(NFTU- source: Russia Religion News)Amazing. So the MP’s leading ecumenist calls Stalin a monster and who comes to “Saint” Stalin’s defense? The so called “Orthodox” of the Moscow Patriarchate.
One writer compared Stalin’s purges to prohibition in the United States. Another claimed that 700,000 had been killed, compared to nine million, generally considered an extremely conservative estimate. Apparently Hilarion of Volokolamsk, in his defense of recent statements of the Tobacco Patriarch, made the mistake of giving the following, rather honest, assessment of Joe Stalin in an interview with the Russian paper Expert Online:
“I think that Stalin was a monster, a spiritual freak, who created a horrible, antihuman system of administration of the country, built upon lies, violence, and terror. He unleashed genocide against the people of his own country and he bears personal responsibility for the death of millions of innocent people. In this regard we fully equate Stalin with Hitler. Both of them brought into this world so much grief that no amount of military or political successes can redeem their guilt before humanity. There is no essential difference between the Butov Polygon and Buchenwald, or between the GULAG and Hitler’s system of death camps. And the number of victims of Stalinist repressions is fully equal to our losses in the Great Patriotic War.
The victory in the Great Patriotic War was really a miracle, because before the war Stalin had done everything he could to destroy the country. He annihilated the entire upper leadership of the army and as a result of massive repressions he led a once mighty country to the brink of extinction. In 1937, when the census of the population was taken, the country was short tens of millions of people. Where had these millions gone? Stalin destroyed them. The country entered the war almost lifeless. But, despite all of the monstrous repressions, the people displayed unprecedented heroism. How can this be called anything but a miracle! The victory in the war was the victory of the people. The people who showed the mightiest will to resist. The miracle of victory in the war was the great manifestation of the strength of the spirit of our people, that neither Stalin nor Hitler were able to break. “
The response from Russian national writers was immediate and angry. Writer Andrei Rogoziansky of Russkia Lineeia immediately responded that
“The truth about repressions,” which would have been unknown or sensational, or which would give a new word and somehow give a new twist to soviet history—as far as I know, it just does not exist. Or virtually doesn’t. Let historians correct me if that is not so. So far the church has tried to restrain itself, being more sensitive in comparison with others. It hasn’t shot down the soviet past in order to find favor conventionally in Russia.
He goes even further and claims that in fact the whole world was totalitarian:
I consider [Stalin] to be the personification of his difficult times. That does not justify him. Among my relatives on my mother’s side, everyone was repressed. The demons of violence reaped an abundant harvest in those years. It is important to understand that there was no other sovereign state in this specific historic period. Or, like the Russian bourgeois republic in 1917, it would have been monumentally crushed. Totalitarianism was the social historical form for the first half of the twentieth century and a bit later, and not only in USSR and Nazi Germany. Society of all the large countries of the world existed in a totalitarian format, including USA, England, Japan, etc. The others were colonies or were occupied.
If a version of history in which the civilized world of 1917 was apparently one global labor camp then Alexander Eliseev of Russkii obozrevatel goes even further with his version of history:
Well, finally, about the scale of the repressions. The archbishop maintains: “And the number of victims of Stalinist repressions is fully equal to our losses in the Great Patriotic War.” Again, this exaggeration is completely in the spirit of liberal-perestroika propaganda. Historians have long ago established the precise number of repressed persons.
Here is the basic document, a memorandum presented to Khrushchev on 1 February 18954. It was signed by the Procurator General R. Rudenko, Minister of Internal Affairs S. Kruglov, and Minister of Justice K. Gorwhenin. “The document says that according to data existing in the MVD of USSR, in the period from 1921 to the present, that is, to the beginning of 1954, for counterrevolutionary crimes 3,777,380 persons were convicted by the College of OGPU and troikas of NKVD, special conference, Military Colleges, courts, and military tribunals, of whom 642,980 received the supreme penalty, 2,369,220 were confined in camps and prisons for terms of 25 years or less, and 765.180 were exiled or deported.
These numbers are themselves an amazing revelation– amazing since no one has ever held them!
An enraged doctor of Political science, V.B. Pavlenko, went even further pointing out the “proud heritage” of Sergianism and implying the rejection of Stalin was heretical:
Who gave you, an Orthodox hierarch, the right to spit on the history of our fatherland, to belittle and tread underfoot those who consider Stalin a distinguished state and historical figure, who did a great deal, inter alia, for the restoration of the authority of traditional values? Who was occupied from the middle of the 1930s with the liquidation of the Communist Academy, the introduction of the honorary title of “hero of the Soviet Union,” and finally the liquidation of the so-called “Leninist Guard,” etc.
Or do you, your eminence, prefer Trotsky, with his ideas of the universal “conflagration” of world revolution, which Russia was supposed to stoke with an armload of firewood and which was rescued from such a fate by the Stalin whom you reviled? If not, then why did you extol the Trotskyite marshals led by Tukhachevsky, who incidentally in his time betrayed the Russian tsar because he did not receive the medal of St. George?
Do you not know about the contacts of Trotsky with Hess, about his instructions to Radek, the sense of which was the preparation of the breakup of our country in favor of Germany, Japan, and other states in exchange for the aid of Hitlerites in the overthrow of the stalinist regime? Such ignorance is impermissible in a clergyman of your rank! What’s more, it is inexcusable, the intentional silence about and ignoring of definitive historic facts and their distortion and the use of a “double standard,” which is more appropriate not to Orthodoxy but to other, primarily secular, cults and traditions.
For you, Master, are the ideas of Academician Sakharov dearer than the heritage of Acting Patriarch Metropolitan Sergius, Patriarch Alexis II, and other bishops, whose service to Russia, its history, and the church is incomparably greater than yours?
I cannot help but pose the question for you that served as the leitmotif of a famous historic speech: “Is this stupidity or treason?” But perhaps this was a political order from certain forces who today are applauding by all means your invectives?
Incidentally, the opposition between the people and the government that you adopted is a favorite approach of globalists of any type. And the historic parallels, like “transformation of the imperialist war into a civil war,” suggest themselves here.
It is symptomatic: like Khrushchev, who started with the struggle against the “cult of personality” and then turned his intellectual efforts to a revision of the stalinist heritage in the relations between the state and the church, you blithely segued into a criticism of the Great Martyr Tsar Nicholas Alexandrovich. Give an account of yourself, Master: are many believers prepared to agree with the point of view expressed by you concerning the “enormous distance separating the tsarist house and the people” and about the “impossibility of recreating the prerevolutionary situation”? Can a modern priest, who is well acquainted with where the opportunist supporters of the Provisional Government led the Russian Orthodox church, not be a monarchist?
So the topic of Stalin in the history of our fatherland amazingly is interlocked with the topic of monarchy, from the positions of both historic retrospective and, I am sure, prognosis.
Your eminence! Ilarions come and go. What remains are faith, the church, the Russian people, and Russia, our fatherland. Orthodox traditions have survived and outlived a lot. Even the sin of iconoclasm.
And we shall survive this also.
Welcome to “resurrected” Russia, where not even a state Church Bishop can dare to touch the memory of Stalin! We at NFTU belatedly congratulate the MP’s Abp Hilarion for stating what most people already knew– that Stalin was a monster. We can only be saddened by the results it’s produced so far.