Masha Gessen: Are Totalitarianisms Like Snowflakes?Roundup: Media's Take
tags: NYT, Nazis, Hitler, Russia, Stalin, Masha Gessen, totalitarianism
Masha Gessen is a journalist in Moscow and the author of “The Man Without a Face,” a biography of Vladimir Putin.
MOSCOW — Just saying that a Jew should have been made into a lampshade does not make you an anti-Semite, or so a prominent columnist asserted recently. And just because both Nazism and Soviet Communism were totalitarian regimes does not mean they are comparable. Such arguments, counterarguments and variations of them have dominated Russian blogs, social networks and some of the traditional media for the last week.
The debate began when the liberal Leonid Gozman wrote a blog entry equating Smersh, the Stalin-era counterintelligence agencies — the name is an acronym for “death to spies” — with the Nazi S.S. The occasion was a television mini-series about Smersh, released on the anniversary of the end of World War II. Gozman asked readers to imagine a miniseries that portrayed S.S. officers as “honest soldiers who show themselves to be capable of outstanding bravery and self-sacrifice.” A show like that is unthinkable, he wrote, in Russia or in Germany, because “Germans born years after that nightmare are still ashamed of the S.S. uniform.” Yet the officers of Smersh, wrote Gozman, were as criminal as the S.S.: “They did not have handsome uniforms, but that is their only significant distinction from the S.S.”...
comments powered by Disqus
- Why Trump Would Almost Certainly Be Violating the Constitution If He Continues to Own His Businesses
- Remembering Pearl Harbor Brings ‘Date Which Will Live in Infamy’ to Virtual Reality
- Will Trump back women’s museum?
- New scholarship coming to Mormon lessons, but will instructors really teach it?
- Why the history of slavery in the US South is taking centre stage once again
- Novelist says History classes are our best hope for teaching Americans to question fake news and Donald Trump
- National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi is youngest in 30 years in the non-fiction category
- Historian Volker Ullrich’s book on the rise of Hitler is spookily relevant
- People are still talking about historian Mark Lilla’s NYT op ed 2 weeks after it was published
- Rick Perlstein says Trump’s election confirms a paranoid trend in the GOP