Beacon Opinion: When the darkness turns red

By Marius Lazau
Contributing Writer

On my last trip to Washington, D.C., I fell in love with the city. I stayed with friends near the Capitol, and one night we gave ourselves a walking tour of the monuments.

Even though I had been there before, the sight of the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial was amazing. I love World War II history, so I was thrilled to see the memorial again.

To me, the landing at Normandy and the fight against the Nazis is history in its purest form. Good fought evil and won. Except, it’s not entirely true.

For a good chunk of the world, the Allies’ victory coincided with the setup of a new and brutal occupation at the hands of the Communists, a repressive rule that would last for half a century and cause unimaginable pain and death.

For example, my home country of Romania was liberated from German rule with the help of the Allies, but in the process it ended up under a brutal communist dictatorship brought about by the Soviet “liberators.” The repression would last for nearly five decades and cause the death of 435,000 people.

The scourge of communism

In total, Communist governments around the world have caused the death of more than 100 million people.

That is the equivalent of one third of the world’s population in the time of Jesus or, roughly, one third of the current U.S. population.

By comparison, there are only 18.2 million college students in the United States. More people died under Communist repression than in all the wars of the 20th century combined. That does not include the suffering of millions whose fathers, mothers, brothers, husbands, and children perished at the hands of the murderous communist machine.

Learn about communism

Those of us who were born and raised in the West can hardly imagine the horrors endured by those who suffered. I didn’t see the suffering first-hand, but my parents did. And, so, I wanted to find out for myself: What was is it really like?

A good starting point for me was the site for the Global Museum on Communism.

For an incredible, real-life look at the evils of communism, check out the book “When God Looked the Other Way” by Wesley Adamczyk. It is brilliantly written, but it will make you cry and show you a side of humanity I hope none of us will ever get close to experiencing.

Historians tell us that the policies enacted by Joseph Stalin alone resulted in the deaths of 20 million people. It is a chilling and sobering thought. A mass murderer rose to power in Russia 87 years ago — a member of the human race.

There was no model to predict this tragedy then and there is not one today. We must not forget because we must not allow it to happen again.

Future hope

There are those of us who put their hope in capitalism. After all, in stark contrast to communism, free markets have given us unprecedented prosperity.

While this is true, capitalism did not and could not alter human nature. It simply found a way to convert our basic selfishness into something good. The unsettling truth is that we are now as we were then.

The Allies, of course, did win World War II. However, depending on where in Europe you lived at the time, victory coincided with either the beginning of freedom and prosperity or the onset of one of the darkest eras in history.

There is a new memorial in Washington, D.C. The “Goddess of Democracy” was dedicated by President George W. Bush on June 12, 2007 in memory of the more than 100 million victims of communism. It is located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and New Jersey Avenue, NW on Capitol Hill.

Next time I’m in town, I want to see it. I think it might be worth it.

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