For the 75th anniversary of the Victory, the “historians” of “Echo of Moscow” prepared a collection of articles with an “alternative” version of the history of World War II, which was presented in the magazine “Diletant”(No. 53, May 2020) under the title “75 of your questions about the war”.
The main theme of the issue: “75th anniversary of the Victory as the debunking of the ‘official myth’ about the great victory of the USSR over Nazism.”
The World War II history told by “Echo of Moscow” is featured in two magazines where historians and journalists answer 75 questions about World War II.
Topics brought to the fore include: Alliances and Unions, War Crimes, Weapons, Wartime Life, Key Figures of War, Intelligence and Special Operations, Occupation and Resistance, Tactical Errors, Classified Archives, Partisans, Occupation and Resistance in Captured Territories, Division of Territory, Exact Number of Casualties, Deportation of Soviet Germans, Aftermath of War.
The magazine is probably already on the Federal List of Extremist Materials.
However, interested citizens have no difficulty in purchasing the magazine at a very attractive price through a network of online stores, because the purpose of the falsifiers is to spread Western fakes about war.
FAKE 1: “STALIN EQUALS HITLER, AND THE USSR IS THE PERPETRATOR OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR”
The historians of “Echo of Moscow” started work on equating the role of Stalin and Hitler long before the 75th anniversary of the Victory of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War. Aleksey Venediktov presented in Ekaterinburg a scandalous issue of the “Diletant” magazine, where he “married” Stalin and Hitler. As proof, the editor of “Echo” presented the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
The book store “Molodaya Gvardiya” refused to accept the new issue of the “Diletant” magazine, which caused its editor-in-chief Vitaly Dymarsky and editor-in-chief of “Echo of Moscow” Aleksey Venediktov to be perplexed.
The very concept of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact has a wide liberal use. At the same time, liberal historians did not introduce concepts such as the “Pilsudski-Hitler Pact” (1934 Treaty between Poland and Germany), or the “Chamberlain-Hitler Pact” (Anglo-German Declaration from September 30th 1938), signed in Munich personally by the Fuhrer and the British Prime Minister. In this “pact” England and Germany negotiated mutual non-aggression.
Since the late 40s, foreign cartoons dedicated to the signing of the “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact” started to be replicated in foreign publications, creating an emotional backdrop for the identification of Nazism with communism.
The Yeltsin Center in Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, and “foreign comrades” came to help spread the scandalous version of World War II.
The Yeltsin Center provided a platform for the falsifier of history with great pleasure, which Aleksey Venediktov himself spoke about on November 23rd on the radio:
“Indeed, after we started to receive complaints about the ‘Diletant’ magazine, dedicated to secret protocols and the Pact, I received a call from Valentin Yumashev, continuing the topic, and said: ‘Lyosha, do you want to speak at the Yeltsin Center?'”
Venediktov happily reports that there will be no problems with the implementation of the magazine: “There is a lot of demand among our foreign comrades”.
Venediktov’s scandalous speech at the Yeltsin Center on December 2nd 2019 was not ignored by historians and the public. In Ekaterinburg, the editor of “Echo of Moscow” declared the USSR as being responsible for World War II, citing the opinion of the world community: “The whole world recognises the responsibility of the Soviet leadership for the outbreak of war.”
Professional historians were outraged by the statement of the journalist, who led the “sect” of “new” pro-Western Russian liberal historians who today are using cold war tools to destroy the integrity of Russian society and contribute to inflating Russophobia in Europe.
Among these tools, “Echo of Moscow” historians pulled out from the dust a collection of documents called “Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939-1941”, created by former Soviet war allies in 1948 with the aim of convincing the world public that it was the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty in 1939 that led to the war.
This collection was later refuted by professional historians not only in the USSR, but also in Germany itself.
Yury Aleksandrovich Nikiforov, Candidate of Historical Sciences and Head of the Scientific Department of the Russian Military Historical Society, was able to give a worthy response to the World War II history falsifier.
As nakanune.ru aptly observed, “this was probably the first time in the Yeltsin center that a listener put conceited ‘Diletant’ adherents and their stereotypes in their place.”
