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Right from its very inception, the Soviet state has worked for a lasting peace on earth. This is the road it has followed for six and a half decades. No provocations, intrigues or threats of the imperialists will ever force the Soviet Union and its allies off their chosen path. Over the postwar years the Soviet Union has made more than a hundred proposals directed at stopping the arms drive, achieving disarmament, and ensuring a peaceful and secure life for all nations.

A Blind Eye to Lessons of History 

The reactionary forces of imperialism pursue a different kind of policy. Over the 200-odd years of its existence the 246 United Stales has fought aggressive wars against almost 50 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America, carried out hundreds of punitive operations against the peoples of colonial and dependent countries. In just the years folloving the Second World War, the forces of aggression and militarism started about 150 local wars and militarv conflicts which took more than 25 million lives. In the period between 1940 and 1975, the United States resorted, directly or indirectly, to the use of force or threatened other countries with military intervention 215 times. Nineteen times the U.S. government discussed the possibility of making direct use of nuclear weapons, thus pushing the world to the brink of nuclear catastrophe. [246•1

Some of the “research”, allegedly based on historical experience, prepared and published in the United States and other capitalist countries is clearly aimed at fanning the flames of a new war. These so-called historians defy the lessons of history. The scope of their work is fairly wide and ranges across different periods of world history. Much of the space in their “research” is devoted to outright falsification of the results and lessons of the Second World War with the apparent aim of instigating a war against the USSR, exonerating the Na/.is of their crimes and spreading, ideas of revanche and anti-Sovietism. 

Here is an example. Louis Fischer, whom we mentioned earlier in this account, gives what might at first glance be an objective assessment of the defeat of the Nazi troops at Moscow. He writes that this victory was the result of the staunchness and bravery of the generals and soldiers of the Red Army and of the whole Soviet people. In his view, the conclusion to be drawn from the defeat of the armies of Napoleon and Hitler is that "there is never likely to be another invasion of Russia from the west". [246•2

But why "from the west"? A reply to this question can be found in an American magazine which carried an article, "The Eighth Road to Moscow", written at the time Fischer 247 was working on his book. Its author, Lieutenant Colonel Dave R. Palmer, says that over its entire history the USSR has been attacked seven times, the first time by the Vikings and the last by Nazi Germany in 1941. But all these campaigns failed because, as he put it, the invaders came from the west. Now Palmer suggests a possible eighth campaign, this one to be undertaken from the east. Discussing why the main strike should be delivered upon the USSR from the east, the magazine writes: "Why, Red China might be our staunchest ally in a conflict with Russia.... Old admonitions against a ground war in Asia simply cannot be permitted to blind us to future possibilities. Whether or not we can launch an invasion from Asia today might be a moot point. But it is distinctly possible tomorrow.” American forces, he continues, would constitute the bulk of the main attack’s strength using Pacific bases as a springboard, including "perhaps even parts of mainland China itself. An invasion from the west, which the author describes as a secondary attack, would most likely be "spearheaded by [West] Germany”. Hence the conclusion, "In short, launching the main attack from China is not only a feasible alternative, it just might be the best alternative”. [247•1

Such provocative assertions and recommendations are strongly reminiscent of the calculations made by the Munich dealers in the late ’thirties. But the Second World War is known to have begun as a conflict between those same countries which had sought to form a common anti-Soviet alliance. The irreconcilable contradictions between them proved to be stronger than their collective hatred of the USSR. The United States and Britain did finally see Nazi Germany attack the USSR, but by that time the very existence of the Western democracies depended on the ability of the USSR to hold out against and defeat the Nazi invaders. 

In planning their further ventures the forces of world imperialism, and especially the United States and its NATO allies, stake heavily on the possibility of winning a nuclear war against the USSR. The concept that nuclear war is “acceptable” is central to the militaristic propaganda. Those 248 of the reactionary historians who, like Leonard Cooper, are pure-bred warmongers have contributed to this criminal campaign. Cooper has written a book, Many Roads to Moscow, in which he examines the reasons for the defeat of the Swedish King Charles XII, Napoleon and Hitler, and picks up the old traditional postulates such as "the vast Russian expanses”, "a huge population”, "rigorous climate”, etc. "Is it true ... that the same insuperable difficulties must always confront any aggressor who is mad or desperate enough to attempt the conquest of Russia by land?" he asks rhetorically. And replies: "It must be true that there is too much of Russia ... for such a venture ever to succeed by conventional means”, [248•1 (my italics-Author), hinting that atomic weapons could be used to cut a new road to Moscow. 

The attempts of reactionary historians directed at justifying the crimes of fascism can only be viewed as part of the imperialist preparations for war against the Soviet Union, and all the revolutionary forces of our time, as part of concrete plans for a war in which hundreds of millions of people must die. The techniques used by the falsifiers of history are the same as ever: fraud and provocation, organised in part or wholly by the CIA and other subversive centres. 

The Advocates of Fascist Crimes 

For many years, reactionary propaganda has tried to make hay on the "Katyn affair”, an attempt to charge the chief Soviet security body (People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs) with the murder of 11,000 Polish army officers who had been massacred by the Nazis in the autumn of 1941, in Katyn Forest near Smolensk. 

