To my son
This is my traditional article.
Here we are between the May 1st and May 9th Holidays. Both are not celebrated in the US. May 1st originated even on the Haymarket Square in Chicago. There is a monument there; Obama, a Chicagoan should know about that. In Russia, in my childhood we studied the history of the May 1st Holiday, the International Day of the Workers’ Solidarity very thoroughly. We were told to memorize the names of all those workers who were shot there. I still remember one of those names-Albert Scanlon. In Russia that was a spring holiday- people marched down main streets with flowers, there was a lot of laughter, rather a rare thing in Russia. I loved that Holiday. Our paranoid- delusional Congress in 1958 denounced it as a ‘Commie day’ and moved the Holiday to the labor day in September. What a remnant of McCarthyism!
And in about a week after that there is a ‘Holiday With Tears’- the sacred Victory Day, May 9th, the day commemorating the end of the most bloody carnage in history, the day for which 27 million Russians paid by their lives, three generations of young people went to eternity and the whole world was saved. The world was saved. Now it doesn't want to acknowledge that.
May 9th is not celebrated anywhere but in Russia. No congratulations, no telegrams, no commemorations. There are Holocaust museums throughout the world with names of the victims where children are brought in to ‘adopt’ a name of the dead person and ‘go through the process’ (as if that bizarre necrophilia could make them feel anything but fear and disgust). Why aren’t there any WWII museums with the names of all those 27 million Russian citizens (including Jews, Roma and Communists who were so viciously exterminated) so that a visiting person could adopt a warrior for an hour, say? I wouldn't mind if there were names of all those who fought and died for freedom from Jean Mouline to General Patton, from Joseph Bros Tito to Janush Korchack (Henrik Goldshmidt). Why not? We have to pay tribute to those people, all of them as Russian poet Alexander Tvardovsky said, ‘I know there is no fault of mine that others did not come home from war. But still, but still, but still,,,’ Come to think of it- why won’t in the Russian Halls of that Memorial the Tvardovsky’s verses be recited; his immortal ‘On The Day When The War Ended’ and ‘ I Was Killed At Rzhev?’ Maybe American schoolchildren should hear those poems; they would understand the sense without knowing the language. Passion speaks volumes.
There are literally thousands of volumes written by the Western historians about the WWII as well as numerous movies and most of them are pure garbage. That is because there is one taboo, the elephant in the room those historians as if in solidarity pretend not to notice- starting from June 22, 1941 when Germany attacked Russia the war became a Crusade. Yes, those 4mln soldiers who attacked Russia on that fateful day were Crusaders; only instead of the Crosses on their backs they had ‘Gott Mitt Unst’ (God is with us) on their uniform belts. Like the actual truly first Crusade in the Y1209 in the South of France against Albigeyseans, this one was the Crusade against fellow- Christians, just because they (Russians) decided to have a different way of life, different interpretation on what was happiness, duty, joy, satisfaction, faith, love. That’s why in the Nazi Germany they proclaimed, ‘If Jesus had resurrected now He would be the follower of the Fuhrer’- and no Pope excommunicated them, no Lutheran priest cursed them in the US or in England. As in 1209 the Prophets of the Crusade proclaimed indiscriminant killings on the ‘ Eastern Territories’ as a ‘joyful duty’; they literally unleashed the worst in the people and proclaimed it to be the best. The similar thing we can refer to when we talk about Spanish colonization of America and US whites exterminating Indians. Every century has its Medieval Times, said Kazimeszh Brandyce, and it was the Medieval Crusade crossing the Russian borders on that fateful night when all the children in the children’s camp where my father was were killed by a bomb. All but three.
Oh, but weren’t they atheists? Those Commies in Russia, all 200mln of them, they all were Godless, right? They denied God, they destroyed the churches, they made them into museums and used the treasures to develop steel mills. Even Jews there were atheists, so they had succumbed to evil and in sorts- deserved their fate. That’s what I hear from many. Covertly, inadvertently, through malicious whisper I hear that. And here's my answer- go, f&ck yourself, morons.
Russia was and is a Christian civilization. 1000 years passed since Orthodox Christianity was adopted there as a primary spiritual environment and no Communism and/or Stalinism or whatever ‘ism’ could extract that spirit from the soil. People do not have to go to the Church to keep with God- as soon as they retain the teachings in their everyday life. And on every step in Russia it could be seen that Jesus was still present and no matter whether you followed the Ten Commandments or the Moral Code of the Builder of the Communism- He was there to guide you. No, even in the darkest times the Russian army would not have a doctrine of Gott Minst Unst- Orthodox Jesus never would agree to the external aggression. As for Jews, the emancipation through secularity should be the dream of everyone- and if secular, the society can still be Christian as a nation without the medieval intolerance. No, those were not the ‘Eastern Territories’- that was a civilization and the Crusade targeted it for destruction.
