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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 7, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta The LetKbrtdge Herald Third Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Wednesday, March 7, 1973 Pages 27 to 38 STALIWS GHOST STILL HAUNTS SOVIET CHIEFS By HARRY SCHWARTZ New York Times Service NEW YORK Stalin's ghost still haunts the Soviet Union. He has bean dead 20 years now. More than half the 250 million people of the U.S.S.R. have only the vaguest memories of that tyrant's sway or were not even born at the time of his death. Yet the man himself and his colossal role in shaping the vast empire ruled from the Kremlin are still considered too politically radioactive to be dis- cussed publicly at length or with candor within the broad ream of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. There is still no full dress So- viet biography of Stalin. He is treated gingerly and usually briefly when mention cannot be avoided in official Soviet fic- tion and non-fiction. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's stunning novel, "the first provides a recant Soviet portrait of the man ttot- suggests his full di- mensions. But that novel is, of course, banned in the Soviet Union. Such circumspection is easily explained. Moscow is still ruled by a generation of leaders who were trained and advanced to high position by Stalin. Leonid I. Brezhnev, Aleksel N. Kosygin and Mihail A. Sus- lov all worked long and intim- ately with Stalin. Even more the basic institu- tions of today's Soviet Union centra! economic planning, the collective farms, the trade un- ions that are really company unions, the policy of devoting most resources to heavy indus- try and arms were introduc- ed by Stalin and still bear the primary imprint of his think- ing. Thus to face the full reality of Stalin and his 30 years of Kremlin in primacy is still too dangerous within the U.S.H. It would require too many em- barrassing explanations from powerful men who would pre- fer to have that period of their lives ignored. It would raise too many unsettling questions about basic Soviet institutions. To note these difficulties is not to deny that much has changed in the Soviet Union since Stalin's death. The old Stalinist secret po- lice terror has been attenuated, and even the present crackdown against today's dissidents would have been considered in- tolerably mild by Stalin. The Soviet standard of living has in- creased substantially, though it still lags far behind that of most of Europe and North Am- erica. Having achieved nuclear parity with the United States, today's more sophisticated Kremlin leadership "maneuvers much more confidently and at times much more construct- ively in the international arena than Stalin did in his last yesrs. The need to keep a wary eye on Mao Tse-Tung's China ex- plains a great deal of the mod- eration in the foreign policy of Moscow today. In retrospect, it is all too plain that much of Stalin's fan- atical secrecy after the Sec- ond World War was the prod- uct of weakness, and of Stalin's fear of his own people and of the outside world. It does not seem unreasonable to conclude that much of what remains of Stalinism in the Soviet Union even today reflects the present leadership's fear of the conse- quence of too much public knowledge and too much public "debate. But Stalin and Stalinism were the products of a backward, peasant country seeking to in- dustrialize hastily at any cost because of fears that became reality when Hitler struck in June 1941. The Soviet Union today is a highly industrialized and pri- marily urban laud with' the most educated population in its history. The vast residue of Stalinism that remains there is an anachronism that cannot forever escape the corrosive forces of change and time. The Soviet people capable of sending rockets to Mars and Venus are not children, and sooner or later they will win tha right to be their own mast- ers. Only then will the ghost of Stalin be finally exorcised and laid to rest forever. THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY open house! SATURDAY, MARCH 10 SUNDAY, MARCH 11 9 a.m. 5 p.m. 11 a.m. 6 p.m. DISPLAYS Every facet of University life sciences, sports, fine arts, medicine, engineering all buildings open. Stu- dent hosts and hostesses at every main entrance, where program of events and University map will be avail- able. ACTIVITIES Computer games, engineering demonstrations, opera, art exhibits, films, participation classes, snack bar and dining facilities, a French cafe. Buses to Astro- physical Observatory at Priddis. ACADEMIC INFORMATION All kinds of academic information and counselling will be available. Come and meet professors and ad- ministrators, visit "mini expo" in MacEwan Hall. FREE: PARKING, BABYSITTING CAR-STARTING SERVICE 'It's