Nazis And Commies: The unspoken pact by novelists and filmmakers to obscure the atrocities committed by the Soviets

A recent documentary on the Turner Classic Movie cable channel illustrated the point. Said the commentators, when all else fails in selecting a villain, make Nazis the sinister evil force and success is assured. Yet the idea to create Soviet villains never appears to occur to novelists and filmmakers, except in spy thrillers where each side is usually defined as morally equivalent. For example, why can’t the suspenseful movie “The House on Carroll Street,” about Nazi spies in New York City in the 1950s, be about Soviet spies burrowed into a peaceful New York neighborhood in an era when they were indeed a serious threat? Or in the 1989 Gene Hackman suspense film “The Package,” why do proto-Nazis plan to assassinate political figures in America 45 years after World War II as the Cold War against the Soviets was still raging? The real danger since the end of World War II has been the KGB, not imaginary Nazis.