By Jeffrey T. Kuhner, Assistant National Editor
The Washington Times, Washington, D.C.
Sunday, November 30, 2003
The 20th century will be remembered as the bloodiest century in
history. A major reason was the 1917 establishment by Vladimir Lenin
and his Bolsheviks of a Marxist regime in Russia. The Soviet Union
was the epicenter of a communist empire that, until its
disintegration in 1991, spread doctrines of economic collectivism and
class struggle to almost every part of the globe. From Eastern Europe
to Africa to Latin America to Asia, hundreds of millions suffered the
brutality of Marxist-Leninist dictatorships.
Now, if some in Washington have their way, the memories of the
countless victims of communism will be remembered. Led by its
courageous president, Jay Katzen, the Victims of Communism Memorial
Foundation (www.victimsofcommunism.org) is seeking to erect a
monument in D.C. dedicated to those who perished under Marxism's
murderous reign. Their goal is to have the Memorial Monument built by
October of next year. A monument is desperately needed because,
sadly, communism's crimes risk being forgotten.
Printed Postcard, Early 1940's Europe
(Graphic added to story by ArtUkraine.com Information
Service [ARTUIS]. Original postcard held in private collection
Lenin's project resulted not only in unprecedented economic and
ecological destruction, but more importantly the greatest system of
mass murder ever invented: More than 100 million individuals were
killed at the hands of communist regimes. Yet many Western academics
continue to deny or downplay the full extent of communist atrocities.
It is common on many campuses in the United States to hear that
Marxism-Leninism, unlike its totalitarian twin, fascism, was a
benevolent ideology that sought to impose universal peace and social
justice - that it was a good idea gone bad. Nothing could be further
from the truth.
From its inception, communism sought to forge a new order based on
genocide and mass murder. Lenin set the precedent, followed by
subsequent Marxist regimes, that to establish a revolutionary
proletarian state, entire categories of humans needed to be
systematically wiped out: the bourgeoisie, kulaks,
counterrevolutionaries and intellectuals who refused to follow the
Bolshevik line. The totalitarian essence of Lenin's vision was that
it sought to erect the perfect society by imposing one-party rule and
smashing all dissent and opposition.
Recent history has been littered with Lenin's evil offspring - Josef
Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Josip Broz Tito, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, Nicolae
Ceausescu, Fidel Castro. The atrocities committed by these dictators
need to be remembered not only to honor the dead but because they
reveal the seminal lesson of the past century: Utopianism leads to
totalitarianism; the road to Utopia goes through Golgotha.
The millions slaughtered by communist regimes were not accidental
byproducts of misguided policies, but central to the Marxist project.
For example, during the 1933 terror famine, Soviet leader Josef
Stalin systematically starved to death about 10 million Ukrainian
peasants. His genocidal goal was to eviscerate the Ukrainian
peasantry, hoping to crush the heart of the Ukraine nation and
consolidate his iron grip on power. Stalin's victims also included
other captive peoples: the Poles, Slovaks, Czechs, Hungarians,
Romanians, Chechens, Latvians, Estonians, Lithuanians and the Crimean
Tatars (who were literally wiped off the map after World War II).
The same pattern repeated itself in Asia. The withdrawal of U.S.
power from Southeast Asia in 1973 resulted in unimaginable horrors
for those living in the region. Communist regimes were installed in
Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Millions of Cambodians were slaughtered
by Pol Pot, while countless South Vietnamese risked their lives on
the high seas to flee the rampaging North Vietnamese army.
However, the most brutal communist tyrant was Mao. In 1959, "the Red
Emperor" launched his crash collectivization program, his so-
called "Great Leap Forward," which was supposed to bring China into
modernity. Instead, it led to the deaths of more than 20 million
Chinese. Many of the victims were children who were eaten by starving
Yet while the crimes of fascism are rightly remembered by Western
academics and journalists, the ghastly crimes of communism remain
largely ignored. This is wrong. The lives of those who were murdered
by Hitler's thugs are not worth more than those who died at the hands
of Stalin. The victims of communism deserve better. And if Mr. Katzen
has his way, they will finally get the recognition that has been
denied to them for so long.
The Washington Times, Wash, D.C., Sunday, November 30, 2003
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