One of the interesting after-effects of the left's domination of the West's film and entertainment industry has been an intentional dulling down of the awareness of the evil of Communism and the magnitude of the atrocities it commited in the 20th century. Call someone a Nazi and people gasp. Call someone a Community and they chuckle or mutter something like "McCarthy". Wave a swastika and people scream, the hammer and sickle - not so much. Fascism is certainly more famous and when you want a smirking villian in a movie you're more likely to get a reaction from a guy in an SS uniform than someone with the hammer and sickle on his chest.
Heck, Stephen Colbert once interviewed the only Communist ever elected to Congress on his show. Could you imagine him inviting a member of the American Nazi party (assuming one had ever been elected to office) and treating him respectfully?
Yet which was the greater evil? Communism killed far more people than Fascism did. It lasted far longer, affected far greater stretches of territory and continues to oppress billions until today. Concentration camps? Attempts at genocide? Causing wars? Yes to all three.
Yet for some reason people remain horrified by the concept of fascism and and yawn when in comes to communism. Add to this the Holocaust industry which, in its zeal to maintain the Shoah's unique status as the greatest genocide of the 20th (or any century) instinctively attacks any attempt to equate another evil with that of the Nazis, y"sh.
As i just noted, there is no question that the Holocaust is unique in scope and scale. However, it is not unique in occurance. Within the years of the 20th century the Armenians, Ukrainians, Tutsis of Rwanda and Cambodians all suffered massacres at the hands of others intent on wiping them off the face of the Earth. Acknowledging the Holocaust's unfortunate position at the top of the heap should not lead to downplaying the tragedies others went through.
However, Communism was unlike Fascism in one important way: the Fascists were focused on slaughtering their opponents. The Communists were more interested in breaking their spirit. A dead Jew was good for the Communists but a Jew who repudiated his faith and became a good member of the Socialist International was even better. The legacy of Josef Stalin, y"sh, isn't only the body count he left behind but how he and Vladimir Lenin, y"sh, before him destroyed Judaism in Russia and turned our brothers on each other.
It goes even further. The hateful regime of Communism did not stop at its Jewish captives. Name a country occupied by the Soviet Union after the war and you name a country that suffered under Stalin. For the people of these countries Hitler was a short-term evil while Stalin was an evil without end. With Hitler there was always the hope that war would end his reign of terror. There was no such hope under Stalin.
One must also remember that many gentiles suffered far less under Hitler than under Stalin. That their local Jewish populations were wiped out was of little concern to most of Eastern Europe's peoples (revisionist histories notwithstanding).
Is it therefore any wonder than Lithuanians and Ukrainians feel Stalin was a greater evil than Hitler?
It behooves us to have a sensitivity to this history and understand that Eastern Europe's suffering was greater under the Communists than the Fascists. At the same time we also have to understand that while Hitler committed unspeakable crimes against us, Stalin did as well. We should spit when we say his name with the same vehemence that we do when we recall Hitler. To do less is to be ignorant of how much we suffered inthe 20th century.