Over the past few years, the imperialist bourgeoisie has intensified its efforts to falsify history by maligning the achievements of communism, while at the same time hiding the crimes committed by imperialism. In particular, an attempt is being made to equate communism with fascism. The so-called Prague Declaration, recently circulated in the European Parliament under the title European Conscience and Communism is precisely such an example of the attempts to equate Soviet communism with Hitlerite fascism in an echo of the reactionary writings of George Orwell and Robert Conquest. The recent release of the film Katyn by Andrzej Wadja regarding the alleged massacre of Polish officers by the Red Army in 1940 is in the same vein. In an outrageous misinterpretation of history, it is repeatedly asserted that the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact of 23 August 1939 was nothing short of Soviet collusion with Hitler. “The Kremlin should admit that Stalin was Hitler’s accomplice before 1941”, stated a recent issue of The Economist, conveniently forgetting that, driven by a visceral hatred of the socialist Soviet Union, Britain and France had a year before, on 30 September 1938, signed the Munich Agreement with Hitler, which practically handed the fate of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany.
Surely The Economist can’t have been unaware of the following facts:
· On 1 January 1970, when some secret Foreign Office files were made public on the expiry of the statutory 30 years, the Guardian, published from the same city as The Economist, wrote: “The Cabinet papers for 1939, published this morning, show that the Second World War would not have started that year, had the Chamberlain government accepted or understood Russian advice that an alliance between Britain, France and Soviet Union would prevent war because Hitler would not risk a conflict against powers on two fronts.”
· Anthony Eden, British Foreign Secretary (who later became prime minister), is on record as saying: “Hardly anyone could doubt that had the alliance between Russia, Britain and the United States, which was established at Yalta, been formed in 1939, the war would never have taken place.”
· André Beaufre, French General, commenting on the delay in the setting up of the coalition against Germany, observed “When one reads today the draft of the Anglo-French-Soviet Treaty one cannot help thinking how blind and petty-minded our diplomacy must have been in solving this problem that it could miss the opportunity to conclude so important a Treaty.”
The reason for the rejection of the Soviet proposal was the desire of Britain and France to appease Hitler in an attempt to direct his aggression in an easterly direction against the Soviet Union, and thus kill two birds with one stone – destroy the socialist Soviet Union and weaken imperialist Germany. Such motives were frankly, if cynically, articulated by the US Senator (later President), Harry Truman. The day after Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, Truman said: “If we see that Germany is winning, we should help the Russians, and if Russia is winning, we should help Germany and that way we let them kill as many as possible” (New York Times, 24 June 1941).
Truman’s words were an expression of the hope that Hitlerite Germany would destroy the socialist USSR and reintegrate it into the world capitalist system, while at the same time weakening itself as a rival imperialist power.
The interpretation of history has a bearing on the future. Those who are bent upon denying the working class and the oppressed people a bright future are equally bent upon distorting and falsifying history – all in the interests of prolonging the life of the moribund imperialist system. The fact of the matter is that, with each passing day, capitalism is discrediting itself and revealing its utter bankruptcy. The current crisis of overproduction, the near meltdown of the imperialist financial system, the burgeoning state deficits consequent upon the bail-outs of giant banks by the various imperialist governments, the resultant cuts in social expenditure, mass unemployment and misery, are beginning to alienate working people from the bourgeois system of production, even if unconsciously. In the territories of the former Soviet Union and the east European socialist countries, there is growing discontent among the population against the depredations brought about by the restoration of capitalism and a nostalgia for the former socialist society. This growing nostalgia for the socialist system is behind the current efforts to distort history and equate communism with fascism. The demolition of Soviet war memorials in the Baltic states and Georgia, of the Palast der Republik in Berlin are symptomatic of the vindictive bourgeoisie facing a massive crisis. Just as Cato the Elder, through sheer hatred of Rome’s enemies, had declared “Carthage must be destroyed”, the present imperialist bourgeoisie says: “The magnificent achievements of communism must be obliterated from the memory of common humanity”.
Everything is being turned on its head. The liberation by the Red Army of the peoples of eastern and central Europe from the jackboot of German fascism is being described as a subjugation of the peoples in question. The heroic and successful fight by the Red Army and the Soviet people, resulting in the crowning victory over fascism, is sought to be belittled. It is a matter of great shame that some of the descendants of the victims of Nazism are collaborating with the arch-reactionaries in this anti-communist crusade.
“The bourgeoisie,” said Engels, “turns everything into a commodity, hence also the writing of history. It is a part of its being, of its condition for existence, to falsify all goods; it falsified the writing of history. And the best-paid historiography is that which is best falsified for the purposes of the bourgeoisie” (Material for the History of Ireland, 1870).
This shrewd observation of Engels’ should be firmly kept in mind when judging the controversies raging between the proletarian and the bourgeois camps concerning the interpretation of the causes and the events that led to the second world war, the role in this war of the imperialist camp on the one hand and the socialist Soviet Union on the other and, finally, the results of this war. These controversies are not merely concerned with our view of the past, important though that is. They are, more importantly, meant to influence and shape the future.
The imperialist ruling class can hardly be expected to admit that modern war is a product of, and inseparable from, imperialism; that tens of millions of people were slaughtered during the war in order to decide which group of imperialist bandits – Anglo-American-French or German-Italian-Japanese, was to have the greatest share in plundering the world; that the elimination of war is possible only through the complete elimination of the division of society into classes; that it is “impossible to escape imperialist war, and imperialist world which inevitably engenders imperialist war, it is impossible to escape that inferno, except by a Bolshevik struggle and a Bolshevik revolution” (‘The Fourth Anniversary of the October Revolution’, V I Lenin, 14 October 1921).
In addition, the ruling classes of the imperialist ‘democracies’ were all complicit in the rise and strengthening of fascism, a fact which they cannot, for obvious reasons, be expected to own up to. This being the case, the ruling class of every imperialist country is obliged willy nilly to falsify the writing of history, since actual history brings out in bold relief the genocidal and murderous nature of imperialism – this bloodthirsty monster that has spilt such colossal amounts of blood, reduced humanity to starvation, misery and degradation, and put the fate of human civilisation at risk.
The Soviet victory in the second world war was a disaster for imperialism. If the first world war had ushered in the Great October Socialist Revolution and brought into existence the mighty USSR, the second world war gave birth to an entire socialist camp, which encompassed a third of the globe and a quarter of the world’s population, and which shook imperialism to its very foundations. Just as the war itself was a product of imperialism, the victory of the Soviet Union in this titanic struggle was firmly rooted in the system of socialism. Precisely for this reason, it has been the unceasing endeavour of the imperialist bourgeoisie to distort and falsify the history of the second world war – for the sole purpose of prettifying the nature and role of imperialism and maligning that of the Soviet Union.
Every anniversary of the victory over fascism, this festival of progressive humanity, only serves to become an occasion for the bourgeois falsification of history.
