The Footprint of Mussolini - TL

If we count "counter culture" as a portion of society going against the grain then there's probably a few Italians who believes that Mussolini got Fascism right and Balbo is making a mess of things. There could be others who believe that Mussolini came in like the dictators of the Roman Republic, and power should go back to the King now that Italy is strong. But none of these groups are large enough.

I think it's gonna take a few years for an actual counter movement to take root in Italy and call for reforms, but the seeds are there.
 
probably a few Italians who believes that Mussolini got Fascism right and Balbo is making a mess of things. There could be others who believe that Mussolini came in like the dictators of the Roman Republic, and power should go back to the King now that Italy is strong. But none of these groups are large enough.
This would ironically split the Fascist Party into Three ("Balbo's" Fascists, Social Fascists (those who try to be Mussolini purists), and Royal Fascists), and the King, in his wisdom, decided that their difference shall be settled in a free and fair election...

Cue Italy becoming Democratic quickly without removing the "Fascists" from power. Because the three parties basically claim they are Adherent to Fascism.
 
This would ironically split the Fascist Party into Three ("Balbo's" Fascists, Social Fascists (those who try to be Mussolini purists), and Royal Fascists), and the King, in his wisdom, decided that their difference shall be settled in a free and fair election...

Cue Italy becoming Democratic quickly without removing the "Fascists" from power. Because the three parties basically claim they are Adherent to Fascism.
That’d be very interesting to see. In my opinion far more interesting than just quick democratisation.
 
I wonder if post-fascist Austria might reunite with Hungary in the same way that Slovakia united with Czechia?
Alternatively, there's the prospect of reuniting with Germany, though I doubt Austria would be all that into the idea.
 
I wonder if post-fascist Austria might reunite with Hungary in the same way that Slovakia united with Czechia?
Alternatively, there's the prospect of reuniting with Germany, though I doubt Austria would be all that into the idea.
Second Anschluss is bit more plausible than re-birth of Austria-Hungary. But second Anchluss is pretty implausible when re-unification of Germany is delayed probably until Italy democratise or Balbo's successor is not so afraid about Germany.
 
Regarding Tuva, I think it has a decent chance to escape the RA. If Tuva is trying for democracy and appeals to the ITO for protection it might get it. The same could apply to Mongolia but I expect Chiang won't be willing too let that one get away too, assuming a new government could organize to even make the appeal. Part of Tuva getting away would be Chiang being placated with other prizes on his plate.

This may also be when China starts to challenge Italy for leadership in the RA more as was implied on China's entry to the RA.
 
Regarding Tuva, I think it has a decent chance to escape the RA. If Tuva is trying for democracy and appeals to the ITO for protection it might get it. The same could apply to Mongolia but I expect Chiang won't be willing too let that one get away too, assuming a new government could organize to even make the appeal. Part of Tuva getting away would be Chiang being placated with other prizes on his plate.

This may also be when China starts to challenge Italy for leadership in the RA more as was implied on China's entry to the RA.
There is already hinted that North China not last longer than 1973 so Tuva has better to be quick. And Mongolia is still communist so it can't even join to ITO.

I think that Italy is more worried about rising influence of Spain.
 
I think that Italy is more worried about rising influence of Spain.
That seems like it would be a mistake. China has the larger nuclear arsenal and far more capacity to grow and project power, especially when they annex North China.

Though I do wonder how thing are developing internally for Spain? Franco sunk a lot of treasure to uphold the Somoza's and they fell anyway, that would have been a hit for him.
 
I just wonder who he caucuses with, even as an independent. OTL it at least made some sense to Caucus with the Democrats. Here, neither the GOP nor the FP work for him. I guess he could be gadfly.
Who said his views are he same?
And who says that GOP is same as it is in 1970's? It can very well change. FP probably not so much. And there might be strong third party. And Sanders' might indeed has different views from OTL.
 
And who says that GOP is same as it is in 1970's? It can very well change. FP probably not so much. And there might be strong third party. And Sanders' might indeed has different views from OTL.
It'd be hilarious if like the Democrats, the FP becomes the Progressive party by pushing New Deal style legislation.
 
