Holocausts of Communism Test
by Bryan Caplan

Western awareness of mass murders and other major atrocities committed by Communist regimes remains exceedingly low. How does your knowledge compare? Take this test to find out.

I dedicate this to all those who did not live to tell it. And may they please forgive me for not having seen it all nor rememberered it all, for not having divined all of it. --Alexsander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

  1. Most of the people killed by Lenin were...
  2. A. Czarist officials
    B. Merchants
    C. Cossacks
    D. Peasants
    E. Mensheviks
    F. Orthodox clergy

  3. During World War II and its aftermath, Stalin ordered several entire nationalities within the Soviet Union deported to Siberia. Among these were...
  4. A. Volga Germans, Kalmyks, and Chechens
    B. Greeks, Koreans, and Chechens
    C. Volga Germans, Chechens, and White Russians
    D. Kalmyks, Crimean Tatars, and Don Cossacks
    E. Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians, and Buryat Mongols
    F. Volga Germans, Jews, and Koreans

  5. About 400,000 of the Czar's subjects perished in the horrible famine of 1891-92. About how many Soviet citizens died in the famine of 1920-21?
  6. A. 100,000
    B. 250,000
    C. 400,000
    D. 1,000,000
    E. 5,000,000
    F. 30,000,000

  7. Lenin appears to have caused the post-Civil War famine deliberately, or at least acted with malevolent indifference. What are the main facts establishing this contention?
  8. A. The weather conditions in 1920-21 were actually favorable.
    B. Lenin reversed his agricultural policies once starvation appeared to threaten the survival of the Soviet regime.
    C. Substantial stockpiles of grain held by the Whites were captured in 1920.
    D. Seed grain as well as food for family consumption was requisitioned from peasants as a punitive measure.
    E. Both A and D, but not C.
    F. B, C, and D, but not A.

  9. The odds of surviving a 10-year sentence in of Lenin or Stalin's typical slave labor camps were around...
  10. A. 80%.
    B. 60%.
    C. 30%.
    D. 10%.
    E. under 3%.
    F. under 1%.

  11. Lenin set the precedent for each of Stalin's major crimes, EXCEPT:
  12. A. Deporting "counter-revolutionary" nationalities to Siberia.
    B. Executing other socialists.
    C. Ordering the assassination or execution of other high-ranking Communists.
    D. Ordering the secret police to use political prisoners as slave laborers on dangerous construction projects.
    E. A and C.
    F. B and C.

  13. During the Russian Civil War, Trotsky advocated the "militarization of labor." This was:
  14. A. A wartime expedient, requiring unneeded workers to join the Red Army.
    B. Never implemented, but would have required "counter-revolutionaries" to contribute at least 20 hours of labor each week to the war effort.
    C. Argued to be integral to the very concept of a centrally planned economy.
    D. Substantially implemented by the war's end, for inflation had almost totally eroded the monetary value of the ruble.
    E. Explicitly stated to be inconsistent with a workers' right to choose his occupation.
    F. C, D, and E.

  15. Trotsky's military policies included:
  16. A. Imposing the death penalty for retreat.
    B. Purging the Red Army of former Czarist officers.
    C. Executing prisoners of war.
    D. Ordering pogroms against Jewish communities to silence complaints that he favored other Jews.
    E. A and C.
    F. A, B, C, and D.

  17. EXCLUSIVE of the Ukrainian famine in 1932-33, the numbered of "kulaks," or better-off peasants (and their families) murdered by Stalin numbered about:
  18. A. Only a few thousand village leaders - almost all of the "kulak" fatalities actually occurred during the Ukrainian famine following the dekulakization campaign.
    B. 100,000 - about as many Japanese who died from the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    C. 250,000 - about equal to the number of Gypsies exterminated by Hitler.
    D. 1.5 million - about as many as the Turks killed in the Armenian holocaust.
    E. 2.5 million - about as many as killed by Pol Pot in Cambodia.
    F. 6.5 million - somewhat more than the number of Jews murdered by Hitler.

  19. Stalin's famine in 1932-33 - in which about 7 million peasants starved to death - appears to have been deliberately planned, because:
  20. A. The grain quotas for the Ukraine and Cossack regions were set abnormally high, even for relatively infertile zones.
    B. Authorities were ordered to move seed grain to secure urban granaries in autumn of 1932.
    C. The Ukraine was internally blockaded, so that food in nearby Russia could not be brought in, and Ukrainian peasants could not go out.
    D. Secret police chief Menzhinsky was executed - and replaced with the anti-Ukrainian Yagoda - after protesting against Stalin's policies towards the Ukraine.
    E. A, B, and C.
    F. A, B, C, and D.

