Global Security Headlines

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hitler? A scapegoat. Stalin? I can empathise. Oliver Stone stirs up history | Film | The Guardian

It is dangerous when Hollywood recasts history to fit a film director´s political philosophy.  The Guardian of the UK published a disturbing interview with Oliver Stone as recounted in its story: Hitler? A scapegoat. Stalin? I can empathise. Oliver Stone stirs up history.

One excerpt is a slap at every Allied veteran who faced down the Axis powers, or lost buddies in the at Anzio, Normandy, Battle of the Bulge, and the German massacre at Malmedy.

"Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it's been used cheaply," he said. Then he mentioned the S word. "Stalin has a complete other story. Not to paint him as a hero, but to tell a more factual representation. He fought the German war machine more than any person."

While Mr. Stone is flipping through history texts for the "proper context" of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, GSM suggests he include the  Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (named after the foreign ministers of each respective country) between the USSR and Nazi Germany. The secret protocols of the so-called  Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact carved up Eastern Europe into spheres of influence and opened up the invasion on Poland just over a week later. An original of the pact was found in Soviet archives in 1992.

Two of the murderous madmen in the twentieth century were partners at the beginning of the war and there was actually negligible difference between the two totalitarian regimes.

Yes, the Soviets now Russians can contend correctly to a point, they bore the brunt of stopping Hitler after Operation Barbarosa, Hitler´s fateful invasion of Russia in June 1941.However, after the Normandy invasion, the US, Britain, Canada, France, and other non-Soviet allies were much closer to Germany. The two front war with the US-led forces in the West and yes, the Soviet Red Army in the East together, doomed a bombed-out Germany reduced to sending old men and children to fight.

It is instructive however to remember Stalin´s initial moral (and strategic) bargain with the devil in Berlin and that he only turned against the "German war machine" after getting over the shock of its invasion of his homeland. An innocent angel he is not.

A "proper context" is how the Allies - the freedom lovers - led by the United States crushed both Nazism and eventually Communism in the Cold War after a titanic struggle lasting 46 years, one of the most significant events in the last century. 

However, Mr. Stone´s study of history, given his past propaganda films, is suspect and only does a disservice to individuals who will never get the "truth" in a public school and too often rely on movies for knowledge, sadly.
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