September 28, 2010

YES: Stalin killed millions. A Stanford historian answers the question, was it genocide?

Naimark, author of the controversial new book Stalin’s Genocides, argues that we need a much broader definition of genocide, one that includes nations killing social classes and political groups. His case in point: Stalin.

The book’s title is plural for a reason: He argues that the Soviet elimination of a social class, the kulaks (who were higher-income farmers), and the subsequent killer famine among all Ukrainian peasants – as well as the notorious 1937 order No. 00447 that called for the mass execution and exile of “socially harmful elements” as “enemies of the people” – were, in fact, genocide.

Is murdering a class somehow better than murdering a race? Is fomenting class-hatred somehow better than fomenting race-hatred? Why or why not?

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