Why the hard Left has a blind spot over Stalin
SIR – Simon Heffer’s excellent review (December 1) of The Kremlin Letters by David Reynolds and Vladimir Pechatnov properly questioned why it should be acceptable for the hard Left to endorse “the thought and politics” of Joseph Stalin while condemning Adolf Hitler. After all, Stalin was Hitler’s partner, not only in the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact but also in mass murder on a previously unthinkable scale.
There is another aspect, too. After the Second World War, the Left cleverly dumped the blame for Nazism on the Right, but Nazism does not truly come from there. In reality, Nazism is another abomination of the Left, the clue being in the second part of its name: National Socialism.
Leftists prefer to focus entirely on the “national” side of Nazism, but it is the “socialism” side that brought with it Nazism’s inhumanity, indifference to individual suffering and ruthless demand for conformity. Gregory Shenkman London W8 SIR – Simon Heffer rightly condemns those who regard Stalin as more praiseworthy than Hitler. As Alan Bullock wrote in Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives, they were two sides of the same coin.
While of course concentrating on the wartime alliance, Mr Heffer might also have mentioned that, subsequently, as well as enslaving eastern Europe, Stalin effectively created Mao’s China – and these two then created North Korea. John Birkett
St Andrews, Fife