Timothy Snyder, an authority on totalitarianism, draws a straight line in this article that appeared in the New York Times from Stalin’s efforts to purge history of negative facts about the Soviet Union to the current mania among Republicans to control the teaching of American history and censor shameful facts in our history.
Professor Snyder reminds us of Stalin’s brutal campaign to crush Ukraine, where nearly 4 million people died, most from starvation, after their crops were seized.
Ukraine was the most important Soviet republic beyond Russia, and Stalin understood it as wayward and disloyal. When the collectivization of agriculture in Ukraine failed to produce the yields that Stalin expected, his response was to blame local party authorities, the Ukrainian people and foreign spies. As foodstuffs were extracted amid famine, it was chiefly Ukrainians who suffered and died — some 3.9 million people in the republic…
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