Victory Day Special: The Poisonous Myths of the Eastern Front

За нас за вас и за десант и за спецназ! The Red Army was the single greatest contributor to the defeat of Nazi Germany sixty-four years ago, a truly evil empire based on slavery and oppression, and responsible for the genocide of millions of Slav civilians, Jews, Soviet POW’s and Roma by gas, bullets and starvation.

Yet ever since the first days of the Cold War, there has been a concerted campaign to whitewash the Wehrmacht of participation in war crimes and to rehabilitate the generals who participated in it as enthusiastically as Hitler and the upper echelons of the Nazi Party. This resulted in the promulgation of many poisonous myths about the Eastern Front that are only now being laid to rest. I already wrote about several of these myths in my Top 10 Russophobe Myths

MYTH I: Heroic Americans with their British sidekicks won World War Two, while the Russian campaign was a sideshow.

REALITY: Although Western Lend-Lease and strategic bombing was highly useful, the reality is that the vast majority of German soldiers and airmen fought and died on the Eastern Front throughout the war.

Rüdiger Overmans in Deutsche militärische Verluste im Zweiten Weltkrieg estimates that from the Polish campaign to the end of 1944, 75-80% of all German armed forces personnel died or went missing in action on the Eastern Front up to the end of 1944. According to Krivosheev’s research, throughout the war, the vast majority of German divisions were concentrated against the Soviet Union – in 1942, for instance, there were 240 fighting in the East and 15 in North Africa, in 1943 there were 257 in the East and up to 26 in Italy and even in 1944 there were more than 200 in the East compared to just 50 understrength and sub-par divisions in the West. From June 1941 to June 1944, 507 German (and 607 German and Allied) divisions and 77,000 fighters were destroyed in the East, compared to 176 divisions and 23,000 fighters in the West. The two pivotal battles, Stalingrad and El Alamein, differed in scale by a factor of about ten.

This is not to disparage the Western Allied soldiers who fought and died to free the world from Nazism. In particular, the seamen who enabled Lend-Lease, at high risk of lethal submarine attack, to transport indispensables like canned food, trucks and aviation fuel to Russia, possibly played a crucial role in preventing its collapse in 1941-42. And the bomber crews massively disrupted Germany’s war potential at the cost of horrid fatality ratios, significantly shortening the war (albeit it is currently fashionable to castigate them for killing 600,000 people who by and large had no problem with waging a war of extermination responsible for tens of millions of deaths on the Eastern Front).

MYTH II: The Russians just threw billions of soldiers without rifles in front of German machine guns.

REALITY: The vast majority of German soldiers were killed, taken POW or otherwise incapacitated on the Eastern front. The Soviet to Axis loss ratio was 1.3:1 and the USSR outproduced Germany in every weapons system throughout the war.

According to meticulous post-Soviet archival work (G. I. Krivosheev in Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses), the total number of men (and in the Soviet case, about 1mn women) who passed through the armed forces of the USSR was 34,476,700 and through Germany’s was 21,107,000. Of these, the “irrevocable losses” (the number of soldiers who were killed in military action, went MIA, became POWs and died of non-combat causes) was 11,285,057 for the USSR, 6,231,700 for Germany, 6,923,700 for Germany and its occupied territories, and 8,649,500 for all the Axis forces on the Eastern Front. Thus, the total ratio of Soviet to Nazi military losses was 1.3:1. Hardly the stuff of “Asiatic hordes” of Nazi and Russophobic imagination (that said, also contrary to popular opinion, Mongol armies were almost always a lot smaller than those of their enemies and they achieved victory through superior mobility and coordination, not numbers).

The problem is that during the Cold War, the historiography in the West was dominated by the memoirs of Tippelskirch, who wrote in the 1950’s citing constant Soviet/German forces ratios of 7:1 and losses ratio of 10:1. This has been carried over into the 1990’s (as with popular “historians” like Anthony Beevor), although it should be noted that more professional folks like Richard Overy are aware of the new research. Note also that cumulatively 28% and 57% of all Soviet losses were incurred in 1941 and 1942 (Krivosheev) respectively – the period when the Soviet army was still relatively disorganized and immobile, whereas for the Germans the balance was roughly the opposite with losses concentrated in 1944-45.

The idea that there were two soldiers for every rifle in the Red Army, as portrayed in the ahistorical propaganda film Enemy at the Gates, is a complete figment of the Russophobic Western imagination. From 1939 to 1945, the USSR outproduced Germany in aircraft (by a factor of 1.3), tanks (1.7), machine guns (2.2), artillery (3.2) and mortars (5.5), so in fact if anything the Red Army was better equipped than the Wehrmacht (sources – Richard Overy, Why the Allies Won; Chris Chant, Small Arms).

MYTH III: Though the Wehrmacht fought with honor and dignity on the Eastern Front, the Russians killed all the German POW’s and raped and looted east Germany when they conquered it.

REALITY: The Great Patriotic War was an absolute war that was more brutal than anything seen in the West by orders of magnitude throughout its entire length. The hundreds of thousands German civilian and POW deaths at Soviet hands, though tragic, pale besides the up to 15-20mn Soviet civilian dead and the 60% mortality ratio of Soviet POW’s in German camps. Set against these numbers, the Red Army rapes in east Germany seem almost irrelevant.

One of the greatest crimes in Western Europe was the massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane, in which 642 civilians were murdered by a Waffen-SS battalion. But just one region in the East, Belarus, with 20% of France’s population, experienced the equivalent of more than 3,000 Oradours – some 2,230,000 people were killed in Belarus during the three years of German occupation, or a quarter of its population. At least 5,295 Belorussian settlements were destroyed by the Nazis and more than 600 villages like Khatyn were annihilated with their entire population under the cover of anti-partisan operations.

A poignant memorial to Nazi genocide in Khatyn – the one flame among three birch trees symbolizes the quarter of the Belarussian population who died in 1941-44.


The Russian Academy of Science in 1995 reported civilian victims in the USSR at German hands, including Jews, totaled 13.7mn dead, 20% of the 68mn persons in the occupied USSR. This included 7.4mn victims of Nazi genocide and reprisals; 2.2mn deaths of persons deported to Germany for forced labor; and 4.1mn famine and disease deaths in occupied territory. There were an additional estimated 3.0 million famine deaths in the USSR not under German occupation.

This was all part of a Nazi scheme, Generalplan Ost, which called for the extermination of the Slavic intelligentsia and most of their urban populations, as well as the helotization or exile to Siberia of their peasants. Confirmed by internal documents and numerous quotes from high Nazi officials:

The war between Germany and Russia is not a war between two states or two armies, but between two ideologies–namely, the National Socialist and the Bolshevist ideology. The Red Army must be looked upon not as a soldier in the sense of the word applying to our western opponents, but as an ideological enemy. He must be regarded as the archenemy of National Socialism and must be treated accordingly. — General Hermann Reinecke

We must break away from the principle of soldierly comradeship. The communist has been and will be no comrade. We are dealing with a struggle of annihilation. — Adolf Hitler

Some 3.3mn Soviet POWs died in the Nazi custody out of 5.7mn (USHMM), the vast majority of them from July 1941 to January 1942 (i.e. when the Germans still thought they’d win quickly so no consequences for their own POW’s). This death rate of around 60% can be contrasted with the 8,300 out of 231,000 British and American prisoners who died (3.6%) in Nazi hands, or even the 580,548 out of 4,126,964 Axis servicemen who died as Soviet POW’s (Krivosheev), that is around 15%. (The question of how many German POW’s died in Western camps is hotly disputed. Though they ostensibly followed the Geneva conventions and cited numbers are typically low, of the roughly 1,000 U.S. combat veterans that historian Stephen Ambrose interviewed, roughly 1/3 told him they had seen U.S. troops kill German prisoners. The controversial historian James Bacque claims that Allied Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower deliberately caused the death of 790,000 German captives in internment camps through disease, starvation and cold from 1944 to 1949, and that 250,000 perished in French camps in similar conditions).

The Red Army gets bad press for its behavior during the final invasion of Prussia, in which they are frequently described as drunk looters and rapists. The consensus seems that although formal orders were against such activities, in practice most turned a blind eye to it. Yet while tragic, it is completely understandable and does not deserve the centrality placed on it by too many anti-Communist (or frequently plain Russophobic) pseudo-historians.

