A "Stalin Memorial" in Virginia? No.

Blog ››› ››› BEN DIMIERO

Back in January, as he was promoting his asinine "documentary" trying to link progressives to the worst atrocities of the 20th century, Glenn Beck said that "progressive historians" are "on a mission to make sure Nazis are right" and defend Stalin and Mao. Of course, that isn't at all the case, but conservative media outlets seem to think they have found some evidence to prove that progressives are doing their best to defend Stalin's memory. As usual, they are being extremely misleading.

Fox Nation is currently promoting a Washington Examiner editorial by Joel S. Gehrke Jr. with the following headline and image:

As Stalin Memorial in Virginia? That does indeed sound ridiculous. Of course, there is no such thing.

As the article indicates, the National D-Day Memorial unveiled a bust of Stalin to go along with busts of FDR, Harry Truman, and Winston Churchill that are already part of the Memorial. Gehrke devotes pretty much the entire article to lecturing about Stalin's atrocities, and his headline suggests that the statue is meant to somehow honor Stalin:

Stalin murdered 40 million Soviet Citizens. He imprisoned tens of millions more for such political offenses as "defeatist comments" during World War II, and for criticism of his own incompetent and cowardly conduct of the war's early stages. Soviet soldiers were frequently surrounded by Germans early in the war, because Stalin had arrested and murdered all of his army's competent generals before World War II began. And when the surrendered Soviet POWs were repatriated after the war, they were sent directly to Stalin's prison camps.

Gehrke's suggestion that the statue ignores Stalin's history of atrocities is completely wrong. The plaque below the bust of Stalin reads:

In memory of the tens of millions who died under Stalin's rule and in tribute to all whose valor, fidelity, and sacrifice denied him and his successors victory in the cold war.

Richard Pumfrey, the artist who created the bust, and William McIntosh, the president of the memorial foundation, have clearly indicated that Stalin's inclusion in the memorial is intended to be historically accurate, not to flatter or honor Stalin:

McIntosh has said the intent of installing the bust is not to honor Stalin as a hero but acknowledge his role in distracting German forces, which played a part in the timing and unfolding of D-Day.

"He's a necessary addition," McIntosh said in a 2009 interview. "He certainly was a fact of life and a major ally during the second World War ... There's nothing about the presentation that's going to be flattering of Stalin."

In an interview with The News & Advance last year, Pumphrey said leaving the dictator out of the lineup of Allied leaders was similar to leaving Judas Iscariot out of the famous Last Supper painting by Leonardo Da Vinci. Pumphrey said in the interview he viewed Stalin a "terrible person."

The reality of the situation is much less interesting than the story Fox Nation and Gehrke are trying to tell, so they just went ahead and left out all of that relevant information.

Washington Examiner, Fox Nation
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