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Friday, August 01, 2008

Stalin the Saint: Russian Communists Seek Canonization for Soviet Dictator

In a soul-searching under-empire where some view Jesus as the proto-Communist and Lenin as Jesus, why not put a halo on Stalin?



Russian Communist: After Nicholas II, we have the full right to offer to the people, to the populace, this icon of a saint, of a true saint who spared not his life. True, as any human being, he did sin, but Alexander Nevsky did not shed just the enemy’s blood either. So what? That’s the way history goes.

Stalin’s sins include millions of people he massacred and starved to death — Christians, Muslims, Catholics, and atheists.

A seminary dropout in his youth, Stalin commands grassroots admiration among the nostalgic elderly and certain groups of disenchanted youths. Stalin’s legend: He came into an agrarian Russia and left it with the atomic bomb. His genocidal footprint may therefore be dismissed as “collateral damage,” this school of though argues.

What the Germans call Ostalgie the Russians have carried a step further, Russia being a much more troubled society. Russia’s poverty and boomeranging identity sends it searching for heroes in, well, hell.

Video uploaded from: http://censor.net.ua/go/offer/ResourceID/91283.html
Soundtrack: "Spasibo, Velikiy Uchitel" ("Thank You, Great Teacher")

11 comments:

Vasyl said...

These people should be outlawed... Thy are completely sick and twisted!

When I see youth in Kyiv wearing T-Shirts and things that glorify the Soviet Union it really makes me sick! Maybe they are simply naive, and simply don't know any better.

elmer said...

There is always some idiot out there who wants to sanctify evil, be it Stalin, Hitler or satan.

Apparently, these idiots have no concept of what Stalin and his followers did:

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=133965&command=displayContent&sourceNode=133948&contentPK=21116262&moduleName=InternalSearch&formname=sidebarsearch

COMMUNITY REMEMBER MILLIONS WHO STARVED

19 July 2008



Maria Volkova's voice quivers as she recalls the Holodomor. As a six-year-old child, she survived the Ukrainian famine by eating dandelion roots, pumpkin flowers and even rats.

Maria, 82, who has lived in Wollaton for the past nine years, spoke of the famine which robbed her of her childhood, claimed the lives of her baby sister and two young cousins and saw her father branded a traitor and taken away to Siberia.

On her sixth birthday, she shared a feast of soup made out of pumpkin flowers at a party with children who had swollen bellies due to malnutrition.



During the Holodomor - often translated as "to inflict death by hunger" - children at school had lessons on how to collect grubs in exchange for grain.

The famine of 1932-33 was long denied by the Soviet Union, but most historians today agree with the Ukrainians that it was an act of genocide. But this has not been recognised by many governments in the world.

Maria said she was "was one of the lucky few who survived". Three million children are estimated to have died out of the seven to ten million believed to perished in the famine.

"We had no meat, so in the winter, we resorted to catching rats," she said. "At school, we were given a bucket and we girls would flush the rodents out. The boys would then catch them and we would have a feast," she said

Maria was one of several survivors of the Holodomor who took part in Keep the Flame Alive, a campaign to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Ukraine's famine-genocide at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Mansfield Road on July 2.

Food was already scarce when Stalin's policy of collectivisation saw farms seized and food sent to feed people in the factories.

Desperate to put food in his children's stomachs, Maria's father bought a bag of grain on the black market.

It was enough for the Communists to raid the house one night in 1930. A terrified Maria watched as her father was branded a traitor for hoarding food and arrested.

His wife walked 90km to visit him in prison before he was sent to work in Siberia. He was never seen again.

Maria, like all children whose parents had been taken away, had to wear signs saying "children of traitors".

Of the 28 children in Maria's school class that autumn, only 12 survived the winter. The rest had succumbed to the famine.

The family endured more pain when Maria's aunties and cousins were also sent to the work camps in Siberia.

Maria said: "During the collectivisation, they took everything, including my aunties' last horse. The head of the collective farm gave the horse to his son. The son was riding it and so she went to the stables and took it back.

"That night the Communists came and took the auntie and all of her family save two of her children and deported them all to Siberia.