Fifteen years ago, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the victory against fascism, we were treated to headlines such as “Germany’s fate settled in the Atlantic”, “How Hitler was defeated by his own madness”, etc, when the fact is, as every well-informed person knows, that the fate of Nazi Germany was sealed on the eastern front, in the titanic battles of Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad and Kursk. Those who assert otherwise would do well to remember the following observations of the wartime statesman of Britain, France and the United States.
Churchill: “It’s the Russian army that tore the guts out of the German military machine”.
General Charles de Gaulle: “The Russian efforts, inflicting irreparable damage to the German war machine, were the main factor in the liberation of our country’s territory”.
Franklin D Roosevelt: “Russian armies are killing more Germans and destroying axis material than all the 25 nations put together”.
Further, in his letter of February 1943, US President Roosevelt wrote to Stalin as follows:
“On behalf of the people of the United States, I want to express to the Red Army on its 25th anniversary our profound admiration for its magnificent achievements unsurpassed in all history. For many months, in spite of many tremendous losses of supplies, transportation and territory, the Red Army denied victory to a most powerful enemy. It checked him at Stalingrad, at Moscow, at Voronezh, in the Caucasus and finally at the immortal battle of Stalingrad, the Red Army not only defeated the enemy but launched the great offensive, which is still moving forward along the whole front from the Baltic to the Black Sea. The Red Army and the Russian people have surely started the Hitler forces on the road to ultimate defeat”.
Finally, US Secretary of State, Stettinius: “The American people should remember that they were on the brink of disaster in 1942. If the Soviet Union had failed to hold on its front, Germany would have been in a position to conquer Great Britain. They would have been able to overrun Africa too, and in this event they would have established a foothold in Latin America.”
Equally, all objective observers agree that western imperialism went to war against Nazi Germany not in the interests of freedom and the fight against fascism but to protect its own colonialist and imperialist interests after all attempts at safeguarding the same through appeasement had resulted in an ignominious and scandalous collapse. Here, briefly, are the facts that led to Britain and France declaring war against Germany.
Imperialism’s hatred for the USSR
All imperialists, of the Nazi and ‘democratic’ variety alike, and all imperialist politicians, social democrats no less than Conservatives, were fired by an intense hatred of the USSR, the only socialist state at the time, for the simple reason that through planned socialist construction, she was building a new life for her people, free of exploitation, oppression, unemployment, misery and degradation. And this at a time when the entire capitalist world was in the iron grip of the hitherto worst slump, which had forced 50 million working people on to the scrap heap, rendering them jobless, homeless and hungry. The Soviet Union alone stood as a shining beacon and an example to the world’s workers of how their lives too could change qualitatively for the better if only the state power was in the hands of the working class. Encircled as she was by bloodthirsty imperialists, the USSR was well aware of the dangers confronting it. Its leadership followed an extremely complicated, and singularly scientific policy on the question of war with imperialism, which may be summarised as follows.
Soviet position on war with imperialism
First, it was the endeavour of the Soviet Union not to embroil herself in a war with imperialism.
Second, since it was not entirely up to her to avoid such a war, then, if imperialism should impose a war on the Soviet Union, the latter should not find herself in the position of having to fight alone, let alone having to face the combined onslaught of the principal imperialist countries.
Third, to this end, divisions between the fascist imperialist states on the one hand and the ‘democratic’ imperialist states on the other should be fully exploited. These divisions were real, based on the material interests of the two groups of states under consideration. Uneven development of capitalism had seen to it that Germany, Italy and Japan, having spurted ahead in the capitalist development of their economies (a development that had rendered obsolete the old division of the world), were demanding a new division, which could not but encroach upon the material interests of the ‘democratic’ imperialist states. There was thus real scope for this conflict of interests to be exploited by the socialist USSR.
Fourth, to this end, the USSR, pursuing a very complicated foreign policy, did its best to conclude a collective security pact with the ‘democratic’ imperialist states, providing, in the event of such aggression taking place, for collective action against the aggressors.
Fifth, when the ‘democratic’ imperialist states, overcome by their hatred of communism, refused to conclude a collective security pact with the USSR and continued their policy of appeasement of the fascist states, in particular that of Nazi Germany in an effort to direct her aggression in an eastwardly direction against the Soviet Union, the latter was forced to try some other method of protecting the interests of the socialist motherland of the international proletariat. Addressing the 18th Party Congress of the CPSU in March, 1939, Stalin exposed the motives behind the policy of non-intervention adopted by the ‘democratic’ imperialist countries, particularly Britain and France, thus:
“The policy of non-intervention reveals an eagerness, a desire . . . not to hinder Germany, say . . . from embroiling herself in a war with the Soviet Union, to allow all the belligerents to sink deeply in the mire of war, to encourage them surreptitiously in this; to allow them to weaken and exhaust one another; and then, when they have become weak enough, to appear on the scene with fresh strength, to appear, of course, ‘in the interests of peace’, and to dictate conditions to the enfeebled belligerents.
“Cheap and easy!” (Stalin, Problems of Leninism, Moscow, 1953, p754)
Further, referring to the Munich agreement, which surrendered Czechoslovakia to the Nazis, Stalin continued: “one might think that the districts of Czechoslovakia were yielded to Germany as the price of an undertaking to launch war on the Soviet Union . . .” (Ibid, p756)
By way of outlining the tasks of Soviet foreign policy, as well as by way of a veiled warning to the ruling classes in the ‘democratic’ imperialist countries, Stalin went on to stress the need “to be cautious and not allow our country to be drawn into conflicts by warmongers who are accustomed to have others pull chestnuts out of the fire for them”. (Ibid, p759)
Thus it was that in the face of intransigent refusal on the part of Britain and France to conclude a collective security pact, and in the aftermath of the Munich agreement, about which the Soviet Union was not even consulted, that the latter turned the tables on the foreign policy of Britain and France by signing, on 23 August 1939, the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact.
Sixth, in signing this pact, the USSR not only ensured that she would not be fighting Germany alone, but also that the latter would be fighting against the very powers who had been trying, by their refusal to agree on collective security, to embroil the USSR in a war with Germany. On 1 September 1939, Hitler invaded Poland. Two days later, the Anglo-French ultimatum expired, and Britain and France were at war with Germany.
Of course, it is understandable that imperialism even today should attack and accuse the USSR and Stalin of ‘betrayal’ for concluding the non-aggression pact with Germany (conveniently ‘forgetting’ that the real betrayal had taken place at Munich a year earlier), for this Pact advanced the cause of socialism and the liberation of humanity from the yoke of fascism.
