Voices from Russia

Saturday, 2 June 2018

The Burning of Pirčiupiai… Lest We Forget What Rightwing Racism Leads To

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On 3 June 1944, the fascist occupiers burned the village of Pirčiupiai in Lithuania, killing 119 people, burning them alive. Amongst the victims were 5 elderly persons over 65, 1 pregnant woman, 49 children under 15 years of age, 14 children under 5 years of age, and 4 nursing infants.

In 1960, the young Lithuanian sculptor Gediminas Jokūbonis created a memorial at the site of the tragedy, including the statue “Mother”, with a wall with decorated reliefs carved with names of the dead. The central monument portrays a tense image of a mother, the anger and sorrow of the old Lithuanian peasants, as well as severe generalised images, harmonising the architecture and memorial space with the surrounding countryside. In 1963, Jokūbonis received a Lenin Prize for creating the memorial. A Memorial Museum is also in Pirčiupiai.

In 1981, the Lithuanian cinema studio LKS filmed the movie Fakt (Fact) directed by Steponas Almantas Grikevičius, telling the story of the destruction of the village by the fascists. It won the main prize at the 14th all-Union Film Festival in Vilnius and represented the Soviet film industry in the competition at the Cannes International Film Festival, which it won the award for Best Supporting Female Role for actress E Ya Solovey.

2 June 2018

СССР. Прекрасная страна, в которой мы жили

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Ukrainian Jewish Committee Warns Kiev About Glorifying World War II Murderers of Jews

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On Friday, Eduard Dolinsky, Director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told golos.ua:

The veneration of World War II-era Nazi groups and surging anti-Semitism in the Ukraine will inevitably affect relations with Israel. Currently, both countries enjoy a good relationship. However, the Ukraine’s glorification of the murderers of the Jewish population will eventually come back to haunt Kiev in its relations with Israel. This’ll happen shortly. This’ll depend on how the Ukraine acts. For example, Poland, as you know, banned entry for (the director of the Institute of National Memory) Vyatrovich as well as some of his allies and nationalists. Israel may also take similar measures. Besides, ultra-right sentiment and extremist groups will grow in the Ukraine if the government remains idle. The whole world is witnessing mounting rightwing extremist sentiment and stepped-up activity by radical groups in social life. If they take no action to counter this, this’ll build up day by day. In addition, their numbers would increase, eventually making the fight against them more difficult.

According to the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, the number of anti-Semitic incidents doubled in the Ukraine in 2017 year-on-year, which comes against the backdrop of a glorification of nationalist leaders responsible for the murders and expulsion of Jews during World War II. It noted:

For a second successive year, the Ukraine saw the biggest number of anti-Semitic incidents among the former Soviet Union republics. There was anti-Semitic propaganda in politics, vandalism targeting Jewish cemeteries, buildings, and social centres, as well as monuments to Holocaust victims. However, they don’t take any effective action against vandals, with anti-Semitic incidents qualified as just hooliganism and not as hate crimes.

In May 2015, Ukrainian President P A Poroshenko signed a law glorifying the OUN (Ukrainian nationalists) and the UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army), a terrorist group outlawed in Russia, labelling their activity as a struggle for the country’s independence. Statues to nationalist Nazi collaborators S A Bandera and R I Shukhevich arise across the Ukraine, memorial events and torchlight processions occur in their memory, and they name streets after them.

1 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/society/1007559

Monday, 12 February 2018

Sophie Scholl Was Beheaded at 21 for Standing Up to the Nazis: She Distributed Anti-Nazi Pamphlets at the University of München

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Like most German children in the 1930s, Sophie Scholl and her five siblings joined Nazi youth groups. However, Sophie and her brother Hans grew outraged that educated Germans went along with racist Nazi policies. In 1942, the two siblings, along with their friend Christoph Probst, amongst others, started a secret society known as the White Rose Circle. The group painted anti-Nazi slogans on the campus of the University of München and distributed pamphlets detailing the genocide of Jewish people. A White Rose pamphlet read:

Since the conquest of Poland, 300,000 Jews have been murdered, a crime against humanity.

They implored readers not to be complicit:

Who among us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that will befall us and our children when one day the veil falls from our eyes and the most horrible crimes reach the light of day?

Scholl’s father, an avowed anti-Nazi arrested for criticising Hitler to a colleague, raised his children to stand up for what they believed in their hearts:

What I want for you is to live in uprightness and freedom of spirit, no matter how difficult that proves to be.

His words were prophetic. In October 1943, a Nazi court sentenced Sophie and Hans Scholl, along with Christoph Probst, to death by guillotine. Before her execution at the age of 21, Sophie said:

Such a fine sunny day and I have to go. However, what does my death matter if thousands of people are awakened through us and stirred to action?”

6 February 2018

Timeline

https://timeline.com/sophie-scholl-world-war-ii-anti-nazi-beheaded-history-268030b3d310

Saturday, 3 February 2018

3 February 2018. A Seen by Vitaly Podvitsky: 75th Anniversary of the Defeat of the German Fascists in the Battle of Stalingrad

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Today, 75 years ago, Soviet troops defeated the German fascists in the Battle of Stalingrad. Eternal glory to our heroic grandfathers!

2 February 2018

Vitaly Podvitsky Masterskaya Karikatury

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