"My mother had eight sisters who were also all deported. Afterwards we had word she was still alive and she wanted the children to go and live with her.

"They were taken by train and were reunited, but they only lived for six months."

At Nottingham's Ukrainian Cultural Centre, Maria is able to relax and feel at home. She left Ukraine when her daughter married an Englishman and she moved to Nottingham. She has been going to the centre ever since.

Around 200 people gathered at the event organised by the Ukrainian World Congress and the Association of Ukrainian's in Great Britain to remember the victims.

Ukraine today says the famine was an act of genocide orchestrated by Stalin.

The torch remembering its victims was carried by president of the Ukrainian World Congress, Askold Lozynskyj, and Ukraine ambassador Vladyslav Rohovyi.

Guests included Nottingham East MP John Heppell who has vowed to campaign for recognition of the Holodomor as an act of genocide.

He said: "We can see that this was not just a crime against Ukraine, but a crime against humanity and I find it impossible to see that as anything other than genocide."

A national commemorative event will be held on November 22 in London.

Andrew said...

Great article! I've linked to it at the bottom of mine on the same topic it really completes it, thanks!

http://www.ukrcdn.com/2008/07/31/saint-stalin/

Andrew
http://www.ukrcdn.com

elmer said...

When it comes to government in Russia, it seems that the main motto is "hurt me better, beat me better, take away all of my rights, for the glory of Russia - and a few wealthy people, whether tsar, commissar or oligarch"

Here's a Ukrainian guy who knows what he's talking about:

http://bangornews.com/news/t/viewpoints.aspx?articleid=167948&zoneid=35

Bohdan Slabyj: Survey reveals tension between Russia, Ukraine
By BDN Contributor
Monday, August 04, 2008 - Bangor Daily News


A survey in Russia, for naming the greatest person of its history (BDN, July 16, 2008), has three individuals in a tight race: Czar Nicholas II, Joseph Stalin and Vladimir Lenin. This fact is as fascinating as it is revealing.

Would you expect a similar tight race in Germany for the greatest historic person to be among Frederick William II, Adolf Hitler and Heinrich Himmler? Not in your dreams! But then Germany was defeated during World War II while Russia-Soviet Union won the war. Thus political and religious persecutions by the Soviet-Russian government and their gulags of Siberia are of no consequence to the average Russian.

There is nothing to be contrite about. A strong government has a soothing effect on the soul of the average Russian, even when it is at the expense of his personal freedom. Vladimir Putin disavowed his government from the Soviet gulags but nothing else. However that statement was only for the benefit of the western world. The true feeling of the average Russian and his government has to be measured by the respect for former leaders.

Since the czars’ times, ethnic Ukrainians were not given access to education. In fact, printing of Ukrainian books, even prayer books, was forbidden. Thus a challenging opportunity presented itself to Stalin in that the Ukrainian nation consisted essentially of farmers and could be wiped out.

In order to destroy the rise of nationalism and as well the opposition of farmers to collectivization, Stalin had engineered a famine during the 1932-33 harvest season. Arable land and peasant households were confiscated while rich farmers were deported to the Urals. All harvested grain and animals were centralized to be rationed as needed, while some were even exported.

Armed military units were going from village to village removing all "excess" food. Lack of forage for animals and rotting of grain in elevators resulted in food shortage. While cities and towns received some food, the farmers were left on their own. It is estimated that the number of death from starvation ranged anywhere between 6 million and 10 million individuals.

But the problem is that history repeats itself, and in the case of the Russian government, it is intentionally duplicating history. Right now there is a verbal attack on Ukraine in an attempt to destabilize the nation and then annex it. At the Bucharest conference, when Ukraine was being considered for potential entry into NATO, Putin reportedly said to President Bush that Ukraine is not a nation (an ethnic group of about 50 million?)

On several occasions the mayor of Moscow said that Russia will never give up Sevastopol, now in Ukrainian territory. Russia’s Duma representative stated that Russia will do everything possible to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, yet there is no objections from Russia for Serbia to join NATO (once Radovan Karadzic has been turned over to the European Tribunal for war crimes). As a matter of fact, Mr. Putin commented that if Ukraine joins NATO, Russia will target Ukraine with nuclear weapons (probably the ones that Ukraine turned over to them). Last winterRussia cut the gas supply to Ukraine twice by 50 percent (probably to remind Ukrainians of the 1932-33 Holodomor).

