As part of my 70 YEARS OF THE GREAT VICTORY MARATHON, I am posting this excellent translation of a Russian article by our reader and blogger Nemo (Stanislav).
(You can see all posts under category: 70 Years of Great Victory)
Read original at: Stanislavs.org
On a personal note, I know what would have happened in my life if that’s all Russians did:
I, FOR ONE, WOULD HAVE GROWN UP KNOWING MY GRANDPARENTS!
See my related article:
Below is a translation from Russian of two historical articles, published in Argumenty i Fakty on the 3rd of April 2015. The main article was written by Georgij Zotov. A subsequent expert opinion is presented by historian Rudolph Pihoj.
On the eve of the 70th anniversary of Victory “AiF” tried to imagine: what would the map of Europe look like, had USSR not given thousands of kilometres of territories as present to those countries that now call us occupiers. And if they would give up these lands now.
Wroclaw – one of the most touristic cities of Poland. Crowds with cameras are everywhere, there’s not a spare spot in the expensive restaurants, taxi drivers ask for ungodly prices. At the entrance to the marketplace there waves a banner saying “Wroclaw – a real Polish charm!”. All seems fine, but as early as in May 1945 Wroclaw was called Breslau and had not belonged to Poland for 600 consecutive(!) years before that. The Victory Day, now referred by Warsaw as “the beginning of the communist tyranny,” added to Poland the German Silesia, Pomerania, as well as 80% of East Prussia. No one mentions this now: in other words that was a tyranny, but we’d still grab that land. “AiF” observer decided to understand, what would the map of Europe look like now, if our former brothers in the East were left without the help of the “occupiers”?
Whole cities as gifts
– In 1945 Poland received the cities of Breslau, Gdansk, Zielona Gora, Legnica, Szczecin, – says Maciej Wisniewski, a Polish freelance journalist. – USSR also gave the territory of Bialystok; with the mediation of Stalin, we acquired a disputed with Czechoslovakia city Kłodzko. Nevertheless, they believe here: the partitioning of Poland by the Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact, when the Soviet Union took the Western Belarus and Western Ukraine, was unfair, but the transfer by Stalin to Poland of Silesia and Pomerania is absolutely fair, you can not dispute this. It is fashionable to say now that Russians did not liberate, but conquered. However, it turns into an interesting kind of occupation, when Poland got for free a quarter of Germany: and on top of it, hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers shed their blood for this land. Even the GDR resisted, not wanting to give Szczecin to the Poles – the dispute over the city was finally solved only in 1956, under pressure from the USSR.
Apart from the Poles, the Baltic States express a strong indignation by the “occupation”. Well, it’s worth remembering: the current capital – Vilnius – was also presented to Lithuania by the USSR; by the way, the Lithuanian population of Vilnius was then… barely 1%, with Polish being the majority. USSR returned to the Republic the city of Klaipeda – Prussian Memel, owned by Lithuanians in the 1923-1939, and annexed by the Third Reich. Already back in 1991 the Lithuanian leadership condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, but no one returned neither Vilnius to Poland, nor Klaipeda to Germany.
Ukraine, which by the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk’s words, declared itself “a victim of Soviet aggression on a par with German,” is unlikely to give to the Poles its western part with Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil (these cities were included by the “aggressor” into the UkSSR in 1939), Chernivtsi region to Romania (ceded to the UkSSR on August 2, 1940), and Transcarpathia to Hungary or Slovakia – received on June 29, 1945. Romanian politicians do not stop discussions about the validity of the “annexation” of Moldova by the Soviet Union in 1940. Of course, it’s long forgotten that after the war, it was thanks to Soviets that Romanians got back the province of Transylvania, which Hitler took in favour of Hungary. Bulgaria, by the mediation of Stalin himself, kept South Dobrudja (formerly the possession of that very same Romania), something that was confirmed by the treaty of 1947. But now Romanian and Bulgarian newspapers do not say a single word about it.
They don’t say ‘Thank you’
– After 1991, Czech Republic removed the monuments to the Soviet soldiers, and announced that Victory Day marks the replacement of one dictatorship with another, – says Alexander Zeman, a Czech historian. – However, it was thanks to the insistence of the Soviet Union, that Sudetenland was returned to Czechoslovakia, with the cities of Karlovy Vary and Liberec, where 92% of the population were Germans. Recall that at the Munich Conference of 1938 the Western powers supported the annexation of the Sudetenland by Germany – only the Soviet Union protested. At the same time the Poles grabbed from Czechoslovakia the Cieszyn region and did not want to give it back after the war, insisting on a referendum. Under the pressure of the USSR on Poland, supporting the the Czechoslovak position, a treaty was signed – Tesín returned to the Czechs, secured by the agreement of 1958. No one says ‘Thank you’ to the Soviet Union for this help – apparently the Russians are in debt to us with the very fact of their existence.
