included Holocaust denial material in his doctoral thesis at a Moscow University. Unsurprisingly his doctoral thesis reads a lot like Stone's comments. That is because both are grounded in the Soviet Communist view of history.
Stone's comments about Hitler and Stalin come from the same source material. His apologetic for Stalin's atrocities, "he fought the German war machine more than any person" and the claim that Hitler needs to be seen in context as a tool of Western bankers all come gift-wrapped in the red and yellow. And of course they're also lies. Because this isn't just about Oliver Stone trafficking in the anti-semitism that is now fashionable on the left, it's about some of the big lies of the left about WW2.
The Big Lie that the left has desperately tried to cover up is the Soviet Union's complicity in Hitler's rise to power and the atrocities of Nazi Germany. The Soviet Union began by suppressing German Communists to pave the way for Hitler (just as it would later do to Egyptian Communists on behalf of the Hitler-besotted Gamal Abdel Nasser). Why would it do that? For the same reason that the USSR allied with Hitler in the Nazi-Soviet Pact of 1939, which allowed Hitler and Stalin to carve up Eastern Europe.
Stalin wanted to replay WW1, with another war between Germany, England and France-- that would give him a free hand in Eastern Europe, and then allow him to occupy a weakened Western Europe. His plan backfired badly, because Hitler proved too unpredictable for him, and England and France buckled too quickly-- but when the dust had settled, the USSR got most of what it wanted, including a sizable chunk of Germany. In 1925, Stalin made his strategy clear; "if war breaks out we shall not be able to sit with folded arms. We shall have to take action, but we shall be the last to do so. And we shall do so in order to throw the decisive weight on the scales, the weight that can turn the scales." The goal was for the rest of Europe to wear itself down through war, while the Communists would come and clean up afterward.
To that end the USSR did everything possible to strengthen Hitler's hand in order to make him a more formidable enemy for England and France. While millions of its citizens were starving, Russia provided massive amounts of supplies and aid to the Nazis. In fact trains carrying Russian supplies were still headed to Germany, even while the Nazis were launching their attack. This is particularly ironic in that the US would then go on to provide massive supplies to the Soviet Union of everything from powdered milk to army boots, which enabled the USSR to stay in the fight. After the USSR had supplied Hitler for two years, enabling his conquests in Eastern Europe and the beginning of the Holocaust.
At the end of September 1939, after Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union had both invaded Poland, and England, France and other allies had declared war on Nazi Germany-- the USSR and Nazi Germany issued a joint declaration endorsing their own invasion, and blaming England and France for the "state of war." Both even signed secret agreements to coordinate the suppression of Polish nationalism and allow the Nazis to remove any Reich Nationals, even inside Soviet held territory.
Hitler made it clear in his correspondence that Soviet collaboration enabled Germany's assault on Eastern Europe. For example on August 25, 1939, Hitler wrote to Mussolini saying;
The pact is unconditional and includes also the obligation for consultation about all questions affecting Russia and Germany. I may tell you, Duce, that through these arrangements the favorable attitude of Russia in case of any conflict is assured, and that the possibility of the entry of Rumania into such a conflict no longer exists!
Even Turkey under these circumstances can only envisage a revision of her previous position. But I repeat once more, that Rumania is no longer in a situation to take part in a conflict against the Axis! I believe I may say to you, Duce, that through the negotiations with Soviet Russia a completely new situation in world politics has been produced which must be regarded as the greatest possible gain for the Axis.
The Soviet alliance with Hitler enabled the Nazis to achieve the gains they did by creating a balance of power, giving Eastern European countries no choice but to either cut a deal with Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, or try to remain neutral and hope the Allies would rescue them. Every Nazi atrocity until the summer of 1941, including the Holocaust is deservedly placed at the door of the USSR as Hitler's partner in the conquest of Eastern Europe.
The Soviet Union did not fight Hitler voluntarily-- it fought involuntarily for its own survival. Like Finland, it would up fighting against its former allies. Unlike Finland it had no excuse for making that alliance to begin with-- except greed and ambition. The USSR suffered huge casualties, because it was unwilling to believe that Stalin would turn on it so fast. And because Stalin's own atrocities had purged too many generals, and because his entire approach to the war was done without any concern whatsoever for the deaths of his own people. All this allowed the Nazis to gain a great foothold in Russia, which combined with Hitler's refusal to retreat, ended up inflicting huge casualties on German forces as well. But let there be no doubt, that the war between the USSR and Nazi Germany was a war between former allies.