    The scientific concept, dictatorship, means neither more nor less than unlimited power resting directly on force, not limited by anything, not restrained by any laws or any absolute rules. Nothing else but that.
    --V.I. Lenin

  21. At least 1 million Kazakhs perished of starvation around the same time as the Ukrainian famine. This famine ...
  22. A. was deadly because it forced migratory nomads to abandon their traditional way of life, without adequately preparing them to do anything else.
    B. concentrated on crushing the Islamic faith.
    C. was a response to perceived pro-German sentiment among Kazakhs.
    D. was, like the Ukrainian famine, deliberately inflicted.
    E. provoked only token violent resistance.
    F. A, D, and E.

  23. During 1936-8, Stalin purged perceived enemies within the Communist Party. Out of 1966 delegates to the 1934 Party Congress, how many had been arrested for counter-revolutionary crimes by the 1939 Party Congress?
  24. A. 115.
    B. About 300.
    C. About 500.
    D. 1108.
    E. All but 115.
    F. All of them.

  25. By the conclusion of the Great Terror, so many foreign Communists living in exile in the Soviet Union had been executed or imprisoned that the Communist Parties of the following nations were formally dissolved:
  26. A. Poland and Germany.
    B. Germany, Italy, and Japan.
    C. Poland and Korea.
    D. The Baltic nations, Finland, and Romania.
    E. Poland, Germany, and Spain.
    F. Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, and Greece.

  27. The population of Stalin's slave labor camps increased from about 100,000 under Lenin, to around 1,000,000 by 1930. The population then:
  28. A. Stabilized, with the incoming waves of deported kulaks approximately equaling the annual attrition rate.
    B. Stabilized at around 10,000,000 in 1940, after over 1 million Poles were sentenced to the camps.
    C. Did not increase significantly until the Great Terror, when the camp population doubled in size.
    D. Grew sharply as a result of delukization, then slowly declined in spite of the Great Terror.
    E. Never stabilized - reaching 20,000,000 by the end of World War II, and 25,000,000 by Stalin's death.
    F. Declined to 1 million during World War II - as prisoners were given amnesties if they joined the Red Army - only to peak again at 3 million in 1948.

  29. "Kolyma, wonderful planet,/Twelve months winter, the rest summer." - this couplet refers to:
  30. A. The deadliest of the slave labor camps in Siberia, where over 2 million perished.
    B. The treatment received by purged Party members, totally ostracized by their former friends and family.
    C. The canal built between the Baltic and the White Seas, constructed by slave laborers under conditions of extreme hardship.
    D. The NKVD's solitary confinement cells in Moscow, which were completely unheated.
    E. Stalin, by one of his revolutionary aliases.
    F. Stalin's first wife, noted for her icy personality.

  31. In late 1939, Hitler invaded Poland from the west, while Stalin's forces attacked from the east. During the two following years of peace between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia:
  32. A. Stalin exterminated over 3 times as many Poles as Hitler did, even though the eastern zone held only half the population of the western zone.
    B. Millions of Poles fled to the Soviet zone to escape even worse conditions inflicted by the Nazis.
    C. Approximately equal numbers of Poles died in both zones, although the Nazi kill ratio was greater.
    D. Tens of thousands of Polish intellectuals, officers, and other community leaders were executed by a special unified task force of the German and Russian secret police.
    E. B and C.
    F. A, B, and C.

  33. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact contained secret protocols divided up eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. Under the auspices of this treaty:
  34. A. The Soviet sphere initially included eastern Poland, all three Baltic states, Finland, and part of Romania.
    B. Germany "swapped" Lithuania for part of Poland.
    C. Hitler and Stalin exchanged political prisoners to secure release of jailed comrades.
    D. Stalin had annexed Finland by 1941.
    E. 2-4% of the population of the Baltic states was deported to Siberia.
    F. B and E.

  35. Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941:
  36. A. Showed that Stalin's Great Terror had successfully eliminated most potential collaborators.
    B. Convinced Stalin to immediately purge the Red Army, including the famed Marshall Tukhachevsky.
    C. Convinced Stalin to temporarily dissolve the collective farms and internal passport system.
    D. Sparked guerrilla uprisings amongst Ukrainians and Chechens.
    E. Now appears to have been a pre-emptive strike against a planned Soviet invasion of the German Reich.
    F. Was encouraged by the ability of the Baltic states to fight the Red Army to a standstill for almost four months.

  37. With the conclusion of World War II, Stalin's slave labor camps were replenished with:
  38. A. Large numbers of Japanese POWs.
    B. Ethnic Germans, both POWs and civilians.
    C. Millions of Soviet POWs.
    D. Over half the population of Georgia and Armenia.
    E. About 10% of the population of the Ukraine.
    F. B and C.

