Contemporary Russian mainstream political scholars and historians hold it untoward and even sacrilegious to compare the Soviets to the Third Reich.
And you know what? I find their position absolutely justified.
Did you know that by the time Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, the Soviets, for 16 years already, had been busy, methodically and on a daily basis, mass-murdering, torturing, robbing, arbitrarily incarcerating and otherwise unlawfully oppressing not even their political opponents (exterminated or exiled in most part during the Soviets’ first three years), but innocent citizens, having thus killed and put in concentration camps millions of people?
Did you know that by the time the notorious Nuremberg Laws were adopted in the Third Reich in 1935, whereby Jews had their German citizenship rights stripped off on the grounds of race, the Soviets, for 17 years already, had had Constitutional provisions in place stripping off people’s citizenship rights on the grounds of social background and occupation (Article 65 and 69 of the RSFSR Constitutions of 1918 and 1925, respectively)? We have to be just to the Soviets here: they lacked any racial bias in seizing property; rather, applying a truly internationalist approach, they had seized it from everyone in the very beginning of their devastating rule.
Did you know that by September of 1939, the Soviets had executed 650 000 people on purely political grounds in the course the so-called Big Terror campaign (1937-1939) alone, with another 450 000 political prisoners held in numerous GULAG hard labour camps? At the same time, Germany, with a population only 2.5 times smaller than that of the USSR (69.5 mil vs 170 mil), had 21 000 (twenty one thousand) political prisoners held in concentration camps, and the 1934 «Nacht der langen Messer», an NSDAP’s internal rumble, had taken lives of 1076 (one thousand seventy six), mostly NSDAP members, as per Nuremberg Tribunal documents.
These are all actual figures, and knowing them I do find it untoward to compare, at least, the pre-WWII Soviets and Third Reich.
I will tell you this – if there are grades of Absolute Evil, the Soviets are and will always be the Number One.
I do not mean to justify the Third Reich or Nazism in any way.
Rather, I am accusing the Soviets that had excelled everyone else at bloodiness and brutality, and certainly so in the first half on the 20th century.