Thoughts on “Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956”

As previously noted, I saw this fascinating historical fact in a book I’m reading about the Cold War.  The book was published in 2012, so it predates Antifa by many years.  The author was describing the spread of the secret police (the NKVD / KGB) into Eastern European countries and how they relentlessly went after fascists, or more specifically how they called anyone they didn’t like a fascist as a pretext to imprison or kill them.

But in every country occupied by the Red Army, the definition of “fascist” eventually grew broader, expanding to include not only Nazi collaborators but anybody whom the Soviet occupiers and their local allies disliked. In time, the word “fascist,” in true Orwellian fashion, was eventually used to describe antifascists who also happened to be anticommunists. And every time the definition was expanded, arrests followed.

Some of these “fascists” had been identified in advance . . .

But the book had so much more about Communism in Eastern Europe that you don’t often hear about.  The parallels to current Leftists is chilling but not surprising.  Political correctness — that is, making people say things they know aren’t true – isn’t new.

The loss of freedom, tyranny, abuse, hunger would all have been easier to bear if not for the compulsion to call them freedom, justice, the good of the people … Lies, by their very nature partial and ephemeral, are revealed as lies when confronted with language’s striving for truth. But here all the means of disclosure had been permanently confiscated by the police. —Aleksander Wat, My Century

The “progressives” in the U.S. are mostly useful idiots who will be eliminated first.  They have no idea how Communist states will restrict the freedom and creativity that these people take for granted.

In order to buy paints and brushes, artists had to have a tax number issued by the association and a membership card confirming the tax number. Anyone who wanted to paint, in other words, had to conform at least enough to remain a member of the association. Choosing not to join could mean choosing not to work as an artist at all.

The current Commies have been successful at destroying the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts and other social organizations, just as their predecessors were.

At several points in 1947, Polish authorities considered shutting the Scouting movement down altogether. They worried, however, that a ban would send thousands of young people into the arms of the underground, or into the woods with the partisans. So they waited. And eventually, they adopted the tactic which, as noted, would become a standard tool in the Eastern European communist arsenal: they resolved to destroy the movement from within.

From the “sound familiar?” category, the campus snowflakes who shout down opposing views are nothing new.

Although his party allegedly controlled a third of the seats, whenever he spoke—or when any of his deputies spoke—the whole room would erupt in boos and catcalls, making it impossible to hear a word.

And one more “sound familiar?” bit:

Although they didn’t necessarily say so in public, most communist leaders shared Lenin’s loathing for small business.

The good news is that no matter what they Commies tried – and they tried everything from propaganda to murder – they could never accomplish their goal of making everyone support the regimes.

Like the CIA, the KGB, Khrushchev, and Dulles, Arendt had come to believe that totalitarian regimes, once they worked their way into the soul of a nation, were very nearly invincible. They were all wrong. Human beings do not acquire “totalitarian personalities” with such ease. Even when they seem bewitched by the cult of the leader or of the party, appearances can be deceiving. And even when it seems as if they are in full agreement with the most absurd propaganda—even if they are marching in parades, chanting slogans, singing that the party is always right—the spell can suddenly, unexpectedly, dramatically be broken.

The bad news is that unlike parts of the Eastern European churches that gave in to Communism, the “Christian” Leftist in the west volunteered for the mission to oppose the real Gospel and to spread Communism.

All quotes from Applebaum, Anne. Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956 Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.


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