Consider what the typical Red Army soldier experienced before getting to Berlin: years of brutal fighting with a very high risk of death and almost certain to be wounded one time or another; hearing the stories of murdered Soviet POW’s; the sight of thousands of burned villages and massacred women, children and old men in Western Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Poland; the death camps of Auschwitz and Treblinka; and finally, the (seemingly) decadent luxury of the conditions in which German citizens themselves lived (who, let us not forget, democratically elected Hitler and who with just a few honorable exceptions like the White Rose passively or even enthusiastically accepted Nazism).

This was, in the words of German leaders themselves, a war of extermination. Set against German atrocities in the East, or even the frequently brutal postwar ethnic cleansing of millions of Germans from countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia, it is at best wrong-headed and at worse racialist in the Nazi style to give such centrality to the rape of Berlin.

One more myth. Many accounts allege that the Soviets sent all their returned POW’s to the Gulag, if they didn’t shoot them for treason. Actually, according to Krivosheev, 233,400 were found guilty of collaborating with the enemy and sent to Gulag camps out of 1,836,562 Soviet soldiers that returned from captivity.

MYTH IV: The mainstream Western narrative on the Eastern Front during the Second World War was formed by academic historians and is fundamentally fair and objective.

REALITY: The exigencies of the Cold War, coupled with traditional US anti-Communism, meant that many Americans sympathized with the German narrative of the war. In particular, the Wehrmacht officers talked, networked and wrote about how the German military was not complicit in Nazi war crimes so as to cement West Germany (not to mention their own careers) into the Western alliance on equal terms. The complexities and compromises of military involvement in genocide in the East was whitewashed into a kitschy image of the German soldier as a patriot braving the odds to defend family and Heimat from the Bolshevik hordes. The US military and politicians were just fine with this, because they faced an ideological struggle and possible land war with the Soviet Union. Though there is serious and reasonably objective Western academic work on the Eastern Front, popular culture is still dominated by German memoirs and a-historical romanticizers.

I’ve long been skeptical about the way Russians were portrayed in accounts of WW2. Although some (generally recent) work is sympathetic and appreciative of the combat capabilities of the Red Army (e.g. Chris Bellamy), most stress the German side of the conflict. The latter typically distinguish themselves by traits like: admiration for the supposed brilliant of German generals like von Manstein and Guderian, who’d have won if not for Hitler’s interference; constant reference to the supposed vast numerical superiority and callous disregard for casualties of the Soviets; emphasize “Russian” war crimes (offensives, etc, are however “Soviet”), while attributing all German crimes to “Nazis”, usually focusing on groups like the Einsatzgruppen and SS and avoiding discussing Wehrmacht complicity, etc.

Thankfully, two authors, Ronald Smelser and Edward J. Davies, recently wrote a book, The Myth of the Eastern Front: The Nazi-Soviet War in Popular Culture, which finally collates and authoritatively confirms these strong suspicions about the objectiveness of Western popular historiography on the subject into an accessible, well-argued narrative. Most of what follows is drawn directly from the book, in chronological order.

1) Deep Ambivalence. Before WW2, many Americans had deeply ambivalent attitudes towards the Soviet Union. Though bloggers generally consider the Russophile-Russophobe dichotomy in contemporary terms, this division was as stark and relevant in the 1930’s – John Scott in Behind the Urals (BTW, though considered by some a Soviet apologist, it is in fact fairly objective and certainly not a pro-Soviet propaganda tract by any stretch of the imagination) writes, “In talking with people in France and America I was impressed by the interest in the Soviet Union and the widespread misinformation about Russia and all things Russian. Everyone I met was opinionated [aren’t we all lol!]. The Communists and their sympathizers held Russia up as a panacea…Other people were steeped in Eugene Lyons’ stories and would not concede the possibility that Russia had produced anything during recent years except chaos, suffering and disorder. They dismissed the industrial and material successes of the Russians with an angry wave of the hand. Any economist or businessman should have been able to see that the tripling of pig-iron production within a decade was a serious achievement, and would necessarily have far-reaching effects on the balance of economic and therefore military power in Europe”. So basically there was (much like today?) a hardcore Communist / Russophile fringe, a sizable anti-Communist bloc and a majority that were mostly apathetic but overall disapproving.

2) War and Friendship. The exigencies of war against a common enemy, Nazi Germany, necessitated a rehabilitation of the Soviet Union in American eyes. In contrast to the “dirty, ignorant, brutalized peasants of Nazi mythology” and traditional stereotypes of Russians as “mechanically inept and stupid”, Americans began to emphasize the scale of industrial modernization in the Soviet Union, their growing religiosity (helped by Stalin’s rehabilitation of the Church) and their focus on family – according to Life Magazine, Russians now “look like Americans, dress like Americans and think like Americans”. The Red Army was lauded for its growing technical and operational competence, with its soldiers portrayed as decent, ordinary folks defending their families and Motherland from Nazi depredations, who did not want to die but were not afraid to do so if called upon. Americans built “bridges” to ordinary Soviet workers such as writing letters to people in similar occupations and organizing humanitarian relief efforts to supply food and consumer durables to needy Russians. As the war drew to a close, even the American population, which suffered relatively few war casualties and whose homeland remained untouched, thirsted for vengeance. Tentative plans (Morgenthau Plan) were drawn up for the coercive deindustrialization of Germany and its fragmentation into several demilitarized states – according to the aforementioned James Bacque, parts of this plan were actually carried out after 1945 though gradually eased in the late 1940’s as the US realized it needed a strong German ally during the Cold War.

3) Inversion of History during the Cold War. Aided by traditional American ambivalence towards Bolshevism and Slavs in general, memories of Russian friendship froze over under the emerging Cold War, to be “replaced by a pro-German version, one that stressed Russian atrocities, German heroism, and even a superhuman sacrifice to defend Western culture from the Eastern hordes”. From the 1950’s Americans became very receptive to the German view of the conflict (as constructed by the German officers who wanted to rehabilitate the Wehrmacht from complicity in war crimes so as to set the new Bundeswehr and the Western alliance in general on firmer footing), viewing the German soldier as a simple patriot in a Romantic “lost cause” defense of family, Church and Fatherland from red tyranny. Though the prospect of a land war with Russia is long gone, this romantization continues unabated, little affected by academic research from the 1970’s which questioned the myth of the “clean Wehrmacht” and the opening up of Russian archives and personal accounts in the 1990’s.

However, as covered above much of this narrative was simply false. As early as November 1942 the USSR assembled the Extraordinary State Commission to examine German war crimes, with early trials held in Kharkov and Krasnodar. The complicity of the German generals in atrocities emerged in the postwar Nuremberg Trials, in which military men Keitel and Jodl were hanged for planning aggressive war and participating in crimes against humanity, incriminated by their signatures on things like the Commissar Order (immediate execution of all captured Communist military commissars), the Jurisdictional Order (suspending traditional military laws on proper conduct of troops in the Eastern Front), the Hostage Order (allowing for the killing of 50-100 hostages for every German soldier killed by Soviet partisans), the Night and Fog Order (allowing for disappearance of undesirable elements in the occupied territories) and the Commando Order (immediate execution of captured commandos behind German lines).

According to Rode, major-general of the Waffen-SS, “the military commanders…were thoroughly cognizant of the missions and operational methods of these units. They approved of these missions and operational methods because, apparently, they never opposed them”, and admitted that it was clear to him that “anti-partisan warfare gradually became an excuse for the systematic annihilation of Jewry and Slavism”. To the US prosecutor Rapp, who was conducting trials of German military personnel, a key concern was the “prevention of legends” about the non-complicity of the German military in war crimes, lest they again retain their reputation, as after WW1, as “gracious, old, highly educated fine gentlemen”. Ironically, this is exactly what happened in the 1950’s.

Many Americans found it hard to rationalize German atrocities. The original US GI’s who liberated Western Europe were replaced by new soldiers who hadn’t fought Germans, loved the German hospitality, generally held them blameless and even accused their superiors of anti-German propaganda. This fed into deep-seated American attitudes, which were common to much of the West, of anti-semitism, antislavism, and cultural prejudices against the East in general. Germans with their Church, families and similar material culture looked more wholesome than the Russians, who were perceived to be arrogant and crude unlike the newly subservient Germans. The Germans reinforced these perceptions with stories of Russians as cruel, bestial sexual predators. Policies on interacting with German civilians were gradually loosened in the US, whereas in the Soviet occupied zone they were tightened from 1947 when Red Army soldiers in East Germany were confined to their barracks.

