Grover Carr Furr III (born April 3, 1944) is an American professor of Medieval English literature at Montclair State University. Furr is a revisionist historian who holds fringe views regarding Soviet and Communist studies and is best known for historical denialism regarding the atrocities and crimes committed by Joseph Stalin in his works on the history of the Soviet Union.
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Born in Washington, D.C., Furr graduated in 1965 from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with a BA in English. He later obtained an MA and a PhD from Princeton University. Since February 1970, he has been on the faculty at Montclair State University in New Jersey, where he specializes in medieval English literature.
Works, beliefs and reception
Furr has been described by historians John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr as a historical revisionist who "lauded creation of Communist regimes" in Europe and Asia because "millions of workers are exploited, murdered, tortured, oppressed by capitalism." Writing for The Daily Beast, journalist Cathy Young described him as "a 'revisionist' on a career-long quest to exonerate Stalin." According to British columnist John O'Sullivan writing for National Review, Furr is "a 'historian' who denies that Stalin committed any crimes at all. [...] Revisionist historians nostalgic for 'really existing socialism' have long sought to minimize the number of Stalin's victims and the scale of Soviet crimes. But the extravagance of Furr's claims — every accusation against Stalin false! — made it hard to take them seriously. They amount less to revisionism than to outright denial of historical reality."
Based primarily on the discoveries in the mass graves at Volodymyr-Volynskyi, Ukraine, Furr now believes that the Katyn massacre was committed by the Nazis rather than by the NKVD. According to Furr, some Poles were likely killed by the Soviets in retaliation for their treatment of Russian prisoners of war and other civilians which is part of controversies of the Polish–Soviet War while the Nazis shot the others later. For Furr, all defendants of the Moscow Trials were at least guilty of what they were charged of. Furr's books, especially on the Katyn massacre, have been cited in Russia as confirmation that the revisionist views are also "supported by foreign historians."
Regarding the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, Furr claims that the Soviet Union did not actually invade Poland because it no longer had a government and was not a state according to international law, further arguing that "at the time it was widely acknowledged that no such invasion occurred". According to Furr, the Polish government did not declare war on the Soviet Union and only declared war on Nazi Germany as did Britain and France. Britain did not demand the Soviet Union to withdraw its troops and France had a mutual defense treaty with Poland. Secondly, the Polish General Inspector of the Armed Forces Edward Rydz-Śmigły ordered Polish soldiers not to fight the Soviets and instead to continue fighting the Germans while the Polish president Ignacy Mościcki, who was interned in Romania since September 17, 1939, tacitly admitted that Poland no longer had a government and maintained its stance of neutrality. Finally, Furr notes that the League of Nations did not determine the Soviet Union had invaded a member state and accepted the Soviet declaration of neutrality while it voted to expel the Soviets when the Soviet Union attacked Finland in the Winter War.
Furr claims that the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact to protect the Soviet Union from a German attack on the border and preserve an independent Poland rather than planning a partition of Poland with Germany. Furr argues that Britain and France also signed the Munich Agreement, a nonaggression pact with Germany that partitioned another state and that Poland too took part in the partition of Czechoslovakia. Furr concludes by blaming the Polish government in exile, arguing that it should have remained somewhere in Poland "at least long enough to surrender" or could have fled to Britain or France rather than in neutral Romania. In Furr's words, "[a] 'rump' Poland might finally have agreed to make a mutual defense pact that included the USSR. That would have restarted 'collective security', the anti-Nazi alliance between the Western Allies and the USSR that the Soviets sought but UK and French leaders rejected." According to Furr, this would have "greatly weakened Hitler; probably eliminating much of the Jewish Holocaust; certainly preventing the conquest of France, Belgium, and the rest of Europe; [and] certainly prevented many millions of deaths of Soviet citizens."
Furr's book Khrushchev Lied attacked the speech given by Nikita Khrushchev called "On the Cult of Personality and Its Consequences", more commonly referred to in the West as the "Secret Speech". It has been translated into Bengali, French, Galician, German, Hindi, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Tamil and Turkish. According to a review of the book by Sven-Eric Holmstrom in the Journal of the Research Group on Socialism and Democracy, "Furr identifies 61 allegations in Khrushchev's speech. He concludes that, with only one minor exception, every one of them is demonstrably false. In essence Furr claims to have proven that this 'speech of the century' is a fraud from beginning to end." While noting that "the book has some formal weaknesses", Holmstrom declared it to be a valuable contribution to the "historical revisionist" school of Soviet and Communist studies and that "Furr is formally proclaiming a 'paradigm shift' for which evidence has been accumulating over many years. Furr's (and Bobrov's) work may be seen as building on that of the 'revisionists' (called 'Young Turks' when they first appeared in the mid-80s)." The Russian Orthodox newspaper Russkii Vestnik described Furr's research as "objective" and "impressive".