“You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Chains”
Hello all. As you can tell, we're getting pretty close to the end of the story. I imagine there's only a few more chapters left for the TL (which is grand because I'm approaching burnout), and then I'll give a quick "This is 2020" clarifier about how the world is doing. I was really not supposed to write for this long, so I apologise if things seem to be happening quite rapidly. I hope I can still deliver an ending that satisfies you to show my gratitude for the help and support you've all given me as I've continued writing this story over the last year.

And so, to give appropriately foreboding mood music (but you already knew this wasn't a utopian timeline, right?):


“You Have Nothing to Lose but Your Chains”


Extract from ‘The Rise, Fall and Rise of Japan’ by Mariya Takeuchi

It would not be until November 1st that Russian troops would leave the four remaining Communist states of East Asia: Mongolia, North China, Korea and Ezo. All four pleaded for clemency, knowing full well they would be left to the mercies of Chiang and Japan, not to mention the American presence that promised full support in these efforts (with Corley promising to aid Roman Alliance Chiang in the event of war with any of the Communist powers). Malenkov would infamously return a quotation from the Bible: “I was hungry and you didn’t feed me, I was thirsty and you didn’t give me drink, I was a stranger and you didn’t invite me into your home, I was naked and you didn’t give me clothing, I was sick in prison and you didn’t visit me […] When you refused to help the least of my brothers and sisters, you refused to help me”. With that Malenkov washed his hands of what Vice President Wayne had called ‘The Nuggets’ - in reference to the droppings that stubbornly kept coming back up despite repeated attempts at flushing. The Corley-Wayne ticket would triumph over the Republican ticket in 1972, led by John Kennedy. Kennedy had promised a return to the ‘stable’ days of his brother, and it seemed to be getting good ground on the Freedom Party. But in September 1972, the full extent of his relationship with Marilyn Monroe became a national news story. Soon, a slew of further stories about serial infidelity and even harassment obliterated the reputation he had perfectly built in the 1960s as a messenger of hope. In so doing, he once again played into the stereotype of the playboy, godless Republican - becoming an easy target for Corely. His Vice-President pick (George Romney) fared little better, with his membership of the Mormon Church revolting many black voters owing to the church’s discriminatory practices. Most electoral historians regard Corley’s own success as a result of what was achieved in overthrowing Communism in the Soviet Union while the enticing future of a Communist-free world kept people coming back for the second instalment. Corley had pledged America would reach the Moon first in his initial induction speech. As his victory was announced that November, Corley pledged that Communism would be “As dead as the dodo” by the time he was out of office. Prime Minister Sato and President Chiang would be his first calls that evening when he returned to the White House. All three agreed that the time had come to “Wipe Communism off the face of the Earth” as Chiang told his generals. It was informally agreed that Ezo would be Japan’s domain, with North China and Mongolia being Chiang’s. It was agreed that Korea would be neutralised and neither Bloc would claim it. Interestingly, Chiang made this agreement without Balbo’s knowledge. When puzzled about this from a younger aide, Chiang quipped, “We can tell them once they’ve got Ethiopia sorted out”. This would mark one of the first instances of the Republic of China exerting its strength from within the Roman Alliance. Indeed Italy could do little but watch as the meat grinder in Ethiopia kept going on like an eternal nightmare. Only South China, Japan, America and the Philippines would contribute any significant amount of military resources to the final downfall of Communism - it was more than enough, however.