Here is his response in its entirety:
“I would like to put forward some clarifications. When you in a lecture, and then when answering questions, accused people who claim that in the 1930s Hitler developed plans to attack the Soviet Union of lying, you accused not someone here, in Russia – you accuse ten volumes of official history — ‘German Reich and World War II’, which was prepared and released in Germany.
Rolf-Dieter Müller, whose name probably you were surprised to read for the first time, is the head of the Bundeswehr Military Research Directorate, and one of the authors of this work, whose recently published book is called ‘Hitler’s Plans for the War against the USSR in 1939’. And it all is devoted to this analytics of the operational military planning of the Wehrmacht concerning the USSR and in general war in the east.
I would advise not only to you, laymans, but also to everyone – to once again re-read the verdict of the Nuremberg tribunal concerning Poland, where it is said about planning of war against Poland, because Hitler’s guilt is not just stated in it — but this guilt is proved. It is proved by documents, proved by the shorthand report of meetings at Hitler residence. And these documents convinced judges that, planning aggression against Poland, that for Nazis the solution of this question didn’t depend from the existence or lack of a treaty or any other agreement with the Soviet Union, on the existence of any protocols or their absence.
And the modern historical science of Germany, for example, the book of Ingeborg Fleischhauer, was translated and published in Russia in 1990! You are at war with perestroika myths! The same concerns also 1941! Well, if there are 4 notes of considerations on the strategic deployment of the Red Army, which Zhukov and Vasilevsky prepared, and not Shaposhnikov at all, but firstly Meretskov, if they are already published today, and in it the generals say that on June 12th they received orders to move to the border to repel Hitler’s aggression … And now it is just necessary to know more and learn more material!”.
The topic “Stalin is equal to Hitler, and the USSR is the culprit of World War II” is not new. The West started developing it in 1948 as a tool of the cold war.
It was precisely back then that a collection of documents entitled “Nazi-Soviet relations, 1939-1941” was first prepared. The USSR immediately responded to this lie with the pamphlet “Falsifiers of History” (1948), which stated that the collection did not contain earlier documents about the huge work of the People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the USSR M. M. Litvinov in the League of Nations to create an anti-fascist coalition in the 1930s, or about treaties signed with Germany much earlier than the Soviet Union one.
Nor was it told about the “Munich deal” in 1938, when England, France, along with Mussolini and Hitler, divided Czechoslovakia into parts.
“Why can Poland, having allies in England and France, agree on a non-aggression pact with the Germans in 1934, and the Soviet Union, which was in less favourable conditions, can not agree on such a pact in 1939? Why England and France, which represented the dominant force in Europe, can agree on a joint non-aggression declaration with the Germans in 1938, but the Soviet Union, isolated by the hostile policies of England and France, can not agree on a pact with the Germans? Isn’t it a fact that from all Europe’s non-aggressive big powers, the Soviet Union was the last one to opt for a pact with the Germans?,” asked the Stalinist leadership to former allies.
As a result, the collection created from the USSR the image of an accomplice of Hitler and the perpetrator of the World War.
(Contents of the book: I. How the preparation of German aggression began; II. Not the fight against German aggression, but the policy of isolating the USSR; III. Isolation of the Soviet Union. The Soviet-German non-aggression Pact; IV. The creation of the “Eastern” front, the German attack on the USSR, the anti-Hitler coalition, and the question of inter-allied responsibilities.)
FAKE 2: ABOUT “SOVIET AGGRESSION” IN EUROPE AND ABOUT KHALKHIN GOL. THE USSR STARTED WAR IN SEPTEMBER 1939 WITH HITLER TO SEIZE FOREIGN TERRITORIES
In 2020, Victory Day was marred by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the traditional format of the celebration to change. However, as May 9th approached, opposition media mass published various interviews and opinions of experts who negatively assess the event. History falsifiers, “Echo of Moscow” historians, continued the theme opened at the Yeltsin Center on December 2nd 2019.
Yury Pivovarov, historian and academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, gave another interview to the editor of the “Diletant” magazine Vitaly Dymarsky in the program “Price of Victory” on May 9th 2020:
“In 1939 the Second World War started, on September 1st Poland was attacked. This was largely a consequence of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact signed the week before. And although we say that it is the Great Patriotic War, that we were attacked on June 22nd – this is true. I wrote out in my mind what the Red Army did from September 1st 1939 to June 22nd 1941. Firstly, the Red Army entered Poland on September 17th. On November 30th it started a war with Finland and fought against it until March, very unsuccessfully. In 1940 we annexed Bessarabia and North Bukovina to the USSR. If also to remember that the Red Army also fought in the east – Khalkhin Gol, so, it participated in the Second World War.”
