by Pavel Krasnov
When speaking about mass repressions that took place during Stalin’s years, anti-Soviet propaganda states the following:
- 20 million Soviet people were killed during World War II, 20 more million were killed by the government during the war with its own people;
- 10 million people were executed;
- 40, 50, 60 up to 120 (!) million went through labor and concentration camps;
- Almost all the prisoners in these camps were innocent, since it is obvious that 40 millions people can hardly all be criminals;
- Almost all the prisoners were forced to build canals or sent to lumber camps in Siberia, where most of them died;
- Even the most notorious “Gulagers” state that mass repressions did not begin until 1933-1935. This means that all of the above events have passed in 15-20 years including the War time;
- When asked “Why didn’t the people rebel while they were being exterminated?” they answer that “The people didn’t know”. The fact that the people did not know the scale of the repressions is not only confirmed by almost all who lived during that time, but also by numerous written documents and testimonies.
Overwhelming as these statements appear, they bring up several questions for which there are simply no answers.
Where did such a great number of prisoners come from? At that time, 40 million people is the approximate population of Ukraine and Belarus put together, or the entire population of France, or the urban population of the entire USSR at the time. The arrest and deportation of thousands of Ingush and Chechens in 1944 was noted by the people as a massive event. Why then did the arrests and transportation of many millions of people pass unnoted by the eyewitnesses of the time? During the famous “evacuation to the east” in 1941-1942, 10 million people were moved behind the Ural Mountains, away from the front lines. The evacuees were placed in schools, dugouts, with other families, and anywhere else possible. This event is remembered by the entire elder generation. If the transportation of only 10 million people created such a huge public resonance, then what would it have been like if there were 40, 50, 60 million? Even if the transportation was done subtly over 10-15 years, it would still require the arrest and deportation of at least 2-3 million people every year, including the war years.
Almost all eyewitnesses of the time have noted the mass movements of German prisoners of war after WWII to places of work, such as construction sites. For example, even now the people remember that “this road was built by Germans”. There were 3 million German prisoners of war in USSR, and the results of their labor cannot be unnoticed. What would it have been like in the case of 10-20 times that number of prisoners? Just the fact of their movements to and from places of work would have shocked the entire population of USSR, and it would have been something to be talked about for decades after. Did this ever happen? No.
How could have such a great number of people been transported through the wilderness (taiga), and what type of transportation available at that time would have been used for this? The widespread building of roads in Siberia began only in the end of the 1930s and was almost entirely halted during the War. The movement of multi-million masses of people through the taiga without roads is simply not possible – there is no way to supply them during the long journey.
Where were the prisoners accommodated? It is said that prisoners lived in barracks, but even a large barrack can not house more people than a five-storey building. The accommodation of 40 million people would require ten cities the size of Moscow. Where are the traces of these settlements? All evidence points to the fact that they never existed.
If this number of prisoners was separated into many small camps deep in the wilderness, it would have been impossible to supply all of them and to transport prisoners there without roads. In addition, these camps could not have been placed close to roads or cities because prison camps are impossible to disguise, and everyone would have known about them.
The famous Belomor Canal was built by 150,000 prisoners, the Kirovsk waterworks facility by 90,000. The entire country knew that they were built by prisoners. These numbers are nothing, compared to tens of millions of slaves, which should have left behind them truly gigantic structures. Where are these structures and what are they called? There are many more questions to which there are no answers.
How were such great numbers of people sustained? Even if we assume that they were fed by the norms of the blockaded Leningrad (250 grams of bread per day for every working adult), they would still require at least 5,000 tons of bread every day, taking into assumption that the camp guards did not eat at all and did not require any supplies.
Many have seen pictures of the famous “Road of Life” – a road going over the frozen Ladozhskoe Lake to the besieged Leningrad, which was used during the War. In these pictures, one can see endless lines of 1.5 and 3 ton trucks – practically the only means of transportation besides railways at that time. The population of the blockaded Leningrad was 2 million people. The length of the Road of Life was only 60 km, but the delivery of supplies even at such a short distance was an extremely serious problem. The biggest difficulty was not even German bombings – they could not interrupt the supply lines for even a day, but the poor logistics capacity of a country road (which is what the Road of Life essentially was). How can the supporters of the “mass repressions” hypothesis picture the supply of 10-20 cities the size of Leningrad, located hundreds and thousands of kilometers from the nearest roads? How could it be possible to transport the products of the prisoner’s labor, using the methods of transportation available at that time? Do not expect answers to these questions, you will not get any.
Where were those arrested held? The arrested are not held together with the convicts who are already doing their sentence. They also can not be held in regular buildings, which means that there should have been remand prisons able to house tens of thousands of people in every city. These should have been truly massive structures, since even the famous Butyrka, the biggest remand prison in Russia, is able to hold a maximum of 7,000 people. Even if the entire population of USSR failed to notice the building of gigantic jails, once completed, these jails would be impossible to disguise or mistake for another building. Where did these gigantic and specific buildings disappear to after Stalin’s death? By the way, after the Pinochet coup in Chile, 30,000 arrestees had to be housed in stadiums, a fact which was immediately noticed by the entire world. What then can be said about millions of prisoners?
To the question “Where are the communal graves containing millions of innocently murdered?” you never hear any sensible answer. After the “perestroika” hysteria, the discoveries of these mass burial sites would be expected, along with the placement of memorials and obelisks at these sites, but no such places were ever discovered. The fact of mass executions and burials of such an enormous scale is impossible to hide. For example, the burial places in Babij Yar are known to the entire world, and during 1941-1943, the entire Ukraine knew about this massive Nazi execution centre. Over these years, on estimate 70,000 to 200,000 people were executed and buried at Babij Yar. If the fact of these executions was impossible to hide, what then can be said about those 50-100 times larger?
The question of the scale of the repressions can also be answered by a simple example: it is known that approximately 8 million Soviet soldiers died in the War, and in total 30 million Soviet people joined the Soviet Army throughout the War. In every soviet family, at least one (and usually more) close relatives served in the Soviet Army during the War. In most of these families, at least one close relative died at the front. Is there something similar with mass repressions, since the supposed numbers for them are significantly greater? Is there in every Soviet family at least one or two “executed” and several “repressed”?
I assume that the above facts and arguments are more than enough to prove that there were no repressions of such a scale. No one yet has been able to disprove them. Even if one of these facts can be argued against by manipulations with data, they cannot be disproved as a whole. The simulations fulfillment of even a part of these conditions is impossible.
These colossal numbers were not picked by the falsifiers by accident. These huge numbers shock a person, creating strong emotions, and these strong emotions block the ability to analyze information critically. The victim of such manipulations just cannot believe that someone can lie like that. This method was widely used by Nazi propaganda.
It is well known to psychologists that to an average person, anything that exceeds approximately one hundred thousand in magnitude is classified as a vague “very much”. Thus, if it is said for example that a hundred million people died, the average person can quite easily believe it, because they do not operate with such numbers in everyday life.