I wrote "[Look at] (T)he way the Nazis murdered Jews, going into peaceful cities and villages, then dragging them into camps in wholesale lots, then simply murdering women and children, more or less at random. This kind of murder was not
what happened under Stalin. This kind of murder was and remains unparalleled.
Not even the Mongols did that kind of thing, they massacred population during military campaigns against enemies, not in lands under their control."
Googling "destruction brigades" I really only came up with one Wikipedia entry. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destruction_battalions
This strongly suggests that this article was a contribution by an amateur wanting to grind an ideological axe. This is exactly the type of article which has won Wikipedia a reputation for unreliability.
Even so, this article tells us the term properly applies to paramilitary units organized to carry out scorched earth policies during the Soviet retreat in 1941. In other words, it was not just wartime but during an actively contested campaign. It cites some really nasty stories about what happened in 1941, but curiously none of them seem to have been done by Nazis. But these were no peaceful cities and villages, no lands under Soviet control. Just as I said, this is not a parallel to what the Nazi did, which is truly unparalleled.
This is what it says about the post-war situation:
The destruction battalions were restored after the retreat of German forces in the newly annexed areas to the Soviet Union. In 1945–46 they were renamed to narodnaya zaschita (people's defence), because of the notority their old name had gained in 1941. They were formed from local volunteers, from the most variable layers of the rural communities. They were tasked to guard, secure and support with arms all activities, directives and orders of the Soviet power, which the population could have sabotaged, intentionally avoided or directly resisted.
The primary task of the destruction battalions was the fight against the armed resistance movement. This included terrorising the actual or potential supporters of forest brothers among the civilian population, participation in active combat, organisation of ambush and secret guard posts, reconnaissance and search patrols. The passive operations included guard and watch-keeping duties, convoy of detainees and arrested individuals as well as guarding cargo.
The destroyers guarded systematically institutions of power and economic objects in the rural areas. In a post-war situation where the factual state power in a rural municipality lay with the Soviet police, the Militsiya, the destroyers constituted a force, which guaranteed the implementation of the Soviet policies. A typical task was to force the farmers to fulfil public forestry, peat extraction and road construction obligations. No measures of coercion policy were implemented in the rural communities, which were not carried out or supervised by armed destroyers. They also fought against crime, both independently and as an additional force to the Militsiya.
The destruction battalions were great in size while they never became the efficient and active armed force which it was expected to come and which was meant to rapidly eradicate the forest brothers. Despite the primarily passive role of the destroyers in the fight against the resistance movement, they provided invaluable assistance to the active participants in this fight, state security institutions and internal troops. As local people the destroyers spoke the language, knew the people, landscape and circumstances, which was inadequate among the NKVD and internal troops. The destruction battalions were also very useful as an auxiliary force. The organisation was eventually dismissed in 1954.
I'm quite sure that there was a great deal that was perfectly awful but there's nothing like the Nazis going on here. There are not even inflammatory atrocity stories.
As for not being for Hitler, well if you say so. I must wonder however, because the Wikipedia article had a useful link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erna_lo...aissance_group
This one is about another paramilitary organization, this one Nazi organized, that engaged unspecified Soviets after the Kautla massacre (one of the best attested atrocity stories, Wikipedia even lists most of the twenty victims.) The postwar Forest Brothers movements was also a continuation of Nazi organized forces, including Baltic Waffen-SS units, etc. continued with the assistance of Swedish, English and US intelligence support. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_Brothers
This too, after the Nazis had slaughtered millions of Soviets of all nationalities (except, I gather, Balts and Poles, where apparently the relatives and friends extended a warm welcome that was happily reciprocated,)
was certain to be a bitter struggle.
But, again, what happened then was not the same as Nazis seeking out Jews as such, before suffering enormous losses and hardships that would embitter most people, and murdering them. As for indifference to human suffering, it is quite clear that the anti-Communists are quite happy to commit enormities. For example, the CIA assisted Suharto in his massacre of perhaps 500 000 people in 1965, contributing hit lists. Unlike the Baltics, there was no war, just killing. But those really were people whose lives were worth less than the Balts or Poles.
In anti-Communist eyes.
But then, the lives even of Balts don't count for much in the eyes of anti-Communists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freikorps_in_the_Baltic
We find there a lovely example of the lovely mind of the anti-Communist:
They drove the Latvians 'like rabbits across the fields'. They burned houses, destroyed bridges and telephone poles. They threw bodies into wells, followed by hand grenades:
"We killed what fell into our hands, . . . We saw red, we had nothing in the heart of human emotions. . . what were earlier houses, were rubble, ash and smoldering beams, like festering sores in the bare field . . . We had lit a bonfire, there was burning more than dead material, there also was burning our hopes, our desires, . . . the laws and values of the civilized world. . . We retreated, bragging, intoxicated, loaded with booty" -- Ernst von Salomon, Die Geńchteten
Incidentally, the expulsion/evacuation/flight of the German population of the Baltic states is conveniently overlooked in the jingo histories. Really, gullibly swallowing the self-serving recollections of criminal friends and relatives is not the same as studying history.