Statue to Stalin

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Of course, it’s customary at year’s end to share our favorite news items from the year past. As someone who teaches and writes about history, I tend to focus on historical things I fear are lost to American education.

So, my enduring “news item” of 2010 falls under the category of historical outrage, though it is redeemed somewhat by another item considerably more positive. I’d like to link them here as a teachable moment.

My outrage of 2010: the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., erected a statue of Joseph Stalin, architect of the Great Purge, Ukrainian famine, gulag, war on religion, and countless millions of deaths. We learned about this travesty thanks to the vigilance of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, which created a website ( to call attention to this moral-historical obscenity. The site features a petition, with thousands of signatures from around the world. Addressed to the National D-Day Memorial Foundation and President Obama’s interior secretary, it demanded that the “true history of World War II must be protected from distortion and misinformation.”

Among the distortion and misinformation, as noted by the petition: “neither Joseph Stalin nor Soviet forces played any part in the D-Day landing at Normandy.”

Worse, it was Stalin, via the August 1939 Hitler-Stalin “Non-Aggression” Pact, who helped launch World War II in the first place, ultimately leading to D-Day—i.e., the horrible deaths suffered by all those American boys on those beaches in France.

Ironically, such disinformation was once the crass domain of Kremlin propagandists, of Stalin’s in-house stooges. That this absurdity would happen in America today, by educators, is breathtaking. Well, it happened in 2010.

My sources tell me that the Stalin statue has since been removed, though reportedly as part of a compromise merely to move it to another exhibit. They fear it hasn’t gone away for good. Without a stake in the chest in a sealed coffin stuffed with garlic, they dread that Stalin could rise again in Bedford, especially if we don’t stand vigilant with torches and crosses.

I’m not optimistic.

On the plus side, however, 2010 finally shed the light of truth upon one of Stalin’s most heinous acts. The light was cast not by Americans in Bedford but, ironically, by Russians in Moscow. It was a long-overdue moment of justice concerning the Katyn Woods massacre.

The slaughter at Katyn was one of the worst war crimes of the bloody 20th century, rooted in that pact between Hitler and Stalin, who in September 1939 jointly invaded, annihilated, and partitioned Poland. The Soviets seized thousands of Polish military officers as prisoners. The fate of those Poles was secretly sealed on March 5, 1940 when Stalin himself signed their death warrant, condemning 21,857 of them to “the supreme penalty: shooting.”

What happened next remained a state secret for decades. The Polish officers were taken to three primary sites, the most infamous of which bears the name of the crime: the Katyn Woods, located near Smolensk, Russia. There, these unsuspecting men were methodically slaughtered. The Bolsheviks covered their crime with a thin layer of dirt.

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    I spent two decades studying Stalin and his henchmen. The two most authoritative sources for me were Robert Conquest and Roy Medvedev.

    Stalin was an intellectual mediocrity with a coarse personality, but he understood one thing in its essence…and that was power. He understood how to check his tongue, how to bide his time, how to hide his ambition…and he understood the concept of "dosage", the appropriate level of attack on a given opponent at a given time…when to press his advantage…and when to let up. And he understood in his marrow the mechanics of employing murder as a political weapon.

    Stalin was a monster…a serial killer without a trace of human compassion. He was responsible for the deaths of 20 million (conservative estimate). Bedford, Va ought to be engaged in some very real soul-searching right about now.

    • Maggie

      A STATUE TO STALIN IN VIRGINIA! It was only a few years ago that the LEFT HISTORY REVISIONISTS caused a photo of Gen. Robert E. Lee to be removed from a wall of some kind in Virginia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A man of Gen. Lee's sterling character is REMOVED and murderer Stalin is put up!!! This is just more of the perpetual VICTIMS mentality of a certain ethnic group who is always aggrieved.

      • scum

        Still flyin' the Confederate flag, are you?

        • Marcus

          You truly are scum. Better the Confederate flag than the hammer and sickle. So, do you support the mass murder of 200 million people by Communists in the 20th century? I thought so…

        • Claude

          Better than the Russian Flag in my thoughts, at least it did not stand for communism.