On December 15th, South China unleashed the military assault they had waited the last twenty years for. State-of-the-art Italian tanks rolled over the undermanned, starving fortresses on the border, laced with T34s without the fuel to move them. At the same time, American troops within South Beijing broke south and headed to meet marching RoC troops. Americans being the only Western troops in South Beijing as a symbolic sop to Wallace’s surrender of the West Berlin occupation zone in 1945. The American and RoC Air Forces had total dominance over North China’s airspace by the end of the day. Attempts to take South Beijing failed abysmally, with the well-trained troops of the RoC effortlessly outpacing their unmotivated northern counterparts. General Abrams, leader of American forces in the campaign told President Corley “Our greatest problem right now is that so many of the enemy are surrendering”. This was no joke. Like Germans, the Chinese could see the evidently superior lifestyles of their Southern counterparts from South Beijing alone. In particular, the rural population loved the Kung-Fu films and comics coming from the South that the North couldn’t stop in their entirety, with the stories inspiring them to oppose the ‘Foreign Regime’ as many considered the Communist government. They could hear Western music, see well-fed Southern Chinamen and far prouder and patriotic Chinamen at that. No one, even in the North, regarded the smaller, poorer, nastier state as the legitimate representative of the Chinese people, especially not a woman who spent more time in the film studio than the halls of government. General Lin Biao had taken effective charge of the crumbling state and was rewarded with an impossible situation he had no hope of surviving, let alone winning. Nevertheless, he fought on with crumbling supplies and support - even Korea forsook the PRC, hoping they could buy themselves time for the inevitable judgement to come. When American and RoC troops met in Tianjin on Christmas Day 1972, it was clear that the war was already won. But for the Communists, their fate was set to deteriorate yet further in Hokkaido.

On January 3rd 1973, the American and Japanese Air Forces pounded Ezo from above, with an almost immediate landing of Japanese troops coming thereafter. Short range transport shipping had been excluded from the restrictions imposed on the Japanese Navy for just such a day. Toyota, Mitsubishi and Honda made their first major foray into Cold War weaponry, and the result was concluded to be a rip-roaring success. American observer, Admiral Joseph Metcalf III, concluded that ‘The Japanese are even tougher nut to crack than they were in WW2”. Despite the Emperor’s misgivings over the conflict, as he hoped for a peaceful resolution, Prime Minister Sato and the Japanese Cabinet saw the moment as a chance to reestablish the national pride in Japan that they felt had been eroded since 1945. Certainly, news of the invasion was met with overwhelming support, as Japanese citizens had heard many of the horror stories of refugees escaping ‘The Occupied North’. When they landed in Hokkaido, Japanese soldiers were certainly greeted as liberators by the local Japanese population - free to celebrate Japanese culture, wave the Red Circle and reunite with their Southern brethren. But to the native Ainu (and any ethnically Japanese collaborators) the army behaved with great cruelty. There was no mass surrender as seen in North China - both the Ainu and Communist Japanese fought to the bitter end wherever they could. The Ainu population were quickly rounded up into ‘relocation camps’ while Ainu members of government were often summarily executed on the spot, often by sword. Ryū Ōta, the leader of the Ezo government, had harsh discriminated against the local Japanese population in favour of the Ainu despite being Japanese himself by labelling the Ainu ‘Lumpenproletariat’ that needed to be reared to power. This likely made him even more hated among the soldiers than the local Ainu, with Japanese writer Yukio Mishima explaining “An enemy is one thing - a traitor is another”. When he was caught hiding in the forests by a unit of Japanese soldiers, the unit could not contain themselves. They tied Ōta up, put him over a nearby rock and cut his head off with one clean decapitation. Though the unit was eventually put to trial, all would be released due to overwhelming public support for Ōta’s execution. Public decapitation was a common method of punishing resistors in the occupied Ainu villages of Hokkaido. It was also the common method of execution of senior Japanese members of the Communist Party who had fled Japan to find comfort up North. Among those was Inejiro Asanuma, the former head of the Socialist Party who left Japan in protest of re-militarisation to go to Ezo. His public denunciations of the Emperor and Japan had ensured he was labelled as a traitor to the Chrysanthemum Throne, leading to his being hacked to death with bayonets when he ‘resisted arrest’. With the Americans agreeing not to have any ground role in the war beyond the air force, many of Japan’s atrocities in Hokkaido were never reported until long after the fact. When Sapporo fell on January 27th, Ainu cultural festivals, expression and even language was soon ruthlessly suppressed. It certainly dissuaded many Ainu from rising against the Japanese army, as if the numerical difference wasn’t already enough. By the end of January, there were double the number of Japanese soldiers in Hokkaido than there were Ainu of all ages. Half due to the desperation fighting against the Japanese (a bizarre mirror of Japan’s own fight-to-the-death mentality in WW2) and half due to discriminatory Japanese firepower, the Ainu lost a quarter of their entire population in the three months of conflict it took to fully secure Hokkaido, which is remembered in Japan as ‘The Re-Unification War’. The Japanese had recovered their reputation as a serious military force, not to mention recaptured an integral part of their land. Japanese refugees from Hokkaido, as well as Ultra-Nationalist ‘Settlers’ who had been encouraged by the Japanese government to go to Hokkaido to solidify the mono-ethnicity of the region. For the Ainu, they would face further destitution. On May 4th 1973, the Soviets agreed to return the four disputed Kuril Islands to Japan for a small payment - the Japanese government announced that the Ainu population would be resettled there ‘For its protection’. With barely enough resources to go around, the Ainu were left on barren islands to eke out a bare level of survival. Meanwhile back on Hokkaido, almost any Ainu cultural expression had been destroyed or upended, including graveyards, temples and anything else. Soldiers were told to ‘Make Hokkaido look like it never had one of their kind had landed a foot on our Island’. By the end of 1973, the Ainu existed on Hokkaido only in memory. Prime Minister Sato would be remembered as the man who reunified Japan, making him a national legend while abroad his reputation was somewhat hurt as Communism fades into the past and newer generations are less forgiving of his actions. With the fall of Ezo, there were now only three Communist nations left on Earth, but that was soon to fall yet further.

