Holocaust Remembrance, History and Politics

2021 International Holocaust Remembrance Day Commemoration

Russian President Putin was not invited to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau

Over 200 former prisoners of the Auschwitz concentration camp gathered with world leaders on January 27 in the Polish city of Auschwitz for a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp, media reported. Miraculously surviving prisoners, mostly over 90 years old.

Russia in Auschwitz was represented only at the ambassador’s level, although it was Soviet troops who liberated the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. As the press secretary of the Russian president Dmitry Peskov said on Monday, Vladimir Putin did not receive an invitation to participate in commemorative events..

Since 2005, the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust has been timed precisely to the date of the liberation of the concentration camp in Auschwitz.

On the eve of Putin at a memorial evening «Memory keeper» in Moscow said: «The holocaust – one of the most tragic, dark pages of world history. The crimes of the Nazis and their henchmen have no statute of limitations, they have neither forgiveness nor oblivion».

President Donald Trump, speaking on the occasion of the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust, noted that on this day the world remembers «millions of priceless souls who perished as a result of atrocious crimes committed by the Nazi regime».

According to the President of the United States, this year’s International Holocaust Remembrance Day is especially important as it marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz.. «As we mourn those who were abused, tortured or killed in Auschwitz and other concentration and death camps, we also honor heroes who risked their own lives and often sacrificed their lives to help liberate the camps. Their sacrifices helped the forces of freedom gain the upper hand and ensure that these atrocities never happen again.», – said in a statement.

Meanwhile, on the eve of Holocaust Day, the world press wrote almost more about the heated discussion between Moscow and Warsaw in connection with the diametrical differences between the two countries in the assessments of who is responsible for unleashing the Second World War. At the same time, the Kremlin is trying hard «ignore» inconvenient details in the notorious Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

Both countries exchanged accusations about their attempts to rewrite history. It got to the point that Polish President Andrzej Duda did not go to the World Holocaust Remembrance Forum in Israel, where Vladimir Putin looked like one of the main beneficiaries.

Professor at the Moscow Economic Institute, author of history books Igor Chubais in the commentary for the Russian service «Voices of America» stated that the past is of interest to the current Russian leaders exclusively in the political aspect, and history itself does not bother them at all. In his opinion, the official concept of history, which is being actively introduced by the Kremlin into the mass consciousness, is based on explicit mythology..

«Hence the inevitable costs, – he added. – Now the Russian authorities are striving to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Victory (over Nazi Germany) as a world holiday in which the Soviet Union, which has long been gone, is the undisputed leader. And whenever an authoritarian or totalitarian regime tries to enter world history as a teacher, it finds itself in a difficult position, and an attempt to achieve triumph turns into shame».

It is no coincidence that the Kremlin faces many complications on its way to May 9, the professor is convinced. In his opinion, this is happening because the Russian authorities want everyone to believe in a story that in fact did not exist..

Holocaust Remembrance, History and Politics

«This task is notoriously doomed to failure., – he stressed. – After all, it has been documented that Stalin, together with Hitler, unleashed the Second World War. The official story offered by Moscow is simply not true.».

Defending this mythology inevitably generates problems and conflicts», summed up Igor Chubais.

In turn, Deputy Chairman of the People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS), professor of history Andrey Zubov in the commentary for the Russian service «Voices of America» noted that the politicization of the historical topic, especially in the context of Holocaust Day, is absolutely inappropriate.

«However, history, alas, has always been the subject of political speculation, which is very bad, – he added. – As for the dispute between the two capitals over the role of Stalin and Hitler in unleashing World War II, here we must proceed from the declaration of the European Parliament of September 19, 2019. Everything is clearly described there. Obviously Putin is wrong».

As it appears to Andrei Zubov, the Russian president’s attack on Poland was caused by irritation that everyone blames the Soviet Union, together with Nazi Germany, for unleashing World War II..

«And Putin, completely unjustifiably connecting today’s Russia with the Soviet Union and the current government – with Stalin, considers such a position as an attack against him personally. In fact, blaming the Soviet Union for Putin – this is about the same as the accusation of Nazi Germany for (Chancellor) Angela Merkel. Merkel accepts these accusations, but does not associate herself with fascism. Also, in theory, Putin should behave, but this does not happen», – concluded the professor.

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