Stalin: the King of Genocide

Everyone remembers Adolph Hitler’s holocaust but, in terms of numbers, Josef Stalin made him seem small time by comparison. The Nazis killed nine million of their own population, six million Jews and a mix of other minorities, but no one knows Stalin’s totals, which are estimated between forty and eighty million. Stalin started out as a strong-arm enforcer for the Bolsheviks, and enlarged that role exponentially after he took over the reins of power after the death of Vladimir Lenin. Stalin had served a couple of stints of incarceration in Siberia as a result of his own revolutionary activities, and he would later subject the Soviet Union’s citizens into that type of incarceration by the millions. Ukraine was known as the breadbasket of Asia, and it became literally that as Stalin starved its inhabitants to death and removed all grain and other farm products from the country to sell to other nations to build his army. Ten million, it is estimated, died in that horrific crime against humanity. Stalin himself would travel through the Ukraine on a train to visit his wealthy dacha in the Crimea, in a train that carried the most delicious gourmet foods for the Soviet leader. If Stalin looked out the windows of his train he would have seen the starving population of the Ukraine, many of whom went to the train stations in the hope of getting out to somewhere where there was food, only to be roughly denied the opportunity by Soviet Soldiers. Stalin was a master of political prosecutions of Soviet Officials, many of whom were formerly close associates of the ruthless dictator. Accused of invariably false charges, the Show Trials were absurd theatrical displays of lies in the guise of justice, often watched by Stalin from behind a protective screen. Thereafter, Soviet officials lived their lives in a state of paralyzing fear, in constant dread that they might be the next to be chosen to take the march toward the persecution and death. Neither was it safe to be part of his bureaucracy of persecution, for often a man who was head torturer one day would be head victim the next, and no one was safe from the idiosyncratic persecution of this evil man. So the persecution led many ordinary citizens to be imprisoned in the gulags that Stalin had built for slave laborers across the Asian continent, where millions where imprisoned and subjected to horrifying treatment that often killed off the captives. So any Soviet citizen might say the wrong thing to the wrong person and end up in the Gulags, which existed long after, even past the death of Stalin in 1953. Such a genocidal system, in short, made Adolph Hitler seem like a minor leaguer.  

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