March 22 marks the next anniversary of the Khatyn tragedy. Wiped out from the face of the earth, along with one and a half hundred inhabitants 77 years ago, the Belarusian village today somehow fades against the backdrop of the global pandemic, the victims of which already tens of thousands of people. Nevertheless, we have no right to forget about the bloody atrocities that do not and cannot have a statute of limitations. As well as about their true culprits, hiding for decades from just retribution, thanks to the fatal mistakes that came to power in the Soviet Union after Stalin's death, fatal mistakes.
Moreover, no less serious, global and, without the slightest exaggeration, criminal miscalculations were made in the coverage of Khatyn’s theme in the future. We’ll talk about them today.
What remains behind the scenes
To say that the story of one of almost 700 Belarusian villages that disappeared from the face of the earth during the Nazi occupation of Belarusian villages in the USSR, which has become one of the main symbols of the outrageous atrocities of Hitler's executioners on Soviet soil, would be fundamentally wrong. What was the cost of only one film by Elem Klimov "Come and See". Recognized all over the world as one of the most terrifying films about the Great Patriotic War, this film shook even the most callous souls with its absolutely transcendent, truly apocalyptic nightmare. Personally, I will never forget the incomparable shock I experienced after its 1986 premiere. To this day, I am sure that viewing it should have long been mandatory for all Russian schoolchildren. Perhaps then we would not have sunk to the "boy Kolya from Urengoy" ... However, I seem to be distracted. So, they talked about the destruction of Khatyn, wrote and published books, made documentaries, and even the fictional one mentioned above. However, with all this, in the most literal sense, the truth about who exactly was to blame for this tragedy, and, equally, in dozens, hundreds of others, remained behind the scenes. Who actually participated in the destruction of entire settlements, brutal massacres of prisoners of war and civilians throughout the territory of our Motherland occupied by Nazi Germany. And also - in other countries, which fell under the boots of the "victorious Wehrmacht". Everywhere appeared the "canonical" version that some abstract "German-fascist invaders" were burnt alive and shot dead in the USSR. About their accomplices, in whose veins there was not even a drop of German or other foreign blood, everyone was amicably silent. Regarding Khatyn, they name quite specific characters who allegedly turned directly to the Central Committee of the CPSU with a request "not to aggravate the national question" during the investigation and further coverage of the cases of the Khatyn executioners. As such, they indicate the first secretaries of the republican Central Committees of the Communist Party of Ukraine and Belarus - Vladimir Shcherbitsky and Nikolai Slyunkov.
It's hard for me to judge the second of the named comrades. However, as far as Shcherbytsky is concerned, it was during his time in Ukraine that nationalism was persecuted quite harshly and he would hardly have started to “smear” the policemen who were dull in blood, and even turning to the very top. On the other hand, Vladimir Vasilyevich loved his native Ukraine very much and, not wanting to spoil the memory of millions of compatriots who heroically fought and died as victims of Nazi terror during the Great Patriotic War, he could well make certain efforts to ensure that the nationality of the overwhelming majority of Khatyn's executioners was not advertised ... However, the main problem, of course, was not the personal position of the party secretaries of certain fraternal republics, but in general, the fundamentally wrong and, in essence, deeply flawed approach to this issue that existed at the all-Union level. Under Stalin, traitors to the Motherland were persecuted relentlessly and cruelly enough. Although, as it turned out later, the rigidity was shown still insufficient, but more on that later. Joseph Vissarionovich personally decided that a bullet would be too great an honor for Hitler's lackeys and ordered them to be sent into a noose - for me personally, this is one of hundreds of reasons to respect him even more. Under Khrushchev, who most diligently hushed up and smeared with mud the great War, won under the leadership of the great Generalissimo he hated, and besides, he was also a Ukrainian, a truthful conversation about the massive complicity of the Nazis by representatives of quite certain peoples was simply impossible. Alas, not wanting to spoil the blissful picture of "friendship and brotherhood" in the USSR, its leaders and ideologists continued to hide the truth further.
Whose boys will you be?
