From Russia with Hate
From Russia with Hate
TAU historian the target of threats
TAU historian Prof. Gabriel Gorodetsky has found himself once again at the center
of an intense debate over Stalin's role in starting the Second World War. This
time, however, his safety has been threatened in the latest book written by a
former defector of the Soviet military intelligence, Viktor Suvorov, titled
The Last Republic.
The debate has been raging for five years, since Gorodetsky published his book,
The Icebreaker Myth, a rebuttal to Suvorov's 1992 best-seller
The Icebreaker, 'which challenged accepted accounts of events leading
up to the German invasion of Russia during the Second World War (see
TAU News, Spring 1995). The issue remains an open wound for
Russians who suffered heavy losses of between 20 to 30 million people in the war.
In The Icebreaker, Suvorov argued that throughout the 1930s Stalin had
been preparing for war against Germany, eventually scheduled for July 6, 1941.
This was foiled by Hitler's own invasion of Russia on the 22nd of June. Red Army
mobilizations in the spring of 1941 proved that it was deployed in an offensive
fashion, alleged Suvorov. The Icebreaker was not only popular in Russia,
but was enthusiastically received in Germany by those attempting to rehabilitate
Hitler and deny the Holocaust.
Unlike The Icebreaker, which is undocumented, for his book
Gorodetsky was allowed unprecedented access to the archives of the Russian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Soviet Military Intelligence, and the Red Army.
Gorodetsky not only refutes Suvorov's thesis, but presents an innovative
analysis of Stalin's policies during that period. His research is highly
regarded in Russian academic circles, and led to his appointment as a member of
the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Suvorov's latest work is in effect a rebuttal to Gorodetsky's rebuttal. In it,
he uses traditional xenophobic polemics to undermine Gorodetsky's standing.
Repeatedly referring to Gorodetsky's foreign (Jewish) nationality, Suvorov
portrays him as an "enemy of the Russian people."
"Brothers!" he writes in
The Last Republic, "The honor of our Motherland is at stake...
Gorodetsky's wild fabrications were fully supported by Russia's ideological
machine. And Gorodetsky, throwing aside all restraint, continues to speak about
our cowardice, cowardice, cowardice and about our gross unpreparedness."
The book concludes with a threat: "Brother-paratroopers, need I say more
about what needs to be done? Or perhaps you will defend your honor without being prompted? And the honor of your Motherland at the same time?"
Ironically, Gorodetsky sees his own work as defending the honor of the
Russian people. He finds it inconsistent that Suvorov, who has described the
Red Army as aggressors, now tries to portray himself as a patriot.
"The only reason he can do this," explains Gorodetsky "is
because I am a
foreigner - and worse - a Jew."
|The Icebreaker Myth by
|The Last Republic by |
Prof. Gorodetsky, Director of TAU's Cummings Center for Russian and East
European Studies, the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities, was
elected by the TAU Senate as incumbent of the Samuel Rubin Chair of
and East European History and Civilization.