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作者: 老丁   如果你有二十世纪俄国史这本书 2011-04-13 10:15:51  [点击:7459]
下面有人贴出了关于二十世纪俄国史的介绍,谢谢。

我很想读,如果出现了英文译本或中文译本,请在此坛宣示一下。如果什么地方能弄到,请告知。

我想读读。这本书是俄国人出的“科普”风格的教科书,是想用来教育下一代的。意义不可低估。

一个世纪前学俄国人的中国,干坏事亦步亦趋,跟得紧,还想超;好事来了就落后了。这下要落得更远了。

哪位朋友能设法搞到这本书?

我在网上读了此书编者的一段Comment,有英文翻译,贴在下面,有兴趣的可读:

Comment by Andrei Zubov to a review by Prof. Lennart Samuelson of A History of 20th Century Russia, (ed. Andrei B. Zubov)
I.

Anyone who is trying to stay even somewhat abreast of public life in Russia today is well aware of the arguments around national history which have grown particularly vehement in the last two years. Such arguments have gone far beyond purely scientific studies and have become highly politicized, as graphically shown by the establishment of an ad hoc committee under the President of the Russian Federation for the purpose of fighting against historical falsifications. Similar arguments are also underway in the other communities emerging from the ruins of the Soviet Union, and even more broadly, within the whole former communist bloc. The reason for the arguments is more than clear. An extraordinary interest in history is, in fact, an interest in one’s own destiny and the destiny of one’s family. In a way, it is also an interest in the future, as those aspects of our country’s fate that we assess positively we will try to perpetuate in the decades to come, while those that we condemn, we will endeavour to reject. Every nation is proud of some of its sons and daughters and erects monuments to them in city squares, names streets and ships after them, and teaches children to take after their glorious predecessors. Others are condemned by the nation, held up as examples to young people, who are told, “You must not act like them. They are a disgrace to the nation.” Every family will be proud of some of its offsprings, and secretly ashamed of others.

In the late 1980s, Russia and its adjoining countries, which had lived through decades of totalitarian dictatorship, took a sharp turn towards democracy, civil and political freedoms, and openness in culture, the economy, and public life. People in these countries were not of one mind about this transition. It is only natural that many people hated “drinking a new wine” so, as in the biblical parable, they said—and sometimes continue to insist—that “the wine old is better”. The differences in people’s assessments are due to many factors, including personal experience, the background of parents and grandparents, education, age, and place of residence. Those who still prefer the old communist wine also want to live in a system of the old ideas and stereotypes underpinning communist life. Those who condemn the past also reject the past communist ideology, and consider it a fiction. But a theory is proven by how it is practised. To understand whether the communist ideology is false or true, one needs to thoroughly review its practical implementation, that is, to move from philosophical reasoning to historical evaluation. The reason the controversy about history is so heated in post-communist societies is that it is an argument about truth and falsehood, right and wrong, honour and dishonesty. It involves an endless number of people, living and dead, including those who collaborated in one way or another with the communist regime, and those who resisted it to the extent they were able. What were people to do: collaborate or resist? That is the main point of the ongoing public discussion that may heal or kill our souls, and in which a historian has an important, if not leading, role. That is why history in today’s Russia has moved from a purely academic science into the arena of politics. This is neither good nor bad; it is simply a fact.

But having entered, for the time being, the arena of politics, history is by no means freed from obligations to conduct research in ways that ensure accuracy, honesty, impartiality, and scientific objectivity. Without these, history would make no sense. Lies will not cure or teach anyone anything other than, perhaps, that “lies are short-lived”. However, impartiality does not mean indifference. In the domain of the humanities, the scholar must not treat the object of his or her research in a heartless way. A true historian must combine sober detachment with love—something that is always difficult to achieve.

In writing A History of 20th Century Russia, we endeavoured to be faithful to the above principles and to bear in mind the special meaning that national history has in today’s Russia. In the introduction to the work, we stated honestly that the object of our love is humanity, who has the highest value and serves as the true measure of any historical event. We also stated that the truth of historical fact is absolutely indispensable. Historical truth and human destiny: this is the rationale for our book.

