Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stalin's Peace Prize Nomination

  Believe it or not, Stalin was nominated for the Peace Prize not once, but twice! Once in 1945, and again in 1948. You may question why, a man some historians have stated was personally responsible for the millions of Ukrainians that starved to death during his five year plans and purges, would he ever be considered a candidate for the Peace Prize? The answer: World War 2. It is clear to us now how horrific Stalin was, but this was a much different time, when almost all of the world was against Germany. This is in no way an attempt to absolve Stalin of what he did or to try and be adjust his image, only to discuss the Eastern Front during World War 2 and Stalin's Peace Prize nomination.
  Everyone knows about how horrific World War 2 was for everyone involved, and the brutal fighting that took place on the Western Front (occupied France, Italy, Sicily, etc.). However, it's been noted that the fighting on the Eastern Front (USSR, Ukraine, Poland, etc.) was particularly brutal and cost millions of lives. One estimate of all the Russian deaths is between 7 and 20 million. However the USSR was critical in defeating Hitler during World War 2. Some historians have even stated by the Normandy invasions the USSR was powerful enough to defeat Germany. This was stated in many of the schools in USSR during the Cold War to try and denounce or demean the importance of the West's involvement to the point of basically saying the West "had it easy". To their credit, there is some truth in that when looking at casualities and some of the scales of the battles on the Eastern front that would be fought over just one city (look at the Battle of Stalingrad). The Eastern Front was constantly fighting and trying to push back the German invasion, and the international community, especially after the end of World War 2, wanted to award everyone involved with the fall of Nazi Germany and bringing peace to the world. Stalin's forces did play a major role in this action and, to a lesser extent, in fighting the Japanese to aid the US in the Pacific. For this, Stalin was nominated for the Peace Prize twice due to being the leader of the USSR at the time, and before the Cold War was in full swing. It should be remembered the number of people that were lost in order to fight back the Nazi's during the early 20th century. Stalin may have been an evil man and terrible for the territory he controlled, he did help push back the Nazis with the Russian Red Army, and helped secure the Allied victory against the Axis powers.

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