your University" FOR A 'KREPKY KHOZYAIN' The rehabilitation of a dictator By HEDFIICK SMITH New York Times Service MOSCOW Two decades alter his death, Josef Stalin enjoys great latent prestige the Soviet people and a much more favorable popu- lar reputation than Nikita S. Khrushcev, the man who dared to denounce him for his vast political purges. Not only has Stalin been of- ficially rehabilitated to a mod- est role in Soviet history, but there is an under-current of nostalgia fcL- what many people now feel were in some ways the good days of Stalin's rule, from 1924 to 1954. Tills is a far cry, of course, from the outpouring of praise and adaptation heap- and "the cult of Stalin's per- sonality." Thousands of his victims were freed from camps, and cleared of charges. Hundreds of towns, streets and sites bearing Stalin's name "were renamed, includ- ing Stalingrad, where the bat- tle the Russians consider the turning point of the war was fought. The city became Vol- gograd and the battle be- came the battle on the Volga. DERIDED Stalin was derided as an in- effective wartime leader who had failed to. anticipate the Nazi attack in 1941, had not prepared the country for war and had panicked when the tttack came. As a peace-time leader, he was held to nave ed upon Stalin during his life- made some contributions until time. But it represents a dis- 19J4 and after that pictured linct comeback from the Khrushchev era when he was as a nonperson. Today approval is far from universal and Stalin's ex- cesses aro on occasion obli- quely criticized. But there is clear sympathy for crediting. UK former "friend and teach- er" of the Soviet people with achievements of the past as well as a tendency in many quarters to idealize his lead- ership style. SYMPATHY With Stalin clearly in mind, many Russians comment pri- vately that what the country needs is a "krepky khozyain." strong master. Sympathies for Stalin often emerge spontaneously. Some- times when he appears in a documentary film history of the Second world war, an au- dience will break into ap- plause. Not long ago, a West European diplomat was sur- prised to find' himself at a small party with a group of middle-aged, middle level Russian officials who toasted Stalin's health more than half a dozen times with no more pretext than they were drink- ing one of Stalin's favorite Georgian wines. In random conversations with foreigners, many ordinary Hussinas will excuse or even defend Stalin on the issue of the purges. Some months ago, a n engineer explained that Stalin was a. great man but that others committed mistakes in his name. A teacher, in her late 20's said that people generally remem- bered him well "in spite of the fact that he was a hard man." "Maybe he had to be a hard man at that time, maybe it was slie said. Liberal urban intellectuals and outright dissidents, who personally oppose and vehe- mently criticize Stalin and neo Stalinism, acknowledge that the general opinion of Stalin is improving, and is es- pecially strong in the country- side. HOLD "Out said a writer in his 60's who spent years in a Stalinist labor camp, "Stal- in has a real bold on the people. They feel that he built the country and he won the war. Now they see dis- order in agriculture, disorder in industry, disorder every- where in the economy and they see no end to it. They think that when there was a tough ruler, we did not have such troubles. People forget that things were bad then, too, and they forget the ter- rible price that we paid." The downgrading of Stalin by his successors, lo pave the way for what was to be- come Khrushchev's de-Stalin- izatlon program, began sen- sationally with the famous "secret speech" at the 20th Communist Party Congress in 1936. In it. Khrushchev con- demned the Stalinist purges ss a suspicious power mad leader who decimated a gen- eration with his' purges. To underscore his fall from grace, liis body was removed from the Lenin Mausoleum on Red Square. Anti-Stalinist pcems and prose began ap- pearing. After Khruschev was ousted in 1964, his successors reversed the trend. They sig- naled the end of de-StaUniza- tion in May, 1865, during cele- brations of the 20th anniver- sary of the Allied victory over Germany. The blackout on Stalin was lifted, Stalin appeared for the first time on television screens as a war- time leader and father figure for the Soviet people. Th'e battle of Stalingrad regained its original name. Increasingly after 1966, his wartime leadership was prais- ed. In 1967, a handbook for Communist party officials called him an economic lead- er in peacetime and asserted that he had "made a serious contribution to the develop- ment of the world commun- ist and liberation movement." The current leadership has walked a careful, balanced line. It has restored much of Stalin's historical importance but rejected his methods. It has