The history of these attempts is instructive. The allegation was lifted bodily out of a forgery circulr ted by the Goebbels’s office in the spring of 1943, shortly before the liberation of Smolensk by the Soviet Army, in anticipation of the imminent exposure of the Nazi cannibals who had 249 committed yet another atrocity: the mass killing of Polish prisoners of war. An official Soviet announcement published on April 16, 1943, says: "The Goebbels’ slanderers have over the past two or three days been circulating some vicious lies about what they allege was the shooting of Polish officers by Soviet security bodies outside Smolensk in the spring of 1940.... The Nazi reports on this issue leave no room for doubt as to the tragic fate of the former Polish army men who in 1941 were in an area west of Smolensk doing construction work, and who, together with many Soviet people, residents of Smolensk Region, fell into the hands of the Nazi butchers. By spreading these slanderous inventions about alleged Soviet atrocities in the spring of 1940, the Nazis are now trying to dodge the responsibility for this savage crime.... The Nazi murderers who annihilated many hundreds of thousands of Polish citizens will never be able to deceive anybody with their vile lies and slander....” [249•1

Later events showed that this fraud perpetrated by Goebbels pursued far-reaching goals: to split the anti-Hitler coalition and secure a favourable foreign policy situation for a summer offensive on the Soviet-German front (preparations for Operation Citadel-a Wehrmacht offensive on the Kursk Salient-began in March 1943). "German propaganda has produced this story precisely in order to make a rift in the ranks of the United Nations”, [249•2 wrote Churchill. 

The British Prime Minister played a double game, trying in every way to weaken the Soviet Union’s position in the anti-Hitler coalition after the decisive victory at Stalingrad. It was not without Churchill’s knowledge that the Polish government-in-exile repeated Goebbels’ lies. It published a statement slandering the Soviet Union and, almost simultaneously with the Nazis, requested the International Red Cross to carry out an on-the spot investigation in Katyn Forest, on territory which at that time was occupied and controlled by the Nazis, a request that could only have played into their hands. 250 

“The fact that the anti-Soviet campaign has been started simultaneously in the German and Polish press and follows identical lines is indubitable evidence of contact and collusion between Hi tier-the Allies’ enemy-and the Sikorski Government in this hostile campaign,” Stalin wrote to Churchill and Roosevelt. [250•1 The anti-Soviet actions of the London-based Polish government-in-exile forced the USSR to sever all relations with it. 

The Times wrote about the Katyn massacre: "Several questions immediately arise. The Germans have occupied the district for nearly two years: how is it that they have only now discovered these graves? ...The Germans themselves have murdered many thousands of Poles, and boasted of it. Are they trying to turn the murder of some of their own victims to their advantage? How is it that their own stories about the discovery differ so widely in content? 

“At one hour they say they heard about the murders two years ago; a little later they declare that they heard only at the end of March of this year. Their estimates about the number of bodies vary day by day-from 1,200 to 15,000. 

“They know in fact that there can be no independent or thorough inquiry, and so feel themselves free to invent and embellish as they wish.” [250•2

Right after the liberation of Smolensk by the Soviet Army in September 1943, a special Soviet government commission was set up to investigate the circumstances of the shooting by the Nazi invaders of the Polish POWs in Katyn Forest. The commission included prominent forensic experts and representatives of the public, including Academician N. Burdenko, Academician V.Potyomkin, People’s Commissar for Education, author Alexei Tolstoy, Moscow Metropolitan Nikolai of the Russian Orthodox Church, and others. 

“On perusal of all the material at the disposal of the special commission, that is, the depositions of over 100 witnesses questioned, the data of the medico-legal experts, the documents and the material evidence and belongings taken 251 from the graves in Katyn Forest, we can arrive at the following definite conclusions: 

“6. The data of the legal and medical examination determined, without any shadow of doubt: 

“(a) That the time of the shooting was autumn 1941. 

“(b) The application by the German executioners, when shooting Polish prisoners of war, of the identical method— a pistol shot in the nape of the neck-as used by them in the mass murders of the Soviet citizens in other towns, especially in Orel, Voronetz, Krasnodar and in Smolensk itself. 

“7. The conclusions reache’d, after studying the affidavits and medico-legal examinations concerning the shooting of Polish military prisoners of war by Germans in the autumn of 1941, fully confirmed the material evidence and documents discovered in the Katyn graves. ’ 

“8. By shooting the Polish prisoners of war in Katyn Forest, the German fascist invaders consistently realized their policy for the physical extermination of the Slav peoples.” [251•1

On January 15, 1944, the evidence of the Nazi crimes in Katyn Forest was examined by a large group of Western journalists, including the Sunday Times correspondent Alexander Werth, later a prominent British historian. In his detailed review of Soviet-Polish relations during the war, Alexander Werth singled out some particulars of the Katyn massacre. He said, for example that "the Poles had been murdered with German bullets, a fact which-judging from his Diary-had greatly perturbed Goebbels" [251•2 The authenticity of the facts in the Katyn massacre was also confirmed by the daughter of the U.S. Ambassador in 252 Moscow, Kathleen Harriman, who accompanied the Western journalists on their tour. 