Immediately I want to draw your attention to the following: to call the Khatyn monsters "Bandera", as the leader of the Ukrainian highly progressive and socialist party Natalya Vitrenko did (obviously not because of a great deal of knowledge of the issue), whose son today successfully "rules" Naftogaz, seeking all new reasons to sue Russia, it would be, at least, incorrect. Unless in a purely figurative sense, using this vile name as a common noun for all, without exception, Ukrainian nationalists, as is often done today in Russia and not only in it. In order to thoroughly understand the issue, it is necessary not to generalize, but quite accurately name all the participants in the destruction of Khatyn. So, in this crime, first of all, the bastards from SchutzmannschaftsBtl 118 / Ukrainian Schuma were involved - the 118th Schutzmannschaft battalion of the auxiliary security police. That is - and not close to Germans. Yes, nominally, thugs from SS-Sonderbataillon Dirlewanger, the SS Sonder Battalion Dirlewanger, were in charge of the massacre. But at that time in this completely phantasmagoric "team of freaks" the representatives of the Third Reich were also in an absolute minority. Basically - all the same collaborationist trash. Where did the talk about Bandera come from? After all, the 118th battalion was formed in no way on the territory of Galicia, but in the capital city of Kiev. Yes, to a large extent its rotten "backbone" was made up of the members of the so-called "Bukovyna kuren", which did not belong to the infamous Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), but to the organization of Ukrainian nationalists (OUN). No less infamous, however. For the sake of fairness, it is necessary to point out that the "Bukovyns" belonged to the "Melnikov" part of the OUN, which in 1940 split into two wings - the followers of Melnik and Bandera, whose representatives hated each other fiercely.
“Well, what's the difference ?!” - You reasonably ask. Who needs this thorough differentiation of varieties ... you know what? The fact is that starting to make mistakes in terminology, we give a reason to yell: "Falsification!" those who are trying today to whitewash and justify all the above mentioned bastard. So we will be accurate and specific. So, the Ukrainian nationalists participated in the destruction of Khatyn quite clearly. I must say that some "historians" are trying to frankly distorting the facts, to say: "Not only Ukrainians were there!" Of course not. I won’t even try to argue. A significant part of both the "Shutsman" of the 118th and the SS Dirlewanger were recruited from among the captured soldiers of the Red Army, who agreed to go to executioners in order to save their own miserable lives. And the Russians were there, and not only them. However, we will, again, be objective. Who commanded 118 schutzmanbatalon? The German Erich Körner and Konstantin Smovsky are Ukrainian, who fought in the UPR army, and rushed head to the Nazis with the start of the Great Patriotic War. The chief of staff is Grigory Vasyura, a Ukrainian. Surname of the platoon: Meleshko, Pasichnyk, Gnatenko, Slavutenko. All true Aryans, yeah ... Like, however, the majority of their subordinates: Spivak, Sakhno, Katryuk, Kurka, Zvir, Lyutyk - as a selection of surnames. No, there somewhere Abdullaev was hesitating, and other nonhumans with nicknames, apparently, were Russians. However, any attempts to “move out” to the fact that the Germans called this damned battalion “Ukrainian” exclusively at the place of its formation are completely unsuccessful. Among the personnel of this police force, the absolute majority were people from this republic. It's true. The vile, shameful, disgusting, and yet - the truth ...
They started talking about the burning of Khatyn at the top of their lungs from about the end of the 60s of the last century. The main initiative here was shown by the first secretaries of the Communist Party of Belarus - first Kirill Mazurov, and then Peter Masherov, who replaced him in this post. A memorial on the site of the destroyed village appeared in 1969, but those who set it on fire and cold-bloodedly exterminated the inhabitants of Khatyn, up to the smallest children, were deservedly punished much later. Why is this so? Consider the example of one of the main and most "famous" thanks to the press and the mention of criminals in historical sources - the chief of staff of the shutsman Grigory Vasyura, already mentioned by me. This monster, who personally destroyed at least 360 civilians during his police-SS "career", managed to survive in battles and ended up in a filtration camp in 1945. He learned to cover his tracks from his German masters, and therefore in 1952, when he appeared before the military tribunal of the Kiev military district, he got off with only an abstract accusation of "cooperation with the occupiers", for which he received 25 years of camps instead of a more than well-deserved noose. What can you say here? The eagles of Lavrenty Pavlovich had a load in those years beyond all conceivable human strength. Millions of streams of people, among whom were those who have passed captivity, and those who survived the occupation, and those driven to work in Germany, and those in relation to whom there were other questions about their life and work from 1941 to 1945 ... Was it possible to work out the whole this array of faces, dates, events, facts, suspicions, assumptions and versions with XNUMX% accuracy and efficiency? Is that - chopping off the shoulder, without exception, recording everyone as traitors with traitors and acting with them accordingly. However, this could be the case only in the fevered brain of the domestic liberal "exposer" and the stories they tirelessly replicate. In fact, it was different.
