by Austin Bay
August 26, 2009
"Communazi" became magazine shorthand for their collaboration,
dark slang connecting the two totalitarian ideologies of the Soviet Union and
Nazi Germany after they ratified the Hitler-Stalin Pact.
faux-peace agreement and its secret protocols, signed 70 years ago on Aug. 23,
1939, divided Eastern Europe between the Nazis'
swastika and the communists' hammer and sickle. The pact
shocked Western Europe and the U.S., but Poland, in the land trapped between
the armies of National Socialism and Marxist Internationalist Socialism,
understood the immediate implications. Poland's two old enemies, both with
territorial and imperial ambitions, were setting the political conditions for
came on Aug. 31, 1939, when the Germans faked a Polish attack on a German
border outpost, giving Berlin a pretense. The panzers attacked in the early
hours of Sept. 1, beginning what Nazi propagandists'
dubbed the Poland Campaign and what contemporary history
books call World War II.
term "communazi" is illustrative, for both murderous, anti-liberty
ideologies demand state control of the economy, culture and media, and both
crush individual autonomy. The communists' clever spin that enthralled Western
intellectuals was to "redefine" democratic and liberal terms to
camouflage their authoritarian goals. George Orwell called it Newspeak in his
classic novel, "1984." Even the revelations of the summer of 1989,
when Eastern Europe began to slip from the Soviet Union's post-WWII grasp,
failed to shake many of the Marxist faithful in the West.
Hitler-Stalin Pact did not shake Marxist true believers in 1939, either. After
Poland fell, with first Germany claiming territorial spoils, then Russian
troops moving in from the east, Western communists kept faith with Moscow.
Magazine wrote on April 15, 1940, the month before the German assault on
France, "Active new (France) Premier Paul Reynaud last week ordered
Minister of Interior Henri Roy to get ready a decree making any further
Communist or Nazi agitation in France punishable by long imprisonment or death.
Police said current Red propaganda in France almost exactly duplicates Nazi
propaganda urging the Allies to make immediate peace." The Time article
specifically addressed the "communazi" phenomenon.
communists, with their Nazi allies, were undermining Western defenses with
propaganda and political agitation.
cozy collaboration ended when Adolf Hitler launched a sneak attack on Russia in
June 1941. The reeling Soviets suddenly became an ally of the West.
"Communazi" became banished jargon. The Reds had switched sides
again. During the 50 years of Cold War following WWII, however, communists used
the same anti-Western and anti-American propaganda tropes Hitler used, with a
more pernicious and long-lasting effect.
al-Qaida's anti-American propaganda builds on Soviet anti-American agitprop
spread throughout the Middle East and developing world by communist cadres.
Sexual sensationalism, control of Hollywood and Wall Street by evil
capitalists, and cowboy militarism crop up in al-Qaida's list of American
faults and were included in both communist and Nazi anti-American bilge.
careful revolutions of 1989 and the subsequent end of the Cold War freed most
of Eastern Europe from the Soviet empire, but the "communazi"
collaboration in the Hitler-Stalin Pact left a few territorial disputes that
still have geostrategic implications.
is an example. Based on an understanding of "spheres of influence"
hammered out by the Soviet and German foreign ministries, one Hitler-Stalin
pact protocol gave a slice of Romania to the Soviet Union.
That slice became the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic
(SSR). Post-Cold War, the SSR became the nation of Moldova.
Moldovans see themselves as ethnically Romanian. However, a separatist,
pro-Russian "statelet," Transdniestr, exists within Moldova, and ethnic
Russians living in it are "protected" by Russian troops.
majority of Moldovans believe Russia prefers this fractured situation. Through
Transdniestr, Moscow extends its "sphere of influence"
and can disrupt Moldova and vex Romania. Moscow does not
like the fact Romania joined NATO. Moscow routinely accuses Romania of making
trouble in Moldova and notes Romania annexed the region from Russia after World
Modern Moldova remains in a bind.