13 August 2009 | virtualriga
Great Movie! Explores the close ideological similarities between Nazism and Stalinism
For his in-depth survey of Soviet crimes against humanity, including Soviet cooperation with the Third Reich, Latvian director Edvins Snore was burned in effigy by Neo-Soviet Russians. It is an ominous badge of honor.
Soviet Story acts as an effective corrective to the popular notion that the Communist experiment only turned horrific when Stalin ascended to power. The film documents orders mandating mass executions, estimated in the tens of millions, originating with the father of the revolution, Lenin. Still, it is devilishly difficult to outdo Stalin's sheer capacity for terror. For instance, the deliberate use of famine to pacify Ukraine is explained here in chilling detail. In a crime against humanity largely ignored by the West, seven million Ukrainians were intentionally starved in the cordoned Republic, as foodstuffs were confiscated at gunpoint by the Red Army.
The heart of Soviet Story explores the close ideological similarities and barbaric collusion between the Soviet Socialists of Stalin and the National Socialists of Hitler. There is an eerie sequence juxtaposing thematically similar propaganda posters from both regimes, side-by-side on-screen. Even more damning are the documents Snore uncovers establishing close links between the SS and the Soviet NKVD (the precursor to the KGB), discussing among other issues, the "Jewish Question." They did not just talk—they carved up Poland between themselves, and at Stalin's prompting, staked their claims to the rest of Europe.
Soviet Story is most devastating when discussing the ways in which the more advanced Soviet killing machine served as the inspiration and model for the Holocaust. According former Soviet intelligence officer Viktor Suvorov: "A delegation of German Gestapo and SS came to the Soviet Union to learn how to build concentration camps." Snore has produced a chilling indictment of the Soviet experience with socialism. He calls some very convincing witnesses, including Bukovsky, and the eloquent Cambridge historians Norman Davies and George Watson. As evidence, he produces some shocking archival film and documents. However, as the film makes clear, none of those who did (and still do) the Soviet dirty work has ever faced justice for their crimes. All told, Snore has produced a passionate but thoroughly reasoned case against the Soviet regime.