Our book was published in July 2009, and a few months later—the weighty tomes totalling 1900 pages took time to read—commentaries started to come in, some with fulsome praise, others critical. We were prepared for such a diversity of opinion, because our book is a fact of public life, and there is currently a profound split in society regarding both the past and the future. However, there was one thing that we accepted with equal gratitude both from critics and fans, and that was suggestions concerning factual mistakes, inaccuracies, and misprints. We immediately started preparing a new revised and updated edition, which we hope will come off the press as early as 2011.
II.

The publication of Lennart Samuelson’s review of our book in The Baltic Worlds came as a surprise. We could not have supposed that a well-known Swedish historian, Associate Professor of the Stockholm Higher School of Economics, a specialist in a number of important aspects of Russian 20th century history (the military industry and the reprisals of the 1930s[1]) and member of the editorial board endorsing serious source-based papers and history dockets on Russia’s contemporary history (The History of Stalinism) would read our History of 20th Century Russia and even track it on the Internet. However, when my colleagues and I read through Dr. Samuelson’s review carefully, we had mixed feelings.

Distinguished for his scrupulous accuracy and attention to detail, Dr. Samuelson this time made a number of mistakes in the description of the structure itself of the work under review, mistakes which, it would seem to us, should have been impossible to make. For example, according to him, Part 1 of “The Last Tsardom” consists of three chapters; but in fact it has four chapters. Part 2 contains not only one short chapter (“The Provisional Government”) but two. The second, extensive chapter of the book, “A War for Russia”, is not a separate section, as claimed by Dr. Samuelson. Part 3 of the book contains not one, but two chapters, and, correspondingly, not 35 but 55 subchapters.

Regarding the chapter entitled “The Soviet-Nazi War of 1941–1945 and Russia” the reviewer for some reason criticizes us for recounting the war from the perspective of an ordinary man, with his sufferings, hardships, and victims, while the strategic importance of the major military operations such as the Stalingrad and Kursk battles of 1943 and the fighting in Belorussia are not fully covered. If Dr. Samuelson had looked through the aforesaid chapter, he could not have failed to notice that all of the military operations he mentioned have special sections devoted to each, describing in close detail the importance of these great battles against the general background of the war in all of its theatres, from the Pacific, to Africa, and the Atlantic. The reviewer expressed his surprise that in our book we ignore the history of ordinariness, descriptions of the everyday life of ordinary people. This criticism is more than strange, as we deliberately set out to focus more closely on the history of the ordinary than is normally the case with such generalizing treatments of history. To see it for him/herself, the reader need only look at the Table of Contents, and thereafter, should he/she take interest in this subject, read Sections 2 to 8 in Chapter 1, Part 1; Section 11 in Chapter 2; Section 24 in Chapter 2, Part 2; Sections 12 and 14 in Chapter 1, Part 3; Sections 24, 33, and 34 in Chapter 2, Part 3; and so on. Section 5.1.45 is even entitled exactly the same: “Soviet Life between the 1950s and 1980s”. There are also special sections in the book devoted to the life of Soviet Buddhists and Muslim groups. How could Dr. Samuelson not have noticed this? One gets the distinct impression that he was in a hurry and did not familiarize himself very thoroughly with the structure of the book he was reviewing.

This impression becomes even stronger when he moves from the structural analysis to the characterization of the team of authors. Our book was written by more than 40 authors, with their names and academic degrees listed in a long compendium opening Volume 1 of the work. However, Dr. Samuelson describes only four of them as “professional historians” and experts. The fortunate few are Professor of Russian Philosophy, Alexei Kara-Murza, a leading specialist on the Civil War; Doctor of History, Sergey Volkov, Director of the Andrei Rublev Museum; Doctor of Art History, Gennady Popov; and Doctor of Engineering Sciences, Dmitry Kalikhman, who is referred to in Dr. Samuelson’s review not by name, but as a “specialist in nuclear weapons technology from Saratov”. “The other co-authors,” Samuelson categorically announces, “are neither historians nor experts, as is reflected in both form and content.”

