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View Poll Results: Why is Beria less infamous than Himmler?
The victors write the history books 16 38.10%
The losers are more infamous because they didn't have history books censored about them 2 4.76%
Himmler had a specific factor Beria did not (specify) 2 4.76%
Beria had a specific factor Himmler did not (specify) 1 2.38%
The Nazis have a mystique that the USSR does not 9 21.43%
Beria had the benefit of a government minimizing his crimes, not just cranks 3 7.14%
What's a Beria? 2 4.76%
Other 7 16.67%
Voters: 42. You may not vote on this poll

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Old July 27th, 2013, 01:03 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Underlankers View Post
In the annals of human misery, much of the period of the Second World War was dominated by the evils of two men. One a local Bolshevik party boss whose hands were sullied in Stalin's brutal purges in the Caucasus, a pedophile and rapist who used his power over the midnight knock squads to literally drag women off the street to rape them. In addition Beria both conducted some of the most notorious atrocities of the USSR (like Katyn and the mass executions of the summer of 1941) but was the evil man assigned to make the Soviet Atomic Bomb viable.

Beria presided over the high tide of Stalinist policies, though he fell briefly out of favor after the Soviet A-Bomb and before Stalin died. And he was killed by an organized plot among the post-Stalin Troika that involved Georgi Zhukov, no less. In many ways, given the evils of the man and the sheer width and depth of the evils he brought to the world, it's curious that another man, a chicken farmer named Himmler, is more notorious.

Himmler, of course, was the evil genius behind the vast SS empire and all the most malevolent and cruel aspects of the Hitler Party and its regime. His was the concentration camp empire, the gigantic murder factories like Treblinka and Majdanek. His too the gigantic slave labor enterprises that undergirded the Reich and the evolution of one of the two specifically Nazi ground forces, the Waffen-SS.

Yet of the two, it is the man on the losing side, Heinrich Himmler, who is more infamous than the man on the winning side. Himmler committed suicide, Beria was murdered. Both were the archetypal secret policemen of their day. Why is it that Himmler is one of the most infamous secret policemen of the era and Beria, one of his Soviet-era contemporaries, is not?

Personally I attribute it to the general relative obscurity of the Soviet regime's personnel beneath the dictator and the greater knowledge-base about people like Heydrich, Dirlewanger, and Himmler.
I think it's so cuz soviet ideology was never proclaimed the superiority of one nation or race over another. Yes, there was Katyn, but there were Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Were these bombings are necessary from a military point of view? How many people died? Truman criminal?
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One a local Bolshevik party boss whose hands were sullied in Stalin's brutal purges in the Caucasus, a pedophile and rapist who used his power over the midnight knock squads to literally drag women off the street to rape them
Much of this is not entirely true. There was a change of government were necessary grounds for arrest. If the grounds for arrest are not, they need to do.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 01:17 PM   #22

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I think it's so cuz soviet ideology was never proclaimed the superiority of one nation or race over another. Yes, there was Katyn, but there were Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Were these bombings are necessary from a military point of view? How many people died? Truman criminal? Much of this is not entirely true. There was a change of government were necessary grounds for arrest. If the grounds for arrest are not, they need to do.
Katyn is on a completely different moral plane. The atomic bombings were a development of the principle behind the firebombings, Katyn is on the moral plane of Treblinka and Sobibor.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 01:27 PM   #23
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Katyn is on a completely different moral plane. The atomic bombings were a development of the principle behind the firebombings, Katyn is on the moral plane of Treblinka and Sobibor.
In the Katyn Polish officers were executed. Who was killed at Treblinka? Only officers?
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The atomic bombings were a development of the principle behind the firebombings,
Were these bombings are necessary from a military point of view? Or are there people were killed less than in Katyn?

Last edited by Andrey; July 27th, 2013 at 01:31 PM.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #24

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Probably because he was on the winning side and so his actions were brushed under proverbial rug. He was no less ruthless in his actions, and could make people dissapear with a snap of his fingers.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 02:59 PM   #25

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Why is Beria less notorious than Himmler?

In the US, it's because we are the Germans. Get out a phone book and see how many Kuhns, Brandts, Dietrichs, Schmidts, Webers, Beckers, Hoffmans, Kleins, Wolfs, Grubers, Maiers, etc, etc, etc there are listed in it. For Russian, we've got some Smirnovs I guess, but that's about it.

The point being, we "are" the Germans. If they did something hideous and unclean, that hits close to home. If the Russians committed some despicable outrages, one shrugs it off with, "What does one expect from 'those people'? They're not like us."

Of course it's all stuff and nonsense. There's no DNA gene for inhuman horror.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 08:42 PM   #26

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I voted mystique. And I think the mystique revolves around the Jews and the concentration camps. I think most of the world has images of dead and emaciated bodies burned in their brains. Horror movies, often B movies at that, often have an escaped Nazi doctor as the villain. Most Americans just don't know enough about history to know that Stalin's regime was just as bad, if not worse than Hitler's.

As I side note, I think Beria's demise very fitting. Too often, bad guys get off the hook in real life, Beria got his, and then some.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 09:11 PM   #27

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It's not a difficult question really. It's because Beria came to the killing game rather late--by the time he took over the NKVD in '38 [he did have body count in the Caucuses]. The mass starvation-killings of the Holodar were over, his body count has to compete with those of his predecessors in the NKVD Yagoda/Yezhov and--as a poster pointed out--much of his effort was as an executioner filling in his quota for the flavor-of-the day purges. Himmler seems to have taken a more independent & ideologically driven part in the slaughter (rarely was Beria accused of being a communist ideologue).

Beria's son for years defended his father saying if he'd have taken over the Soviet Union he'd have pushed for an early version of 'detente', released hundreds of thousands from the camps and so on. Frankly his contemporaries knew better and had him killed before he killed them.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 11:31 PM   #28
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Most Americans just don't know enough about history to know that Stalin's regime was just as bad, if not worse than Hitler's.
I'm not from US and I say so, if the Stalin's regime was just as bad, if not worse than Hitler's,it Stalin would have lost the war. Hitler attacked the Russia and the population of USSR would have supported Germany.
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Old July 28th, 2013, 01:12 AM   #29
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Stalin won the war because of the US lend-lease help. And because of the second front. Otherwise, the totally destroyed pre-war Red army would have never get the resources, needed to defeat Germany.

Besides, what do you mean "bad"? A regime can be worst in the world and to win wars...
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Old July 28th, 2013, 01:42 AM   #30
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Stalin won the war because of the US lend-lease help.
Well, what types of resources the U.S. has helped Russia? Oil, coal, iron?-No. U.S. helped transport aircraft, it's true. But to use it needs soldiers. Soldiers to hate Stalin's regime? It's good joke
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And because of the second front.
HAHAHA D day was 1944.06.04. But by that moment almost all territory of USSR was free.
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