National Press Club

Filmmaker Discusses Soviet Atrocities

January 27, 2010 | By Peter Hickman |

Edvine Snore

Edvine Snore

Photo/Image: Marshall H. Cohen

Edvins Snore, the Latvian author-producer of the documentary, "The Soviet Story," showed clips from his film at a Jan. 25 Newsmaker and gave a behind-the-scenes look at the archival research in several European countries that went into his work.

The film compares atrocities committed by the Soviet Union during its 74 years with those of the 12-year Nazi regime in Germany. Snore said the USSR's crimes had been whitewashed because, among other reasons, Moscow was a wartime ally of the West. He said his film tells "the first complete story of Europe's most murderous regime." The Soviets "had been operating for 20 years before the Nazis ever got started."

"No one wants this kind of thing repeated," he said. "That's why we remember the Holocaust, and that's why I made this film. The Soviet and Nazi regimes were based on the same political philosophy -- annihilation of any opposition by any means."

Russian reaction to "The Soviet Story," Snore said, was predictable. But, he added, "being burnt in effigy on the streets of Moscow by nationalist hoodlums must count as a kind of Oscar, if you are a Latvian filmmaker whose aim is to expose modern Russia's blindness to the criminial history of the Soviet Union."

He said the Kremlin has passed laws labeling anyone who disputes the current Russian version of history as a "terrorist."