Friday, November 20, 2009

Memorializing Uncle Joe


Eugene Volokh has a thought-provoking essay over at the Volokh Conspiracy.

History is argument, my friends.

After you read the article, come back here and make a comment on whether or not Stalin should be added to the memorial.

28 comments:

  1. Stalin's bust should remain at the memorial. He played an important role in the allies' victory, although we may not agree with his methods. I agree with the author; a caption should be prominently placed listing his crimes.

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  2. I think Stalin's bust should be allowed to stay at the memorial. While I think his methods of achieving what he wanted were harsh and I don't agree with them, I think he made great accomplishments. Without Stalin, the allies would not have been as successful as they were during WWII. However, I do think that they should indicate all the crimes that he committed.

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  3. I don't think that Stalins bust should stay at the memorial. It's just like putting a bust of a Nazi solider during the Holocaust, it's like your saying he was a good soldier for following orders but overlooking the fact that he killed millions of people w/o even considering the morals of it. I think in some instinces it's ok to overlook peoples faults, but in this case it's wrong.

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  4. I would say leave the bust of Stalin because he was crucial to the allied victory. If he had allied himself with the Nazis then the outcome of the war would have been very different. I do not think a list of his crimes should be posted on the bust because it would just be as good to leave him out. Although he was a bad guy and did many atrocities, he was a valuable player for the Allies.

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  5. Stalin's bust should be in the memorial, as long as the memorial can successfully portray him as an important figure rather than a hero. Like the author said, his deeds were horrific even to our standards and memorials are made to honor people. If the memorial can show him as an influential figure rather than honor him then his bust should be included.

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  6. I think that Stalin's bust belongs at the memorial, if only because he played such a tremendous role in the war. Yet since the bust could be seen as a tribute to his brutal reign (and not his contributions to the Allies' war effort), the most responsible and considerate thing to do would be to create a caption. Otherwise, the bust has the potential to be extremely offensive.

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  7. I think it is ridiculous to even consider adding Stalin to the memorial, even with a caption. I do agree with the fact that he was very important to the war effort against Germany in WWII, but this is at a D-Day memorial. There were exactly zero soviet troops at D-Day, so he had no direct control over the outcome of this battle. If it was a WWII memorial or something I think it would be better, but this is not O.K.

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  8. I have to agree with Drew that it is very irresponsible to place a bust of Stalin in a D-Day memorial. The Soviets can only be recognized for keeping the Germans occupied on the eastern front, and that was not planned by aliied powers. If they want to recognize Stalin for his contributions to the war effort, they should not be placing his bust in a D-Day memorial. Plus, Stalin wasn't even on the Allied side until Hitler stabbed him in the back, so... it would seem that the only reason the Soviets got to Berlin first was because of a need for vengence

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  9. I think that there's no need to put abust of Stalin on the D-Day memorial. I don't think there are many memorials that acknowledge indirect contributions. It is true that Stalin contributed to Allied war effort but he also contributed to the Axis war effort for 3 years by invading east of Poland and promising non aggresion to Hitler.

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  10. I think that Stalin did have an extremely influencial role in WWII, so his bust should be at the memorial. however i think that a caption should be made, because otherwise people could misinterpret his leadership and forget the atrocities that he committed.

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  11. I'm not really sure whether Stalin's bust should be in the D-Day memorial or not. On the one hand, the allies might not have won that battle because of Stalin's indirect efforts in the East. On the other hand, one could argue that Stalin's efforts weren't significant enough to overlook all of the horrible things he did (didn't many of the bad things Stalin did happen after D-Day anyway?). I think that if Stalin hadn't then gone to do horrible, grotesque things, his efforts on D-Day would have been enough to land him a place in this memorial. Because Stalin is so notorious and seen as a villain in history though, people could take the bust in the wrong way and feel offended.

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  12. Yes i do think that joseph stalins bust should remain in the memorial even though i do not agree with many of his strategies and what he did to those people. He still played a huge part in world war 2. But i also agree with the caption below his bust, just so people dont get too offended..

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  13. In theory, Stalin's bust should be added to the memorial. He kept the Nazis occupied along the eastern front, which is an important contribution.
    However, there have to be some considerations. The caption that acknowledges his overall evil place in history has to be added. The look of the bust should also be considered. The Tueting posted is ok but the one that New York Daily News used hints at Stalin's dark side. Not everyone will read the caption so having a visual cue of the caption is helpful.

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  14. I think that a better way to commemorate him might be to create a plaque (a big one, if that makes some people feel better) rather than a bust, which implies honor. I think that a plaque without any significant display would show his key role as a factor in the war, without implying that he was an honorable person.

