Didn't Stalin have 25 million killed of all types?
Things like this happen when you're picking the "better/worse of two evils" as constantly and regularly as we in the U.S. seem to have to throughout our history.Memos suggest US hid evidence of Soviet massacre during WWII
Published September 10, 2012
WARSAW, Poland – The American POWs sent secret coded messages to Washington with news of a Soviet atrocity: In 1943 they saw rows of corpses in an advanced state of decay in the Katyn forest, on the western edge of Russia, proof that the killers could not have been the Nazis who had only recently occupied the area.
The testimony about the infamous massacre of Polish officers might have lessened the tragic fate that befell Poland under the Soviets, some scholars believe. Instead, it mysteriously vanished into the heart of American power. The long-held suspicion is that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn't want to anger Josef Stalin, an ally whom the Americans were counting on to defeat Germany and Japan during World War II.
Documents released Monday and seen in advance by The Associated Press lend weight to the belief that suppression within the highest levels of the U.S. government helped cover up Soviet guilt in the killing of some 22,000 Polish officers and other prisoners in the Katyn forest and other locations in 1940.
The evidence is among about 1,000 pages of newly declassified documents that the United States National Archives is releasing Monday and putting online. Historians who saw the material days before the official release describe it as important and shared some highlights with the AP. The most dramatic revelation so far is the evidence of the secret codes sent by the two American POWs — something historians were unaware of and which adds to evidence that the Roosevelt administration knew of the Soviet atrocity relatively early on.
The declassified documents also show the United States maintaining that it couldn't conclusively determine guilt until a Russian admission in 1990 — a statement that looks improbable given the huge body of evidence of Soviet guilt that had already emerged decades earlier. Historians say the new material helps to flesh out the story of what the U.S. knew and when.
The Soviet secret police killed the 22,000 Poles with shots to the back of the head. Their aim was to eliminate a military and intellectual elite that would have put up stiff resistance to Soviet control. The men were among Poland's most accomplished — officers and reserve officers who in their civilian lives worked as doctors, lawyers, teachers, or as other professionals. Their loss has proven an enduring wound to the Polish nation.
In the early years after the war, outrage by some American officials over the concealment inspired the creation of a special U.S. Congressional committee to investigate Katyn.
In a final report released in 1952, the committee declared there was no doubt of Soviet guilt, and called the massacre "one of the most barbarous international crimes in world history." It found that Roosevelt's administration suppressed public knowledge of the crime, but said it was out of military necessity. It also recommended the government bring charges against the Soviets at an international tribunal — something never acted upon.
Despite the committee's strong conclusions, the White House maintained its silence on Katyn for decades, showing an unwillingness to focus on an issue that would have added to political tensions with the Soviets during the Cold War.
It was May 1943 in the Katyn forest, a part of Russia the Germans had seized from the Soviets in 1941. A group of American and British POWs were taken against their will by their German captors to witness a horrifying scene at a clearing surrounded by pine trees: mass graves tightly packed with thousands of partly mummified corpses in well-tailored Polish officers uniforms.
The Americans — Capt. Donald B. Stewart and Lt. Col. John H. Van Vliet Jr. — hated the Nazis and didn't want to believe the Germans. They had seen German cruelty up close, and the Soviets, after all, were their ally. The Germans were hoping to use the POWs for propaganda, and to drive a wedge between the Soviet Union and its Western Allies.
But returning to their POW camps, the Americans carried a conviction that they had just witnessed overwhelming proof of Soviet guilt. The corpses' advanced state of decay told them the killings took place much earlier in the war, when the Soviets still controlled the area. They also saw Polish letters, diaries, identification tags, news clippings and other objects — none dated later than spring of 1940 — pulled from the graves. The evidence that did the most to convince them was the good state of the men's boots and clothing: That told them the men had not lived long after being captured.
Stewart testified before the 1951 Congressional committee about what he saw, and Van Vliet wrote reports on Katyn in 1945 and 1950, the first of which mysteriously disappeared. But the newly declassified documents show that both sent secret encoded messages while still in captivity to army intelligence with their opinion of Soviet culpability. It's an important revelation because it shows the Roosevelt administration was getting information early on from credible U.S. sources of Soviet guilt — yet still ignored it for the sake of the alliance with Stalin.
