were the telegrams sent to London and Washington?
Valentin Falin: I do not know where and to whom. Maybe they were sent by military channels, or political channels. I am just relaying the story I was told by the witness of those events. And I can assure you that Churchill was not impressed by the Soviet gesture. After Roosevelt's death (April 12, 1945), he continued to pressure Truman, trying to convince him that it was not necessary to respect the agreements reached in Tehran or Yalta. In his opinion, it was time to create new situations, which would necessitate new decisions. Which ones?
According to Churchill, the circumstances allowed Western powers to advance farther than expected toward the east and the "democracies" must hold there. Churchill spoke against the Potsdam conference or any other conference that would have recognized a great contribution of the Soviet people to the victory. According to his logic, the West had been given the opportunity to challenge the Soviet Union at the time when its resources were depleted, the communications at the rear overextended, the troops exhausted and equipment worn out, and demand that Moscow either yield to the Allies or face the hardships of another war.
I would like to stress that it is not an insinuation or an assumption, but a true fact, which even has a proper name. In the beginning of April 1945 (according to a different source - at the end of March), Churchill issued an order to plan urgently Operation Unthinkable. The new war was scheduled to start on July 1, 1945. American, Canadian, and British contingents in Europe, the Polish Expeditionary Corps and 10-12 German divisions (the ones that had not been disbanded and kept in Schleswig-Holstein and Southern Denmark) were supposed to participate in the operation.
Fortunately, President Truman did not support this, delicately speaking, Jesuitical idea. He had at least two reasons to reject Churchill's proposal. First, the American public was simply not ready to accept such a cynical betrayal of the common cause established by the very concept of the United Nations.
Viktor Litovkin: To be more precise, an unscrupulous perfidy.
Valentin Falin: Precisely. Although, it was not the major reason. The American generals managed to convince Churchill to continue collaboration with the Soviet Union untilJapan's surrender. Besides, the US military brass and their British colleagues realized it was easier to start the war against the Soviet Union than to finish it triumphantly. The risk was too great for them to bear.
I am going to ask you again how the Soviet Supreme Command Headquarters was supposed to act after receiving such worrisome information? If you want, the Berlin operation was the Soviet response to the Operation Unthinkable, and the sacrifices made by Russian soldiers and officers were a warning to Churchill and his colleagues.
Stalin was behind the political scenario of the Berlin operation. Georgy Zhukov worked out operational details and also took the bulk of criticism for excessive losses during a bloody battle at the approaches to Berlin and inside the German capital. The criticism was partially caused by emotional reasons. Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky's armies were closer to the capital of the Third Reich at the start of the operation, and he probably expected to become the recipient of its keys. The Supreme Command, though, assigned him a different task. Apparently, Stalin preferred a military leader with a tougher character. Marshal Ivan Konev was disappointed and felt he was cheated upon when he had been assigned a secondary role during the operation. I know it from my personal conversations with Konev.
Viktor Litovkin: Konev was closer to Berlin in April 1945 than Zhukov, as well...
Valentin Falin: In any case, the choice fell upon Zhukov, who was known as the right hand of the Supreme Commander. Accordingly, the future fall of Berlin was supposed to add luster to the "military glory" of Stalin, who "conducted" with his "right hand". Apparently, in those days Stalin still neglected the gossip of informers who attempted to put criticism of Stalin's grave mistakes during the war into Zhukov's mouth...
Viktor Litovkin: So, what did Berlin symbolize for the Russians?
Valentin Falin: The capture of Berlin and the hoisting of the Victory Banner over the Reichstag did not only symbolize the end of the war. Least of all they were a propaganda move. It was a matter of principle for the Soviet troops to enter the enemy lair and thus mark the end of the most difficult war in Russian history. The soldiers believed that the Nazi beast, which had brought enormous suffering upon the Soviet people, Europe and the whole world, originally crawled out of Berlin. The Red Army came to the Nazi capital to open a new chapter in the Russian history, in the history of Germany and mankind...
Let us have a closer look at the documents prepared on Stalin's orders in spring 1945 - in March, April and May. An objective researcher would immediately realize that it was not the thirst for revenge that determined the outlines of the future Soviet course. The Soviet leadership intended to treat Germany as a country that had suffered a defeat in the war, and the Germans as people who were responsible for starting this war. However...nobody thought of turning the German defeat into eternal punishment without a possibility of bright future for the German people. Stalin acted according to the thesis announced back in 1941: Hitlers come and go, but the German people and the German state go on.
