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It is June 22nd. I still remember.

Message Mark Sashine
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The ghosts of the WWII should warn us. This is the day to remember.


I was born in 1956 but I remember…

-On the June 22nd, at 4 am they bombed our city..

I grew up with that song. There was a movie named that way. Children in the streets sang it and every year on the June 22nd, the shortest night of the year they would sing it on the radio through all my old country of Russia. Not the powerful Battle Anthem of Russian forces ‘The People’s War’, not the famous ‘ Holiday with Tears’, but this one and also another one, ‘In the forest at the frontline.’ There was no hate in those songs; only mourning.
I think, when we are booted out of Iraq big time the Iraqi children will sing their own songs of the same kind. And the child born in 2013 will hear the songs about ‘Shock and Awe.’ We here will not sing, that’s for sure.
Shock and Awe. The plan to attack the country of my birth was called Barbarossa. That was the name of the Austrian emperor who drowned during one of the crusades. Following the Barbarossa on June 22nd 1941 the group of German bombers were on their way to the Russian port of Sevastopol with the goal to bomb the Russian Black Sea Fleet. But they found a better target- a group of children sleeping on the beach. Now many western historians claim that all the strategic German aviation was on the Western Front and that ‘s why the Germans lost. I do not know if that bomb was big enough to qualify for the strategic aviation but the wave it produced swept the kids off the shore. My father survived. He slept far enough.
Strategic aviation, collateral damage, plans for the occupation. ME-109 was only a fighter-plane. So the pilot got bored and tested his machine-guns on the column of refugees down on the road. Round and round he went and once he flew so low that my mother, an 11years’ old girl at that time saw his face. He was young and smirking. No more than 22 years old. Surely, he was very much supported in the das Vaterland and his wife, the blue-eyed blondish froilein was telling stories to her little kinder about his bravery. That kinder most likely is alive now and has his own grandchildren if he wasn’t burned to ashes in Dresden or Hamburg when US and British strategic aviation carpet-bombed them indiscriminately. It was Barbarossa all right, the Red Beard of fire.
Plans for liberation from Bolsheviks, new order, Ordnung. The ‘local’ forces are to take control. Hear the language! In Lvov ( Lviv) the ‘local’ Ukrainian nationalist battalion under the German designation Nachtigal ( Nightingale) massacred teachers, professors and other members of the intelligent community for their ‘sympathy to Bolsheviks’. Boy, they did a good job, similar to what some of our friends are currently doing in Iraq. They say about 500 Iraqi scientists had been killed. No criminal investigations of course. In Lvov they did not investigate either when an elderly professor was routed on the truck and forced to stay in it with his hands up while they threw books on him from the windows. Thousands of books. And afterwards, after the war the Russian forensic team had discovered the whole heap of people there, all killed execution style : one bullet through the head at close range. Kind off like Iad Alavi, our friend killed seven people in prison. Go figure.
When I was about 13 I watched the documentary “Ordinary Fascism”. Here, in the US they would never let a child watch it. But I watched it. I saw the German photos of the Lvov Jewish Pogrom and a naked young woman in the middle, touted by soldiers. The director Romm was commenting and he said, “ Here is your XXth Century saint.” Of course, that Iraqi mother in “Fahrenheit 911” who cursed us, she is our saint, right? Or maybe we don’t care for the saints anymore? Oh, I forgot, we are on the German side now.
We levelled Fallujah and blocked Ramadi. Germans did that too. In 1942 they blocked Minsk, the capital of Byelorussia because they were afraid of the partisanen. They called them terrorists although those were the people who actually lived there and didn’t want Ordnung.. So Germans routinely hanged the partisanen in public. I remember one of them. His name was Volodya Zherbatzevich and he was 12 years old. Close to the age of Saddam Hussein’s grandson who was killed by our courageous forces when they ‘liquidated’ Saddam’s sons. What a feat, really! Those who hanged Volodya were found. They worked in the Austrian police in the 1950s. Those who killed the Iraqi boy are not hiding. They are ‘heroes’. Their froileins are giving them good sex when they come home, sure. All for our brave soldaten, our troops, our children. We are not afraid of the strategic aviation. Maybe we should? When Germans burned alive the people of the village of Khatun, Byelorussia, the people of the Oradur- Su-Glan in France and the people of the Liditze village in Chechoslovakia ( at that time), they were not afraid. Just like us.

Didn’t I mention a Russian Battle Anthem ‘The People’s War’? It was written very soon after the June 22nd 1941, maybe in a week or so after. Right when the Russian special air group bombed Berlin for the first time. There were words in that song,

-Let’s put the bullet between the eyes of that stinky fascist scum..

Those are powerful words, words of hate and intolerance. That scum, the pilot of ME-109 never came back home. His stinky bones were picked by the crows. Russian tanks rolled over his scull on their way to Berlin. It is amazing what one song can do when people mean it.
Today, on the June 22nd 2007 I am scared. Far away in Iraq they say the same words about us. And I know what happens after that. The great German writer said it:

“And our cities are part of the cities
Destroyed by us”


It happened 66 years ago. On the June 22nd , at 4 am they bombed our city… I remember.



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The writer is 67 years old, semi- retired engineer, PhD, PE. I write fiction on a regular basis and I am also 10 years on OEN.

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