Sunday, February 3, 2013

Uncle Joe Back, in Russia


For John, BLUFNew York Times reporting on Soviet Union/Russia becoming more balanced.  Mass Killers no longer in style.

Reporter Andrew Roth, writing in the 31 January 2013 edition of The New York Times, gives us Russia Revives the Namesake of ‘Uncle Joe’.  That would be Uncle Joe Stalin, a Georgian who ruthlessly ruled the Soviet Union after the death of Vladimir Lenin.  The article starts out:

MOSCOW — No, there are no plans to revive the gulag.  But the city government of Volgograd voted unanimously on Thursday to officially restore its onetime Communist-era name, Stalingrad, for six days each year.

According to the measure, Volgograd will officially become the “hero-city Stalingrad” on Saturday, when the city celebrates the 70th anniversary of a landmark victory there over the Nazis in 1943 that turned the tide of World War II.  It will do so again on five other days that commemorate the Soviet Union’s victory in the war.

The decision comes amid a wave of state-sponsored patriotism and nostalgia for the Soviet Union in Russia — and even for Stalin himself.  While reviled in most of the rest of the world as a mass murderer, Stalin is still revered by many here for his role in winning World War II and propelling the Soviet Union to superpower status.

Perhaps not as bad as Mao, but perhaps worse than Hitler, Stalin seems to have been held to a different standard by The New York Times, at least in the past.  It was interesting to see an article say Stalin is "reviled in most of the rest of the world as a mass murderer."  This is in contrast to its previous reporting, especially by 1930s Pulitzer Prize winning Reporter, Mr Walter Duranty.  Enough said, except to mention the Walter Duranty Prize.

I also thought this represented a new approach on the part of the NYT:

Correction: February 2, 2013

An article on Friday about a unanimous vote by the government of the Russian city of Volgograd to restore its Communist-era name, Stalingrad, for six days each year included a quotation from a Volgograd official that implied that another Russian city, St. Petersburg, had been named after its founder, Peter the Great.  It was named after St. Peter.  (The error is a common one in Russia.)

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Regards  —  Cliff

  If we consider size of country, Pol Pot, of Cambodia, is up there.

1 comment:

Jack Mitchell said...

"What does the selection of National Heroes Tell us about a Nation?" -Cliff

Hmmm. Let's ask a Native American.