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Old 02-05-2005, 09:13 AM   #1
Christophe
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Communist Symbols banned ?

For your information, with no comment...

"EU Lawmakers Want Communist Symbols Banned
Associated Press
Thursday, February 03, 2005

BRUSSELS, Belgium — A group of conservative European Union lawmakers from eastern Europe called Thursday for a ban on communist symbols, including the red star and the hammer and sickle, to match a proposed EU ban on the Nazi swastika.

The group from Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic said the communist symbols should be included in any ban because of the suffering caused by Soviet-backed regimes in eastern Europe.

"We would like to have an equal treatment of the other evil totalitarian regime of the communist system," said Jozsef Szajer, an Hungarian member of the European Parliament.

EU Justice and Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini has proposed a Europe-wide ban on display of the swastikas and other Nazi symbols as part of a campaign to combat anti-Semitism and intolerance.

"If we decide to ban one, we should decide to ban all of them," said Jan Zahradil, a Czech member of the EU assembly.

Frattini's spokesman, Friso Roscam Abbing, said the EU head office was not at this time pushing for a similar ban on communist symbols."

He is completely aware of the pain this [communist rule] has caused," Roscam Abbing said. But including the hammer and sickle alongside the swastika "might not be appropriate" under the anti-racism rules being negotiated, he said, noting the Nazi swastika was seen as a symbol specifically associated with anti-Semitism.

"It warrants further political debate," he said.

Justice and interior ministers from the 25 EU nations will discuss the banning of Nazi symbols at a meeting this month. The proposals need agreement from all EU governments.

Former Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis, who led his country out of the Soviet Union, said the hammer and sickle was also a symbol of oppression.

"It was a fake symbol of unity of workers and farmers," he said.

(...)

Ch.
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Old 02-05-2005, 10:09 AM   #2
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How would a ban affect collecting Soviet items?

Not to turn this into politics, but I think the symbol
$
has caused quite a lot of suffer as well.
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Old 02-05-2005, 12:26 PM   #3
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The initiative seeks to ban the public display of the Soviet hammer and sickle symbol. It has nothing to do with stars.

Much of this debate is also tied to the Russian initiative to have the rest of Europe accept May 9 as a day of victory over Fascism, as May 8 is, and in its attempt to have the Baltic presidents in Moscow for May 9 festivities--something which is extremely sensitive to the Balts who equate May 9 with the beginning of Soviet occupation and the killings and deportations that occured during Soviet rule for 45 years.
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Old 02-05-2005, 01:27 PM   #4
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Imho there is obviously no comparision at all between nazi associated symbols (Yolkin, we all know that the swastika existed long before the nazi regime decided to use it, unfortunatelly now, since WWII, it's for ever associated with that regime) and Soviet/communist symbols. For me it's enough to remember that it was most of all thanks to the huge sacrifices of Red Army, the Russian people as well as those other nationalities that were part of the former USSR, that Europe got rid of nazism.
I can also add that a regime that was racist on it's own essence, that deliberated and officialy took the decision to eradicate from the face of Earth other people such as jews, gipsies, homosexuals, Soviet prisoners of war, etc (the famous Final Solution), that wanted to use the people of the Eastern occupied countries as slaves, that considered themselves the "master race"...
etc, etc, etc... such a regime (and it's symbols) can't be compared with the Communist regime!... I'm not saying that the Soviet regime didn't commit many errors (mostly because of paranoic Stalin) but there is a huge difference between both these political theories!
I guess I can partially understand our Eastern Europe new partners on EU and the fact they associate Communist symbols with Soviet Union occupation of their countries after WWII, but they shouldn't mix up errors and the essence of a regime!
Tretov, a ban of such symbols as the hammer and sickle could affect Soviet Awards collectors as it already affects our fellow collectors in France for example (I believe a few other European countries also adopted this law!), where I believe they can't have access to eBay items showing the hammer and sickle! This is just a small example of how that ban would affect us, but there are others of course! If such a law was adopted by all countries of the EU I don't know if you could keep selling Soviet uniforms on your site, for example...

Anyway, I sincerely hope this ban won't be adopted by all EU countries and that each country will be free to decide what to do!