With Tianjin having come under RoC control, an unbroken supply line now stretched into South Beijing and along the coast. At the same time, all across the border, millions of men from the qualitatively and quantitatively superior Kuomintang forces crossed the Yellow River over a front so vast that there was no way for the Communists to even begin to respond. Lin Biao ordered his troops in the west of China to fall back to a more defensive line around Inner-Mongolia. What ended up happening was that the faster, lightning-quick Chinese military was able to outpace the retreat and obliterated the Communists around the Gansu area, taking more than a million prisoners by the time Yinchuan had fallen in early February. By March, the RoC had established a strong position on Mongolia’s borders. Chiang informed Premier Tsedenbal that Mongolia would be ‘Revoked from this world by either pen or artillery shells’ and demanded the country’s surrender. Faced with no hope on any side, Tsdenbal capitulated while accepting arrest. On March 20th, RoC troops marched into Ulan Bator, with Chiang announcing that Mongolia was now formally a part of the Republic of China. Suggestions to go after Tuva were harshly shot down for fears of offending the Americans, who were only interested in targeting Communists. The announcement eroded what little defensive depth the North Chinese had, who now found soldiers attacking them from behind them as well as from over the Yellow River. Whatever was left of their discipline collapsed, as millions threw down their rifles and knives (as weapons were sometimes scarce, the Communists had encouraged the use of knives against modern-combat soldiers). At the same time, the assault on North Beijing began in full earnest, with American and RoC soldiers marching into the much depleted lines of the Communist forces. At the risk of being completely encircled, Communist forces had by now made a full retreat from anything west of Beijing for fear of being totally surrounded by a strike south from Mongolia. As before, the primarily horse-based Communists, who had little to no fuel for what vehicles they did have, were shred to pieces by the modern Kuomintang and American air forces as they fled east. North Beijing would be no Shanghai or Stalingrad, with the city quickly surrounded and isolated by Allied forces. Lin Biao had fled north to attempt a ‘Second Long March’, while Jiang seemed to have fallen off the radar entirely. The city would be completely surrounded by April 19th 1973. By now, the chain of command had totally collapsed and soldiers were left completely in the dark about the orders their superiors gave them. On April 23rd, local commanders decided that in light of repeated failures to respond by Jiang to their requests and the impossibility of the current situation that they would surrender the city to Chiang. The ease with which the city fell would greatly help expunge more bitter memories of China in the American psyche, with many seeing the War of Chinese Unification as redemption for the horror of the initial Chinese War. Kuomintang soldiers began their hunt for Jiang; they didn’t have to wait long. She was found dead, sitting in one of the private theatres in a bunker below North Beijing, having died of dehydration and exhaustion. She had locked the screening room and ordered the projectionist to play her old films one after another. Despite pleas for her to get out, she refused right until her demise. She died, even as the films kept rolling. Jiang would be little missed by anyone, and her death was seen as the symbolic end of Communist China - the death of a ruining madness. General Lin Biao fared even worse, with his jeep being strafed by an American-fighter plane just outside Harbin and obliterated. With the death of the person who was controlling most of the daily activities of the new state. After subsequent infighting, the PRC went from a state with a non-responsive administration to having none at all. The RoC continued to race north, reaching Harbin by July 26th and the Soviet border by August 15th. On September 1st 1973, the final existing redoubt of Communist Chinese resistance (that hadn’t managed to escape into Korea), was obliterated in the Battle of Dalian. After forty-five years of war between Chiang and the Communists, the old man had finally succeeded in his dream of re-uniting China. The very next day, in Xi’an, a farmer stumbled upon what would become known as the ‘Terracotta Warriors’, an army of statues built to defend their lord in the afterlife. Many Chinese believe the two events were connected and consider the victory of the Kuomintang to have had divine intervention, some even believing that the Terracotta Warriors somehow ‘guided’ the KMT to victory. The one person who seemed least excited by the conquest of China was Chiang himself. Chiang was surprisingly indifferent to his successes, though he made the official tours of all the cities and regions in the north he had not seen for decades. He would explain his feelings on a phone call to the White House, saying to Corley, “At first, I wanted to unite China, but after seeing the Hell that Communism has unleashed on my country and our planet, my only goal now is to wipe those devils off the face of the Earth”. There was no complaint from Sato or Corley - Korea was next and last.