The full report on the commission’s findings and other materials on the Katyn massacre were made public in the press, and were later brought in evidence as official documents at the Trial of the Major War Criminals at Nuremberg in 1946. (Documents: USSR-54; USSR-507; 402-PS; USSR507/402-PS, and others.) [252•1

Nevertheless, the U.S. State Department and different subversive anti-socialist centres operating in the West resurrected the Goebbels version of the Katyn events in order to inflame anti-socialist sentiment and to undermine the fraternal relations between the USSR and socialist Poland. In later years the counter-revolutionary leaders of Solidarity used the poisonous Goebbels lie to incite anti-Soviet and antigovernment sentiment among those Poles who were not conversant with the historical facts. 

But the attempts of the enemies of Soviet-Polish friendship to wreck it, including the shameless speculation on the tragic fate of the Polish army officers murdered by the Nazis, are doomed. Soviet-Polish friendship is inviolable. 

Another propaganda campaign, which has as its aim the whitewashing of Nazi crimes and the defamation of the Soviet Union, concerns the German prisoners of war. For the past ten years this campaign has been feeding on the 15-volume (22 books) collected documents published in the Federal Republic of Germany and entitled Concerning the History of the German Prisoners of War of the Second World War. [252•2 The collection contains a lengthy account of the life of the German prisoners of war in the USSR, Yugoslavia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, the United States, Britain, France and some other countries. Seven volumes of this “research” are devoted to the life of German prisoners of war in the Soviet Union. By distorting facts and events, its authors try to prove that in the USSR German prisoners of war were 253 not treated in accordance with accepted legal standards, that their life in Soviet captivity was “torture”. A similar account is given of the life of the German POWs in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. 

The defeat of the Wehrmacht and the capture of prisoners, was the predictable result of Nazi aggression against the Soviet state. In spite of the most grievous crimes that the Nazis perpetrated on Soviet territory, the Soviet Union, guided by humanitarian principles in its treatment of the German POWs, strictly observed all relevant international agreements. With all the difficulties brought on by the war that the Nazis had forced upon the Soviet Union, the German and other POWs of the armies of the fascist bloc were provided with food, medical and other assistance. 

On July 1, 1941, the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR (the Soviet government) adopted "The Statute on Prisoners of War" which guaranteed them their lives, and defined the conditions of detainment. 

 This Statute was repeatedly confirmed in the orders of the Supreme Commander of the Soviet Armed Forces. For example, Order No. 55 of February 23, 1942, read in part, "The Red Army takes German officers and men prisoner if they surrender and preserves their lives”. [253•1 On June 11, 1943, the CHQ C-in-C issued a directive as an addendum to the Statute. It defined privileges for those who had surrendered voluntarily: more and better food, accommodation in special camps situated in more favourable climatic zones, work in line with their profession, permission to mail letters to relatives, early return to their home country, or (if they so desire) to any other country, immediately after the end of the war. The Soviet command abided strictly by the terms set down in these documents. Deep in the Soviet rear the German prisoners of war were provided with all the necessities, and those who worked, with money. 

Convincing proof of the humane treatment of the German soldiers, officers and generals in Soviet POW camps, and of the strict observance of international norms with regard 254 to POW status by the Soviet government and the Soviet command is the thousands of statements made openly and at different times by prisoners of war who came from different classes and social groups. Most of the POWs who made such statements were of German nationality. 

In a joint statement, a group of German generals and officers wrote, "...for close to two years we have had the opportunity to see different POW camps at first hand, and can say that these camps are situated in a wholesome environment and -make a good impression, both in appearance and in accommodations.... The prisoners of war are employed at different jobs depending on their ability to work and, wherever possible, in line with their profession.... The prisoners of war are not used in jobs that might be harmful to their health. They work 8-9 hours a day everywhere, and on Sundays, as a rule, have a day off. The condition of health of the POWs is fairly good, and the food is adequate. The prisoners of war working at Russian factories sometimes receive a considerable addition to their regular ration. The POWs express their gratitude for the sanitary and medical service they get from Russian and German doctors.... We have established and hereby declare that prisoners of war are treated in accordance with international agreements and customs. The POWs, soldiers and officers, are convinced that after the war they will return home in good health, unharmed and able to work”. The statement was signed by Lieutenant General Edler von Daniels, commander of the 376th Infantry Division, Lieutenant General Helmuth Schlemmer, commander of the 14th Tank Corps, Lieutenant General Vincent Miiller, commander of the 12th Corps, Major General Dr. Otto Korfes, commander of the 295th Infantry Division, Colonel Dr. Albrecht Szimaitis, commander of the 305th Infantry Division, Major General Arno von Lenski, commander of the 24th Tank Division, and others. The authors of Concerning the History of German Prisoners of War... turn & blind eye to such statements and peddle their own stories, disguised as "the truth”, about the "horrors of. the Russian POW camps”. 

The authors attempts .to distort the truth about the German POWs in the USSR are meant to justify the brutal 255 treatment meted out by the Nazis and their underlings to Soviet prisoners of war. The crimes committed by the Nazis against Soviet prisoners of war are well known. They were condemned by the International Tribunal at Nuremberg, a fact which the said authors could not avoid mentioning. The authors, however, insist that crimes against Soviet prisoners of war were “incidental” and were not typical of the German prison camps. But the facts speak to the contrary. History does not know any more terrible crimes than those committed by the fascists in the last world war. Oswiecim, Maidanek, Treblinka, Dachau, Mauthausen, Buchenwald, Ravensbriick- these and other centres in the Nazi industry of death, where more than 11 million citizens of the Soviet Union, Poland, France, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Belgium and other countries were exterminated, will never be forgotten. 