The above statement is not just ambiguous or erroneous; it is either deliberately misleading the reader or is proof of the complete professional incompetence of Dr. Samuelson who, being a specialist in Russian history, should know his colleagues’ names, and, in case of doubt, should know how to make inquiries on the Internet. He should have known that Yuri Pivovarov, an academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, is not only a leading specialist in Russian history and public attitudes but also the Chairman of the Expert Board of the Higher State Academic Awards Commission,[2] responsible for granting the title of Doctor of History. Dr. Samuelson may not be aware, but Professor Nikita Struve of Paris is an excellent specialist on Russian emigration; Vladislav Zubok is a professor at Temple University, Philadelphia, whose books on the history of the Cold War have been republished in many languages and reviewed extensively; Sergei Firsov is a professor at St. Petersburg University, who published several monographs on the history of the Russian Church during the pre-Revolutionary period, and has just published a two-volume scholarly work on the life of Emperor Nikolas II; Alexandr Pantsov is a professor of Russian History at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, who specializes in the same period as the reviewer himself, with a slightly different focus, the Komintern and Soviet-Chinese relations. No doubt, Samuelson is aware of the name of the British scholar Count Nikolai Tolstoy-Miloslavsky and his book The Yalta Victims, and he most certainly knows the names of researchers at the Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences, such as the Deputy Director (Research) Vladimir Lavrov; Academic Secretary and Doctor of History, Vladimir Shestakov; and, possibly, also the two young and gifted historians, the Lobanov husband and wife, who defended their Candidate theses under the direction of V. Lavrov. It is hard to imagine that Samuelson is completely unaware of the world-renowned Russianist, professor at the University of Venice Vittorio Strada. Many more examples could be cited. Having used such unfair and offensive language with respect to the above-named individuals and other authors of A History of 20th Century Russia, Dr. Samuelson made an obviously false statement and grossly violated the rules of ethical conduct.

Moreover, in his review Dr. Samuelson, without any proof whatsoever, takes the liberty of accusing the authors of being completely incapable of conducting scholarly research: “Zubov’s lack of elementary source-critical thinking is clearly evident.” Evidently, it is not Zubov that he means. If I were an inept editor-in-chief, I might have missed a particular author’s mistakes; but any mistakes in the source analysis would have been made by those who wrote the section, not by me. Is it not shameful that a comparatively young Russianist should accuse such a body of his colleagues of lacking the skills taught at the history department of any university? As far as I am personally concerned, Dr. Samuelson conferred on me the strange degree of “Professor of Religious History”. I do not know what “Religious History” means, exactly, as there is no such subject in the list of disciplines taught at MGIMO. Untrue again. I teach the History of Religious Ideas and the History of Philosophy at MGIMO. With certain reservations, the history of religious ideas could be termed the history of religions, but on no account could it be called religious history. Incidentally, it is clear that when Alexandr Solzhenitsyn contacted me in 2006, suggesting that I write a textbook on Russian history, it was not because I teach the History of Religious Ideas. He had read some chapters from my latest book (to be published shortly), “Pondering the Reasons for the Revolution in Russia”, which appeared in 2004–2006 in the magazine Novy Mir, and based his choice on those chapters. Dr. Samuelson might have wondered what other research in Russian studies the editor-in-chief of the book under review had published. Had he checked, he would have found scores of titles published in many languages. But Dr. Samuelson was either lazy or decided that it would serve him best to present A. Zubov neither as a “historian” nor as an “expert”, but rather, as a lecturer of some mysterious “Religious History”, not of a scientific discipline, but of something vaguely reminiscent of the Christian Science movement founded by Mary Baker Eddy in the last third of the 19th century—in other words, something that had nothing in common with an academic discipline.

Another strange feature of Dr. Samuelson’s review was his attitude to the other reviewers of our book. In his Reference 13, he quite rightly states that one of the first public comments regarding A History of 20th Century Russia came from Harvard’s Professor of History, Richard Pipes, and that the comment was quite positive. But, instead of limiting himself to such a statement, Dr. Samuelson goes on to write: “However, the present reviewer [Dr. Samuelson] seriously doubts that Professor Pipes on closer inspection of Zubov’s two volume History would approve of its presentation of the 1917 Revolution or endorse the explanations on the Stalinist ‘revolution from above’ in the 1930s.” It may be noted that, unlike Dr. Samuelson, Professor Pipes read both volumes thoroughly before making any public comments about our book. He sent me numerous remarks; tips about inaccuracies, including the most minute, essential suggestions; and points—all of them accepted with gratitude—and ended up writing a brilliant psychological profile of Vladimir Lenin in his biography for the new edition of our book, thus actually moving from reviewer to co-author. For Samuelson to suggest that a renowned historian was too hasty in approving a book which Samuelson himself, upon only a brief perusal, proceeded to batter is no less strange than calling forty well-known scholars “neither historians nor experts.”.

