Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Kudos to Mr. Wilfried Heink

... for this unusually honest and almost reasonable post on the CODOH Cesspit (emphasis added):

Just to follow up. Prof. Dr. Seidler wrote back to inform me that there is no mention of any Fackelmänner Befehl on NARA Serie 429, Roll 461, confirming what Hartmann/Zarusky wrote in their IfZ article. Prof. Seidler had mentioned this Befehl in his "Verbrechen an der Wehrmacht", relying on Fritz Becker (Stalins Blutspur durch Europa…"). He, Prof. Seidler, had contacted NARA, asking them for details re. this roll. Nothing happened, thus he ordered it and found out that he had been led down the garden path by Becker. He is understandably perturbed by this, writing that this sort of thing is not helpful. Agreed, and neither is this nonsense article posted on metapedia.

Hartmann/Zarusky provide a German translation of Stavka 0428, it exists, according to them, minus the uniform part. But, the order is useful for our cause without it, Stalin ordered all villages 20-30 km behind German lines destroyed, making it impossible to determine who did what. This should at least raise some doubt as to "blame the Germans for everything". Maisky, the Soviet envoy in London, apparently told Eden, in November 1941, that it had been a hard task to destroy all that had been build up since the revolution and that millions upon millions had to be evacuated (W. P. and Zelda K. Coates, "Vom Interventen yum Alliierten 1917-1942 – Die Geschichte der English-sowjetischen Beziehungen). I’ve ordered the book and will keep interested parties posted. I could also translate the order as provided by Hartmann/Zarusky if anyone is interested.



Hartmann & Zarusky’s article about Stalin Order 0428 («Stalin’s "Fackelmänner-Befehl" vom November 1941», in: Vierteljahreshefte für Zeitgeschichte, 48. Jahrgang 2000, 4. Heft, pages 667 to 674) is referred to in my blog Blame it on the Germans ..., which contains a transcription and translation of the order’s actual text.

The first paragraph of Mr. Heink’s above-quoted post shows that Prof. Dr. Seidler finally realized himself what his colleagues Hartmann & Zarusky found out nine years ago, i.e. that he had been led astray by a secondary source he had not bothered to check. Hartmann & Zarusky’s verdict had been the following (as above, page 671, my translation):

Despite the statement that "The original of this order has not yet been sent to the author by the National Archives" in the corresponding footnote, one cannot spare Seidler, who unlike "private historian" Becker is Professor for Recent History – meanwhile emeritus – the reproach of having taken over unchecked data from non-scientific sources and thus having lent a propaganda invention of the extreme right the semblance of scientific seriousness.

As to whether the actual text of Stalin's Order 0428 of 17 November 1941 helps the "Revisionist" cause, or any cause whatever for that matter, I'll give the word to British historian Antony Beevor, who on page 45 of his classic Stalingrad (Penguin Books, 1999) wrote the following:

A German officer described how shocked he and his soldiers had been when Russian civilians had cheerfully stripped the corpses of their fellow countrymen. Yet German soldiers were taking clothes and boots from living civilians for themselves, then forcing them out into the freezing wastes, in most cases to die of cold and starvation. Senior officers complained that their soldiers looked like Russian peasants, but no sympathy was spared for the victims robbed of their only hope of survival in such conditions. A bullet might have been less cruel.

During the retreat from Moscow, German soldiers seized any livestock and food supplies on which they could lay their hands. They ripped up floorboards in living rooms to check for potatoes stored underneath. Furniture and parts of houses were used for firewood. Never did a population suffer so much from both sides in a war. Stalin had signed an order on 17 November ordering Red Army units – aviation, artillery, ski-troops and partisan detachments – to 'destroy and burn to ashes' all houses and farms for up to forty miles behind the German lines to deny the enemy shelter. The fate of Russian women and children was not considered for a moment.

Never did a population suffer so much from both sides in a war – that describes the Nazi-Soviet conflict in a nutshell. Yet there are fanatical idiots who see evil only on one side of the conflict while eulogizing the other and denying its crimes. One such idiot must have hated his brother-in-spirit Heink's above-quoted post.

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