It is understandable that imperialism should today heap abuse on the Soviet Union and Stalin, for the Soviet-German non-aggression pact turned the tables on Anglo-French imperialism, with its policy of turning Hitlerite Germany against the Soviet Union. In pursuit of this policy Britain and France had turned a blind eye while the Hitlerite Nazis tore up all the restrictions on German militarism imposed by the Versailles Treaty. They had allowed the expansion and rearmament of German military forces as well as the organisation of a powerful air force. A new Anglo-German naval agreement in 1935 allowed Germany to expand its Navy at frenetic speed in defiance of the Versailles Treaty – and this too after Germany had withdrawn from the League of Nations and repudiated the Treaty of Versailles. In 1936, Saar was handed over to Germany; and in March 1936 Anglo-French imperialism stood by while German troops entered the Rhineland. In March 1938, there was no protest when Germany annexed Austria. The final act in this nefarious game was the Munich Agreement of 30 September 1938.
In addition, there was enormous economic assistance given by Britain and the US to strengthen Germany. A German capitalist in prison at Nuremberg following the Second World War had this to say to his British and American prosecutors: “If you want to put on trial the industrialists who helped Germany arm itself, you must put on trial your own industrialists”.
An enquiry by the US Congress during the War concluded that the Wehrmacht would have been unable to fight the war without trucks built by the US-owned Opel and Ford plants, aircraft engines and special equipment supplied by Lorenz Plants, and without oil supplies from the US.
Seventh, the provisions of the additional secret protocol went far enough to safeguard the Soviet ‘spheres of interests’, which proved vital to Soviet defences when the war actually reached her.
Finally, the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact bought the Soviet Union an extremely valuable period of two years for strengthening her defence preparedness before she entered a war she knew she could not stay out of forever.
When the war was finally forced on the Soviet Union, she made the most heroic contribution in the crowning and glorious victory of the allies against Nazi Germany. The Red Army and the Soviet people showed their tenacity, and the tenacity and superiority of the socialist system, by defeating the Nazis in the USSR and pursuing them all the way to Berlin, liberating in the process country after country from the Nazi jackboot occupation and bringing socialism to Eastern Europe.
All revolutionary and honest bourgeois historians and politicians agree on the above summary. Only the most die-hard anti-communists, particularly the Trotskyites, ever dare to dispute it.
Bourgeois predictions of Soviet collapse
By the summer of 1940, through a combination of luck and some bold strokes, Hitler’s armies had chased the British off the continent of Europe and thus become the masters of western and central Europe, whose people groaned under fascist occupation. Hitler was at last in a position to wage war against the USSR, which he launched under the codename Operation Barbarossa at 3.30am on 22 June 1941.
When, on that fateful day, the German army crossed the border into the USSR, most western bourgeois politicians and military strategists gave her no more than six weeks before what they regarded as her inevitable collapse in the face of the mighty German armed forces. Their judgement had obviously been coloured by the fate of countries such as Poland and France, each of which lay prostrate within less than two weeks of being invaded by the German army. They were affected too by the fate of the British army, so humiliatingly expelled from the Continent in the May 1940 fiasco, which goes by the name of the Dunkirk spirit. Furthermore, the bourgeois ideologues believed in their own anti-Soviet propaganda to the effect that the Soviet army had been ‘decimated’ and ‘decapitated’ as a result of the trial and execution of Tukhachevsky and other army officers on treason charges and was therefore in no position to wage war; that the Bolshevik Party had been ‘denuded’ of leadership consequent upon the three Moscow Trials of the leading Trotskyites and Bukharinites on charges of treason, murder, sabotage and wrecking; that as a result of ‘forced’ collectivisation the peasantry was sullen and therefore most likely to revolt against the Soviet regime in the conditions of war. In all this, the bourgeois ideologists were cruelly deluded.
Even before the war against the Soviet Union started, the chief imperialist ideologue, namely, Leon Trotsky, made, with malicious glee, a number of predictions about the ‘inevitable’ defeat of the USSR in the then coming war. In his Revolution Betrayed, he wrote: “Can we, however, expect that the Soviet Union will come out of the coming great war without defeat? To this frankly posed question we will answer as frankly; if the war should only remain a war, the defeat of the Soviet Union will be inevitable. In a technical, economic and military sense, imperialism is incomparably more strong. If it is not paralysed by revolution in the west, imperialism will sweep away the regime which issued from the October Revolution.” (Revolution Betrayed, p. 216)
Bourgeois predictions belied
Not only Trotsky, but also the imperialist bourgeoisie (which paid Trotsky so well, and for whom it opened the columns of its press, to write such rubbish and to spew out so much anti-Soviet venom) believed in these baseless assertions. It therefore came as a total surprise to the imperialists when the Soviet Union, far from collapsing under Nazi attack, proved to be the only force, not only to withstand but also to defeat and smash to smithereens the Nazi war machine.
The Red Army and Soviet people, united as one under the leadership of the CPSU and their Supreme Commander Joseph Stalin, exploded this myth of Nazi invincibility. Soviet victories in the titanic battles of Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, Leningrad and Berlin will forever be cherished not only by the peoples of the former, great and glorious Soviet Union, but also by all progressive humanity.
Each of these battles involved upwards of a million men on each side. In the words of Ian Grey:
“The Battle of Moscow had been an epic event . . . It had involved more than 2 million men, 2,500 tanks, 1,800 aircraft and 25,000 guns. Casualties had been horrifying in scale. For the Russians it had ended in victory. They had suffered the full impact of the German ‘Blitzkrieg’ offensive and, notwithstanding their losses . . . they had been able to mount an effective counterattack. They had begun to destroy the myth of German invincibility . . .”
In this battle the Germans lost more than half a million soldiers, 1,300 tanks, 2,500 guns, 15,000 trucks and much other equipment.
The defeat of Germany at Moscow had great international significance and was greeted with jubilation throughout the world; from then on all progressive humanity linked that victory to its hopes for an approaching liberation from the fascist yoke.
Retreating German soldiers in Istra near Moscow wrote on the walls “Farewell Moscow, we are off to Berlin”, to which the Soviet soldiers added a rejoinder: “We’ll get to Berlin too”.
“After the defeat of Germans before Moscow, the strategic initiative on all sectors of the Soviet-German front passed to the Soviet command . . . After the defeat of the Nazis at Moscow, not only ordinary Germans but many German officers and generals were convinced of the might of the Soviet state and recognised that the Soviet armed forces represented an insurmountable obstacle to the achievement of Hitler’s objectives.” 
The surrender on 1 February 1943 at Stalingrad, by the fascist General Von Paulus and 23 other generals, mesmerised the world. The victory of the Red Army at Stalingrad was as incredible as it was heroic. The Nazi losses in the Volga-Don-Stalingrad area were 1.5 million men, 3,500 tanks, 12,000 guns and 3,000 aircraft. Never before had the Nazi war machine, which was accustomed to running over countries in days and weeks, suffered such a humiliating defeat, a defeat “in which the flower of the German army perished. It was against the background of this battle . . . that Stalin now rose to almost titanic stature in the eyes of the world”. (Isaac Deutscher, Stalin – A Political Biography, Pelican, London, 1966, p472)
From now on, nothing but defeat stared the Germans in the face, leading all the way to the entry of the Red Army into Berlin and the storming by it of the Reichstag on 30 April 1945 – the same day that the Führer committed suicide. Six days later, Field-Marshall Wilhelm Keitel, acting on behalf of the German High Command, surrendered to Marshall Zhukov.