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  15. I think the bust of Stalin should remain, and that a plaque listing his atrocities is not necessary. The Western countries fighing on the Allies' side conducted large-scale bombing raids day and night over our enemies' industrial cities, with the aim of killing as many civilians as possible. To justify the death and terror we brought to millions of German, French, and Japanese families, we generally assume that by harming enemy civilians, we saved a vastly larger amount of Allied soldiers. The fact of the matter is that at the time our planes were dropping the most bombs on enemy "factories" (the Air Command was aware of the horrible innacuracy of our payloads), German factories were producing the most weapons. Winston Churchill himself stated that if the the Allies had been overun, the leaders of Western Europe and America would be hanged for their war crimes. If these "heroes" are granted pardon of their faults (which I am assuming they do, based on the pardoning our culture's history education usually grants), then I see little reason for Stalin's faults to be listed. Granted, Stalin may have killed more people during his WWII leadership, but the article is questioning his actions based on morals, not numbers. And our iconic leaders weren't perfect either.

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  16. I think the bust of Stalin should stay in the memorial. His methods of achieving victory may have been gruesome, but without him the allies might not have won the war. With the bust, however, should be a caption noting not only the terrible actions that Stalin committed, but also the fact that no soviet troops were actually present during D-Day.

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  17. And also, Drew is wrong; if we ommit Stalin because he was no "directy" present at the battle, than what major leaders can we display? Eisenhower wasn't "directly" involved- how many Germans did Eisenhower pop? Ridiculous argument. Both Eisenhower and Stalin were very important inderect factors in the outcome of D-Day, because Stalin spread out the troops, and Eisenhower figured out where to hit them. If not for Stalin, Germany might have even succeeded in Operation Sea Lion, and D-Day might refer to the invasion of Britain.

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  18. I think that Stalin should get a bust because he was a major contribution to the allies winning. And without him, we would not have won the war as fast. He may have killed people, but both sides did.

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  19. Yes, the bust should remain where it is. He contributed to the Allied war efforts and without him, the Allies probably would not have won the war. There would have been no war on the Eastern front.

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  20. I think that Stalin's bust should be left up at the memorial because he did help Allied war efforts, however I can see someone's point of view if they feel offended by the statue becuase of all the poeple he killed. Like the article said it would be extremely appropriate to have a caption underneath the bust.

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  21. I think that Stalin's bust should stay at the memorial. He was a big part of the war, but a caption would be nice so that people don't get offended by having the bust at the memorial. So i agree with the article.

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  22. Even-though his ways were wrong but he was a smart man. He helped the Allies won and all that. But there is no excuse killing your own people. He should not have a memorial. He is not fit to deserve one. Caption being good or bad, it wont change the fact of the mass murderer he was.

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  23. First of all, I agree with the points that Stalin and the Russian forces did not do anything at D-Day, so it might not be appropriate to have it at that memorial, although they did play a large role in the winning of the war. But if the bust is placed there, I do not think it should warrant a plaque, a disclaimer on the horrible things he did. If everyone had a basic education about WWII, a major point in history for this country, then they would know what Stalin had done and be mindful of that when looking at the memorial.

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  24. If the memorial is to display allied leaders, then it should display Joseph Stalin. He was an allied leader. A caption is hardly necessary. Most people know what the man did. And as far as I can tell, the memorial is honoring the allied leaders simply FOR BEING the allied leaders, not anything else. Any thinking person can judge that he was perhaps the worst person who ever lived, but that doesn't change for tarnish the fact that he was an allied leader. We can't pretend that didn't happen or sweep it under the rug if we are presenting history. To erase Stalin from history like that would be, well, Stalinist.

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  25. I don't see the controversy here. The memorial has busts of the Allied leaders, Stalin was an allied leader, so Stalin is in the memorial. Simple as that.

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  26. Pumkin Head said...

    Stalin's bust should stay in the memorial. He was a great allied leader. He did some terrible things with that leadership, but the memorial is honoring allied leaders. Most people know what he did that was terrible, but he should still be honored for what he did that was good.

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  27. I think that Stalins bust should be allowed in the memorial because the memorial is dedicated to the allied leaders, although stalin did kill millions of his own people, he played a key role in the victory of the allies in WWII

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  28. Stalin's bust should remain in the memorial because he played a huge role in the allies victory and the memorial is to honor the leaders that contributed. Although we do not agree with other things he did we cannot ignore the fact that he helped in the allies victory.

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