Hitler wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of mass extermination of specific, whole groups of people.
It is the issue of race, above all, that for half a century has prevented National Socialism from being seen as socialist. The proletariat may have no fatherland, as Lenin said. But there were still, in Marx’s view, races that would have to be exterminated. That is a view he published in January-February 1849 in an article by Engels called “The Hungarian Struggle” in Marx’s journal the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, and the point was recalled by socialists down to the rise of Hitler. It is now becoming possible to believe that Auschwitz was socialist-inspired. The Marxist theory of history required and demanded genocide for reasons implicit in its claim that feudalism was already giving place to capitalism, which must in its turn be superseded by socialism. Entire races would be left behind after a workers’ revolution, feudal remnants in a socialist age; and since they could not advance two steps at a time, they would have to be killed. They were racial trash, as Engels called them, and fit only for the dung-heap of history.
That brutal view, which a generation later was to be fortified by the new pseudo-science of eugenics, was by the last years of the century a familiar part of the socialist tradition, though it is understandable that since the liberation of Auschwitz in January 1945 socialists have been eager to forget it. But there is plenty of evidence in the writings of HG Wells, Jack London, Havelock Ellis, the Webbs and others to the effect that socialist commentators did not flinch from drastic measures. The idea of ethnic cleansing was orthodox socialism for a century and more.
The forgotten Holocaust: How Stalin starved four million to death in a grotesque Marxist experiment – which many in Russia STILL deny
- Four million Ukrainians were starved to death by Stalin across 1932 and 1933
- Some left-leaning figures past and present have sympathised with his regime
- But a new book by Anne Applebaum leaves no doubt about his responsibility
- WARNING: DISTURBING CONTENT
One day in the summer of 1933, in a village in Ukraine, then part of the Soviet Union, a little boy woke on top of the family stove. He was starving — not just hungry but genuinely starving.
‘Dad, I want to eat! Dad!’ he cried. But the house was cold and from his father there came no answer.
The boy went over to his father, who was apparently still asleep. There was ‘foam under his nose’, he remembered. ‘I touched his head. Cold.’