Stalin: A hypothetical scenario

Jun 2014
59,999
34,322
Cleveland, Ohio
#11
Stalin was an ally to Hitler at the beginning of WWII, he cut a deal with Hitler to go into Poland from both sides, and to split it amongst them.

That's how "normal" and responsible he was as a leader of a nation.

he didn't care for Hitler's ambitions, what he would do with the polish people.. he only started to care once Hitler did NOT stop after Poland and continued to roll into Russia. That's when he turned against Hitler, fought him from the Eastern front, and due to that became an ally to the West.. by fighting the "same" enemy". As the only reason.
Okay. Stalin was the devil. But Russians themselves were not, and certainly not Russian women and children. Not ALL of them.

So, why then? If they were not reasonably afraid of the West, would they still have been so willing to fight to the death?

@NeoVsMatrix...Americans would not have needed to fear the Russians during the Cold War if we caused that by horrifying Russians.

If the reason Russians were so bitterly determined to keep from being invaded was AMERICAN aggression and then, if there had been none of that, would the Cold War have been less horrible?
 

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
43,499
29,951
Toronto
#12
25 million died in WWII, and Stalin murdered another 15 million, is my data. Which is no doubt inaccurate, but the point is, it's not like the 1,000 who died at Jonestown, because of Jim Jones..

It wasn't mad hysteria. Russians are probably as willing to fight to the death today, because it wasn't a fugue state. That's not possible.

And since I Don't think there are genetically-based explanations, then why? What made/makes Russians so....violent?

Even Israelis are not willing to kill their own children because they are defending their country.

It matters because the reasons wars occur, IMO, may be varied but they always include a belief that the people we are fighting with are "not like us", "they don't mind dying like we do". And because the U.S. government, among others, used this bias to try to make Americans be okay with nuking Russia.

And, depending on who you believe, we nearly did about 5 times since WWII. "Nearly" as in seconds, minutes from pressing the button.
Today? Arguably, popular culture and mass media, which seem to openly promote and glorify criminality and violence, especially, strangely enough, TV shows and music aimed at young people, as I mentioned here: "Kids" (aged 13-15) break boy's SPINE on video...

Also, they are (not all, but many) paranoid as hell about the West attacking them. I am reading right now a fascinating Russian book, about the Polish attacking Russian Kaliningrad together with America lol See: So many Russian threads?

A lot of folks there constantly think about such things, and there are various propaganda shows on TV always pouring fuel on that fire...

For the aforementioned youth, there are things like the Yunarmia (Youth Army), a paramilitary organization for young people, where they are indoctrinated with nationalism and anti-Western sentiment and gven military training

It is now over 200,000-strong, as of beginning of this year.

Frankly... Most Russians would never want to see their land occupied by foreign enemies, period. That's a fact. They'd rather just go to nuclear war...
 
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Jun 2014
59,999
34,322
Cleveland, Ohio
#13
Today? Arguably, popular culture and mass media, which seem to openly promote and glorify criminality and violence, especially, strangely enough, TV shows and music aimed at young people, as I mentioned here: "Kids" (aged 13-15) break boy's SPINE on video...

Also, they are (not all, but many) paranoid as hell about the West attacking them. I am reading right now a fascinating Russian book, about the Polish attacking Russian Kaliningrad together with America lol See: So many Russian threads?

A lot of folks there constantly think about such things, and there are various propaganda shows on TV always pouring fuel on that fire...

For the aforementioned youth, there are things like the Yunarmia (Youth Army), a paramilitary organization for young people, where they are indoctrinated with nationalism and anti-Western sentiment and gven military training

It is now over 200,000-strong, as of beginning of this year.

Frankly... Most Russians would never want to see their land occupied by foreign enemies, period. That's a fact. They'd rather just go to nuclear war...
But why? Russians suffered from invasion/colonization less than Vietnamese and arguably less than Indians. So if the horrors of invasion are the ONLY reasin, then why isn't it just how humans are? What about black South Africans?