Reasons for Soviet Victory
How was it possible for the USSR to succeed where others had failed so miserably? There are several reasons for this success.
1. Elimination of the fifth column
First, because the CPSU and the Soviet regime ruthlessly purged the party, the government and the armed forces of the fifth column elements.
Far from weakening the Soviet regime or the Red Army, these purges, along with the Moscow Trials, helped to eliminate precisely those elements who would have collaborated with the Nazis and acted as a fifth column. In the summer of 1941, shortly after the Nazi invasion of the USSR, US Ambassador to Moscow, Joseph E Davies wrote the following appraisal of the historical significance of the Moscow trials:
“There was no so-called ‘internal aggression’ in Russia cooperating with the German High Command. Hitler’s march into Prague in 1939 was accompanied by the active military support of Henlein’s organisations in Czechoslovakia. The same thing was true of his invasion of Norway. There were no Sudeten Henleins, no Slovakian Tisos, no Belgian De Grelles, no Norwegian Quislings in the Russian picture . .
“The story had been told in the so-called treason or purge trials of 1937 and 1938 which I attended and listened to. In re-examining the record of these cases and also what I had written at the time . . . I found that practically every device of German fifth columnist activity, as we now know it, was disclosed and laid bare by the confessions and testimony elicited at these trials of self-confessed ‘Quislings’ in Russia . . .
“All of these trials, purges, and liquidations, which seemed so violent at the time and shocked the world, are now quite clearly a part of a vigorous and determined effort of the Stalin government to protect itself not only from revolution from within but from attack from without. They went to work thoroughly to clean up and clean out all treasonable elements within the country. All doubts were resolved in favour of the government.
“There were no fifth columnists in Russia in 1941 – they had shot them. The purge had cleansed the country and rid it of treason.”
If we are to believe the bourgeois-Trotskyist drivel – that after the trials the USSR’s armed forces were left bereft of a general staff – how, then are we to explain the existence in the Red Army of such brilliant and legendary generals, whose exploits are known the world over, as Zhukov, Chuikov, Shtemenko, Yeremenko, Timoshenko, Vasilevsky, Sokolovsky, Rokossovsky, Koniev, Voroshilov, Budenny, Mekhlis, Kulik and many, many more?
Second, the USSR was successful because she had been building up her industry and collectivising her agriculture on the lines of socialism. The implementation of such a programme, in addition to endowing the USSR with material strength, brought a resurgence of proletarian pride in their achievements, an ardent faith in the bright future of socialism, and a grim determination to defend the gains of socialism against external and internal enemies alike. But this programme did not fall from heaven by itself, fortuitously as it were. It had to be fought for tooth and nail against its ‘left’ (Trotskyist) and Right (Bukharinite) opponents; it had to survive the wrecking, sabotage and treasonable conspiracies of the Trotskyite and Bukharinite capitulators and despicable lackeys of imperialism. In a word, it was a programme born out of, and amidst, conditions of fierce class struggle.
Although the Soviet Union would have dearly loved to have been left alone in peace to continue the task of socialist construction, her leadership was well aware of the dangers, of the fact that imperialism would drag her into the war. It was not, therefore, within Soviet power to avert involvement in a war with imperialism, for, as a Chinese saying has it, ‘The tree may prefer the calm, but the wind will not subside’. Precisely for this reason, with the impending war in mind, the leadership of the CPSU had refused, in the teeth of opposition from the camp of the Bukharinite capitulators, to slow down the tempo of industrialisation. Speaking at the Conference of Leading Personnel of Socialist Industry on 4 February 1931, Stalin had this to say:
“We are fifty or a hundred years behind the advanced countries. We must make good this distance in ten years. Either we do it, or we shall go under.” 
As a result of this gigantic effort, in 1940 gross output of Soviet industry was 8.5 times greater than the industrial production of tsarist Russia in 1913, whereas the output of large-scale industry had increased 12-fold and machine-building 35-fold.
3. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolshevik)
The third reason for Soviet victory was that they were led by such a revolutionary proletarian party as the CPSU(B), whose leadership as well as lower ranks were characterised by an unreserved spirit of dedication to the cause of the proletariat, and a self-sacrificing heroism, and commanded the respect of non-party masses. Of 27 million Soviets who died in the war, 3 million belonged to the Communist Party. Millions of Soviet soldiers, partisans and civilians went to their deaths with the slogan: ‘For the motherland and for Comrade Stalin’ on their lips – such were the love and affection with which the Soviet masses cherished their socialist motherland and its helmsman, such was the charisma of Joseph Stalin, who inspired the Soviet people to unprecedented feats of heroism.
4. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
The fourth reason for the victory of the Soviet Union was the existence of this unique institution in the history of humanity, namely the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) – a multi-national state established by the victorious proletariat consequent upon the Great Socialist October Revolution, which had outlawed exploitation of one human being by another within each of its constituent parts, and exploitation of one nation by another. In truth, this was a free and fraternal association of dozens of nations who lived together to construct a common bright future, and where injury to one was regarded as an injury to all.
It was in the defence of this USSR that the Soviet people were prepared to make the enormous sacrifices that they did make and suffer the devastation that they did suffer. To defend the USSR, 27 million Soviet people paid with their lives. These 27 million represented 13.5% of the pre-war Soviet population. In the 1,418 days of the war (22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945), the Soviet Union lost 9 lives every minute, 857 every hour and 14,000 every day. 25 million Soviet people were rendered homeless. In the end the Soviet people were victorious. Through this victory, they not only cleared the Nazis from Soviet soil, but also liberated 113 million people in the lands lying to the west of the USSR. 300,000 Soviet soldiers died liberating Poland from the Nazis in 1944. It is nothing short of indecent ingratitude that the present-day semi-fascist rulers of Poland and their imperialist masters try to portray the Soviet role over Poland as an incoming colonial power rather than an agent of liberation of the Polish people from Nazi fascism, and have even gone to the absurd lengths of banning all Soviet symbols from depiction in Poland (as a result of which the purported Soviet soldiers in the calumnious film Katyn could not be shown wearing their hammer and sickle emblems on their uniforms).
To put in perspective the relative contribution of the various powers fighting against Germany and Japan, let it be remembered that the US casualties in this war represented a mere 0.3% of its population, and in the case of the UK, 0.6% of her population. In the Far East, in its fight against Japanese fascism, China lost 20 million of her people. Thus it can be seen that, of the 60 million lives lost in the Second World War, 47 million are accounted for by the Soviet Union and China. These are the two countries that paid the heaviest price in the cause of the liberation of humanity, and not the heroes of Normandy.
