Adolf Hitler is understood to be the West’s greatest enemy during World War II, and his name will be passed from generation to generation in infamy, but it was the dictator of the USSR Josef Stalin, according to Viktor Suvorov, whose conspiracy led to the most devastating war in history. Suvorov, author of The Chief Culprit, delves deeply into an untraditional understanding of the causes of World War II with which few are familiar.
“We can only find two kinds of Communist leaders,” says Suvorov. “Criminals, or idiots. Stalin was a criminal.” He goes on to point out that Stalin was in fact quite brilliant in his manipulation of world events, and had the ability to shrewdly, yet effectively, use allies and opponents to achieve his goals.
Introducing Suvorov at Heritage this week, Lee Edwards, Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, explained the importance of the research presented in The Chief Culprit:
“With regard to the Cold War, some Western historians, we call them revisionists, argue that Stalin was not an aggressor, but was only reacting defensively to the offensive actions of the West. That’s why Viktor Suvorov’s latest book, The Chief Culprit: Stalin’s Great Design to Start World War II, is so important. For in this work, based on new documents and research, Mr. Suvorov argues that Stalin had a grand design to conquer all of Europe. Furthermore, far from being duped by Hitler, Stalin supported Nazi Germany as part of his offensive strategy.”
As Suvorov goes on to explain, Stalin sought to secure power and dominion for himself and the Soviet Union through the spread of communism. He believed that his power could only be held if communism was actively on the march throughout Europe. Thus he began a policy of support for communists worldwide. Though Stalin and Marxist theorist Leon Trotsky are understood to have been fierce ideological opponents, Suvorov argues that Stalin’s desire to export communism was much like Trotsky’s basic argument for a “permanent revolution.”
Stalin’s plan to consolidate power in Europe can be explained in simple terms, according to Suvorov. Stalin’s thinking went something like this: “Create a mighty economy, a very powerful army, and wait for the Second World War. The Second World War will start and if we have a very powerful army, Europe will be destroyed, and we will be the liberator.” With this kind of plan firmly in mind, Suvorov continues, Stalin waited and planned for who would start the Second World War.
This is where Hitler enters the scene. Stalin not only helped Hitler gain power in Germany, according to Suvorov, he also welcomed German soldiers into Russia to train to use tanks, poison gas and planes.
Stalin had in mind a situation for the whole of Europe much like the one he had created in his homeland. Stalin was responsible for the deaths of many millions through purges, controlled famines and the dreaded gulag, but he always retained a scapegoat, whom he used to dispose of political enemies, and who would always take the blame. In the Soviet Union, the scapegoat was Nikolai Yezhov. For Europe, it was Hitler.
Hitler was “the ice-breaker” of the communist revolution, and through him Stalin began to see his plans materialize. The only thing that prevented Stalin from realizing his goals was Hitler’s betrayal.
One argument against Suvorov’s explanation of these events is that Stalin seems to have been caught off-guard by Hitler’s betrayal. Suvorov explains, however, that it was not shock but profound disappointment that characterized Stalin’s reaction. A short time later Stalin himself would have betrayed Hitler, but since Hitler moved first, Stalin lost his chance to act as Europe’s liberator and see his dream of spreading communism come true.
Suvorov emphasizes that the belief that Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany were the principal enemies of the West during the late 1930s and 1940s is mistaken. Stalin was the mastermind behind the war, and despite the fact that Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt had a common enemy, Stalin was never an ally. Suvorov concludes, “If one alligator is eating another alligator, no one says ‘this is a good alligator, and this is a bad alligator!’ They are both alligators. Adolf Hitler is a bad guy. But because Adolf Hitler is a bad guy, it does not mean that Stalin was a good guy.”