Thus under Russia’s oversight, Ukraine experienced mass famine in 1932-33 and nuclear catastrophe in 1986 (Chernobyl) and as an independent nation it is threatened with being frozen to death. We should be extra cautious when dealing with countries with this sort of record.

Bohdan Slabyj of Brewer is a native of Ukraine. He taught food science at the University of Maine.

Taras said...

Vasyl,

Unlike the Stalinist in the video, those youngsters have a vague idea about the full scope of experiences associated with the symbols they wear.

Aside from them, one can notice people in their mid-20s to mid-40s who have recently flocked to Soviet paraphernalia, as glamorized by some showbiz performers.

While they have as much a right to a cherishable youth or childhood as North Americans or Europeans do, their carefree attitude toward communism goes beyond my personal notion of nostalgia. That’s pure ignorance.

My childhood memories feature televised funerals of Andropov and Chernenko, countless Gorby moments plus the Soviet music/movies of the '80s. They also include Chernobyl and the funerals of a soldier killed in Afghanistan.

I never lose sight of both sides of the coin, and dress accordingly.


Thank you for the article, Elmer!

That’s the other side of the coin: the Holodomor, the Gulag, slave labor and totalitarianism.

One should note, however, that Stalin wiped out Ukrainian intelligentsia, too, not just the farmers and peasants. The gas dispute took place two winters ago, in early 2006. Finally, most of the pressure on Ukraine to relinquish its nuclear arsenal, the world’s third-largest, came from Washington, not from Moscow.

After the Cold War, Moscow was weak and oil prices were low. Today, Moscow is much stronger. Russian society is slightly better-off compared to the roaring ‘90s, but poverty, confusion and depopulation remains. The same holds true for Ukraine, except that Ukraine has no claims on Russian territory.

The gap between the rich and the poor, between the rulers and the ruled, prevents Russia from modernizing itself to the greatest benefit of its people.

It is on this gap that unhealthy ideologies feed.


You are welcome, Andrew!

It’s a pleasure to discover new names in the blogosphere!

Pawlina said...

I dunno, Vasyl ... naive or not, as Taras points out, when showbiz stars glamourize soviet symbols, you can only expect their fans to emulate and imitate them.

And as Elmer put it, so many Russians are on this weird, twisted masochistic nostalgia kick. So perhaps, in a sick sort of way, turning a totalitarian mass murderer into a saint is logical for a cultural institution fast losing its grip on the public psyche.

What I find alarming, tho, is that such "nostalgia" is not confined to the FSU. Here in Vancouver, I recently noticed a store (not far from the Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral, incidentally) that sells this awful stuff. It's called the Motherland Clothing Store or something similarly disgusting. My first thought was "Little do they know..." But sometimes I wonder if they know all too well.

In Facebook there's a group called "People who wear USSR t-shirts or clothing items suck." I was very glad to see that! (And joined, of course.) I hope a lot more people join it. It may not seem like a big deal compared to attempts to canonize mass murderers, but you never know what can happen when people come together for a cause. Call me Pollyanna if you like, but as they once said in Ukraine, razom nas bahato!

elmer said...

Well, Taras, you are right.

And if you want to see really eye-popping statistics about roosha, and the ENORMOUS gap betwee rich and poor - well, I've provided the link.

Moscow is not roosha.

This is absolutely eye-popping stuff.

And it's not good news for the rooshan federation.

http://russophobe.blogspot.com/2008/08/another-original-lr-translation-essel.html

elmer said...

Rooshans have always sought heroes in hell. The trouble is - they have also always sought to impose hell on themselves - and others.

Stalin - our leader, our teacher, our father.

Rooshans LOVE misery. What a sick bunch of pukes.

From "The Whisperers," by Orlando Figes, a documented history of Stalin's Great Terror of 1937 and beyond, page 314.

