The most significant history of Russian-German relations is written in blood.
Hitler's invasion of Russia caused the deaths of 26 million Russians, civilian and military, out of a 1940 population of 192 million. Between 9 and 14 million Russians soldiers died fighting the Nazi hordes. These losses were part of the larger Russian effort to defeat Hitler and save Europe and the rest of the world form a 1000 year Reich. Without Russia's military brilliance, bravery and sacrifice, it is difficult to imagine the fall of Berlin, the Nuremberg trials, and the recovery of Western Europe. Absent Russian efforts and sacrifice, there would have been no Europe to recover, just the brutality and banality of Nazi miscreants.
In this context, it is easy to imagine Russian dismay then outrage at German subservience to the United States neoconservative plot to establish a virulently anti-Russian, fascist government in Ukraine.
The following appeal to Germany by Russian journalist Egor Provirmin offers an eloquent argument for a new German enlightenment regarding the realities and reciprocal obligations in current and future Russian-German relations.
My name is Egor Prosvirnin, I am the chief editor of the Russian site sputnikipogrom.com
which advocates European values. I've heard that one of the aspects of
life that Europeans, and Germans especially, cherish is history. If we
were to recall recent history, we would remember that a vast army of
300,000 Soviet troops along with 5,000 tanks, 1,500 aircraft and 10,000
artillery pieces (including tactical nuclear weapons) simply left the
then just-united Germany without firing a shot.
It was an operation unprecedented in scope and brevity, when the entire Soviet army withdrew literally to open fields. Tens of thousands of Soviet officers, obeying the orders of the supreme command, went from their warm barracks to live in moldy tents set up in the middle of sodden snow-covered fields. In many instances along with their families.
For hope. Hope that the dark pages of history between our two countries were finally and forever past. Hope that we no longer have to keep armies of tanks in the center of Europe, and that Europe would respect and consider our interests. Hope that in a united Germany we would have a good friend and ally, with whom Russia would fulfill the dream of Charles de Gaulle of a united Europe stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok.
When our armies were leaving Germany, our soldiers were told that Germany had recognized and redeemed its mistakes of the past, there were no undecided issues with Germany, and that we would no longer hear German voices calling for retribution against Russia, therefore we did not need our Army of tanks positioned in the middle of Europe.
From that moment, Russians and Germans were friends, and friends have no need for vast armadas of armor and tanks. Russians should cease being afraid of a united Germany and disarm.
And we disarmed. And for 20 years we felt that we did the right thing, that the past is forgotten forever, and that the Germans appreciated how readily we closed all the bases and brought all the troops home (although there are American bases in Germany to date). In good times our friends know us; in troubled times we come to know our friends; and troubled times did come via the Ukrainian crisis. It became clear that the Germans do not remember the good. It turned out that the Germans did not learn the lessons of history, it seems that the Germans viewed the voluntary dismantling and withdrawal of our war machine not as humanism and goodwill, but weakness.
The Americans treat your chancellor "like some sticky-fingered housemaid"
It turns out that when the Americans spoke loudly and sharply with the German chancellor, whom they for all these years have kept under surveillance like some sticky-fingered housemaid, the entire German society leaped up like a submissive dog running obediently to its American master". even when the conflict with Russia goes against German economic and political interests. It seems therefore that if one blunts their sword, removes their armor, ceases the Soviet-era preparations for World War III, and is reaching out to the Germans, the Germans will spit in your extended hand at the first opportunity.
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