I wrote this in 2017 on Facebook. This is an edited version for the blog!
Watched this documentary on Amazon about the Americans who went to the USSR during the Depression… Cover Up: The Amerikants. The documentary ended up discussing how most of them ended up “disappeared” (i.e., shot for treason or sent to labor camps as spies). In short, despite being good Communists, the Soviets made many of them GOOD Communists! However, some of the victims had gone over to help Ford build the plant in Gorky and the dam on the Dnieper, not for any ideological reason, just because it was a job. That was sad.
The funniest part was not how the State Department and the government didn’t help them, no, that wasn’t funny. But what was funny was one scholar, who sounded like every commie NPR clone, who was appalled and disgusted (in that dry, emasculated outrage of the NPR-Tier Scholar) by the idea that people at Foggy Bottom–under His Holiness, FDR–thought that the rapidly vanishing Americans might have betrayed their country by accepting citizenship to an unrecognized foreign power whose ideological edifice was contrary to American ideals and policy. Yes. They’d accepted foreign citizenship. And America even said they could come back if they renounced it. But the USSR made renunciation so horrible that it was impossible to do so alive. The scholar’s outrage was just hilarious, though, especially when he said “some of them [Americans back home] might have thought that these American citizens actually deserved it.”
OF COURSE THEY THOUGHT THAT! Now, that may indeed sound cold and heartless, but imagine yourself as a bureaucrat in the 1930s, with the shadow of Hitler looming over Europe. Would you have given a shit if some dumbass who, in their infinite Marxist wisdom, had defected to a hostile foreign power suddenly came back crying home for mommy just because the NKVD might show up at 2AM? Remember: Stalin and Hitler were making nice during the 1930s. They even started the war together, as allies. Molotov-Ribbentrop, anyone?
The descriptions of show-trials and the absurd, ridiculous charges against the American defectors were pure gold. It’s the same thing that SJW-types do today writ-small with their kafkatrapping and all that.
Most of the survivors were children of the original Marxist defectors, some managed to make it out or survive the purges. A few hundred out of more than ten thousand.
It was a tragedy. A completely avoidable tragedy. Like every Marxist regime and the murder that inevitably follows in history was, and is, a completely avoidable tragedy.
This is an excellent review, thank you. And, yes, that one “scholar” you mention is a dyed-in-the-wool Communist. He had Communist imagery adorned about him in his office with a prominent picture of Josef Stalin hanging over his shoulder.