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SON SUES TO CLEAR STALIN’S NAME
September 4 2009
Moscow, Russia – The 20th century was without a doubt one of the most important in human history. One could argue that because of the advances and events of the century that it may well be the most important ever; a century that began with
nascent attempts at flight and ended internet communication. One of the most defining characteristics of the century was the violence it endured and the rise of more dictators than at any time in history. Names such as Mao, Hitler, Amin, and Mussolini rank amongst the most vicious and violent ever.
Perhaps the most proficient of dictators through the century was Josef Stalin who ruled the Soviet Union for more than thirty years, brought Communism to the wider world, fought the advances of the Nazis, and was responsible for the deaths of tens of millions. It is exactly that perception of Stalin that has most defined his rule but is also the most offensive to his offspring. Now his son, Yevgeny Dzhugashvili, is suing a Russian newspaper which published a report indicating that Stalin was indeed directly responsible for the deaths under his reign. Though largely accepted as fact his son hopes to change attitudes to the man affectionately known as ‘Uncle Joe’ in the hope of not damaging his reputation in the future.
“Half a century of lies have been poured over Stalin's reputation and he cannot defend himself from the grave so this case is essential to put the record straight. We want to rehabilitate Stalin. He turned populations into peoples, he presided over a golden era in literature and the arts, he was a real leader,” said Dzhugashvili’s lawyer Leonid Zhura. “This slander and lies that have persisted for decades must change and Stalin must but regarded in an honest and integrity based manner. He must purge this slander from the record and ensure that future generations of Russians have a clear and honest vision of their greatest leader.”
It’s estimated that up to 60 million people died under Stalin’s rule. Some perished in executions, some in the infamous Gulags, and some during forced resettlements. Others died of old age, traffic accidents, and slips in the shower deaths which are often included in the totals.
“Stalin had a cool and calm demeanour and one can see why he was called Uncle Joe. He seemed on the surface as a very pleasant person, the kind you could see at a family barbeque playing with the kids. Beneath that exterior though was a steel determination to make the Soviet Union into the dominant power not on in the East but in the world and many people suffered as a result of that,” said Scrape TV Historical analyst Lars Luger. “The real issue here is whether or not Stalin directly ordered these deaths and even the most fervent of Stalin haters would have to admit that would be impossible. I don’t think it’s humanly possible to sign that many death warrants in a life time, especially when you have so many other things to do like running a country. Perhaps he spent all of his spare time signing off on those warrants but that would still have been tough. Likely his government and his demands encouraged and allowed that behaviour which still makes him largely responsible.”
Recent sentiment in Russia over the past few years has sought to clear Stalin’s name and restore him to the status he enjoyed before the massive number of deaths was known publicly. It’s unclear how such a change would be affected outside Russia’s borders.
“If they are able to successfully shift the blame from Stalin they are still going to have to come up with an answer as to who was responsible for all of these deaths. Those bones stay in the ground a long time and there are a lot of offspring still around who will want answers. Stalin’s family aren’t the only ones who have been hurt in this,” continued Luger. “If successful though this could re-map 20th century history as we know it. Virtually every major dictator from that era still has living offspring and they could pursue vindication of their family name. We’d be running the risk of constantly blaming new people but if that’s what it takes to get history right then it may be worth it. Eventually we may be able to completely forget that those people existed at all and that would satisfy everyone.”
The most notorious dictator of the century, Hitler, had no children but does have a number of living relatives located in the United States. It’s not certain if they too will seek to clear the name of their famous relative.