Scolding everyone for demolishing monuments, Russia should look at itself

I will start, probably, with the fact that I personally generally consider it improper to demolish or destroy any monuments of any kind and generally such destructive activity, unless of course this is connected with purely technical problems, for example, the poor condition of the monument itself or any transformation of its location, etc. Perpetuating a certain historical figure in stone, bronze, or in the form of the name of a geographical object, for example, which can also be considered a kind of monument, people at a certain specific time thus pay tribute to the contribution made by this person to their lives, and in gratitude they try so keep the memory of this forever, or at least for years to come. For posterity, so to speak.

A serious monument, as a rule, is an expensive, troublesome and time-consuming affair, so it’s just that for someone / what and from day to day such things do not appear, which means they deserve appropriate attention and attitude afterwards. As a separate category of such objects, which should be absolutely inviolable, regardless of the change in mood in society or political systems, I would additionally and especially mark the monuments in the burial places of servicemen who died in battle, victims of mass repressions, genocide or disasters, accompanied by the death of many people. All this is part of our history. We study history in order to receive teachings for the future and not repeat the mistakes of our ancestors, and by destroying a part of our own history, we thus lose the opportunity to learn and analyze the mistakes of the past.

Unfortunately, exactly the opposite often happens in our lives, which is probably why generation after generation we manage to “step on the same rake” that has already repeatedly broken the foreheads of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers. Each new change in the political system first of all leads to the destruction of monuments and a census of history. Despite the fact that the new government, whatever it may be, appears anywhere on the promises of a better future, paradoxically, it usually begins with the past as the first thing to fight. It’s understandable that it’s not easy and quick to improve people's life in a way that is visible and sensitive, but, for example, to free the area from the monument to the former tyrant, this is please .. the tyrant is not alive, he cannot answer, he doesn’t command the army, if you kick it, it won’t give change ... Only on historical examples it’s also very noticeable - the more a certain new government destroys the signs of everything that came before it, the further the population gets under that power from the promised “bright future”, and strictly vice versa ... And the means, instead of again on the street studies of the present and the construction of the future are redirected to the rapid creation of new monuments, instead of destroyed ones, so that people quickly forget what and how it was and don’t suddenly begin to compare ... and you don’t have to go far for examples of all this.

Over the past few years, especially after the 2014 coup d'etat in Ukraine, the Russian media have intensely discussed the destruction of Russian and Soviet monuments in this country, and then the creation of new ones, as well as the renaming of some geographical names, and all this in honor of the characters who the Russian side considers, to put it mildly, unacceptable for such perpetuation. Not only that, exalted in this way, for example, Bandera, Shukhevych or people who served in the Ukrainian SS division "Galicia", whom the new Ukrainian regime elevated to the rank of national heroes, not only in the Russian Federation, but also in many other countries are officially considered war criminals . Clearly, there are controversial historical characters everywhere. For example, in the history of the USSR, for example, Lenin or Stalin, the people were persecuted and done so many black things that other world villains and dictators could not even dream of, but no one has any questions about the huge contribution of these people to the development of the country. The same Marshal Zhukov seemed to have won his victories at an exorbitant price and disproportionate number of lives of his soldiers — questions are controversial, there is no single opinion on this subject — but he still won a victory, and it is difficult to overestimate their importance in World War II, and accordingly the significance of the personality of the marshal himself in the overall victory of the USSR over Nazi Germany. It’s possible to argue and debate about the ways of these people’s actions, but the historical significance of the characters themselves and their contribution to the development of our country and the world in general is hardly ...

By the way, I will return to this even further ...

Based on this, I can not help but ask the Ukrainians themselves, and not even all of them, namely those who are just engaged in the formation of a new statehood and its symbols there: did Bandera himself, as such, do what for Ukraine? Has it introduced a new religion? ... Has it built statehood? ... Has it gained independence? ... Maybe it’s won what it’s won with his army? ... Or maybe he wanted something, but nothing came of it, but his army was more and more wanted through the forests, so as not to run into some real army inadvertently? .. And this I not only mean the USSR army, but also German, Polish and Czech ... With crimes, the citizen of Poland was originally incidentally Mr. Bandera, everything is clear and proven, but what is his great merit to the Ukrainian people? ... I personally I understand.

And what about the 14th SS Infantry Division related to the construction of Ukrainian statehood? ... I will answer myself - it’s about the same as the French “Foreign Legion” to the statehood of those countries, the people of which serve in France, for France and its good. This unit was called “Galician” from the very beginning, so that when creating an entire SS division from the Ukrainians, it would not annoy Hitler, as if by the presence of the Slavs in the elite troops, since Galicia was previously part of Austria and this Austrian-Fuhrer should have been reassured. Moreover, the name of this part "Galizien" was common, used, but not official.