not forgiven Stalin's faults, but it has gener- ally barred publication of works that expose them. KNOW LITTLE The result is that Soviet cit- izess know far less about Stalinist repressions than many people abroad. The fa- mous "secret speech" has never been published here. Even allusions to it are rare. Moreover, though the press continues to print ritual mem- orials to the most famous vic- tims of Stalin's purges on an- niversaries of then: birth, it does so without any indication of how they died. This pc-ned most recently with Marshal Mikhail Tukhachev- sky, shot in June, 1837, along with other generals during the army purge. Although an article In the Krushchev era on Mar- shal Tukhachevsky's 70th birthday described these events in detail, this year's article simply stopped re- counting his career when it reached 1935. Mention of Stalin in the press, books, magazines or television is limited, though generally sympathetic. He us- ually appears in the memoirs of retired generals or docu- mentary or fictionalized mo- vies about the second world war a man of great poise and dignity, decisive and re- spected but neither imperious nor threatening. He is portrayed as a wise, kindly and reasonable mili- tary leader, accessible to his subordinates and tireless in his service to the country. IGNORANCE Few things illustrate the gap between Soviet genera- tions more starkly than the relative ignorance of youth shout Stalin. People in their 50's and 60's tend to recall the purges when talking with friends in private and argue pro and con. Those in their late 30's and early Ws recall the jolt of disillusion at learning what had gone on under Staliri. "Our generation was the hardest hit." said one whif.e- col'ar worker. "When Stalin died, we were In university, and we thought it was the end of the universe. But we found out that we could go on even without Stalin." "Then, we were terribly dis- illusioned lo find out that so many innocent people had been killed and so much his- tory had been he said. "Ours was the genera- tion of fathers and sons, when sons asked their par- ents, 'where were you when so-and-so was killed and you knew he was a good man and or 'why were you Now that's all over. You don't hear that much any more." There is undercurrent of nostalgia in Soviet Union for "the good old days of Josef Stalin" SIDES OF BEEF-CANADA "A" GRADE 230-275 LB. AVERAGE 10c IB. TO COT AND WRAP TO YOUR SPECIFICATIONS YOU CAN BUDGET-A-BEEF AT RANCHIAND r! Try ona of these economical paes. We will cut and package to your !j All meats fully guaranteed. Allow 10-14 days for preparation. PORK PAG 10 Ib. 10 Ib. Park Chopi 5 Ib. Pork Sausage 10 Ib. Poilc leg Roaitl 3 Ib. Pork Hecki S Ib. Sliced Bacon 43 Ibs. for 43J8 STEAK PAC 10 Ib. T-Bone and Club Steak 5 Ib. Rib Steak 10 Ib. Chuck Steak 5 Ib. Sirloin Steak 10 Ib. Ground Round Steak 40 Ibs. for ECONOMY BEEF PAG 20 Ib. Ground Beef 5 Ib. BeeF Sausage IS Ib. Beef Pot Roatts 5 Ib. Stewing Beef 10 Ib. Rib Sleak. 55 Ifas. for PAEC A 10 Round Steak 10 Ib. Rump Roast 5 Ib. Stewing Beef 10 Ib. Ground Beef 5 Ib. Beef and Pork Sausage 5 Ib. Pork Steak 45 Ibs. for PAC C 20 ib. Rib and Rump Roasts 10 Ib. Round Sleok 10 Ib. Beef loin Steaks 10 Ib. Pork Chops 10 Ib. Spare Ribs 15 Ib. Ground Beef 10 Ib. Beef Pel Roast! 85 for feSffti) Select your own lilt of items in 10 Ib. er more and ask us far a bulk price. AND SAVE WEEKEND SPECIALS CANADA CHICKEN "If 8 Sirloins and Boneless top round K] Canada Ulility Grade 'Mf fd Ib. "ft ll Minute Ready to Serve hj Ib. Half or Ib. Rump or -19 Ib. BEEF Rib Steaks M ideal for bor-b-que ib. boneless Ib. Jobless rate for blacks up LOS ANGELES (AP) Unemployment among blacks has increased during the last two years while the jobless rate among United States whites has declined, says the only black govern of the federal reserve system. Andrew F. Brimmer told a lecture audience during the weekend 111 at unemployment among whites was down since the end of the 1969-70 re- cession, but for blacks, unenv ployment has risen by However, Brimmer noled that total black income grew at a proportionately faster rale for blacks than for the over-all pop- ulation. He said individua Prices effective March 8-9-10 We reserve the rigbl lo limit quantities. blacks are beginning to have a more equal share in economic expansion. Black income jumped about 10 per cent in 1972 over figures for the previous year, while over-all national Income rose less sharply 8.5 per cent, he said. Brimmer, an economist who Issues periodic studies of black economic progress, said blacks have made progress in moving to belter-paying, higher-skill jobs since the recession. But he added that their oc- cupational "centre of gravity" remains roofed in jobs requir- ing little skill and which offer little hope of. advancement. MEATS Westminster Plaza, 13th St. and Ave. N. Phone 328-0637 N ;