Will Biden sacrifice his son just like Stalin did?
The president seems to be making a decision critics of communism have often called an atrocity.
During a visit to Georgia several years ago I made a point of visiting one of the country’s great curiosities: the Joseph Stalin Museum, located in the eastern city of Gori. Americans often take for granted that people in former Soviet states resent Stalin, particularly when those states have become modern rivals with the Russian Federation, but in Georgia this just isn’t the case: just last year, one poll found that 66% of the country consider him “a wise leader who brought the Soviet Union to might and prosperity.” In conversation with one friend in Georgia — a paradigm member of the country’s educated liberal NGO class, a woman who begged me to bring her a copy of Sandberg’s Lean In from the US — I could only laugh as she pleaded that he was “definitely a dangerous man” but also “a scholar who brought us out of the dark ages.”
Opinion in the US, of course, is not so generous. And for Americans, one of the most scandalous proofs of Stalin’s monstrosity has always been the death of his son Yakov Dzhugashvi.
We are told that Stalin despised Yakov so much that he ruthlessly sent him to the front lines in World War II, where he was predictably captured by Nazi forces near Smolensk in 1941. Even then Stalin felt no pity for his son, who he expected to die fighting rather than allowing himself to be taken prisoner; and when the Germans offered to negotiate the release of his son, Stalin coldly refused. A few years later, Yakov died in captivity in a concentration camp, reportedly by suicide, heartbroken that he had been abandoned by his father.