With the Cold War heating up, first with the Berlin airlift and then with the Korean War, the Americans realized they needed the Germans as friends instead of as prostrate slaves or even clients. Similarly, the former Wehrmacht officers wanted to rescue their careers, continue the good struggle against Bolshevism to preserve Western civilization, and to salvage the reputation of the German officers corp. Under American auspices they started re-writing history with three main goals – 1) establish a “lost cause” myth of the German military as honorable, apolitical and supremely competent, serving Fatherland not Führer, 2) advise the Western Alliance on how to win a land war with the USSR and 3) dehumanize Russians in the interests of Cold War solidarity.

This process can be illustrated in the life story of Franz Halder, a German general who became chief of the Operational History (German) Section, a project that collated some 2,500 lengthy manuscripts from 700 former Wehrmacht officers that were tightly edited to fit the three goals above. In his 1949 work Hitler als Feldherr, Halder made the following points: a) he didn’t support war against the USSR, b) didn’t lay plans for an attack on the USSR before Hitler ordered him to, c) was concerned about a pre-emptive Soviet strike, d) was unaware of the racial nature of the war as envisaged by Hitler, e) didn’t participate in POW or civilian genocide and f) was skeptical about Hitler’s assumptions of easy, early victory. Yet his personal war diaries tell a somewhat different tale.

a) The German military had been thinking of expansion and continental hegemony since at least the middle of the First World War. See the “Great Plan” of 1924-25 which called for Teutonic hegemony in Europe, albeit it had not yet been based on explicitly racialist terms. It was resurrected after the Sudetenland crisis of 1938.

b) After the defeat of France in May 1940, Hitler was considering large-scale demobilization, but Halder wanted a war with the USSR and had his staff draft “Operation Otto”, a precursor to Barbarossa, on his own initiative in June 1940.

c) In February 1941, Halder felt a Soviet attack was “completely improbable”.

d) Under a heading in his diary tellingly entitled “Colonial tasks”, he wrote, “We must forget the concept of comradeship between soldiers. A Comrade is no friend before or after the battle. This is a war of extermination. If we do not grasp this, we shall still beat the enemy, but 30 years later we shall against have to fight the Communist foe…This war will be very different from the war in the West. In the east, harshness today means lenience in the future. Commanders must make the sacrifice of overcoming their moral scruples.” In the margin, he added, “embody in the ObdH (Army High Command) order”.

e) The reality of the war in the East became clear after the invasion of Poland, when the SS and Security Police started annihilating the Polish intelligentsia. Though many German officers expressed reservations, non were forthcoming from Halder or von Brauschitsch. Later, he actually negotiated responsibilities for maintaining order in the front and rear with Einsatzgruppen commanders, and knew of and was completely indifferent to Soviet POW deaths. His own staff drafted the aforementioned Commissar Order and Jurisdictional Order – in effect, the German military high command translated the views of leading Nazis into policy. Though some officers like Hassell objected, the vast majority went along with the generals.

f) Halder more than shared Hitler’s optimism, considering the Germans would need just 80-100 divisions against an estimated 50-75 Soviet. (Ultimately, 152 German divisions were unleashed in Barbarossa against what were actually more than 300 Soviet divisions). Since progress was initially smooth, he constantly revised the timescale of victory down – “not even Hitler was as confident as his generals”.

You can tell you’re damning yourself when you give off such a strong impression of mendacious duplicity that you almost  portray Hitler in a good light. And funnily enough the Führer presumably shared this impression – he bribed his generals by secretly doubling their salaries, conditional on their loyalty and obedience. Though a mitigating factor is that Halder was arrested for suspected involvement in the July 1944 bomb plot against Hitler, it should be noted his accommodations and provisions were quite OK (certainly far from death camp rations) and it was only in January 1945 that he was formally dismissed from the military. One gets the idea that the opportunist was simply hedging his bets, for by that time the war was already obviously lost. According to Smelser / Davies, “Franz Halder embodies better than any other high German officer the dramatic difference between myth and reality as it emerged after World War Two, particularly with regard to the war in the east”.

Though under suspicion of being a war criminal, he was officially released from Western Allied custody in 1947. He ingratiated himself with the US Army and was made chief of Operational History (German) Section in summer 1948 – the aforementioned project to rewrite history by rehabilitating the Wehrmacht and cementing Germany into the Western alliance (not to mention rescuing the careers of former Wehrmacht officers). In October 1948 he was tried by a German denazification court and was cleared. The prosecution then got hold of his incriminating war diaries and demanded a retrial, but by then the Americans had taken him under their wings, claiming him as indispensable. The court was forced to throw out all further charges in 1950.

As director of this project, he solicited and vetted some 2,500 manuscripts from 700 former Wehrmacht officers, by now a mix of serving Bunderwehr officers, celebrity veterans and suspected war criminals. Many of them transliterated Nazi mythology on Russians for an American audience – Halder himself wrote, “frequent insensate cruelty is found coupled with attachment, fidelity and good nature under proper [presumably Germanic?] handling”; many were worse, citing the supposed bestial, cruel, morose, instinctual and primitive nature of the Red Army soldier (though they lauded him for bravery). The more important part of the project however was teaching how to win, or at least not lose, a land war to the Soviet Union. German officers criticized American plans to mount a line defense on the Rhine, instead stressing the “mobile defense” concept developed by von Manstein in 1943-44. They also pointed to the importance of military education, training and officer independence to their military successes.

Given such valuable information and propaganda material, the Americans gave the former Wehrmacht officers leeway to further their careers and whitewash their war records. Einsenhower flip-flopped from writing things such as “the German is a beast” to his wife in 1944, to apologizing to Wehrmacht officers for defamation, claiming by the early 1950’s that “I do not believe the German soldier as such has lost his honor”. General Matthew Ridgeway urged pardons for war crimes committed on the Eastern Front (only!), with the curious justification that he had issued the same orders in Korea for which the German generals were rotting in jail for. And although the Red Scare was passing away by the mid-1950’s, by this time the myth of the “lost cause” – patriot Germans fighting for family and Heimat against the Bolshevik hordes – was fast becoming entrenched.

German officers networked with Americans. German generals, gracious, old, highly educated fine gentlemen like Guderian and von Manstein (both of whom knew of Hitler’s plans for the Soviet peoples), published self-serving memoirs. From the 1970’s, they would be further supplemented by popular accounts of the Eastern Front from ordinary German soldiers, showing their human side. Reenactments became popular, in which enthusiasts combined a painstaking attention to historical detail like uniforms and ranks with a plain painful minimal attention to placing their heros in the larger historical context of Wehrmacht complicity in Nazi crimes.

Though academic historians from the 1970’s increasingly challenged this narrative, the popular culture was unaffected, having long since been taken hostage by images of Stuka dive-bombers and Tiger tanks and the writings of the German generals. It took until the last ten years or so, with the popularization of this more academic work, as well as the opening of the Soviet archives and accounts from the Russian side, to add greater perspective. Yet as the myths above prove, there is still lots of work to do – not least, fully exposing the distorted historiography of the Great Patriotic War to the general public.

To close this with an idea – there are many, many Russian accounts and memoirs of the war, but too many of them remain untranslated into English. This is unacceptable and we should look into ways to change this state of affairs. Suggestions?

R. Overmans. Deutsche militärische Verluste im Zweiten Weltkrieg
G. I. Krivosheev. Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses
R. Smelser & E.J. Davies. The Myth of the Eastern Front: The Nazi-Soviet War in American Popular Culture.


  1. Bro Karamazov says:

    In a recent conversation, a former Russian army officer taught me lots of truths about the WW2, which communists were hiding from Russian people for many years. For example, he was vigorously insisting that Nazi Germany had no plans to invade the USSR and only did this because were provoked by Stalin. British government only a year ago released to public documents from the 30s proving that by refusing many repeating Stalin’s attempts to make a peace treaty with the UK and France they actually left the USSR with no other choice but to make a treaty with Hitler’s Germany. So, it is no wonder to me to hear funny interpretations of the WW2 history from Brits. No doubts, communists created a number of legends for propaganda purposes, though this type of truth told by a man who was educated and lived all his life in Russia (and once was a CPSU member himself!) was really shocking to me. Looks translation of russophobic propaganda aimed at rehabilitation of the role of German military in WW2 to Russian is faring much better, so far, than translation of Russian documents and memoirs to English you are suggesting.