This is what the MORON is glorifying - Stalin and his sick, twisted psycho followers.
---------------------------------
In 1958, after his release from the labour camps, Igor [NOTE: Igor's mother was also in a "camp"] was visited by an old acquaintance of the family, a woman called Zina, who had seen his mother in teh Karaganda camp, where she too was a prisoner. Zina told Igor that Julia had died in the camp hospital and that she was buried in a mass grave. In 1986, Igor received another visit from Zina, by this time a woman of eighty. She told him that on the previous occasion she had lied about his mother, because Julia, before she died, had made her promise to spare Igor the awful details of her death (and because, a Zina now admitted, she had been afraid to speak the truth). But recently Zina had seen Julia in her dreams - Julia had asked her about her son - and she saw that this as a sign that she should tell Igor about his mother's final days. Julia had not died in a hospital. In December 1940 Zina had gone to look for Julia in the Karaganda camp. No one wanted to tell her where she was, but then one woman pointed to a sheep-pen on the steppe and said that she could be found there. Zina walked into the pen. Amongst the sheep, lying on the frozen ground, was Julia:

"She was dying, her whole body was blown up with fever, she was burning hot and shaking. The sheep stood guard around her but offered no protection from the wind and snow, which lay around in mounds. I crouched beside her, she tried to raise herself but did not have the strength. I took her hand and tried to warm it with my breath.

'Who are you?' she asked. I told her my name and said only that I came from you, that you had asked me to find her....

How she stirred: "Igor - my boy," she whispered from her frozen lips. 'My little boy, help him, I beseech you, help him to survive.' I calmed her down and promised to look after you, as if that depended on me. "Give me your word," Julia whispered. "Do not tell him how his mother died. Give me your word...."

She was half-delirious. i crouched down beside her and promised her.

Then from behind me a guard shouted: 'Where did you come from? How did you get here?' The guard grabbed me and frog-marched me out of the sheep-pen. "Who are you?"

I explained that I had come as the section leader of a tool workshop and had found the woman accidentally. But I was detained. The told me that I should not breathe a word about what I had seen: 'Shut your mouth, and say nothing.'

Julia died in the sheep pen. She had been left there when she fell ill, and no one was allowed to visit her. She was buried where she died."

elmer said...

Stalin's atrocities, and those of his followers, are well-known and are now documented, despite the best and fiercest attempts of the sovoks to hide the evidence and bury it with lies.

The book "The Whisperers" further documents Stalin's atrocities and those of his followers, the ones who participated in carrying out his orders for the glory of the motherland, fatherland and Stalin.

"Enemies of the people" were everywhere. During the Great Terror of 1937 and beyond, all that had to happen was for someone to denounce you, for whatever purpose - if you refused to have sex with the boss, to get your wife for sex, to get your apartment, to get your belongings or house.

To bypass the courts, special "troikas" were formed, who operated on no evidence, but had the power to convict you and to sentence you to death or hard labor.

There was "law" - but no legality.

Once you were labeled an "enemy of the people", your family was obligated to renounce you. If they did not, they were sent away also, as "enemies of the people."

In this way, Stalin and his followers created hundreds of thousands of orphans, well over 700,000 (those who could be counted - there were others whom the sovoks could not count - they were not as efficient at counting as the Nazis) who were taken away by the NKVD - and exploited for --- free ---- labor or the Red Army.

In fact, it was common practice to falsify the children's ages, to make them "older," in order to make them eligible for the Red Army.

The orphanages were brutal - no facilities, feces ankle-deep, very little food, and all were labeled as "enemies of the people."

Some orphans banded together in gangs on the streets. So the sovoks LOWERED the age of criminal responsibility to 12, to "help" them deal with these orphans on a criminal level.

The book is called "The Whisperers" because people learned not to talk, but only whisper, in front of their children or anyone else, lest they be denounced and wind up as "an enemy of the people."

The other type of whisperer was the one who whispered the denunciation of someone else into the right ears, so that "enemies of the people" could be tried and convicted and sent to labor camps or be shot.

"sheptuny" and "shepushchiyi"

It was brutal - and this is what idiots who glorify Stalin are advocating.

There is no excuse for it.

elmer said...