For every allied soldier, 40 Soviet soldiers died in the war. 190 German divisions invaded the Soviet Union. 77% of the German armed forces were mobilised against the USSR along the entire Soviet front. The length of the Soviet front during the war years varied from 2,200 to 6,200 kilometres, while the front of the allies never exceeded 800 kilometres after the Normandy landing. Germany suffered by far its heaviest losses on the Soviet-German front, representing more than 73% of its losses in manpower, 75% in tanks and aircraft and 74% in artillery.
ABSENCE OF A SECOND FRONT
In the first few weeks of the war the Soviet Union suffered enormous losses. These are to be explained not only by the surprise German attack and earlier Nazi mobilisation but also the absence of a second front.
In the absence of such a front, the German fascists were not compelled to dissipate their forces and to wage war on two fronts, in the west and in the east. Thus the German rear in the west was secured and this enabled Germany to move all its troops against the USSR, which single-handedly fought against the forces of Germany and her Finnish, Rumanian, Italian and Hungarian allies.
In the first world war there were two fronts, and therefore Germany was able to station only 85 of its 220 divisions on the Russian front. If one takes into account the forces of Germany’s allies during the first world war, there were 127 German divisions stationed on the Russian front.
In stark contrast, there was no second front during the second world war, with the result that of the 256 German fascist divisions, 176 were stationed on the Soviet front. If we add to these 22 Rumanian, 14 Finnish, 10 Italian, 1 Slovak, 1 Spanish and 13 Hungarian divisions, this brings the number of fascist divisions on the eastern front close to 240. The remaining divisions of Germany and her allies performed garrison service in occupied countries such as France, Belgium, Norway, Holland, Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia etc, while a few fought in Libya for Egypt against Britain.
“Because of the absence of a second front, Germany was able to keep as little as 20 percent of its armed forces on other fronts and in occupied countries.” (Zhukov, ibid, p115)
Thus 80 percent of the Nazi armed forces were concentrated in the east, along the entire front from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea.
As early as May 1942, Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov reached a complete agreement with Britain and the United States that a second front would be opened in Europe in 1942. This agreement was confirmed the following month. However, within a month of this confirmation, it had been put on the back burner, causing Stalin to send a message, in which he hardly bothered to disguise his anger, to Churchill: “As to . . . opening a second front in Europe, I fear the matter is taking an improper turn.
“In view of the situation of the Soviet-German front, I state most emphatically that the Soviet government cannot tolerate the second front in Europe being postponed till 1943.”
On 12 August 1942, Stalin met Churchill and US presidential envoy Harriman in Moscow. During this meeting, Churchill, fully supported by Harriman, refused to honour their earlier promise concerning the second front. A day later, in his memorandum of 13 August 1942, Stalin conveyed the Soviet anger at the Anglo-American betrayal of an agreement solemnly reached barely three months earlier in these blunt terms:
“It will be recalled that the decision to open a second front in Europe in 1942 was reached at the time of Molotov’s visit to London, and found expression in the agreed Anglo-Soviet communiqué released on 12 June last.
“It will be recalled further”, Stalin continued, “that the opening of a second front in Europe was designed to divert German forces from the eastern front to the west, to set up in the west a major centre of resistance to the German fascist forces and thereby ease the position of the Soviet troops on the Soviet-German front in 1942.
“Needless to say, the Soviet high command, in planning its summer and autumn operations, counted on a second front being opened in Europe in 1942.
“It will be readily understood that the British government’s refusal to open a second front in Europe in 1942 delivers a mortal blow to Soviet public opinion, which had hoped that the second front would be opened, complicates the position of the Red Army at the front and injures the plans of the Soviet high command.
“I say nothing of the fact that the difficulties in which the Red Army is involved through the refusal to open a second front in 1942 are bound to impair the military position of Britain and the other allies.
“I and my colleagues believe that the year 1942 offers the most favourable conditions for a second front in Europe, seeing that nearly all the German forces – and their crack troops, too – are tied down on the eastern front, while only negligible forces, and the poorest, too, are left in Europe.
“It is hard to say whether 1943 will offer as favourable for opening a second front as 1942. For this reason we think that it is possible and necessary to open a second front in Europe in 1942.
“Unfortunately, I did not succeed in convincing the British prime minister of this, while Mr Harriman, the US president’s representative at the Moscow talks, fully supported the prime minister.”
At the time when Stalin sent the above memorandum, although the Battle of Moscow had been won by it, the USSR, approaching as she was the Battle of Stalingrad, which was to test her strength to the utmost, could hardly be said to have emerged from the woods. These were singularly difficult times for her and the USSR was literally fighting for her life, for it would be another five months before the turning point of the war, the Soviet victory and Nazi rout at Stalingrad, would be achieved. Churchill could not but have been aware of all this. And yet his response was to deny that Britain and the US had ever given any undertaking for opening a second front in Europe in 1942.
A month after the Soviet victory at Stalingrad, Churchill sent a message to Stalin stating that preparations were under way for a “cross-channel operation in August, in which British and United States units would participate”.
Stalin, quite correctly regarding this as yet another dilatory ploy, wrote back asking for “shortening these limits to the utmost for the opening of a second front in the west”, stressing “so that the enemy should not be given a chance to recover, it is very important, to my mind, that the blow from the west, instead of being put off till the second half of the year, be delivered in spring or early summer”.
But to no avail.
Why no second front?
Why was there no second front in the west? There was no second front because, almost right up to the end of the war, Britain and America never gave up their duplicitous desire to come to an understanding with Hitler and leave him free to concentrate his forces on the Soviet frontier, or, if the possibility should present itself, to march hand-in-hand with Nazi Germany on Moscow. Nothing came of those desires for a variety of reasons.
While being compelled by the force of circumstances to be on the same side as the USSR during the second world war, while being obliged to pay hypocritical public tributes to the resistance and heroic fighting spirit displayed by the Red Army, the western imperialist leaders, in particular Churchill, imbued as they were with a burning hatred of communism, never gave up their anti-Soviet plots. Way back in October 1942, at the height of the battle of Stalingrad, realising the impossibility of the Soviet Union being crushed by Nazi Germany, Churchill commenced his anti-Soviet planning.
Churchill’s real policy aims in the war were revealed in a secret memorandum he dictated as early as October 1942, but whose contents were not made public until Harold Macmillan revealed them to a meeting of the European Community in Strasbourg in September 1949. Realising the real possibility of the Nazis being destroyed by the Red Army, Churchill stated in this memorandum that instead of carrying forward the policy of genuine coalition with the Soviet Union, he believed “it would be a measureless disaster if this Russian barbarism overlaid the culture and independence of the ancient states of Europe …” In view of this he blocked the opening of the second front.
In a speech that he made in Woodford, England, on 23 November 1954, Churchill boasted in these terms: “even before the war had ended and while the Germans were still surrendering by hundreds of thousands, I telegraphed Lord Montgomery, directing him to stack German arms so that they could be easily issued again to the German soldiers, with whom we should have to work if the Soviet advance continued”.
