New Lies & Grey Wolf


Occasionally reading slips into some very grey areas of conspiracy yarns, it is mostly harmless stuff sometimes plausible and entertaining, more likely bonkers and amusing leaps of speculation and chiselled details. The narrative such work creates offers the untold account through assertion, assumption and alternatives of evidently undiscovered connections underpinned by deductive reconstruction. Only that which supports the unfolding narrative is included in what is pseudo-history and faction.  Two excellent examples of such “guilty indulgences” have had different impact. “Grey Wolf” is an implausible account of the escape of Adolf Hitler to live his life unmolested in Argentina.

Such a scenario has been the subject of post-war rumours and speculation, and escaped Nazis settled in South America have featured in many movies because that is what did happen. “Grey Wolf” details the arrival of U boat 518 in July 28th 1945 and purports to be offering a history that contradicts all known documented accounts. There is the DVD (same name) by Gerald Williams as a companion to the book.

It is not surprising that when critically engaged there are sharply differing assessments by readers. Those believing they are genuinely seeking the truth, see “Grey Wolf” as raising a large number of interesting possibilities. The background collaboration between western industrialists and Nazi hierarchy that are historical facts provide some scaffolding for other speculations. However Hitler living until his death in 1962 in a German enclave in Argentina –  come on, never to give a public speech, to forsake all the drama and power he conjured with, a man not driven by hateful revenge against the rest of humanity. If Hitler had escaped, it wouldn’t take decades to prove it. “Grey Wolf” is well written and proves that anything can get published.  The narrative on offer could be given a film treatment, but it fails despite all the smoke and mirrors it employs because it was unbelievable. Suicide in 1945 is a less prosaic ending.

Believability in the story-teller can create the spell of confidence and conviction and this was the impact of Anatoliy Golitsyn on sections of the American intelligence community. “New Lies for Old: the Communist Strategy of Deception and Disinformation” came out years after his defection from the Soviet Union in December 1961. Again he purports to provide a sensational account of history of Soviet intelligence activity in that he claims that the Sino-Soviet split was a charade to deceive the West. It was clearly staged, the ideological divisions within the international communism movement, and later he argued (in The Perestroika Deception Memoranda to the Central Intelligence Agency) the “fall” of the USSR was a deception. All this was a carefully crafted ruse to lull the West into complacency. Golitsyn’s perspective on this deception is fantastically constructed and completely wrong. He goes against every known piece of public information and revelations from the archives but still finds ideological partisan support for his conspiracy paradigm.

Golitsyn’s book had had its real impact when his debriefing convinced the paranoid  James Jesus Angleton, CIA counter-intelligence director of his thesis that change in the “Soviet Bloc” was all part of a strategic master plan to mislead the Western authorities. There were other damaging assertions such as Golitsyn claim that Harold Wilson (Labour Party leader and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) was a KGB informer and an agent of influence. This claim was taken serious by a section of British intelligence that included Peter Wright (who plotted to overthrow Wilson’s government) and later best-seller author of Spycatcher. In all Golitsyn work shares the same characteristics as “grey Wolf”, and if you are entertained by the genre of the unfolding narrative of what is pseudo-history and faction, then indulge yourself; otherwise choose some better fiction to read.


Chinese defence of Stalin – what’s that about?


It is complicated, and a far from comprehensive treatment of the broad issue that follows looks at some aspects of the anti-revisionist responses that were intertwined with consideration of the dominant leader in the era of building socialism in the Soviet Union.

Khrushchev’s evaluation of the Soviet era, broadly contained in reports to the 20th and 22nd Congress of the CPSU, contained a mixture of contemporary strategic considerations and historic judgements. The contentious question of Stalin, discussed under the rubric of “Cult of personality” evoke a variety of responses throughout the international movement.

As the struggle unfolded in the different arenas following the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956, it became clearer that the lines of demarcation drawn by the parties in the international communist movement were not simply disagreements or the case of different perspectives based on divergent national experiences; within the Soviet leadership, nurtured under Stalin, there was a body of ideas and policies that formed an assault on what had gone before.  A critical engagement with the Soviet past became politically impossible given the nature of judgements unleashed by Khrushchev’s relentless condemnation of his dead leader.  A blanket defence, without relinquishing points to one’s opponents, saw sharp polemic lines emerge in both the arguments around de-stalinisation and the course of the international communist parties.  The tensions simmered within the movement, and the eventual split that emerged around 1963 marked an ideological watershed that subsequently is treated inconsequently, simply as a matter of history, ………………


[1] 1956

Made without warning or consultation with other parties, Khrushchev’s attack on Stalin in secret session, saw a  well documented Albanian and Chinese opposition emerge. [1]



[2] 1963

When the Chinese leadership published a  Second Comment on the Open Letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU,  although it repeated some previous positions, there were less nuances in the best known editorials of Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) and Hongqi (Red Flag), of September 13, 1963, On The Question of Stalin.


[3] Some Quotations   moscow 1957

Below are two quotes from Mao on Stalin, the first one at latter’s 60th birthday and the second one after the commencement of the 20th CPSU Party Congress.

These two quotes illustrates why context is always important in the use of quotes, and why a case built on selective quotation is hardly a rigours manner to construct a defence.



[4] Different Roads

In contrast to the creative engagement of the Chinese leadership with the issues unleashed by the 20th Congress of the CPSU, the Russian leadership seem to be denying there were any lessons to be learnt from the Stalin era, others within the international camp – and not just the Chinese – were asking how much of the Soviet experience and of the Soviet model was universally valid and how much was a historical peculiarity that need not be repeated elsewhere?frauentag_jugoslawien_3



[5] Still Defending Stalin

Stalin’s service to the cause is actually well documented by his modern day defenders and in some case proves to be an obsessive attempt to prove every besmirch allegation upon him a falsehood. Their balanced assessment always seems to come down in his favour.  A local example is when, in London, in 1991, the Stalin Society-UK was formed as an organization whose stated goal was to refute anti- communist and anti-Stalin libels and slanders through rigorous scholarly research and vigorous debate.



[1] and