Near the end of our trip to Europe we crossed the Channel and visited a few of the sites associated with the Normandy invasion. The American cemetery, with its thousands of simple white crosses, moved me deeply, as everyone told me would happen. Then we stopped at a museum in Caen, ostensibly devoted to World War II, but with a substantial exhibit on the Cold War as well. I was intrigued, but what I found in the accompanying museum guide was particularly interesting:
The Dark Side of the Cold War
Each bloc [i.e., the U.S. and the Soviets] had hidden sides. Both camps had their dissidents and their protesters, and so developed repressive policies.
On the American side, there was the problem of the blacks and social equality, alongside the anti-Communist hysteria that was unleashed in 1949 when news of the first nuclear explosion in the USSR was released.
The Soviet side features the Gulag: thousands of deportees worked and died in the countless Siberian work camps.
Sure, the Russkies had slave labor camps, but, hey, America didn’t have social equality!