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Steve Yuan
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Ron Rosenbaum has some crucial facts wrong on Stalin's death toll. His information is out of date and contaminated with Cold War propaganda. The old estimates of 20-60 million are too high. Here is Timothy Snyder writing in the NYRB: "Today, after two decades of access to Eastern European archives, and thanks to the work of German, Russian, Israeli, and other scholars, we can resolve the question of numbers. The total number of noncombatants killed by the Germans—about 11 million—is roughly what we had thought. The total number of civilians killed by the Soviets, however, is considerably less than we had believed. We know now that the Germans killed more people than the Soviets did. That said, the issue of quality is more complex than was once thought. Mass murder in the Soviet Union sometimes involved motivations, especially national and ethnic ones, that can be disconcertingly close to Nazi motivations." "It turns out that, with the exception of the war years, a very large majority of people who entered the Gulag left alive. Judging from the Soviet records we now have, the number of people who died in the Gulag between 1933 and 1945, while both Stalin and Hitler were in power, was on the order of a million, perhaps a bit more. The total figure for the entire Stalinist period is likely between two million and three million. The Great Terror and other shooting actions killed no more than a million people, probably a bit fewer. The largest human catastrophe of Stalinism was the famine of 1930–1933, in which more than five million people died."
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The SF writer Barry N. Malzberg actually wrote a story once incorporating every word of Chandler's parody. The story was called "Playback" and it was published in an issue of the original anthology series Universe from 1990.
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Jan 10, 2016