It cannot ALL be explained by propaganda, either. Russians are not victims of propaganda to some wildly different, worse extent than, say, the English or the Arabs in Arab nations.

It cannot ALL be accounted for by sociology......can it?
 

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
43,499
29,951
Toronto
#14
But why? Russians suffered from invasion/colonization less than Vietnamese and arguably less than Indians. So if the horrors of invasion are the ONLY reasin, then why isn't it just how humans are? What about black South Africans?

It cannot ALL be explained by propaganda, either. Russians are not victims of propaganda to some wildly different, worse extent than, say, the English or the Arabs in Arab nations.

It cannot ALL be accounted for by sociology......can it?
Look at the way their civilization developed.

Originally, two thousand+ years ago, there were some primitive Slavic tribes in what is now North-West Russia, a place that would later be called Novgorod. They were actually a peaceful people, who did their best to farm their land, hunted animals and gathered mushrooms and berries in their swampy forests, worshiped their pagan idols, and mostly just minded their own business and had no beef with anyone, got along well enough with their mainly Finno-Ughric neighbors.

At some point, a Viking tribe called Varangians, or Varyagi in Russian, also arrived there. These Vikings were tired of their old life as sea bandits. They came to settle down and a start a new life there. The Slavs welcomed them and, in fact, invited their leader, Ryurik, to become the head of the new joint community, Novgorod, mostly because they were rather dissatisfied with their own leadership at that moment. Well, and also, the Vikings were numerous, much better armed, and, of course, highly skilled warriors, who could and likely would have simply conquered the Slavs by force if this peaceful arrangement was not reached. Thus, the Ryurikovichi, the first ruling dynasty there, also emerged.

It was a kind of symbiosis. The Slavs taught the Vikings how to farm and such; while the Vikings taught them how to fight and be warriors. As the two groups intermarried gradually, the Vikings' genes were diluted, and they eventually lost their privileged position in this new society. A new people was slowly born, the Rus. They were fierce fighters, yet also good farmers, having inherited the genes of their ancestors from both sides.

Unlike the peaceful North Slav tribes before them, they began to fight and conquer their weaker neighbors and expand their territory. All the way to the South, thus the new city states like Smolensk; Ryazan; Rostov; Kiev; and others came about; eventually Moscow too. Eventually, they also abandoned paganism and became Orthodox Christians, converted by the Greeks from Byzantium.

Later, comes the Tatar-Mongol Invasion. A bloody conflict initially, shrouded in mystery to this day. There have been a lot of different explanations how Russia came to fall under Tatar-Mongol dominion. It was weakened by internal divisions, at the time, and also attacked from the West, by European Crusaders.

In basic terms, and this, really, is the second turning point for modern Russia, and also for modern Ukraine, this is kinda where the two peoples, both descending from the Rus, really went on their separate paths, for while medieval Ukrainians, or Western Rus, as they were then, under their King, Danila Galitsky, essentially chose to side with Europe, joined with those Crusaders, to fight the Mongols. This is also why there are lots of Catholics in Western Ukraine today lol While the Russian Tsar in Moscow, Alexander Nevsky, chose instead to preserve Orthodox Russia, by allying with the Mongols and Tatars, against the Europeans. Batu Khan, Genghis' own son, who led invasion force towards Eastern Europe, promised Alexander Russia would enjoy wide autonomy under the Tatr-Mongol Golden Horde and they will not interfere with their culture and such. All that was asked of them, was a monthly obrok (like a tax/tribute) from every village and town; and to contribute their men to the Khan's armies when so requested. That promise was kept.

And while the Vikings taught the Russians' ancestors how to fight war; the Mongols taught them how to wage it on a far greater scale, and build an empire.

For 300 years, they were subjects of the Horde. Then, they broke out, defeated the Tatars and Mongols. And set about conquering and building their own, even mightier empire, which would eventually include, ironically, all the Tatar and many Mongol lands...

