According to the post-18th-century West, human society “develops,” that is, becomes more “advanced”— more “civilized” — living more in cities (a word coming from Latin) rather than in towns or villages.
However, as of 1940 (the year before Hitler invaded Russia) only 33 percent of the population of Russia lived in cities or towns, while 67 percent lived in wooden villages (the Russian word for “village” comes from the Russian word “wood”) and wore homemade straw sandals in summer and felt boots in winter.
Hitler’s spiritual peak was his listening to Wagner’s operas, especially those devoted to the old Germanic wars. Hitler was a socialist and a nationalist, and Wagner was also at one time a socialist and in 1850 he published an article, attacking his Jewish contemporaries like Mendelssohn.
Hitler’s army crossed the border of Stalin’s Russia on June 22, 1941, and was near Moscow by autumn.
Moscow in Stalin’s Russia was not just the capital of the country. Stalin’s Russia was a country-size military-industrial corporation, and Moscow was its city-size office, with the walled-in Kremlin, where “Comrade Stalin lived and worked.
Now, any intelligent person would suppose that Hitler’s troops would invade Moscow and the war would thus be over — in the same year, 1941.
Had Hitler obtained Moscow, he would have obtained the military-industrial brain of the country.
But according to Western books of history I have seen, Hitler was routed by Russia, yet no Western professor of history has said whether Hitler tried to seize Moscow, and if not, why not.
I was told by other Muskovites that at a conference with his subordinates in the Kremlin, Stalin said that there were no troops in Moscow and that the Soviet Siberian and Far-Eastern troops were on their way to Moscow to defend it.
Until then, he said, the Muskovites should start leaving Moscow on their own as soon as they could.
The result was what came to be called the “big skedaddle.” Anyone who could, skedaddled. My mother and I skedaddled on the evacuation train reserved for Moscow writers, since my father was a writer, who had volunteered for the front.
My God! Is it possible that Hitler knew nothing about what was going on in Moscow?
Well, since Hitler was a villain, most of his biographers present him as a pure villain. Yet every villain has crumbs of innocence in himself. Hitler believed that espionage is below “the warrior’s nobility”: Every native of a country who becomes a foreign-country’s spy is a traitor to his country.
Hence Hitler did not know what every Moscow teenager knew. Hitler’s soldiers could walk into Moscow, but they loitered outside the city until the Soviet Siberian and Far-Eastern troops did come — and routed them.
Thus Hitler had lost the war, the fact he was trying to conceal up to his suicide.
After his “near-Moscow” debacle, Hitler moved further eastward to Stalingrad. What for? To show how battle-worthy he still was. But at Stalingrad, the Soviet troops captured an enemy army of 80,000 soldiers, along with all of their commanders, and the captured army was marched through Moscow, for all foreign journalists to see and photograph.
Hitler was retreating. But who could see it? So, every city recaptured by Soviet troops was an event to celebrate — a salute was fired, with a number of salvos, broadcast by radio for the entire world to hear, along with the announcer’s triumphant words.
When in the West, I got interested in how Westerners describe Hitler and Russia.
Hitler was in command of the German army because he had been an admirer of Wagner and a lance corporal in World War I and became the owner of his country like Stalin before or Mao later.
To keep his corporal’s fantasies and Wagner’s music in his head in order, Hitler had a professional military helpmate who, therefore, was given the highest military rank. His name was Wilhelm Keitel, and he was made field-marshal and chief of the German High Command. His memoirs were first published in 1961 in Germany and in 1965 in New York.
In his memoirs, Keitel mentions Moscow 10 times, but he never explains the fact that Hitler’s failure to invade Moscow led to his defeat in the war in Russia. We read in Keitel’s memoirs that he “took his mission . . . to provide an unimpeded scope for Hitler’s genius.”
While Hitler committed suicide after he lost his war in Russia, Keitel was found guilty by the International Tribunal and was sentenced to death on Sept. 29, 1946.
Let me move on to another sample of a Western view of Hitler’s war in Russia. On Aug. 27, 2009, I saw in Yahoo! a 15-page article entitled “Russia in World War 2.” The first 12 pages of this article describe and explain how the “Russian people” were “generally unwilling to fight for their terrible terror regime once fear of it was lost, since the regime itself was being attacked and in danger.” Then on page 13, the 15-page article entitles its new, two-page section: “The Russian people start fighting seriously.”
That is, when the Russians understood how evil the Nazis were, the Russian heroism became general, not exceptional. Hence began “what the Russians still call ‘The Great Patriotic War’.”
The name “The Great Patriotic War” was introduced by Stalin’s propaganda in a song performed at the start of the war by “The Red Army Ensemble of the Song and Dance.”
Already in the 1930s, the Soviet propaganda began to change all “Soviet-Socialist-Marxist-Communist” jargon into the language of Russian nationalism. Thus the war against Hitler was not a war for “communism all over the world,” but the “people’s sacred war for their fatherland.”
However, according to the article, that was not a switch of Stalin’s propaganda, but “the emergence of deep-seated Russian fanaticism, which turned the tide of the initial defeat of the Russian troops into the rout of Nazi Germany.” Incidentally, Stalin was a Georgian who spoke Russian with a heavy accent. But the article deals only with “the Russian people” and their “deep-seated Russian fanaticism.”
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