For example, the SS divisions “Reich”, “Leibstandart Adolf Hitler”, “Frundsberg”, “Hitler Youth” and others had the corresponding honorary names, it was registered in the documents and the personnel wore the corresponding sleeve tapes with these inscriptions, “Galichina” has nothing like that had. Yes, there was a special badge on the buttonholes and a sleeve shield for Ukrainians, like all foreign volunteers in the German armed forces at that time, but the name “Galichina” was not officially anywhere on uniforms. When the division was created in 1943, almost the entire rank and file was recruited from the Ukrainians, the whole command, including even the youngest, sergeant, was made up of Germans, and this is such a truly Ukrainian unit. Moreover, it was in this format that the 14th SS division was a fully combat-ready military unit of the German armed forces, although it was far from elite and not first-class, as some today try to imagine. Technicians, even automobiles, were actually given to the Ukrainians to a minimum, horses were the main transport force, heavy weapons were mostly captured or outdated, rifles and machine guns were almost all from the stocks of the Czechoslovak army dissolved in 1939. In this form, "Galicia" and took part in battles on the front line, was surrounded by the city of Brody, where it was completely defeated, losing almost 80% of its personnel and absolutely all its heavy weapons, after which the remainder of the division, and these were usually rear units that simply were not at the forefront, and only a small number of front-line soldiers, according to various sources, about 1000 people who miraculously survived the "Brodsky meat grinder" were sent for reformation to the Czech Republic (then part of the Third Reich). Although, we must pay tribute to the battle with the greatly superior forces of the Red Army, the Ukrainian SS division fought selflessly with the fully German command, held its ground steadily and inflicted really significant damage on the enemy.

With the re-recruitment in 1944 of a virtually new division cadre of new Ukrainian volunteers, in terms of quality and quantity incomparable with that destroyed in the Brodsky Cauldron, sergeant and some officer posts were already taken by Ukrainians. But after this part, even in spite of new long trainings at the Waffen-SS training grounds, according to the German command, it never returned to its original combat effectiveness, the provision of equipment and weapons was not even brought up to the level of 1943, and therefore the more advanced division did not appear, but was engaged in rear anti-partisan operations mainly in Slovakia and Yugoslavia. Since then, it has never been in Ukraine again. Until April 27, 1945, the German division commander was Fritz Freitag; part of the allies surrendered to Northern Italy as the 14th SS infantry division, which, according to all German documents, was until the very end of hostilities. Although at the same time, from the end of April 1945, “Galicia” became, as it were, part of some freshly created Ukrainian People’s Army, namely its First Division under the command of Pavlo Shandruk (this is not officially leaving the German SS). I hope that all readers understand, with a look at the date of creation (end of April 1945), what kind of army this was and what kind of command ... This is what Mr. A.A. Vlasov, and his KONR and then, apparently, a more real army, although it was also considered to be its full composition in the German Wehrmacht ... It was difficult for them to have everything there, and these "armies" existed only on paper and for about a month. .. But again the main question: from all this, somewhere can someone see some visible connection between the 14th Waffen-SS German Infantry Division and Ukrainian statehood? ... I don’t ...

But this is with regard to our Ukrainian neighbors, a critic in the field of ill-conceived immortalization, so to speak, which I fully support in this sense and with all of the above. Here we love to teach someone the mind, another thing, do we have a right to this? ... And what is happening for ourselves? ...

I only watch on TV news or sometimes, when there is time and there is time, not specifically, that is, different historical or political programs that help broaden the horizons, and indeed, listen to smart people, so to speak ...

