Although independent scholars generally agree that the death toll from communism in the Twentieth Century runs a staggering 100 million, that sad historical milestone has yet to gain widespread acknowledgement in America’s public schools let alone in her universities.
The McDougal Littell Classzone claims that “an estimated 8-20 million people were killed in Stalinist Russia.” Most scholars put the number closer to 40 million.
Classzone goes on to assert that from 1924 to 1939, “historians estimate that during this time he was responsible for 8 million to 13 million deaths.” Classzone does not include Mao Tse Tung in its rogue’s gallery of dictators even though 60 million perished under his rule of Communist China.
At least they acknowledge Stalin’s carnage. The web site of a teacher from Dutch Fork High School in South Carolina features a back and forth on the question of who was the most effective leader—Lenin or Stalin.
“Anton Antonov-Ovseyenko—consulting with those historians who had studied the problem for Khrushchev, who kept the numbers secret—claimed at least 50 million dead, excluding the victims of civil war and World War II,” University of Pennsylvania historian Alan Charles Kors pointed out in 2009. “Gorbachev’s right-hand man, Alexander Yakovlev, in a century of Soviet violence, entered the Archives for the last Soviet leader and wrote that 60 million were slain in the Soviet Union alone.”
Some put the overall death toll from communism even higher. “Among all the democide estimates appearing on this website, some have been revised upward,” University of Hawaii historian R. J. Rummell notes on his site. “I have changed that for Mao’s famine, 1958-1962, from zero to 38,000,000.”
“And thus I have had to change the overall democide for the PRC (1928-1987) from 38,702,000 to 76,702,000.”
“Ask college students, and I have, how many Stalin killed and you get the answer, ‘thousands,’” Kors said on June 12, 2007 at the Heritage Foundation. “That’s like saying Hitler killed hundreds of Jews.”
“In my country, Romania, we had one million dead and one million political prisoners out of a total population of 16 million,” Emil Constantinescu
pointed out in the same forum that Dr. Kors addressed. Constantinescu was the former President of Romania.
“No other system has caused as much death as communism has,” Dr. Kors concluded. “In the case of Nazis, we rightly hunt down 90-year-old men because the bones cry out for justice.”
“In the case of communism, we follow the advice of our educated class which says, ‘No witch hunts.’”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.