So it appears that the film director Oliver Stone is intent on saving poor US citizens from historical ignorance with a 10 hour series entitled Oliver Stone’s Secret History of America.
I know the guy likes his politics, and apparently likes to be controversial, but I’m wondering what he really knows about history? I mean, the Guardian reports his stance on Hitler as being a scapegoat, which I find promising (yes, Nazism couldn’t have happened without him, but he was a product of his time), but I find his reported attitude to Stalin pretty irritating.
Seriously, does he think that Stalin fought Hitler because of some deep-seated dislike of Fascism? I think it’s pretty clear that Stalin didn’t realise until way too late in the game that Hitler hated Communism. I mean, didn’t he threaten to send his own military officials to the gulags because they kept warning him about the massive build-up of troops on his border? And what’s with the complete lack of communications from Stalin immediately after Hitler attacked? He didn’t even have any defences for the Germans to run-through on the border, he was that certain that Hitler was his pall.
Stalin wasn’t a good guy. Stalin wasn’t fighting the Nazis because he hated Nazism, or because he wanted to save the world. He fought them because it was that or be destroyed – the Nazis were out to kill or enslave the people they perceived as ‘slavs’, and that meant most of Russia. It’s worth pointing out what everyone seems to forget: Russian troops did horrible things during World War Two in retaliation for what the Germans did to them, egged on by heavy propaganda from Stalin.
It’s okay understanding Stalin’s point of view, but I think it’s pretty dangerous to produce a TV series for mass consumption that makes him out as anything like a reasonable, rational guy. He may have saved his nation from complete destruction, but frankly he was mad as a bag of badgers.