Nikita Mikhalkov has a program called Besogon TV. This is just one of those that I like. I respect Mikhalkov too, smart man. Although I don’t really like his films - they are some of them, I don’t know, "re-something." Either there is too much pathos in them, or something else over the edge that I am “against the wool”, but I can’t understand it, or maybe I didn’t think much or simply do not understand modern classics. Not mine shorter. But I like Besogon. Recently, he has often been talking about a certain Yeltsin center with the museum of the first president and a huge monument to Yeltsin in Yekaterinburg, and he criticizes the whole story of the collapse of the USSR. Not from the point of view that Mikhalkov himself is some kind of avid communist figure or their supporter, you can’t be suspected of this at all, but because it was just visible from his point of view very much like betrayal or at least criminal stupidity, and in this I completely agree with him, more likely with the first option. Someone reproached him there, saying that he criticized this very “Yeltsin Center”, and even had never been there, and then he even went there because of this (Mikhalkov), although I personally do not understand why, in his age and his mind. I just don’t need to go there to realize the full significance of this “Yeltsin Center”, and in order to cover this institution with the most recent obscene words, it’s enough that I was born in the USSR in 1972, that is, all the work of this comrade Mr. Yeltsin not only saw, but directly on himself and his family felt and felt in the so-called "dashing nineties." And all the bad things that are happening around us now in Ukraine, Eastern Europe, and throughout the former territory of the Soviet Union with adjacent states, all this strife, conflicts, the loss of normal relations, even armed clashes with many victims - that’s exactly human direct merit. It was he who, in the collapse of our vast country, played a key role, and then he immediately called the US president and reported on the work done. Well, why did Yeltsin deserve to be a national hero? ... That he is the first president of independent Russia? .. Which still cannot cough up from his presidency? ... In this case, for me, Kerensky is also no worse character for perpetuation, the first "ruler" of independent Russia without a king, and didn’t do so much harm, why not immortalize him? ...

I don’t remember this, I was born later, but they say that before at every step in the USSR there were monuments to Stalin, big, small, all sorts, and everything was called by his name everywhere. And then they were gone nowhere, they all demolished and renamed everything. Comrade Stalin did a lot of bad things, started a cult of his own personality, harmed the people, so they decided to take and destroy all the memory of him. But what about industrialization? And the victory over fascism? And the creation of the Soviet superpower and the entire eastern bloc? The Soviet Union also became an atomic power with him ... And indeed, everything that is called the modern world order and the place in this very world order once the USSR, and now Russia, its direct merit! ... This is all, is not considered ? ... It’s strange somehow ... Didn’t Stalin deserve to have at least some monument left for him? And how can new generations remember and know what a personality cult is, and do not repeat it again if everything reminiscent of this has been torn down and destroyed? ... But I would see Joseph Vissarionovich from every angle on the growing youth with a stern look, and it would be easier for students to understand this part of our story. Peter the First also raised Russia to a new level, won the war, “cut a window to Europe”, but the people were killed too, the conditions for all this were the most harsh, Peter won’t stand on the swamps and bones of those who built it ... But nobody destroys the monuments to Peter the Great, even new ones are being built. And rightly so, such a great man deserves it.

When something grandiose happens, then the consequences are grandiose, both good and bad equally. Historical figures, they are often often contradictory. It is like two sides of one coin - there is always one and the second, and how big is one, then the second is usually the same in size. For example, in our history there were people known to all who, during the war with the Germans, being behind the front line from the other side, put together some German organization and even armed force on German means in order to change the regime in their own country by force. Recruited agents threw defeatist and anti-government propaganda into our warring units and to the rear, tried to deploy troops from the inside, break the will to resist. There were also acts of terrorism, killings, bombings, and so on ... All this was naturally filling certain personal ambitions of these citizens, and in reality at that particular moment of time it served entirely in the interests of Germany, that is, our immediate enemy and military adversary, under German auspices and with German help, but was explained, as it were, by the desire to free their own people from some yoke of tyranny. Although, again, from my personal point of view, the fact of betrayal of the motherland and high treason, especially against the background of ongoing hostilities, does not change any such explanations.

But what happened to these people as a result?

And here’s what: the one who didn’t succeed — the former Soviet general A.A. Vlasov, at the very end of World War II, was caught on Czech territory, then in Moscow in 1946, during a show trial, he was convicted of treason to his homeland and hanged together with his comrades, on the basis of the corresponding death sentence. No monument, of course, in the Soviet Union, no one set traitors to this, and indeed it is still considered indecent to remember these people in the USSR and even in modern Russia. But during the First World War, a certain Vladimir Ulyanov successfully completed a similar German task, and clearly and at a much lower budget than Vlasov. Although no one really expected this, but under his leadership and with German money, an armed coup really took place in the capital of Russia, after which, as the Germans required, the country, which was initially in the bloc of those who later won the First World War, came out of the humiliating war for themselves, with the loss of a large part of their own territory. In this way, invaluable assistance was rendered to Germany, since this freed it from the most difficult war on two fronts. In the very then already former Russian Empire, a Civil War broke out, which claimed millions of lives and almost ended in the collapse of the entire state.