Plots for a new anti-Soviet alliance
By the end of March 1945, the Nazi leadership, fully aware that the game was up and the days of Nazi Germany strictly limited, tried to turn the tide by a reversal of alliances, hoping to convince Britain and the US that the real threat was the ‘red menace’ of ‘imperialist Bolshevism’. In pursuit of precisely such a reversal of alliances, the German armies, while in headlong retreat everywhere on the western front, offered very stiff resistance on the eastern front. In reply to Churchill’s communication dated 5 April 1945 that “the German armies in the west have been broken’, Stalin expressed himself in the following terms on 7 April: ‘The Germans have 147 divisions on the eastern front. They could safely withdraw from 15 to 20 divisions from the eastern front to aid their forces on the western front.
“Yet they have not done so, nor are they doing so. They are fighting desperately for Zemlenice, an obscure station in Czechoslovakia, which they need as much as a dead man needs a poultice, but they surrender without any resistance such important towns in the heart of Germany as Osnabrück, Mannheim and Kassel.
“You will admit that this behaviour on the part of the Germans is more than strange and unaccountable.”
Not so strange, considering that on the night of 23 April 1945, a mere two weeks after Stalin’s above communication to Churchill, in a cellar of the Swedish consulate in the old Hanseatic port of Lübeck, Count Folke Bernadotte, envoy from allegedly neutral Sweden to Nazi Germany, and Heinrich Himmler, chief of the SS, held a secret meeting at which Himmler signed a document of surrender to Britain and the US on the assumption that the latter two countries would now take over the eastern front and march on Moscow, hand in hand with Germany. Hearing of the death on 12 April 1945 of ‘Jewish’ Roosevelt, Goebbels really believed that the ‘miracle’ was in the making. That this was not the case is solely to be explained by the fact that by the time of Himmler’s secret meeting with Count Bernadotte, “Hitler’s fate in the bunker was sealed by the Red Army advance. None the less, the Nazi leadership knew that Churchill had grave doubts about the fate of eastern Europe if the Soviets established hegemony. In the closing days of the war the analyses in London and Berlin were uncannily identical.” (Sunday Times, ibid, our emphasis)
Earlier still, in the autumn of 1944, when on the surface it appeared that the Allies were working single-mindedly in their final drive to victory, Churchill, with the knowledge of the Americans, entered into negotiations with Kesselring, the German commander in Italy, for a separate peace. The Soviet Union came to know of it and Stalin, in a telegram, questioned Churchill. The latter was obliged to tender an abject apology, which was accepted by Stalin.
So much, then, for the rubbish concerning British imperialism’s fight against fascism.
Barely a month before the Potsdam Conference, in a last-ditch effort to postpone the retirement, as agreed under the Tripartite Accord reached at Yalta in February, of the American forces from the areas occupied by them to their prescribed occupation zone, Churchill returned to his Goebbelsian obsession with the Soviet Union and the descent of the iron curtain in a letter of 4 June to Harry Truman. “I view with profound misgivings the retreat of the American army to our line of occupation in the central sector, thus bringing Soviet power into the heart of western Europe and the descent of an iron curtain between us and everything to the eastward.
“I had hoped that this retreat, if it had to be made, would be accompanied by the settlement of many great things which would be the true foundation of world peace.”
However, the facts on the ground made certain that Truman had no choice but to comply with the Tripartite Accord. This was especially so as the US still badly needed Soviet armed might for the war in the east against Japan. The successful testing of the atom bomb by the US was shortly to change all this.
Within a few weeks of the defeat of Nazi Germany, Churchill instructed the war cabinet to draw up a contingency plan for a massive attack against the Red Army resulting in the ‘elimination of Russia’. This was revealed by documents released by the Public Record Office in the autumn of 1998. Churchill’s plan, code-named Operation Unthinkable was detailed in a top secret file entitled ‘Russia: Threat to Western Civilisation’. It envisaged tens of thousands of British and US troops, supported by 100,000 defeated German Nazi soldiers, turning on their wartime ally in a surprise attack stretching from the Baltic to Dresden.
The plan was based on the assumption that the third world war would begin on 1 July 1945 – that is, less than two months after VE Day celebrations of the ‘Allied’ victory in Europe. However, the plan was quickly squashed by the chiefs of staff who believed that it would involve Britain in a protracted and costly war with no certainty of victory.
The absence of a second front reveals clearly that Britain and America had gone to war against Germany not to fight against fascism, which both of them had done much to bolster up prior to the war, in the hope of hurling it against the USSR; that they had gone to war not in the interests of liberty and self-determination of nations, but, on the contrary, to preserve their colonial and imperialist interests against the encroachment of rapacious German imperialism. Of all the allied powers, the Soviet Union alone entered the war and continued it until victory in the interests of socialism, liberty and the right of the oppressed and colonial peoples to self-determination.
D-Day: the long-delayed second front
After the Soviet victories at Stalingrad and Kursk, the Red Army’s inexorable march to Berlin began. No force on earth could stop it. Such a prospect could not but alarm and terrify Anglo-American imperialism. If the Red Army were to liberate the continent of Europe from Nazi occupation and tyranny all by herself, as she certainly had then the capacity to do, surely that would doom the rule of capital. The D-Day landings, of which we hear so much nonsense every year, were launched not to free Europe and to defeat the Nazi armed forces; for the Nazi army had been smashed single-handedly in the previous three years by the Red Army, which had fought the Nazi war machine and ‘tore its guts’, to use Churchill’s apt expression. In one of his last messages to Stalin, Churchill made a frank admission that the honour of sealing “the doom of German militarism” belonged to the Red Army and the Soviet Union, adding that “future generations will acknowledge their debt to the Red Army”.
It was thus with the object of saving as much for imperialism as possible that the invasion of Normandy was finally launched by the western allies of the Soviet Union on 6 June 1944, in which 200,000 men and nearly 5,000 ships took part, and on which day western bombers flew 14,000 sorties. All the same, the Red Army was the first to reach Berlin and hoist the red flag on the Reichstag building. In the process it had liberated eastern Europe, helped to de-Nazify it, and helped establish people’s democracies, which were moving stridently along the road of socialism before having their development reversed by the triumph of Khrushchevite revisionism within the USSR itself.
STALIN AND THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR
It is impossible to write anything like a serious and meaningful account of the Soviet war effort and its contribution in smashing German fascism and militarism while refusing to recognise the supremely important role played by Stalin. Yet precisely this is being attempted by the bourgeoisie everywhere. There is a kind of division of labour between the imperialist bourgeoisie of the west and the new bourgeoisie of Russia.
Those who attempt to spit at the moon, end up spitting at their own faces, runs an old saying. Attempts to belittle the role of Stalin and to malign him will fare no better, for history has already passed judgement in the form of the glorious achievements of the former USSR, under his leadership, in every field – including, of course, the victory of the Red Army in the Great Patriotic War. Zhukov himself would have agreed with this statement.