Estonia and Estonians get it. Millions of escapees from the sovok union got it. Ronald Reagan got it. President Bush gets it. The delusional, psychotic rooskies who carry icons of Stalin don't get it.


From the Wall Street Journal:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121807494680219349.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries



Stalinism Was Just as Bad as Nazism
By MART LAAR
August 7, 2008; Page A13

Last week Russia furiously attacked President Bush for his proclamation on Captive Nations Week (July 20-July 26), which was established to raise awareness of countries living under communist and other oppressive regimes. Mr. Bush said that, "In the 20th century, the evils of Soviet communism and Nazi fascism were defeated and freedom spread around the world as new democracies emerged."

The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed that treating Nazi fascism and Soviet communism as "a single evil" was an insult that "hurt the hearts" of World War II veterans in Russia and in allied countries, including the United States. "While condemning the abuse of power and unjustified severity of the Soviet regime's internal policies, we nevertheless can neither treat indifferently attempts to equate Communism and Nazism nor agree that they were inspired by the same ideas and aims," the ministry said in a statement.

Actually, the Bush statement is correct: There is really no big difference between Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia. When World War II began in September 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were allies; indeed Stalin and Hitler launched the war together.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty of Aug. 23 was a nonaggression pact between Germany and Russia; but a secret protocol in the treaty also opened the way for the division of Europe by carving Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania into spheres of influence. Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1 from the north, south and west; Stalin invaded Poland from the east on Sept. 17.

And this was only the beginning. The second campaign of the war was Soviet aggression against Finland in November 1939; only the third campaign, against Denmark and Norway (in April) was a pure German operation. The fourth campaign, the invasion of France in May 1940, was accompanied by Stalin's annexation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In this period, Stalin was a most devoted ally of Hitler. Without Soviet oil and grain, Hitler would probably not have survived the first year of the war. Stalin even ordered European communists not to help their governments fight against Hitler.

In occupied countries, Poland for example, the Nazi Gestapo and the Soviet NKVD worked hand in hand. Germany's secret police killed people in its zone of occupation according to racial criteria. In its zone, the Soviet secret police killed according to social or political criteria. The Nazi SS handed over Ukrainian nationalists to the Soviets; in return the NKVD handed over escaped German communists to the Gestapo.

Only when the two totalitarian leaders could not agree how to divide the world did war between them come. Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941; the resulting anti-Nazi coalition helped the West survive and come out of the war with half of Europe rescued from totalitarianism. But for the rest of Europe under communist control, World War II ended only in 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet empire.

In his marvelous book, "No Simple Victory," British historian Norman Davies asks us to remember that "the war in Europe was dominated by two evil monsters, not by one. Each of the monsters consumed the best people in its territory before embarking on a fight to the death for supremacy. The third force in the struggle -- the Western Powers -- was all but eliminated in the opening stage, and took much of the war to reassert its influence."

This statement in no way insults the millions of people who fought against the Nazis. The victims of the crimes of Stalin and Hitler included the people of the Soviet Union. Soviet losses in World War II were very high, according to some estimates, including by Mr. Davies, 27 million soldiers and civilians. But these losses not only include those killed by the German invasion; they also include people killed by communist repressions and deportations, as well as the killings by the Soviets of their own soldiers. Mr. Davies thinks that the number of Soviet soldiers killed by the NKVD could exceed the total number of battle deaths of the British and U.S. armies.

So why, in some quarters, are the crimes of communism not yet condemned? There are still many people who say that, whilst the crimes of Nazism were proven and condemned in the Nuremberg Trials, the crimes of communism still need investigation. Others hesitate to condemn communism because, knowing that Hitler saw in Bolshevism its main opponent, they fear to share a common position with the Nazis.

This is not a logical position. If we find two gangsters fighting each other and one of them kills another, this does not make the first gangster less of a criminal.

Communist terror was in the same league of infamy as the crimes of the Third Reich. It actually lasted longer, killing significantly more people than the Nazis did. This does not make Nazis better than communists. They were both fighting against freedom and human dignity, and must be condemned in the same way as evils of the 20th century.

Mr. Laar, a former prime minister of Estonia, is a founder of the Foundation for the Investigation of Communist Crimes.

elmer said...

