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New books on USSR’s role in World War II

first_imgWorld War II, which ended 70 years ago, was the bloodiest war ever fought. It brought tens of millions of casualties, huge amounts of devastation and multiple genocides. Jews, Roma (Gypsies) and Ukrainians were some of the Nazis’ targets, as well as communists. It was called a “world war” because it involved combat in Africa, Europe and the Pacific.Many of the books and articles on this war present it as a “people’s war,” designed to preserve “democracy and freedom.” This ideological characterization might have some justification in describing the popular conception of the struggle against Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. But it certainly doesn’t explain the rivalry between the two main imperialist groupings that fought each other: Great Britain, France and the United States [the Allies] on one side and Germany, Italy and Japan [the Axis] on the other.Nor does it explain why there were significant factions in these Allied imperialist countries who were prepared to make a deal with Nazi Germany.In the Pacific and the struggle in East Asia, Japan was an expanding capitalist power, but not fascist. The conflict between Japan and the U.S. was clearly a struggle between two imperialisms over control of Asia.“The Second World War: a Marxist history,” by Chris Bambery (Pluto Press, 2014), does a good job in describing the inter-imperialist rivalries and tensions, both before and after the war. Where it falls down is in evaluating the role of the Soviet Union in the struggle against fascist Germany.The title of Chapter 6, “Russia: The Crucible of Victory,” reveals Bambery’s orientation. What he calls “Russia” was at that time, and for some time to come after World War II, the Soviet Union. He attributes its successes in resisting the German advances to loosened control over army units by the Communist Party. (p. 122)Another book, “Stalingrad: The City that Defeated the Third Reich,” by Jochen Hellbeck (PublicAffairs, 2015), disagrees. It documents that during the battle of Stalingrad, the influence of the Communists grew inside the army and membership in the Communist Party was often a reward for military valor.Bambery, for all his biases against the Soviet Union, points out that the USSR’s social structure let it recover from the government’s grave mistake in not being prepared for Germany’s attack. In “Operation Barbarossa,” which began on June 22, 1941, Germany had launched the largest invasion in the history of warfare. Some 4 million soldiers attacked along an 1,800-mile front. But within months, the USSR was able to move 1,532 factories, including 1,360 connected to armaments, much further to the east. Using 1.5 million rail cars, it completed the job between July and November 1941.This was one of the ways the workers used all their organizational skills to preserve their country and their social system. From then on, they worked 11 hours a day, seven days a week, far outproducing Germany and even the United States.The German army began its battle to seize Stalingrad on Aug. 23, 1942. Hellbeck’s book draws on an unusual source. It is based on a selection from 215 interviews by Soviet historians, stenographically recorded between Jan. 2, 1943, and the end of February that year. The historians wanted to reveal the new Soviet citizen, so they interviewed troop commanders, generals, staff officers, commissars, agitators, sailors in the Volga fleet, nurses, cooks and even civilians who remained in the city.Stalingrad was the first major battle that the Germans lost in World War II and this defeat put them on the strategic defensive for the rest of the war. It was the war’s decisive turning point in which the Germans lost a whole army.The question was raised then, especially by the German propaganda machine but also by the anti-Soviet Western media: How could the Soviet army resist such a force? How could the raw Red Army, less than 25 years old at the time, defeat a well-oiled, well-trained, well-educated professional army?How can it be explained why millions of people fought against the Germans until they literally collapsed from exhaustion? Why did some Red soldiers fight until their last bullet and then throw rocks rather than surrender?At the start of the war, the British foreign service had predicted that it would take Germany four to six weeks to destroy the Red Army.Racist Nazi view of Soviet UnionThe Oct. 29, 1942, edition of the official Nazi SS newspaper Das Schwarze Korps contained an assessment of Soviet morale: “The Bolshevists attack until total exhaustion, and defend themselves until the physical extermination of the last man and weapon. … Sometimes the individual will fight beyond the point considered humanly possible.” The article tried to account for this by evoking the “laws of racial biology.” The Soviet soldiers belonged to another “race.” They originated from “a baser, dim-witted humanity.”The article concluded by depicting the threat for Europe contained in “the power of this unleashed inferior race.” The Nazis made the battle of Stalingrad into a question of world historical destiny: “It is up to us to decide whether we remain human beings at all.”Some prominent U.S. historians can’t understand that it was the Bolshevik Revolution that had motivated Soviet workers to defend their system. They claim that the Soviet soldiers who fought in Stalingrad did so under the lash of secret police terror. Other historians talk about Soviet soldiers as betrayed victims, and discount their statements of patriotic or pro-socialist ideals as “ideological indoctrination.”Hellbeck’s “Stalingrad,” however, proposes a reason for the victory of the Red Army in the battle of Stalingrad: the political consciousness of the soldiers and the Soviet people, a political consciousness inculcated, confirmed and developed by the Communist Party.Some of the stories in the interviews are striking. A typist working on orders to regiments in a division was buried when German artillery collapsed the bunker she was working in. She moved to another bunker after she was dug out, which was then likewise collapsed. She moved to a third after she was dug out again, completed her assignment and got the orders signed.Women nurses carried sidearms, because if the Germans captured them, they were treated as sexual property of the soldiers. Over a million women wound up fighting in the Red Army, not only as nurses, but also as intelligence officers, mechanics, snipers, cooks, typists and pilots.Communist agitators and political commissars saw their primary purpose as maintaining morale and inspiring even greater heroism because the soldiers and workers understood how the battle of Stalingrad fit into the worldwide struggle. Every division, brigade, regiment and even smaller units had a newspaper of some sort, which explained what was going on and pointed out acts of heroism.What is truly impressive about the interviews in “Stalingrad” is that they give a multidimensional point of view — from the Communist cadre who did the ideological education work to the soldiers who received it.The battle of Stalingrad was a decisive turning point in World War II and the Soviet Communist Party played an essential part in the Red Army’s defeat of Nazi Germany.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Pasadena-Based Green Dot and Harvest Capital Announce Advisory Arrangement