As for another reviewer, a MGIMO Vice-Rector, who, as the reviewer correctly stated (Reference 14), took exception to the book—finding it unsuitable for MGIMO students to read—Dr. Samuelson forgot to indicate that the said Vice-Rector is Alexei Podberyozkin, who was a member of the Russian Communist Party faction at the State Duma (1995–1999), and who, on behalf of the left radical Patriotic Front competed with Vladimir Putin for the presidency in 2000 (receiving 0.13 percent of the vote). His co-author in preparing a comment on our book is Alexandr Sergeev, who for a few days was Minister of the Press with the Yanayev government, during the abortive attempt to overthrow Gorbachev in August 1991. It is obvious why such people would hold a negative view of our History . What is not clear, however, is why Dr. Samuelson chose not to include such important details, nor to include the fact that Mr. Podberyozkin’s proposal that the book not be read prompted a great many indignant comments from students on the Internet.

All of the above points make it possible to consider Dr. Samuelson’s article to be both biased and tendentious. But what is the gist of the bias, and what is the tendency?
III.

To understand this, certain specific remarks by Dr. Samuelson should be analysed. They are not many in number. Dr. Samuelson states, consistent with the spirit of scholarly accuracy: “The size (1,800 pages) and the scope of the content make it impossible for one person to review Istorija Rossii XX veka in the customary way.” While failing to adhere to the above honest statement, [Dr. Samuelson] at one and the same time praises and then denigrates sections [of the book] which are beyond his professional competence. He would heap praise on the sections dealing with the history of emigration, of the Russian Orthodox Church, of church–government relations, or the history of the White movement, but writes that Russia’s history after 1953 was written “in a more conventional manner… as a standardized depiction of the Cold War era.” “The international conflicts and internal difficulties of the Russian regime, particularly the dissident movement, are described in vibrant and dynamic fashion.” The introductory chapter, “How Russia Came to the 20th Century”, briefly outlining the 1000-year-long period of Russian history from the formation of the Slavonic communion up to the tsardom of Alexander III, is assessed more moderately but with an understanding of the challenge faced: “Given such a compressed format, a plethora of simplifications is unavoidable.”

Dr. Samuelson completely excluded many sections and chapters from his analysis. This applies to the whole pre-Revolutionary portion of the book (except V. Lenin’s activities) and the status of culture, education, science, interethnic relations, and the life of non-Russian and non-Orthodox communities. Neither does he say a word about the chapters devoted to Perestroika, or to the modern history of Russia.

Samuelson focuses on the subjects that he knows well, such as the Revolution, Bolshevik repressions, famine, dekulakization, and the struggle for power among the members of the Bolshevik establishment in the 1930s. Comments by a professional are welcome. By now, thanks to such comments, we have corrected many inaccuracies and errors in the book. But Dr. Samuelson’s review did not bear the anticipated fruit. It proved impossible to add or correct anything in the book based on the results of his review, for Dr. Samuelson’s remarks are general and evaluative rather than specific. Most often he is simply stating a different position, based solely on the fact that “many historians think the same”.

The Swedish historian not infrequently accuses us of “falsification”. It should be noted that this is a term very seldom used by scholars of history, and Dr. Samuelson apparently borrowed it from the political lexicon of today’s Russia, with its Presidential Commission on the falsification of history. For some reason, this respectable Western European historian is fond of using wordings typical of his Russian colleagues. Could it be because he is linked to them in many research and publishing projects? As the saying goes: “Who keeps company with the wolf will learn to howl.”

The question is whether Andrei Zubov and his coauthors can explain why, in 1917, it was Russia in particular that became the first country in which the originally 19th century socialist ideas were tested?