Christianity was in the first perception of the Russians that ‘German workers would not fight against their brothers in the East.’ It was in those original rather naïve expectations that Germany would collapse ‘under the weight of its crimes’. Dostoevsky had written about the ‘ wholesome compassion of the Russian soul’ and that soul did not want to believe that those were the barbarians coming in all full devilish glory of the technology. It took a horrible lesson of 1941 for the nation to develop a Noble Rage but when it developed- Russia started on its path to the eternal glory. That’s the primary issue, the main one- the world as we know it is in debt to Russia for its survival as a Humanity. NOBODY CAN JUDGE THEM! Russian civilization sacrificed its people for all of us and completed the impossible – it managed to defeat the devilish evil while retaining the human face. Despite the dictatorship, despite Stalin, despite the losses, despite the rage- the soul of the sacred Covenant remained untouched and Russian citizens came out of it not only better but strong enough to rebuild the country and then do away with the dictatorial regime in 1953-1956. What other nation can boast such an achievement? And what other nation had been so maliciously treated after it saved the world?
Negativity based on ignorance, the curved mirror had become the primary tone in practically all teachings about Russia in the West. The dream of mind creates monsters and we have now Condi Rice, a ‘specialist’ in the Russian affairs, Sarah Palin who ‘sees Russia from her window’, and Obama saying that ‘Russian invasion of Georgia is unacceptable.’ Obama does not know where Georgia is located, for goodness sake. Most of the schoolchildren in here and in the Western Europe still think that the Crusade included Germany, England and the US against Russia. Here we say that the US won the WWII, that the US army liberated Auschwitz, that the US liberated Europe from Hitler. Here we make movies in which those Jews killed out there are all kosher, ready to die for their ‘Jewishness’ as if they profess the glory of the state of Israel in the future. What a dreadful blasphemy. I consider the Latter- Day- Saints people’s effort to Christianize the dead as the one less offensive than that malice.
Spinmeisters, boy! There was that German commenter on the OEN who wrote consistently that Russia had to improve itself. That was, of course after we tore Serbia to pieces. That was, of course, after the bloody drunk Boris exterminated citizens of Moscow in 1993. That was after the US raped Iraq and Afghanistan. That was after we started to send drones to kill indiscriminately. That was after we tortured people and Gitmo was called an American Gulag.
Ah, the Gulag. Everyone knows this word in the West, even Bush. Dostoevsky apparently is the beloved writer of Laura Bush but she surely does not know the Russian words like Mertvy Dom (Dead House)- defining the labor camp Dostoevsky was in when he was convicted. Neither does she know such words as Sakhalin, that is the island on which there was the Tsarist Russia main hard labor camp. She, of course, knows Auschwitz but not Dachau because when Dachau was opened it was a celebration in Germany, proclaiming that it was for the ‘rogue elements’ and ‘ enemy combatants’, just like Gitmo. Oh, no. They all know the GULAG. But is the Gulag the face of Russia? We know that the face of Germany is not Hitler but Sofia Scholl. We know that the face of Italy is not Mussolini but Garibaldi. We make movies about them, devote conferences to them. Why don’t we talk about Martemian Rutin, the ‘first one’, who stood up to Stalin, why don’t we talk about Anatoly Zhigulin and his Communist Youth Party, why don’t we talk about Archbishop Luke? Oh, they do not fit into our molds, they are bigger than that, they were Communists themselves, they were .. Russians. Those heroes, they were uncool. How about the infamous Moscow trials? OK, those victims were tortured but they were Communists themselves, right? They deserved it. That’s what we say now. We say dog ate dog. Who cares, right?
Wrong. In my childhood we cared. In my schools we read about the horrible processions on the streets of the German cities, the medieval parades in the 1930s when prominent Jewish families were forced to walk with their children in shame and we cared. We read about lynching and about tar and feathers in the US and we cared. We understood the cruelty.
We take from history not ashes but fire as Jean Jourice said. Russian nation won the WWII and then the people came back and in 1953-1956 they overthrew the monsters and closed the GULAG. THEY CLOSED IT! Millions were freed in several months. Tell that to our little foxes who still cannot close Gitmo. Yes, they did that in Russia not how we would like them to do, in their own, sometimes twisted way but they did it and we squeal now faced by much smaller problems. Maybe we should learn from them instead of telling syrupy stories about Jesus in Gulag and Crosses on the Vietnamese dirt. How much Christianity was in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombardment? How much Christianity was in the firebombing of Dresden? How much Christianity is in the water boarding? You know, the newest poll in the US reveals that the churchgoers prefer torture (!). Really my Utmost for my Highest. Hypocrisy of all of that is truly sickening.
We better look in the mirror, forgive ourselves and send a congratulations telegram to Russia on May 9th to the ‘warrior – brother fallen’ as Alexander Tvardovsky said, with all the gratitude we can express.