Heinz Kiihnrich, a military historian from the German Democratic Republic, cites data on numerous killings of Soviet prisoners of war in camps. "The destruction of Soviet prisoners of war was on a truly tremendous scale. Many thousands of them fell victim to the fascist beasts.... In only a few weeks, 7,200 Soviet POWs were shot in Buchenwald, 8,320 in Oswiecim, 18,000 in Sachsenhausen, 3,135 in Mauthausen.” [255•1

The policy of the official bodies of the Nazi Reich and of the Wehrmacht command for Soviet prisoners of war lays bare the man-hating substance of fascism. This policy is part of the genocide plan meant for the Soviet people. But the falsifiers of history ignore the truth. For them it simply does not matter. Joachim Hoffmann (FRG) simply denies the existence of these facts and writes shamelessly that the conditions in the POW camps were "sufficiently good to preserve the life and health of their inmates”. 

The Japanese military were just as brutal. One of the orders of the Japanese command produced at the International Tribunal in Tokyo said that the prisoners of war "are 256 to be destroyed either one at a time, or in groups, by bombing, poisoning with toxic smoke, chemicals, or by drowning, decapitating or by other means, depending on the situation”. In the O’Donnell Camp alone, not less than 27,000 Americans and Filipinos died between April and December 1942. Beatings and torture of all kinds, the murder without trial of those POWs who had tried to escape constitute only a small part of the military crimes proof of which was brought in evidence at the Tokyo Tribunal. The merciless savage regime prevailed in all the camps for prisoners of war and civilian internees on Japanese-occupied territory. [256•1

Nevertheless, efforts are being made in some countries to make people forget the horror of the fascist scourge. For example, a fascist concentration museum-camp was recently opened in Britain so that lovers of the morbid could experience the titillating sensation of living for three days in “real” concentration-type barracks, sleeping on bunks watched by guards in SS uniform, and leave with the impression that surviving such an “ordeal” was easy enough. This gimmick thought up by some smart British operators is a mockery of history and the memory of those countless victims of the war, including many of those Britons who lost their lives in the German and Japanese death camps. 

Dante Cruicchi, mayor of the Italian city of Marzabotto, says that for more than twenty years now a shameless campaign has been going on in the Federal Republic of Germany and Austria in an attempt to negate the tragedy of his native city whose residents were brutally murdered by the SS in September 1944. The advocates of the fascist criminals have published two books-^4 Lie about Marzabotto and Marzabotto-Deception of the World (in German). The West German newspaper Die Welt carried an article describing the war criminal and butcher W. Raeder as a brave soldier who "has fallen victim to a conspiracy of the Italian Communists”. The reactionary French weekly Rivarol has described the murder of millions of inmates of the Nazi concentration camps as "a fairy tale”. The Paris magazine 257 L’Express has carried an interview which implied that there were no gas chambers, and that "if anything got killed, it was only lice”. 

The propaganda campaign against the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials of major war criminals should be viewed much in the same context. The Nuremberg Trial (November 20, 1945-October 1, 1946) and the Tokyo Trial (May 3, 1946-November 12, 1948) laid bare the man-hating nature of German fascism and Japanese militarism, their bloody crimes, and their monstrous plans to annihilate whole nations. The judgement of the international tribunal in Nuremberg stressed: "To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime differring only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole". [257•1 Eleven major German and seven Japanese war criminals, including former leaders of the government, the armed forces and diplomatic services were sentenced to death and executed by hanging for the unleashing of the war and for other grievous crimes before humanity. Others were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment. 

The judgements passed by these tribunals give no peace to present-day warmongers. So they have commissioned some Western historians to take on the job of discrediting the Nuremberg and Tokyo trials. Here are a few samples of what they write. "All the lies about their [the convicted criminals] guilt m starting the war are aimed not only at the ’Prussian militarism’ of the past, but particularly at the defence capability of the Federal Republic, and at the German Bundeswehr," [257•2 writes Heinrich Hartle (FRG). The French publication Lectures Francoises addresses young readers who "did not know the terrible war years" and "who have had the truth concealed from them" with this message: "Those who were executed in Nuremberg were men whom the 258 tribunal, set up by the victors, pronounced guilty for preparing and unleashing a conflict which shook the West. But the convicted nazi criminals were not the only ones responsible for the war. There were also others whom the Supreme Court did not try”. According to this pro-fascist journal, the real culprits were the Communists who were assisted by Churchill, Eden, Reignot and Roosevelt who had “pro-Soviet” policies. [258•1

However, it is not only the neofascists who attack the Allied decision to put the German and Japanese war criminals on trial. Criticism of this sort is getting increasingly strident in the works of American, British and French historians and even in school textbooks. One such textbook published in the United States denies the legality of the Allied decision to punish the war criminals because, it says, "an individual could not be held accountable for violating laws for which statutes, penalties, and means of enforcement had not existed at the time the acts were committed". [258•2 This “argument” is not valid because even in those days there were international legal norms which stated liability for actions that went against the laws and customs of war. These norms were set down in the international conventions adopted at The Hague Conferences in 1899 and 1907 and at the Geneva Conference in 1929. In 1943 the Allies signed the Moscow Declaration on the responsibility of the Nazis for their crimes. As a follow-up to this declaration, the Allies, at the Crimea Conference in 1945, formulated a decision to punish war criminals. All these documents provided a sound legal basis for putting the war criminals on trial. But the bourgeois falsifiers of history conceal, for obvious reasons, this aspect of the problem, because it exposes their attempts to discredit the trials and to rehabilitate the criminals. 

