On Friday the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly passed a resolution that equates the Nazi regime with Soviet Stalinism. The resolution, titled “Reunification of divided Europe” and put forward by Lithuania and Slovenia, states that Europe has suffered from two totalitarian regimes: the Nazi and the Stalinist. Both brought about genocide and crimes against humanity. For a final and Europe-wide condemnation of totalitarianism, the OSCE resolution offered to set a Nazism/Stalinism remembrance day on August 23 . On 23. August 1939 Europe-dividing Molotov-Ribbentrop was signed by Germany and Soviet Union, dividing Europe between two dictators and paving way to the start of II World War. The resolution states so that both Stalin and Hitler were responsible for the start of this most devastating war. I can only agree to this point of view.
Even as the vote on resolution was nearly unanimous, the debates were very heated. “The USSR destroyed more people than Hitler. Russia occupied my country in 1921, and now President Medvedev has created a special commission to glorify criminals,” Georgian MP Georgy Kandelaki said during the discussion. Greek Communist MP Kostas Alissandrakis noted that the resolution is “not aimed against Stalin, who is long dead, but against Communism in general, and in the times of a crisis, when workers’ discontent is on the rise”. The head of Russia’s delegation to the OSCE, Aleksandr Kozlovsky, called the resolution an “insulting anti-Russian attack”.“Those, who put Stalinism on the same scale as Nazism are forgetting that the Soviet Union suffered the most casualties and made the biggest contribution to Europe’s liberation from Nazism,” Kozlovsky said. Russia’s delegation tried desperately to block the resolution, when they failed, the delegation just walked out before the voting.
But even not everybody in Russia agrees, when Stalin and Russia are by current Russian politicians put to the same level. Member of the Public Chamber of Russia, TV and radio host Nikolay Svanidze declares by example, that “It was not Stalin’s regime that was victorious over the Nazi Germany, but the Soviet people. Similarly it was not Aleksandr I’s villainous regime that helped rid Europe of Napoleon, but the Russian people,” Svanidze agreed with the resolution in principal. “I don’t see any real differences from a humanitarian point of view. One destroyed people based on their ethnicity, the other – based on their social status. But those differences are, alas, minor. The only significant difference is that Nazism was condemned officially, while Stalinism wasn’t. Not that it makes the latter any better,” he added. Unfortunately official Russia is having another opinion. Glorification of Stalin and justifying his crimes with need to win the war has developed very fast in Russia. As a result every remembrance on Stalin crimes is presented as attack against Russia. “Prior to war anniversaries, people with historical complexes wake up and attempt to lay all the blame on Russia. Using humanist ideas as a cover, they attempt to put Russia and Germany on the same level and blame Russia for all the mistakes of Stalin’s regime,” Chairman of the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee, Mikhail Margelov, told Kommersant.
This is not so. Russians were victims of same regime, which made the pact with Hitler and started the II World War. Giving to Hitler possibilities to grow and helping him conquere Europe, Stalin was largely responsible for the devastation and destruction, what followed to Hitler attack on Russia. And these were Russian people, not Stalin, who with enourmous sacrifice and with price of more as 20 million victims, at the end won the war. The amount of losses have never been so big when Soviet leaders have at least little bit cared how many people they are sending to death. Current Russia’s leadership justify their “controlled democracy” and authotoritian tendences often with the need “to protect Russia” – as Stalin did. They are of-course furious on statements in resolution, which call “to stop glorifying the Soviet past” , proposing “to get rid of structures that whitewash history” as a reference to the commission to counter attempts to “falsify” history, which has recently been set up by President Medvedev. It will be seen now will all members of OSCE Parliamentary Assambly who supported the resolution called also criminals by Kreml.
The resolution of OSCE is clear step forward and helps us all to free us from totalitarian thinking, which is unfortunately still existing in many places in the World.