Sunday, January 18, 2009
The Foundation for the Investigation of Communist Crimes
Here is just a small sample of the countries from around the world that have suffered under the heel of Communism. My last count was 49 nations of the world have been the victims of this sickness we know as Communism. Help us in what ever way you can to crush the Communist Alliance in Australia. Start by visiting The Foundation for the Investigation of Communist Crimes and educate your friends and family. Then Join Australia First to give them the power to oust these criminals once and for all.
In both relative and absolute terms, Russia is one of the countries having suffered most in the hands of Communists. The Communist coup of 1917 and power consolidation during the civil war destroyed the existing Russian way of life, wiped away the thin layer of intelligentia that had kept the country on the path of civilization and rendered the Russian people in the hands of Communists who exploited them to spread war and destruction to other countries. The attempt to build a Communist empire ended in failure and Russia sunk into one of the deepest crises of its history in the 1990s. The number of victims of Communism in Russia is subject to various estimates. According to the „Black Book of Communism”, some 20 million perished, while academic A. Yakovlev claims that the Communist-triggered civil war alone claimed some 13 million lives, topped by 5,5 million who starved to death in early 1920s and the 5 million famine dead of the 1930s. According to Yakovlev, 20-25 million people were executed or died in prison camps as a result of Communist terror. With millions killed by mass deportations, the number of victims could be between 50-60 million. This figure does not include the estimated 27 million Soviet lives lost in the Second World War that Stalin helped unleash.
Russia has yet to overcome the demographic, social and economic disaster inflicted by Communism.
The Communist policy in Kazakhstan mirrored Czarist Russia’s colonial policy with new brutality. After suppressing the national movement and incorporating Kazakhstan into the Soviet Union, Communist rulers aimed to eradicate the Kazakh identity. During 1921-22, more than 2 million people suffered from famine due to the Communists’ ineffective agriculture policy. Hunger deaths and mass exodus reduced Kazakstan’s population by more than one million. Even worse was agricultural collectivization that resulted in the resettlement or starvation to death of 1,75 million people, i.e 52% of the population. Collectivization was accompanied by terror: during 1929-33, extrajudicial punishment commissions or „troikas“ had at least 3386 people executed and 13.151 were sent to Siberian prison camps. Another terror wave hit Kazakhstan in 1937-38, this time focusing on Kazakh intellectuals. Deported population was replaced by Soviet settlers, russification intensified and the Kazakh language was transferred to Cyrillic alphabet. As a result, the share of ethnic Kazakhs in the population fell to 29% and Russian was declared an official language. Kazakhstan’s disaster was abetted by environmental carelessness, including above-ground nuclear testing and destruction of the Aral Sea.
Armenia, with its rich early Christian and Medieval history and culture, was in the 19th century divided between the Russian and Turkish empires. In the beginning of the 20th century, Armenians were inspired by national independence movement and freedom struggle but fell under ruthless repressions by the Ottoman Empire. Starting as small pogroms, the violence culminated in mass deportations, mass murder and genocide against Armenians on Turkish lands, claiming the lives of 600 000 - 1,5 mln people between 1915-1923. Independent Armenia existed during 1918-1921, but was annexed to the Soviet Union as Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic after being attacked by the Red Army and Ottoman troops. War-time crimes were followed by systematic Bolshevik repressions and terror, the first wave of which lasted from 1921-1930, followed by collectivization in agriculture and a hunt for kulaks and „enemies of the people". According to the archives of Armenia's Ministry of National Security, 14 904 people were repressed in Armenia during 1930-1938 and when the Great Terror ended in 1938, at least 4639 had been shot. Expropriation of Church property evolved to repressions against Church members and the execution of religious leaders in 1938.
Between 300-500 000 Armenians were later mobilized into the battles of WWII; almost half died. In 1936, 25 000 Armenians were deported into Central Asia; crimes continued in 1944 and 1948-49 with the deportation of more than 200 000 Armenians, many of whom perished. The lack of historical records and abundance of diaspora communities makes it impossible to establish precise numbers of Armenian victims of Communism, but at least hundreds of thousands suffered from repressions during 1917-1953. After proclaiming independence in 1991, Armenia and Azerbaijan continued a bloody territorial conflict over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, populated mostly by Christian Armenians but divided in the 1920s during Stalinist reorganization. The 71-year-long Communist legacy is still haunting the society and economy of this once flourishing South Caucasian nation.
The German Democratic Republic
The German Democratic Republic was established in 1949 and designated by Soviet authorities to become an example of the Socialist system. This state, established in the Soviet Zone of occupied Germany after defeating the Nazis, resorted to extensive violence from the beginning. The invading Red Army had already subjected Germany’s civil population to criminal violence, including murder, rape and robbery. The ensuing political terror targeted not only Nazis, but Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and other democratic parties. Tens of thousands were arrested and interned in former Nazi concentration camps, where death rates were comparable to the previous regime. The Socialist system founded after suppressing political dissidents was soon surpassed by West Germany’s economic and social development. This led to an East German uprising in 1953, which was crushed by Soviet tanks. At least 50 people were killed in clashes and 10.000 arrested. As residents escaped to the West in growing numbers, the Berlin wall was erected in 1961. Under orders from GDR authorities, border guards shot dead at least 133 people attempting to cross the border. In the following decades, East Germans were terrorized by the ultra-efficient STASI intelligence agency. Potential dissidents and resisters were persistently tracked down and persecuted. Despite the atmosphere of fear thus generated, East Germany’s Communist system collapsed within months in 1989.
