I always said that two regimes: Stalin and Hitler - were two sides of the same coin. I keep saying that the two regimes we allies, and it is a big question who was a bigger culprit. And it is the first time I saw and heard the confirmation to that in the film "The Soviet Story".
"The Soviet Story" is a story of an Allied power, which helped the Nazis to fight Jews and which slaughtered its own people on an industrial scale. Assisted by the West, this power triumphed on May 9th, 1945. Its crimes were made taboo, and the complete story of Europe's most murderous regime has never been told. Until now..."
The world shied away from acknowledging that there was another regime fully responsible for the the unspeakable atrocities of the 20th century, and had Hitler not betrayed Stalin and attacked his buddy so against the spirit of two biggest criminals but by the same token in a way criminals stab each other, we do not know what would have happened to the world.
The Soviets and Russia today have never acknowledged any guilt, lied to the world about every step they ever made, tried to hide every incriminating document, and when caught red-handed, declared every document a fake... then for some time they were simply quiet about it, and now, with Putin and Medvedev/Putin they are again in the quest to dominate. Aggressively protecting the wrong doing as a necessity, or declaring that it never happened, or what happened was needed to survive.
We all know that people, who were torturing prisoners in German camps are still being brought to justice. Do you know that people who were mass murdering prisoners in Soviet camps are honored citizens of Russia, and can freely go and live in England as England does not consider them criminals? And no other country considers them criminals. Demjanjuk, who worked in a Nazi camp is awaiting trial in Germany. Hundreds if not thousands of demjanuks that killed and tortured people in Stalin camps are not.
And, of course, Russia does not consider them criminals. They are still alive, they are still there, they are making public appearances and they have never been called to justice. And they have never been denounced.
Check the schedule, and watch The Soviet Story on TV. Get courage to do so, as it is not an easy entertainment. But do not switch the channel when you see it. Because September 11s can happen when we forget the lessons of history.
The film was produced by Latvian filmmaker. It was met in Russia with cynicism and sarcasm (an old story), presented as a way for Latvia to blame Russia. Is it 100% objective? Can we squeeze decades and millions into an hour or so and be absolutely objective? Latvia had its own dark moments: they had 11 battalions exterminating Jews. The film does not mention them, while those who were killing Jews have blood all over them... But one wrong does not make the other wrong right...
The annotation to DVD says: "The Soviet Story is the most powerful antidote to the sanitization of the past. The film is gripping, powerful, and audacious" - The Economist, May 2008.
The antidote... I want to believe it
P.S. It was a bit of surprise to learn that "The first TV station in the U.S. scheduled to air the film will be WDSC 15 Daytona Beach, Florida on October 15 at 9:00 pm". It was. A pleasant surprise.
* Image courtesy of Flickr.com