Stalin’s leadership during the war was nothing short of inspirational. When Moscow was under the shadow of the enemy guns, Stalin refused to leave Moscow. The traditional Red Army parade to mark the anniversary of the October Revolution took place, as usual, in Red Square on 7 November 1941. These are the words with which Stalin inspired the Red Army soldiers:
“Comrades, men of the Red Army and Red Navy, Commanders and political instructors, men and women guerrillas, the whole world is looking to you as the forces capable of destroying the plundering hordes of German invaders. The enslaved peoples of Europe who have fallen under the yoke of the German invaders look to you as their liberators. A great liberating mission has fallen to your lot. Be worthy of this mission! The war you are waging is a war of liberation. A just war. Let the manly images of our great ancestors – Alexander Nevsky, Dimitry Donskoy, Kazuma Minin, Dimitry Pozharsky, Alexander Suvorov and Mikhail Kutzov – inspire you in this war! May the victorious banner of the great Lenin be your lodestar!” (Emphasis added)
Although the credit for the victory must correctly be given to the Soviet armed forces and the heroic efforts of the Soviet people, no narrative of these fateful years is complete without a reference, indeed a fulsome tribute, to the undisputed leader of the CPSU(B), the Soviet people, and the Supreme Commander of the Soviet forces – Joseph Stalin. Even a renegade like Gorbachev was obliged, apropos the Soviet victory in the second world war, to admit that: “A factor in the achievement of victory was the tremendous political will, purposefulness and persistence, ability to organise and discipline people, displayed in the war years by Joseph Stalin.” (‘Report at the festive meeting on the 70th anniversary of the Great October Revolution’ held in Moscow on 2 November 1987, p25)
Ian Grey, who is a bourgeois but honest writer, has this to say: “The massive setbacks and the immediate threat to Moscow would have unnerved most men, but the impact on Stalin was to strengthen his grim determination to fight. No single factor was more important in holding the nation from disintegration at this time.” (Ibid, p335)
Further: “It was in a real sense his [Stalin’s] victory. It could not have been won without his industrialisation campaign and especially the intensive development of industry beyond the Volga. Collectivisation had contributed to the victory by enabling the government to stockpile food and raw materials to prevent paralysis in industry and famine in the towns. But also collectivisation, with its machine-tractor stations, had given the peasants their first training in the use of tractors and other machines.” (Ibid, p419)
Quoting Isaac Deutscher, who is far from friendly to Stalin, approvingly, Ian Grey continues: “‘Collectivised farming had been ‘the peasants’ preparatory school for mechanised warfare’ . . .
“It was his victory, too, because he had directed and controlled every branch of Russian operations throughout the war. The range and burden of his responsibilities were extraordinary, but day by day without a break for the four years of the war he exercised direct command of the Russian forces and control over supplies, war industries, and government policy, including foreign policy.” (Ibid, pp419-420)
Finally, the same writer says: “It was his victory, above all, because it had been won by his genius and labours, heroic in scale. The Russian people had looked to him for leadership, and he had not failed them. His speeches of 3 July and 6 November 1941, which had steeled them for the trials of war, and his presence in Moscow during the great battle of the city, had demonstrated his will to victory. He . . . inspired them and gave them positive direction. He had the capacity of attending to detail and keeping in mind the broad picture, and, while remembering the past and immersed in the present, he was constantly looking ahead to the future.” (Ibid, p424)
Innately hostile as he is to Stalin, Deutscher is nevertheless obliged to paint this picture of Stalin’s role during the war:
“Many allied visitors who called at the Kremlin during the war were astonished to see on how many issues, great and small, military, political or diplomatic, Stalin personally took the final decision. He was in effect his own Commander-in-Chief, his own minister of defence, his own quartermaster, his own minister of supply, his own foreign minister, and even his own chef de protocol. The stavka, the Red Army’s GHQ, was in his offices in the Kremlin. From his office desk, in constant and direct touch with the commands of the various fronts, he watched and directed the campaigns in the field. From his office desk, too, he managed another stupendous operation, the evacuation of 1,360 plants and factories from western Russia and the Ukraine to the Volga, the Urals and Siberia, an evacuation that involved not only machines and installations but millions of workmen and their families. Between one function and the other he bargained with, say, Beaverbrook and Harriman over the quantities of aluminium or the calibre of rifles and anti-aircraft guns to be delivered to Russia by the western allies; or he received leaders of the guerrillas . . . from German occupied territory and discussed with them raids to be carried out hundreds of miles behind the enemy’s lines. At the height of the battle of Moscow, in December 1941, when the thunder of Hitler’s guns hovered ominously over the streets of Moscow, he found time enough to start a subtle diplomatic game with the Polish General Sikorski, who had come to conclude a Russo-Polish treaty . . . He entertained them [foreign envoys and visitors] usually late at night and in the small hours of the morning. After a day filled with military reports, operational decisions, economic instructions and diplomatic haggling, he would at dawn pore over the latest dispatches from the commissariat of Home Affairs, the NKVD. . . . Thus he went on, day after day, throughout four years of hostilities – a prodigy of patience, tenacity, and vigilance, almost omnipresent, almost omniscient.” (Isaac Deutscher, Stalin, pp456-457)
And further: “there is no doubt that he was their [the Soviet troops’] real Commander-in-Chief. His leadership was by no means confined to the taking of abstract strategic decisions, at which civilian politicians may excel. The avid interest with which he studied the technical aspects of modern warfare, down to the minute detail, shows him to have been anything but a dilettante. He viewed the war primarily from the angle of logistics . . . To secure reserves of manpower and supplies of weapons, in the right quantities and proportions, to allocate them and transport them to the right points at the right time, to amass a decisive strategic reserve and to have it ready for intervention at decisive moments – these operations made up nine-tenths of his task”. (Ibid, p459)
This is how Deutscher captures the victory parade in Red Square at the end of the war:
“On 24 June 1945 Stalin stood at the top of the Lenin Mausoleum and reviewed a great victory parade of the Red Army which marked the fourth anniversary of Hitler’s attack. By Stalin’s side stood Marshall Zhukov, his deputy, the victor of Moscow, Stalingrad and Berlin. The troops that marched past him were led by Marshall Rokossovsky. As they marched, rode, and galloped across Red Square, regiments of infantry, cavalry, and tanks swept the mud of its pavement – it was a day of torrential rain – with innumerable banners and standards of Hitler’s army. At the Mausoleum they threw the banners at Stalin’s feet. The allegorical scene was strangely imaginative . . .
“The next day Stalin received the tribute of Moscow for the defence of the city in 1941. The day after he was acclaimed as ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ and given the title of Generalissimo.”