  2. Apparently even Soviet army officers can believe myths. Yes, Stalin provoked Hitler. After all, when Hitler spoke of Lebensraum, he really meant France.

    Thanks for laying out the myths Anatoly. The sad thing is that this is still necessary so many years after the war.

  3. Bro, it is indeed truly amazing how successful the Western anti-Soviet ideologists along with their Russian liberast fifth-columnists have been at hoisting an alien and artificial interpretation of their own history on Russians.

    This makes one very skeptical of the brouhaha they are making now that the authorities are tentatively trying to restore some semblance of balance into history books, by screeching about imminent Stalinization and the like. Speaking of which, one of my next posts is going to be a translation from extracts of Filippov’s controversial textbook that apparently glorifies the dictator according to their propaganda (hat tip Sean for finding it on-line).

    PS. See the Soviet film Иди и смотри (“Come and See”) about the partisan war in Belarus. Very powerful movie.

  4. On the matter of Belarus during WW II, did anyone see this recent release?

    I’ve a sense of how some might choose to reply to this erudite post of yours. At least for now, I’ll not elaborate any further on that point.

  5. Bro:

    What that officer told you sounds like drivel from the notorious British writer using the pen name of “Suvorov”. There are a lot of fans of his work in Russia because he coats his “truths” in heavy doses of a kind of evil Soviet patriotism. Needless to say, all of his allegations have been thoroughly debunked over the years.

    On the German part, there was a famous debate among West German historians in the ’80s. They got all German planning documents out and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Barbarossa was planned regardless of what USSR did or did not do. In fact, the original Barbarossa planner, Generalmajor Marcks, stated that “Russia will not do us a favor of attacking first”, so German operational planning had to take that into account.

    The picture on the Soviet side is less clear simply because it is impossible to prove a negative (that USSR did NOT do something). But all circumstantial evidence points to the fact that all Soviet actions in preparing for the war were a response to German actions, but with too much of a delay, which was what doomed the Red Army in the border battle.

  6. Krapotkin says:

    Hitler’s Lebensraum was not in France! Please read or re-read Mein Kampf!!! Lebensraum, requires ethnic cleansing?
    Moscow was saved, by the arrival of the Far Eastern Soviet Army, well equipped and experienced in routing the Japanese some time before.
    According to the WW2 history ,I learned while reconnecting with my Moscow relatives after the 90’s!
    Based on infromation from Soviet Spy operating in Japan, confirming to Stalin, that Japan will remain neutral and will not join Hitler’s invasion. Allowed Stalin to ordered all Siberian units to be moved secrectly to Moscow.
    The battle for Moscow , first major Russian victory, was not won by Cold alone, but with 100K fresh troops and the “Opolchenie”!
    The “Opolchenie”, was total call for all able persons to bear arms to join the defense lines, proclamed by the Moscow Patriach of the Orthodox Church!!!

  7. Krapotkin:

    Moscow was not saved by Far Eastern or Siberian troops. It’s a myth that Anatoly should add tot he list. Only a few divisions were transferred in October and November, and that was before there was any certainty about Japan’s intentions. Moscow counteroffensive in December was carried out by reinforcements mostly formed in the Volga and Urals military districts.

    Throughout the whole war, no matter how dire the situation was, USSR maintained close to 1 million troops against Japan. Which means that if Japan chose to attack, it had a snowball’s chance in hell.

    “Opolchenie” (more commonly known as people’s militia) had nothing to do with the Church. Militia divisions were organized mostly by the Party from volunteers and armed with army surplus equipment, mostly light.

  8. OK, I just finished reading Mein Kampf, and Lebensraum was definitely NOT for France. Hitler regarded the East (i.e. Ukraine and Western Russia) as geopolitically strategic and so aimed to conquer that area. Of course he wanted to conquer France as well, but that was more to get back at them for the humiliating Treaty of Versailles than anything else.

  9. The France reference involved a bit of sarcasm.

  10. After feeling bad for years that I have not seen it, I finally rented a DVD of Idi i Smotri. In my opinion it’s one of the most overrated movies that I have ever seen. The guy who made it is obviously talented, but it was a bad movie. I’m surprised so many people think highly of it.

  11. Thanks, Anatoly. Also, I agree with you that more truthful accounts of the war are getting published in the West lately. Prompted by this review I acquired several of the newer books on the war and they do not propagate the old myths. But it is a matter of long time before the trickle of new works alters the general western mainstream public perception that the war was won mainly in N. Africa and in the D-Day invasion.

    On a separate note, I suggest avoiding referring to Wikipedia to support any info in your posts. This source is notoriously unreliable on any politically sensitive topic for well-known reasons. This is not to say that the particular info you refer to the WP is false. But just a general note that for many readers seeing something referred only to Wikipedia raises the suspicion similar to references to dubious and conspiracy sites.

    Thanks again!

  12. Re-France / Lebensraum. Natalie is correct, of course. Only Eastern Europe was supposed to be colonized by German settlers. The likes of France were to serve as German vacation spots more than anything else.


    1) Re-the Atlantic article. It’s good (and surprising) that the new research is getting picked up by the MSM. One quibble however:

    “So (and this brings us to Davies’s second point) the most odious criminal regime in Europe’s history was defeated by an even more murderous regime, if numbers are the yardstick—which significantly tarnishes any notion of the “Good War.””

    Though this is not to “rehabilitate” Stalinism, this is yet another myth (supposed Nazi-Soviet moral equivalence) – albeit one largely unrelated to the Eastern Front.

    According to the archives, from 1921-53: 0.8mn people were sentenced to death out of a total 4.1mn who were “repressed” (executed, sent to Gulag or exiled for political crimes). The death rate was typically 5% a year or less (in contrast to Solzhenitsyn’s claims of 10% a month), with the only exceptions years when there were food shortages. The total number of Gulag inmates never exceeded 2mn, and was typically at 0.5-1.5mn.

    The only other significant source of deaths was the Holodomor, in which there were 4mn excess deaths in the Soviet Union (inc. 2mn in Ukraine). And the extent to which it was a “genocide” (or even democide) is highly controversial.

    So it’s hard to see how “Stalinism” could have been responsible for more than 10mn genocide deaths at the very, very max. He is easily surpassed by Hitler: 6mn Jews, 3.3mn Soviet POW’s, 0.5-1mn Roma, 14mn civilians in the Soviet occupied territories, and a few more millions in Poland and the Baltics. That is, around 25-30mn deaths – and this is even discounting all the WW2 military deaths, as well as German civilian deaths, which were the result of the war he unleashed.

    2) I am aware of Wikipedia’s problems in this regard, I am not really trying to rigorously “prove” anything here, so much as to give folks a new perspective and a springboard for further investigation. And in this sense the Wikipedia articles are extremely useful.

    Second, while it’s true some Wikipedia articles are unprofessional or vandalized, the vast majority are fairly objective and well-sourced, being subject to strict peer review (there are studies showing its reliability is not inferior to encyclopedias like the Britannica).

    Third, Wikipedia is an easy reference point. Life is short. I am not pretending I’m writing an academic paper.

  13. Oh man… When is this “holodomor” myth going to die already?

  14. Of possible interest:

    A GUT thread that relates somewhat to this SO post:

    Why did the Soviet Red Army commit so much rape as it moved across Germany, especially compared to the British and American militaries?

    The above links to some of the more recent discussion. It can be easily linked to the beginning.

    Note the standard left-right exchanges taken by some of the participants. Reality is often different than that.

  15. Anatoliy, you should not blame an Atlantic author for correctly quoting Davies. The article is written by a reviewer and it is his job to accurately present the authors of the books he is reviewing. The Davies’ quote you noted is not surprising to hear from this particular author. Norman Davies is well-known for his biases, that once deprived him from tenure at Stanford, and this particular thought from him is not surprising. I found this Atlantic article particularly valuable for giving an overall review of recent academic works in the field. Evan Mawdsley’s “Thunder in the East” I bought after reading this review is one of the best WWII accounts I ever read.