To this day, they remain an imperial nation, in their hearts. A nation born to rule others. They cannot live as a regular country. They cannot see nearby people, like the Polish or Lithuanians or Georgians, as fellow equals, this would be a disgrace a self lowering, to them. They see themselves as greater, as the Masters, in that neighborhood.

This is why they so celebrated taking back Crimea, for example, that's an important piece of their old empire that Putin has recaptured for them...

Not that the aforementioned Polish, for example, don't have such mentality among them too. In the Middle Ages, there was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, a big and powerful entity stretching all over the Baltic Coast, a ferocious rival of Russia, with whom they had waged many, many bloody wars, and who even, in early 1600s, managed to seize Moscow and install their own fake Tsar, until a Russian rebel army killed him and slaughtered and chased away all of them... The Polish noblewoman, Marina Mniszhek, who was married to the pro-Polish Russian imposter Tsar, Dmitry, was forced to watch their half-blood baby son being impaled on a sword... And nobody knows what happened to herself after... After that, a certain Mikhail Romanov, the one who personally killed the baby, took over as Tsar. The first of the Romanovs...

After that, came centuries of serfdom, harsh slavery, for Russian peasants. Forced labor on farms mainly, whippings, beatings, and even executions for those who slacked off or rebelled... Merchants bought particularly strong and resilient men, to use as "burlaki", they pulled boats and barged loaded with merchandize up and down the rivers, from the shores. The most unfortunate people ended up in awful ore mines in the Urals and Siberia, from whence men rarely came back out alive.

The early Romanovs, like Ivan the Terrible, had own unique forms of entertainment too, for example, forcing men to fight huge brown bears with just a knife. Few survived that too. Ivan also enjoyed personally chopping people's heads off in Red Square... Oh, and he also beat one of his sons to death with his scepter for talking back at him or something. Hell of a guy...

Long story short, and then came Communism, Lenin, Stalin, NKVD, KGB, GULags, Purges, etc.

Then, 1991, Yeltsin. Loom through this history section, right below this thread, there should be one I wrote about the anniversary right now of the bloodbath that SOB set off in Moscow, when the parliament tried to impeach him, in '93. And then, of course, Chechnya, etc. And all kinds of other ethnic and territorial conflicts, like Abkhazia, where I grew up... And organized crime ruling the streets of most cities, gangsters openly shooting everything up, blowing up cars everywhere in broaad daylight, etc. The 90s were a fun little decade in own right.

And now, Putin too...

What kind of a people do you expect to emerge, from this kind of history?
 
Nov 2013
10,331
9,781
NY
#15
Okay. Stalin was the devil. But Russians themselves were not, and certainly not Russian women and children. Not ALL of them.

So, why then? If they were not reasonably afraid of the West, would they still have been so willing to fight to the death?

@NeoVsMatrix...Americans would not have needed to fear the Russians during the Cold War if we caused that by horrifying Russians.

If the reason Russians were so bitterly determined to keep from being invaded was AMERICAN aggression and then, if there had been none of that, would the Cold War have been less horrible?
I'm not sure I understand your question.. or position on the topic.

So, why then ?
what exactly ? not sure what you mean her.

What time frame are we talking.. who was willing to fight to the death, against whom ?

More than happy to engage, just don't want to make assumptions about your intent.
 

Helena

Former Staff
Sep 2007
5,046
2,925
Maybe my user title will provide a clue.
#16
II deeply apologise if I made you feel offended, miss. I was wrong to suggest that if only Eastern Europe suffered, that would have been better, as in, who cares about Eastern Euripens. Thayvwas not my meaning but I was careless in my word choice.

Yes, Stalin was the most prolific mass murderer in human history, if you only measure the number of bodies. Inthink nearly another 25 million people, all Russians, died as a consequence of Stalin's ruthless exercise of power. Starvation and other "natural" deaths, but the Gulags were horrific.

I am not sure nuclear war would have been less likely to occur. I never know if the Doomsday Clock is at 1 second or 2 minutes from midnight.