For many years now a great many books, articles, memoirs and other publications about the Nazi Reich, and about Hitler and his underlings have appeared in the United States and in Western Europe. This writing is markedly different 259 from the publications that appeared in the first postwar decades. At that time, historians attempted to explain Germany’s defeat by listing the Fiihrer’s mistakes, whereas now they are out to rehabilitate Hitler and fascism in general. 

Hitler has remained the Fiihrer, and not only for the Germans,” writes the West German magazine Der Freiwillige. “ He became, directly or indirectly, a Fiihrer for all Europeans who, after 1940, lost their faith in the corrupt democracies of their countries and recognised a new principle of leadership there.” The West German newspaper Deutsche National-Zeitung has run a series of articles under the headline "The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler”, in which the Nazi regime in Germany was called "a blessing for the German people’ and Hitler was described as "a fighter for delivery from communism". [259•1 Bourgeois falsifiers of history keep talking about the "fatal mistake" of Churchill and Roosevelt, who "failed to appreciate" Hitler, who might have triumphed over "Asian Bolshevism" and saved Europe. 

Significantly, this campaign for the rehabilitation of fascism, and particularly the Wehrmacht, has also engulfed the West German armed forces. An official document, "The Bundeswehr and Traditions”, requires the commanders of all units and formations to propagandise the glorious traditions and the gallantry of the officers and men of the Wehrmacht, who must serve "as the ideal for the young generation of Bundeswehr soldiers”. 

“To preserve traditions means not only to recall the past, but also to make the past fruitful and useful for us today, se that it can help us stand firm now and in the future,” this from General Ulrich von Maiziere, one of the leaders of the Bundeswehr. [259•2

For a number of years now, brochures have come out weekly in the FRG under the general title "Stories of the Past. From the History of the Second World War”, written specially for Bundeswehr soldiers and the civilian youth. These brochures carry material about the war experiences 260 of the Wehrmacht and give a popular account of the wars of conquest waged by Nazi Germany. The brochures also speak about the “heroic” deeds of the officers and men of the Hitler Reich. Nazi documentaries made during the Second World War glorify the Wehrmacht and are often shown on West German television. 

The Bundeswehr command names army barracks after former Nazi generals and officers, among them criminals of the war. The barracks at Mittenwald bears the name of General Kiibler, whom a Yugoslav court sentenced to death in 1947 for his crimes in Poland, the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Northern Italy. The name of the war criminal General Konrad was given to a Bundeswehr barracks in Bad Reichenhall. And there are many more such examples. 

Some of the barracks are named after cities and areas which, after the Second World War, became part of Poland, the USSR and Czechoslovakia. Such geographical names as Pomerania, East Prussia, Ostmark, Tannenberg, Breslau are expected, as the Bundeswehr leaders believe, to inculcate in West German soldiers the spirit of revanche. The newspaper of the West German Communists reported in January 1981 that in the barracks of the Bundeswehr in Degendorf am Inn, soldiers are shown a “grofideutsche” map which includes the German Democratic Republic and some areas of Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union. [260•1

The Bundeswehr command encourages in every way the contacts of its units and formations with organisations of former SS-men and the ex-servicemen of the Wehrmacht. Such contacts and meetings remind the young soldiers of the “heroic” martial days of the German army. In 1981 a memorial medal was struck in honour of the Nazi Gross Admiral Doenitz. Commemorating this event, some newspapers in the FRG wrote that the death of Karl Doenitz "removed from our midst an outstanding personality in German history”. Thus the war criminal Doenitz, whom Hitler called "a National-Socialist to the marrow of his bones”, and who was sentenced by the Nuremberg Tribunal to ten years’ imprisonment, is now painted as a “hero”. 261 The Deutsche National-Zeitung set the record straight when it said that the struggle against communism today cannot be convincing enough without the due recognition of those who, arms in hand, fought against communism yesterday. 

The tenacity of fascist ideas arouses much concern among the public, and gives food for thought to some of the present leaders of the Federal Republic of Germany. 

The former minister of defence and later Chancellor of the Federal Republic, Helmut Schmidt, wrote that "the Bundeswehr, as no other army in German history since 1813, reflects the realities of our society. This does not mean we should close our eyes to the existence in the Bundeswehr of certain backward-looking tendencies, derived from bad traditions, which are not in full accord with the norms of life and behaviour in our democratic social order”. [261•1
Dangerous Thesis 

Helmut Schmidt’s statement refutes the contention of some Western historians that the polemics against fascism must be ended, that the whole question of fascism must be treated fairly and without bias because, in their words, fascism has become history, and in present-day conditions poses no real threat to bourgeois democracy. They also say that fascism compromised itself “sufficiently” in the Second World War, and therefore there is no point in getting excited over the activities of the neo-Nazis. 

