Mass killings under Communist regimes

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In the spring of 1940, Stalin's NKVD executed 22,000 Polish officers, ensigns and state officials near the Russian village of Katyn and other places (Katyn Massacre).

Mass killings under Communist regimes refers to mass killings occurring under Communist regimes. Leftist Wikipedia has been criticized for censorship and bias regarding articles on communism, in particular regarding the mass killings.[1]


The left and violence
Hate crime
Leftist supremacism
Social anarchism
Mass killings under
Communist regimes
Mass killings under Communist regimes
Great Purge
Red Terror
War Communism

The Black Book of Communism (1997), published by Harvard University Press in the United States, states in its introduction that 94 million died due to Communism. This includes 20 million deaths in the Soviet Union alone from causes such as

  • execution of tens of thousands of hostages and prisoners without trial, and killing of hundreds of thousands or rebellious workers and peasants from 1918 to 1922
  • the mass starvation of 1922 causing five million deaths due to "War Communism" policies
  • the extermination and deportation of the Don Cossacks in 1920
  • killing of tens of thousands in concentration camps from 1918 to 1930 (the Gulag system after 1930 caused millions of deaths)
  • deportation of 2 million kulaks and so-called kulaks) in 1930–1932
  • deaths of 4 million Ukrainians and 2 million others during the mass starvation of 1932–1933 (the Holodomor)
  • killing of over 690,00 during the Great Purge (however others say it was "millions"[2])
  • the Katyn Massacre
  • deportation of hundreds of thousands of Poles, Ukrainians, Balts, Moldovans and Bessarabians in 1939–1941 and 1944–1945
  • deportation of the Volga Germans in 1941
  • deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1943
  • deportation of the Chechens in 1944
  • deportation of the Ingush in 1944.

Most scholars today accept that up to 80 million died at the hands of the communist state in the Soviet Union era[3]. 27 million alone are said to have died June 1941 - May 1945[4].

The book also states

As for other controversial mass killings, the estimated numbers vary widely in different sources by different historians.[6][7] (The exception to this being the Holocaust, where "Holocaust denial" laws prohibit stating significantly lower numbers than six million Jews.)

Negationism and reality

That mass killings occurred is not disputed in academic literature. Leftists try to downplay the numbers and causes, such as by blaming them on individual leaders, such as Stalin and Mao, rather than on the Communist ideology itself. However, Vladimir Lenin, the founder of Marxism-Leninism, which at least initially was the official ideology of all Communist states, argued that early leftist revolutionary attempts such as the 1871 "Paris Commune" had failed in part because the repressions of opponents were insufficiently harsh. He immediately implemented the promised harsh repressions and a "Red Terror" against suspected opponents once he gained power in Russia, directed also against other far-left individuals and groups with views to some degree deviating from that of Lenin. He also emphasized the importance of a Communist authoritarian "vanguard party" taking absolute control, even if against the wishes of the majority of the population, who were viewed as often not ready for political participation. A new utopian society was to be implemented as soon as possible and any harm done during the radical transformation was seen as minor compared to the envisioned enormous future benefits. As such, it is not surprising that mass killings have characterized all Communist states.

Communists such as Trotskyists often argue that Stalin corrupted the Soviet Union and later Communist states originating from the Soviet Union. However, this ignores that many of the problems existed already during the time period when Lenin and Trotsky were in power (famines, mass executions, labor camps in Siberia, red terror, secret police, and so on).

The leftist popular mass media rarely mentions or depicts Communist atrocities. Instead, there is enormous attention given to the Holocaust, which even if accepting the politically correct version caused much fewer deaths. One argued explanation for this is Jewish influence in the media and Jews being influential among the perpetrators during the mass killings in some Communist countries (see Jews and Communism). Jews could also be among those killed (although it has been argued often to a lesser extent than many other groups) and mass killings also occurred in Communist countries that did not have any significant Jewish presence.

Some of the best know mass deaths due to starvation are the Holodomor of Lazar Kaganovich and the Chinese "Great Leap Forward" of Mao. There are ongoing disputes regarding if these deaths were deliberately intended and directed against oppositional/disliked groups, were seen as acceptable losses in order to achieve Communist goals such as socializing agriculture, and/or were unintended and due to Communist mismanagement/inefficiency.

See also the article on The World Wars and mass starvation on the Soviet scorched-earth policy contributing to mass starvation and mass deaths during WWII.

Affected groups have varied. Red Terror often targeted suspected political opponents and members of former, now suspected hostile, elites. Sometimes entire suspected hostile groups, such as ethnic groups were targeted, causing genocides. Sometimes groups such as "intellectuals", successful peasants, and other successful groups were targeted, often causing great harm to society more generally. The poor were likely particularly affected by the mass starvations and other general hardships. In all cases, many were likely killed for other reasons, such as personal grudges and for personal gain.

See also

Further reading

External links



  1. Inside Wikipedia's leftist bias: socialism pages whitewashed, communist atrocities buried
  2. Conquest, Robert, The Great Terror, Century Hutchinson Ltd., London. 1990, ISBNN: 0-09-174293-5.
  5. See also: Dikotter, Frank, Mao's Great Famine, Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-7475-9508-3
  6. Soviet Union, Stalin's regime
  7. People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong's regime