In general, we gave away all the lands, not forgetting anyone – and for this they now spit in our faces. In addition, few people know about the pogroms, committed by the new government on “the returned areas” – 14 million Germans were expelled from Pomerania and the Sudetenland. While the residents of Königsberg (which became Soviet Kaliningrad) moved to the GDR over the period of 6 years (until 1951), Poland and Czechoslovakia giving 2-3 months, while many Germans were given only 24 hours to get ready, being allowed to take only a suitcase of things, and forced to walk on foot for hundreds of kilometres. “You know, it’s not worth mentioning it, – they timidly point out to me at City Hall of Szczecin. – Such things spoil our good relations with Germany.” Well, yes, we get poked in the face for every little thing, while it’s a sin to offend the Germans.
What interests me personally in this matter is the question of justice. Things have already reached schizophrenia: when a person in Eastern Europe says that the Soviet victory over the Nazis is the liberation, he is regarded as either a fool or a traitor. Guys, let’s be honest. If the consequences of May 9, 1945 are so bad, illegal and terrible, all the other actions of the USSR are similarly no better. How could the solution by those who brought tyranny into your land be good? Therefore Poland should give Silesia, Pomerania and Prussia back to the Germans, Ukraine should return their western part to the Poles, Chernovtsy to Romanians, Transcarpathia to Hungary, Lithuania should abandon Vilnius and Klaipeda, Romania should give up Transylvania, the Czech Republic – the Sudetenland and Tesin, Bulgaria – Dobrogea. And then everything will be completely honest. But what do we have? They slander us for all it’s worth, accuse us of all mortal sins, but at the same time clutch with a stranglehold onto the Stalin’s “gifts”. Sometimes I feel like imagining: I’m curious what would have happen should USSR push Hitler back exactly to its borders and not look further into Europe after that? What would have now been left of the territories of those countries, that today, before the 70th anniversary of the Victory, are calling their liberation by Soviet troops for “occupation”? The answer is, however, extremely simple – bits and pieces.
(The map of Europe, showing territories changing hands after 1945. Only the insets are translated, leaving to the reader the country and city names as an easy exercise in political geography. The original image can be found in the AiF article.)
How Europe was partitioned after 1945
Expert opinion by historian Rudolph Pihoj
– There is a half-legendary story that during Churchill’s visit to Moscow in 1944, he and Stalin drew the map of postwar partitioning of Europe during a dinner on plain napkin. Eyewitnesses claimed that the “document” contained a series of numbers, which (in percent) reflected the degree of the future influence of the Soviet Union and the West in different regions: Bulgaria and Romania – 90 to 10, Greece – 10 to 90, Yugoslavia – equally …
That napkin was not preserved, but in principle the issue of changing of the borders in Europe was settled by the “big three” – Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill – during the Tehran and Yalta conferences. USSR adhered to the concept that was developed already back in 1944 by the Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Ivan Maisky. It implied that the Soviet Union should establish such a configuration of borders, which would ensure the safety of the country for at least 25, and preferably 50 years.
In accordance with the concept developed by Maisky, USSR annexed the former German Memel, which became Lithuanian Klaipeda. The following cities became Soviet: Königsberg (Kaliningrad), Pillai (Baltijsk) and Tilsit (Soviet), which now constitute the Kaliningrad region of Russia. Also, the USSR secured the part of the territory of Finland, that was attached as a result of the “Winter War”. In general, the Soviet policy of those years was characterised by a surprising consistency in addressing regional issues. The only thing that could not be done – seizing the Black Sea straits, although this issue was discussed in Tehran and Yalta. While Port Arthur again, as in the early twentieth century, became an outpost of the country in the Far East, not to mention the southern part of Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands, which Russia lost as a result of the Russian-Japanese war.
Thank you Nemo for the translation! See original here.
Also from Nemo: on 4/26 Russia1 TV will be showing a documentary-interview dedicated to the 15th anniversary of Putin as President. Preview.
