World
Yuriy Rubtsov
September 6, 2011
© Photo: Public domain

 In 2009, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, the PACE passed a resolution titled “Reunification of divided Europe” equating fascism and Stalinism and condemning them as the the XX century's two main brands of totalitarianism. At approximately the same time, the European parliament set August 23 – the date of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact present-day revisionists depict, contrary to facts, as the starting point of World War II – as the European Remembrance Day for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.

On August 23, 2011, deputy premiers of Latvia, and Hungary and justice ministers of Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden, Slovakia, and Malta convened at the Warsaw Uprising Museum to pen the Warsaw Declaration saying that “the crimes of the totalitarian regimes in Europe, whatever their nature and ideology, will be recognized and condemned”, declaring “support to the victims of totalitarian regimes”, and pledging that “their suffering shall not sink into oblivion”.

In the past, the idea of writing into the European calendar a remembrance day for victims of totalitarian regimes was, with the EU backing, voiced by Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Hungary. The Warsaw Declaration says that “Europe has suffered under totalitarian regimes, be they communist, national socialist or of any other nature”. What the political context of the initiative clearly lacks is an honest appraisal of the  Pilsudski, Ulmanis, Smetona, Horthy, or Antonescu regimes which, quite similarly to those of Stalin and Hitler, deserve to be condemned as authoritarian, dictatorial, and totalitarian.

The leaders of today's Poland, Hungary, and Lithuania pretend not to know what was happening in their countries under J. Pilsudski, M. Horthy, and K. Ulmanis. In World War II, Hungary,  Romania, and Slovakia whose leaders these days are preoccupied with condemning totalitarianism were military allies of the Nazi Germany and therefore vastly contributed to the sufferings caused by the totalitarian regimes. Hopefully, the facts “shall not sink into oblivion” either.

As for the damnations of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Europe's novices are obviously learning the lessons of hypocrisy from London and Paris. The conclusion which seems to stem from the contemporary Western accounts of World War II history is that the Munich Agreement Chamberlain and Daladier signed with Hitler and Mussolini was completely unrelated to the global drama, though the notorious deal sent Hitler a clear message indicating that his aggression, if directed east, would be tolerated or even encouraged. Churchill cleverly warned on the occasion of the Munich Agreement: “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war”. The whole world, not only Great Britain and France, had the war, and still the heirs to the legacy of Chamberlain and Daladier manage to blame World War II on the USSR.

The claim contained in the Warsaw Declaration that it condemns totalitarian regimes “irrespective of their origins, ideology or intentions” is another example of hypocrisy. The choice of the date – August 23 – automatically serves to convince Europeans that communism and national socialism are equally responsible for “unspeakable violations of fundamental rights and the complete denial of human dignity, of which the holocaust is the most horrendous manifestation”. Asserting such moral equivalence, Europe's champions of democratic values produce monstrous falsifications: even in the Cold War era, charging the Soviet Union with complicity in the holocaust was absolutely unthinkable. What, in contrast, is worth admitting is that under Antonescu the Romanian army killed up to 600,000 Jews along with huge numbers of Russians, Ukrainians, Moldavians, and Gypsies in the territory of the USSR.

The thinly veiled agenda behind World War II revisionism is to undermine the reputation of today's Russia. The invectives against the Soviet regime which evaporated decades ago combine into an arrangement for a “Nuremberg trial” to be faced by the modern Russia. This is the real reason why the country is showered with allegations that its administration holds on to the “totalitarian past”, with territorial claims, and with outrageous compensation demands…

The European Union's unbelievable tolerance to Latvia's and Estonia's denying hundreds of thousands of their residents – the so-called non-citizens – the right to vote fits seamlessly within the approach. It is an open secret that usually the institute of “non-citizenship” is used to either enforce the assimilation of national minorities or to coerce them into living the countries they inhabit. Political rehabilitation of collaborationists is another phenomenon of the same origin. Veterans of Latvia's SS legion and their supporters yearly stage marches with slogans like “Latvia for Latvians!”, meeting with full understanding on behalf of the republic's administration. When Estonia's history museum featured an exhibition dedicated to Nazi criminal A. Rosenberg who was born in Tallinn and the event drew protests from the local Jewish community, the museum responded with a statement to the effect that Rosenberg was being commemorated “as a well-known native of Tallinn”.

Romanian president T. Băsescu said recently "I probably would have done the same" in a reference to Romania's war against the Soviet Union, thus leaving in a state of shock even the Romanian media which otherwise do not favor Russia. Romania's Adevarul wrote regarding the situation that a responsible European leader expressing readiness to side with Hitler if he lived in the World War II epoch is unthinkable. Oddly enough, according to the Warsaw Declaration its signatories “undertake to consider, according to adequate standards, taking into account, where appropriate, national circumstances and legal traditions and respecting the freedom of expression, legal aspect of the public condoning, denial or gross trivialization of crimes committed by totalitarian regimes”.

Essentially, the implementation of the Warsaw Declaration would lead to the revision of the outcome of World War II and to the dismantling of the system of international law established in 1945 by the powers which had defeated fascism. It must be realized that such intentions rather than regimes which no longer exist are a threat to the European security. This is the truth Europe's novices with their inferiority complexes and, in many cases, sense of guilt over the past alliances with Hitler and tendencies to shift blame on Russia, are unable to grasp.
 

