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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Germany Completely Recognizes Nazi Past


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In response to “The Heart of Hitler’s Darkness,” a comment by Alexander J. Motyl on July 17.

Was there a deliberate Nazi policy of genocide against Belarus and Ukraine as the author suggests? There was the so-called Hunger Plan from early 1941, which envisaged the starvation or forced migration of about 30 million people. But this actually was directed mostly against the Russians, or “Grossrussen” as they were called at that time. Though the plan was never fully realized, actual hunger policy was pursued in the Leningrad area and in Donbas, Kharkov and Crimea. These policies affected mainly Russians.

The same applied to the starvation in German POW camps between October 1941 and June 1942. Prisoners of war from the Baltics and a large number of POWs from Ukraine could be released from the camps — most of them in order to join German auxiliary services — but not Russians or other nationalities.

The author is not fully aware of contemporary German politics and media coverage. Although it is true that until the 1980s the Slavic victims of Nazism were by and large ignored, this changed during the 1990s with the erection of memorials for Soviet POWs and reparation payments to many victims and their families.

It is completely unacceptable to argue that the Germans still consider Slavs as “Untermenschen,” or subhumans. It is necessary to know history and not simply follow the new, fashionable narrative of genocide and victimization.

Dieter Pohl

America’s Ideological Lies

In response to “Obama Rewrites the Cold War,” a comment by Liz Cheney on July 14.

I found the author’s article strongly reminiscent of the ideology-based lies upon which the Soviet Union was founded.

The right-wing fantasy that the Cold War ended solely because of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan is completely divorced from reality. The Soviet Union collapsed because every U.S. president after Harry Truman followed the policy of containment and because former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev lost control of the country after instituting perestroika reforms.

Russia has many problems, but I feel less oppressed by Russia’s false rhetoric than the nonsense I hear coming from the United States.

Catherine LeGouis
South Hadley, Massachusetts