In “these days of undreamt-of triumph and glory”, continues Deutscher, “Stalin stood in the full blaze of popular recognition and gratitude. These feelings were spontaneous, genuine, not engineered by official propagandists. Overworked slogans about the ‘achievements of the Stalinist era’ now conveyed fresh meaning not only to young people, but to sceptics and malcontents of the older generation.” (Ibid, p534)
The victory of the USSR was also a victory for the whole of progressive humanity. That is why every anniversary must be marked as a festival by progressive humanity everywhere. At the same time, we must never forget the sacrifices made by the people of the world, especially the people of the Soviet Union, in order to free humanity from the plague of Hitlerite fascism. We must also never forget to fight in defence of the hard-won rights and democratic liberties of the working class and the oppressed people, for any complacency on this score can only be at the cost of much greater sacrifices in the future, as the German people, and with them the rest of humanity, discovered in the thirties and forties. This is especially important at a moment when the dark clouds of racism, national oppression and the wars unleashed by imperialism, not to mention millions starved to death each week, are a daily reality for hundreds of millions of people all over the world.
The second world war was a product of imperialism, as was the first. It started as an inter-imperialist war to decide which group of bandits – the Anglo-French-American or the German-Italian-Japanese – were to have what share of the loot, colonies, markets and avenues for export of capital. Only the Soviet Union and the broad masses of humanity everywhere fought against fascism and for human advance. More than 60 million were killed in this war, of which 12 million were done to death in fascist concentration camps; another 95 million were left invalid. The losses of the Soviet Union alone were simply colossal.
Soviet victory came at a terrible cost. Twenty-seven million Soviet citizens, including 7.5 million Soviet soldiers, lost their lives. In comparison, the US lost just under 300,000 soldiers and the British Empire’s losses amounted to 353,652, of which Britain’s losses totalled no more than 224,723. To this must be added 60,000 British civilian deaths.
In addition, a third of Soviet territory and economic resources were devastated: 1,710 towns and 70,000 villages were completely destroyed; 6 million homes and buildings were demolished; 65,000 kilometres of railway track were partially or totally destroyed; 31,800 industrial plants were stripped bare; and 98,000 collective or state farms were broken up and their livestock, totalling 64 million animals, was destroyed or taken to Germany.
This is the cost the socialist Soviet Union had to pay. This is the cost the Soviet Union, and the Soviet people, had to pay for the attempt by imperialism to prolong its outmoded life and for the betrayal of socialism by social democracy, especially German social democracy, which crushed the German revolution in 1918, restored the power of the bourgeoisie, and facilitated the rise of Nazism, thus creating a monster, which eventually had to be faced, and defeated, by the Soviet Union.
At a time when the imperialist bourgeoisie in the West, along with the new bourgeoisie in Russia, are trying to belittle the Soviet contribution, the role of the Soviet people, the CPSU(B) and its undisputed leader, it is worth remembering the titanic battles and the scale of effort involved in defeating Hitlerite Germany. The Soviet armed forces, in the course of the Great Patriotic War, managed to destroy 506 German divisions and 100 divisions belonging to German satellites. In comparison, British and American imperialism combined destroyed no more than 176 German divisions. In the war against the USSR, Germany lost 10 million men, accounting for three quarters of its total losses in the second world war.
The victories of the Red Army in the historic battles of Moscow (October 1941-January 1942), Stalingrad (August 1942-February 1943), Kursk (Spring/Summer 1943) and Berlin (Spring 1945) shall forever remain an eloquent tribute to the Soviet people, to the socialist system, to the CPSU(B) and to Joseph Stalin.
Humanity at large shall never fail to express its gratitude for the contribution of the Soviet Union in the defeat of Nazi Germany.
At the time, everyone, including Churchill, recognised the colossal Soviet contribution towards the defeat of Nazi Germany. On 4 February 1945, on the occasion of the Soviet Army Day, Churchill, while plotting against the Soviet Union, was nevertheless obliged to send this message: ‘The Red Army celebrates its twenty-seventh anniversary amid a triumph which has won the unstinted applause of their allies and has sealed the doom of German militarism. Future generations will acknowledge their debt to the Red Army as unreservedly as do we who have lived to witness their proud achievements.’
Soviet Union no more
Thanks to the treachery of Khrushchevite revisionism, the great and glorious Soviet Union, which gave so much to save the world from the scourge of fascism, is no more. Thanks to the same treachery, socialism is no more in the land of Lenin and Stalin. What Nazis with millions of soldiers, thousands of tanks and aircraft, could not achieve through four years of a most devastating war against the land of the Soviets, the revisionists achieved almost without firing a shot. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the people of the former Soviet Union and people’s democracies have been plunged into poverty, unemployment, homelessness and a state of precarious existence. Since the disappearance of the Soviet Union the population of Russia has declined by a precipitate 15 million – a mass extinction, approaching the scale of losses during the Second World War, and the biggest peacetime loss in any country ever. From this the most important lesson to be drawn by the international proletariat is that revisionism is its most deadly enemy.
Since the collapse of the Soviet regime and the disintegration of the USSR, the imperialist bourgeoisie and all manner of reactionaries have triumphantly asserted that ‘Marxism is destroyed’. There is nothing new in these assertions, which are as old as Marxism itself. We conclude this article by answering these assertions in the following, never to be forgotten words of Stalin:
“It is said that in some countries in the West, Marxism has already been destroyed. It is said that it has been destroyed by the bourgeois-nationalist trend known as fascism. That, of course, is nonsense. Only people who are ignorant of history can talk like that. Marxism is the scientific expression of the fundamental interests of the working class. To destroy Marxism, the working class must be destroyed. But it is impossible to destroy the working class. More than 80 years have passed since Marxism came into the arena. During this time scores and hundreds of bourgeois governments have tried to destroy Marxism. And what has happened? Bourgeois governments have come and gone, but Marxism has remained. Moreover, Marxism has achieved complete victory on one-sixth of the globe; moreover, it has achieved it in the very country in which Marxism was considered to have been utterly destroyed. It cannot be regarded as an accident that the country in which Marxism has achieved complete victory is now the only country in the world which knows no crises and unemployment, whereas in all other countries, including the fascist countries, crisis and unemployment have been reigning for four years now. No, comrades, that is no accident.
“Yes, comrades, our successes are due to the fact that we have worked and fought under the banner of Marx, Engels, Lenin.
“Hence, the second conclusion: We must remain true to the end to the great banner of Marx, Engels, Lenin.” (Collected Works, Vol 13, pp386-7)
Eternal glory to all those heroes who fell in the fight against fascism!
Eternal glory to the great and glorious USSR!
Eternal glory to the great October socialist revolution!
Eternal glory to Marxism-Leninism!
Eternal glory to J V Stalin!
Down with imperialism and its variant, fascism!
 See The Unhistory Man, 3 September 2009.
 Cited by R Arun Kumar in ‘Some facts about the role played by allied forces’, People’s Democracy, 9 May 2010.
 Stalin – Man of History, Abacus, p344.
 Marshal Zhukov’s Greatest Battles, MacDonald, London 1969, pp100-102.
 Mission to Moscow, Victor Gollancz, London 1942, p179-184.
 Collected Works, Vol 13, pp40-41