Communism Should Be Put on Trial for Murder and Banned

Posted on Saturday, November 27, 2021
by AMAC Newsline
Communism in Berlin

AMAC Exclusive – By Ben Solis

The day after it became a united city, the heart of Berlin looked nearly as it had for very many years. The morning rush hour proceeded as usual under an overcast sky.

A grey-haired man in a black tuxedo played his violon cello at the foot of the Berlin Wall that collapsed the day before – a 104-mile barrier through the city out of a total 4,300 miles of fences, walls, minefields, and watchtowers that separated the Soviet bloc from the West.

The cellist’s bow moved slowly, and the melody displayed contrasting chord progressions through arpeggiation to convey the wealth of a varied expression of drama and mysticism.

His name was Mstislav Rostropovich, a renowned conductor and cellist. On that first day of freedom, November 10, 1989, he carefully selected a music repertoire for an ad hoc concert that featured works by Johannes Sebastian Bach and Charles François Gounod.

In the audience that found an oasis of serenity in the cellist’s music stood Walter, whose mother and father both lost one parent, their siblings, and the majority of their extended families to the Communist regime. Their family’s multi-generational wealth was lost, the house demolished by bulldozers, and the property ownership documents in the local archives burned. Communists labeled them as “enemies of the people.”

The Gounod works selected by Rostropovich had to be familiar to the many pedestrians. They were from the soundtrack of the controversial 1987 Georgian film, Repentance, which had been banned in much of the Soviet Union but had been broadcast into East Germany from West Germany just a few weeks earlier—creating a stir in East Berlin. The movie is about a town struggling to bury its dictatorial mayor and break with a past that had turned the majority of its residents into victims of heinous crimes committed by a tiny group of their neighbors.

In the film, someone repeatedly dug the corpse of the tyrant out of the grave. After being caught and put on trial, the culprit stated that “unpunished and uncondemned crimes could not be rested because they would initiate more iniquity.”

In other words, the wicked ideology that grossly violated the unalienable right to live needed to be outlawed.

In the story, the tragedy of the city started when the mayor-turned despot targeted the parish church and their community with his idea of a fight against backwardness. Convinced that religion was an obstacle to scientific progress, the despot launched a militant campaign of forced atheization. During the night, the secret police arrested and carried out mass executions of those dissenting, including Christians. To demonstrate the superiority of science over religion, the tyrant destroyed the church building by transforming it into a nuclear lab with centrifuges-like machines that vibrated and ruined the ancient construction.

The Gounod theme music in the movie heightened the viewer’s attention, emphasizing the profound implications of the mayor’s decision to launch a war against the Christian worldview. At the ad hoc, real-life Rostropovich concert in Berlin, that symbol of the ancient church sounded as a call for a memory and remembrance.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov once observed that rendering a definitive judgment over Communism would strengthen world peace. As another anti-Communist leader, the German pastor Joachim Gauck, later added, the post-Soviet past required an act akin to the Christian examination of conscience and repentance.

At first, it seemed like such an undertaking would be easy. There was precedent. Forty-three years earlier, the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg banned the Nazi ideology and symbols and convicted Nazi perpetrators of crimes against humanity and peace.

With plenty of witnesses, and vast amounts of supporting documentation, there would be more than enough material to make a similarly unassailable case against Communism, like in Nuremberg.

In the international bestseller, the Black Book of Communism, six distinguished historians explain in convincing fashion that the scale and nature of crimes committed by the Communist regimes – that is by those who practiced socialism – can only be described as a massacre of civilian populations.

The massacre occurred by firing squads, hanging, drowning, battering, gassing, poisonings, or “car accidents.” The communist regimes destroyed various populations by starvation through man-made famine and the withholding of food and medicines. Deportation was another instrument used by socialist regimes to exterminate enemies of the people. During the transport, death could occur due to physical exhaustion or confinement in non-ventilated cold or hot spaces. The socialist regimes also killed through forced labor and accompanying illness, hunger, cold, or exhaustion.

The Black Book of Communism concluded that the bureaucrats of those regimes killed nearly 100 million people in the name of socialism, which is the Marxist-Leninist ideology.

Modernity, science, and progress were supposed to replace what the Marxists called old, traditional, Christian, and backward. But instead of paradise, the socialist dictatorships delivered persecution, destruction, and mass murder.

Marx wanted to replace, as he called it, “the cult of abstract man by the science of real men and their historical development.” In his criticism of the so-called old world, Marx intended to destroy religion and the old model of the state.

Marxists therefore perceive socialism as not only a social project, but also as a replacement for religion. As Marx wrote to Russian terrorist Leo Hartmann, “The religion of the workers has no God because it seeks to restore the divinity of man.”

This claim continues to motivate the Communist regimes that currently rule several countries without legitimacy conferred by the people.

A month after Rostropovich’s concert at the Berlin Wall, during a private talk with Pope John Paul II, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, conveyed his belief that democratic measures alone would not be sufficient for Russia to be transformed by perestroika.

“We also need ethics. Democracy can bring evil as well as good,” Gorbachev said.

But neither Gorbachev, his Russian successor, Boris Yeltsin, nor leaders of post-Soviet countries ever launched a new ethical vision for the world by putting socialism and the Communist Party on trial – even after the failed putsch in Moscow in August 1991, when, according to former dissident and political prisoner Vladimir Bukovsky, it was the most appropriate time.

“Under such circumstances, it would have been quite possible to convene if not a Nuremberg-style tribunal, then at least something similar which, by force of its moral influence on our confused world, could have been even more significant,” Bukovsky wrote in his book Judgement in Moscow.

“It was a neglect of moral duty,” Mr. Bukovsky said in a later interview as he reflected on Yeltsin’s failure.

Walter, the East German listener whose family had been ruined by the Communist system, never got the chance to see justice in his lifetime. His parents passed away shortly after the Berlin Wall collapsed, and a post-Communist judge denied him reparations for what had happened to his family. The socialist rulers committed mistakes, not crimes, the verdict said. Walter himself then tragically died.

The neglect of the moral duty to confront communism’s legacy has allowed Russia and Communist China to rise up and once again become a threat. But this time, those regimes cannot be dealt with by foreign policies, defense, or even propaganda alone.

We have delayed the reckoning, but we still need to confront Communism’s great evils.

A ban on Socialism by an international tribunal, one strongly guided by Christian principles, would deliver not only retrospective justice to the oppressed and their families affected by the consequences of the crimes of Communism, but also provide the world with moral clarity.

In condemning the crimes of Communism, the tribunal would also make it impossible to justify or even portray the actions of Soviet socialist parties as achievements, thus decreasing the support for regimes currently based on Marxism-Leninism.

Thou Shalt Not Kill is the most basic tenet of the Christianity-based Western worldview. That’s why Socialist ideology, which Communist parties and regimes have advanced to violate this most basic precept of the moral order, must be prohibited – along with all of its symbols and figures (including images of Che and Lenin). Nothing less will ensure that its poisonous influence begins to finally recede.

Ben Solis is the pen name of an international affairs journalist, historian and researcher.

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