One shows head of Army intelligence, Gen. Clayton Bissell, confirming that some months after the 1943 visit to Katyn by the U.S. officers, a coded request by MIS-X, a unit of military intelligence, was sent to Van Vliet requesting him "to state his opinion of Katyn." Bissell's note said that "it is also understood Col. Van Vliet & Capt. Stewart replied."
MIS-X was devoted to helping POWs held behind German lines escape; it also used the prisoners to gather intelligence.
A statement from Stewart dated 1950 confirms he received and sent coded messages to Washington during the war, including one on Katyn: "Content of my report was aprx (approximately): German claims regarding Katyn substantially correct in opinion of Van Vliet and myself."
The newly uncovered documents also show Stewart was ordered in 1950 — soon before the Congressional committee began its work — never to speak about a secret message on Katyn.
Krystyna Piorkowska, author of the recently published book "English-Speaking Witnesses to Katyn: Recent Research," discovered the documents related to the coded messages more than a week ago. She was one of several researchers who saw the material ahead of the public release.
She had already determined in her research that Van Vliet and Stewart were "code users" who had gotten messages out about other matters. But this is the first discovery of them communicating about Katyn, she said.
Another Katyn expert aware of the documents, Allen Paul, author of "Katyn: Stalin's Massacre and the Triumph of Truth," told the AP the find is "potentially explosive." He said the material does not appear in the record of the Congressional hearings in 1951-52, and appears to have also been suppressed.
He argues that the U.S. cover-up delayed a full understanding in the United States of the true nature of Stalinism — an understanding that came only later, after the Soviets exploded an atomic bomb in 1949 and after Poland and the rest of Eastern Europe were already behind the Iron Curtain.
"The Poles had known long before the war ended what Stalin's true intentions were," Paul said. "The West's refusal to hear them out on the Katyn issue was a crushing blow that made their fate worse."
The historical record carries other evidence Roosevelt knew in 1943 of Soviet guilt. One of the most important messages that landed on FDR's desk was an extensive and detailed report British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sent him. Written by the British ambassador to the Polish government-in-exile in London, Owen O'Malley, it pointed to Soviet guilt at Katyn.
"There is now available a good deal of negative evidence," O'Malley wrote, "the cumulative effect of which is to throw serious doubt on Russian disclaimers of responsibility for the massacre."
It wasn't until the waning days of Soviet hegemony over Eastern Europe that reformist leader Mikhail Gorbachev publicly admitted to Soviet guilt at Katyn, a key step in Polish-Russian reconciliation.
The silence by the U.S. government has been a source of deep frustration for many Polish-Americans. One is Franciszek Herzog, 81, a Connecticut man whose father and uncle died in the massacre. After Gorbachev's 1990 admission, he was hoping for more openness from the U.S. as well and made three attempts to obtain an apology from President George H.W. Bush.
"It will not resurrect the men," he wrote to Bush. "But will give moral satisfaction to the widows and orphans of the victims."
A reply he got in 1992, from the State Department, did not satisfy him. His correspondence with the government is also among the newly released documents and was obtained early by the AP from the George Bush Presidential Library.
The letter, dated Aug. 12, 1992, and signed by Thomas Gerth, then deputy director of the Office of Eastern European Affairs, shows the government stating that it lacked irrefutable evidence until Gorbachev's admission:
"The U.S. government never accepted the Soviet Government's claim that it was not responsible for the massacre. However, at the time of the Congressional hearings in 1951-1952, the U.S. did not possess the facts that could clearly refute the Soviets' allegations that these crimes were committed by the Third Reich. These facts, as you know, were not revealed until 1990, when the Russians officially apologized to Poland."
Herzog expressed frustration at that reply.
"There's a big difference between not knowing and not wanting to know," Herzog said. "I believe the U.S. government didn't want to know because it was inconvenient to them."