Furr has been accused of academic malpractice by Marxist-turned conservative Ronald Radosh. During a public debate in a university campus, Furr said that "I have yet to find one crime — yet to find one crime — that Stalin committed. [...] I know they all say he killed 20, 30, 40 million people — it is bulls–t. [...] Goebbels said that the Big Lie is successful and this is the Big Lie: that the Communists — that Stalin killed millions of people and that socialism is no good." Furr referred to Nazi propaganda because a mediator of the discussion suggested that Furr was using tactics invented by Joseph Goebbels. Conservative writer David Horowitz listed Furr as one of the "101 most dangerous academics in America" for "venting his Stalinist and anti-American political passions on his helpless students" by claiming that the United States got what it deserved on September 11 and misinforming his students by claims like the United States being behind the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II. Horowitz also criticized Furr for believing that "it was morally wrong for the United States to bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union."[better source needed][undue weight? ] Sergey Romanov, a critic of historical negationism writing for the website Holocaust Controversies, criticized Furr for his pseudohistorical writings on the Moscow Trials and the Katyn massacre. Calling Furr one of various "brainwashed neo-Stalinists", Romanov wrote that Furr's writings share many similarities with those of Holocaust deniers.
According to Russian government-owned news agency Sputnik, Furr believes that "the US and NATO have been by far the most aggressive and murderous power in the world since WW2" while "the USSR never did anything remotely comparable" to the crimes by the West. In May 2014, Furr held a talk at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In a CounterPunch article published in March 2017, relying on research done by professor of history Mark Tauger, Furr argues that "[t]here was a very serious famine in the USSR, including (but not limited to) the Ukrainian SSR, in 1932-33. But there has never been any evidence of a 'Holodomor' or 'deliberate famine,' and there is none today. The 'Holodomor' fiction was invented by Ukrainian Nazi collaborators who found havens in Western Europe, Canada, and the USA after the war."
- Furr, Grover (2011). Khrushchev Lied. The Evidence that Every Revelation of Stalin's (and Beria's) Crimes in Nikita Khrushchev's Infamous Secret Speech to the 20th Party Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on February 25, 1956, Is Provably False. Kettering, Ohio: Erythros Press and Media. ISBN 9780615441054.
- Furr, Grover (2013). The Murder of Sergei Kirov: History, Scholarship and the Anti-Stalin Paradigm. Kettering, Ohio: Erythros Press and Media. ISBN 9780615802015.
- Furr, Grover (2014). Blood Lies: The Evidence that Every Accusation against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union in Timothy Snyder's Bloodlands Is False. Plus: What Really Happened in: the Famine of 1932–33; the Polish Operation; the Great Terror; the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact; the Soviet Invasion of Poland; the Katyn Massacre; the Warsaw Uprising; and Stalin's Anti-Semitism. New York City, New York: Red Star Publishers. ISBN 9780692200995.
- Furr, Grover (2015). Trotsky's Amalgams. Trotsky's Lies, The Moscow Trials as Evidence, The Dewey Commission. Trotsky's Conspiracies of the 1930s, Volume One. Kettering, Ohio: Erythros Press and Media. ISBN 9780692582244.
- Furr, Grover (2016). Yezhov vs. Stalin: The Truth About Mass Repressions and the So-Called Great Terror in the USSR. Kettering, Ohio: Erythros Press and Media. ISBN 9780692810507.
- Furr, Grover (2017). Leon Trotsky's Collaboration with Germany and Japan. Trotsky's Conspiracies of the 1930s, Volume Two. Kettering, Ohio: Erythros Press and Media. ISBN 9780692945735.
- Furr, Grover (2018). The Fraud of the Dewey Commission. New York City, New York: Red Star Publishers. ISBN 9781722702243.
- Furr, Grover (2018). The Moscow Trials as Evidence. New York City, New York: Red Star Publishers. ISBN 9781722842123.
- Furr, Grover (2018). The Mystery of the Katyn Massacre: The Evidence, The Solution. Kettering, Ohio: Erythros Press and Media. ISBN 9780692134252.
- Furr, Grover (2019). Stalin: Waiting for ... the Truth! Exposing the Falsehoods in Stephen Kotkin's Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929–1941. New York City, New York: Red Star Publishers. ISBN 9780578445533.
- Furr, Grover (2019). Trotsky's Lies. Kettering, Ohio: Erythros Press and Media. ISBN 9780578521046.
- Furr, Grover (2020). New Evidence of Trotsky's Conspiracy. Kettering, Ohio: Erythros Press and Media. ISBN 9780578649764.