 This thesis is fraught with great danger. Back in the 1920s bourgeois experts and people whose opinion carried weight in public circles were rather sceptical about Hitler and his party getting into power. In the 1930s the protagonists of appeasement tried to convince world public opinion that it was still possible to come to terms with Nazi Germany. The tragic consequences of this short-sighted policy are well known. Eric Roussel, an observer for the French newspaper Le Monde, wrote on May 8, 1981: "Thirty-six years after the end of the Second World War, 262 we again are being haunted by the ghost of nazism revived by absurd and treacherous propaganda whose aim is to justify and even laud Hitler’s barbarity. The obvious facts known to all sober-minded people have been dismissed by a handful of fanatics who have usurped and abused the name of historian.” [262•1

The Second World War ended in the defeat of fascism, but it failed to extirpate the class roots of fascism, which would have made its resurgence impossible. Fascism was and still is the product of the capitalist system when its contradictions are exacerbated to the utmost. It would be wrong to ignore the danger of resurgence of fascism, the gradual transmutation of the bourgeois-democratic regimes into fascist regimes, the establishment of openly military and terrorist dictatorships in some countries. Events in Chile, the Republic of South Africa and certain other countries show how imperialist reactionaries can use these dictatorial regimes in their struggle against the mass democratic movement. 

Neofascist parties or groups are today active in the FRG, Italy, France and other West European countries, also in the United States. They have become an influential force in certain Latin American countries and are stepping up their activity in Africa and Asia. Warmongers have borrowed fascist ideas such as rampant anti-communism, adulation of violence and militarism, racism, the right of "a chosen nation" to dominate over all other peoples. In its much touted drive to protect its "vital interests”, the United States has mounted a propaganda campaign to justify American interference in the internal affairs of other coun-, tries, and is building up the myth of the special mission of the United States to lead the world. 

The leader of the American Communists, Gus Hall, has said that "...from the very beginning the ideological essence of U.S. imperialism has been racist great power chauvinism". [262•2 This assessment holds true to this day. 263

Inviolable Borders 

 Over the past several years many Western historians have called into question the legitimacy of the borders established as a result of the Second World War, and particularly the borders of People’s Poland along the rivers Oder and Neisse. What are they trying to prove? 

The heads of government of the USSR, the USA and Britain, at the Berlin (Potsdam) Conference in 1945, came to an agreement that "the former German territories east of a line running from the Baltic Sea immediately west of Swinemuende, and thence along the Oder River to the confluence of the western Neisse River, and along the western Neisse to the Czechoslovak frontier, including the portion of East Prussia not placed under the administration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in accordance with the understanding reached at this conference, and including the area of the former free city of Danzig, shall be under the administration of the Polish State, and for such purposes should not be considered as part of the Soviet zone of occupation in Germany". [263•1

 Right after the end of the war, the revanchist and profascist elements in me FRG, with the connivance of the American and British occupation authorities, mounted a vociferous campaign in an effort to prove that the Oder-Neisse frontiers were illegal. In 1946 a former Nazi diplomat, Georg Vogel, drew up a foreign policy memorandum on behalf of the Land government of Hessen. This document contained the demand not to recognise the territorial changes that had been effected as a result of the Second World War. Vogel’s argument was that "Germany did not sign the Berlin agreements”. No secret was made of hopes for support by "the influential American and British quarters which are not averse to the idea of readjusting the existing frontiers in Germany’s favour”. [263•2

For more than three decades the problem of frontiers in 264 Europe has been treated in Western history books as "the unresolved problem of the Second World War”, [264•1 with the "illegitimate Oder-Neisse line" being one of the most frequently raised points. [264•2

 An American public school textbook published in 1978 says that "the Oder-Neisse line is still an unresolved issue in European politics". [264•3

 For a long time, the Federal Republic of Germany did not recognise the results of the Second World War and the actual situation in Europe. But in the 1970s, its old policies underwent considerable changes. When the coalition government of the Social Democratic Party of Germany and the Free Democratic Party came to power it decided to normalise relations with the socialist countries, which meant that Bonn had opted for a more realistic line. 

In an agreement signed in 1970, the Federal Republic of Germany and the USSR declared the territorial inviolability of all national frontiers in Europe, including the Oder-Neisse border and the border between the FRG and the GDR. This meant that the Federal Republic of Germany recognised the German Democratic Republic, and that the Bonn government formally renounced its revanchist plans for revising the results of the Second World War. In later years these important provisions were reaffirmed in the treaties between the FRG and the GDR (1972), between the FRG and the Polish People’s Republic (1973), and between the FRG and the C/SR (1973). 

Yet in spite of all that, the revanchist campaign continues. 

Demands for a revision of the results of the Second World War and of the decisions on the Oder-Neisse border are the stock-in-trade of the West German neofascists who are pressing for the return of the "eastern territories”, and for "the revival of the Great German Empire”. Ideas of revanche and a revision of the Oder-Neisse line also 265 find place in some of government policies. In 1981 the government ministers of education of some West German provinces adopted a decision in accordance with which West German school textbooks should present the borders of the German Reich as they existed on December 31, 1937, and give the German names of that time to the Polish and Soviet cities that lie within these borders. 

