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The Soviet Story

History|09 Mar, 2012|17 Comments |
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Rating: 4.2/5 (75 votes cast)

The Soviet Story is a 2008 documentary film about Soviet Communism and Soviet-German collaboration before 1941 written and directed by Edvīns Šnore and sponsored by the UEN Group in the European Parliament.



The Soviet Story, 4.2 out of 5 based on 75 ratings
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  1. tom lother says:

    wow! there are still people out there that defend that system? if it had any redeeming qualities they are most certainly not worth mentioning in light of the horrors it created. we must not forget the past no matter how painfuf it may be.

  2. Hugh Jones says:

    The horror was inexcusable but there is no mention of our own benefit from this horror. All the World, or at least the elites controlling all nations, were opposing the Soviets. Thirteen nations invaded to help the White Russians put down the Communist revolt. From the beginning Stalin knew well that Germany wanted a resource rich empire and that the Colonial powers had always thwarted any effort to compete with them in Africa and Asia, so they needed to go east. Stalin also had the Japanese threatening on his eastern border where they had been fighting since the Battle of Tsushima. He was desperate to industrialize and build a modern army but the rest of the World wouldn’t help a communist country and refused all trade. It was only through confiscating the grain for sale on the international market that he managed to buy enough modern tools to start industry. Thinking the Japanese the lesser threat he built much of that industry in the East. In May of 1939 he attacked the Japanese and defeated them in what was the largest tank battle up to that time. Having started from a feudal society this was an amazing accomplishment. Without this attack by Stalin, well ahead of war in Europe, the army would have won the argument in Japan and joined Germany and Italy in attacking Russia from all sides. Instead the Navy won the argument and the Japanese went south. In August he signed the pact with Germany stalling off their attack and pushing his western boundary west to the centre of Poland. He may also have sent some resources to Germany, as depicted, again to stave off the attack he clearly knew was inevitable. Once Germany attacked the Russians fought back as best they could. They were the proletariat with no hundred year old military colleges so their command and control was the worst possible against German officers with a hundred year tradition behind them. They built more tanks and more planes in every month of the war than did the Germans but the planes especially were no match for the Messhersmits. It was a victory if a Russian plane could kill one German tank before it was shot down. In the largest tank battle ever fought at Kursk 100,000 Germans were killed or wounded vs. 850,000 Russians. They fought poorly, but if they hadn’t been tying up the bulk of the German army, Britain would certainly have fallen and the Third Reich would be with us still. I repeat we are the major beneficiaries of Stalin’s stealing of the grain, the nerve to attack the Japanese and the resolve to sacrifice any number of his ‘comrades’ fighting the Germans.

    • Begeeria says:

      Nothing you said here addresses the philosopical motves at the root of the genocide documented by this film. Your comment appears to justify mass killing by a mass murder.

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  6. Anthony says:


    I live in Ukraine, and I know people whose relatives were around in the days of the 1932-33 famine. There are different interpretations of it here, but whatever the small details, it was clearly a horrible event. Therefore, in saying what I’m about to say, I don’t wish to dishonour the memory of anyone who suffered under the Soviet regime.

    So … I want to make two points.

    Firstly, this doco has twisted the truth somewhat, in such a way that it seems unlikely the filmmakers could possibly have just ‘overlooked’ the inaccuracies in the story.

    Marx and Lenin differed in many ways, but the crucial one pertaining to this doco is as follows: Marx basically said that when societies were no longer functioning economically – when they had ‘outgrown’ their economic systems to the point where those systems no longer served them but rather held them back – those societies changed the system. He said that ‘tweaking’ the system in small ways can happen through an existing political process, but when it comes time to shake up EVERYTHING, a new system entirely is required. This would of course not thrill to those who controlled the existing systems, and so the remainder of the people (i.e. pretty much everyone) would have to overthrow them.

    Marx pointed out that this had in fact happened a few times in history, and that given the godawful, sometimes life-threatening working conditions that were causing so much misery after the Industrial Revolution, he predicted that it would probably happen again soon.

    Notice two things here: first, Marx DID expect (though he didn’t prescribe or recommend) that there would be victims in this ‘class war’. But these people would not be not the underclass who were “useless” in Bernard Shaw’s estimation, and the CERTAINLY wouldn’t be so-called ‘primitive’ peoples. In fact, Marxism gave more consideration to those people than most philosophy that had come before it. So what George Watson says about this is utter rubbish,

    No, the victims would be the most high-ranking members of government and the people with their hands directly on the levers of the economic system – the power-brokers and the toffs, basically (like Watson’s rellies, perhaps?). NOT doctors, engineers etc., but politicians, military commanders and captains of industry.

    The other thing to note about this is that Marx saw the process as what we might call an ‘organic’ one, kinda like a snake shedding its skin. He certainly argued that the time was drawing near when revolution would be the sensible path forward, but he didn’t see coercion as the way to make it happen. He believed that it would almost happen of its own accord, when enough people were sufficiently fed up with the status quo.

    That’s NOT what Lenin, much less Stalin, believed. Lenin got really interested in Marx’s ideas and looked eagerly forward to the Revolution happening in Russia – especially after the authorities executed his brother for trying to assassinate the Tsar. But in his view, the common man was just not getting it. He got impatient and frustrated, and his big contribution to Socialist Revolutionary came out of that frustration. He argued – and this became Soviet doctrine – that since the masses are ignorant, the revolutionary vanguard would act without their support, take over the country for the good of everyone, and hope that eventually peopel would see the light. It they didn’t see it of their own accord, Lenin said, we’ll MAKE them see it once we’re in government.

