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> Stalin Statue at US D-Day Memorial, What do members think?
Jeff_S
Posted: July 16, 2010 04:51 pm
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The US National D-Day Memorial includes a bust of Stalin, along with busts of Roosevelt and Churchill.

Michael Gerson, a columnist in the Washington Post newspaper, is upset about this, and explains his thinking here. Basically his argument reduces to "Stalin was a bad guy, and killed a lot of people, and American liberals are too nice to his memory because they have some sympathy for the goals of communism."

What do our forum members think?

Just in case you can't find it, and are interested, here was my response in the "comments" section of the article on the newspaper's web site:

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History is sometimes complex, and Gerson misses its complexity here. This dispute is about a bust of Stalin at a D-Day memorial. The memorial includes busts of Churchill and Roosevelt. Nobody disputes that the English (and Commonwealth) and American contributions were essential. Without the Soviet contribution, D-Day in anything like its historic form would have been impossible. The Red Army's 1944 summer offensive knocked a 400-mile wide hole in the German lines, and caused Romania (Germany's major source of oil) to switch sides. Stalin was the leader of that Soviet Union, just like Roosevelt and Churchill were leaders of their countries. As others have pointed out, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, and the Soviets would have fought them (and quite possibly fought more effectively) without Stalin. But that's hypothetical history -- the reality is that Stalin was in charge. I'm not a defender of Stalin at all -- in many ways he was worse than Hitler. Certainly, we should teach about the purges, the persecution of the kulaks, the man-made famines, the Nazi-Soviet pact and all the rest. But remember that Roosevelt knew about all those things too, and he was still realistic enough to send all that the US could send to keep the Soviets in the war. And remember too, that from 1938-1941, the Nazis had not been defeated, but after they invaded the Soviet Union, they never conquered a country or won a major victory again.
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delta107
Posted: July 16, 2010 06:25 pm
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The truth is that the victorious write the history, and let's be fair - there were crimes on all the sides. Nuremberg judgment should have included also Stalin's crimes, and why forgetting Dresden and other cities systematic terror bombing..
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Dénes
Posted: July 16, 2010 09:35 pm
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For those not fully understanding fully Stalin and his weight (historically speaking), I usually recommend to freely interchange his name with Hitler's. It's only then when some "Westerners" realise the magnitude of the issue.

Try this little exercise for yourself and it's amazing the results one may achieve.

Gen. Dénes

This post has been edited by Dénes on July 16, 2010 09:36 pm
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MMM
  Posted: July 17, 2010 04:05 pm
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The "truth" is that immediately after WW2 the world entered in the Cold War, so - that was all over with "Stalin the allied leader".
Indeed, the history is written by the winners - how else could it be?
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C-2
Posted: July 17, 2010 07:30 pm
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people have short memory or are ingnorant.
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cnflyboy2000
Posted: July 23, 2010 04:51 pm
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QUOTE (Jeff_S @ July 16, 2010 09:51 pm)
The US National D-Day Memorial includes a bust of Stalin, along with busts of Roosevelt and Churchill.

Michael Gerson, a columnist in the Washington Post newspaper, is upset about this, and explains his thinking here. Basically his argument reduces to "Stalin was a bad guy, and killed a lot of people, and American liberals are too nice to his memory because they have some sympathy for the goals of communism."

What do our forum members think?

Just in case you can't find it, and are interested, here was my response in the "comments" section of the article on the newspaper's web site:

QUOTE
History is sometimes complex, and Gerson misses its complexity here. This dispute is about a bust of Stalin at a D-Day memorial. The memorial includes busts of Churchill and Roosevelt. Nobody disputes that the English (and Commonwealth) and American contributions were essential. Without the Soviet contribution, D-Day in anything like its historic form would have been impossible. The Red Army's 1944 summer offensive knocked a 400-mile wide hole in the German lines, and caused Romania (Germany's major source of oil) to switch sides. Stalin was the leader of that Soviet Union, just like Roosevelt and Churchill were leaders of their countries. As others have pointed out, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, and the Soviets would have fought them (and quite possibly fought more effectively) without Stalin. But that's hypothetical history -- the reality is that Stalin was in charge. I'm not a defender of Stalin at all -- in many ways he was worse than Hitler. Certainly, we should teach about the purges, the persecution of the kulaks, the man-made famines, the Nazi-Soviet pact and all the rest. But remember that Roosevelt knew about all those things too, and he was still realistic enough to send all that the US could send to keep the Soviets in the war. And remember too, that from 1938-1941, the Nazis had not been defeated, but after they invaded the Soviet Union, they never conquered a country or won a major victory again.

IMO linking Stalin and D-Day is senseless. Sure, the Russians were already basically winning the war, and without them the long promised allied "second front" would have been nearly unthinkable, probably unwinnable. It seems your comments speak to some of that.

But Stalin and the Russians neither planned nor participated directly in the Normandy invasion, so what's he doing in the picture? If the intent is to commenerate all the allied leaders in WW2, of course he is key, but if it's supposed to be a D-Day memorial, including Stalin's image thereon is malaprop, imo.

As for the rest: the "all russians were commies and were the bad guys so they should be forgotten/dissed/minimized as historic actors at every opportunity".. that is just the usual right wing crap.
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dead-cat
Posted: July 23, 2010 07:12 pm
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the only link between stalin and d-day is, that stalin was continously asking for a second front in europe. and a third after italy didn't yield the expected results.
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Dénes
Posted: July 23, 2010 07:59 pm
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QUOTE (cnflyboy2000 @ July 23, 2010 10:51 pm)
the "all russians were commies and were the bad guys so they should be forgotten/dissed/minimized as historic actors at every opportunity".. that is just the usual right wing crap.

It's the same, like "all Germans were Nazis and were the bad guys so they should be forgotten/dissed/minimized as historic actors at every opportunity".. that is just the usual left wing crap.

Gen. Dénes

This post has been edited by Dénes on July 23, 2010 08:01 pm
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cnflyboy2000
Posted: July 25, 2010 02:10 am
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QUOTE (Dénes @ July 24, 2010 12:59 am)
QUOTE (cnflyboy2000 @ July 23, 2010 10:51 pm)
the "all russians were commies and were the bad guys so they should be forgotten/dissed/minimized as historic actors at every opportunity".. that is just the usual right wing crap.

It's the same, like "all Germans were Nazis and were the bad guys so they should be forgotten/dissed/minimized as historic actors at every opportunity".. that is just the usual left wing crap.

Gen. Dénes

Hardly.

Even FDR, that lefty of all lefties, (whose image does belong on that momument), recognized the diference between Nazis and Germans. And his party over the years never made nearly the political hay out of obfuscating the two as the GOP has of red baiting, from McCarthy down to (present example) Gerson.
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