At what point do we realize that evil is evil, and the better of the two is still evil and supposed pragmatism isn't as great as it's cracked up to be.
Didn't Stalin have 25 million killed of all types?
I have to say, your position is an interesting position to take, and one that runs directly counter to the majority viewpoint I've heard over the years from Jews regarding the (concurrent to the above) withholding of information/keeping secret by the U.S. of their knowledge of the death camps during the War.
End of the day, Hitler and Stalin were one and the same. The difference is, we directly enabled one of them and supported him vs. the other. Pragmatism says we picked a lesser of two evils. I just see us as having supported evil.
War is hell!
When my office was moved to Jersey City, I had no idea what this was:
This is just another piece of the puzzle. In hindsight, FDR was kind of a doosh. Much like Woodrow Wilson not supporting Irish independence, and the current Dooshbag-in-Chief throwing Israel under the bus.
Dems suck at foreign affairs. But they're pretty good at sexual affairs.
If it was kept secret based on the belief that its disclosure would imperil the war effort, I would agree with you - and would defend that decision as well. That's not the justification that's ever been offered, as far as I know.I have to say, your position is an interesting position to take, and one that runs directly counter to the majority viewpoint I've heard over the years from Jews regarding the (concurrent to the above) withholding of information/keeping secret by the U.S. of their knowledge of the death camps during the War.
No, they weren't the same. Both were evil, but only Hitler was aggressively seeking to export his rule (at the time). There was no way to remove Hitler while also combating Stalin, and Hitler was the greater threat.End of the day, Hitler and Stalin were one and the same. The difference is, we directly enabled one of them and supported him vs. the other. Pragmatism says we picked a lesser of two evils. I just see us as having supported evil.
When the options are:
1) Defeat Hitler without condemning Stalin; or
2) Lose to Hitler while condemning Stalin
Condemning Stalin would actually be the immoral thing to do.
After Hitler was out of the equation, that's a whole different story.
You seem to have studies Ethics. I don't mean business ethics but philosophical ethics. Have not heard your line of reasoning in awhile. It is correct and I, of course, agree with you.
You also use logic. Admire that. Not many people your age understand logical reasoning and progression.
What it appears he has not studied is history, specificly that of World War II.
First, he is incorrect, Stalin was indeed aggressively seeking to export his rule, in Finland, and in Poland (Molotov Agreement anyone?) and in the regions just north of the middle east, as well as in the Soviet Pacific region.
Second, he is incorrect that it was a binary "Support Stalin = Win, Denounce Stalin = Lose" scenario. That is horribly inaccurate in the facts. Almost as wrong as the claim (not made here) that "The U.S. Won the War". Devil is in the details, not generalizations.
Third, he has apparently never heard nor read that the US was, in fact, aware to some degree of the death camps Germany operated and was more than well aware of the "final solution" itself, as the Nazi were not exactly secretive about it (neuremburg laws, hitlers speaches, etc), and did not push or specificly publicise the details in a way we'd expect today. Motivation of FDR died with him on that front, all we have is speculation.
Fourth, he ignores the costs of inacation against Stalin, before, during or after, led to in the 50 years of Cold (sometimes Hot) War between the Soviet Union and United States, including nuclear proliferation and at least two big wars (Korea and Vietnam) and their subsequent lowering of U.S. prestige and confidence, and the resulting/concurrent social shifts, and it's role as a primary and ongoing source of today's big issue of Islamic Radicalization/Terrorism.
In the end, he cannot be more wrong, in historic, bodycount, terms and in moral terms, when he tries to claim that Hitler and Stalin were not the same. They were, in far more ways than one. And certainly in their moral flexabillity when it came to the value of life and their own personal power and how it was best maintained.
It is exactly this "lesser of two evils is our friend" mindset that has, IMO, been the bane of everything the United States has done since the end of WWI, and continues to bite us in the ass geopolitically to this day.
Last edited by Warfish; 09-13-2012 at 12:34 AM.
Nothing you outline here is technically incorrect.
But, strategically, support of the Soviet Union was key to our objectives. Even before we entered the war.
