Grandson sues to clear Stalin over killings

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Thorlifter, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Grandson sues to clear Stalin over killings - Yahoo! News

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Josef Stalin was in the dock on Monday when a Russian court held a preliminary hearing in a libel case brought by his grandson over a newspaper story which said the tyrant had ordered the killings of Soviet citizens.

    Rights groups say the case shows a creeping attempt in modern Russia to paint a more benevolent picture of the Soviet Union's most feared leader, under whose rule millions perished.

    Stalin's grandson, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, is seeking 9.5 million roubles ($299,000) from the Novaya Gazeta newspaper and 500,000 roubles from the author of an article published last April claiming Stalin personally signed politburo death orders.

    Leonid Zhura, a convinced Stalinist who is representing Dzhugashvili in court, said that the article -- based on declassified Kremlin documents -- damaged Stalin's reputation.

    "Half a century of lies have been poured over Stalin's reputation and he cannot defend himself from the grave so this case is essential to put the record straight," said Zhura.

    "We want to rehabilitate Stalin," he told Reuters. "He turned populations into peoples, he presided over a golden era in literature and the arts, he was a real leader."

    A phrase in the article saying Stalin and the secret police committed grave crimes against their own people caused particular offence, Zhura said.

    The many sides of the Stalin myth -- bloody tyrant and war leader, pipe-smoking Kremlin puppet master and economic miracle worker -- are still the subject of a heated debate in Russia 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

    Gilded words of praise for the dictator were unveiled last week on the marbled halls of a central Moscow metro station and Stalin was voted Russia's third most popular figure in history in a nationwide poll last year.

    MILLIONS DIED IN LABOR CAMPS

    Russia buried last August Soviet-era dissident and author Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who was sent to a Gulag (labor camp) for making a joke about Stalin, in a religious ceremony which bore all the hallmarks of a state funeral.

    But in the public arena in today's Russia, there is very little talk about the millions of Soviets who perished in Gulag labor camps or from famine during Stalin's rule.

    Recent Russian teachers' manuals have described Stalin as an effective manager who acted rationally in conducting a campaign of terror to modernize the Soviet Union.

    "There is a change in society's view of Stalin," Anatoly Yablokov, who authored the Novaya Gazeta article, said after the preliminary court hearing.

    "We hear much more now about how much of an effective manager Stalin was, much more than in the 1990s, and much less about the repression," he said.

    Stalin's opponents are enraged and say the change is being fueled by Kremlin leaders who want to forget the 1990s, when former President Boris Yeltsin spoke openly about some of the Soviet Union's darkest secrets.

    "The authorities are trying to build a bridge to the Soviet Union over the Yeltsin years to idealize Stalin," said Nikita Petrov, an historian from the Memorial human rights group.

    "They have decided it was too dangerous to delve into the horrors of our history. It is deeply sad. It is the football hooligan's view of history."
     
  2. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I hope his lawsuit fails. There's no need to rewrite history.
     
  3. Messy1

    Messy1 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, what a ridiculous case. I hope history down the road does not turn Stalin into a saint!
     
  4. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Loved the following line:

    "Leonid Zhura, a convinced Stalinist who is representing Dzhugashvili in court, said that the article -- based on declassified Kremlin documents -- damaged Stalin's reputation."

    Now that's funny. Saying a mass murderer's reputation was damaged by a newspaper article is a good one. Next thing you know, Neo-Nazis will be saying the same thing about Hitler.

    I would be amazed if this lawsuit succeeds. If anything, it will be a platform to put Stalin on Trial. Nobody has done that. This, in essence, is what is going to happen.
     
  5. Ferdinand Foch

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    WOW! That's all I can say. Sure, Stalin may have helped to bring Russia into the modern age, but I think he could have done it with a state-run terror campaign, and killing over twenty million of his own people. Next, were gonna see somebody in Iraq (or possibly in Berkeley, California, you know how those people are) to say that Saddam Hussein was the greatest leader of Iraq, and that it was a mistake to persecute and murder him. :rolleyes: I'm really hoping that Stalin's grandson will pay something if or when he loses the case, because this is plain stupid.
    For some reason, I keep thinking of David Irving's time in court while reading about this.
     
  6. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    This has to be a joke! Cripes......
     
  7. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    No surprize , the russians always loved the character, the worst part is the precedent, in the near future we might have a Hitler relative suing jew comunity for difamation. Is a crazy world. :rolleyes:
     
  8. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    America's justice system has infected the rest of the world, I see....:rolleyes:
     
  9. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    It was all just capitalist propaganda. Stalin was really a gentle, approachable leader.
     
  10. Henk

    Henk Active Member

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    Hitler was not the only "baddy" of the 20th century as many may think. Stalin was in certain ways way worse than Hitler. Hope his grandson will fail.
     
  11. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    Conservative "nut-bags" of this type try this kind of thing every so often...its like they are "testing the waters" to see if the "time is right" for a change (back to the good old days). The Japanese conservatives have tried this (thank god their gone), and I think the Italian conservatives did a while back too. I have faith in the "flow of open information" (like the internet)...as long as people have free access to information their will always be a chance for the truth to be known.
     
  12. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    I think the Nazi's where one of the first people to point the finger at what Stalin was up too...So I guess it might be "Nazi propaganda" (?). :shock:

    p.s. Sorry about the double post...I should have combined the comments.
     
  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    How is he a conservative?
     
  14. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    Well, its somewhat obvious that this guys leaning to a conservative Russian (communist) point of view (I probably should have included the communist word in my post, but I sort-off assumed a Russian political context). The article also suggested the lawsuit may have stemmed from a view that Yeltsin did harm to the Russian political system, and many of Yeltsin policy's could have been seen as "radical"...
     
  15. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    At least from a purely American viewpoint; conservatism and communism are day and night.
     
  16. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    That is how I was looking at it...
     
  17. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    Lol...true. :oops:
     
  18. stasoid

    stasoid Member

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    "Conservatives", were called some hardcore communists or ideological fanatics in the Soviet Politbureau in 70s and 80s (stalinists in other terms).
    Marxism was some sort of religion, similarities can be found in today's US politics too. Different camp, different ideology, same mentality.
     
  19. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    You are right in some ways. I am a American conservative. I fanatically believe in personal liberties, low taxes, smaller centralized goverment, religious freedoms, and the right to self determination without government interference. Crazy stuff!
     
  20. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    I never understood the mindset behind a government that wants to control it's citizens by hardship, fear and misery.

    If you distract the people with wealth and luxuries, they'll be too preoccupied to really care what the govenment does, as long as it doesn't interfere with thier "pursuit of happiness"...
     
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