Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocides and Mass Murders Since 1917

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Transaction Publishers, 1996 - 268 頁

While there are estimates of the number of people killed by Soviet authorities during particular episodes or campaigns, until now, no one has tried to calculate the complete human toll of Soviet genocides and mass murders since the revolution of 1917. Here, R. J. Rummel lists and analyzes hundreds of published estimates, presenting them in the historical context in which they occurred. His shocking conclusion is that, conservatively calculated, 61,911,000 people were systematically killed by the Communist regime from 1917 to 1987.

Rummel divides the published estimates on which he bases his conclusions into eight historical periods, such as the Civil War, collectivization, and World War II. The estimates are further divided into agents of death, such as terrorism, deportations, and famine. Using statistical principles developed from more than 25 years of quantitative research on nations, he analyzes the estimates. In the collectivization period, for example, about 11,440,000 people were murdered. During World War II, while the Soviet Union had lost almost 20,000,000 in the war, the Party was killing even more of its citizens and foreigners-probably an additional 13,053,000. For each period, he defines, counts, and totals the sources of death. He shows that Soviet forced labor camps were the major engine of death, probably killing 39,464,000 prisoners overall.

To give meaning and depth to these figures, Rummel compares them to the death toll from'major wars, world disasters, global genocide, deaths from cancer and other diseases, and the like. In these and other ways, Rummel goes well beyond the bare bones of statistical analysis and tries to provide understanding of this incredible toll of human lives. Why were these people killed? What was the political and social context? How can we understand it? These and other questions are addressed in a compelling historical narrative.

This definitive book will be of interest to Soviet experts, those interested in the study of genocide and violence, peace researchers, and students of comparative politics and society. Written without jargon, its statistics are confined to appendixes, and the general reader can profitably read the book without losing the essence of the findings, which are selectively repeated in the narrative.

 

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第 xv 頁 - Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.
第 xv 頁 - The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and punish.
第 xvi 頁 - Affirms that genocide is a crime under international law which the civilized world condemns, and for the commission of which principals and accomplices— whether private or individuals, public officials or statesmen, and whether the crime is committed on religious, racial, political or any other grounds — are punishable...
第 xvi 頁 - Genocide is a denial of the right of existence of entire human groups, as homicide is the denial of the right to live of individual human beings; such denial of the right of existence shocks the conscience of mankind, results in great losses to humanity in the form of cultural and other contributions represented by these human groups, and is contrary to moral law and to the spirit and aims of the United Nations.

關於作者 (1996)

R. J. Rummel is professor of political science at the University of Hawaii.

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