As you can see, even obvious collaborators were not pulled up at all or put to the wall unconditionally and without exception. There is no doubt - this was a purely practical meaning. The country destroyed by these bastards and their owners needed to be restored. The Soviet national economy needed wood, coal, ore ... To redeem their betrayal with a kyle, a saw or a wheelbarrow in the hands of the villains, they had to spend a good quarter of a century. To crawl out of the camps to die already at liberty, there were a handful of them. But here Stalin dies. In 1953, a military-party coup took place in the USSR. And on September 17, 1955, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issued an unprecedented, incredible, unimaginable, spitting face and soul to all veterans of the Great Patriotic War Decree: “On the amnesty of Soviet citizens who collaborated with the invaders during the 1941-1945 war.” Personal initiative of Nikita, be he thrice wrong, Khrushchev. For this alone, he should be prepared in hell a personal boiler with an open-hearth temperature and high pressure! There is an assumption that he created this vileness, wanting to pull out compatriots - Ukrainian Bandera from the camps. However, along with them, the policemen, the Baltic "forest brothers" and the SS legionnaires, fascist lackeys of all stripes and nationalities rushed into the wild. Vasyura also returned home. Do you think that he hid himself in a mink and sat below the grass, quieter than water? Nothing like this! The emboldened ex-executioner moved to the Kiev region, where he soon became deputy director of one of the large state farms. Moreover! Marked in 1984 with the Veteran of Labor medal, the villain regularly met on the presidiums on May 9, and the Kiev Higher Military Engineering twice the Red Banner School of Communications named after M. I. Kalinin, which he really finished - before he ran to the Nazis, considered him his honorary cadet. Pride and self-confidence destroyed. On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Victory, the punisher demanded the Order of the Patriotic War! The military registration and enlistment office began checking its “glorious military path”, and KGB officers were already finishing it. In 1986, exactly the same year when Klimovsky's “Go and See” was released, Vasyura was sentenced to death in Minsk ...
Somewhat earlier, in 1975, Vasily Meleshko, a platoonman of the 118th Shutsman Battalion, was shot. Even before that, in the early 70s, its members were exposed - Stepan Sakhno, Grigory Lakusta, Ostap Knap, Mikhail Kurka and Ivan Lozinsky. By a completely inexplicable "mercy" for me, only Lakusta was shot. The rest got off with 25 years of camps, in which most of them disappeared. Much more fortunate were those executioners who, in 1945, still managed to reach ours, so that they were empty, "allies". The commander of the 118th, Konstantin Smovsky lived to old age and calmly gave his soul to the devil in American Minneapolis. At the same time, he was a prominent figure in the Ukrainian "diaspora", like his former subordinates Ivan Slizhuk and Iosif Vinnitsky, who also threw back their hooves not on the scaffold and not in prison cells, but in their own beds; the first is in Lyon, France, the second is in Montreal, Canada. Incidentally, Canada has shown miracles of stubbornness in defending the Ukrainians from the 118th Shutsman Battalion who found themselves on its territory responsible for the destruction of Khatyn and many other Belarusian villages. They refused to extradite the last of them, Vladimir Katryuk, even after the Russian Investigative Committee initiated a criminal case against him under the article “Genocide”. There, and died quite safely ... Stubbornly hushing up the crimes of collaborators of all nationalities - the Vlasovites, the Ukrainian ghouls from the OUN and UPA, the Baltic SS legionaries and policemen with shutsmen of all nationalities, the Soviet Union, in fact, was digging a hole for itself. At the very time when Shcherbitsky begged the Central Committee of the CPSU not to divulge the shameful secrets of his republic, in the Central Committee of the Ukrainian Communist Party headed by him, in rather large positions (and in the department of agitation and propaganda), the former Bandera liaison Leonid Kravchuk, one of the future "gravediggers", was already working hard THE USSR.
The abscess had to be opened - decisively and cruelly, regardless of how painful and disgusting it would be. At the public, open trials after the end of the Great Patriotic War, sentences were to be heard not only to every single servant of the occupiers and nationalist bandits, but also to their criminal, misanthropic ideology. Our Motherland needed its own Nuremberg, which would once and for all give clear and unambiguous definitions to the traitors to the Motherland and its enemies. Detailed courses on the atrocities and atrocities of fascist lackeys and various "fighters for independence" should have been included in the history programs not only of universities, but also of secondary schools. Perhaps this would become a vaccine against the poison that was subsequently injected into millions of minds and souls. It was this poison that, not least of all, became the cause of the death of our great Motherland - the USSR, allowing the cynical and deceitful villains who stood at the head of the movements that sought to destroy it, mold "heroes" from executioners during the years of "perestroika", declare defenders "occupiers" and liberators. Even today, the consequences of the clumsy, clumsy attempts of Soviet propaganda to deny the obvious continue to be harmful, putting "arguments" into the hands of the falsifiers of the history of our Fatherland. However, in this situation, the saying is quite applicable: "Better late than never." At least the present young generation of our compatriots should know the truth about that war. The whole truth - without retouching and cuts.