REMEMBRANCE AND RECONCILIATION VS “VICTORY”

In Soviet times there circulated a story about the Russian traffic police trying to solve the problem of road accidents. The decision was made to look into how traffic is arranged in the country with the fewest number of such accidents – Britain. It turned out that in the UK they had left-hand traffic. “That may be the key to the solution,” thought the authorities and were about to introduce that system in Russia. However (better safe than sorry, they thought), they ordered that, as an experiment, only private cars and bikes should ride on the left side of the road. Lorries should keep running on the right side, as before.

The story popped up in my mind these days, when Ukraine is marking a double holiday: the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation on May 8, and the Day of Victory over Nazism in WWII on May 9. Having nothing against May 8th holiday, which is on the list of the UNO international days and which is formulated as Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation, I’m against the celebration of the Day of Victory. There are at least three reasons for that. First: only German Nazism was crushed in WWII. Soviet Nazism (or, fascism – I don’t see much difference between the two) was alive and kicking – with its reprisals and persecution of free thinking, its gulags and brinkmanship, with its “socialist camp” of East European countries, with its propaganda, brainwashing, isolationism, etc. Second: for Ukraine, as a Russian colony in those days, the end of WWII was no victory at all. And the poof of it was the self-sacrificing war waged by the Ukrainian Rebellion Army against the Soviets that continued in Western Ukraine into the early 1950s. Third: to celebrate the DAY OF VICTORY  NOW (I emphasize the “Day of 2016-05-09Hitler and Putin-bVictory” and “now”) means to dance to the music of the Russian Hitler. This morning, in a threatening military parade in Moscow, the latest nuclear weapons were on a boastful display. And this morning, in a number of Ukrainian cities the Russian fifth column was demonstrating with the chauvinistic St. George ribbons. Wasn’t that a consequence of the Ukrainian’s government’s left-right-hand-traffic schizophrenia?

 

2016-05-09-b-Remembrence and ReconciliationAs for the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, I’d rather mention the forgiving spirit of the Ukrainian people again. I say “again”, because I described it in my very first blog entry, in September 2007, when I wrote about my uncle who had been a Soviet soldier and had been killed one day before the war in Europe finished. Soon afterwards, his wife married again and left her daughter Katya (my cousin) with her own parents (Katya’ grandfather and grandmother) . Katya, being actually an orphan, once told me that she had never felt any animosity towards the Germans, although the killed-in-action notice informing the family about her father’s death had always been with her.

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