After the presidential elections held in Russia in the middle of March, Senator Lyudmila Narusova, mother of presidential candidate Ksenia Sobchak – who faced attacks by candidates sympathetic to Stalinism – announced that she will draft a law criminalizing defense of Stalinism, as is currently done with Nazism.
RT (Russia Today), the media outlet financed by the Russian government, broke the news about the new legislation, but there has been no other media reporting that corroborates the report.
The PanAm Post contacted Enrique Vargas, Russian/Spanish translator, whose body of work includes translations of Solzhenitsyn, a winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, who wrote Gulag Archipelago, a historical treatise detailing the Communist genocide in Russia and analyzing the enormous system of concentration camps and forced labor in Soviet times. Solzhenitsyn was imprisoned in this system for a letter he wrote while fighting the Nazis, while holding the rank of artillery lieutenant, during World War 2.
From his adolescence, Vargas participated in the activities of the anti-Communist dissidence in Moscow, where he was born. His parents, “children of the Spanish Civil War”, had a signifcant impact. He maintains that all his life he has studied “the crimes of communism and actively fights against this genocidal ideology.”
What follows is our conversation with Vargas:
Is it right to equate Nazism with Stalinism?
The Nazis learned how to set up extermination and forced labor camps from the Soviets, sending military delegations to the USSR between 1937 and 1939, in the golden age of relations between the two countries, so that the Russian Chekists could teach them how to implement the brutal systems they then implemented during the war.
To use the false Nazism-Stalinism dichotomy is to help promote cultural Marxism. The real dichotomy is Nazism-Communism. And the fact that Communism has been much more deadly than Nazism is absolutely evident: the number of deaths in Russia, China, and Cambodia surpasses all other precedents in the history of mankind.
“Stalinism” as a concept is a fallacy invented by Khrushchev (Stalin’s successor and first secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) to discredit his deified predecessor, for two reasons: 1) being a relatively unknown character by the common people, he needed to disparage the cult of personality of the dictator in order to take his place. 2) he had a visceral hatred for Stalin because he used to humiliate him during Khrushchev’s periodic bouts of drunkenness, making him jump around the table singing like a rooster.
Khrushchev evidently did not want to discredit Communism broadly; on the contrary, he wanted to whitewash the evil ideology, but blame the genocide on the “abuses of the usurper Stalin.”
The Western left clung to the term with the vile enthusiasm that characterizes it, coinciding with the ultimate goal of Khrushchev: concealing the massive genocide of Lenin-Trotsky-Sverdlov’s band, in comparison with which Stalin was a mediocre novice: they massacred 40 million ethnic Russians between 1917 – 1925, that is, in 8 years. Stalin slaughtered the same number in the 30 years of his dictatorship. Solzhenitsyn called the attempt to hide the crimes of Communism by attributing everything to Stalin “an intolerable vileness.”
Should the defense of Stalinism be sanctioned by law?
Again, the so-called Stalinism was terrifying, but much more terrifying was Bolshevism. Many Russians are even grateful to Stalin for having annihilated the leadership of the Bolsheviks, who, hating the Russian people, eliminated their best representatives.
And what the worshipers of Stalin do not understand is that he, not being Russian, exterminated millions and millions of these people. I do not know if we should sanction by law the defense of an ideology. I, personally, believe firmly in the First Amendment of the American Constitution that defends freedom of expression. What must be done is to widely disseminate the crimes of Bolshevism, and this is already being done in Russia on a large scale.
Probabilities of approving the legislation with Putin in power
Putin has already spoken many times about the evils of Communism and has openly denounced the figure of Lenin. However, he has to be careful when it comes to Stalin: there are still many veterans of the Second World War who revere him, and many are nostalgic for the “glorious” era of that tyrant.
Therefore, I can not say with certainty that Putin will have any influence on the vote. Also, the Constitution of Russia limits his powers.
To summarize, and what is most important: Senator Narusova comes from a Communist family. There remains great interest in blaming all the atrocities of Communism on Stalin, to hide the crimes that the Bolsheviks perpetrated during the revolution against the Russian people.
His daughter, Ksenia Sobchak, is left-wing, pro-European Union, and pro-UN. Their positions are comparable to the positions of the current Democratic Party in the United States.