Wednesday, May 16, 2007

1937 - communists weren't content with starving 7 million Ukrainians to death

More ugliness about communism's past revealed here .

Seventy years ago, following a decision by the top Party bodies in the USSR another bloody “purge” began. It was to last for two years. Historians often refer to this campaign as the “Great Terror”, while ordinary people call it simply “Thirty Seven”.

... More than 1.7 million people were arrested on political charges from 1937-1938. If one adds the victims of deportation and those convicted as “socially harmful elements”, the number of those repressed came to over two million. ...

Nineteen Thirty Seven was the revival in the twentieth century of the norms of the medieval Inquisition ... as during the Inquisition, the main proof was the ritual of “confessions” by the accused themselves. The endeavours to gain such confessions, combined with the arbitrary and absurd nature of the charges led to the mass use of torture. In the summer of 1937 torture was officially sanctioned and recommended as a method of running the investigation.

... Throughout the entire country meetings were held at which people were forced to energetically applaud the public lies about the exposed and neutralized “enemies of the people”.

Contemporary historical knowledge about the period of terror needs to become commonly known. ... The history of the Soviet Terror must become not only a compulsory and considerable part of school education, but also the subject of serious efforts in public awareness-raising in the broadest sense of the word. ...

As one of the most terrible anniversaries in our shared history approaches, “Memorial” calls on all those who care about the future of our countries and peoples to look back unflinchingly at the past and to try to understand its lessons.

Hear, hear. (But I'm not holding my breath it will happen in my lifetime.)

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