Obviously, it was necessary to force the Germans to participate in the reconstruction of territories devastated by Nazi's "scorched land" policy. The entire wealth of Germany would not be enough to compensate Russia for material and human losses suffered in the war. To take all that was possible to take without burdening themselves with provision for Germans, "to plunder as much as possible," such was rather undiplomatic language Stalin used to instruct his subordinates on the issue of post-war reparations. Every single nail counted for raising Ukraine, Byelorussia and central Russia from the ruins. More than four-fifths of production facilities had been destroyed there. More than one-third of the population hadlost housing. The Germans demolished 80,000 kilometers of railroad tracks. They even destroyed railroad ties and blown up all bridges. 80,000 kilometers is more than the combined length of all German railroads before World War II.
At the same time, the Soviet commanders received strict orders to suppress any ill-treatment of local population, especially of women and children, that traditionally accompanied any wars. Abusers were subject to a trial by military tribunal. Still, there were plenty of maltreatment cases.
Simultaneously, Moscow demanded to take harsh measures against any riots or subversive actions on the part of "remaining incorrigible elements" that might have occurred in conquered Berlin and on the territory of the Soviet occupation zone. Meantime, there were quite a few of those who wanted to shoot at the back of triumphant victors. Berlin fell on May 2, but "sporadic skirmishes" continued in the capital for another 10 days. Ivan Zaitsev, who worked in the Russian Embassy in Bonn, mentioned in our conversation that he always had "bad luck" in that respect. The war officially ended on May 9, but he fought in Berlin until May 11. In Berlin, SS units from 15 countries were offering stiff resistance to Soviet troops. In addition to German fascists, Nazis from Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and God knows where else fought against Red Army soldiers there...
Viktor Litovkin: It took Soviet troops longer to capture Budapest, though.
Valentin Falin: Budapest is a different story. We are talking about Berlin now. The situation in Berlin brought constant headaches to Soviet commanders. The establishment of control over the entire city was a colossal task. As if it was not enough to break through seven heavily fortified German defensive positions on the Seelow Heights with great losses. In the outskirts of Berlin and on major city thoroughfares, Germans dug in tanks, turning them in armored pillboxes. For instance, when Red Army units approached the Frankfurter Allee, which led directly to the center of the city, they were met with massive barrage of gunfire and again suffered heavy casualties...
Viktor Litovkin: Is it true that the Frankfurter Allee used to be called the Hitler Strasse before the war?
Valentin Falin: That was its official name before May 1945. Enemy tanks were dug in at all key points of the street. Their crews fought with desperation of the doomed. They fired point-blank at the Soviet infantry, trucks and tanks. The Wehrmacht command planned to recreate the second Stalingrad on the streets of Berlin and the shores of the Spree.
I still keep wondering if it was better to close the encirclement around Berlin and wait for the city to surrender? Was it really necessary to hoist the Victory Banner over the Reichstag? Hundreds of Soviet soldiers died capturing the damned building.
It is hard, though, to judge either the victors or the defeated in retrospect. Strategic considerations apparently prevailed at the time. Obliterating Dresden, Western powers threatened Moscow with the potential of their bomber aviation. Stalin, in return, wanted to impress the plotters of Operation Unthinkable with the might of the Red Army, hinting at the fact that the outcome of the war is decided on the ground rather than in the skies or at sea.
Viktor Litovkin: Nevertheless, can we assert that the capture of Berlin stifled the temptation of London and Washington to start World War III?
Valentin Falin: One thing is certain. The battle for Berlin sobered up quite a few warmongers and, therefore, fulfilled its political, psychological and military purpose. Believe me, there were many political and military figures in the West who were stupefied by easy victories in Europe by the spring of 1945. One of them was US General George Patton. He demanded hysterically to continue the advance of American troops from the Elbe, through Poland and Ukraine, to Stalingrad inorder to finish the war at the place where Hitler had been defeated. Patton called the Russians "the descendants of Genghis Khan." Churchill, in his turn, was not overly scrupulous about the choice of words in his description of Soviet people. He called the Bolsheviks "barbarians" and "ferocious baboons." In short, the "theory of subhuman races" was obviously not a German monopoly.
Immediately after Roosevelt's death, the priorities of US foreign policy drastically changed. In his last address to the US Congress (March 1945), he warned, "We shall have to take the responsibility for world collaboration, or we shall have to bear the responsibility for another world conflict." Truman was apparently not troubled by the political will of his predecessor. During a meeting in the White House on April 23, he openly announced his course for the near future - Germany's surrender was a matter of days and from then on, the paths of the Soviet Union and the United States split in opposite directions; the balance of interests was the choice of the "softies." The Pax Americana had to become the keystone of US policy.
Truman was close to announce the immediate break of US alliance with Moscow. It could have happened if not for the opposition on the part of the US military. The break-up with the Soviet Union would have meant that the Americans had to fight against Japan on their own and, according to Pentagon estimates, would have had to sacrifice the lives of about 1-2 million "American GIs." In such a manner, the American generals, pursuing their own interests, actually prevented a political catastrophe in April 1945. Not for long, though.
"The offense on Yalta" was conducted indirectly. What followed was a staged performance of Germany's capitulation in Reims. It was, essentially, a separate deal that fitted into the Unthinkable plan. Another sign of the growing split within the Allied ranks after the fall of Berlin was the refusal of Eisenhower and Montgomery to participate in the joint Victory parade in the former capital of the Third Reich. Originally, they were supposed to review the parade together with Zhukov.
Viktor Litovkin: That is why the Victory Parade took place in Moscow?
Valentin Falin: No. The planned Victory parade in Berlin had still taken place, although Marshal Zhukov alone reviewed the parade. It was in July 1945. And the Victory Parade in Moscow, as you know, was held on June 24, 1945.
Warning from the past Last week the European parliament screened Edvins Snoreâ€™s â€˜The Soviet Storyâ€™, a film which shows shocking details from recently uncovered archive documents revealing how the Soviet Union helped Nazi Germany instigate the Holocaust, including footage of how a delegation of the German Gestapo and SS went to the Soviet Union to learn how to build concentration camps
If mankind has adequately appraised the Nazi regime, then the role of the Soviet regime in the tragic events of the 20th century is a long way from having been properly evaluated. â€˜The Soviet Storyâ€™ makes a significant contribution to facilitating the establishment of a common approach towards such events of the past, events which form an integral part of the history of the whole of Europe.
The Soviet Story is not just about an Allied power that helped the Nazis to kill Jews. Itâ€™s about the Soviet regime slaughtering its own people on an industrial scale. Deportation, execution and torture were a post-war reality for millions of people. Concentration camps were scattered throughout both Europe and Siberia. In many of them, horrific medical experiments were performed on humans. In Butugychag camp in Magadan, the KGB used thousands of prisoners as guinea-pigs, experimenting with human brains. Many of these prisoners were still alive during these experiments. â€œPeople were being killed day and night throughout the biggest country in the world. Stalin even got to the point of killing people by random, by quotasâ€ said Norman Davies, historian and a professor at Cambridge university.
Assisted by the west, the Soviet power triumphed on 9 May 1945, but the complete story of Europeâ€™s most murderous regime has never been told, as its crimes were made taboo for the west until now. â€˜The Soviet Storyâ€™ reveals the reality of the Soviet regime, including the great famine in Ukraine (1932/33), the Katyn massacre (1940), the SS-KGB partnership, Soviet mass deportations and medical experiments in the gulags. And these are just a few of the subjects covered by the documentary.
â€˜The Soviet Storyâ€™ also discusses the impact of Soviet legacy on modern day Europe. After the second world war and the second invasion and repeated occupation of the Baltic countries by the Red Army, the Soviet Union transferred millions of Russians into the occupied countries, dramatically changing the ethnic composition of the population. This was a clear violation of the Geneva conventions. The western world has for 60 years lived under the assumption that all such crimes committed were Nazi crimes. In fact, â€œthe agreement which Stalin made with the west affected the whole of Europe for the next 50 yearsâ€, stresses UK MEP Christopher Beazley.
Mass killing is mass killing. The Soviet victims were buried in anonymous mass graves, and so have no memorials. The Soviet Union, along with other countries, was never actually prepared to talk about these killings, and in remaining silent they have erased the memory of millions of innocent victims from European history.
For many in western Europe, 20th century history may have been about the overcoming of Nazism; for eastern Europe it is equally important to overcome the totalitarian communist past. The story remains important because of the major distortions of history and denials of past wrongdoings, which serve as warning signs from the past.
The European parliament must take a principled stand on these matters and take the lead in developing and adopting necessary policies. In our view, it is essential that a formal working group on truth, justice and reconciliation be set up within parliament in order to establish common principles for the evaluation of historical developments. There needs to be a thorough and sincere recognition of facts, and a respect for human rights and international obligations. Even one individual innocent victim is still a victim, and the international community has now developed concepts such as human rights, aggression, war crimes and genocide without prescription, which are useful in clarifying any evaluation of the past. Such concepts are necessary points of reference for contemporary moral assessments.