In view of the activisation of the anti-socialist elements in the Polish People’s Republic, which operated in accordance with- scenarios worked out by the special services of the imperialist states and of NATO, the West German revanchists stepped up their propaganda for the annexation of Poland’s western territories. In January 1981, the West German neofascist organisation called AKON (Aktion OderNeisse) circulated a leaflet which says that "the wave of strikes in Poland has opened up a new phase in the struggle for the return of the German eastern territories”. The authors of this leaflet apparently wanted to take advantage of the events in Poland in order to "prove the inability of the Polish state to administer the German eastern territories”. [265•1

The provocative attempts to get a revision of the European borders established as a result of the Second World War are, of course, doomed. The inviolability of the frontiers of the Polish People’s Republic and the German Democratic Republic is guaranteed by international law and by the entire might of the socialist community of nations. However, the effect of these provocations for reviving revanchist sentiments should not be underestimated. 
Fear Mass-Produced 

The book markets in the United States and Western Europe are flooded with all sorts of literature ranging from low-priced paperbacks to scholarly studies in hard cover which give their own versions of the outbreak of a nuclear missile war. There is a number of “scenarios”, 266 and more are coming, on the subject. In these the role of the aggressor is always played by the Warsaw Treaty countries, and especially the Soviet Union. The reader is literally buried under an avalanche of “what-ifs” and “this-is-hows”, with nuclear missiles raining down on Europe and America, Soviet tanks breaking through to the English Channel, Japan destroyed in a nuclear holocaust, the Soviet navy threatening Australia and New Zealand, and many other “authentic” details of coming world catastrophe. 

One such “scenario” has the action set in the early 1950s. "World War III has begun.... The Allies ... make a brief stand on the Rhine. But the front collapses on 3 January when Marshal Malinovsky’s front establishes a bridgehead near Wesel-oddly enough in the same area where Montgomery crossed in World War II.... Throughout Western Europe Communist action armies come out into the open, using World War II weapons and explosives stored for this moment.... On January 6 the Red flag is hoisted over Paris and the other Western European capitals.” [266•1

The West German writer Friedrich Hitzer provides a long list of books published on this subject in the FRG: The Russians On the March; They WUl Come; The Red Flag over Bonn; A March against the Federal Republic; Defenceless Europe. "In my country people come under a daily barrage of anti-communism and anti-Sovietism”, [266•2 writes Hitzer. 

In 1979 the book market in Paris was graced by Euroshima, the authors of which apparently sought to frighten the readers with the bogey of "the Soviet military threat”, and implant in them the thought that in its present “defenceless” state, Europe is doomed to the same fate as Hiroshima. "From Washington to Teheran, from Kinshasa to Pretoria, the pillars of her defence have given 267 way...” [267•1 The authors of The Soviet Army Lands in Japan and its sequel The “Minsk” Goes into Battle published in Japan give their version of events that "are sure to happen" in the 1980s: the occupation of Japan by Soviet troops, the war waged by Japan and the United States against the USSR. The list of such books published in the West could go on indefinitely. Regrettably, this spate of anti-Soviet literature has left its imprint, as was noted by Newsweek: "With Washington on a new, stop– theSoviets spending spree, ... for the defense industry that means prosperity ahead”. [267•2

At the same time, books with a fair and unbiased interpretation of history are sure to come under attack in the West. An example of such persecution is the book, A Study of the History of Japanese-Russian Relations at the End of the Bakumatsu Period, written by Professor E. Koriyama and published in 1980. Using archival materials in the Russian and Japanese languages, Professor Koriyama provides convincing proof that the Kurile Islands, including Kunashir and Iturup, cannot by rights be regarded as Japanese territory, and that the attempts of Japanese politicians to prove the contrary are futile. Typically, the Reagan Administration hindered the publication in the United States of a fundamental Soviet study, A History of the Second World War 1939–1945. Also obstacles were raised to prevent the TV film The Unknown War from being shown in the United States. There are many other similar facts. 

The reactionaries, whose actions today are reminiscent of the book-burning orgies of the Nazis, are filled with blind malice for fear that the truth will emerge about the great feat of courage of the Soviet people who fought shoulder to shoulder with other nations in the anti-Hitler coalition against fascist aggression. 

 In a speech at the 34th Session of the UN General Assembly, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko stressed 268 the danger of the growing propaganda of the cult of war by the more reactionary militarist forces. "We know that before the aggressors who started the Second World War made their guns speak, there were many years of war propaganda, punctuated by calls for redividing the map of Europe and the world in accordance with the plans of the aggressors,” he said. "The Soviet Union is mindful of this today, because there are forces still active that believe they can cajole people into thinking in terms of war and an arms build-up.” [268•1

What results of the Second World War would reactionary historians have liked to see? A reply to this question was given many years ago by Hanson Baldwin, the then war observer for The New York Times. He wrote: "The great opportunity of the democracies (read "US imperialism" ) for establishing a stable peace came on June 22, 1941, when Germany invaded Russia, but we muffed the chance." [268•2 Cynical but frank. But it was not a matter of the U.S. muffing a chance. It was the Soviet Union that foiled the plans of the imperialists. The USSR withstood that ordeal and emerged as the decisive force that defeated the aggressor. Herein lies the main universal significance of the Second World War, and its lessons for today. 
* * * 


[246•1] Whence the threat to peace. Moscow, 1982, p. 75. 