The defeat of Germany was always the principal objective. The Soviets were key to that. Without the Soviet effort our losses would have been astronomical. The Soviets are the one who paid with THEIR blood. Certainly better than ours.
A parallel pattern existed in the far East with our support of Mao as well as Ho Chi Minh (although not as publicized).
there was NEVER any chance of Stalin and Hitler reconciling after Germany invaded the Soviet Union; NEVER. You had 2 empires looking to expand and into the same territory. Both strongly believed in the superiority of their "races".
Expediency has been the major ****-up in US foreign policy for too many years.
So much lack of knowledge and history in this thread its laughable...
The US was/is not "responsible" for the evil of Hitler or Stalin, any more than it is responsible for the evil of latter-day Satans, the Islamokooks.
Both of those 20th c. regimes were motivated by ideology and advancing their own ideas of empire - regaining what was lost in WWI was part as well.
Their non alignment pact had a secret part - divvy up Poland
Britain and Germany were courting Stalin as ally despite ideological differences - Germany already on the move allied with Russia was not a pleasant thought for France/Britain
The US military machine in full throttle supplied Russia and Britain with oil, materiel, food - neither would have won their part w/o it
The USSR was not active in the Pacific theatre of war - fought at least 90% by the US alone with some British/Australian participation
It was considered by at least the British (e.g. Operation Unthinkable) to continue the war against the Soviets as they could not trust Stalin to
adhere to agreements made at the conferences. The US was a reluctant warrior as it was and as related to me, there wasn't a collective will to continue the war after Japan and Germany were destroyed. The country had already been through a decade and a half of Depression and War and the mission was accomplished. We were fresh out of atomic bombs too
Many Americans did not need the press to inform them of atrocities; they knew of them from their family - vets returning home, and from and about contacts that were lost during the war. (When Polish relatives you are in constant contact with vanish forever, you kind of get an idea that something terrible happened to them) Govt Censorship and the US press such as NYT suppressing the degree of atrocities it knew of until wars end was regrettable, but it wasnt as if America needed more motivation to fight, there was plenty.
America agreed to or did many things that may seem wrong today - spheres of influence, repatriation of Soviet POWs to a crappier life in exchange for other allied POW coming home to free societies, suppressing news of war crimes during combat.
It is well for libs to remember the Katyn massacres occurred within the context of a time and place, where Democrats running America's gov't were also segregationist, in favor of interning Japanese ethnics, and lousy with Communist sympathisers who only stifled yawns over Nazi / Fascist blitzkrieg until the USSR was invaded - a party just as anti-war as the GOP that now felt it needed to conceal bad Russian behavior in order to keep Russia as an "ally"
Given all that we know about history, the mindset that assumes that if evil occurs it is always due to "bad" decisions America makes, and a failure of our nation is faulty and misguided. It ignores or discounts the will of other nations behavior or influence in matters. It also ignores or fails to grasp that much of the good and order that exists in the world is also due to America's influence. Perhaps its a corollary to "the coverup is worse than the crime" lib mindset ...
The most confusing part of this thread is why, what is its raison d'etre? Crypto-liberals typically against wars, especially those conducted for ideological or strategic reasons seem to be for exactly what action in this case? A rewriting of history that is already much discussed and well documented as to what really occurred? Some additional honor or remembrance beyond which has already taken place?
I do see in the case of the ME what happens when America led by the left takes "remedial" actions in the name of ideology. Khadafy was a bad man but we had swayed him to our side. The weapons Clintons regime had no clue he had were turned over in fright. Mubarak ruled with an iron fist but kept the kooks in check. Both suddenly had to go in exchange for B. Hussein's like-minded Muslim radical brethren just like the Shah per Jimmah had to exit stage left for the mullahs. Yet Syria now magically possessing WMDs (from Iraq, no doubt) and Iran must stay as is.
Last edited by Jungle Shift Jet; 09-15-2012 at 05:51 PM.
At 4 PM on a Saturday, you had nothing else to do than write a 5,000 word essay about how mean and evil other people posting on an Internet message site dedicated to a football team are?