My question was, of the 25 million Russians who died fighting in WWII, about half of them women and children, why did the Russian people fight to the death to defend Stalin?

I can't understand a whole nation, millions and millions if people, fighting to the death for a leader they loved, nevermind Stalin.

It is not comprehensible to me. But if the Allies had not just rejected the Russian people and Stalin, could there have been more peace and security in Eastern Europe and the world?

Maybe it's still the wrong question, but at least this time, I did not suggest nobody cares if Eastern Europe suffered.
No no, no need to apologize. I wasn't offended (well, other than that most Czechs consider it offensive to be called "Eastern Europeans," as we are CENTRAL, but we also know that Americans mean no harm with that terminology :p ) and I didn't even think you were saying anything to the effect of "who cares." I was mostly intrigued by the idea of what the world might have looked like if the Cold War never happened and the West and the USSR became (or remained, depending on how we look at it) allies after WWII, and whether that was even realistically possible to any degree.

I'm busy now but I'll return to the thread later.
 
Jun 2014
59,999
34,322
Cleveland, Ohio
#17
No no, no need to apologize. I wasn't offended (well, other than that most Czechs consider it offensive to be called "Eastern Europeans," as we are CENTRAL, but we also know that Americans mean no harm with that terminology :p ) and I didn't even think you were saying anything to the effect of "who cares." I was mostly intrigued by the idea of what the world might have looked like if the Cold War never happened and the West and the USSR became (or remained, depending on how we look at it) allies after WWII, and whether that was even realistically possible to any degree.

I'm busy now but I'll return to the thread later.
How can you be so thoroughly charming? I am an American female and I struggle not to behave like I am on PCP. Thank God for arthritis, because every year I have to spend time alone, no tv, convincing myself that murder is no the way to solve problems!

Metaphorically speaking, I mean.

You Don't even curse when discussing your nation's history!

Is there a charm school in The Czech Republic that it just fabulous?

Lol.
 
Jun 2014
59,999
34,322
Cleveland, Ohio
#18
I'm not sure I understand your question.. or position on the topic.

what exactly ? not sure what you mean her.

What time frame are we talking.. who was willing to fight to the death, against whom ?

More than happy to engage, just don't want to make assumptions about your intent.
The 25 million Russians who died during WWII, so that they could keep Hitler out of Russia. When you know if you do, you will watch another 25 million of your fellow Russians murdered in the most gruesome manner.

How is it that Stalin is that much more better than Hitler that they fought like this? Russia has it's own dark history of anti-Semitism, so they weren't protecting Jews.

So why?
 
Nov 2007
1,626
737
Prague, Czech Republic
#19
The 25 million Russians who died during WWII, so that they could keep Hitler out of Russia. When you know if you do, you will watch another 25 million of your fellow Russians murdered in the most gruesome manner.

How is it that Stalin is that much more better than Hitler that they fought like this? Russia has it's own dark history of anti-Semitism, so they weren't protecting Jews.

So why?
It's not like people chose to die. 25 million is on the high end of estimates, but even if it's correct most of the dead were not soldiers - they were civilians. Wars bring famine and economic dislocation; and this leads to a lot of deaths. These numbers of dead of course include all the Jews, gypsies, and other undesirables killed by the Nazis, along with other civilians executed in reprisals for guerilla resistance behind Nazi lines. It includes possibly as many as 3 million POWs who died due to the terrible conditions in the German camps - these are people who surrendered; not those who fought on at any cost. It includes those Soviet citizens who took up arms against the USSR, as many did - especially in Western republics who saw the German invasion as an opportunity for liberation from Soviet control. It includes political opponents killed by the Soviet state.

Most who fought were conscripts - it's not like they were given an option.