[246•2] Louis Fischer. The Road to Yalta. Harper & Row Publishers, New York, 1!>72. p. .’-(9. 

[247•1] Armor, November-December 1969, No. 6, pp. 54, 55. 

[248•1] Leonard Cooper, Many Roads to Moscow. Three. Historical Invasions. Hamish Hamilton, London, 1968, p. 231. 

[249•1] Pravda, April 16, 1943. 

[249•2] Correspondence..., Volume One, p. I’. 

[250•1] Correspondence..., Volume One, p. 121. 

[250•2] The Times, April 28, 1943, p. 4. 

[251•1] International Military Tribunal. Trial of the Major War Criminals. Volume VII. Published at Nuremberg, Germany, 1947, pp. 426–428. For more on the subject see: M. Monin, "On the History of the ’Katyn Affair”, Voenno-istorichesky zhurnal, No. 2, 1982, pp. 67–73. 

[251•2] Alexander Werth, Russia at War 1941–1945. Barrie and Rockliff, London, 1964, p. 664. "In any case it is essential that this incident remain a top secret. ... If it were to come to the knowledge of the enemy the whole Katyn affairs would have to be dropped,” Goebbels wrote in his diary (The Goebbels Diary, London, Hamish Hamilton, 1948, p. 276). 

[252•1] International Military Tribunal. Trial of the Major War Criminal? Volumes VII, IX, XVII. Published at Nuremberg, Germany, 1947. 

[252•2] Zur Geschichte der deutschen Kriegsgefangenen des 2. Weltkrieges. Munchen, 1962–1974. Bd. 1-15. 

[253•1] Joseph Stalin, On the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet Union, p. 48 (in Russian). 

[255•1] Heinz Kiihnrich, Der K’/, Staat. Rolle und Entwicklung der faschistischen Konzentrationslager 1933 bis 1945. Dietz Verlag, Berlin, 1960, S. 58. 

[256•1] L. N. Smimov, Y. V. Zaitsev, The Tokyo Trial. Moscow, 1978, pp. 524, 52.5 (in Russian). 

[257•1] Trial of the Major War Criminals Before the International Military Tribunal. Vol. XXII. Published at Nuremberg, Germany 1948, p. 427. 

[257•2] Heinrich Hartle, Die Kriegsschuld der Sieger. Churchills, Roosevelts, und Stalins Verbrechen gegen den Weltfrieden. Verlag K. W. Schtttz Kg. Oldendorf, 1971, S. 49–50. 

[258•1] "Les causes cachees de la Deuxieme Guerre Mondiale." Lectures Francoises, Numero special. Mai 1975, p. 5. 

[258•2] John Edward Wiltz, The Search for Identity. Modern American History. J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, etc., 1978, p. 682. 

[259•1] "Das Leben und Sterben Adolf Hitler”. Deutsche National-Zeitung, Juni 22,Juni 29, 1973. 

[259•2] Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, April 18, 1970,8. 14. 

[260•1] Unsere Zeit, 12. Januar 1981,S. 1. 

[261•1] Helmut Schmidt, The Balance of Power. Germany’s Peace Policy and the Super Power. London, Kimber, 1971, p. 243. 

[262•1] Le Monde, 8 mai, 198!, p. 1. 

[262•2] Gus Hall, Imperialism Today. International Publishers, New York, 1973, p. 143. 

[263•1] The World Almanac and Book of Facts for 1947. New York WorldTelegram, New York, 1947, p. 527. 

[263•2] Georg Vogel, Diplomat unter Hitler und Adenauer. Econ Verlag, Dusseldorf, 1969,5. 131–133. 

[264•1] Kann Europa abriisten? Friedenspolitische Optionen fur die siebziger Jahre. Carl Hanser Verlag, Miinchen, 1973, S. 22. 

[264•2] Der Spiegel, N. 13, 21. Marz, 1977, S. 174–188. 

[264•3] Marvin Perry, Man’s Unfinished Journey. A World History. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, 1978, p. 752. 

[265•1] Unsere Zeit, 12.Januar 1981, S. 1. 

[266•1] Dropshot. The United States Plan for War with the Soviet Union in 7957. Edited by Anthony Cave Brown. The Dial Press-James Wade, New York, 1978, p. 250. 

[266•2] Pravda, July 16, 1979. 

[267•1] Rene Cagntit, Guy Doly, Pascal Fontaine, Euroshima, Construire I’Rurope de la defense. Les Editions Media, Paris, 1979, p. .5. 

[267•2] Newsweek, February 4, 1980, p. 39. 

[268•1] A. A. Gromyko, For the Security of Nations, for Peace on Earth. A speech at the U.N. 34th General Assembly. September 25, 1979. Moscow, 1979, p. 5 (in Russian). 

[268•2] Hanson Baldwin, The Great Mistakes of the War. London, 1950, pp. 10–11. 

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