Karl Marx’s last stand would be in Pyongyang - with the whole world watching with eager anticipation as American and Chinese were about to “Sound forth the trumpet that will never call retreat” as Corley told television viewers from the Oval Office. Despite the militaristic overtures, none of the Allied powers wanted to take a military solution against so mountainous, nationalistic and militarily competent people. It would be far more cost effective to simply starve the Hermit Kingdom out, and so that was exactly what they did. Friendless, hopelessly outgunned, hopelessly outnumbered, Kim Il-Sung scrambled to find a solution as starvation and unrest began to spread in his isolated domain. His land border was sealed off by Chiang and Malenkov while the US Navy patrolled the shores. The UN, which had recently re-admitted Russia into the organisation (without their veto power restored), launched an international boycott and sanction against the world’s final Communist power that dwarfed anything done to any nation previously. By October 1973, Korea was in a state of famine, running critically low on enough fuel to even power their planes. Late that month, bombing runs officially began, which the Koreans could do nothing about. Railways, airfields and anything else of military significance was pounded into oblivion in hopes of hastening the regime’s demise. Kim had no assets with which to respond … except for one. It was around late October when Kim offered Chiang and Coley all the Communist exiles he had gathered, which included Suslov, Andropov, Honecker and many more from the four corners of the world. Kim accepted that Korea would be democratised and decommunised, but asked that in return for the legions of fugitives he held, he could receive amnesty in Switzerland. Begin endorsed the deal, arguing that they could send the Mossad after him soon enough and make it look like an accident. The offer also excited the other Allied powers, hoping for a repeat of the Nuremberg Trials, only for the Communists instead. However, Kim was told in no uncertain terms a full amnesty was “Impossible” and that the best he could hope for was to have his actions taken into account for his trial. Initially, Kim was indignant and refused, but when bread riots put the city of Busan into flames on October 29th and the soldiers began to desert and join the resistors, he knew the time had come. Kim sent his security services to arrest the collection of exiles he had established. Suslov, Andropov and dozens more senior Communist leaders were dragged from their beds on the morning of October 30th to jail cells before eventually being collected by a team of American, Chinese, British, Italian and Japanese agents. That afternoon, Kim announced his full capitulation to Western demands, ordering his army to stand down against the invaders. American and Philippine troops, the only troops Kim would allow to occupy Korea in light of Korea’s history with China and Japan, swarmed into the country that very day. American General Schwartzkopf would be immortalised forever as he took down the Red Korean flag from the Presidential Palace in Pyongyang, taking down the final Communist flag on Earth. In an extra bout of humiliation, Kim, still in handcuffs, was made to watch as the flag came down. Korea itself would be democratised, with the subsequent elections won by the Korean Democrat Party, led by Pro-West dissident Kim Dae-Jung (who had covertly organised much of the resistance in Busan that toppled the regime). The Fascist influenced Korean People’s Party under Chun Doo-Hwan (who took a far more militaristic strategy to bring down the regime) came a close second, failing mostly as a result of fear among the populace that they were too influenced by Chiang’s China. In agreement with Chiang, the Americans refused to put any bases in Korea, though the Chinese guaranteed the territorial sovereignty of the small nation.


