web analytics
December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Novelist: Russia Still Craves Stalinism

But the worst thing the West can do is isolate Russia.
Victor Erofeyev is critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but can appreciate how much worse things could have been and may still become in his country.

Victor Erofeyev is critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, but can appreciate how much worse things could have been and may still become in his country.
Photo Credit: Spiegel

Victor Erofeyev, one of Russia’s most prominent dissident novelists, who started publishing subversive books during the Soviet era, told Spiegel that even though it’s true that Vladimir Putin’s Russia is drifting away from democracy, it would be mad for the west to isolate it at this critical moment.

“Stalin has embedded himself in our genes,” Erofeyev told Spiegel. “He tries again and again to rise from the dead. Please don’t forget that the best were killed after the October Revolution in 1917: the best aristocrats, the best of the bourgeoisie, the best officers, the best farmers – even the best workers. We, including myself, are merely the best remnants of the inferior leftovers. A nation with these genes is susceptible to Stalin. Stalin has also left his mark on my genes.

Erofeyev grew up as a child of privilege. His father was a friend of Stalin, and continued to enjoy the luxury that was the exclusive domain of party officials.

“The first years of my life were the final years of Stalin’s life,” he recalls. “I had a happy childhood — my grandmother was delighted with my appetite when I ate an entire can of black caviar for breakfast. We lived terribly well in the early 1950s in Moscow. For me, Stalinism was all about my father’s fabulous official cars.

“After this paradise, we moved to Paris, where my father soon met many artists. Picasso and Chagall used to sit at our table. It wasn’t clear whether the Stalin childhood or the France childhood was more wonderful. When I returned to Moscow at the age of 12, I realized that everything was a disaster here. In the heart of Moscow, people lived in basements with rats and no heating. I saw the deception.”

Erofeyev is as critical about President Putin as anyone: “Granted, this KGB colonel has become an extraordinary politician,” he concedes, adding: “but he hasn’t learned how to act in the public sphere. He’s also a man who doesn’t read. There are moments when I have no objections to him, and sometimes I simply don’t care about him. But when I see the ferocity with which this obviously ill-mannered man persecutes people whose opinions differ from his, I have to ask myself who is governing us.

But Erofeyev also has some surprising things to say about Putin: “If the West unanimously sees Putin as a dictator or semi-dictator, when he’s really more liberal than 80 percent of the Russians, then we’re in big trouble.”

“On the other hand,” he continues, “there are also signs of a rise in Western values here in Russia. People have an increasingly better understanding of Western books and films, many have protested against electoral fraud and they want more of a say.”

The interviewer pointed out that, twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia and the West are again drifting apart, and asked the novelist’s explanation.

“Europe would prefer to send Putin into retirement, and it sympathizes with those who chanted at the mass protests one and a half years ago: ‘Putin in prison,’” Erofeyev responded. “Putin has good ears and he understands that this was no joke. Why should he steer his country toward Europe if Europe wants to force him from power? If I were in Putin’s position, I also wouldn’t feel an affinity for this Europe.”

Finally, the Russian writer cautioned: “The greatest mistake that the West can make is to isolate Russia. Don’t forget that I can calmly sit here in the middle of the night and answer all the questions that Spiegel asks me without having to fear that the KGB will interrogate me the next morning to find out why Spiegel has interviewed me, and not the foreign minister. And don’t forget that we Russians can now travel freely. One week ago, I took a vacation in Portofino, Italy. I was able to simply head off and then return home.”

Anyone who grew up in the Soviet Union, even to a privileged family of party officials, can appreciate this, and would be terrified of some day having to give it up.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “Novelist: Russia Still Craves Stalinism”

  1. Gil Gilman says:

    surprise surprise…even in the Ukraine…

  2. Eva Feld says:

    Stalin was a murderous bloodthirsty beast. They got what they wanted, an absolute dictatorship under Putin. So be careful what one asks for, that does one do when you get it?

  3. Jean Terry says:

    This is very interesting. I just finished reading "The Red Czar" all about Stalin and his cronies. Fascinating and awful. He was a killer of the greatest magnitude as were many around him. Everyone was in danger under Stalin. They also lived well. The elites, that is. Stalin and his cronies. Many lost favor and their lives because of his paranoia and egotism. I can't imagine why anyone would want the Stalinist era back. He killed and killed and killed and many starved (like millions) while he and his group ate and lived well.

  4. Yechiel Baum says:

    For centuries, Russians have lived under dictators and were never permitted to think for themselves hence todays Russians are zombies. They know to steak but not to progress.

  5. kowalskiL says:

    I also used to be a devoted Stalinist, a student in Poland, in 1950′s. And now, 60 years lated I am an active opponent of the ideology of proletarian dictatorship. My slow evolution from one extreme to another, described at:
    http://csam.montclair.edu/~kowalski/life/intro.html 
    might interest some readers of Yanover’s article above. I am happy that political situation in Russia is improving. Can the same be said about the Russian standard of living? I hope so. 
    Ludwik Kowalski,  < kowalskiL@mail.montclair.edu >
    Professor Emeritus, Montclair State University, N,J, USA
    P.S. Please, review this little-known online document; it needs readers. Or send me your comments. Thank you in advance, 
    Ludwik

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
False Alarm 2
Rocket Fire Returns to Southern Israel – Again!
Latest News Stories
Arab youth shoot fireworks during clashes with Border Police in Shuafat in Jerusalem.

PA Arabs are continuing near-daily clashes with IDF soldiers; on Friday, fierce fighting broke out after sermons at mosques.

False Alarm 2

Rocket fire was directed by Gaza terrorists at southern Israel’s Eshkol district on Friday for the third time since the summer.

Hamas on Temple Mount

Police must have been too busy arresting Jewish children to notice the Hamas rally on the Temple Mount today.

Was top Hezbollah terrorist a spy for Israel?

Reshet Bet has released their latest election poll…

Radical US Jewish lawyer involved in attempt to unite terrorists.

Israelis will Celiac disease will now be allowed to join combat units.

Teenager attacked Jews on their way to holy site.

Four in serious condition; doctors not sure why.

Liberman and Kachlon may merge right after elections – and the larger party will recommend Liberman for Prime Minister to the President.

A Chabad rabbinic student stabbed in “770″ has returned home from the hospital.

Arabs attacked an Israeli bus traveling between Arad and Be’er Sheva along Highway 31 Thursday evening.

The UN General Assembly approves resolution to refer N. Korea to the Intl Criminal Court at The Hague.

Israeli soldiers stand guard near large public menorah near the site where Dalia Lemkus, 26, was stabbed to death at a bus stop near the entrance to Alon Shvut last month.

US teachers are learning “3-D printing” from the Dept. of Defense.

The U.S. government has definitely linked North Korea to the cyber terror siege of Sony Pictures.

More Articles from Yori Yanover
rain ATM

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last […]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party, is not happy.

“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]

Pat Condell has a new video out, so, sit back, have fun. By the way, Message to Offended Muslims should not be confused with Message to Off Handed Muslims. Also, I’d love to hear what he has to say about Haredim.

The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]

We will shut them up in the campuses, we will shut them up in the high schools, we will shut them up at the 92nd St. Y.

An Israeli female soldier (because they’re better at removing babies from their homes) evacuates a baby from a settlement in Judea and Samaria some time in the recent past. I’m thinking, if the baby was angry enough, couldn’t he evacuate in return, right there in her arms? Imagine the same picture, except with a settler […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/novelist-russia-still-craves-stalinism/2013/09/16/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: