Victory Day in Kiev under V F Yanukovich… he honoured the Great Victory… NOT the Nazi collaborationist filth. The present junta praises traitorous, treacherous, and murderous collaborators… that gives you a measure of their (lack of) character, I’d say…
V F Yanukovich greeting Red Army vets of the VOV… note well that American neocons HATE him for standing tall for the men who FOUGHT Nazism… tells you much about American neocons and their drooling foreign pals, doesn’t it?
Amongst issues like the Paris attacks, many took the news that President Putin didn’t receive an invitation to the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz in Poland as a sign of a deepening rift between Russia and the West. It had wide coverage from leading news networks, including Bloomberg, Reuters, the AP, and the New York Times, amongst others. However, despite the Polish government’s denials of a snub, dutifully covered in the media, it was rather interesting why nobody dug deeper into the matter beyond official media releases.
As reported, both the Polish Government and Auschwitz Commemoration officials denied sending out invitations to anyone, including Russia, but that they only sent mere notes about the event to other EU countries and financial contributors to the Auschwitz Foundation, trying to make it look like an event at a membership-only nightclub. Today, the preliminary list of attendees and invitees includes President François Hollande of France, President Joachim Gauck of Germany, President Heinz Fischer of Austria, King Philippe of Belgium, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark; they even invited P A Poroshenko, oligarch-turned-President (sic) of the Ukraine, who rose to power due to a rightwing coup last February, but not the leader of the nation whose forces liberated the camp.
In May 2014, the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita (Premier: ws. zaproszenia Putina na rocznice w Oswiecimiu byłbym ostrozny) reported that Putin’s attendance at the 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz’s liberation was a political liability to the ruling neoliberal rightwing Platforma Obywatelska (Civic Platform) (PO) and its grip on power in the upcoming Polish election. Rzeczpospolita quoted Donald Franciszek Tusk, Polish President of the Council of Ministers, as saying, “Should there be an invitation sent to President Putin? I’d have to be very careful and reserved with that. We still don’t know how the situation in the Ukraine and Russo-Ukrainian relations will develop”.
Despite deep unaddressed structural problems in the Polish economy, Tusk decided to make a strategic move to capitalise on deep anti-Russian sentiment as a game-winner in the election. This strategy continued despite a recent change at the helm of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MSZ), replacing Radosław Tomasz Sikorski, a die-hard neocon and architect of Polish involvement in the Ukrainian revolution, with PO politician Grzegorz Juliusz Schetyna. Sikorski got the boot over controversial remarks he made regarding Polish foreign policy vis-à-vis the USA and Russia, a policy that he both helped design and implement. According to Rzeczpospolita, How Poland Invited Putin by not Inviting Him, the MSZ used a diplomatic trick to de facto not invite Putin to the event by not following diplomatic protocol reserved for events such as this. As a result, D S Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, confirmed that Putin won’t attend the ceremony, but denied its connection with any kind of diplomatic snub.
The symbolism of an event commemorating the end of the world’s first industrial-scale death camp, where over 1.5 million died, including (but not limited to) Poles, Jews, and Soviet POWs, effectively descended to the level of grotesque political machinations. Putin’s actions on the Crimea started international sanctions and what many believe is a concerted effort to control oil prices. The international community condemned Putin’s actions, as some said they violated both bilateral and multilateral treaties Russia signed in the past. However, until now, the historical legacy of what Russians call the Great Patriotic War was beyond the reach of the political and expedient.
Despite ever-growing Eastern European revisionism, even if one doesn’t like or respect Putin, one can’t forget the enormous sacrifice the Russian people gave in World War II; it has a place in history as one of the greatest triumphs over the ultimate evil of Nazism. The Polish government’s game over invitations snubs not Putin, but the entire Russian nation, which sees the victory in 1945 as one of the most important foundational blocks of its identity, which isn’t surprising when the price paid exceeded 24 million of its people. The effect of the event’s politicisation is such that Poland made itself look ungrateful for its liberation from Nazi occupation, an occupation that only ended through the battle deaths of over half-a-million Red Army soldiers.
Naturally, Polish existence in the Soviet sphere of influence that followed made many Poles conclude Communism was the same as Fascism in its occupying effect, but historically and factually, it’s false, as both systems didn’t represent an equal threat to Polish nationhood or its physical survival. The fact that Poland now proclaims itself a free and democratic country is the best proof of that. At the same time, one can’t help but notice a historical irony in the new age of NATO expansionism. The industrial extermination of millions that took place on Polish soil gave birth to a very strong “Nigdy Wiecej” (Never Again) sentiment in Polish society, which itself paid with over 6 million lives of its citizens.
However, 60 years later, the new reality of “free and democratic” Poland gave rise to CIA “black site” torture camps, a direct and cynically ironic outcome of a foreign policy subordinated to the whims and requirements of a foreign superpower. In the end, a country that sent troops to faraway lands such as Iraq and Afghanistan as part of a so-called pacification action should look no further than its own history and the rhetoric of its past oppressors to see what it looks like. The moral judgement of World War II and its outcome is constant. For those who wish it to revise it, whether they do so on the barricades of Kiev under Banderist flags, in Humvees in Iraq, or in the skies over Yugoslavia or Libya, there’s plenty of blame to go around. Often, hypocrisy in international relations is a sign of weakness of those unwilling or unable to live by the standards they preach, whilst invoking historical amnesia as a tool of instant absolution.
Now, the 70th Anniversary of Auschwitz’s Liberation officially turned into a historical Disneyland of political expediency, where PR prerogatives take precedent over decency and solemn remembrance. As a warning to humanity, we should’ve left the memory of Auschwitz and what transpired there untouched for future generations. We shouldn’t use it as a tool of failed policy to contain and diminish Russia. A Polish word characterises the event even better than the ironically cynical sign on the gate of the camp, “Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work sets you free), installed by the camp creators as a ruse to the ones who entered it. It’s “Hanba”… Shame. The victims of Auschwitz deserve better than this.
20 January 2015
There’s a world of difference between Russia liberating Nazi death camps and Uniate Galicia’s role operating said death camps. That being so, P A Poroshenko’s participation in the anniversary is a travesty, shitting on the memory of the Red Army men who liberated Auschwitz, on the memory of the prisoners who survived Auschwitz, and on the memory of all the soldiers of all the nations of the Anti-Hitler Coalition, who opposed the mentality that produced Auschwitz. The murderers of the SS wore SS uniform… many of the Ukrainian neofascists proudly wear such uniforms today, as the above image testifies.
The USSR fought against Hitler… the Galician Uniates, Balts, and Croats fought alongside Hitler… they refuse to acknowledge their guilt in Nazi war crimes. They proudly commemorate those who fought under the swastika; they anoint them as heroes. They refuse to acknowledge that their actions were evil… indeed, they erect statues of those who helped murder Jews and who fought the Anti-Hitler Coalition with all their might. This is history, and no amount of revisionism can change it.
None dare call it evil… especially, not the US Republican Party (it embraces the neofascist junta in Kiev as its “milk brother”*)… now, that gives you a clue about what “Pro-Life” means to them. Nasty shit, isn’t it?
*“milk brother”: Russian idiom for two men who’ve shared the same whore