    On the other point you are raising, I find it pointless to compare Stalin and Hitler in terms of who is responsible for more millions of victims. We can’t really measure blood by buckets just to compare who spilled more buckets. But what we can do is compare the stated and implied purposes of the bloody actions of both dictators. Within this framework, I find Hitler much worse but that Davies thinks differently, I am not surprised given the author’s overall worldview.

    And just to set the record straight, the number of 1933 famine victims from what I read in the works of historians who actually worked in archives mostly give 6-7 million range Soviet-wide of which about 3 million are within the 1933 borders of the Ukrainian SSR. Still far from 10-12 or even 20 million professed by some politicians in Ukraine but more than you cited. This is a side issue though and we can discuss it as well as the modern historians’ works outside of this thread.

    Re Wikipedia, the studies and comparisons with Britannica you mentioned may be valid overall but they certainly do not apply to articles on any politically sensitive topic. While this is a minority of the Wikipedia articles compared to articles on natural sciences, arts and, say, linguistics, the political articles are mostly written by the nationalist gangs similar to some participants in the GUT thread Michael referenced above. Any article related to the WWII, policies of Stalin, Soviet “occupations” of whatever, 1933 famines, etc. are truly horrible being filled with myths and biases. Just check them out for yourself. Fedya Kriukov may add more on this if he wishes.

  16. What an excellent article!
    Congratulations, Anatoly!

    I have just posted links to your article on both of my websites links pages.

    Sadly enough, the World’s History seems to repeat itself.
    According to Rick Rozoff’s article today in Dandelion Salad — a thermonuclear war looms very large right now.
    And I do agree with the author absolutely.

    Those whom He wisheth to punish and destroy, God first depriveth of their mind and then He sendth the Proud Morons into Holy Russia to perish here horribly and infamously.

    In other words, Holy Russia has been permanently serving as the final formidable stopper to all those idiots who would strive conceitedly for the global domination.

    At the same time, it must be specially emphasized that we Russians have never yearned to rule the world.

    So help us God!

    Michael Kuznetsov

  17. Hi Michael.


    From what I saw at that last linked GUT thread, it’s more an issue of standard left versus right slants wrestling with each other.

    Then again, I’m judging it on what I read from the more recent of posts.

    Zhorka impresses as a reasonably minded enough sort, who many non-Russians in the West misunderstand and/or can’t stand, out of their own biases (subconscious or otherwise).

    I share your take on Wiki. It can be a crap shoot.

  18. Regarding Michael Kuznetsov’s mentioning of Rick Rozoff, the latter has an excellent news gathering venue which picks up recent articles on strategic issues vis-a-vis NATO:

  19. Hi Mike, reciprocally!

    Thank you for the reference to the “stopnato” groups gathering venue.

    Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
    St Luke 2:14



  20. Interestingly enough, I tried to clean up the “holodomor” article on Wikipedia once. That one is a perfect example of two irreconcilable camps (rabid propagandists vs. people who actually read academic literature on the subject) who are too tired to fight with each other anymore. Due to that, they don’t touch each others’ edits, but instead add their own paragraphs with their own pov. As a result, the article is a complete hodgepodge of facts and unsubstantiated claims that doesn’t even flow in any sort of logical fashion.

    In a way, the article could be a good source of information because all relevant facts are there. But someone for whom the subject is new will not understand anything in that mess. And since the “holodomor” propagandist camp is far more shrill, an uninitiated reader will probably walk away confused, but with a definite impression that the “holodomor” theory has the right to live.

  21. Robert MacGregor says:

    The raping and pillaging of East Germany are not “myths” and they were on a scale much larger than anything in the West. You are right that it is explainable by the brutality of the war, but that is not an excuse that relieves the Soviets of moral culpability. See Norman Naimark’s book “The Russians in Germany.”

    The total number of women raped probably numbered in the 1-2 million range (of course this is very hard to know), but it was certainly a non trivial percentage of the population. Many villages saw every woman aged 12 to 75 raped. Rape was commonplace until 1948 in Eastern Germany, and the German police were not allowed to engage Soviet soldiers. If they caught Soviet soldiers in the act, they could only turn them back over to the Soviet army. Some (but not most) Soviet commanders did hand out punishments, but it seems this was often due more to trying to curtail the huge rise in STD’s in the army than enforcing anything morally.

    As you said, El Alamein was 10 times smaller than Stalingrad, and while there was certainly brutality committed by Allied soldiers in the West, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was 10 times less than in the East. You can excuse it all you want by saying the Nazis were terrible, but in modern legal theory you aren’t given a “get out of jail free card” if you murder and rape just because you’ve had a hard life.

  22. Rape is not a myth, mass rape is. The historical investigation of alleged “mass rapes” in East Germany has been so sloppy it borders on falsification (and probably is). The figure for 1-2 million (most commonly quoted as 2 million) is an extrapolation from a small sample of abortion statistics. Extrapolation itself is suspect because the samples used were not random, and therefore not representative. They were from urban areas with the highest concentration of population of all genders and nationalities, and therefore had the the highest per capita rate of random sexual intercourse. A more representative sample would’ve yielded a lower number of alleged rapes.

    As for the incidence of alleged rape in the samples themselves, they are based on abortion statistics of German women where the father was specified as “Russian” multiplied by a certain rape to pregnancy ratio (i.e. probability of rape resulting in pregnancy). The ratio itself is pulled out of the author’s ass (sorry, I forgot that German lady’s name) and is too high. Second false, and the most ludicrous, assumption is that every aborted pregnancy was the result of rape rather than consensual intercourse. In reality, sexual intercourse between Soviet servicemen and German women was mostly consensual and was not far removed from prostitution (e.g. sex for food). Naturally, if any such woman got pregnant with the bastard child of a mongoloid Jew bolshevik barbarian, or whatever else they had been brainwashed to believe, she would seek an abortion. Finally, most crimes against German civilians were committed by DPs rather than serviceman and since, unlike in western occupation zone, both DPs and soldiers were Eastern Europeans, Germans didn’t care enough to start differentiating and called them all “Russians” and attributed all crimes to the Red Army.

    If adjustments are made for all of these mistakes and falsifications, we can conclude the the number of rapes committed by the Red Army was at a minimum one order of magnitude lower than ascribed in modern propagandist sources.

    This is as far as statistics go. Modern propaganda likes to dilute these with anecdotal evidence to cause an emotional response in the reader (in fact, quite standard for Ango-Saxon media since at least Napoleonic wars, as noted by the author of the well-known Horatio Hornblower series, whose name I unfortunately once again forgot). Much of it is based on graphical descriptions found in original documents from Dr. Goebbels’s department, and is quite suspect. For example, in the infamous Nemmersdorf affair, German investigattors on the scene found only two women they suspected had been raped, but each higher level document increased the number of victims, as well as specifically the number of rape victims, to make it seem worse than it really was. In fact, it is now well known that all photographs taken there were staged, with bodies artistically arranged for greater effect, and with female corpses’ skirts hiked up for obvious reasons (in contrast, when Soviet photographers took pictures of Nazi rape victims, they actually tried to cover them up beforehand — obviously, these primitive savages did not know the basics of modern propaganda). All this was done for propaganda purposes in order to rally the population. Post-war German literature on the subject is based on higher level propagandistic documents from Dr. Goebbels’s department rather than original investigations, and then embellished it even further by “eyewitness” accounts of people who weren’t actually there. All in the vein of the new German story of “we were victims too”.

    As far as comparisons with the western zone of occupation go, as Robert has tried to (poorly) make them, I don’t think they are possible given lack of source data. While the incidence of rape in the East has been inflated beyond all recognition, the incidence of rape in the West has not been studied much at all. This is natural: same as East Germans did not engage in anti-Soviet propaganda, West Germans did not engage in anti-American or anti-British propaganda. Now that only West German narrative remains, the truth of the western zone of occupation will remain forever buried. Even raw abortion statistics from which to draw false conclusions are not available because in West Germany abortions were banned outright. If same statistics were available there, a properly inclined researcher could probably extrapolate them into ten gazillion rapes with no difficulty, which is of course much higher than 2 megarapes ascribed to Red Army servicemen. Without such statistics, historians go by the number of rape prosecutions, which are not complete at all. As Osmar White, a correpsondent in Germany, described the situation in the US army: “After the fighting moved on to German soil there was a good deal of rape by combat troops and those immediately following them. The incidence varied between unit and unit according to the attitude of the commanding officer. In some cases offenders were identified, tried by court martial, and punished. The army legal branch was reticent, but admitted that for brutal or perverted sexual offences against German women, some soldiers had been shot – particularly if they happened to be Negroes. Yet I know for a fact that many women were raped by white Americans. No action was taken against the culprits. In one sector a report went round that a certain very distinguished army commander had made the wisecrack: ‘Copulation without conversation does not constitute fraternization.'”