Dolf
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Old 02-05-2005, 01:37 PM   #5
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german awards

I also collect nazi era awards and one of my contacts in Germany feels very worried now. The ban should stop all trade with nazi regalia and selling would be forbidden. It´s talk about forbidding people to own the stuff as well.
Strange country. Can´t relly deal with it´s history even after 60 years. It´s one thing with neo nazis. These are the scum of the earth but history interested collectors aren´t relly the harmful people as far as I know.
Best


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dolf
Imho there is obviously no comparision at all between nazi associated symbols (Yolkin, we all know that the swastika existed long before the nazi regime decided to use it, unfortunatelly now, since WWII, it's for ever associated with that regime) and Soviet/communist symbols. For me it's enough to remember that it was most of all thanks to the huge sacrifices of Red Army, the Russian people as well as those other nationalities that were part of the former USSR, that Europe got rid of nazism.
I can also add that a regime that was racist on it's own essence, that deliberated and officialy took the decision to eradicate from the face of Earth other people such as jews, gipsies, homosexuals, Soviet prisoners of war, etc (the famous Final Solution), that wanted to use the people of the Eastern occupied countries as slaves, that considered themselves the "master race"...
etc, etc, etc... such a regime (and it's symbols) can't be compared with the Communist regime!... I'm not saying that the Soviet regime didn't commit many errors (mostly because of paranoic Stalin) but there is a huge difference between both these political theories!
I guess I can partially understand our Eastern Europe new partners on EU and the fact they associate Communist symbols with Soviet Union occupation of their countries after WWII, but they shouldn't mix up errors and the essence of a regime!
Tretov, a ban of such symbols as the hammer and sickle could affect Soviet Awards collectors as it already affects our fellow collectors in France for example (I believe a few other European countries also adopted this law!), where I believe they can't have access to eBay items showing the hammer and sickle! This is just a small example of how that ban would affect us, but there are others of course! If such a law was adopted by all countries of the EU I don't know if you could keep selling Soviet uniforms on your site, for example...

Anyway, I sincerely hope this ban won't be adopted by all EU countries and that each country will be free to decide what to do!

Dolf
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Old 02-05-2005, 01:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinmoldova
The initiative seeks to ban the public display of the Soviet hammer and sickle symbol. It has nothing to do with stars.

...
The star is explicitly mentioned:

" A group of conservative European Union lawmakers from eastern Europe called Thursday for a ban on communist symbols, including the red star and the hammer and sickle, to match a proposed EU ban on the Nazi swastika. "
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Old 02-05-2005, 02:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by new world
The star is explicitly mentioned:

" A group of conservative European Union lawmakers from eastern Europe called Thursday for a ban on communist symbols, including the red star and the hammer and sickle, to match a proposed EU ban on the Nazi swastika. "

Exactly.

I wonder why not to ban also the stars of another country that invades countries because they alledged have WMD that in fact don't exist...
Or soon ban all the stars from the sky...
etc, etc, etc...

This all thing is really silly!

Dolf
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Old 02-05-2005, 02:17 PM   #8
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Dolf,

I could not disagree with you more. The Soviet system was not racist, it was classist; it tried to wipe out people based on class, wealth, etc. The number of victims of the Soviet system in the USSR, Eastern Europe, China, Cambodia, greatly outnumber the victims of the Nazi regime. I do not think that they would much care that the regime that killed or oppressed them was based on the idea of the 'equality of man'. To say that there were "mistakes" and that these were simply the result of Stalin really ignores most of the history of communist regimes.

The Red Army was hardly liberator of Eastern Europe, or even of its own territories. Once free of the Red Army these nations chose to get rid of the very system imposed on them.

I think that no symbol should be banned, and thank the US founding fathers for the 1st amendment. Let all ideas out and let them live or die based on their own value.


I think its really interesting that its Europe that is banning (or trying) these symbols....after appeasing the Nazis, ban their symbols; after appeasing the Communists, ban their symbols....Europe, stop appeasing (i.e. Iraq) and stand up for something other than banning!

DougD
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Old 02-05-2005, 03:43 PM   #9
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Doug,

I started my post by "Imho" (In my humble opinion) so what I say is just my own opinions. You disagree, I can perfectly understand and accept that, this is one of the good things of democracy
In three weeks we will have here new elections for a new Government: some will vote for the Christian Democratic party, others for the Social Democratic, others for the Socialists, others for the Communists, others for the Radical left, others for the Maoïsts... Democracy allows us to choose what we prefer, but after the people decides all the others will accept the will of the people and there will be no civil war because of that and no one will impose by force his ideas. Not perfect but that's fair enough.
In my country, after 40 years of a fascist dictatorship, the new Constitution made after freedom was restored forbids extreme right parties (fascists, nazis, neo nazis), but not communist or radical left or maoïst parties... I guess you disagree. I don't. No need to say that I have my heart on the left side... and that I really have no sympathy for the right wing theories!

As for WWII History and the cold war that followed, I simply don't think that "the number of victims of the Soviet system in the USSR, Eastern Europe, China, Cambodia, greatly outnumber the victims of the Nazi regime".
This is not what my sources say! Even if you compare a period of 40 years with a period of some 7 years, I believe that in those 7 years the nazis outnumbered the victims of any other regime on Earth, ever!

The Soviet regime was classist as you say, no secret on that, I perfectly know that theory is based on classes. But it doesn't say that certain classes must be eliminated! And it didn't defend mass murder as a rule! Only that the workers should rule, which in fact never happened as the communist parties on those countries were as corrupted as all the others

Back to WWII most authors I've read agree that Russia was the country which suffered more losses than any other country.
Some numbers:
USSR - about 20 million deads!!!
UK - about 326.00 soldiers + some 62.000 civilians.
USA - about 300.000 soldiers.

As far as I am concerned I'm for ever grateful to the Red Army for their huge sacrifices in human lifes. Without them I don't know how long it would take to get rid of nazism! So for me (but that's just my opinion) they were indeed the true liberators of Europe.
The fact that after WWII Soviet Union occupied those neigbour countries for it's own security, that's another story, but after all that was a strategy that was (and still is, sometimes by different methods, such as economically domination, etc) often used in History.

I'm by nature anti-militarist, but each time I handle a Soviet Award on my hands I always think on the individual person that may have made the ultimate sacrifice for us to feel free now and not under the boots of the TR, probably dying on a concentration camp...

Best wishes,

Dolf

EDIT:
One of my sources for Red Army casualties is David Glantz. He states that the total, including not only the killed but also the wounded, the missing in action or captured, etc, between June 41 - May 45 would be 29,629,205 !!! That's huge!

Last edited by Dolf; 02-05-2005 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 02-05-2005, 04:08 PM   #10
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Hi Dolf,

Of course its all opinion, that's accepted on these boards. People who normally could not share, can now do so thanks to the internet.

I agrees that the incredible feats of the Red Army are unmatched (doubt they ever will be), and never even brought up their losses in W.W.II. That they lost more than any other army is in no dispute. It is the reason many of us collect, but does not really have anything to do with the victims of communist rule.

So, getting back to my original argument, that communism killed far more people than naziism ( true, over a greater time, but not relevant to the overall idea), i really think that you need to look at your numbers. I would really be interested to hear 'your source' that if we added up the victims of Naziism and the worldwide victims of communism ( in those nations i listed, perhaps adding others) that the number of communist victims would be lower? How can that possibly be? I really would like to hear the sources, because when i run up the totals in my head it does not even come close.

This is not to defend the nazi regime, as evil as it was, but it is to point out that those who have been the victims of communism are entitled to feel that they are just as much victims of an ideology as were the victims of the nazis.

i also really think we have a different view of soviet history; the entire basis of the soviet system was the elimination of certain classes ( just as the elimination of certain races was the nazi ideology)...this was bloody and it had many many victims...as it would in China, Cambodia, Poland, etc.

so, i must say my heart is not with the left...they that can defend a system that was so evil to so many;Spain was the victim of Franco, but that does not mean that those who opposed him on the left were angels. For Spain (or any other European nation) to ban extremist parties on one side, and not the other, is hypocritical, as is the entire argument that started this: that the victims of one political evil are somehow more legitimate that victims of the mirror political evil. If Spain were a true democracy now it would allow the far right parties to form, express their silly neo-nazi ideas, and let the Spanish people reject them.

According to the Victims of Communism Foundation, worldwide communism (like naziism) is responsible for the deaths of many millions (they place it at 100 Million).

Please don't attack the overall organization without some facts to back up an argument...if the numbers are wrong, where and why are they wrong? I looked at them and I can't disagree with many of them ( although i think they underestimate deaths in Ukraine).

Assuming this is true, or even if they overestimate deaths (again, if they do, where do they?) then the victims of communism well outnumber those of naziism. The fact that even after all of these facts there are still defenders of communist ideology in Europe is disturbing.

http://www.victimsofcommunism.org
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