Throughout the 20th century the greatest killer that was known was Hitler, he was the epitome of evil. He was to blame for the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust and the Second World War. Though this was true, there was always one person that was just as devastating to the European population, that man was Joseph Stalin. His iron fist that ruled Eastern Europe and the USSR, was soaked in blood, the blood of the very people he was to protect for the tyranny of Capitalism. In Bukharin’s letter to Stalin as well as the novel by Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon, and the grime reality of the Stalin era USSR were brought into perspective. The sheer magnitude of how the Soviets ran their state and how “The Party” controlled the lives of so many people throughout the world was simply amazing. The novel, Darkness at Noon, is a fictitious story of a high ranking party member, Rubashov, who is arrested and charged with outrageous crimes in order to preserve the power of “The Party”.
Though fictitious the novel does come extremely close to the truth about the events that ruled the Stalin Regime. There are many similarities between the two sources from the way the members of the communist party thought about themselves and the party itself. The two sources also showed the lengths that members were willing to go through and give up all for the betterment of the party. Though they were also different in the way the tone was set in each source, Bukharin sets a tone of despair and physical torment as he is incarcerated and waiting execution, whereas Koestler paints a more mental anguish and despair, where Rubashov is fighting his thought more then the torment he is subject too.
In the letter to Stalin, Bukharin apologizes for his betrayal of “the Party”, although he expresses his innocence, he also acknowledges the mistakes he has made and will not fight his convictions. “Standing on the edge of a precipice, from which there is no return, I tell you on my word of honor, as I await my death, that I am innocent of those crimes which I admitted to at the investigation.” No instead he chooses to continue with his execution in order to preserve the purity of “the Party” and not to question it. This concept is also seen in the novel,
“The Party can never be mistaken,” said Rubashov. “You and I can make a mistake. Not the Party. The Party, comrade, is more than you and I and a thousand others like you and I. The Party is the embodiment of the revolutionary idea in history. (Koestler 34)
Koestler emphasizes the way most party members felt about the policies of the party. To many people who bought in to the communist practice the Party itself was more important than anything else in their lives, it took precedence over all other activities. The revolution had to be spread no matter what, it didn’t matter how many people had were punished or how many died as long as the revolution lived on and in order for the revolution to continue forward...