Chapter 3 - The Cold War Builds From the Hitler-Stalin Pact to the Iron Curtain 1939 to 1950

and not any other major German fronts or any of Japan’s wars in the Pacific. Yet throughout the Cold War, and even today, Kremlin accounts of this history ignore such core facts and implications of this period as reviewed in this chapter.

Soviet-Axis Collaboration Ignored. The failure of the academic Left and post-Cold War Russians to describe Communism’s totalitarian nature and the high human cost of the extensive Soviet-Nazi and Soviet-Japanese collaboration mark a failure to understand common causes and elements shared by the three models of twentieth-century totalitarianism—German National Socialism, Soviet Communism, and Japanese Imperialism.

Overlap of the “Far Left” and “Far Right” Totalitarians. Modern political and social scientists wrongly posit “far right” and “far left” political perspectives as part of a straight-line ideological continuum. Their counter-factual view wrongly assumes that Hitler’s National Socialism and Marxist-Leninist Communism were at opposite points on a political spectrum—with Imperial Japan closer to the National Socialists. Yet the overlap of the three totalitarian ideologies was far greater than their differences when the continuum of political ideologies is realistically considered as a circle rather than a linear spectrum. In a circle, National Socialism and Communism (particularly strongly nationalistic Communism as in the Soviet Union, North Korea, and at early Communist China) largely overlap. The totalitarians stand together ideologically, not opposite to each other, but in common opposition to democratic and republican representative principles and institutions diametrically across the ideological circle.

Symbols, Cults, and Claims. The symbols and instruments of Soviet and Nazi national socialist ideology and power point to shared tenets. The Soviet hammer and sickle smashed and cut. The Soviet KGB symbol was a sword and shield. The chief Nazi symbol, the supposedly “Aryan” swastika (a “Hakenkreutz,” or “hooked cross”), was understood in the German language and culture as explicitly opposed to the Christian cross and to the broader humanitarian principles of modern Western civilization. So was the Nordic runic-scripted lettering of the dual lightning bolt symbol of Hitler’s SS. Shared Nazi and Soviet instruments of warfare included totalitarian ideologies; pseudo-science and myth; opposition to freedom of religion and churches; and extremist hierarchical leadership principles and personality cults directed by a god-like supreme leader and enforced by the leader’s militant party vanguards. Both required class warfare and the establishment of a privileged new class of party elites controlling a vast state bureaucracy in charge of all aspects of the state including secret police, special military cadres, shared ownership and/or planning of the military-industrial complex, and the corruption endemic to state-owned monopolies. Both Communist and Nazi ideologies involved particularly hatred of Jews as alien manipulators of capital and culture.

The Party State. Both Hitler’s National Socialist Party and the Soviet Union’s national Communist Party claimed a monopoly of truth and national power politically, militarily, economically, and culturally. Both imposed multi-year central planning, national ownership, control of the means of production, and centralized prioritization and distribution of all aspects of the national economy. Both built on Party-controlled collectivized social life and mass organizations that overran concepts and institutions of civil society such as privacy, conscience, individual rights, family, religion, education, and the arts. Internationally, both stood for subversion, deceit, and violent imperial expansion. Imperial Japan was similarly totalitarian, while Mussolini’s authoritarian “Fascist” Italy was far less so.

The Totalitarians’ Common Enemies and Victims. The Nazi, Communist, and Japanese totalitarians had a common enemy in all pluralistic, democratic, constitutional, parliamentary and religious traditions. Each considered certain ethnic minorities or neighbors particularly harmful to their own predominant ethnic group (German, Slav, and Japanese). Each had special warrior codes and organizations (Nazi SS, Soviet commissars and KGB Spetsnaz Special Forces, Japanese Bushido and Kamikaze) to justify the destruction of national, racial, and class enemies. In each case, this code ultimately involved the establishment of state concentration camps and mass murder.

Among their enemies, the Japanese included non-Japanese peoples, like Chinese and Koreans; the Nazis and the Soviets notably included Jews whom Hitler, Marx, and Soviet Leaders all identified with “financiers,” “finance capital,” “capitalists,” media and culture control and “decadence” to be enslaved or eliminated outright along with other ethnic minorities like gypsies. Both Nazi and Communist leaders liquidated Social Democrats, anti-regime Christians, and those that Marx derided as the truly poor, unemployed (“Lumpenproletariat” i.e., the “rag proletariat”). Both Communists and Nazi regimes saw dissident artists and intellectuals as “degenerates,” traitors, or madmen. Both extinguished Western democratic principles and institutions based

[Book pg. 47]