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It's seriouse theme for russians. We know that american history say that USA together with other countries won Germany. But most of russians do not think so. I want to explain general opinion of russians, may be not right (because i don't know history well), but I'll try.
Before WW2, Europe and USA was industrially places of the world, and that is why they dominate over the other places. Stalin was managing on industrialisation in Russia (pretty successfully) and Russia was becoming competitor (economically) for USA and Europe. Also at this time was economic recession.
When Hitler begun the war, USA and Europe could stop him, but they didn't do that. They kept actions not very actively, they was waiting untill Germany eliminate Russia as economic participant. Frence, for example, capitulated. Also there is unconfirmed information that american bankers secretly financed Hitler for that.
Four years all Russians was fighting. There was no any usual people like businessman or other, there was only soldiers or workers who work for weapons or military food and etc. If number of people before the war was 150-160 millions, then while war was going, about 26 millions had died, and 1-1.5 miilion had died after the war because there were hunger and destruction.
At the end of the war when advantage was on russian side and Hitler had completed his "mission" and was not needed anymore other countries joined to the attacks and finished the war.
Sorry for my mistakes. Thank you for reading.
I think that I am allowed to answer this serious question if I am super careful about my words.
Here in the United States, we were always taught that Russia played a very important part.
Above all, we were taught that many Russian soldiers and civilians died.
I think that most Americans appreciate the suffering and sacrifice of the Russian people during that period in world history.
I had better not say any more.
Here, most people (myself included) understand the enourmous sacrifice that Russia (the USSR, if you like) gave in order to defeat nazi germany, but have more of a knowledge of the specific campaigns in which we (and also the British) were involved. That's probably true. For example, I know about the battle of Stalingrad, I know that Russian casualty rates were really high, and I have read something about a Russian general but I can't remember his name, nor any of the other Soviet military commanders. You seem to say something postive about Stalin, In my opinion though, was responsable for the purges, and also probably the famine of the '20s. You also mentioned American cooperation with the nazi regime. There is a book I've seen (I haven't read it), whose thesis seems to be that IBM assisted in the development of the databases that were used to perpetrate the holocaust. I am not sure if this was before the war or during it. I should read the book.
@James - if you are acting out of politeness or some sense of not offending someone, I have a hard time understanding this. If you are afraid to say what you really think about things for other reasons, well...
I start this discussion, because here in Russia, when we speak about USA, we sometimes hear that americans thought that "USA won WW2". Now I understand that it's stereotype.
Thank you Alex,
I do not mean Stalin is a positive person. I just wanted to say he had been successfuly managing and reaching his goals, technically speaking.
There was no one country that “won” World War II. There were many nations that fought against the Nazis and the other Axis powers. If you take any one of the Allied powers out of the equation, and the outcome of the war could have been quite different. Jackson, you state that when Hitler begun the war (1939), the US and Europe could have stopped him, but they didn't do that. Jackson, please explain on what basis the US should have entered into World War II when the US hadn’t been attacked by Germany or any of its allies. Договор о ненападении между Германией и Советским Союзом Молотова - Риббентропа. Jackson, at the very time you state the US and “Europe” should have stopped Hitler, the USSR became an ally of Hitler. I am referring to the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Under that treaty the USSR agreed not to become involved in any war in Europe. The treaty continued in existence until the very day that Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The USSR also supplied Germany with raw materials and war materiel, some of which was used against the USSR after the invasion. (I have often wondered if the facts I have mentioned in this paragraph are taught in Russian schools, and are generally known by today’s Russians. Maybe some Russian reader could tell me.) The Soviet people fought heroically against the Nazis, but so did the Americans, British, and others, not only in Europe, but also in North Africa. And at the same time, the Americans, British, and others were fighting in another theater against Germany’s most powerful ally, Japan. [World War II was much bigger than what happening in the Soviet Union.] It serves no purpose – other than blind nationalism – to denigrate the contribution of any of the nations that fought against Germany and Germany's allies in that war.
On what basis does the USA own the military bases all over the world? If you fail to make the basis it is to make one like " to free the opressed", "to save the world" and make the right allies. And nobody blamed the USA for not joining the war, in fact what I think Jackson is saying is that if it is taught in the USA that the US won this war, why they were waiting to take part in it. And yes, I am not too much into history, and it is long time ago I studied, but as we were taught - yes, we made this pace, and it was so "graceless" of Hitler to break it. At the same time, I know that Stalin had the information from spies in different countries that the USSR would be attacked long time before it had been attacked, but he refused to face the truth, because he didn't want to get involved in this war. And yes, most likely,the USSR would never enter this war if it hadn't been attacked, and could do a lot to keep this peace. But what happened millions of people were forced into it. My grandfather on my father's side lost his leg in this war, my grandparents on my mother's side worked from sunrise to sunset, and actually starved because they were not allowed to take a handful of grain which they produced - punishement - death. My grandmother still cries when she remembers this time. They lived 3000 km away from each other. And everybody I know can tell a story like that. It affected all. And while I hear that my relatives were so stupid to die and starve, while others contributed in a better way, it sounds weird to me. In my opinion, nobody won, it was a disaster to survive, that's all. And just have a look at the US economy right before the war, during the war, and after it.
I remember visiting the small Airforce museum near Albany, there was a short video about how the planes delivered the humanitarian aid ( food as I remember) to Russia or the USSR during this war. The guide was about to burst into tears, while all other Americans were watching it awe-struck, admiring how great and admirable these pilots are. I do think it is great to help hungry people. They are just hungry people, who are not in interested in politics and power. But it is the air of doing a great favour that puts me off.
@Jackson: Thank you for your kind comments.
@Alex: I have learned to be very careful, for if members say certain things about certain countries, their remarks or the thread will be deleted. Recently, someone asked our opinions about the legal system in country X. Several of us answered. The next day, the thread had been removed.
I realize that the people who run this website have the absolute right to set the rules. If I wish to remain a member, I must obey their rules.
America won. This is what i was taught. I'm from the Uk.