The authors also claim that executed top Red Army officers, such as Tuchachevski, were guilty of conspiracy to overthrow the Soviet system, that nearly all Crimean Tartars drafted to the Red Army deserted and enlisted in German anti-Soviet military units, that what was reported by Khrushchev, in the famous speech denouncing Stalin, was nothing but lies, etc. etc. Khrushchev himself, they claim, conspired to overthrow the Soviet Union in the 1930s. But he outmaneuvered the secret police and deceived the party by implementing terror with exceptional zeal.
Stalin and Beria, according to these Russian historians, were good communists trying to restrain abuses in the state of proletarian dictatorship (in the 1930s and after WWII). But local party secretaries, and other party apparatchiks, prevented them from introducing desirable reforms. I do not believe that such propaganda, presumably based on Soviet archives, can be productive in today's Russia; too many people affected by Stalinism, and their descendants, are still alive. But it can be productive in countries which never experienced proletarian dictatorship, especially if people know nothing about Soviet disaster. It is interesting that crimes committed against a large number of Soviet people, in the name of a faulty doctrine, are not totally denied; theyare only reinterpreted, to shift the blame from communist ideology to overzealous party bureaucrats.
Who are the authors of new interpretations of Stalinism? Dedicated to the doctrine, such they probably believe that the ideology of proletarian dictatorship, on which they were raised, is infallible and that interpretation of empirical data to fit the theory is their duty. In physics, which is my profession, it is usually the other way around; a theory that does not fit all known experimental data must be replaced by a better theory. I am not taking such propagandists seriously; writings of those who survived gulag, (such as 1,2) are much more convincing. On the basis of what I know (3), I hold Stalin responsible for killing my father, and other good people. Their suffering should never be forgotten.
1) Janusz Bardach and Kathleen Gleeson, ''Man Is Wolf to Man'', University ofCalifornia Press, Berkeley, 1998.
2) E. S. Ginzburg, ''Journey into the Whirlwind'', A Helen and Kurt Wolff
Book/Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., New York, 1967.
3) Ludwik Kowalski, "Hell On Earth: Brutality And Violence Under The Stalinist Regime;"- Wasteland Press, 2008, Shelbyville, KY, USA. See excerpts at: