Conservative Liberal

FDR would have been a Republican today.

Continued discussion of the book review

Sultan Knish, with whom I was having a friendly dispute over my recent book review responded to me several days ago. So, here is my reply. I’ll try to keep it short because I don’t want to keep dragging it along.

First of all, I strongly disagree that the Left was somehow less anti-Semitic than the Right. The only place where it applied to a very limited extent was the early years of the Russian Revolution and the Civil War, mainly because the Jews were often major figures on the Left. And even there the anti-Semitic atrocities committed by the Red 1st Cavalry Army were numerous and stopped only by the Army’s commissar Voroshilov, whose wife was Jewish. Later, during World War 2, according to some sources Soviet Partisan leader Ponomarenko issued orders not to accept Jews into partisan units (this varied from one instance to the next). The treatment of the Jews by the Soviet partisans described in "Defiance: The Bielski Partisans" by Nechama Tec, a book that tells the story of the Bielski brothers’ efforts to save as many Jews as they could. In Poland, according to the book I reviewed, as well as Dan Kurzman’s "The Bravest Battle", Polish Communist leader Gomulka also issued orders not to help Jews. In fact, according to both books, explicit orders to help the Jews came from the Polish Government in London, which controlled the Home Army. So, the amount of anti-Semitism was about equal on both Left and Right, as was the amount of help to the Jews. I am just trying to avoid giving the Left an undeserved credit.

I don’t think that Polish and Jewish nationalists found common ground in their respective nationalisms. I think the fact that the members of the ZZW were officers of the Polish Army and fought together with the Polish officers back in 1939 was much more significant for their cooperation. It is only natural: in an extreme situation, when survival is at stake, political considerations get replaced by the bond of combat, as they should.

Sultan’s analogy of white nationalists being OK with Israel, but still wanting to rid their countries of Jews, might be a good explanation of why European white nationalists are friendly to Israel. But I don’t think it applies to America. In this country white nationalists are aligned with Islamists. By the way, Sultan has a great analysis of the recent dispute within the anti-Jihadist movement.

The NKVD conspiracy may or may not be true, especially in view of Sultan’s recent revelation about the author of the article I mentioned in a private e-mail, but I don’t see how, even if it is true, it excuses post-war pogroms in Poland. After all, the fact that the pogroms in czarist Russia were often instigated by the government does not excuse the Russian anti-Semites.

Sultan mentions Russian military historians "claiming that Hitler was a Soviet agent". He must be talking about Vladimir Rezun, better known under his pen name of Viktor Suvorov. Suvorov indeed claims that Hitler was manipulated by the Soviets back in the 1920s, although I did not take this claim as meaning that he was consciously working for the Soviets. I think in this Suvorov takes his argument too far. But, for the record, I have to say that I subscribe to his theory that Stalin was getting ready to attack Hitler (this would not be necessarily bad). Suvorov describes his theory in "Icebreaker". In my opinion, this is the only theory that explains disastrous Soviet defeats in 1941 without portraying Soviet generals who eventually won the war in the East as complete idiots. This theory is also supported by the circumstantial evidence that I read about in sources totally unrelated to Suvorov, as well as stories my grandpa told me. But that is a subject of another discussion.

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November 11, 2007 Posted by | History | Leave a comment