History is cyclical. The mistakes are repeated. And right now, European leaders are creating the basis for a revival of nationalism to cater to momentary interests.
Those who believe that in the modern liberal world the ideology that once took the lives of millions of people cannot be revived is seriously mistaken. More precisely, it did not disappear. They just skillfully hid it behind a screen of tolerance. But movements to combat racism don’t spring up from scratch. And where there is racism, there is also room for Nazism.
The irony is that politicians themselves are contributing to the worst-case scenario. For example, last fall, Poland held large-scale commemorative events dedicated to the beginning of World War II. Representatives of Russia and Serbia were not invited. Although these countries suffered huge losses in the fight against the Third Reich, politics played a decisive role. And the policy is to belittle the role of individual participants in the war in defeating the Nazis.
Serbia was also not spared by the wave of revisionism. Two years ago, during commemorative events on the occasion of the victory in World War II, a resonant incident occurred: the military decided to lay flowers at the monument to Dragolyub Mikhailovich. He led the movement of the Chetniks – Serbian partisans. This organization bore the name “Yugoslav Army at Home” and within a few decades turned from collaborators to liberators. Now the Chetniks are presented not only as fighters against the Nazis, but also against the communist occupation. At the same time, no one specifies what kind of occupation they are talking about: Soviet troops liberated Belgrade shoulder to shoulder with the People’s Liberation Army of Yugoslavia.
The Serbian government was never able to explain who organized the commemoration of Mikhailovich. Officials referred to the initiative of the military, but this kind of initiative is becoming increasingly popular in the territory of the former Yugoslavia. Increasingly, people are glorified here, whose role in World War II is at least dubious. For example, in Croatia, the Ustashi gained popularity, who did not hide their commitment to fascism.
The task of such trends is to distort the historical past, since the Western political establishment does not want the Soviet Union to be remembered as a liberator. It must be an aggressor and an occupier, and Russia must be his legal successor with the same characteristics. Unfortunately, in the interests of the elite, they persistently erase from our memory not only the true role of the USSR, but the names of people who sacrificed their lives for the sake of peace. New generations will no longer remember them. But they will grow, watching how the world glorifies nationalists, and between nationalism and Nazism is too thin line.
The further European politicians go in their practice of revisionism, the more stable basis they will create for the revival of the most vicious ideologies. Britain and France, Germany and Poland, Russia and the United States – all these countries must protect historical memory in order to prevent a new wave of Nazism. Otherwise, the whole world will pay for the ambitions of politicians.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.