Tuesday, Sept 3, 2008
Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin claims he acted “rationally” in executing and imprisoning millions of people in the Gulags, a Russian school book claims.
The book, A History of Russia, 1900-1945, will be used as a teaching guide in Russian schools, 55 years after Stalin died.
It is designed for teachers to promote patriotism among the Russian young, and seems to follow an attempt backed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to re-evaluate Stalin’s record in a more positive light.
Millions were shot, exiled to Siberia or died of starvation after their land and homes were taken to fulfil Stalin’s vision of massive “factory farms” in the 1920s, while in the 1930s anyone who was a threat was executed or exiled to Gulag labour camps in Siberia.
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Historians believe up to 20 million people died as a result of his actions, many times more than were killed under Hitler’s Nazi regime in Germany.
The manual says: “He acted entirely rationally – as the guardian of a system, as a consistent support of reshaping the country into an industrialised state.”
This article was posted: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 3:59 am