â€˜The Soviet Storyâ€™ makes a significant contribution to the establishment of a common understanding of history and brings us closer to the truth about the tragic events of the 20th century. A common understanding of history among the member states is crucial for the future of the whole EU
Prague, Sept 27 (CTK) - Over one half of Czechs still agree with the deportation of about three million ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of World War Two, according to a poll conducted by the polling institute Median and published by the daily Lidove noviny (LN) Saturday.
About 19 percent are disapprove of it and almost 30 percent of respondents said they did not know.
Two-fifths of Czechs have not pardoned Germans for having deprived them of a part of their territory through the 1938 Munich agreement.
Almost 23 percent of Czechs have pardoned the Germans, while 16 percent never cared and one-fourth were unable to give an answer.
Almost one half of Czechs are of the view that in 1938 Czechoslovakia ought to have defended itself against Germany. The opposite view is held by 23 percent of them, while 30 percent do not know.
Under the Munich Agreement of September 29, 1938, the French, British and Italian leaders nodded to Adolf Hitler's demand that Czechoslovak border regions become part of Germany.
The Czech Republic is recalling the fateful days that led to the Munich agreement in which Western powers France and Britain, along with fascist Italy voiced consent to Nazi Germany's demand that Czechoslovakia pass to it its borderland, largely inhabited by ethnic Germans.
Czechoslovakia was not invited to the negotiations in Munich and was only informed about their outcome.
The Munich agreement is widely considered a prelude to Czechoslovakia's demise on March 15, 1939 and eventually to the outbreak of World War Two.
Lithuanian Nazis become partisans? 22:07 | 02/ 10/ 2008
VILNIUS (Vladimir Beskudnikov for RIA Novosti) - Where the Nazi henchmen of World War II are concerned, most Lithuanians hurry to set themselves apart from their Baltic neighbors, Latvians and Estonians. They keep saying: "There was no SS division recruited in Lithuania," but their actions prove the contrary.
Although there was no Lithuanian SS division, there were auxiliary police units, battalions, whose ill fame spread far beyond Lithuania's borders. Lithuanian police slaughtered both the Jewish population of Lithuania, which was being confined and killed in ghettos, and Red Army servicemen taken prisoner. Twelve Lithuanian police battalions, totaling 485 men, led by Maj. Antanas Impulyavichius, left a trail of blood in Belarus as well, having burned down several dozen villages.
Over 200 villagers from Khatyn, which became a symbol of tragedy of the Belarusian people, were burnt alive on Impulyavichius' order. The Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania has officially acknowledged that this unit is responsible for the murder of over 20,000 Belarusian civilians, who were in no way connected with combat actions.
After gaining independence in 1991, Lithuanian authorities tried to partly admit liability for atrocities committed by their fellow countrymen. Algirdas Brazauskas, former First Secretary of Lithuania's Communist Party and then President of the independent Republic of Lithuania, during his visit to Israel in 1995, offered apologies on behalf of the Lithuanian people. Lithuania's ambassador to Belarus was always present at the events commemorating the burnt Belarusian villages.
In recent few years, however, the political environment in Lithuania has seen a major shift. Although Ceslovas Jursenas, Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament, delivered a speech on Holocaust Memorial Day on September 23 in Panerai outside Vilnius, the authorities' attitude towards Jews is gradually changing from repentance to threats and insults.
It is no secret that Lithuania's current President Valdas Adamkus collaborated with the Nazis during WWII, enlisting in one of the "auxiliary units." It is not by accident that in 1944 he emigrated to Germany, and after a while to the United States.
After the Nazis launched an attack on the U.S.S.R. in June 1941, right after the Red Army withdrew from Lithuania, Lithuanian voluntary militia units started the extermination of the Jewish population. In Kaunas alone, over 9,000 Jews were tortured to death in just one day. By the end of 1941, thanks to "high efficiency" of Lithuanian volunteer units around 80% of the country's 200,000 Jews were killed, accused of being "Bolshevik henchmen."
Today, there are 2,800 Jews left in Lithuania. Still, the country's government is unable to ensure their security. In recent years, many friends turned into enemies. Since last September, Lithuania's Prosecutor's Office has been demanding extradition of a former member of Lithuanian NKVD (former Commissariat for Internal Affairs), Yitzhak Arad, from Israel, to sue him for killing Nazi collaborationists, who are now proudly called "partisans." The government is making every effort to put together the crimes committed by the Soviets and the Nazis, and have eventually made "Soviet" a synonym for "Nazi."