  39. The Yalta agreements authorized the "orderly" and "humane" expulsions of ethnic Germans from much of eastern Europe. In fact:
  40. A. Over 10 million ethnic Germans were expelled from eastern Europe, and about 2 million perished.
    B. After the Red Army had passed through eastern Europe, there were few ethnic Germans remaining to expel.
    C. About 2 million ethnic Germans were expelled by the Communist-dominated governments of Poland and Czechoslovakia.
    D. Over half of the "expelles" were deported east to Siberia, not west to Germany.
    E. The United States and Britain typically ordered German refugees to return to their country of origin.
    F. C and D.

    We have gone over from a policy of limiting the exploiting tendencies of the kulak to a policy of liquidating the kulak as a class.
    --Josef Stalin

  41. Between the end of World War II and the victory of Mao's forces in China in 1949:
  42. A. Soviet troops seized much of the industry of Manchuria.
    B. Stalin refused to recognize the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai Shek.
    C. Large numbers of landlords and "counter-revolutionaries" were executed in territory controlled by the Chinese Communist Party.
    D. Mao's forces conquered Tibet and sent over 1 million Tibetans to slave labor camps.
    E. A and C.
    F. A, B, and D.

  43. Soon after Stalin's death, Soviet secret police chief Lavrenti Beria was arrested and executed. Thus, Beria met the same fate as his predecessors:
  44. A. Dzerzhinski and Trotsky.
    B. Yagoda and Tukhachevsky.
    C. Kamenev and Zinoviev.
    D. Kirov and Bukharin.
    E. Kirov and Yagoda.
    F. Yagoda and Yezhov.

  45. Mao's relations with Stalin were sometimes uneasy, because:
  46. A. Stalin tried to veto Mao's effort to form a coalition government with Chiang's forces.
    B. Soviet troops occupied Tibet during the 1930's.
    C. Mao disapproved of the show trials of Zinoviev and Kamenev.
    D. Stalin vetoed a joint Soviet-Chinese invasion of Japan.
    E. Stalin doubted Mao's chances for success, and therefore gave him little assistance.
    F. All of the above.

  47. During the 1920's, the Kuomintang, or Chinese Nationalist Party:
  48. A. Permitted joint membership in the Chinese Communist Party.
    B. Accepted several prominent Soviet advisors.
    C. Sent Chiang to Moscow to work out a deal for military aid.
    D. Had its army's officer corp trained by Soviet experts on Whampoa Island.
    E. Appointed Mao Zedong as second in command of its Propaganda Ministry.
    F. All of the above.

  49. Between 1949 and 1960, the Soviet Union provided Communist China with:
  50. A. Economic advisors.
    B. Assistance in setting up a "Chinese Gulag."
    C. Large grants and no-interest loans for purchase of technical equipment.
    D. Nuclear weapons.
    E. A and B.
    F. A, C, and D.

  51. Under Mao, the slave labor camp population of China:
  52. A. Had an annual death rate in excess of Stalin's Gulag.
    B. Had over 10,000,000 inmates.
    C. Had little economic function.
    D. Consisted mainly of Chinese POWs from the Korean War.
    E. A and B.
    F. C and D.

  53. Three related nation-wide political programs were initiated in China during 1950-51, which resulted in several million killings. These were:
  54. A. Land Reform, the Great Leap Forward, and the Sufan Purge.
    B. The Resist-US-Aid-Korea campaign, the Great Leap Forward, and the Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom campaign.
    C. Land Reform, "suppression of counter-revolutionaries," and Resist-US-Aid-Korea.
    D. Collectivization, the Great Leap Forward, and the Gang of Four trial.
    E. Collectivization, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution.
    F. Land Reform, the Great Leap Forward, and the Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom campaign.

  55. Mao's deadliest campaign, which cost an estimate 30 million Chinese lives, was:
  56. A. Land Reform.
    B. Farm collectivization.
    C. The Great Leap Forward.
    D. The Cultural Revolution.
    E. The Lin Biao purge.
    F. The Gang of Four trial.

  57. The Great Leap Forward:
  58. A. Took back the land given to the peasants in the Land Reform campaign.
    B. Collectivized agricultural and purged millions of "kulaks," or wealthy peasants.
    C. Consolidated collective farms, and introduced common barracks and kitchens.
    D. Required villages to set up makeshift steel mills fed with scrap metal.
    E. C and D.
    F. A, B, C, and D.

  59. During the Great Leap Forward, peasants retained the right to:
  60. A. Move to the city.
    B. Choose their occupation.
    C. Demand payment for their work for the commune.
    D. Keep the house they occupied.
    E. Keep their own tools.
    F. None of the above.