Dr. Samuelson answers in the negative: no, they cannot, because the authors simplify everything drastically, reducing the Revolution to Kaiser Wilhelm’s scheming against Russia, and Lenin to the status of Germany’s paid spy. Samuelson’s statement is absurd. If he had read the book more closely, he would have seen that on numerous occasions, and for very different reasons—from economic to religiously confessional—we explain how one or another phenomenon of Russian life paved the way towards revolution. Both the Kaiser and Lenin were latecomers on the scene and were far from being the main begetters of our national tragedy. With complete disregard for the circumstances, they made use—Lenin ingeniously—of what had already developed long before their time. How could Samuelson have failed to notice all that while reading the book?

Only one thing surprised him: that, in the section entitled “Ideological War” (1.4.12), we discuss Lenin’s cooperation with Germany right before and during the World War. All the facts that we cited have precise references. Therefore, if they are doubted at all, it should be for good reason. But our arguments should not be distorted in a review for the sake of a witty remark. We write: “Gendarme General A.I. Spiridonovich reports that in June and July 1914 Lenin went to Berlin twice to elaborate a plan of subversive activities in the Russian army rear in cooperation with the German intelligence service. He was promised 70 million Deutschmarks for the job. The German Foreign Ministry had a program of activities written by Lenin that he proposed to implement after seizing power in Russia. Lenin transferred the program to the German Foreign Ministry through a German agent, Estonian Alexander Keskula, in September 1915.” The above phrases are transformed by the reviewer as follows: “Zubov’s simplified reconstruction is presented in the section on World War I. Here we “learn” that Vladimir I. Lenin paid two secret visits to Berlin in June and July of 1914, and reached an agreement with highly placed military officials to undermine the Russian home front during the coming war. The leader of the Bolsheviks allegedly received 70 million German marks in return. The imminent events thus came under the control of Kaiser Wilhelm and the German General Staff.”

Here the chief distortions are as follows: we do not “teach”, but, rather, provide the evidence of witnesses and documents whose own reliability might be called into question, but it is not permissible to attribute to the authors what is included as a documentary reference. Second, General Spiridonovich writes that Berlin promised Lenin 70 million marks (an enormous sum of money!) but did not give it to him. Third—and this is crucial—we do not conclude that the Revolution was controlled by the Kaiser. There were a thousand reasons for the Revolution, so we discuss the key ones. It is not we who simplify the reconstruction, it is the reviewer who simplifies it, all the while ascribing his own simplifications and distortions to the book. Such an approach could hardly be called fair criticism. However, it is quite natural for those domestic historians who, remembering with nostalgia “the communist wine”, keep defending the myth about the great Russian patriot Vladimir Lenin launched during the years of Stalin’s socialist patriotism. The position of contemporary Russian imitators of Bolshevism is clear, but what is unclear is why the Swedish historian should adhere to it.

“Zubov explains,” Dr. Samuelson continues, “that the spontaneous workers’ revolt in July 1917 was instigated by Lenin on the directives of the German General Staff in order to stem the Russian Army’s offensive.” The spontaneous revolt of workers against landlords and capitalists in July 1917 is a statement from The Brief Course of VCP(b) History. By now, there is plenty of evidence confirming the instigated nature of the uprising on the part of what were actually Kronstadt seamen, and not workers. In our book, we cite some of these arguments and witnesses’ testimony, but Samuelson does not cite a single proof to support the old Bolshevik myth; he simply declares the invalidity of the text reviewed on the basis of the fact that the authors’ view differs from what we were taught in Soviet schools.

In general, when reading the review, one has the persistent impression that there is a strange attempt to justify Lenin and his methods of seizing and holding on to power. Dr. Samuelson even reproaches us for exaggerating in the book the number of victims during Lenin’s period of the communist regime. His choice of terminology is characteristic. Samuelson claims that we disregarded the latest studies containing calculations of the number of victims of the terror employed by the Bolsheviks against those who fought against their power (the resisters); that is, the reviewer considers the Red Terror of 1918–1922 as a form of struggle against the active enemies of the regime. Again, this is what was written in Soviet textbooks, but now everyone knows that those were false statements. Most terrifying about the Red Terror was the taking as hostages and subsequently exterminating common people who were seen as “class enemies”, that is, ordinary men, women, and children, and those priests, teachers, doctors, merchants, former public servants, and high school and university students who constituted the leading segments of Russian society. In villages, hard-working and well-off farmers were very often taken hostage (and they perished). The Red Terror was a nightmare for Russian society at that time and we can feel its consequences in the present. The great sociologist Pitirim Sorokin—who miraculously escaped being shot—wrote later:

