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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The day of memory and grief again frighteningly relevant

In recent years, the memory of the Second world war became a tool of international politics and national ideologies. Thus the background has left its main practical purpose is to ensure that such horror never happens again. This was especially true in the years of the cold war. And, unfortunately, still topical.

On the eve of may 9 loud the voices of those who called not to celebrate, and make a day of grief. In full accordance with the famous meme “not so simple”, regularly published articles and posts about what someone’s family in the Soviet time it was not customary to celebrate may 9 as wide as it is now, and that many veterans could not hold back the tears on this day.

“No country in the world has suffered such a loss, as the Soviet Union”

No one argues with the fact that 9 may is a “holiday with tears on eyes”. Winning the war with a powerful enemy is impossible without a sacrifice, and celebrating, we must not forget the fallen. That is why the “Immortal regiment” was able to unite the whole country. Is the memory of all those who gave their lives on the battlefield, and those who were ready to give her, but, fortunately, returned from the war alive.

And yet: despite all the “but”, may 9 – is, first and foremost, a holiday. To reduce it solely to grief is impossible. If not Win, most of us were not born to be – and it can not be doubted.

Today is not like this. June 22 – day of memory and grief. We remember that hot Sunday in 1941 when Nazi forces launched their first attack on our country.

Of course, it can be a long (and, alas, meaningless) to discuss who is more to blame for the severe losses of the first days of the war, when the advancing Nazis at times overtook the retreating Red Army (so there were the first guerrilla groups). Who is more to blame for the fact that the evacuation to the rear was possible far not all and not all and millions of people were in occupation. Civilian casualties of the Soviet Union at least three times higher than military, but in the summer of 1941, few people expected from “cultural” Germans that they are beasts in human form. Were still alive, many of the participants of the First world (between its end and the beginning of the great Patriotic war it took 23 years – less than the collapse of the Soviet Union until today), but even they did not anticipate what a monster they have to face now.

This confusion lasted a long time – almost six months, until the Battle of Moscow. Following a long, almost endless three-and-a-half years, the Red army went to Berlin.

June 22 is the memory that in the modern world need to be ready to attack always – no matter what peace treaties before they were signed. And at the same time – the memory of that treachery and “preemptive strike” do not necessarily lead to success.

It is the memory and that in a really difficult situation to rely on allies to fully not worth it. No, that is no reason to doubt the benefits of the lend-lease and other assistance received from the allies (with sincere thanks). But we should not forget that landing in Normandy was only on 6 June 1944, when a doubt in the defeat of Hitler was no more. Russia, as it has happened many times in history, took the heaviest blow, survived, won, and to parse the trophies arrived for many. Historical anecdote on the phrase “And these, too, we won?”, said is not something Wilhelm Keitel, not that Alfred Jodl against the French, who also took the surrender of Germany, not so funny as it seems.

The Soviet Union defeated Germany – and then, almost without a break to deal with the “cold war” that divided the world into two parts. And if not for the creation of the atomic bomb (under the supervision of Lavrenty Beria, as in the last 60 years to write is not accepted), the chances of most of us to birth again would be minimal. Yesterday the allies had seriously developed plans for the destruction of major Soviet cities with nuclear warheads. About civilians nobody thought.

This seemingly fragile, but appeared strong and relatively long post-war world saw the millions who did not survive the Great Patriotic war. We still don’t know absolutely precise numbers – how many men, women and children died in Hitler unleashed the massacre. The most common figure of 27 million. It (to get a better sense of scale, one and a half times more than all the present population of Romania or of the Netherlands. It’s like Serbia, Bulgaria, Denmark and Finland combined. This Czech Republic plus Hungary plus Austria.

And no country in the world has suffered such a loss, as the Soviet Union. We also need to remember forever – and not to let such a war happen again.

Meanwhile, the current world began to seem fragile. Politics is almost gone generation, personally caught that terrible war. The value of human life is once again being questioned. Public opinion in different countries with the approval relates to a military solution to the conflict. However, many in Europe are starting to reach that largest-ever number of refugees – a consequence of mindless power politics in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East.

But this understanding has not yet born the next obvious thought – hypothetical war with Russia will lead to much more disastrous consequences, even if completely exclude the use of nuclear weapons. Despite some sensible voices, whipping up anti-Russian hysteria continues. NATO troops gradually concentrated in the border areas. And the rhetoric of some Western politicians sometimes confusingly similar to the words of Hitler that the Soviet Union “threat” and “planning an invasion”.

June 22 – it is an occasion to remind ourselves and the world that political differences are not worth millions of lives. And to remind you about it as often as possible, because world war III humanity might not survive.

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