Marson writes "President Viktor Yushchenko has expended much energy drawing attention to Soviet crimes in Ukraine, most notably the Holodomor, or "death by hunger" of 1932-3.... For decades a wall of silence surrounded the Holodomor – one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century, in which several million Ukrainian peasants died."
This wall of silence wasn't confined to nations behind the Iron Curtain. In two posts below, I demonstrate how Nye Bevan, the sainted hero of the left, praised Stalin's Russia in the Commons even after the facts of the Holodomor were known.
When Bevan was praising Stalin's Russia in April 1933 Gareth Jones, Lloyd-George's aide and a man of impeccable credentials, had already (in 1932) published a number of articles in nespapers including the Times following his visits to Russia describing the state of things; In October 1932, before Bevan's 'parasites' comments, he had also publicised the growing famine in two articles entitled 'Will there be Soup?'.
In March 1933, in the same month that Muggeridge had three unsigned pieces on the Holodomor published in the Manchester Guardian, Jones' famine stories broke world wide with convincing and unambiguous evidence of Stalin's brutality. Both of these were before Bevan stood up in the Commons to defend Russia in April 1933.
Whilst Stalin was starving millions of Ukrainians to death, and the whole world knew, Bevan described Russia as 'the one nation, which, despite all the difficulties, is still showing that it is possible to have a world order in which people can live with more security than we have here'.
Marson concludes his piece;
It is a bitter pill for some on the left to swallow that what Stalin did in the name of apparently laudable goals was horrific. Maybe some politicians are using the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and comparisons between Stalin and Hitler to smear the left and Russia. But to my mind, if the left, along with the Russian leadership, is still unwilling to face the horrors of Stalinism and the devastation it wrought across central and Eastern Europe, it is smearing itself.Footnote: To read a prime example of one of the gulag-defenders that Marson refers to, see Jonathan Steele's piece in the Grauniad.