Particularly piquant in this whole story, from my point of view, is that Vladimir Ulyanov, who is more and more known by his party pseudonym Lenin, devoted his whole life to fighting the autocracy and tsarist tyranny with his own words, his coup in Petrograd on in fact, he realized it almost a year after the fall of this tyranny itself, the abdication of the king from the throne, and the transfer of power into the hands of the new democratic government. It is clear that this new government was not ideal, but in fact it didn’t let anyone manifest himself and really form; it lasted only a couple of months. And his main drawback, from the Germans' point of view, was that even after the tsar’s abdication, the new government apparently did not intend to withdraw Russia from the war against Germany. The Germans, of course, cared exclusively about their selfish interests, and not at all about improving the living conditions of Russian citizens, on whom they did (and have) do not give a damn, and this was sponsored by comrade Lenin and his associates, and he fully worked, even overdid it, I would say ... But unlike the traitor-loser Vlasov, Ulyanov-Lenin, no one later punished and did not think. On the contrary, something of a deity was made of it in our country (this is apparently because religion and churches in Russia were banned by the fact of the very same Lenin by decree). The Germans seem to have hushed up the history of the work, and the overthrow of the democratic government in the Soviet school curriculum was inexplicably altogether blinded along with the overthrow of the tsar (as far as I remember, as the “bourgeois” February Revolution did not seem to change anything, unlike from the Great October Socialist.

The body of Lenin himself was embalmed like a pharaoh, put in something like an Egyptian pyramid right near the Kremlin walls in Moscow, his monuments, both large and small, were also everywhere and everything was called by his name. By the way, after their death, Stalin was also embalmed at first and brought into the same mausoleum of the Soviet pharaohs, but then they soon took them out and buried them in the ground, and all the monuments to him, as mentioned above, were destroyed as punishment for “unexpectedly revealed sins” against their own people and despite all the previous merits. And Lenin what? But nothing, lies to himself there, in the mausoleum. And there are monuments to him all over the country and everything’s called everything by his name. This is despite the fact that nobody seems to hide or deny the truth about the whole Germans of the organized and sponsored revolution, and the state itself formed as a result of this revolution no longer exists, and the “socialist” system in Russia seems to have disappeared along with the power of the Bolshevik Communists. Moreover, we criticize the same Ukrainians for the demolition of monuments to Lenin in Ukraine, because of the "destruction of the symbols of a common history." By no means do I urge all of them to demolish the monuments to Lenin - let them stand it, only you need to have a historical memory besides the monuments, explain to the descendants what kind of monument, why when and by whom it was built and what ultimately came of it, and if suddenly do not like it, then respect this opinion. This is about monuments, monuments, busts, etc. But about the fact that in the XNUMXst century, in a modern developed country, on the main square of the capital in a gloomy marble pyramid, a not very pretty corpse would lie under the glass, and people would go to see him in large numbers, this is, in my opinion, not quite normal. Especially considering WHO is there and who everyone is looking at. Also, I personally would not like to live on the street or in a village with the name of Lenin, although this, of course, is a matter of taste or the same historical memory, or rather its presence or absence ...

