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The so-called "Secret Speech"

by messy Sat Feb 25th, 2006 at 09:18:16 AM EST

Fifty years ago today, during a private session of the XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, General Secretary Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev gave a famous address that was to be the worst kept secret of the 1950s.

In the address, he gave a frank accounting of the crimes of his predecessor Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, also known as Koba Stalin. This event literally changed the world, as Stalin's quasi-religious cult was immediately suppressed, the politburo was distablized, and a thaw in the viciously harsh Soviet culture was permitted.

Stalin was ultimately responsible for between 10 to over 50 million deaths, not including those who perished in World War II, which began in Europe thanks to a conspiricy with Hitler in 1939.

After a humilitating adventure in Cuba in 1962, Khruschev was overthrown in a coup two years later.

Called by some "the first dissident" he died in government-enforced obscurity in 1971. What he did half a century ago is one of history's great acts of repentance.

Staline was not alone responsible for the millions of victims. The whole communist system, including Khrushchev himself, was responsible. Khrushchev, for example, as first secretary of the Moscow region Communist party from 1935, and as first secretary of the Ukrainian Communist party from 1938, , carried out the huge purges of these years, sending hundreds of thousands to death or the Gulag. He became a Politburo member as soon as 1939.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Feb 25th, 2006 at 04:46:39 PM EST
Interesting that this seem to pass without notice...but an important historical factoid, nonetheless...

"Once in awhile we get shown the light, in the strangest of places, if we look at it right" - Hunter/Garcia
by whataboutbob on Mon Feb 27th, 2006 at 01:15:21 PM EST

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