    Another Robert’s assertion that I find quite bizarre is the fake outrage over the fact that East German police could not prosecute Soviet servicemen, and had to turn them over to Soviet military authorities. I wonder if there is any example in history where an occupied state could prosecute occupying soldiers? What was the situation in West Germany at the time? The allegation that Soviet prosecutions for sexual crimes were based only on STD considerations has no basis in fact and is pulled out of someone’s ass (either Robert’s or one of his sources).

    As far as “modern legal theory” goes, Robert mistakenly believes that we are talking about some kind of a “hard life” defense here. That is not the case. This is not about “hard life” in general, but about specific crimes committed by Germans against specific Soviet soldiers and their families. For which they, quite naturally, were inclined to seek revenge, sometimes did seek revenge, and very often were prosecuted for it when caught. And I forgive them for it, especially if you consider that the scope of their revenge did not come to even 1% of the crimes that Germans committed on Soviet territory. Soviet policies themselves were not aimed at revenge against individual Germans, and many Soviet servicemen unfortunately paid for doing something that many would consider quite justified.

    As for comparisons with western Allies, the scale of individual crimes is probably comparable, and the authorities’ response to them as well — prosecute if caught. What is incomparable, though, is the extent of war crimes authorized from above. Deliberate targetting of civilians coupled with war planning designed to maximize civilian casualties (yes, Dresden, Tokyo, and do I need to mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki) is something that USSR never did. If you add the fact that the west did not suffer even 0.1% of the German crimes committed in the east, and thus doesn’t even have the justification of just retribution, this whole fake outrage in English language media becomes even more ludicrous.

  23. Actually, I need to clarify the rape to pregnancy ratio issue. What I tried to say was not that the ratio too high, but that the extrapolation resulting from using it produced a number of intercourses that was too high. On the other hand, if we assume that all intercourses were rapes (which is not true, but for the sake of the argument), that would significantly skew the ratio toward lower incidence of pregnancies due to the victim ending up dead or mutilated as the result. So really this ratio is unknown, and I can’t honestly predict which way it would skew the results. The author still apparently pulled that ratio out of her ass (no source was provided), but possibly it’s not far removed from truth. So I should withdraw my challenge on that point — three errors were introduced, rather than four, with all errors skewing the result toward higher rather than lower number of rapes. The whole calculation is still sloppy to the point of falsification.

  24. AK, I assume you are simply trying to be provocative. Nonetheless, I can state with confidence that three of your four myths (as you worded them) are straw men.

    “MYTH I: Heroic Americans with their British sidekicks won World War Two, while the Russian campaign was a sideshow.”

    Who maintains that the Russian campaign was a sideshow? I never read or heard an American state that. And that’s definitely not what my daughter was taught in public school in the US.

    “MYTH II: The Russians just threw billions of soldiers without rifles in front of German machine guns.”

    Never heard of that one either. What I did hear, from both Russians and Germans, is that too many Russians died needlessly because of the tactics they used. Whether that’s true or not (and I believe is true), that’s a far cry from what you wrote.

    “MYTH III: Though the Wehrmacht fought with honor and dignity on the Eastern Front, the Russians killed all the German POW’s and raped and looted east Germany when they conquered it.”

    Never heard of that one. During WWII the Germans were great fighters and many of them were honorable men, but demonization of the Wehrmacht (and not only the SS) is far more common than the reverse. I never heard anyone claim that the Russians killed all German POWs. Let’s face it, though, far too many German POWs died in the USSR and far too many German women were raped by Soviet soldiers. A German woman was more likely to be raped by occupying soldiers if those soldiers were Soviet instead of American or British.

  25. @Kolya,

    Yes I am being provocative, by taking real misconceptions and inflating them ad absurdam – to a) demonstrate how absurd they are, especially as reflected in the more Russophobic rhetoric, and b) to make it easy for myself to write refutations without wasting time with caveats.

    Re-Myth 1. That is not my experience and I have met plenty of Westerners whose dominant perception of the war are the D-Day landings, with no understanding of the pivotal importance of the Eastern Front.

    Ree-Myth 2. The one rifle per two men is one of the most dominant cliches in the portrayal of the Red Army in WW2 in Western popular culture (as perfectly illustrated in Enemy at the Gates). As for tactics, according to Fedia the early policy of “active defense” was the optimal strategy given the Red Army’s immobile force structure, lack of training and doctrinal shortcomings in 1941.

    Re-Myth 3. I don’t think so – the Wehrmacht has a relatively clean reputation, because its postwar generals successfully wiped off their dirt on the SS and SD. While the deaths of 15% of German POW prisoners in Soviet hands is widely propagandized, the deaths of 60% of Soviet POWs in German hands is relatively little known in the West. Re-rape, please read Fedia’s excellent posts on the matter in this very thread and bear in mind that the typical Soviet soldier went through a hell of a lot more than the Brit, not to mention the American.

  26. AK, we see things differently. For me, to refute a misconception by exaggerating it does nothing to refute the misconception. In any event, I never encountered those three myths as you worded them. Also, two wrongs don’t make a right. If Islamic terrorists torture and mistreat their prisoners does not in any way excuse or justify Americans from torturing their prisoners.

  27. I exaggerate the misconception to make it stand out more and to make the writing more engaging. It does not “refute” the misconception as such, but it does nudge a reader’s belief system further away from it – provided said reader is rational and the counter-argument s(he) is exposed to is valid.

    I am not arguing that two wrongs make a right, but that one wrong can explain and partially mitigate another wrong. Understanding is forgiveness.

  28. Current digs around Bryansk reveal mass graves of summarily executed Soviet POWs by Nazis.

    Международная вахта памяти “Брянск – 2009”

  29. Joe Mhama says:

    This is entertaining reading, but them most fiction is.

    So please tell me your spin on the Katyn Forest massacre?

  30. Bradley G. Barnett says:

    The Waffen SS was,although an elite organization, should not be held responsible for the atrocities. They were only doing what the Russians did as they raped and killed,in the same way that you’ve alleged the Waffen SS did…’s war!!! I just wish the Waffen SS had more soldiers like Joachim Peiper!

    • I think there is a fair amount of nonsense spoken here bouncing between extremes of nationalistic pride and hearsay especially AK. and Dear Bradley Barnett, get the rape and pillaging the right way round; wasn’t it 623 Russian villages burnt to the ground with all occupants burnt or shot by the SS and other scum, so whatever acrimony happened in Germany after, one could say was not surprising !! and to wish for more Joachim Pipers of this world means you really need to see a psychiatrist, he was a good soldier and good murderer, you should not read between the lines about his atrocities.
      Dear AK you should have a good old listen to what people in Britain and America of the wartime period really think about the war and the Russians before posting your assumptions. You may be pleasantly surprised by the education !! and of cause it wasn’t Stalin that killed off all his senior generals was it, that was someone else……………………………………………

  31. I completely disagree with your take on Americans’ view of the Wehrmacht. Most Americans do not even understand that not all Germans were Nazis. Many Americans I know still think Germany is full of Nazis. What I’m trying to say is that most Americans view all German soldiers during WW2 as Nazis. That is why so many people see movies like Valkyrie and think “wow, i thought all Germans were Nazis!” To say that people in the US sympathize with the Germans who fought against the Soviets is laughable.

    Regarding Myth #1. You are partially correct. Most Americans do not understand the significance of the Eastern front. Nevertheless, average Russians likely do not understand the importance of the Western front. It is just a case of being parochial and self centered (on everyone’s part). What is more interesting to study in school or see a movie about: the areas of the war your grandparents fought in or a conflict that seems distant to you since it was fought between two foreign nations?