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
Europe’s «Anti-Totalitarian» Cause

 In 2009, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, the PACE passed a resolution titled “Reunification of divided Europe” equating fascism and Stalinism and condemning them as the the XX century's two main brands of totalitarianism. At approximately the same time, the European parliament set August 23 – the date of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact present-day revisionists depict, contrary to facts, as the starting point of World War II – as the European Remembrance Day for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.

On August 23, 2011, deputy premiers of Latvia, and Hungary and justice ministers of Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden, Slovakia, and Malta convened at the Warsaw Uprising Museum to pen the Warsaw Declaration saying that “the crimes of the totalitarian regimes in Europe, whatever their nature and ideology, will be recognized and condemned”, declaring “support to the victims of totalitarian regimes”, and pledging that “their suffering shall not sink into oblivion”.

In the past, the idea of writing into the European calendar a remembrance day for victims of totalitarian regimes was, with the EU backing, voiced by Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Hungary. The Warsaw Declaration says that “Europe has suffered under totalitarian regimes, be they communist, national socialist or of any other nature”. What the political context of the initiative clearly lacks is an honest appraisal of the  Pilsudski, Ulmanis, Smetona, Horthy, or Antonescu regimes which, quite similarly to those of Stalin and Hitler, deserve to be condemned as authoritarian, dictatorial, and totalitarian.

The leaders of today's Poland, Hungary, and Lithuania pretend not to know what was happening in their countries under J. Pilsudski, M. Horthy, and K. Ulmanis. In World War II, Hungary,  Romania, and Slovakia whose leaders these days are preoccupied with condemning totalitarianism were military allies of the Nazi Germany and therefore vastly contributed to the sufferings caused by the totalitarian regimes. Hopefully, the facts “shall not sink into oblivion” either.

As for the damnations of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Europe's novices are obviously learning the lessons of hypocrisy from London and Paris. The conclusion which seems to stem from the contemporary Western accounts of World War II history is that the Munich Agreement Chamberlain and Daladier signed with Hitler and Mussolini was completely unrelated to the global drama, though the notorious deal sent Hitler a clear message indicating that his aggression, if directed east, would be tolerated or even encouraged. Churchill cleverly warned on the occasion of the Munich Agreement: “You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war”. The whole world, not only Great Britain and France, had the war, and still the heirs to the legacy of Chamberlain and Daladier manage to blame World War II on the USSR.

The claim contained in the Warsaw Declaration that it condemns totalitarian regimes “irrespective of their origins, ideology or intentions” is another example of hypocrisy. The choice of the date – August 23 – automatically serves to convince Europeans that communism and national socialism are equally responsible for “unspeakable violations of fundamental rights and the complete denial of human dignity, of which the holocaust is the most horrendous manifestation”. Asserting such moral equivalence, Europe's champions of democratic values produce monstrous falsifications: even in the Cold War era, charging the Soviet Union with complicity in the holocaust was absolutely unthinkable. What, in contrast, is worth admitting is that under Antonescu the Romanian army killed up to 600,000 Jews along with huge numbers of Russians, Ukrainians, Moldavians, and Gypsies in the territory of the USSR.

The thinly veiled agenda behind World War II revisionism is to undermine the reputation of today's Russia. The invectives against the Soviet regime which evaporated decades ago combine into an arrangement for a “Nuremberg trial” to be faced by the modern Russia. This is the real reason why the country is showered with allegations that its administration holds on to the “totalitarian past”, with territorial claims, and with outrageous compensation demands…

The European Union's unbelievable tolerance to Latvia's and Estonia's denying hundreds of thousands of their residents – the so-called non-citizens – the right to vote fits seamlessly within the approach. It is an open secret that usually the institute of “non-citizenship” is used to either enforce the assimilation of national minorities or to coerce them into living the countries they inhabit. Political rehabilitation of collaborationists is another phenomenon of the same origin. Veterans of Latvia's SS legion and their supporters yearly stage marches with slogans like “Latvia for Latvians!”, meeting with full understanding on behalf of the republic's administration. When Estonia's history museum featured an exhibition dedicated to Nazi criminal A. Rosenberg who was born in Tallinn and the event drew protests from the local Jewish community, the museum responded with a statement to the effect that Rosenberg was being commemorated “as a well-known native of Tallinn”.

Romanian president T. Băsescu said recently "I probably would have done the same" in a reference to Romania's war against the Soviet Union, thus leaving in a state of shock even the Romanian media which otherwise do not favor Russia. Romania's Adevarul wrote regarding the situation that a responsible European leader expressing readiness to side with Hitler if he lived in the World War II epoch is unthinkable. Oddly enough, according to the Warsaw Declaration its signatories “undertake to consider, according to adequate standards, taking into account, where appropriate, national circumstances and legal traditions and respecting the freedom of expression, legal aspect of the public condoning, denial or gross trivialization of crimes committed by totalitarian regimes”.

Essentially, the implementation of the Warsaw Declaration would lead to the revision of the outcome of World War II and to the dismantling of the system of international law established in 1945 by the powers which had defeated fascism. It must be realized that such intentions rather than regimes which no longer exist are a threat to the European security. This is the truth Europe's novices with their inferiority complexes and, in many cases, sense of guilt over the past alliances with Hitler and tendencies to shift blame on Russia, are unable to grasp.