        • pianoforte54

          Robert E. Lee was well liked on both sides. Lincoln wanted him to be commander of the Northern Army. Lee would have taken it but he said he couldn't fight against Virginia so he declined. Had NOTHING to do with the confederate flag ding dong.

        • coyote3

          Which one? There were several, but if you are referring to the "Battle Flag" of the ANV, it was never a "national" flag, i.e., adopted by congress.

    • Gary from Jersey

      Read "The Doctor's Plot" (can't remember the author) to get a clear pictgure of Stalin's true talent: organizing complex pieces of a puzzle in his mind to create a conspiracy that led to the deaths of millions.

      That anyone would honor this monster makes me wonder how those who would honor him with this bust would like the hellish world he created.

  • DogWithoutSlippers

    Incredible – Americans with no compassion or knowledge of "Uncle Joe" mass murderer. If I'd survived the camps I'd throw red paint over this monster bust. Hell, if I had the opportunity I'd paint the idiots who put it up originally in red! Shame – it has to be the forces of evil.

  • tanstaafl

    Stalin was a sociopath. We would do well to portray him as such, rather than putting up statues.

  • jacob

    This matter sholdn't have been protested, as it was a wasting of time…

    What was becoming was to have chained the damned statue to a truck's bumper,
    dragging it all the way to the WHITE HOUSE, for its "socialist" tennant to see it,
    whether he had or had not any say so in the issue…..

  • Krystalbird

    What was the reason given for putting up that statue?

    • Gary from Jersey

      This is a D-Day memorial. The leftist buffoons who built it want to give Stalin credit for the invasion, evidently to maintain the illusion of communist heroism in the West.

      • scum

        Gary, when you've checked into the numbers of Russians who died for you in WWII, just let me know. You can probably find the figure on Wikipedia. Thanks.

        • Marcus

          What did Stalin and his murderous, raping Red Army have to do with D-Day…NOTHING!!! Left wing moron…

        • tony

          Scum, when you've checked into the numbers of Russians who died for Stalin's sake, just let me know. You can probably find the figure on Wikipedia. Thanks.

        • Gary from Jersey

          No Russians died for me or any other American. In fact, scum (which is apt) the Allies provided countless millions of dollars (in WWll money) in equipment, food and supplies to Stalin just to keep his incompetent and purged military afloat. Stalin's terrible command decisions and his general staff's complete disregard for life cost upward of 2 million lives, and not one died for me, you or anyone in this country. Moron.

  • Bea

    Remember Michelle said, "we will have to change history".

  • Ollie North Fan

    Should have left it standing.

    I have a new 20lb sledge hammer just dying for some action…

    • Stephen_Brady

      Want some help?

      • Ollie North Fan

        Sure, the more the merrier!
        Perhaps we can form some sort of collective…?

  • sinanju

    Andrez Wadja's "Katyn" goes into further detail about the moral ambiguity surrounding the slaughter. The Germans ironically were the discoverers of the killing fields and conducted a formal investigation that they tried to play up in their own propaganda against the Soviets. Though it's a tossup as to which side killed more Poles.

  • PAthena

    Who authorized the statue to Stalin? They should be exposed and removed from office.

  • Spirit_Of_1683

    If Naziboy had his way, they'd be unveiling a statue of Hitler.

  • Don

    Not only did Soviet forces not take part in the Normandy invasion, but does nobody remember the 'Second Front Now!' campaign by Western communists to try to get the Western allies to invade Europe long before they were ready, in order to take pressure off Stalin's armies and save his miserable skin? Remember the Dieppe raid that was a major disaster? Also does nobody remember that Polish forces who escaped to England from the Stalin/Hitler invasion of Poland in 1939 took part in the Normandy invasion as part of the Canadian army. Will they be remembered as part of the memorial?

  • BLJ

    Let's see……one if the worst mass murderer's in world history gets a statue erected here in America? Hopefully the pigeons will have good aim on a daily basis.

  • UCSPanther

    Stalin and Hitler: They were like peas in a pod. Both were greedy, insane power-hungry tyrants, both waged wars of conquest and genocide, both were extremely antisemitic and both showed a horrifying disregard for human life.

    Stalin was just as guilty of mass murder as Hitler was.

  • Tony

    Poland hates this kind of Monster!

  • mengqin
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