The Falsifiers of History Have the Aim of Covering Up Their Own Preparations for Fascism and War
by Chris Coleman
National Spokesperson of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist)
September 3rd marks the 70th anniversary of the declaration of war by Britain and France against Nazi Germany, following Hitler’s invasion of Poland on 1st September 1939. On the occasion of this 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, the imperialists and their apologists – as did the leaders at Gdansk on 1st September – have lost no time in attempting once again to rewrite history. They have as an aim to cover up their plans for state arrangements at home which serve their dictatorial rule, and internationally their preparations for a new inter-imperialist war for the redivision of the world. The focus of their falsifications, as ever, is the role of Stalin and the Soviet Union in the lead up to the war, in particular the gross slander that Stalin “connived” with Hitler, carved up Poland and set off the war. The truth is the precise opposite.
The Second World War was a terrible catastrophe for the entire humanity. There is no doubt such a tragedy could have been avoided, or at the very least limited in its devastation. Facts, readily verifiable from the documents of the time, make clear the causes of the war. It was the ruling circles of Britain, France and the USA who re-financed and re-armed Germany to be the dominating force in Central and Eastern Europe and egged Hitler on to “Go East”, to realise his cherished dream of taking over territories such as the Ukraine and destroy the Soviet Union and Bolshevism. Faced with Hitlerite aggression, the Soviet Union called on Britain and France to sign a collective mutual assistance pact with military clauses. They refused, choosing instead to sign the Munich Agreement with Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, an act of betrayal which sealed the fate of Europe, ceding Czechoslovakia and its powerful armaments industry to Hitler, and giving him the green light to go east and attack the Soviet Union. The Polish government, imperialist itself, took the same stand, for which it was to pay so dearly. Appeasement was not a sign of weakness, as is claimed, but of connivance. The imperialist mentality was to fear communism more than fascism, to follow a short-sighted and self-serving policy which brought the most terrible devastation on the peoples of the world, including their own.
It is also fact, readily verifiable, that the Soviet Union, following the policies of Lenin and Stalin, was a factor for peace in the lead-up, the waging, and the aftermath of the Second World War. It was, after all, the October Revolution which brought the First World War to a close. It was the collective security proposals of the Soviet Union which could, if taken up by the imperialist powers, have prevented, or at least limited, the Second World War. Faced with the refusal of Britain and France to take up these proposals, the Soviet Union had no alternative but to sign a Non-Aggression Pact with Germany in order to give it time to prepare for the inevitable Nazi invasion of its territories. It was also forced to move its Red Army on 17th September 1939, into Ukrainian and Byelorussian territories seized by Poland in 1919-20, thus saving millions from the slaughter visited upon the rest of Poland, and moving its forward defensive line several hundred kilometres west. When the inevitable invasion came, in June 1941, the war took on an anti-fascist character. Millions upon millions were inspired on the world scale to participate in destroying the fascist menace. This was the main factor in the victory of the anti-fascist forces over Nazism. The policy of the Soviet Union was based on steadfast opposition to aggression, invasion, occupation and annexation, to the imperialist redivision of the world and inter-imperialist war. Despite all the waverings, the cynicism, the treachery, the obstruction of the governments of Britain, France and the USA and others, they stuck to their stand. They made huge sacrifices in order to do this, and with great proletarian generosity ensured that the war effort progressed and victory over fascism was ensured. It was not down to the failure or weakness of the policy of the Soviet Union that this victory over fascism in 1945 was not consolidated and the opportunity for peace and democracy cast aside, with the imperialist powers reverting to their old policies, which had brought such disaster to the world’s people, including their own, of “containment of communism” as their main aim, along with renewing their support for and practice of fascism worldwide.
Why the falsifications of this indisputable history? Everything points to the fact that the attack on communism today is not so much on what it is or has been, but on what it can do. In the 20th century communism solved the problems that faced humanity. It led and inspired people to make huge advances and win great victories. The crises later in the century were due to its abandonment, not its legacy. Now in the 21st century, despite the raised consciousness of the people, the result of the achievements of the 20th century, and the opportunity which that presents to take matters into their own hands, in the last 25 years of retreat of revolution the forces of reaction have been and are determined that the people will take no such initiatives, that they will leave the solution of the problems which face humanity in the hands of those who created them, in the hands of today’s so-called “benevolent despots”. Thus communism must be attacked. Its ideology and politics must be discredited. History itself must be falsified and rewritten.
The attack, the falsifications, come not merely in the form of lies, but as total disinformation which distorts the whole progress of humankind, the basis of change, motion and development, how a new society has been and is being created, and if not challenged deprive the people of any perspective, of an outlook on their lives.
As the late Hardial Bains pointed out in his important work Modern Communism,the attack is not just on communism but on all real change. History, he says, has been turned on its head, with the worst crimes of the Hitlerite fascists attributed to the communists in general, and to Stalin in particular. This disinformation is intended to disorient the workers, women and youth and provide them with no prospects whatsoever. It is also to divert the attention of the world’s peoples from the crimes being committed today by the imperialists and world reaction in the name of democracy.
The question must be put: How can one believe the stories of those who commit such dreadful and dastardly acts these very days? Guantánamo, Fallujah, Gaza, the bombing of villages in Afghanistan and Pakistan are facts of history too. How can the solution of the world’s problems be left in the hands of those who cause them, who are leading the peoples into such terrible catastrophes?
It is vital that the falsifications of history, such as of the causes and lessons of the Second World War, are exposed and combated. This is necessary not as something in itself, but as part of providing all the information, the perspective, the outlook – which only Modern Communism can do – to enable the working class and people to discuss and plan the way forward, what kind of new society is needed, how to take matters into their own hands, to bring about democratic renewal and bring into being a pro-social anti-war government, and solve themselves the problems facing society.