first_img Make a comment HerbeautyGet Rid Of Unwanted Body Fat By Eating The Right FoodsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? You Need To Know A Few TricksHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Family Friendly Dog BreedsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWhat Is It That Actually Makes French Women So Admirable?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Easy Tips To Help You Reset Your Sleep ScheduleHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Signs That Your Ex May Still Want You BackHerbeautyHerbeauty faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Community News Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Business News Company News Briefs Pasadena-Based Green Dot and Harvest Capital Announce Advisory Arrangement From STAFF REPORTS Published on Monday, March 13, 2017 | 1:57 pm First Heatwave Expected Next Week Top of the News center_img Community News Green Dot Corporation and Harvest Capital Strategies LLC today announced that the Company has invited Jeffrey B. Osher to serve as an observer and advisor to the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”). Mr. Osher is a Managing Director of Harvest, one of the Company’s largest long-term shareholders.With Steve’s leadership and operational, strategic and entrepreneurial accomplishments, combined with Jeff’s experience as a long-term investor in and knowledge of our company, I am confident that we will be well positioned to further expand Green Dot’s terrific equity performance over the past year and generate very positive future results,” said William I. Jacobs, Green Dot’s independent Chairman.Steven W. Streit, Green Dot’s Founder, Director and CEO, commented, “We are excited to invite Jeff to serve as an advisor to our Board. Jeff’s firm, Harvest, and I, personally, are among the Company’s largest shareholders, and I expect our financial alignment will further serve to enhance the Company’s significant progress over the past year. I am truly excited for us all to work together in maximizing Green Dot’s future prospects and building even greater long term value for all of our fellow Green Dot shareholders.”Jeffrey B. Osher said, “Guided by Steve’s successful leadership and strategic vision, Green Dot has done an outstanding job methodically executing against its Six-Step Plan. The solid financial performance has resulted in market leading shareholder value creation over the past year. Steve and his entire team should be gratified by their notable accomplishments, and I believe Green Dot’s future is as bright as ever. I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Steve, Bill, and the entire Board, and I am eager to help play a part as Green Dot continues to deliver on its mission of building a great business that creates meaningful shareholder value.”Mr. Osher joined Harvest Capital Strategies LLC in August 2002 and is the Managing Director and Portfolio Manager. Since January 2016, Mr. Osher has served on the Board of Directors of the SEAL Family Foundation. Mr. Osher holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from Miami University of Ohio and is a CFA Charterholder. More Cool Stuff Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday 14 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Subscribe Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

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Kourtney Kardashian and Addison Rae in Bikinis on Harry Hudson Sweats

first_img– Advertisement – “Joy is doubled by others and sorrow is halved by others,” she wrote in the accompanying caption. “@harryhudson new merch out now, check my story for info.”Hudson’s new album, titled Hey, I’m Here For You, will drop on November 20. The 27-year-old singer commented on Kardashian’s post, writing, “Love you. Thank you for always being there 💛.”This Sweatsuit Features a Bikini-Clad Kourtney Kardashian and Addison RaeCourtesy of Kourtney Kardashian/Instagram; Courtesy of Addison Rae/InstagramRae also promoted the merch, sharing a pic of herself wearing the blue-hued sweatsuit in an Instagram Story on Tuesday, November 10.- Advertisement – Available in both blue and black, you can pick up the hoodie featuring the two women for $70, or get the entire sweatsuit for $130.This isn’t the first time the duo has made headlines for bikini pics. Back in August, the pair shared a series of snaps in itty-bitty swimsuits. “Picture me I picture you,” the reality star captioned the Instagram post. In a couple of the pics, the mother of three stands over the social media influencer as Rae lays on a towel on the ground. In others, they both lay alongside one another in the shallow part of the pool.- Advertisement – This Sweatsuit Features a Bikini-Clad Kourtney Kardashian and Addison RaeKourtney Kardashian and Addison Rae. Courtesy of Kourtney Kardashian/InstagramKourtney Kardashian and Addison Rae are further cementing their unlikely friendship with some sexy merch.On Monday, November 9, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, 41, announced that she and the 20-year-old TikTok sensation are featured on sweatsuits promoting Harry Hudson’s digital album. Pictured swimming through a blue-lit pool in bikinis, the Poosh founder shared a series of pics from the shoot, along with the final product.- Advertisement – But it’s not just stylish swimwear that the two slay in. The pair also knows how to kill it in super chic street style. In fact, during a recent trip to New York City, they walked around in coordinated looks that match.Now they’re giving Us the sweatsuit we didn’t know we needed.Listen on Spotify to Get Tressed With Us to get the details of every hair love affair in Hollywood, from the hits and misses on the red carpet to your favorite celebrities’ street style ‘dos (and don’ts!)last_img read more

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