From The Wall Street Journal - they got it exactly right:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121807494680219349.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries


Stalinism Was Just as Bad as Nazism
By MART LAAR
August 7, 2008; Page A13

Last week Russia furiously attacked President Bush for his proclamation on Captive Nations Week (July 20-July 26), which was established to raise awareness of countries living under communist and other oppressive regimes. Mr. Bush said that, "In the 20th century, the evils of Soviet communism and Nazi fascism were defeated and freedom spread around the world as new democracies emerged."

The Russian Foreign Ministry claimed that treating Nazi fascism and Soviet communism as "a single evil" was an insult that "hurt the hearts" of World War II veterans in Russia and in allied countries, including the United States. "While condemning the abuse of power and unjustified severity of the Soviet regime's internal policies, we nevertheless can neither treat indifferently attempts to equate Communism and Nazism nor agree that they were inspired by the same ideas and aims," the ministry said in a statement.

Actually, the Bush statement is correct: There is really no big difference between Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia. When World War II began in September 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were allies; indeed Stalin and Hitler launched the war together.

The Molotov-Ribbentrop Treaty of Aug. 23 was a nonaggression pact between Germany and Russia; but a secret protocol in the treaty also opened the way for the division of Europe by carving Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania into spheres of influence. Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1 from the north, south and west; Stalin invaded Poland from the east on Sept. 17.

And this was only the beginning. The second campaign of the war was Soviet aggression against Finland in November 1939; only the third campaign, against Denmark and Norway (in April) was a pure German operation. The fourth campaign, the invasion of France in May 1940, was accompanied by Stalin's annexation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In this period, Stalin was a most devoted ally of Hitler. Without Soviet oil and grain, Hitler would probably not have survived the first year of the war. Stalin even ordered European communists not to help their governments fight against Hitler.

In occupied countries, Poland for example, the Nazi Gestapo and the Soviet NKVD worked hand in hand. Germany's secret police killed people in its zone of occupation according to racial criteria. In its zone, the Soviet secret police killed according to social or political criteria. The Nazi SS handed over Ukrainian nationalists to the Soviets; in return the NKVD handed over escaped German communists to the Gestapo.

Only when the two totalitarian leaders could not agree how to divide the world did war between them come. Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941; the resulting anti-Nazi coalition helped the West survive and come out of the war with half of Europe rescued from totalitarianism. But for the rest of Europe under communist control, World War II ended only in 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet empire.

In his marvelous book, "No Simple Victory," British historian Norman Davies asks us to remember that "the war in Europe was dominated by two evil monsters, not by one. Each of the monsters consumed the best people in its territory before embarking on a fight to the death for supremacy. The third force in the struggle -- the Western Powers -- was all but eliminated in the opening stage, and took much of the war to reassert its influence."

This statement in no way insults the millions of people who fought against the Nazis. The victims of the crimes of Stalin and Hitler included the people of the Soviet Union. Soviet losses in World War II were very high, according to some estimates, including by Mr. Davies, 27 million soldiers and civilians. But these losses not only include those killed by the German invasion; they also include people killed by communist repressions and deportations, as well as the killings by the Soviets of their own soldiers. Mr. Davies thinks that the number of Soviet soldiers killed by the NKVD could exceed the total number of battle deaths of the British and U.S. armies.

So why, in some quarters, are the crimes of communism not yet condemned? There are still many people who say that, whilst the crimes of Nazism were proven and condemned in the Nuremberg Trials, the crimes of communism still need investigation. Others hesitate to condemn communism because, knowing that Hitler saw in Bolshevism its main opponent, they fear to share a common position with the Nazis.

This is not a logical position. If we find two gangsters fighting each other and one of them kills another, this does not make the first gangster less of a criminal.

Communist terror was in the same league of infamy as the crimes of the Third Reich. It actually lasted longer, killing significantly more people than the Nazis did. This does not make Nazis better than communists. They were both fighting against freedom and human dignity, and must be condemned in the same way as evils of the 20th century.

Mr. Laar, a former prime minister of Estonia, is a founder of the Foundation for the Investigation of Communist Crimes.