In 2000, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus signed a decree to establish a commission for the investigation of Nazi and Soviet crimes. In 2005, he refused to attend the 60th anniversary of Victory Day in Moscow to pay tribute to the memory of the fallen in the fight against Nazism.
Several months ago a law forbidding the use of Nazi and Soviet symbols was passed in Lithuania. The authorities' attitude towards World War II veterans also seems inexplicable. Everyone who took part in the war was put together in a single category, no matter on which side they fought, and therefore a former Nazi could easily go marching through Lithuanian streets. Marches of Nazi "veterans," however, haven't become a regular event in Lithuania yet, unlike in Latvia and Estonia.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center's investigation in Lithuania to identify absconding former Nazi collaborationists, was confronted with the opposition of the country's official authorities. The center's director Efraim Zuroff, who has collected data on over 360 suspects, says Lithuanian politicians refuse to prosecute the Nazi criminals, claiming that many Lithuanians were victims of war crimes, and not criminals.
Although they (the Baltic states) talk a lot of their suffering during the Soviet era, they do nothing to punish the murderers who collaborated with the Nazis. The government is reluctant to reveal the true number of the country's citizens who were involved in atrocities, Efraim Zuroff said.
Currently, Lithuania is included in the organization's black list as a country taking no substantial action to identify Nazi collaborationists, despite the existing legal base for that. Along with Lithuania, this group also includes Croatia, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine.
"SURRENDER LIFE TO MOTHERLAND, SOUL TO GOD, AND HONOUR TO NOBODY!"
Post by katolickaanarchia on Nov 13, 2008 15:15:29 GMT -5
Don't touch the dead. They will never do anything to us. To bury the dead is a corporal act of mercy. Now on another tangent: To say that the Germans are not a threat to Poland and Czech Republic is naive, quite naive. Oh yes and this is not a sign of our Polish national disease of paranoia. It is not, it is fact. Germans dream of things terrible and sinful. Their minds are full of lies and blasphemies. That is their national duty, to be the sick sadomaschistic monster of Europe. They will never give us peace.
TsarSamuil: Medicines aren't allowed to be sold on the market without a 15 year trial period, to determine short n long term effects. Sputnik just turned 1 year, others not even that, just months, how can we determine long term effects without the data from long term
Aug 24, 2021 11:22:20 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: exposure? Does anyone have a time machine to go 14 years or so into the future n come back n say whether we have good vaccines? Fear makes world abandon its own standards..Besides, vaccines for other illnesses that have been developed for YEARS actually
Aug 24, 2021 11:23:40 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: help. These covid vaccines are literally SHIT, why else do they demand you take 1, 2 n now 3 shots? The problem is also a disease becomes resilient if u administer a weak vaccine that doesn't do the job proper. Allow illness to survive just makes it strong
Aug 24, 2021 11:25:04 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: instead if we go by the book, we should all wait for a really good vaccine to take out the illness for good. Now...we may never get rid of it..but understandably the world economy has a hard time dealing with lock downs, but that is just needless panic
Aug 24, 2021 11:27:06 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: why Swe had fared well with country not being locked down? Because they are cold people, keeping distance was the thing before covid-19 was ever heard of, I hope world doesn't become like that, but some could use a little common sense n change in behavior.
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:12 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: It's no wonder covid hits so many Arabs in the country, stupid bastards..
Aug 24, 2021 11:29:38 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: If I go to H&M a new shirt, if an Arab wants to buy a pair of pants, not only is his whole family along, his friends, even his freaking grandmother is along n all chattering along in a big dumb group of ignorance..
Aug 24, 2021 11:33:05 GMT -5
Boro: Thx for the response. I'm not sure... It seems the vaccines work, at least people aren't dying of Covid. Those who get ill have a problem, it's not "just a flu". Maybe it's from a chinese laboratory, who knows...
Aug 24, 2021 13:46:55 GMT -5
Boro: I agree regarding Arabs..
Aug 24, 2021 13:50:39 GMT -5
Boro: Be glad, Sweden isn't overpopulated.
Aug 24, 2021 14:11:49 GMT -5
TsarSamuil: true, vaccines do help somewhat, maybe better than nothing..I hope in 2022 we can come out of this nightmare..
Aug 24, 2021 15:38:24 GMT -5
Boro: Horrible times, indeed.
Aug 24, 2021 15:47:41 GMT -5