Finland, historically under Swedish rule but targeted by Russia's expansionist policy in the early 18th century, was subjected by Tsarist Russia after its victory over Sweden in the 1808-1809 Finnish War. The Russian-proclaimed Grand Duchy of Finland was largely independent, retained its legal, cultural and administrative tradition and, despite demographic shocks and waves of Russification, showed stable economic and population growth until the first half of the 19th century. After the Bolshevik coup in Russia in October 1917, Finland's well-established parliament in December 1917 proclaimed the country's independence and its statehood was soon recognized by Bolshevist Russia, then stuck with a demoralized Red Army and hopes for world revolution. This recognition, however, did not spare Finland from becoming the first foreign victim of Communist experiments.
The Finnish Civil War broke out between and amid post-WWI confusion and social instability, resulting in social disaster but on the other hand guaranteeing Finland's sovereignty from the Soviet Union under the 1920 peace treaty. Finnish Red Guards and remnants of the Red Army attempted a coup in Helsinki, remaining in the area and much of Southern Finland until the decisive battle of Tampere. White Guards, supported by imperial Germany, advanced from North and Central FInland and took the victory by May. Some 100 000 fighters were involved in the conflict and both sides resorted to acts of terror. The Red Terror claimed 1400-1650 lives, while some 7000-10.000 perished in the White Terror. In all, 37.000-38.500 died in the war and 20.000 children were orphaned. Up to 76.000 prisoners captured by White Guards and German forces were tried and about 100 executed on orders of the Tribunal of Treason. Others received mostly light sentences and were pardoned in the 1920s. Mortality was nevertheless high due to severe hunger and Spanish flu.
Despite the fratricidal war of 1918, executions, prison camps, the 1930s economic crisis of and schismatic political tensions, the Finnish people stood up united against Soviet Union's 1939 aggression that unleashed the Winter War. Cast into the Soviet sphere of influence under the secret protocol of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Finland successfully resisted for 105 days, losing at least 26.662 dead and 39.886 wounded. Although total Soviet losses were five times higher, the toll was heavier on the Finnish population: Finland lost 1,8% of its then population of 3,7 million while Soviet Union lost 0,15% of its total population and managed to conquer only 10% of Finland's territory.
After the Soviet-German war broke out, Soviet air forces started bombing Finnish cities and Finland's Eduskunta decided on 25. June 1941 to launch the Continuation War against the Soviets. Finland's toll in this war was 58.000-65.000 dead and 158.000 wounded. After Finnish forces were forced to retreat from Karelia in the heavy battles of 1944, a truce was signed in September that year and asserted by the Paris Peace Treaty of 1947.
Thus, the attempts to establish Communism in Finland more or less directly claimed at least 50.000 lives and left tens of thousands wounded in the 1918 war and Winter War. This estimate does not include victims of the Continuation War. Yet countless war crimes were commited by the Red Army against Finnish civilians. In addition, 423.000 Karelians - 11% of the region's population - lost their homes when evacuated from areas annexed by the Soviet Union.
Poland, one of the biggest countries in Europe, was first attacked by Communist Russia soon after its rebirth in 1918. When Soviet Russia invaded in 1920, Poland suffered heavy casualties before eventually defeating the Red Army. The following period of independence brought rapid development and Poland’s economy surpassed countries like Spain or Portugal. In 1939, however, Poland fell victim to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany and was split among Nazis and Communists, both of whom launched waves of destruction. The Brown and Red terror had much in common: during 1940–1941, Communist authorities conducted four deportations on their chunk of Polish territory, sending 1.660-2.636 million persons off to Siberia. Tens of thousands were arrested; the NKVD massacred more than 20.000 Polish officers and intelligentsia in Katyn and other execution sites. In 1944–1945, the Red Army took over Nazi-occupied Polish territories as well, imposing a Communist rule. Parts of Eastern Poland were annexed to the Soviet Union, while parts of Germany were attached to Poland. Some 1,2 million Poles were resettled from Soviet-annexed territories. To suppress the fight against Communist regime, about 27.000 members of the Polish resistance were arrested and deported to Siberia, where many were shot by the NKVD. Polish people refused to accept the Communist regime. In 1956, Communists used the army to put down unrest in Poznan, but were forced to make concessions after a wave of protest engulfed the whole country. The concessions failed to restore Poland’s development and its economy soon fell behind countries that it had easily surpassed before World War II. Poland’s political resistance culminated in the independent „Solidarity” union movement that was initially suppressed by martial law, but whose activities eventually crumbled Communism and, in 1989, led to creation of the first non-Communist government in Central and Eastern Europe.