Comparisons between the USSR and Hitler’s Nazis are an effort to rewrite history, according to a top envoy
https://www.rt.com-FILE PHOTO. March to mark the 108th anniversary of Stepan Bandera birth in Kyiv, Ukraine. © Getty Images / Vitaliy Holovin
The legacy of WWII, which saw the Soviet Red Army drive out Nazi troops from Eastern Europe before shattering the Third Reich, risks being hijacked by those looking to exonerate Hitler’s crimes or erase the contribution of the USSR, Moscow’s ambassador to the US has claimed.
Writing in an op-ed published Thursday in conservative American newspaper The Washington Times, Anatoly Antonov argued that former Eastern Bloc countries tolerate the celebration of Nazism and refuse to recognize the USSR’s key role in defeating the Axis powers during the Second World War.
“We are currently witnessing a cynical policy of distorting the historical truth,” the diplomat wrote. “The memorials to victors of fascism are demolished in Ukraine, the Baltic States and Poland. There is a self-evident desire to erase the memory of the deed of the Soviet soldier-liberator, whom they try to put on equal footing with Hitler’s executioners.”
He claimed that “some Eastern European countries regularly host marches to honor the punitive SS divisions,” celebrating the Nazi paramilitary organization responsible for the murders of millions of Jews, Roma, and other victims during the Holocaust.
Last April, around 100 far-right nationalists marched in the center of Kiev to celebrate the 77th anniversary of the SS Galicia division. The German embassy in Ukraine spoke out publicly to condemn the demonstrations.
Antonov went on to say that the problem is not limited to former Eastern Bloc countries, adding, “these disturbing trends affect the United States as well. Belittling the decisive USSR contribution to smashing Nazism and excluding our country from the victors in World War II have become a common practice. There are over 800 active extremist groups in the country, advocating the theory of white supremacy. Their ‘legitimacy’ is justified by the first amendment to the US Constitution that guarantees freedom of speech.”
He noted, however, that many Americans continue to celebrate the alliance between the US, the USSR, and other nations that defeated Germany and its allies in World War II.
Thursday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day and also the 78th anniversary of the lifting of the Siege of Leningrad. The blockade lasted from 1941-1944 and killed several million soldiers and civilians, more than the entire WWII deaths of the US and UK combined.