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And God Created Lenin: Marxism vs Religion In Russia, 1917-1929;Good Overall Information. How Roman Catholicism--and Polish Catholics in Particular--Stood Up to Soviet Communist Atheization,

jan peczkis|Friday, April 28, 2017

CHARACTERIZING YAROSLAVSKY [MINEI GUBELMAN], THE HEAD OF THE LEAGUE OF MILITANT GODLESS

Many works on Soviet atheism portray Emelian Yaroslavsky as essentially a moderate who promoted educational atheism of the masses, and who avoided the extremes of mere passive atheization and violent atheization. However, the boundary between “respectable” and “guttural” militant atheism was not clear-cut even in the case of Yaroslavsky. For instance, Yaroslavsky, in his speeches, associated religion with drunkenness. (p. 195)




Author Paul Gabel adds that, “…Emelyan Yaroslavsky…also urged children to fight for atheism within their families and was known to incite workers to violence when they encountered recalcitrant believers. He was zealous and creative but not a true intellectual. His books tended toward the crudest and most primitive of arguments against God…Yaroslavsky was a cautious politician—in other words, a survivor—and dialectically proclaimed both the Left and Right deviations ‘equally harmful,’ while embodying aspects of both.” (p. 319).

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I now examine some subjects in greater depth. The following [except for the titles in CAPS] are direct quotes from author Paul Gabel:

JEWISH COMPLICITY—BOTH OVERT AND COVERT—IN THE FORCED ATHEIZATION OF THE USSR

Lenin put Trotsky in charge of antireligious propaganda from 1921 to 1922, until the formation in October 1922 of the Party Central Committee’s “Commission on Antireligious Propaganda” Under Yaroslavsky. (p. 118).

Trotsky put his lieutenant, Sapranov, in charge of the physical confiscations and ordered him to work with local soviets and under the cover of the famine relief committee. The only way to make sense of this is to assume the work of local soviets (and perhaps the Cheka) was general knowledge but that Trotsky’s commission was still a deep secret. A clue may be gleaned, however, from Lenin’s request to Trotsky not to speak out publically on this issue to avoid charges that the Jewish Trotsky was heading a Jewish conspiracy to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church. Plenty of anti-Soviet propaganda had already zeroes in on the relatively high percentage of Jews in the Bolshevik high command. Nonetheless, Trotsky was also put in charge of the commission to SELL the valuables and convert them into cash, which was not an easy task; many foreign brokers refused to touch the treasures once they learned of their origin. (p. 208; Emphasis in original).

In the provinces a full week of (unannounced) agitation should precede any actual confiscations; and the best agitators would be soldiers; any Jews on confiscation committees must be kept in the background. (p. 211).

Stalin also made sure that Yaroslavsky was appointed as the first head of the League of the Godless when it was created in 1925.

WHY SOVIET COMMUNISM MADE THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AN ESPECIAL ENEMY. THE HEROISM OF POLES

Indeed, proportional to its numbers, the Catholic Church in Russia presented a graver problem for the Bolsheviks than did the Orthodox Church. There are four reasons for this: Catholic hierarchs were reluctant to compromise with the Soviet regime and openly stood up to its atheist policies…The Catholic connection with ethnic minorities---especially the Poles—turned religious problems into nationalities problems…The Vatican in the international arena stood staunchly opposed to formal diplomatic recognition of the Soviet regime…Unlike the Russian Orthodox Church, which was Russian and had no pretensions to a worldwide mission (except to exiled or emigrated members), the Catholic Church saw itself as universal and borderless. (p. 373).

Every attempt to “Sovietize” and revolutionize Russia’s Poles, Germans, Latvians, and Lithuanians was thwarted by their allegiance to the Roman Church. (p. 373).

ROMAN CATHOLICISM WAS COMMUNISM’S “ENEMY NUMBER ONE” EVEN IN THE COMPLETE ABSENCE OF ROMAN CATHOLICS IN
COMMUNIST-RULED NATIONS!

In the early days of Communist power, idealistic party leaders and followers took internationalism quite seriously. Catholicism was resented not only because it blocked the spread of communism but also because it represented an alternate internationalism already in place. (p. 374).

Fearing any rival, the Bolsheviks would have attacked the Catholic Church even if not a single Catholic had lived on Russian soil. (p. 374).
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