It is not the destruction of our economy, nor the loss of population (21 million), nor the disruption of spiritual life, and not even the general process of ‘people going wild and turning into beasts’ that constitute the principal damage caused to us by the war and the revolution—all of it is reparable and recoverable—but the attrition of our “gene pool” through killing off its best carriers… If between 1914 and 1920 Russia’s population decreased by 13.6 percent, then 20 percent of the healthiest and most able-bodied (those 16 to 50 years of age) were lost, as were 28 percent of the men… If the general death rate in Petrograd and Moscow tripled as compared with normal times, then for scholars it multiplied by five or six. If in this country the number of people with a university education was hardly more than 200–300 per million of population, then the number of those among them who died was not 200 x 21 = 4,200, but five or six times higher. And the number of unique and outstanding scholars, poets and thinkers that we lost was huge (Lappo-Danilevsky, Shakhmatov, Turaev, Kovalevsky, Ovsyaniko-Kulikovsky, Blok, Andreev, Tugan-Baranovsky, Markov, Khvostov, Inostrantsev, Trubetskoy, and so on). In short, those years “bled us white” of our best people.

Is any irony relevant here? Samuelson’s attempt to tell the readers of The Baltic Worlds that it was mainly active fighters against Bolshevism who became victims of the Red Terror is not only a lie, rebutted a thousand times, but a more than ambiguous attitude to Russia’s people who suffered so much from Bolshevik lawlessness. As for the statistics, they cannot be complete as we stress in the book, but they testify to the horrific scope of the crimes committed by Lenin and his Bolsheviks against humanity. However, in our case the historical demographic calculations were made by a highly qualified professional, so if they are to be challenged, it should only be on the basis of points of fact. We cited the testimony of The Scotsman daily only because it shows that European society was aware of the real scope of the Bolshevik terror as early as the beginning of the 1920s. In all probability, Dr. Samuelson is reluctant to admit the scope of the horror, because, in his opinion, in those years Russia became the country in which “the original 19th century socialist ideas were tested”. Unlike the respected reviewer, I believe that in the 20th century socialist ideas were tested by labour sympathizers in the United Kingdom, by Franklin Roosevelt in the USA, and by social democrats in Sweden and Denmark. Socialism is a teaching whose objective is the good of the community. What Lenin tested in Russia was something quite different: how a small group of conspirators could seize and hold power “at any cost”. The price of Lenin’s experiment proved unimaginably high for Russia.
IV.



Nevertheless, with an insistence unusual for a European historian living in a humanistic and democratic society, Lennart Samuelson, throughout his review, insists on justifying the Bolshevik regime’s crimes or belittling their scope.

He does not believe that the famines of 1921–1922 and 1932–1933 were instigated by the Bolshevik powers, as stated in our book based on extensive proof. On the contrary, referring to the Holodomor [Hunger Plague] of 1932–1933, Dr. Samuelson contends that we are carrying on with the same line used by Ukrainian nationalist émigrés who raised the issue of deliberate extermination of Ukraine’s people by Stalin, and that, with respect to the famine of 1921–1922, we do not admit that “the Bolshevik regime did what it could to try and relieve the distress”. That is why he finds our description of the two Holodomors to be “incorrect”. But the facts cited in “History of Russia” leave no doubt regarding the artificial reasons for both tragedies. Incidentally, the title of Section 2.2.43, “The Planned Holodomor of 1921–1922: Its Forms and Objectives”, was fully approved by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn when he wrote a comment regarding the second part of the book: “Yes, yes, exactly ‘the planned Holodomor’,” he emphasized. Yet the Soviet myth that Soviet power was taking care of the working people, peasants and workers would not allow today’s imitators of Bolshevism to admit that the humanitarian tragedies were planned by communist authorities. Hence, endless arguments, studies of the drought level during those years, and the obliviousness to the simple facts that, by a decision of the Politbureau, all of the grain was confiscated from the peasants to be sold abroad, while millions of people were dying of hunger and degenerating to the level of cannibalism. In this area, too, our book aims to dethrone a Bolshevik myth, rather than calling into question scientific facts, however clearly those facts still need to be refined, and whose details can still be argued. But why, instead of discussing facts, Dr. Samuelson once again advocates the old Bolshevik myth that the Soviet authorities took care of the hungry peasants, is not clear.