Extract from “The Decade of Freedom: The 70s Remembered” by Abigail Francis

On October 30th 1973, almost fifty-six years to the day since Lenin’s Revolution, Communism had been relegated to the ash-heap of history, with a cursed legacy of starvation and war, genocide and atrocities, hypocrisy and failure. Today, Communism has been relegated to a minor fringe kept alive only by mostly online ‘Neo-Communist’ movement, but has no political power or influence in any country on Earth. To admit one is or ever was a Communist in most countries today is to commit social suicide. In most of Eastern Europe, it remains a criminal offence to be a member of a Communist organisation. Laws against the display of the Hammer and Sickle are prominent throughout global hate-crime legislation. Much like the Nazi Holocaust, laws denying the Soviet Holocaust and Holodomor have become mainstream across the European continent - in some countries, even affirming the Soviet Moon-Landing is illegal. Museums were quickly established in Jerusalem, Moscow, Beijing, Berlin, Washington and elsewhere to explain the rise and fall of the ideology, giving full report of the carnage it brought the world. Karl Marx’s House in Trier was demolished and replaced with a memorial to all Germans who died from the Soviet occupation onwards. The mantle of Socialism was passed onto the Social-Democrats of Europe, the Tolstoyists of Russia (whose influence on America’s Freedom Party would be obvious by the 1980s) and the Libertarian Socialists of Kurdistan - all of whom condemned Soviet Marxism as an abomination. For the fugitive Communist leaders, there was some debate over where the final trial would ultimately be. There was much suggestion to hold it in the Hague or St. Petersburg, but it was ultimately the suggestion of Kaiser Ferdinand that triumphed - to hold the trial in West Germany’s Trier, the birthplace of Karl Marx. “In Trier did this wicked doctrine begin,” he told fellow world leaders, “and in Trier it must die”. Western leaders accepted the idea, hoping that such a sensation within West Germany might distract from the anger that was growing in the population over reunification being denied. East Germany’s maltreatment under the Communists certainly encouraged a lust for vengeance among the populace. Unlike Molotov, they had attempted to escape justice, and thus they were considered deserving of a more intense form of punishment. Despite Germany having abolished the death penalty, a specific law was proposed in the recently reconstituted Reichstag (though the Monarchy would remain in Frankfurt) to allow the defendants of the Trier Trial to receive the ultimate punishment. Balbo, Begin and Corley loudly backed the idea while Jenkins started a political firestorm at home for refusing the death penalty, which was also banned in Britain despite overwhelming backing from the populace. Ultimately, it was Malenkov that made the final decision, saying he would refuse to cooperate with the trial if the death penalty was suggested, saying that ‘He who lives by the sword shall die from the sword”. As the trial needed Russian witnesses and documents, there was nothing the West Germans could do. With that, Willy Brandt’s SDP was able to resist the pressure to reintroduce the death penalty. There would be eight nations sending their judges to the trial: America, Britain, France, West Germany, Israel, Russia, Italy and China. Of course, the Communists had committed so much wrong to so many nations that, as Corley supposedly said, “If we gave a seat to half the countries who got screwed over by the Commies, we’d break through the damned floor”. The Trier Trial began on April 9th 1974 (delayed due to President Pompidou’s sudden death) and the final verdicts were ultimately given on July 10th 1975. In an act of spite, it was concluded that all parties being imprisoned would be sent to Spandau Prison in West Germany, to be interned with Nazi leader Rudolf Hess to further degrade and humiliate the Communist leaders. The international gathering had a host of stars coming down to give their final farewells, including:

  • Mikhail Suslov - The former Soviet leader was sentenced to life imprisonment in the least surprising judgement of the Trier Trial. Having been so twisted by his failures and betrayal, most historians now argue, based on his erratic behaviour, that he was not fit for trial. He most infamously called Malenkov “A Cross-humping faggot!”, while calling Molotov “The bastard son of a gypsy and a vodka bottle!” He declared that he had secret Communist agents within the court ready to jump out of their chairs, kill everyone in the room and rescue him (he never gave the order). Ultimately placed in contempt of court, political pressure ensured he was given the maximum possible sentence. He was sentenced to life imprisonment at Spandau, with even Hess describing Suslov as ‘insane’. Suslov would die in December 1979, a rambling wreck - with many Neo-Communists theorising either Italy or Israel or both had deliberately made him look foolish to demean the stellar reputation Communism had at the time. Needless to say, this view is not mainstream among scholars.
  • Andrei Grechko - The Soviet commander would be the fall-guy for almost every Soviet war crime that they had ever committed - certainly since WW2. He was charged and convicted for brutality against the German population in WW2, charged for crimes committed against the Polish population during the Second Russian-Polish War, charged with crimes committed against Iranians during the partisan suppression, for aiding and abetting war crimes in North China, for signing off on arms sales to the UAR and for attempting to suppress the Soviet citizenry. Grechko would barely survive the (life) sentencing, dying just eleven days after due to his continuous poor health.
  • Yuri Andropov - As the former head of the KGB, Andropov’s extensive involvement in the state apparatus made him an important witness for historians. The terrifying lengths to which the organisation had gone to monitor and control people, especially poignant in Germany due to the terror of the Stasi, would be a frequent staple of Anti-Communist museums. His extensive involvement with the Soviet Holocaust (while Molotov could absolve himself with the excuse he had a Jewish wife and immediately ended the madness when he got to power) on the ground level was ultimately what sealed his doom. Israeli prosecutor Avner Less led a ferocious attack on the Soviet politician, concluding, “In Judaism, we don’t believe in Hell. But I wish Hell existed just so you could go to it!” His life sentence was well deserved, as was his lonely death in May 1981.
  • Kim Il-Sung - The tough decision to surrender somewhat paid off for the Korean dictator, who was indeed treated with some level of political leniency by the prosecutors, who conceded that Kim was a genuinely popular leader as he had far more control over his country as it was united and more free of Soviet influence. Kim would ‘only’ get ten years in prison, let out at nine years due to poor health. He would briefly enjoy a level of independence in Switzerland before dying in 1992 to people dancing in the streets of Pyongyang.
  • Zhang Chunqiao and Yao Wenyuan, the two most powerful politicians from North China left alive after the fall of whom Chiang called ‘The Paper Tigress’, were the two representatives from China who bickered in a black comedic fashion that amused international press commentators. Both were utterly spineless, with the poet Yao even going so far as to write a poem denouncing Zhang as a clueless coward. Chiang Kai-Shek would laugh, “At first I just wanted them up against a wall and shot, but they’ve given me so much amusement I could make them my court jesters”. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • Yumjaagiin Tsendbal - The Mongolian leader was ritually humiliated at the Trier Trial, portrayed by prosecutors as the bumbling fool of his Russian wife who was considered the real power player in the country. Tsendbal was forced to hear humiliating letter after humiliating letter among Soviet leaders mocking him for being his wife’s plaything. The sentence itself, less than his wife’s was the final blow. He was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment, dying on October 9th 1990.
  • Anastasia Filatova - The wife of Tsendbal, Filatova was portrayed by Western media almost as a Lady Macbeth figure. Modern historians question China’s involvement in the decision to go hard on Filatova, saying it played into Chiang’s hands to consider Communism a European export. Filatova received thirty years in prison in what is now regarded as too harsh, dying on February 7th 2000.