Of course, some people did like Stalin, and still do. Even more, regardless of their opinion of Stalin as a man, would still be willing to fight to defend their fatherland from a foreign invasion. In many of their eyes this was an existential struggle for the very survival of the Russian people. And it's not like this is just propaganda - they weren't too far wrong. The Nazi regime discussed Slavs as being untermenschen; and they really did intend to kill millions. They wanted the agricultural land of Ukraine; but they wanted it so its produce could be used to feed Germany. The millions of Russians and Ukrainians who lived off that food had to be dealt with. In the planning for the invasion of the USSR, the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture noted:

"Many tens of millions of people in this country will become superfluous and will die or must emigrate to Siberia. Attempts to rescue the population there from death through starvation by obtaining surpluses from the black earth zone can only come at the expense of the provisioning of Europe. They prevent the possibility of Germany holding out till the end of the war, they prevent Germany and Europe from resisting the blockade."

And they put this into practice when they invaded - several millions of the Soviet dead were those who starved to death in Nazi occupied territory because their food was appropriated for the Wehrmacht.
 

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
43,499
29,951
Toronto
#20
It's not like people chose to die. 25 million is on the high end of estimates, but even if it's correct most of the dead were not soldiers - they were civilians. Wars bring famine and economic dislocation; and this leads to a lot of deaths. These numbers of dead of course include all the Jews, gypsies, and other undesirables killed by the Nazis, along with other civilians executed in reprisals for guerilla resistance behind Nazi lines. It includes possibly as many as 3 million POWs who died due to the terrible conditions in the German camps - these are people who surrendered; not those who fought on at any cost. It includes those Soviet citizens who took up arms against the USSR, as many did - especially in Western republics who saw the German invasion as an opportunity for liberation from Soviet control. It includes political opponents killed by the Soviet state.

Most who fought were conscripts - it's not like they were given an option.

Of course, some people did like Stalin, and still do. Even more, regardless of their opinion of Stalin as a man, would still be willing to fight to defend their fatherland from a foreign invasion. In many of their eyes this was an existential struggle for the very survival of the Russian people. And it's not like this is just propaganda - they weren't too far wrong. The Nazi regime discussed Slavs as being untermenschen; and they really did intend to kill millions. They wanted the agricultural land of Ukraine; but they wanted it so its produce could be used to feed Germany. The millions of Russians and Ukrainians who lived off that food had to be dealt with. In the planning for the invasion of the USSR, the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture noted:

"Many tens of millions of people in this country will become superfluous and will die or must emigrate to Siberia. Attempts to rescue the population there from death through starvation by obtaining surpluses from the black earth zone can only come at the expense of the provisioning of Europe. They prevent the possibility of Germany holding out till the end of the war, they prevent Germany and Europe from resisting the blockade."

And they put this into practice when they invaded - several millions of the Soviet dead were those who starved to death in Nazi occupied territory because their food was appropriated for the Wehrmacht.
it's a bit more complex than that. My paternal grandfather and most of his relatives back then were Cossacks and political prisoners, most of them were sitting in GULag camps. They WERE given an option: keep on rotting in here till you eventually die; or we let you out now, to fight for the Motherland against the Germans (and fellow Cossacks and others who'd joined them). They chose the latter, including grandpa, who was all of 15 years old then, and ended up deployed to Stalingrad days before his 16th birthday...

My maternal grandmother's four brothers all perished in the War (three at the front; fourth returned a cripple without legs and later committed suicide rather than be exiled to some hellhole in the Far North, as Stalin was doing to all the cripples then, lest their sight spoil the people's joy of victory...)

Two older ones were indeed conscripted. The two younger ones volunteered to the front. Youngest one was in Grade 10. He died fighting to break through the Siege of Leningrad. Pretty much just a day before it finally WAS broken too, ironically...

And women, of course, were not conscripted back then either. Paternal grandma volunteered of own free will to become a field nurse, where she'd one day drag grandpa out of a burning tank and carry him to safety on her back, under enemy fire... Strong, strong woman... When he regained consciousness in the hospital, he demanded to see the nurse who rescued him. Proposed to her right there :D

It was a hell of a time... There is a reason modern people in and from Russia today still rever that generation. I dare say few of us would have survived back then, let alone win, as they had...
 
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