We also fail to understand Dr. Samuelson’s indignation at our section 3.2.14, “The Problem of Homeless Children Solved”. He spares no strong language to characterize the above section, calling it a flagrant example of “pure historical falsification”. Meanwhile, this section discusses one of the most frightening manifestations of totalitarian communism: its attitude towards children. The street urchin problem was created by the Bolshevik policy of Red Terror and organized famine. The reviewer is absolutely wrong when he alleges that World War I was one of its causes. The death of many young men in the war did not result in the problem of homeless children, for the simple reason that the bereaved children still had their mothers and grandparents, and the village community and systems of social charity remained intact. It was only the slaughter and death of all the adults in many families during the Red Terror of 1918–1921 and during the Holodomor of 1921–1922—with their ensuing epidemics—that resulted in millions of children being bereft of any adult relatives at all. Incidentally, it is an indirect proof of the scope of Bolshevik misdeeds. The tragedy was repeated during the Holodomor of 1932–1933. It was not rapid industrialization and collectivization but the ghastly social policy of the Bolsheviks that caused a new surge of homeless children in the mid-1930s. As a matter of fact, rapid industrialization in the United States, or pre-Revolutionary Russia, was not accompanied by similar phenomena on a comparable scale.

By the time of the New Economic Policy the problem of homeless children was really resolved through the humanistic methods and the activities of such devoted educators as Anton Makarenko. But ten years later, everything was different; this is the period discussed in Section 3.2.14. The dreadful 1935 law giving full legal responsibility to 12-year-old children, including making them liable to the death penalty, is an explicit and irrefutable proof thereof. The witnesses who escaped to the West left horrifying descriptions of the conditions prevailing in children’s penal colonies. It is pointless for Samuelson to be so sceptical of the memoirs of Walter Krivitsky. Krivitsky was a hero, who not only refused to serve Stalin’s regime, but, at the price of his own life, unmasked many of its crimes, crimes which he had not only witnessed himself, but in which had once been an accomplice. Some of the horrific details provided by Krivitsky were confirmed by other independent sources (e.g., regarding the destiny of the Spanish Republic’s gold and the existence of underground torture chambers in the Soviet Embassy in Paris). When Dr. Samuelson tries to minimize the terrifying effect of Stalin’s law of 1935 by saying that “very few minors were sentenced to death”, citing as proof Stalin’s words to Romain Rolland that the law had been adopted not for application but as a scare tactic, he once again becomes a captive—surely the gentlest possible definition—of Soviet propaganda. It goes without saying that a considerable number of homeless children did grow up to become functioning adults. The book never states that all homeless children became victims of the repression. But it is quite another matter to consider what they were taught in Soviet orphanages, and what kind of life was offered to them. We focused on this subject and on its most repugnant aspects—unknown to ordinary Russians—in order to dispel the myth about the “kind-hearted” Bolsheviks who adored children, both their own and those of other people. This legend is a lie. Bolshevism was no less cruel towards children than it was towards adults. It kept generating and then eliminating the problem of homeless children and forever crippled their souls in orphanages and residential colonies with their compulsory atheism and training in class hatred. It even went as far as working minors to a state of exhaustion, in exile and in camps, and every so often killing them “in the name of law”. So if we are to apply Dr. Samuelson’s favourite term, then the “monstrous falsification” is not our chapter in the book, but the statement by the scholar from successful Sweden that in the 1930s, Soviet “trade schools and daycare centres gave society’s unfortunate children a second chance in life… and helped tens of thousands of street urchins return to society during the interwar years”. Why should an Associate Professor from the Stockholm Higher School of Economics repeat the arguments of Russian communist historians whose purpose, far from condemning Bolshevism for its crimes against underage children, has been to conceal objectionable facts from the community?

