Izvestiya runs a piece by political scientist Avigdor Eskin on historical revisionism in Eastern Europe (especially in the Baltic countries and Ukraine) pertaining to World War II.
Dark Clouds of Revanchism
For more than 20 years, Nazi revanchism in Eastern Europe has been allowed to roam freely in the post-Soviet space. Immediately after the break-up of the Soviet Union, supporters of Bandera suddenly crawled from under the rocks in Ukraine and the Baltics, declaring themselves the real victors of World War II. Seemingly sacred truths of the Great Patriotic war have been subjected to cynical erosion, thus paving the way for marches of SS veterans in Riga and Tallin and the glorification of Nazi criminals at the state level in Ukraine.
It should be noted that the West and the US have done nothing to prevent this “march of revanchism”. To the contrary, in some cases, they have even encouraged and aided nationalists of different countries, who later turned out to be neo-Nazis.
The current Russian leadership is well aware of what the meaning is of what is happening now. After all, the living memory of common victory did not only lead to a healthy awakening of patriotism in Russia but also laid the basis for the process of integration in the former Soviet Union. Moscow is waging a war against this attempts to rewrite history and turning Nazi criminals into heroes. However, even in contemporary Russia the battle against the “Brown Tide” has not been a complete success, let alone in Ukraine, the Baltics or Moldova.
Attempts to rehabilitate the Vlasov and Kaminskiy armies were, luckily, not successful But in Moscow there are clubs of intellectuals which, by a strange coincidence, are namesakes not only of the medieval Teutonic Knights but also of fascist divisions of World War II. Influential liberals, meanwhile, in equating SMERSH with the SS, they are wittingly and unwittingly continuing a multi-year campaign to equate the Nazi monsters with their victims.
The same thing has been done by revisionist historians like David Irving. These are the same people who applied to the UN to recognize that Zionism is a form of racial discrimination, almost close to fascism, and compare the deeds of the army of Israel with that of the Wehrmacht or, even worse, the SS.
But the main thing is not that the falsifiers of history clearly don’t know anything about what actually happened and thus actually support Hitler’s propaganda. Naturally, you can find a lot of flaws in the way the SMERSH operated; it committed many crimes. After all, troops of the Free French Forces arrested, and yes, sometimes even executed alleged collaborators with great cruelty. It is very important to stress that SMERSH, just like the airborne and the armored divisions, were part of a unified military and civilian monolith which defeated the greatest evil humanity has ever known. In this aspect, the SMERSH wrote its own glorious history (as Churchill would have put it).
After hearing the speech of Gozman, the famous Israeli poet and journalist Baruch Kamyanov published a sharp article titled “shame and pity.” At the end Kamyanov concludes: “He (Gozman) is a particular kind of danger to everyone around him because they see him as their guide and moral compass”. The famous words of Galitsj come to mind: “Throw him away! Do not believe him! He is lying, he does not know how not to!”
A similar debate is unthinkable in Israel. No matter how many people here hate the Stalinist system, we know who erected Auschwitz and we know who freed its prisoners. It does not matter how deeply we disapprove of the Communist system and ideology, in Israel every child knows who rescued the Jews and who fought shoulder to shoulder with our grandfathers. More importantly, we will never forget those who supported Israel in 1948.
The proposed “half-justification” of Hitlerism by the Russian liberals, by equating it with the Stalinist Soviet Union, are intended to undermine the remaining foundations of Russia’s existence as a Great Power. The devaluation of the moral and historical significance of the victory over Nazi Germany leads to the creation of a dangerous spiritual vacuum in Russian society, in which people are brought up with the pride of the Victory. This is the basis for good, proper, Russian patriotism which can never develop into fascism. It is an essential prerequisite for the acceleration of the integration process throughout Eurasia.
The West often accuses Russia of infringement of civil liberties. In fact, we should wonder why Gozman can be allowed to insult all the people in the world who value the victory over Nazism. Certainly, modern democracy means freedom of speech and the right to have an opinion. But then we also have the right to turn off his microphone once and for all. And not only Gozman, but all the fans of other SS divisions, longing for lampshades made of human skin.