DECOMMUNISATION: THE MISSING END TO THE COLD WAR: In Tech Central Station, Sidney Goldberg (a.k.a. Jonah’s dad) makes a point that we’ve made here a few times:
Germany underwent denazification after World War II, a lustration that went down to the lowest party levels, making it virtually impossible for a Nazi party member to hold office in the new Germany, so that the relatively unblemished mayor of Cologne, Konrad Adenauer, became Chancellor.
The collapse of the Soviet Union, on the other hand, did not result in a decommunisation. There was no equivalent of the Nuremberg trials, and indeed most high offices to this day are occupied by Communists or former Communists, tens of thousands of them with blood on their hands. The supreme insult is that the president of this vast political enterprise is Vladimir Putin, a former high-ranking Communist in the Soviet Secret Police. The equivalent of this would have been the inheritance of the government of Nazi Germany after World War II by the Nazi gauleiter of Poland.
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There are very few books on Americans who long for Hitler, mainly because there never was a significant segment of Nazis in America, but unfortunately there is a significant number of Americans who still think that Joe Stalin was an idealistic reformer, and some of these Americans are in control of history departments of important universities — and virtually no books are available that document and explain this peculiar situation. [In Denial: Historians, Communism & Espionage by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr] fills this gap.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Decommunisation also would have likely prevented unrepentant Stalinists from being honored by the US government and Hollywood as well.