    And just because I know of nowhere else to mention it: Michael Kuznetsov, you are crazy. I read your website and you come off as a brainwashed xenophobe. And just FYI, Maria Sharapova has lived in the US for most of her life.


    Thus, I feel quite pleased with Mark’s comment hereabove, disregarding whatever absurd his reproaches may be.

    Mark, I suppose you to be a German, correct?

    You, Germans, have long lost even the slightest right anyhow to criticise or lecture us Russians.

    You are no longer the masters even of your own country. It is most dishonourable!

    The real masters of your Germany are the Americans, their occupational armed forces being stationed all over your country until the present day.

    In Russia it is we — and only we Russians — who decide our own destiny.

    The real masters of Germany have long become also the Turks, who have been building their mosques all over the former sacred Teutonic lands.

    In Russia it is we — and only we Russians — who are the masters of our own country.

    The real masters of Berlin have become also the dirty fags (homosexuals) who have been held their disgusting “parades” right in the center of your capital city of Berlin.

    A nation that has sunk in such an abomination has absolutely no right to teach anyone any longer.

    In the summer of 2006 a group of heinous fags (by the way some of them arrived even from Berlin) made an abortive attempt to organize such a “parade” in the center of Moscow.

    You know what? Their detestable homosexual “parade” managed to last for only 72 seconds!

    Take notice: it lasted 72 seconds — not minutes! — and then the common Russian people in the street — the common passers-by — instantly knocked all of the dirty fags down on the pavement and began the heavily kicking of the repulsive homosexuals, until the police arrived and arrested the dirty fags for the attempt to outrage the public morality in the sacred streets of our Moscow, the capital of Holy Russia.


  33. Incorrect. I am an American.

    The more I read your comments, the more I feel I understand you. You are very patriotic, which is not a bad thing, but you carry it to an extreme. You are uncomfortable with the fact that the world is changing around you. You cannot accept that gay people exist and go as far as saying gay people in Russia are actually foreigners from another country. Interestingly, Ahmadinejad made the same claim about gays in Iran. Which brings me to my point: you are a conservative, nationalist hardliner who thinks your country is inherently superior to all others and your culture, religion, race, military, etc. etc. are God’s gift to the world. Every country has these people. In the US they are called the right-wing republicans. In Israel they are the Orthodox Jews. The Wahhabi in Saudi Arabia. The NPD in Germany. The BNP in the UK.

    I know you are a very religious man. Hopefully, God will not mind that you are doing all of his judging for him. What is with the ‘sacred streets’ and ‘holy Russia’ thing? When did Jesus ever travel to Russia? Russia is not the holy land, bro.

    As far as your claim that America is occupying Germany goes, I disagree. Until the end of the Cold War American forces were in West Germany to counteract the Soviet presence (which of course was there to counter the US presence…I know it was cyclical). After the war most of the troops in Germany were brought home. Nevertheless there still remains a large US military presence in Germany. Part of this is due to the fact that these bases serve as a hub for fighting in the middle east, another part involves the US’s commitment in NATO. So regardless of whether you agree with the US’s involvement with NATO or using Germany as a launching pad for middle eastern operations, the fact remains that the troops are not there to oppress the Germans.

    See, I understand that I am in no way going to change your opinion, especially since I’ve insulted you (just as you insulted me). This is the problem with the internet and anonymous (at least in my case) aspect of forums and message boards. You really need to travel more and get out of Russia a few times to see that the rest of the world is not full of scary enemies trying to destroy your way of life. If you met real people in America or Germany, etc. you would realize there are many kind, intelligent people who are not Russians that you would probably become friends with.

  34. Mark:

    It is always better to refrain from mutual insults, at least I think so.

    Yes, it is very good that you understand me more and more clearly and correctly. I hope you will understand also the principal and the most important point of my whole website:

    Although we Russians look like white Europeans, nevertheless, our mindset is different.
    Don’t touch us, don’t teach us.
    We are what we are.
    We do not change.


    And then we shall be able to co-exist with the West peacefully and profitably. Otherwise . . . see the history of Napoleon, Hitler, and other godless scum.

    We have no intentions either to conquer the world, or to impose our way of life upon other nations. We are simply going along our own path.

    The name Holy Russia does not mean that my country has been inhabited by sinless angels. Not at all!

    The Sinless One is only the Lord our God Jesus Christ.

    The name Holy Russia means that we Russians strive for the holiness, despite all the hardships and tribulations.
    But of course, we Russians are no angels.

    “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
    St. Luke 2:14

  35. In many cases those russian partisans operation in eastern part of Finland couldn’t do much harm to finnish military targets. Instead all they could do was terrorizing local civilians by killing childern, women (after raping some of them) and old men. There are highclass documents proving them and even those russians who did those killings has later confirmed them. Just mention the case of Seitajärvi (july 1944) as one of them.

    The Great Patriotic War is so much full of myths and lies that many people in west (and especially countries like Finland, Baltic states, Poland etc…) don’t believe them. Sometimes even the truths of GPW is not believed and it’s a pity. That’s why i courage new generation of russian people to open the locks of proxies and studies of WW2.

  36. Анатолий!

    Вот маленький отрывок из книги Александра Никонова “Конец Феминизма”:

    “. . . случай, приключившийся в Америке с одним из моих знакомых. Биолог Николай приехал с семьей в небольшой американский городок, снял дом. Чтобы сразу наладить отношения, пригласил соседей к себе на барбекю. Познакомились, улыбались при встрече друг другу, раскланивались. А в один прекрасный день приходит Николаю повестка в суд. Оказывается, сосед на него подал. За то, что Николай не стрижёт у себя перед домом газон, чем заставляет соседа нравственно страдать от некрасивого вида. Заметьте, Николай СВОЙ газон не стриг. Тем не менее, американский суд присудил ему наказание в виде штрафа. Вечером после суда сосед встретил Николая все той же белозубой американской улыбкой и легким поклоном: «Хеллоу!» После этого Николай разлюбил Америку, хотя прожил в ней не больше месяца . . .”

    Конец цитаты.


    Спрашиваю у Вас, Анатолий, как у человека уже долго живущего “там”:
    Скажите, пожалуйста, неужели ТАКОЕ могло быть в реальности?!
    Просто невероятно! Хотя я склонен верить автору книги.

    It sounds absolutely unbelievable and unthinkable for any Russian!

    Михаил Кузнецов

  37. montefusco says:

    I completely agree with Mark and Kolya. There is no Myth I, as a WWII buff I still haven’t found a book who denies that the main land battle took place in the East, that the majority of the Wehrmacht land forces were engaged against the Red Army (Luftwaffe units’ deployment was much more balanced between Western, Eastern and Mediterranean fronts,that the main of German Casualties were caused by the soviets and that doesn’t place the War’sturning point at Stalingrad or Koursk admitting that by D-Day the backbone of the Wehrmacht was already broken by the Soviets. Same for alleged Myth II, I was surprised by the scene at Enemy at the Gates, because it has no relation with anything I’ve had read in any book (and almost every book I have is from and Anglo-saxon historian), I knew that happened with the Zarist Army in WWI but no with WWII’s Red Army. Au contraire, the 40+ thousand tanks built yearly by the soviet war machine (1943-’45) is quoted everywhere. The Reich was overwhelmed in the East by a deluge of armour and men and high volumes of fire power (massive concentrations of soviet artillery are mentioned in every book which goes in detail about the Eastern Front). And about Myth III, I’ve found a lot more of quotations of the 3million of Russian POWs killed in German captivity that about the fate of German POW in Soviet hands.

    One the other hand Soviet official history has been the main factory of distorsions, half truths and outrageous lies about the role of Western allies, their alleged secret negotiations with Nazi Germany, the demeaning of Allied material assitance to the USSR, the allegedly deliberate delay of the Second Front in order to let the Soviets bleeding to continue, etc. So if a certain points Western historians and popular culture overestimates the role of the Angloamericans it has been in several ocassions as a response to Soviet exaggerations. And that’s also the reason why many Russian WWII accounts has been overlooked, because they are suspicious of being filtered through USSR propaganda.

    One thing is anglo-saxons writers prefering to talk about D-Day, North Africa or any other action in which their national armies were involved, and other, too much different, is dismissing the Eastern Front as “a sideshow”, something that I haven’t found in any book (and I repeat, all my WWII library has been written by anglo-saxons

  38. briar cavendish says:

    Anypone who reads your hateful communist propaganda and believes it, is a fool.
    You who have written it are fools to think that we will believe your blood-frothed puke.