    The concept of People varies in content in different countries and and in different periods of history in a given country... During the Japanese war all classes and social groups opposing the Japanese invasion were People; Chinese collaborators with the Japanese were the Enemy. During the war of liberation, US imperialists and their running dogs were the Enemy, those opposed to them were the People. In the present stage the social groups which favour the cause of socialist construction are the People, and those who resist are the Enemy.
    --Mao Zedong

  61. Mao's Cultural Revolution persecuted and propagandized against alleged:
  62. A. Trotskyists.
    B. Stalinists.
    C. Nationalists.
    D. Revisionists.
    E. Dengists.
    F. Emperor-worshippers.

  63. During the 1950's, Khrushchev released millions of slave laborers, relaxed censorship, gave a "secret speech" denouncing Stalin's worst crimes, and announced the goal of peaceful co-existence with the West. Mao's reaction to these reforms was:
  64. A. Strongly and increasingly negative, leading him to announce that the Soviet Union was ruled by revisionists who had restored capitalism.
    B. Mixed, since the Chinese Communists had been treated so poorly by Stalin.
    C. Mixed, because Khrushchev was able to win China the diplomatic recognition of the United States.
    D. Generally positive, though he defended Stalin's memory to win the support of the Indonesian Communist Party and the Khmer Rouge.
    E. Positive, although he opposed the relaxation of censorship.
    F. Unconditionally supportive, for Mao like most of the Chinese Communist Party was used to sudden reversals in the Party line.

  65. The Cultural Revolution has received more attention than any of Mao's other atrocities because:
  66. A. Mao seems to have struggled to prevent it.
    B. It targeted intellectuals who later denounced the Cultural Revolution in their work.
    C. Some of its victims ultimately regained power.
    D. It provoked border clashes with India.
    E. B and C.
    F. A, B, and D.

  67. The single greatest atrocity committed in eastern Europe (outside of the Soviet Union) from 1945 on was:
  68. A. The post-war expulsions of ethnic Germans from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and other countries.
    B. Deportation of Poles to Siberia.
    C. The 1956 invasion of Hungary and subsequent deportations.
    D. The 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia.
    E. Tito's "anti-Cominformist" persecutions.
    F. Executions of persons attempting to escape from East Germany.

  69. Which of the following Communist leaders were not trained in the Soviet Union under Stalin?
  70. A. Tito.
    B. Kim Il-sung.
    C. Pol Pot.
    D. Ho Chi Minh.
    E. A and C.
    F. C and D.

  71. Kim Il-sung's North Korean dictatorship:
  72. A. Was unable to maintain its hold on power without the continuing presence of Soviet occupation troops.
    B. Tried to moderate the abuses of Stalin's "personality cult."
    C. At one point "rented" slave laborers to the Soviets for use in Siberia.
    D. Officially registered about 50% of the population as a "hostile class."
    E. A and C.
    F. C and D.

  73. Ho Chi Minh:
  74. A. Worked as a Comintern agent in China during the 1920's.
    B. Waited until French withdrawal to execute nationalists and purge the Communist Party of "Trotskyists."
    C. Killed several hundred thousand Vietnamese landlords and their families during the 1950's.
    D. Set up "re-education camps" and "special economic zones" in 1975 to punish his opponents in South Vietnam.
    E. A and C.
    F. A, B, C, and D.

  75. The Communist government of Vietnam appears to be guilty of the killings of over 1,000,000 non-combatants. Of these:
  76. A. Over 95% were Vietnamese.
    B. Many were "boat people," or refugees who were forced to flee Vietnam on unseaworthy boats to avoid execution or slave labor camps.
    C. Few were killed in "re-education camps," which were atypically mild for a Communist regime.
    D. Almost all were exterminated during wartime.
    E. A and B.
    F. A, B, and D.

  77. Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime killed about 2 million people - 25% of the population of Cambodia. Aspects of this "auto-genocide" included:
  78. A. Forcing the entire urban population into forced agricultural collectives, where they worked under conditions of extreme hardship.
    B. Exterminating ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese, and other minorities.
    C. Executing Cambodians unable to speak French.
    D. Imposing Buddhism on Cambodia's Catholic and Muslim minorities.
    E. A and B.
    F. A, B, and D.

  79. Communist Vietnam overthrew Pol Pot's government in 1979, and imposed a puppet ruler, Heng Samrin. Samrin:
  80. A. Was a moderate socialist who ended large-scale killing in Cambodia.
    B. Worked closely with Vietnamese forces as they murdered several hundred thousand additional Cambodians.
    C. Largely abolished Cambodia's slave labor camps.
    D. Had about 5% the annual murder rate of Pol Pot's regime.
    E. A, B, and C.
    F. B and D.