Never forget, always honor
for the VOR http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_05_09/74241896/
No single event in the annals of modern history has done more to change and shape the psyche and the steer the fate of the entire planet than the Great Patriotic War, or as it is called in the West, World War II.
Every country has its version and has its own slant as to the how heroic and how great their own role in the war was, this can be testified to by anyone who was educated in the US school system, and grew up believing and being taught that the US was the greatest player in World War II and had it not been for the US coming in and saving the day the whole world would have been enslaved. Yet the facts are so far from this that it is painful to fathom the arrogance and the cynicism behind such an erroneous yet intentional twisting of history, twisted to a degree that approaches fantasy.
Judging facts from one’s own viewpoint and seeing the world through the prism of one’s own experiences or history is natural and human, just like almost every country’s world maps portray their country in the center; the same can be said for their historical perspectives and vantage points. Yet there is a point where this becomes inadmissible, when the sheer weight and deadly undeniable seriousness of the facts screams out for correction.
One of the most deeply touching and moving experiences one from the West might have, is studying Russian history and more exactly the history of the Great Patriotic War, from a Russian point of view. Out of the deep respect I feel for the momentous losses and sacrifice suffered by the Soviet people in their battle and eventual victory over the monstrous evil that was Nazism and Hitler’s Germany, I now refer to World War II as the Great Patriotic War.
Russia and the Russian people (the Soviet people) suffered more losses and did more than any other country in the world to fight and defeat Nazi fascism, an ideology that sought to extinguish and enslave all the people’s in the world who they deemed to be inferior. It was the Soviet people who lost from 27 million, to 40 million lives (by some counts). This gives the Russian people every right in the world, not only the moral right, to call the Victory their own, and to be the caretakers of the memory of that most darkest of moments in the history of mankind.
When one looks at the losses suffered by the US for example, approximately 418,500 less than even the UK’s 450,900 (a country much less in size), and compares them to the Soviet Union’s or Russia’s over 27 million, their figures pale, even little Yugoslavia lost almost 2 million people. Another fact from which many conclusions might be made is the fact that approximately 400,000 Nazis found refuge in the US after the Great Patriotic War.
The losses suffered by the world due to the evil designs of homicidal lunatics, such as the authors of Mein Kampf and their golden Aryan city, and those who followed Nazi ideology, amount to as many as 70,000,000 people. There is no way that one can imagine such a number of human beings, each one an individual with dreams and desires and hopes and family and loves and pains. The losses are unthinkable, and when one faces the fact that Russia lost almost half of that number, one must respect and be grateful to Russia for such a loss. One must also not allow small minded propagators of hate to in any way attempt to re-write or re-approach, or in any way re-assess the terror that was the pure evil, optimized by the Nazi gas chambers.
An acquaintance recently aksed me, on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz: “Why do you want to publish pictures of mountains of Jewish bodies being burned? We have seen enough of that.” I told him so that people do not forget, so people like my students don’t draw swastikas on their desks, because they do not know the horrors that the world suffered due to Hitler.
They don’t know that Nazism was soap made from the flesh of Jews and the “mud people”, that Nazism was book covers, wallets, shoes, lampshades, and more made from the skin of Jewish prisoners, that millions were brutally killed, starved to death, tortured to death, or brutally made the subject of sadistic unthinkable “medical” experiments; sections of bones, muscles, and nerves removed without anesthesia, unthinkable experiments with twins such as sewing them together, hammers being repeatedly dropped on heads till people went insane, hearts being pulled out to see how long someone would live, freezing people to death, involuntary sterilization, experiments with poisons, chemical agents, freezing to death, and the list goes on and on. Nazism was the mass execution of approximately 6 million Jews and 11 million others they considered inferior (Untermenschen), undesirable or dangerous, people who had to dig their own mass graves, or watch as their children were executed before their eyes, or worse. Those things must never be forgotten or allowed to be accepted or softened.
My people were also annihilated in an organized genocide on the other side of the world, so I understand what this can mean. On this Victory Day I would like to just say thank you dear veteran and to everyone who fought against the Nazis and especially to Russia, which paid the greatest price. If it were not for you, I would not be here today.