The message below has been posted at our university forum. The author once accused me of spreading cold war propaganda (referring to my two books).
Ludwik Kowalski, author of “Diary of a Former Communist”
" March 7 2013
To the Editor:
Istvan Deak’s review “Could Stalin Have Been Stopped?" (NYRB March 13 2013 - http://www.nybooks.c……topped/?page=1) is filled with statements about Soviet history that are factually false. Here is a partial list:
- There was no “intentional killing by starvation of millions of Ukrainians" by Stalin. Every Western expert rejects the “Holodomor" myth, which originated with pro-Nazi Ukrainian nationalists in the 1950s.
- Stalin did not “shoot hundreds of thousands of imaginary political enemies in the later 1930s." NKVD chief Nikolai Ezhov did so, as a part of his conspiracy against the Soviet government. In 1939-40 he and over a hundred of his top NKVD men were tried and executed for these horrific crimes.
- Stalin did not “attempt" to “eliminate much of the Polish leadership". It was the Nazis who did so, in their “AB-Aktion."
- There exists an important dispute over who shot the Poles in the murders known as the Katyn Massacre and good evidence that the Soviets shot some Polish POWs and the Germans later shot the rest.
- Stalin was not a “dictator." He worked collaboratively with other Politburo members and was sometimes defeated. Stephen G. Wheatcroft has termed Stalin’s prewar method of rule “Team Stalin."
- There were no “combined Nazi and Soviet invasions." The Red Army did not “invade Poland" on September 17 1939. Abandoned by its government the Soviets had to prevent the German army from marching up to the existing Soviet border, something no country would have permitted. Winston Churchill said that the Soviets were right to do so.
- Though armed and equipped by the Soviet Union in 1941-42 the “anti-Nazi army formed by General Władysław Anders" refused to fight the Nazis until 1944.
- The Polish Home Army", riddled with anti-Semitism, shot Jews escaping from the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 and collaborated with the German army against the Red Army.
- American and British pilots were not “routinely denied landing rights" when “trying to help the Home Army." They were denied such rights for a few weeks in August-September 1944 because, like General Władysław Anders, Stalin considered the Warsaw Uprising to be a crime against the Polish people.
- There is no evidence that the Soviets “massacred thousands of innocent" Poles.
A Hungarian, Deak fails to mention that Hungary invaded the Soviet Union side by side with Nazi Germany, and Hungarian forces murdered at least hundreds of thousands of innocent Soviet citizens, including many Jews.
Grover Furr, Montclair State University “