But, possibly, the climax of the trend that Dr. Samuelson is loyal to throughout the review is his justification of the actions of Stalin and Molotov in international politics in 1939–1941. The signing of a treaty with Hitler, the taking of eastern Poland, the Baltic States, and Bessarabia, and the attempt to seize Finland, as well as the haggling over the Balkans between Molotov and Hitler in Berlin in the autumn of 1940—all of it is referred to by Dr. Samuelson twice in the review, at the beginning and at the end, as realpolitik and is characterized as the norm of the time. And if it is the norm, it should be accepted without criticism, as an objective fact. This strange statement does not justify Soviet expansionism alone. The actions of Nazi Germany in respect of the Ruhr region in 1936; Austria in 1937; Czechoslovakia in 1938; Poland in 1939; France, Holland, Belgium, Norway, and Denmark in 1940; and Yugoslavia and the USSR itself in 1941, may also be considered manifestations of realpolitik typical of the time. However, virtually no one but a neo-Nazi would endorse such a statement. Why were Goering, Keitel, and Ribbentrop sentenced to death in Nuremberg if what they were doing at the end of the 1930s was mere realpolitik? Then what is the difference between the actions of Stalin and Molotov and the practices of their Nazi friends?

Today, most probably, no one would dare write about the peace-loving policies of the Soviet government in 1939–1940. Even Communists would not trot out this cliché. But to avoid recognizing the aggressive nature of the Bolshevik regime, today’s Russian Communists are fond of discoursing in terms of geopolitics and realpolitik. As the old Russian proverb puts it: “If Ilya does it, I will do it too.” Now they insert Adolf and Benito instead of Ilya. But what is easy to understand when stated by Communists ceases to be understandable in a review by a historian living in a country which has not seen war for 200 years, and which has not harassed either its own or other subjects through geopolitical aspirations and frenzied realpolitik. Is it not evident to Dr. Samuelson, as a historian of the 20th century, that Lenin was possessed by the idea of a global revolution and bequeathed it to Stalin along with the Komintern? And that, from Stalin till Gorbachev, Soviet communists fought tooth and nail to expand their empire, beginning with the Mongolian desert and mountainous Tuva, and ending with Afghanistan, coinciding with the end of the regime? Who in his right mind would doubt the aggressiveness of the Communist regime? It is enough to read the diaries of A.S. Chernyaev[3] to understand that, up until the last years in power, the Kremlin old guard continued to be infatuated with the idea of a global proletarian revolution and the spread of socialism—that is, the power of the USSR—to the whole world. Chernyaev himself writes about it with irritation and disgust but, clearly, he could not convince his bosses in the Politburo, nor did he try. It is only the myth about the age-old Soviet peacefulness—“the USSR is no aggressor”—that prevents one from perceiving this reality of Soviet aggression.
V.



Finally, about the regime’s legitimacy. The reviewer mocks me because in our book we keep calling the Bolshevik regime illegitimate. But is it legitimate from the perspective of modern legal realities? After forcing their way to power, dispersing the Constituent Assembly, unleashing terror against all those who refused to support them, the Bolshevik Communists kept ruling the people they conquered. Did they even once hold an honest competitive election, be it local or national? Did they even for a day abolish censorship from 1917 until the end of their power? Were their “state security” agencies really protecting people from spies and saboteurs, and not the party elite from all those who were discontented with the power of the VCP(b) and the CPSS?[4] The trouble is that many Russian people became accustomed to the regime, began regarding it as their own, and have not yet got over this “Stockholm syndrome”. Rather, the Associate Professor of the Stockholm Higher School of Economics, a specialist himself in the most dreadful period in Russian history, should have helped them break free of Morok,[5] of Bolshevism; but nothing of the kind has happened: he rather considers human freedom and dignity an “overly vague goal”, to be guided by realpolitik. He criticizes our book from the positions formed by Soviet myths; he considers the USSR a Socialist state that implemented the teachings of 19th century socialists, a peace-loving and legitimate state, founded by that zealous Russian patriot, Vladimir Lenin; a state in which communists take care of children and give the last piece of bread to starving peasants.

This is why we did not succeed in finding anything useful for our book in Dr. Samuelson’s review. It was with precisely the aim of replacing with a true and human history the very myths in which our distinguished Swedish colleague remains imprisoned that we wrote A History of 20th Century Russia.

Andrei Zubov (Ph.D.) Professor, (MGIMO), Editor-in-Chief, A History of 20th Century Russia.
最后编辑时间: 2011-04-13 10:22:27

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