    Lick it back up and return the mass graves whence you came, souless bolshevik idiots.

  39. briarcavendish says:

    Oblivion. Say that name suits you commie. I see your communist comments all over the web. You are simply a mouth piece for red ignorance and lies.
    Its no fun to show you up because you are beyond reason. For you is reserved the treatment that your beloved Joe Stalin advocated for hooligans of your typology.
    There will be another war which you commies will lose, and I lump American commies in the same bread bag with you!

    Briar Cavendish, Professor of Criminal Kreminology

  40. Jake Kilgore says:

    A lot of communist crawl out from under their rocks on this site. Its interesting how you feed each other such tasteless bullshit. Your self righteous propaganda irritates me.
    I am far more interested in the Eastern Front than any other WW2 front because it was the decisive front.
    I agree with Viktor Suvorov that the evidence proves a Stalinist intention to invade Western Europe which was thrown back by Germany’s pre-emptive strike. However, there is not enough room on here for me to argue that case.
    Why is it that none of you ever even mention to continuous sabotage of the German effort on the Eastern Front by by communist-serving traitors, moles and agents of influence inside the Wehrmacht? You should read the many revelations of such sabotage by German Army traitors on
    In the meantime there are many interesting facts that you could describe on this site. For example, the Soviet Assault Sapper units, their organization, tactics and achievements.

    • Jake Kilgore says:

      I made some grammatical errors on this post, so I re-posted it with hopefully, all corrections.

  41. Jake Kilgore says:

    A lot of communist crawl out from under their rocks on this site. Its interesting how you feed each other such tasteless bullshit. Your self righteous propaganda irritates me.
    I am far more interested in the Eastern Front than any other WW2 front because it was the decisive front.
    I agree with Viktor Suvorov that the evidence proves a Stalinist intention to invade Western Europe which was thrown back by Germany’s pre-emptive strike. However, there is not enough room on here for me to argue that case.
    Why is it that none of you ever even mention the continuous sabotage of the German effort on the Eastern Front by communist-serving traitors, moles and agents of influence inside the Wehrmacht? You should read the many revelations of such sabotage by German Army traitors on
    In the meantime there are many interesting facts that you could describe on this site. For example, the Soviet Assault Sapper units, their organization, tactics and achievements.e

    • If that was the case then why were the Russians so badly equipped ? I mean if they had intentions on Europe why was it only when they were invaded they started to build up significant armaments to survive. Surely a serious contender to invasion such as Hitler and his cronies with their covert military build up ready for ‘the off’ can be counted. Sorry I’m not a communist but I think after the German Soviet pact Poland was the area for snatching and Stalin new if Germany got that far they were next.

      • Alexander Mercouris says:

        Dear Jake Kilgore,

        Viktor Suvorov’s claims in Icebreaker that Stalin was planning to attack Nazi Germany but was pre empted by the German attack on the USSR have been comprehensively discredited. In fairness to Suvorov when he published Icebreaker in 1985 access to the Soviet archives was very restricted. Today when we have near complete access to the relevant diplomatic archives including Stalin’s personal papers it has become clear that his claims were wrong and were based on a misunderstanding of a draft plan prepared by the Soviet General Staff for a counterattack in case of a German invasion. This plan never went beyond being a draft and was never adopted.

        Probably the best academic study of the events leading up to Barbarossa in English, which makes full use of the Soviet archive material and which contains a thorough discussion and refutation of Viktor Suvorov’s claims in “Grand Delusion: Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia” by Gabriel Gorodetsky (1999) Yale University Press.

        Incidentally to anyone interested in Soviet and specifically in Stalinist history the Yale University Press series of academic studies is quite simply outstanding and should be required reading.

        PS: To anyone interested “Viktor Suvorov” is the pseudonym of a Soviet military defector whose actual name is V.Rezun and who defected to the US in the 1970s after serving in the Soviet military’s intelligence agency the GRU. He published a string of books in the 1970s and 1980s on Soviet matters of which Icebreaker was perhaps the most influential.

  42. To Briar Cavendish and Jake Kilgore,

    Your visceral racist hatred toward us Russians gives only rise to a reciprocal feeling of scorn, because neither Anatoly Karlin, nor myself have ever been communists.
    We are Russians. White Russians.
    Your hatred toward Russians makes us hope that in due course of time, sooner or later, the oppressed American peoples (all the American Indians, Negroes and Latinos) will win afterwards their long struggle and will cast off the yoke of the WASP.
    As I have said elsewhere on my website — the greatest embarrassement for us Russians is the fact that the Lord God hath created us to look like the Western White Europeans or like the White Americans.
    Indeed, this is a terrible ordeal for a Russian to be confused with all those embruted WASP bastards who serve in the US Military and who are fond of killing innocent unarmed men, defenseless women and little children in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Vietnam, Korea and everywhere all over the world.
    For the present-day American Kill Team in Afghanistan see here:

  43. The numbers you quote in myth nr. 2 about German military casualties are not correct. In the previous myth, you quote the research of Overmans. In that case you must be familiar with the number he quotes on German military casualties: 5,318,000 dead and missing. He even makes an estimate for the different war theaters: 2.7 million casualties on the Eastern Front until the end of 1944 and 1.2 million from January until May 1945. According to Overmans that number includes Spanish volunteers as well as volunteers from occupied countries. If we take his number of 80% of German casualties fallen at the Eastern Front, than this means that there were about 4.2 million German casualties on the Eastern Front. The German allies (Hungary, Finnland, Romania, Slovakia, Italy) had combined not more than 1 million casualties (and not 1.7 million as you state), included are the Italian casualties fallen in Northern Africa and during the Italian campaign, so that 1 miilion is for the Eastern Front alone way too high. If we add this up, then the ratio is not 1.3:1 as you state, but 2.2:1

    • You have a little bit misunderstanding. Read again carefully :
      …“irrevocable losses” (the number of soldiers who were killed in military action, went MIA, became POWs and died of non-combat causes) was 11,285,057 for the USSR, 6,231,700 for Germany, 6,923,700 for Germany and its occupied territories, and 8,649,500 for all the Axis forces on the Eastern Front….
      Its not KIA figures)))) So if we exclude POWs from both sides we get;
      4.5-5 KIA/MIA – Axis
      7-7.5 KIA/MIA – Soviet

  44. All of these are true, the fighting in the west paled in comparison to the fighting in the east, and the Nazi treatment of Soviet prisoners of war was far more terrible than Soviet treatment of German soldiers. My only problem is that I think you distorted the numbers a little in myth 2, official reports read that two times more Soviets died than Germans. It’s not really about “Asiatic hordes” it’s more about the fact that Stalin just didn’t care about his own troops. Not trying to make the Nazis look good or anything but the Nazis valued German troops more because they were of pure “Aryan” blood. In Hitlers eyes they were part of the superior race whereas everyone who wasn’t Aryan was considered a sub-human to be exterminated. Nevertheless, Hitler did have some respect for the lives of German people, just not the lives of anyone else. Stalin literally didn’t care about the lives of anyone, whether they were German, Russian, or anyone in-between.

  45. Stephen Zaloga checked Wehrmacht data and found that Germans lost 35% of their armor (tanks, assault guns and tankdestroyers) against western allies. Some other documents have estimated that Luftwaffe lost about 50% of their aircraft in west and south. German Navy lost 95% of tons of ships against western allies. Western allies captured three times more German soldiers than Red Army. What’s OKW:n loss figures KIA, MIA, WIA until December 1944 suggest that 33% of German losses really came against western allies.

    On the other hand even Marshall Zhukov admitted in 1960’s that “without western aid [lend lease] Soviets would not have managed to create their strategic reserves” and “continued the war”. In autumn 1943 65% of Luftwaffe dayfighters were fighting against just one single allie unit – 8th US Air Force. Think about that.

    So when we talk about German losses and defeat we should never forget both Red Army and especially magnificiant American economic and military potential. It looks like German losses came 35% in west and south and 65% in east. Western allies paid the price of some 500 000 death soldiers while Soviet official figures are showing 10 million military deaths or like David Glantz have estimated some 14 700 000 military deaths (during the war and soon after the war[died in wounds] etc).