The Debate Over The Numbers Repressed Under Stalin And It's Relevance To Totalitarian Theory.

1655 words - 7 pages

There have been have many fundamental debates over the numbers repressed under Stalin and whether it was higher or lower than the numbers repressed under fascist Nazi Germany, including Hitler, much literature covers all sides of this debate. The debate over the facts are highly argued as many factors including the apparent decision to lock away the facts for more than half a century have impacted on the reporting and accuracy of these facts. The debate has arisen over a culmination of different parameters over a period of time and different interests involved which has led to distortions over the specific archival facts of the repression.To cover this question over the numbers repressed and it's relevance to the totalitarian theory there must be a thorough understanding of these texts; Victims of Stalinism: A comment, Conquest, Robert, Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 49, (Nov 1997), 1317-1319, The Scale and Nature of German and Soviet Repression and mass killings, 1930-45, Wheatcroft, Stephen, Europe-Asia studies Vol. 48, No. 8, (Dec 1996), 1319-1353, Culture and Politics under Stalin: A Reappraisal, Fitzpatrick Sheila, Slavic Review, Vol 35, no. 2 (Jun., 1976), 211-231.Wheatcroft in his report on the mass killings in the Soviet union has emphasised that repression should be held in a broader context, including all mass killings 'repression is the broader concept, and although in common Russian usage will include all mass killings' (1320:1996, Wheatcroft). However Wheatcroft does not believe that the numbers repressed under Stalin were greater than those repressed under Hitler. 'I think Majer and Kershaw have been misled by Conquest and others into accepting that Stalin's regime killed many more people than Hitler's" (1323:1996 Wheatcroft). There seems to be a bitter intellectual feud between Wheatcroft and Conquest over these facts.Wheatcroft, sees Majer's estimate on Soviet repression as the authority on the debate over the numbers 'Majer is one of the few authors that has attempted to be more precise in defining what he is referring to and I will present what I believe is the currently generally accepted position" (1321:1996, Wheatcroft). So he outlines a report over the actual numerical data. Majer believes 7 million have died from the effects of collectivisation during 1932-33 'death of class enemies (kulaks) during and as a result of collectivisation and famine' (1321:1996, Wheatcroft). Majer's opinion on the purges goes as far as 7-8 million, a bold assessment indeed, he portrays that during 1937-39 and suggests that 1 million may have been sentenced to death 'Political Purges: 1937-39: 7-8 million arrested, with perhaps 1 million of these sentenced to death executed in prison or later in camps. Perhaps 12 million deaths in camps from mistreatment and hardship' (1321:1996, Wheatcroft). The general tread in ambiguity seems to escalate onwards, Majer's statistics seem well founded but vague in conviction, his estimated total amount of deaths...

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