Saturday, December 20, 2008

Stalin recommends massacre to Churchill

One of the books I’m reading is Henry Kissinger’s Diplomacy. I got to page 411 and was reminded of something “Professor 1” is quoted as writing on page 106 of Kowalski’s Hell On Earth. Professor 1 wrote, “The ‘Cold War’ versions are simply lies, “disinformation.’ I would not be surprised if this turned out to be the case with the Katyn massacres as well.”

Kissinger is describing the Tehran and Yalta conferences in the section I’m reading. He writes “On one occasion, when Stalin urged the execution of 50,000 German officers, Churchill walked out and returned only after Stalin had followed him to give his assurances that he had been jesting – which, in light of what we now know of the Katyn massacre of Polish officers, was probably not true.”

Kissinger’s reference for that anecdote is Alan Bullock, Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives (New York: Alfred A. Knoph, 1992), p. 821.

That is a remarkable occurrence even if Stalin was jesting, for if Stalin said that as a joke, what could have been his motivation? If as the Revisionist Historians allege, Stalin was the unwitting dupe of violent underlings who are to blame for the earlier massacres, did Stalin make that joke in ignorance of what his evil underlings had done?

The explanation that I suspect Occam would approve is that Stalin was serious about the massacre and lying about jesting. An alternate explanation that Occam might not hate is that Stalin was sounding Churchill out to see what he would think of Stalin’s method of nipping opposition in the bud? Stalin’s fear of Germany building itself up and trying it again in a few years must have been on everyone’s mind.


Ludwik Kowalski said...

The Yalta episode is quoted in my new OpEd article about historical revisionists. The topic of historical revisionism is general and worth discussing. I hope to see some interesting comments and questions at:

Lawrence Helm said...

In his Tehran-Yalta discussion, Kissinger is a bit ambiguous about which conference the subject incident occurred at. I tend to think it was Tehran but I'm not sure.