Reading all this it should be obvious why Soviet history turned Russia into the victim and practiced Holocaust denial. It was in the USSR's interest to pretend that Nazi atrocities began in the summer of 1941, because it had been complicit in Nazi atrocities up until that point. This focus also turned the USSR into the chief victim of the Nazis, as a way of deflecting the accusation that the USSR had actually been collaborating with Hitler. All the prattle about the horrors of war and the huge numbers of Russians killed, resurrected by Oliver Stone, was and is meant to mask what had been an alliance between Soviet Communism and German Nazism.
Furthermore the USSR had a compelling reason to quash any general talk about atrocities, considering its own extensive history of massacres up until and during WW2. And since Soviet Commissars had been conducting executions of Jews, back when Hitler was still trying his hand at being a painter-- any talk about the mass murder of Jews would have been unhelpful. Particularly as Stalin had liked the Holocaust, enough to try and copy it in the 1950's with the "Doctor's Plot", which would have wiped out most of the surviving Jews in the USSR.
Post-war Soviet history would insist that America and England had actually been the ones to ally with Hitler. This theme would be fused with anti-Semitism when in the 1950's, Stalin's minions launched the opening of his planned Holocaust by accusing Zionist Jews of being agents of America and England to bring down the Soviet Union. Oliver Stone's narrative is virtually the same, except that he reverses the equation by accusing America and England of being agents of the Jews. And claiming that America and England had empowered Hitler.
The emphasis on seeing Hitler "in context" and arguing that he was really no different than any Western leader, is typical of the Soviet line that there was no real difference between FDR, Churchill or Hitler. In the Soviet narrative accepted by the left, they were all capitalists who made war for greed. This rhetoric was embraced by the anti-war left in the 30's and 40's to argue that war against Hitler would be just another capitalist war to enrich the arms merchants.
What does all this have to do with the left? Because the American and European left was complicit in it by allowing itself to be manipulated by the Soviet Union. Left wing groups, many of them Communist fronts, conducted propaganda against the war-- up until the Soviet Union itself was invaded, at which point they switched to a rabidly pro-war theme, and even helped the authorities suppress remaining Trotskyist anti-war groups and labor unions.
Many principled leftists broke with with the USSR and Communist front groups over the Hitler-Stalin pact. Most however did not. It would not be until Khrushchev's revelations much later as part of the official Soviet Communist line, that there would be a larger exodus. And even so, the Soviet narrative remains embedded in the left-- as Oliver Stone's propaganda demonstrates. And that narrative has been behind the left's historical revisionism.
That historical revisionism has been expressed in the attempt to "Hitlerize" every Western leader and every political movement hostile to Communism and the left's agenda. When liberals in 2006 were comparing Bush to Hitler, they were unknowingly echoing a Soviet narrative which equated all capitalist countries and their leaders. When in 2010, they accuse Israel of being just like the Nazis, they make use of Soviet rhetoric developed during the Doctor's Plot, which was meant to culminate in a second Holocaust.
If one looks at Soviet propaganda, it is virtually identical to liberal attacks on Israel in the present day. For example;
For example the following from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia rather obviously mirrors Stone's own rhetoric about the Jewish dominated media;
"The main posits of modern Zionism are militant chauvinism, racism, anti-Communism and anti-Sovietism...
International Zionist Organizations own major financial funds, partly through Jewish monopolists and partly collected by Jewish mandatory charities... influences or controls significant part of media agencies and outlets in the West"
Serving as the front squad of colonialism and neo-colonialism, international Zionism actively participates in the fight against national liberation movements of the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America."
Everything you really need to know about Stone's views on Israel and the Jews is contained in the above sentences. It also sums up everything in his documentaries. As well as the dominant view now among the left. Which is completely indistinguishable from the Communist view.
The great mistake of the 20th century was the failure to hold the Soviet Union accountable for its crimes, and those due to its collaboration with Nazi Germany. And to hold its leftist collaborators morally accountable for the aid and comfort that they provided to the USSR and indirectly to Nazi Germany. That failure has allowed the left to claim a moral high ground that is both dishonest and an obscene insult to the dead.
When Showtime airs Oliver Stone's latest batch of rantings, it is not only airing material from a bigot, but recycled propaganda from a regime that committed some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. If you wish to protest Showtime's actions, feel free to drop them a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.