|09-03-2008, 07:58 PM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Dec 2003
Stalin's Genocide Justified in New Russian Teaching Manual
Stalin's mass murders were 'entirely rational' says new Russian textbook praising tyrant
By Will Stewart
Last updated at 1:10 AM on 03rd September 2008
Stalin acted ‘entirely rationally’ in executing and imprisoning millions of people in the Gulags, a controversial new Russian teaching manual claims.
Fifty-five years after the Soviet dictator died, the latest guide for teachers to promote patriotism among the Russian young said he did what he did to ensure the country’s modernisation.
The manual, titled A History of Russia, 1900-1945, will form the basis of a new state-approved text book for use in schools next year.
It seems to follow an attempt backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to re-evaluate Stalin’s record in a more positive light.
Critics have taken exception, however, to numerous excerpts, which they say are essentially attempts to whitewash Stalin’s crimes.
In the West, it has been widely accepted that in the 1920s millions were shot, exiled to Siberia, or died of starvation after their land, homes and meagre possessions, were taken to fulfil Stalin’s vision of massive ‘factory farms.’
In the 1930s millions more whom he considered or suspected a threat to the USSR were executed or exiled to Gulag labour camps in remote areas of Siberia or Central Asia, where many also died of disease, malnutrition and exposure.
Historians believe up to 20 million people perished as a result of his actions - more than the six million killed during Hitler’s genocide of the Jews.
Now the new teaching manual is attempting to tell a generation of Russian schoolchildren that Stalin acted rationally.
One of the authors, Anatoly Utkin, is keener to promote another statistic about Stalin, stressing some 10,000 books in his library had his personal jottings and marks in them.
‘Can you tell me of any other leader, an American president, for example, who read 10,000 books?’
er leader, an American president, for example, who read 10,000 books?’
The manual informs teachers that the Great Terror of the 1930s came about because Stalin ‘did not know who would deal the next blow, and for that reason he attacked every known group and movement, as well as those who were not his allies or of his mindset.’
It stresses to teachers that ‘it is important to show that Stalin acted in a concrete historical situation’ and that he acted ‘entirely rationally - as the guardian of a system, as a consistent supporter of reshaping the country into an industrialised state.’
Editor Alexander Danilov said: ‘We are not defending Stalin. We are just exploring his personality, explaining his motives and showing what he really achieved.’
The controversial manual is produced by the country’s leading school book publishers Prosveshenije, a state-supported company that was a monopoly supplier of classroom texts in the Soviet era, and appears to be returning to that role.
The company boasts: ‘We are proud that we brought up generations of Soviet people - and today we keep on improving our textbooks.’
With close links to the Kremlin, the company’s website states: ‘Prosveshenije remains one of the few effective instruments of national consolidation, a centre of forming and distributing Russian educational values.’
The teaching manual could not have been produced without the support and approval of the Russian government.
Prominent Russian historian Roy Medvedev dubbed the manual ‘a falsification. Stalin by no means acted rationally all of the time, and many of his actions damaged the country.’
Before World War II, he said, ‘many in the military ranks were arrested, like my father, for example, and their children, little boys, were sent to the front.’
Alexander Kamensky, head of the history department at the Russia State University for the Humanities, said the manual was, ‘sadly,’ a sign that teaching history in schools has become ‘an ideological instrument.’
But it seems to echo Putin’s remarks to a group of history teachers in June 2007 when he said while Stalin’s purges were one of the darkest periods of the country’s history, ‘others cannot be allowed to impose a feeling of guilt on us.’
An earlier manual called Stalin an ‘effective manager’.
|09-03-2008, 08:58 PM||#4|
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arcadia, CA
I'm sure Gaff will be coming along shortly to defend this.
|09-03-2008, 09:03 PM||#5|
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Elway was just an arm =MacGruder
I hope this doesnt become well known ........