Translation: Russia isn’t Germany – It has Nothing to Repent For

The German president has decided to teach Russia to fight with remnants of totalitarianism, and could not think of anything better than to call to repent. Original article by Alexander Romanov

German president allowed himself to teach Russians to fight “remnants of totalitarianism”

The German president  decided to teach Russia to fight with remnants of totalitarianism, and could not think of anything better than to call to repent. Although, in theory, one should not teach one’s grandmother to suck eggs as well as the loser should not teach the winner.

It happened during the 15th annual forum called “The Potsdam Meetings” which was held near Berlin. The event was organized by the German NGO “German-Russian Forum”. The main topic for this year’s meeting was “The influence of the past on the future.”

The two-day conference was attended by politicians, artists, scientists, civil society representatives from Russia and Germany. They discussed the following topics: “How history impacts national identity?”, “What are the major historical images that shape the consciousness of the Russians and the Germans?”, “The Future of the Past – the lessons of history.” The number of participants in such meetings is usually quite small – 15-20 intellectuals on both sides.

The highlight of the forum was the meeting with the German president Joachim Gauck in Bellevue palace, Deutsche Welle reports.

The participants were brought by bus from Potsdam to the Berlin residence much ahead of time. For an hour, they stamped in the foyer of the presidential administration, passing time by trying mineral water, juice, coffee and biscuits. Then they proceeded into the palace itself, and sat in semi-circle still waiting as the palace staff was removing extra furniture.

Appearing late by just six minutes Gauck, a former Lutheran pastor, now an active advocate of gay rights, immediately declared himself an expert on the issue and went on to a lengthy discourse on how and why Germany repented.

It was a long and painful process for Germans, he told. In West Germany, “after some delay arose a self-critical historical discourse.” At the same time, the president said, “the focus was not our own suffering and losses but on the guilt of our compatriots, their failure to save democracy, their cruelty.”

Well, this is not surprising: the suffering of German people make up only a tiny fraction of the suffering they have brought to other nations. In a different way to do it was simply impossible. What is there to discuss?

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Translation: Dark Clouds of Revanchism

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.

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The Return of the Reich?

This is my second follow-up post to The Belief Matrix, in which I attempted to advance a universal model for civilizational responses to subsistence crises (The Malthusian Loop) and the Western challenge (The Sisyphean Loop). This time I will look at Germany, a nation that was always torn between its hard-assimilated Roman / Western identity, and German Romanticism – the nativist reaction against the “Idea of the West” (as previously loosely-defined, a set of concepts like the scientific method, rule of law, economic rationalism, and liberalism).

Before World War One, Germany was a confident, expanding power, but  one wracked by insecurity. It was encircled by France and Russia on land, and contained by Great Britain at sea. The increasing cooperation between those three nations reinforced Germany’s suspicions and made it resentful about being denied its rightful place in the sun (all the best colonies had already been snapped up by the time Germany came to the imperialist game). In retrospect, much has been made of the balefulness of the Prussian militarist tradition, the influence of German nationalist groups, and the Kaiser’s bombastic antebellum rhetoric as one of the enabling factors of Germany’s Sonderweg. However, one should also note that in 1900 Germans enjoyed a higher level of adult enfranchisement than the British (22% versus 18% of the population, albeit with the caveat that the Reichstag’s powers were far more circumscribed) and that the anti-war Social Democrats won 34.8% in 1912.

The Teutonic Spirit

That said, imperial Germany was different from the Western liberalisms (Great Britain, France and the US) – not even so much in its political economy, an uneasy fusion of “Western” industrialism and “Eastern” autocracy, but also in its reflection in the psychological make-up of the German people, whose defining trait is a constant internal struggle between “civilized” Roman values (Rationalism / “The Idea of the West”) and “barbarian” Teutonic instinct. From Peter Viereck’s Metapolitics: From Wagner and the German Romantics to Hitler, first published in 1941 (well into WW2):

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