The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression
By Mark Kramer , Jonathan Murphy, Stephane Courtois, Jean-Louis Panne, Andrzej Paczkowski, Karel Bartosek, and Jean-Louis Margolin
This book should be in every school library across the country. People must know that Communism, a totalitarian system of government no better than the fascist variety, is largely responsible for making the 20th century the bloodiest in human history. Wherever the fanatical followers of Marx were able to usurp power, there was repression, terror, torture, mass murder and genocide. I cannot stress how badly this needs to be read, because I've heard far too many "useful idiots".' Books such as this one really bring the "idiots" out of the woodwork) say things such as "I don't really view communism as a bad thing." (Whoppi Goldberg) and "when Communist U.S.S.R. was a superpower, the world was better off." (Janeane Garofalo). I have a feeling that if you walked down the street and asked various people about the Soviet Gulag, Stalin's forced famine in Ukraine or Mao's bloody "land reforms," you'd most likely get blank looks because they have forgotten or have never even heard of these outrages. This book was written to educate and remind them.
Some (mostly radical Leftists who want you to forget about the bloody history of their favorite ideology) have said that The Black Book is "biased" because it doesn't mention the atrocities of "anti-Communists" such as Pinochet, Suharto, Rios Montt, Videla, Somoza and Marcos. True, but this is a history of Communist crimes, the deliberate starvation and wholesale slaughter of *SCORES OF MILLIONS* of people by Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot, Mengistu, Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, etc, which make the crimes of the aforementioned anti-Communists pale in comparison. How many books on the Nazi Holocaust mention Communist atrocities during WWII? (the massacres at Katyn, Bleiburg, Nemmersdorf, Vinnitsa, Lwow, etc., the deportation of Polish and Baltic citizens to the Gulag during the Nazi/Soviet pact, the mass rape of nearly 2 million German women by the Red Army, the repression of ethnic minorities in the USSR, the murderous post-war expulsion of Germans from Eastern Europe... this list could go on and on) Not many. Does that mean these books on Nazi genocide are "biased" and therefore not credible for failing to mention the misdeeds committed by the other side? I don't believe so. And so what if an "anti-Communist" or a "right-winger" writes about the crimes of Communism? Don't anti-Fascists and Jews write about the evils of Nazism? While you're at Amazon.com, look up a few books on the crimes committed by the Pinochet regime in Chile (the 3,000 'disappeared' Marxists and sympathizers we are *always* hearing about. The radical Left would have us believe this was the crime of the century, but their hero Lenin had that many political opponents executed in just a week during the Red Terror). You'll notice that nearly all of them were written by Leftists and Socialists who are pro-Allende. Perhaps we should discount them altogether?
There is also some controversy over the numbers The Black Book claims to have been killed by Communism. Some say the introduction places the number too high (100 million, which is accepted by The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation: www.victimsofcommunism.org). Even some contributors to the book, former Communists who are obviously not ready to completely damn the poisoned ideology of Marxism, have denounced Courtois for inflating the numbers and said they would have settled for a total of 85 million. I have to admit that I also have a problem with one estimate. The introduction places those killed by the Soviet regime from 1917-1991 at only 20 million. Many historians estimate that Stalin ALONE killed 20 million people (Robert Conquest, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Daniel Chirot, Adam Hochschild, Tina Rosenberg, John Heidenrich, etc). Alexander Yakovlev, author of the excellent new book on Soviet tyranny and mass murder entitled "A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia," places the Soviet death toll at 30-35 million (in my opinion the most reliable estimate). Others such as Norman Davies, R.J. Rummel and Gulag survivor Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn place the Soviet death toll at a whopping 50 to 60 million! Therefore I believe it is safe to say that Communism is indeed responsible for killing *at least* 100 million people in the 20th century, making it one of the greatest evils in the annals of human history.
We must never forget the 100 million.