While the idea of what just the role of the USSR was during what we call the Second World War has been kicking around in my head for some time now, and I did allude to it in my last blog entry. A news release from the Minister of Veteran's Affairs found its way into my Inbox. It was entiteld Harper Government Supports Allied Veterans and Their Families. While I have no problem with governments assisting those in need, it is time that we all begin to understand history as it was, as opposed to the simplified sugar coated pill we were given to swallow while studying history in school. While I agree that there are times when changes to legislation are necessary, there is one point of reality which I disagree with in the said Act and its lists of Canada's Allies during times of conflict.
It is unfortunate that most in the Western world have been duped into thinking that the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was an allied force during what came to be known one of the darkest moments of world history during the twentieth century. In the West this historical period is known as the Second World War, while in the former Soviet Union it is called the Great Patriotic War. Did you know this? If so have, you ever questioned why this is the case?
While we were all taught that they were our Allies, this is not only a misnomer but a simplistic manner in order to deal with the situation in post WWI Europe which was a lot more complex than our basic history books tell us. In short it seemed to be the politically correct thing to do by calling the USSR is our ally.
One of the West's most brilliant statesmen and scholar's of Lenin and Stalin and the evil empire which they ran, George F. Kennan has written much on this period. Though somehow his extremely astute observations regarding Stalin and the Soviet Union have never been incorporated into our understanding of this period of history. Nations which made great sacrifices during the conflicts this world has seen, somehow, along with most of Europe forgot about the pact between Nazi Germany and the USSR by about 1942-43, they forget that Stalin too wanted to dominate the globe, but he was in fact much more adept at doing it than Hitler was, if not as evil or more evil. The Soviets worked both overtly and covertly in brainwashing the world into their way of thinking.
Without a doubt in my mind and being a scholar of that part of the world, Stalin, didn't give a rat's ass about Hitler's design for the Jews of Europe, he himself was a maniacal devil who had tried to destroy the Ukrainian people some ten years earlier through starvation. To him, the fact that his evil mustached cousin was killing the Jews of Europe en masse was of little consequence. He had his own plans of dominating Europe and had outlined this to Western leaders at the time quite well, but this detail is seldom taught in schools. Nor is the fact that Russia, never wanted to be our Ally.
Kennan writes of the failed Nazi-Soviet Pact, “The deal had turned out badly; the assumption on which it was founded had failed to be substantiated; the aggressor had turned on his would be accomplices; Russia had herself become the victim of attack. If, then, in 1941 she found herself unexpectedly fighting on the same side as the Western Allies, this was certainly no doing of her political leader[emphasis mine]. They had not wanted it this way. It was a situation they had done their best to avoid. They had not selected the Western powers as allies; and indeed, in the months before their own involuntary involvement, they had shown not only a complete lack of concern but in some instances outright hostility for the interests of the Western governments and peoples.” [Kennan, George F. Russia and the West under Lenin and Stalin, (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1960, p. 350] This attitude, if you recall, continued throughout the period of the Cold War, and even until the eve of the the evil empire's demise.
While it was not that long ago many, I am sure, have forgotten what theboundaries of Europe looked like at the time of President Ronald Reagan's Brandenburg Speech of June 16, 1986. It seems to me that so many have forgotten that those people who tried to flee from behind what we knew as the “Iron Curtain” were looking for freedom? One of the principles the Western world has fought for is freedom. What, is it not that same freedom that those in occupied lands sought? Those who were veterans of the Great Patriot War were not fighting for the same thing, and those who died fighting should be remembered, just like our veterans, but today they still are not remembered as the fallen as we do at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Countries of the Former Soviet Union like to only consider those who fell for the Soviet cause the victors over the Fascist occupiers, but not those who fought for freedom and peace. They are remembered not as liberators from the evils and the deeds of the Nazi killing machine, but as liberators of the home land. Those who fell in the defense of Kyiv, Leningrad, Stalingrad were brave soldiers and heroes, but those who pushed towards Berlin with the goal being to expand the ideals of the Great Proletarian Revolution at the order of their power hungry leader are a different kettle of fish and we have to start telling telling the world exactly what it was.
For foreign government to consider doling out pensions to Veterans of the Great Patriotic War is ludicrous, especially if they our citizens of countries out side of the former USSR. Let the countries of the Former USSR take care of their veterans including those veterans who were fighting for freedom, the freedom of Ukraine. Foreign countries that somehow fell for Stalin's ruse during that terrible time in history have to now right history. Somehow, the Communists managed to expunge themselves of doing any wrong in the pages of history which we were taught, just like they tried to deny the genocide in Ukraine of the 1930s, the mass graves of Polish prisoners in the Katyn Forest and then hush they put on Chornobyl.
The provision of pension benefits to these so called Allies by other governments would be wrong based on the principle that their reason for fighting in what the Western world calls the Second World War were totally different. They don't even call that war the same thing. Does this not raise some questions?
It is time that that we all recognize the truth of the past and not oversimplify things for lack of will of calling a spade a spade. Stalin has long been dead and nearly twenty years after the collapse of the evil empire which he ruled despotically, and that for many years was so anti-freedom and anti-freedom loving, it is perfectly politically correct to call both him and the USSR the enemy. They may have been accidental Allies, but in the spirit of the word they were enemies right from the start and this is what they should be considered by all governments. The heroic deeds of soldiers should not be forgotten, but one must better understand what it was they were fighting for.