  • Reza Radmanesh - The North Iranian dictator was much luckier than most of his national kin, expelled to the Trier Trial while most of his Tudeh brethren were simply hanged or shot by the victorious Fascist regime in Tehran. He was likewise sentenced to life imprisonment for atrocities committed against the Islamist insurgencies of the early 1950s. He remains a somewhat controversial figure in Kurdistan, where he retains a strong level of sympathy for his help in creating the Kurd state - a frequent sore spot that Turkey still uses to lobby the world against Kurdistan.
  • Erich Honecker - The most hated man in Germany (East and West), Honecker was stone-faced and unrepentant about any of his actions. When asked by American prosecutor John Paul Stephens if he had any regrets over his actions against the housewives of East Berlin, Honecker flippantly replied, “Of course, that they were stupid enough to protest”. Sentenced to life imprisonment, Honecker was found hanged in his jail-cell on March 2nd 1978. Though still officially a suicide, many suspect the West German government had a hand in his death.
  • Edward Ochab, Poland’s leader and main representative at the Trial, would become the surprise story of the whole affair. It was unearthed that though a passionate and devoted Communist, he knew that the Anti-Semitic campaign launched by Stalin was wrong and fought hard to argue (at risk of his life) to spare the Jewish population of Poland. When that failed, he helped organise three thousand Jews to escape Poland and travel to Sweden. Ochab had conducted this in great secrecy, knowing he would be killed if word got out. Ultimately, he was never found out, and would continue to run Poland. He was briefly replaced by Władysław Gomułka, a Khrushchev-supporter who was purged by Suslov when his Troika took power, putting Ochab back on his throne. Ochab still had a bitter legacy that could not be denied in Poland, but given the extreme lengths he had gone to save his Jewish population, he was commended with only a ten year sentence, dying on August 16th 1988.
  • Gustáv Husák, Slovakia’s leader, had no such inspiring story and was quickly shellacked by the atrocities committed against the Catholic Church during his time in office, which made him quite the target of the Italians. Husák was given a likely harsh full-life sentence and died on November 9th 1989.
  • Kenji Miyamoto - The highest ranking member of the Communist government of Ezo left alive after the killings of multiple Ezo politicians by Japanese soldiers, Kenji would make headlines as the only member of the proceedings to succeed in taking his own life before the trial had concluded with a carefully concealed cyanide capsule. The resulting lockdown on any chance of suicide by the inmates stopped Tsendbal from committing the same fate.
  • Further Politburo members being prosecuted for their crimes included: Fyodor Kulakov, Andrei Kirilenko, Viktor Grishin, Gennady Voronov, Andrei Gromyko and Nikolai Podgorny. Due to their lower status, they would all receive prison sentences between ten and thirty years.

The Trier Trial would mark the symbolic reckoning for Communism that the Nuremberg Trials were for the Nazis. Trier would be the location where East German criminals would be tried while most countries would continue prosecuting their own sinners. That Malenkov had effectively been allowed to ‘get away’ with what he had done as a Communist before has remained controversial in the following years, but there is no doubt that Communism’s fall would likely have been far more brutal, or perhaps nonexistent, if it wasn’t for that remarkable historical figure. Molotov was lucky in having been able to get his story out first to the broader public, allowing history to paint a more sympathetic portrayal of him in the public imagination that recent scholarship has shed some doubt on. With the death of Communism enshrined at Trier, Leftist parties around the world rallied to condemn the monstrosities committed by the regime. But perhaps the biggest effect of the fall of Communism was not so much its effect on the moderate Left but the Hard Right. Fascism was about to find out that far from Communism being their great enemy, it may have been the friend they needed to stay alive.
 
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