This article is part of my 70 YEARS OF THE GREAT VICTORY MARATHON
(You can see all posts under category: 70 Years of Great Victory)
We are approaching the 70th Anniversary of the Great Victory over German Nazism and associated invaders (also known in the Russian world as the Great Victory in the Great Patriotic War), which will be celebrated in grand style on Moscow’s Red Square on May 9th, 2015. I thought it would be a terrific idea to do a few posts commemorating this date; in the future, I may do a separate piece presenting some of the most famous and amazing Russian songs and films. These reminders are especially important, considering how many out there are trying yet again to re-write history, something to which I don’t take kindly. I especially don’t appreciate the ungratefulness and arrogance of all those countries whom Russians and other peoples of the Soviet Union liberated in 1944-45 at the cost of 27 million lives, endless suffering, and destroyed country.
Sabotage by the leaders of US, UK, EU and associated countries of the celebrations in Moscow on May 9th; all manner of provocative statements by Poland, Ukraine and Baltics, together with their active re-animation of fascism – are beyond bad tone and beyond shameful.
And here is something else that should have been remembered, but was conveniently forgotten.
I noticed that some people in the West have a knee jerk reaction every time I mention anything to do with the USSR. What doesn’t occur to these people is that they have simply been pre-programmed by their propaganda machine to perceive anything to do with USSR or Russia as evil. The piece below will demonstrate how it was, and continues being, done.
Humans usually call those who submit too easily to someone’s will ‘lapdogs’ and ‘sheeple.’ Please, don’t insult the poor animals! Animals live in love and trust. Humans, on the other hand, submit out of apathy, hatred, fear, greed or other ulterior motive.
In addition, as you’ll see below, humans seem to have a goldfish memory. Let’s not insult the goldfish either – it should really be labeled ‘human memory’ since this is the only species that tends to conveniently forget. It is only humans who remember selectively when it suits them, developing sudden amnesia when it doesn’t.
Comrades Roosevelt and Gregory Peck:
When Hollywood Sent Its Scripts For Stalin’s Approval
Here is a remarkable list of films (in Russian and English) released by Hollywood during the period between 1942 and 1945:
“Дни Славы” – Days of Glory, 1944
“Миссия в Москву” – Mission To Moscow
“Северная Звезда” – The North Star (также известен под названием «Бронированная атака» aka, Armored Attack)
“Песня о России” – Song Of Russia, 1944
The story of these films is truly incredible and hard to imagine in view of today’s escalation of anti-Russian rhetoric and saber-rattling. After maligning the young Soviet Union for years since 1917, in 1941-42 Hollywood suddenly was charged with creating a positive PR campaign, in which Russia would be portrayed as a “nice country, with people just like Americans, who want to live in peace and who value their culture, music and art; who work hard and who also fight hard to defend their country.” All this was supposed to help “the war effort,” as expressed by the US President Franklin Roosevelt.
For this piece, I chose to talk about Days of Glory and Song of Russia.
Days of Glory was the debut of the Hollywood screen legend Gregory Peck (star of Roman Holiday, Cape Fear, Moby Dick; Best Actor Oscar for: To Kill the Mockingbird). In the movie, Comrade Peck plays the commander of the Soviet partisans (guerilla resistance) fighting against the Nazis. The video below presents several scenes from that film, along with the plot. The movie is pretty weak and full of clichés: partisans in the middle of a brutal war eat borscht from fine china and sit at a round dining table plucked from someone’s living room and placed in their spacious underground bunker; the man reprimanded for drinking responds with dismay that he is a stinking, dirty pig; the little girl addresses the ballerina, “You can’t cook, and you are a woman?” etc. The love story between Peck and the hungry ballerina, whose name is Nina and who just appears out of nowhere, is a little unrealistic as well.
But let’s just say… it’s the thought that counts. Despite all the weak links, the film conveys some very concrete ideas, such as: the Russian/Soviet partisans are good, humane people; they are the friends of the American people, who fight the fascists just like Americans do.
In the video below you can glean the movie scenes from Days of Glory in English between 1:10 – 6:33.
Song of Russia, a musical. In the video below, the movie scenes in English can be gleaned starting at 6:35.
Plot: a famous orchestra director John Meredith arrives to Moscow on a tour. He meets Russian girl, Nadya, and falls in love. When John takes his new Russian friend to a restaurant, he is in a state of cognitive dissonance (7:54). Strange, he says, everyone’s having such a good time. Is that wrong? asks she. No, except I thought Russians were sad, melancholy people sitting around, brooding about their souls. When conflicted Nadya flees from John to her native village, Tchaikovskoye, John follows her there. He again meets a lot of nice, joyful people who love to sing and dance. Nadya’s father talks tenderly to his tractor that leaks oil, “don’t cry ‘golubchik’ (darling), I’ll be back soon.”
