Source for Stalin's Death Toll

Here. For a more academic source that Sousa’s essay is based on, see Victims of the Soviet Penal System in the Pre-war Years:A First Approach on the Basis of Archival Evidence by J. Arch Getty, Gabor T. Ritterspoon and Viktor N. Zemskov. I am really getting tired of endlessly answering these questions to people who are not familiar with the literature. Note: I am not insulting those of you who have not heard of the revisionist studies, as the revisionist tolls on Stalin have never been disseminated by the “free press” (LOL!) in the West, so of course no one has heard of any of this stuff. Peacetime figures for political deaths in the USSR 1921-1953 are:

Executions:             900,000
Deaths in the gulag:    300,000
Dekulakization Ukraine: 390,000

Totals: 1.59 million Granted this does not include their fake deliberate famine (5.4 million) or the deaths during WW2. It’s open to debate whether to include such things or not. The source is J. Arch Getty and various Russian scholars. The KGB archives were opened up by Gorbachev in 1990 and the millions of pages were pored over by scholars from the world over. The killers wrote down everything. Google J. Arch Getty for more. The debate has continued to be conducted in academic journals since then, and the Conquest liars have stuck to their guns. The debate gets complicated, and I am not privy to all the details. Bottom line is that Conquest is saying that Commies lie all the time, so why should we believe the KGB archives, since obviously the KGB lied in their own archives? Feel free to dip into it if you wish. I gave up after a bit and am just siding with Getty and rest. It may be some time before this is all sorted out. There are clearly some overheated emotions, at least on one side anyway. The figures do not include:

WW2 minority transfers:    300,000+
Executions during WW2:     ~100,000+
Gulag criminal deaths:     900,000

Totals: 1.3 million Even if you include those deaths, the figure only goes to 2.9 million. That’s a far cry from 20-110 million. So many people have been fed the Conquest fertilizer for so many years that they can’t help but believe it, and they refuse to believe that the US government and the World Press lied to them for so many decades. People don’t like to hear that they got lied to.


Getty, J. Arch, Ritterspoon, Gabor T. and Zemskov, Viktor N. 1993. Victims of the Soviet Penal System in the Pre-war Years: A First Approach on the Basis of Archival Evidence American Historical Review 98:4, 1048-49.
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0 thoughts on “Source for Stalin's Death Toll”

    1. The reports for peacetime death tolls are considered accurate. These reports are for peacetime. Wartime death tolls are very problematic with all sorts of lying on all sides. The Soviet archives do not deal with death tolls during wartime, but they do keep tabs on gulag deaths during the war.

  1. The bulk of the evidence is on the side of the low estimates. And revisionist research suggests that the effects of the Red Army purges were neither as thorough nor damaging as originally thought.
    Still, none of this obviously helped.
    1.5mn for the famines seems to low. To me the most credible figures are 2.5-3mn in Ukraine, and 2-2.5mn in the rest of the Union, since they are based on annual demographic data and simple tallying of excess mortality in 1932-34 vis-a-vis previous years. To this should also be added the almost forgotten 1946-47 famine which was another 0.5mn.

  2. Tired of Polish catholic nationalists whinging about Katyn. Equally pissed off at communists who still deny Soviet responsibility for this brutal, but necessary operation.
    The Polish officer class were proto-fascists who wanted an alliance with Hitler against ‘Jewish bolshevism’. Under Colonel Beck they even aped the Nuremburg Laws in Poland. Catholics they blamed the Jews as ‘Christ-killers’, (I know this as I was reared a Catholic and was subjected to anti-semitism in post-war Ireland. Read Joyce if you want to see how pervasive this was in that country.) Being they were ‘inferior’ slavs was the only reason the Nazis refused to countenance their importuning.
    They also collaborated with Hitler at Munich seizing parts of Czechoslvakia in 1938.

  3. @Peter Tobin
    Just couldn’t let it slide.
    RE: “Polish catholic nationalists whinging about Katyn” – was murdering 22,000 “Polish… proto-fascists” POWs really a “necessary operation” ????
    How exactly do you justify such a “necessary operations” – I wander….
    Was Poland veering towards fascism in mid 1930s ? Yes. A cruel joke goes that, by attacking Poland, Hitler saved her from falling into fascism.
    As far the rest of your comment is concerned, it’s a gross over-simplification.
    Consider the following historical facts: Marshal Pilsudski in 1933 was asking France to help Poland in “preventive attack” on Germany. French chickened out, and Pilsudski’s fears of German progressive militarization materialized in annihilation of Poland. FYI – Pilsudski’s doctrine clearly stated that the Poland 2-nd Commonwealth (II-ga Rzeczpospolita) had two mortal enemies: Germany and the Soviet Union.
    Not “parts of Chechoslowakia” but the non-Polish half of one Polish-Czech city, Cieszyn. A slight exaggeration. This politically reckless move was hailed as a grave mistake, and a great reason for national embarrassment in Poland ever since.
    Personally I’m tired of anti-Polish agendas in Anglo-dominated countries
    who want to whitewash themselves for openly supporting Hitler Germany when Germans were murdering Polish civilians in September of 1939. When Hitler told Luftwaffe “to be brutal and merciless” and at the Western Front, French and English soldiers were paying social visits to their German Friends, because of course “nobody wanted to die for Gdansk”!
    USA also took a fence-sitting position, waiting for Hitler to “clean up the mess in Europe”.

    1. This is all lamentable of course sir, especially your tragic last paragraph.
      But as we can see, history is repeating itself. Instead of looking the other way while Nazis rampage across Europe, the entire West is cheering them on, arming them, shoveling money at them and screaming deadly threats against the only that is trying to save the world from the Nazi Beast – Russia.
      Your Polish government plays an extremely lamentable role here as they fanatically support the Nazis, have sent many men to fight alongside Nazi forces, have given a lot weaponry to the Nazis, are even said to be flying planes for the Nazis. In other words, the Poles are fighting with the Nazis are trying to kill as many partisans and antifas as they can.

      1. Dear Mr. Lindsay,
        I agree with you that “.. Polish government plays an extremely lamentable role..” in Ukraine conflict. Even if they have been misguided in their perception of loyalty to USA and NATO, helping Kiev side and Right Sector has been in direct contradiction to Polish State interests.
        RE that it’s “have given a lot weaponry to the Nazis, are even said to be flying planes for the Nazis. In other words, the Poles are fighting with the Nazis are trying to kill as many partisans and antifas as they can. “ I only can hope that you can support your claims with some real data (BTW, your links in the main blog do not work – unfortunately).
        FYI: During WWII, Ukrainians were welcoming German Nazi Forces as their liberators and created battalions that fought alongside Germans against Soviet army, also committed some “necessary”  ethnic cleansing murdering Polish population in Ukraine. It was till Germans had to show their racial superiority and started murdering Ukrainian civilians.
        What I’m trying to say here is that European history could be too complicated for foreigners who never lived in Europe. Perhaps would be better if we returned to the core topic and focused on estimates from KGB archives.
        History is not repeating itself, as Poland was not helping Stalin in killing Polish soldiers at the beginning of WWII.
        And … I doubt that “Nazis rampage across Europe” unless you mean Angela Merkel’s quiet support to contemporary German Nazis.

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