So, probably, in order to have the full moral right to criticize someone for demolishing “right” or erecting “wrong” monuments, as well as for disrespect for a common or non-general history or historical memory, I think at first it would be nice to finally sorted out on the basis of facts and historical realities. And without it, neither the monuments themselves, nor such a castrated historical memory will really have any value for anyone in the long run.
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  1. den-protector Offline den-protector
    den-protector (Black cat) 23 May 2018 20: 21
    Well, if the current government persistently positions itself with Russia until 1917 and only by force, in order to unite the population, relying on the Soviet period (especially on the Victory in the Great Patriotic War), so what to do? Apparently badly the former communists, Komsomol members and people from the Office, who govern the "new" Russia, learned the lessons of 1917. Life will put everything in its place.
    1. Pishenkov Offline Pishenkov
      Pishenkov (Alexey) 24 May 2018 10: 42
      Based on even the article itself, and indeed on what is happening in the country, it is generally extremely difficult to really understand with whom exactly the modern Russian government is positioning itself ... It seems that the tsar is good and capitalism is around, but everything is called Lenin around although the names of his associates of the type disappeared from the cards ... The collapse of the USSR and its consequences are criticized in all, but the Yeltsin Center is also flourishing. Somehow, nobody is going to call Gorbachev to justice, but there is something ... It seems like a great power and we have such weapons that uhhh ... but for some reason we spit on ourselves without getting anybody with impunity. .. Under the tsar, this would not have been allowed, and in the USSR it is also unlikely ... America is like an enemy to us - and money is all there ... well, almost everything ... Some kind of strange position ...
  2. mikhail1979 Offline mikhail1979
    mikhail1979 (Mikhail) 23 May 2018 21: 53
    Ulyanov-Lenin is now attracted to modern problems ?!
    Then let's start with Peter the Great! At least historically, all "mistakes" are documented on paper.
    "Window to Europe?!" - it was already long before Petenka. This trip to Holland was a "revelation" for him. But in fact, a young fool went to Europe .. The first time I went abroad, my brain was blown away!
  3. den-protector Offline den-protector
    den-protector (Black cat) 23 May 2018 22: 27
    As for the master Nikita, he is a well-known political weather vane and opportunist. When EBN was the ruler of "new" Russia, he diligently "kissed" him at the fifth point at various interpretations, filmed and continues to shoot pseudo-films slandering the Soviet period of our history. And now he suddenly realized and was imbued with, in his Besogon began, as it were, to tell the "truth." In general, I changed my shoes in the air. And we have a lot of such opportunists.
    1. Foxsvl Offline Foxsvl
      Foxsvl (Vladimir) 25 May 2018 09: 29
      Let me disagree with you. During Gorbachev's time, the whole country, as you put it, "kissed his butt." Who did you personally support then? Yes, and no one spoke against Yeltsin. Now, in hindsight, everyone is very much. And as for Mikhalkov, he does not hide his views of those that were present. In defiance of some critics.
    2. Vladimir T Offline Vladimir T
      Vladimir T (Vladimir T) 3 June 2019 11: 32
      You talk nonsense.
  4. Foxsvl Offline Foxsvl
    Foxsvl (Vladimir) 25 May 2018 09: 24
    It's strange to read, the author at first seems to be against the demolition of monuments, but in the end, he himself calls for these demolitions. Justifies the February coup by calling it democratic. Where is the truth of democracy in it is not clear. And I would like to remind the author that it was precisely from the demolition of "communist" monuments in Russia, from the prohibition of communist and socialist ideology by Yeltsin, that similar processes were initiated in the former countries of the union. What did Lenin do wrong if Stalin did? Is the mausoleum annoying and the name of the streets? I live on Lenin Street and nothing, calm. There is a monument to him, so let it be. Monument of the era. As for the mausoleum, in China, too, the great Mao lies and nothing. They had similar debates and it would not hurt us to draw the same conclusions at home. In order to leave this topic alone and move on, along the path of development, and not mark time or, God forbid, in the past.
    1. The comment was deleted.
    2. Pishenkov Offline Pishenkov
      Pishenkov (Alexey) 25 May 2018 14: 44
      1) if you read the article carefully, you should have noticed that there are no calls for the demolition of monuments, rather, on the contrary, including Lenin
      2) after the February Revolution, the country was ruled by a multi-party Duma - an elected body and at that time an analogue of the parliament, how can such a state system be called, if not democratic?
      3) despite the fact that there has never been and is not any "prohibition of communist and socialist ideology" in Russia, I cannot but agree that there is a mess in the country, including monuments, and the collapse of the state of wine, including Yeltsin to a great extent , but there it is written in plain text
      4) Stalin pleased or did not please exactly the same extent as Lenin, but to one the monuments stand no matter what, and to the other they destroyed everything. Although in the role of Stalin in the history of our country, there was clearly more constructive than his predecessor
      5) About Mao and China
      a) about the debate, this is absolutely correct, and the author’s personal opinion is written in the article
      b) in China, the communist ideology is currently the main and in fact the only one, and the ruling Communist Party, while Mao is its founder, so there is some reasonable explanation for this
      c) in terms of culture and mentality, we are still not Chinese, in Eastern peoples, in general, everything is very different with respect to the gods, emperors, leaders, etc.
      d) if I’m not mistaken, then during the war, with the help of the enemy of his country and at his own expense, Mao did not engage in anti-government activities, did not decompose the army, did not conduct a coup in the direct interests of the enemy, that is, it is unlikely to blame him You can’t say anything about Lenin ...
      6) I personally would be disgusted to live on Lenin Street, mainly based on paragraph 5, and not because of the rest
      1. Vladimir T Offline Vladimir T
        Vladimir T (Vladimir T) 3 June 2019 11: 42
        About Mao. 1) it lies in the mausoleum. 2) also, as with us under Stalin, distinguished himself by repression and many of them fell under it there. After, like ours, the personality cult was condemned, and just like you, some became concerned about the same issue that, despite all his merits, but given the amount of blood spilled, and whether it should be, a mausoleum. But having decided on a referendum, they decided to leave and apply as a brand and make money. Souvenirs, badges and more. Left the story alone. And so it is possible to rebury the pharaohs. There were dictators too. Slaves there and stuff. And yet, the mausoleum is not so simple, it is an achievement of science.