At 9:25 – happy kolkhoz workers are singing, returning back from the fields. Oh, my! Watching this, I might mistake it for a Soviet movie circa 1933, glorifying Grandpa Stalin and the USSR! Just imagine this kind of Soviet ‘propaganda’ coming out of MGM!
In actuality, the song is pretty realistic, and Russians do like to sing and dance, including when working in the fields.
The main toast at John and Nadya’s Russian village wedding: “For the happiness of your great country, and for the happiness of our great country” – 11:10. In other words, friendship and global brotherhood, just like the USSR suggested to begin with!
See how easy it is to switch on and off a specific propaganda! Let’s follow this logical chain to its inevitable conclusion. In other words, if US/UK/EU propaganda didn’t work overtime to create and reinforce the image of Russia as a villain and enemy, today we all would have lived in peace and friendship!
But happiness doesn’t last – 11:22. Germany attacks Russia on June 22, 1941 and John’s manager tells him he should stop his tour and leave to the US. “Down at the consulate they say Germans will win this war in 6 weeks.” To which Nadya replies, “No, they will not win!”
The movie contains a totally incredible scene: Stalin’s real speech to the Soviet people (11:57). This famous speech began: “Comrades, Citizens, Brothers and Sisters, Soldiers and Sailors, I am addressing all of you, my friends. In this brutal war against the hateful forces of fascism we will have allies in the face of the peoples of Europe and USA.” For some strange reason, in the American translation Hollywood took out the words “brothers and sisters.”
Stalin is depicted here not as a brutal dictator, but as a world leader who manages to pull together allies and rise the morale not only in his country, but worldwide. It was noted by those who curated the film that Stalin’s calm and heartfelt speech was in stark contrast to Hitler’s hysterical screams, which made Americans feel uneasy. The conclusion was made that Americans would like Stalin’s manner. This is how Hollywood and US government were selling Stalin to the American people as a credible ally!!
When Nazis take over Tchaikovskoye, Nadya’s father and nephew are killed. John wants to join the partisans, but they charge him with going back to America together with Nadya in order to explain to the American people how hard the people of Russia have to fight. Nadya must tell Americans how her relatives and friends have died and that millions in Russia now fight for their land against fascism – 13:53. John and Nadya go back to the US, where they tell their story. Unbelievably, the entire movie is a 100% positive and sweet portrayal of Russia/USSR, perhaps a tad too sweet.
But what is especially remarkable in this whole story is what went on behind the scenes. The documents related to the creation of this and other such movies were declassified only recently.
American President Roosevelt named Lowell Mellet (15:09), a prominent journalist, to head the Office of War Information. He shaped the government PR and Hollywood propaganda during the war. Starting at 15:11, the video presents various correspondence between the Russian ambassador to the US Maxim Litvinov and the US side. It was understood that when Litvinov was asked to provide advice and vet the movie script, taking into account the severity of the war situation and the importance of the positive PR, he consulted the Kremlin and personally Stalin.
At 16:23: left to right – Soviet FM Molotov, Stalin (center), Litvinov (right).
The correspondence addresses the credibility of various scenes in the movie, including Russian names, places, what Russian trains look like, how the children are evacuated when Nazis come, how people should react to the air-raid sirens, etc. They did stop short of discussing the skirt length.
This fascinating text is in English and you can just read it in the video below. The Russian embassy replies start at 16:40.
18:10. Directions for the MGM script “Russia,” aka, “Song of Russia,” looked like this:
In the movie, we need to reiterate as often as possible that it was the Soviet Army who first destroyed the 10-year myth of the invincibility of the German Nazi army. The background should include the rich wheat fields of Ukraine, the modern city of Moscow, the DneproGes dam (LR: remember I mentioned DneproGes in Crazy Asylum Overload: Ukraine Bans Communism – Goodbye Chinese Investments as the impressive symbol of the Soviet communist industrialization!), a collective farm, a factory, Moscow Metro. All this should dispel the Americans’ impression of Russia as composed solely of bleak fields and backward villages, convincing them that Russians are solid and trustworthy allies!
