The Black Book of Communism
Cover of the first edition
|Original title||Le Livre noir du communisme|
|Language||French, English, German|
|6 November 1997|
Published in English
|8 October 1999|
The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression is a 1997 book edited by
In the introduction, editor Stéphane Courtois states that "
Courtois writes that Communist regimes are responsible for a greater number of deaths than any other political ideal or movement, including
Courtois considers Communism and
The Reich Security Head Office issued to the commandants a full collection of reports concerning the Russian concentration camps. These described in great detail the conditions in, and organization of, the Russian camps, as supplied by former prisoners who had managed to escape. Great emphasis was placed on the fact that the Russians, by their massive employment of forced labor, had destroyed whole peoples.
Courtois argues that the Soviet crimes against peoples living in the Caucasus and of large
The "genocide of a "class" may well be tantamount to the genocide of a "race"—the deliberate starvation of a child of a Ukrainian
kulakas a result of the famine caused by Stalin's regime "is equal to" the starvation of a Jewish child in the Warsaw ghettoas a result of the famine caused by the Nazi regime.
[A]fter 1945 the Jewish genocide became a byword for modern barbarism, the epitome of twentieth-century mass terror... more recently, a single-minded focus on the Jewish genocide in an attempt to characterize
the Holocaustas a unique atrocity has also prevented the assessment of other episodes of comparable magnitude in the Communist world. After all, it seems scarcely plausible that the victors who had helped bring about the destruction of a genocidal apparatus might themselves have put the very same methods into practice. When faced with this paradox, people generally preferred to bury their heads in sand... Communist regimes have victimized approximately 100 million people in contrast to the approximately 25 million of the Nazis.