- "Grover Furr". Montclair State University. Archived from the original on July 2, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Haynes, John Earl; Klehr, Harvey (2003). In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage. San Francisco: Encounter Books. pp. 26–27. ISBN 9781893554726.
- Young, Cathy (April 13, 2015). "Russia Denies Stalin's Killer Famine". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on October 11, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- O'Sullivan, John (August 14, 2015). "What to Make of the Guardian's Shameful Robert Conquest Obituary?". National Review. Archived from the original on September 22, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Furr, Grover (January 1979). The Quarrel of the Roman de la Rose and Fourteenth Century Humanism (PhD). Princeton University. Archived from the original on August 20, 2020. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- Furr, Grover (2013). "The 'Official' Version of the Katyn Massacre Disproven?" (PDF). Socialism and Democracy. 27 (2): 96–129. doi:10.1080/08854300.2013.795268. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 18, 2020. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
- Ivanov, Valery (April 2, 2017). "Катынский расстрел: продолжатели дела Геббельса" Katynskiy rasstrel: prodolzhateli dela Gebbel'sa [Katyn Execution: The Successors of the Goebbels Case]. NewsBalt (in Russian). Archived from the original on April 18, 2017. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- Furr, Grover (August 6, 2013). "The Katyn Forest Whodunnit". Montclair State University. Archived from the original on September 22, 2020. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
- Furr, Grover (July 31, 2010). "The Moscow Trials and the 'Great Terror' of 1937–1938: What the Evidence Shows". Montclair State University. Archived from the original on July 1, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Furr, Grover (September 2017). "Yezhov vs. Stalin: The Causes of the Mass Repressions of 1937-1938 in the USSR" (PDF). Labor and Society. 20 (3): 325–347. doi:10.1111/wusa.12297. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 9, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
- Furr, Grover (2009). "Did the Soviet Union Invade Poland in September 1939?". Montclair State University. Archived from the original on August 23, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Furr, Grover (2012). "The Secret Protocols to the M-R Pact Did Not Plan Any Partition of Poland". Montclair State University. Archived from the original on January 17, 2020. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- Furr, Grover (April 16, 2020). "Welcome to Grover Furr's Home Page". Montclair State University. Archived from the original on September 22, 2020. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
- Holmstrom, Sven-Eric (August 2, 2013). "Grover Furr, Khrushchev Lied (Kettering, Ohio: Erythros Press & Media LLC, 2011". Journal of the Research Group on Socialism and Democracy. Archived from the original on December 16, 2018. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Semanov, Sergey (April 2, 2017). "Хрущев и его «Борьба с культом» в свете истины" Khrushchev i yego «Bor'ba s kul'tom» v svete istiny [Khrushchev and his "Struggle Against the Cult" in the Light of Truth]. Russkii Vestnik (in Russian). Archived from the original on July 22, 2020. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- Radosh, Ronald (November 13, 2012). "Academic Malpractice: The Case of Grover Furr". PJ Media. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Gehrke, Joel (November 13, 2012). "Your tax dollars at work: Prof says Stalin did not kill millions of people — that's 'the Big Lie'". Washington Examiner. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Dreher, Rod (November 26, 2012). "'They Lied, Nobody Died'". The American Conservative. Archived from the original on June 11, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Horowitz, David (2006). The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing. pp. 186–189. ISBN 0-89526-003-4.
- Romanov, Sergey (August 25, 2019). "Again about the Stalinist deniers: yes, the Moscow trials were staged, duh". Holocaust Controversies. Blogger. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- Romanov, Sergey (January 26, 2020). "Looking for the Katyn lighthouses". Holocaust Controversies. Blogger. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- Romanov, Sergey (March 15, 2007). "And now for something not completely different..." Holocaust Controversies. Blogger. Retrieved September 27, 2020. Updated March 30, 2007
- Blinova, Ekaterina (August 2, 2015). "Who Controls the Past Controls the Future: Why Does West Hate Stalin?". Sputnik. Archived from the original on May 8, 2019. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
- Water, Lanhe (May 26, 2017). "苏联时期相关重大历史事件国际学术报告会在京举行" Sūlián shíqí xiāngguān zhòngdà lìshǐ shìjiàn guójì xuéshù bàogào huì zàijīng jǔxíng [International Academic Conference on Major Historical Events Related to the Soviet Period Held in Beijing] (in Chinese). Chinese Academy of Social Science. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- "美国学者眼中的"苏联时期重大历史事件" Měiguó xuézhě yǎnzhōng de sūlián shíqí zhòngdà lìshǐ shìjiàn [Major Historical Events Related to the Soviet Era in the Eyes of American Scholars]. People's Daily (in Chinese). May 26, 2017. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- Furr, Grover (March 3, 2017). "The 'Holodomor' and the Film 'Bitter Harvest' are Fascist Lies". CounterPunch. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.