There is more in the video. Check it out:
Let’s get this straight:
American and British propaganda worked hard to create a threatening and negative image of Russia in the form of the young USSR, after they first financed Lenin and the Bolshevik revolution. Then, when emergency knocked on the door in the form of the advancing Hitler armies (the monster who was also their handiwork), they began working equally hard to dispel what they had created! As soon as the war was over, MSM and Hollywood were back on track re-creating the image of Russia as USA’s worst enemy, organizing the Iron Curtain and Cold War in the process.
Next, in 1991-1998, when Yeltsin and Co. were conducting the wholesale sell-out of the country to the West, US media again worked hard to dispel the image of Russia as an enemy they carefully maintained in the previous 40 years. In the ’90s, I lived in the US and I remember the sudden and shocking turn to the positive propaganda. Yeltsin’s Russia was praised. Why not! It was, after all, the regime that surrendered to the West all the prized properties and achievements generations of Russians had worked hard to create. Meanwhile, the same propaganda machine conducted a bashing campaign against stubborn Serbia because someone still had to play the arch-enemy’s role while Russia was otherwise engaged.
In the ’90s I remember the talk, even among pro-Western and pro-oligarchy Russians, that Russia’s role was to be a ‘natural resources appendix to the West,’ sort of Nigeria of Eurasia. But Russia came back to her senses sooner than they expected. After Putin came to power, it became clear that the plan failed. At that point, with renewed vigor, they began re-establishing the image of Russia as the arch-enemy.
Ah, the schizophrenic American propaganda! But what is most amazing is how happily humans in the US and EU yo-yo wherever the wind blows.
As the old Soviet joke goes:
“Have you ever deviated from the party line?”
“Yes, together with the party.”
In conclusion, I want to mention that of all US presidents, the one I personally respect is FDR. It is suspected, and I have a good reason to believe it’s true, that Roosevelt was poisoned in 1945, to make room for Truman and his convenient russophobia. The change of wind happened after Hitler was no more and Russia turned out stronger, instead of weaker, as a result of WWII.
The master plan was that the USSR and Germany were supposed to destroy each other in the course of WWII, as explained by Churchill. Alas, that plan failed. Roosevelt was too amicable for plan B – destroying the USSR (far more than just containing USSR, as many have thought).
Referring to A-bomb, Truman announced after the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, “Now we have the stick against the Russians.” Russia has recently de-classified documents confirming that after Hiroshima, USA was planning on destroying the top cities and military targets of Russia, including the capital cities of Moscow and Leningrad, Black Sea and Northern Fleets.
The delay was due to the fact that US simply used up its only two A-bombs in Japan. It took time to manufacture the new supply. Russians used this narrow window of opportunity to produce their own A-bomb, thus deterring the attack. When Americans learned about the Russian A-bomb, they had to go to plan “C,” commonly referred to as the Cold War and Iron Curtain.
Roosevelt was inconvenient because he dreamed of a peaceful ‘condominium’ between USA and Russia, according to Tarpley. And that was very dangerous for those whose life’s ambition was to execute the Full Spectrum Global Dominance doctrine they are still trying to realize today.
Regardless of what anyone thinks about Stalin, it has to be recognized that he was an even more formidable obstacle in their way. You could say he was the ultimate obstacle. As a consequence, he was poisoned in 1953. Stalin rejected the idea of the dollar as the only world-reserve currency. He also introduced the 100% gold-backed ruble, called Chervonets, used by the USSR for international settlements. After Stalin was eliminated, Khrushchev agreed to the dollar world-reserve currency status.
P.S. Incidentally, a few days ago, the Russian ‘dictator’ Putin announced a sweeping amnesty to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Great Victory. Every 6th person may be released from jail.
Compare that to the world’s biggest democracy: US jails are in fact a profitable business and the US prisoner population is by far the largest in the world. That’s not counting all those unarmed people US cops shoot almost daily all over the country.
Well-worth reading! Related article from 1earthunite.wordpress.com:
Important continuation and clarification of this article in comment section!
Please read my extensive reply to Nemo1024 of 2015/04/17 at 9:57 pm in the comment section. It addresses in detail Stalin’s repressions, the numbers of repressed, why Stalin was unprepared for Hitler’s invasion, and more!
Related articles, movie/song pages:
- Crazy Asylum Overload: Ukraine Bans Communism – Goodbye Chinese Investments
- Odessa Greets Poroshenko: “Fascist Won’t Pass”
- Happy Victory Day, Fr. Merkel! My Open Postcard to the German Chancellor (includes famous song ‘Cranes’)
- Russian Films
- Soviet Music Hits (incl. ‘Songs of the Great Victory’)
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