Dude. Get out more.
Seriously. Get laid. Eat a burger. Watch Netflix. Mow the grass.
I'll freely admit I'm not a history buff, and will gladly defer to you on historical details, since I know you are.What it appears he has not studied is history, specificly that of World War II.
That's true, broadly, but if I have the timeline right, by the time Katyn rolled around, Stalin was doing all he could to survive, not looking to expand.First, he is incorrect, Stalin was indeed aggressively seeking to export his rule, in Finland, and in Poland (Molotov Agreement anyone?) and in the regions just north of the middle east, as well as in the Soviet Pacific region.
Obviously, I was oversimplifying. There's never going to be that clean a decision "do X, get Y result; do not X, get not Y result". It's always a question of "what is our best estimate of whether X will make Y more likely or less likely."Second, he is incorrect that it was a binary "Support Stalin = Win, Denounce Stalin = Lose" scenario. That is horribly inaccurate in the facts. Almost as wrong as the claim (not made here) that "The U.S. Won the War". Devil is in the details, not generalizations.
My point was that, given the context, publicizing Katyn mid-war was likely to have broader negative effects on the war effort than positive effects, without an offsetting benefit making it worth the risk.
After the war, that calculus should have changed.
No, that much I do know. And my point on that is simple; if there's a way that silence helped make victory over the Nazis more likely, silence there, too, was the correct action. But I can't even imagine what that way might be.Third, he has apparently never heard nor read that the US was, in fact, aware to some degree of the death camps Germany operated and was more than well aware of the "final solution" itself, as the Nazi were not exactly secretive about it (neuremburg laws, hitlers speaches, etc), and did not push or specificly publicise the details in a way we'd expect today. Motivation of FDR died with him on that front, all we have is speculation.
No, I'm not ignoring it at all; just suggesting that the difference between "publicizing Katyn during WWII" and "publicizing Katyn soon after WWII", in terms of its effects on the long term development of the Cold War and the parade of horribles you are rightly referencing, is not particularly significant. Of course, you are definitely more of a history guy than me, so it's possible there's a nuance I'm missing. Assume that instead of publicizing Russia's responsibility for Katyn in 1943 (when the mass graves were found), the US publicized that responsibility in 1945, after the war was over. What difference would that 2 year delay be?Fourth, he ignores the costs of inacation against Stalin, before, during or after, led to in the 50 years of Cold (sometimes Hot) War between the Soviet Union and United States, including nuclear proliferation and at least two big wars (Korea and Vietnam) and their subsequent lowering of U.S. prestige and confidence, and the resulting/concurrent social shifts, and it's role as a primary and ongoing source of today's big issue of Islamic Radicalization/Terrorism.
The lesser of two evils is not our friend. But when refusing to choose the lesser of two evils results in allowing the greater evil to succeed, doing so is morally wrongIt is exactly this "lesser of two evils is our friend" mindset that has, IMO, been the bane of everything the United States has done since the end of WWI, and continues to bite us in the ass geopolitically to this day.
Since you asked:
After a very busy week, Got up late, had breakfast w the family, a bowl of Frosted Flakes 2 Sunnyside down eggs and a cup of coffee, w hlf and hlf and sugar, I removed a dead battery from a Cadillac cts then went out to Sam's then Autozone for a replacement returning / purchasing some items at Home depot along the way. Drank one of those imported coca-colas from Mexico made with sugar. Replaced the battery, reset the system time then drove he caddy down the street to play the evening number. Next went to Rite aid to pick up a prescription for my sonne along with some dish soap. Then shored up the power cord connector for my laptop with some electrical tape. IIRC emptied my bladder sometime in between. All the while mentally noting how incorrect this thread was and responded. Took all of 10-15 mins.
Went on to do some other stuff. Watched some of the post game show from last week I DVrd because I was actually at the game.
You in that same interval? Aldi's mac n cheese run? A tasty beef on weck?
Last edited by Jungle Shift Jet; 09-16-2012 at 01:39 PM.