    This was abso-freaking-lutely different from what Marx had proposed. It’s simply not the same thing at all. When this doco says that the USSR “exterminated strictly according to Marxist teaching”, that is just a complete lie.

    This may all seem to be doctrinal hair-splitting, but when you consider how the Bolsheviks came to power, it’s clear that theirs wasn’t a Marxist revolution, Underpinned by some Marxist thought about class systems and productive forces, sure. But nothing like the model that Marx imagined from the very start, because it didn’t have majority popular support, People WEREN’T crying out for Bolshevism, and Marx never saw his revolution working by exterminating massive portions of the population who disagreed with the revolutionaries. He just didn’t, ok?

    So Marx and Engels were NOT the fathers of the Bolshevik Revolution, let alone of what came after, To try and draw a direct doctrinal thread from Marx, through Lenin and to Stalin, you’re entering extremely shaky territory. And this, btw, is nothing new. Anyone who has their hands on the relevant slabs of academic material knows all of this. So why don’t the documentary makers know it?

    I think the answer, as usual, lies in the funding for this project. But that’s just me. Whatever the reason, it’s a spurious connection aimed at convincing people that ‘all socialism is inherently bad’. This simplistic division of ideologies as ‘Good’ or ‘Evil’ is worthy of 1950s America, not 2000s Europe. I’m a little surprised that the filmmaker agreed to participate.

    My second point – and again I want to say that I mean no disrespect to the victims of the Soviet system – but very simply put, capitalism (or rather the Corporatism which has replaced it) is as murderous as Totalitarianism.

    That may seem an extreme thing to say, but unfortunately, the numbers support it. It doesn’t murder the same people in the same ways, but it has NOT brought a world of peace, happiness and prosperity. It’s brought pockets of that, interspersed with other regions where this prosperity is manufactured, completely ruining those places and the lives of the people who live there in the process. It is cruel, it is inherently discriminatory, and its murderous goals have been stated in shockingly explicit detail by its architects, over and over again. The people who NOW have their hands on the leveers of industry and government have said openly and proudly that the plan is to exploit most of the world’s population for the benefit of the few – and that killing some of them is a totally acceptable, even desirable, outcome. And they’ve said more than once or twice.

    By this measure, Capitalism has become an extreme ideology. We don’t notice it as such, because it’s ‘normal’ to us, just as socialism would be normal to anyone born into a socialist system. But it’s NOT normal. If we actually manage to continue long enough as a species to see what supercedes capitalism, we’ll be looking back in horror at capitalists just as this documentary does about the architects and outcomes of socialism.

    In the meantime, I wonder how much better we really are than the people who carried out the atrocities depicted in this film. And I also wonder what the hell the Europen Parliament is doing, funding a smear job on an ideology that was once a competitor to their own, but has now largely gone. What’s the point? Are you just trying to make yourselves feel superior? Cause if you are, then … well, I go to my ‘How much better are we really?” question.

    Ok, enough. Despite the distasteful subtext, I do think this doco contains some interesting material, so thanks to the administrators of the site for putting it up.

    Cheers )))

    • GuestCritic says:

      Thank you for your insight, Anthony. It is more informative than the documentary itself.

    • Denis says:

      Exactly what I was thinking while watching this.
      Except I think communism was just attempted way too early. The time is nigh for the new communism :) . With our evergrowing automation, we’re approaching a new revolution, maybe even a more brutal one for the common man, which might lead to or necessitate the establishment of a communist society (which, btw, is increasingly easier to implement with our advancing technology).
      Anthony, I would be glad to contact you somehow to share thoughts on the topic.

  7. Gustavo Gonçalves says:

    There seams to be a misunderstanding what concerns my first comment… I never doubted historical facts, I never denied the horror of Stalin’s regime, or shown any despite towards victims of any dictatorial regime!
    Everybody replys about “facts”: fact is that in my first comment I raised the issue about the independency of this film based on it’s financers; fact is that in my first comment I only affirm that Marx is not the father of mass genocide; fact is that Marx died before all “The Soviet Story”… I just thought that blaiming Marx is a bit farfetched.

  8. Independence says:

    It is sad that Gustavo Gonçalves apparently wishes to believe the lies rather than the truth. The truth remains just that, despite the desires of someone like Gustavo Gonçalves. The ocean of innocent blood (and some not so innocent) that was the product of the Soviet / socialist system cannot be hidden away or denied by anyone who wishes to know and accept the truth. Everyone is free to believe whatever they wish, but the facts are the facts, and wishes and ideology do not change the facts.

  9. Gustavo Gonçalves says:

    I’m sorry that you thought that the “only message” I understood (or misunderstood, according to you!) was about Marx… Didn’t realised that not living in ex Soviet Union or not knowing people who do, excluded me from giving a “comment”. Sorry if I offended you in any kind of way, but my first comment stands.

  10. Corina says:

    So much money has been spent by the Soviet Union over decades to deceive and lie to entire nations and conceal their past and history erasing their national identity. For once money is well spent and after so many years some are brave enough to talk about it. If the only message that you understood from the movie was that Karl Marx was the cause of genocide than you have misunderstood both the comments about Marx and the whole message of the movie which was meant to bring reconciliation to the victims of all those murdered and show the world how fanatic ideology can make people deranged to the point of committing such atrocities. The documentary is meant to bring out the truth and this is the truth. Had you lived in ex Soviet Union an had the chance to hear the stories from the mouths of your loved ones you would certainly know better.

  11. Gustavo Gonçalves says:

    not the usual standard documentary we got used to see here on docutube… the hole film stinks to right conservative propaganda!… Oh, wait… that’s right, they payed for the movie… Affirming that Marx is the father of mass genocide is simply not correct, no matter who you are and in wich university you teach.

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