(Yury Pivovarov, historian and political scientist, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor. Presenters: Vladimir Ryzhkov, Vitaly Dymarsky.
Price of Victory / Phenomenon of the World War / / 09.09.17)
He strongly opposed Russia’s single history textbook:
“Look, you remember how some time ago a decision was taken to create a single history textbook. And back then the document appeared, I don’t remember exactly its name… It had a complicated name, It was some kind of development of historical scientists, including, in my opinion, the head organisation was the Institute of Universal History, if I am not mistaken. I remember very well such a phrase in this standard or such a compendium for the future textbook. ‘The Soviet Union entered World War II on June 22nd 1941’. Where did this come from? It’s possible to speak separately about where official history and official science come from. I don’t understand in general how science can be official.”
Professor Yu. Pivovarov develops the idea that for the USSR the war did not end in 1945, as it did not meet the expectations of soldiers, the winners, because the repression in the country was no less than in 1937.
In addition, “in 1951 Stalin set the task of starting a war in Europe and capturing it. He believed that the war in Korea showed the advantage that the Soviets had over the Americans. He believed, he was a realist politician, that the <…> would not last long, so it was necessary to beat Europe and prepare again for war. And the army was increased again.”
Professor of history Pivovarov has no sources to discredit Supreme Commander Stalin, so he uses the “Solzhenitsyn” historical method common in liberal historiography: his own speculations and references to artistic literature.
The arguments of the editor-in-chief of the “Diletant” historical magazine V. Dymarsky about the significance of Suvorov-Rezun’s books for the historian are also indicative:
“In fact, there is already quite a lot that is declassified. I don’t think there are any secrets left in the shadows that can fundamentally change our today’s view of this war. From the key events of the Great Patriotic War, 2-3 episodes remain in question, no more. The first one concerns the existence of any documents directly or indirectly confirming or refuting the known concept of Viktor Suvorov (Rezun) that the USSR had the intention to attack fascist Germany first. In this same question the other one is concluded: what were the real military plans of the Soviet Union at that time , taking into account all the evidences that historians already have in their hands? What would arrive if the June 22nd 1941 hadn’t happen? There is no definitive – documentary! answer. Not yet? Maybe, I don’t know. The version under the conditional name ‘Brest Peace-2’ is also interesting… The fact is that there are scattered facts, I would say that after the most dramatic events for our army of 1941 and the beginning of 1942, Stalin allegedly requested peace from Hitler through the Bulgarian Ambassador and other European diplomats. It’s not confirmed in any way. Is something hidden in the archives? Perhaps. But as long as there is no evidence, this narrative remains a hypothesis.”
Yury Pivovarov – Stalin did not like the winners:
“I think that it’s not Victory that he didn’t like but the people of Victory. Not only the military, but also the civilians who played a huge role in the organisation of the war. I think that it is precisely this. As for the attitude towards Victory, I don’t know, it’s… I find Stalin’s psychological arrangement difficult, it is not given to me to understand it. I read a few essays, ‘In the first circle’, where he was so hysterical, from Rybakov, where it is about Stalin, however, before the war. All this is interesting, important, and I think a lot of it have been accurately captured. But it’s hard for me to imagine the inner world of this man. But the fact that he didn’t like winners is true. And there was no May 9th celebration and in 1946 attribution of orders and medals was stopped. And, by the way, for the first time May 9th was celebrated in 1965, under Brezhnev. It became a holiday non-working day.”
The professor doesn’t know the true sources? The recording of the Victory Speech of I. V. Stalin has been preserved:
“Now we can state with full justification that the historic day of the final defeat of Germany, the day of the great victory of our people over German imperialism has come. The great sacrifices we made in the name of the freedom and independence of our Motherland, the incalculable privations and sufferings experienced by our people in the course of the war, the intense work in the rear and at the front, placed on the altar of the Motherland, have not been in vain, and have been crowned by complete victory over the enemy. The age-long struggle of the Slav peoples for their existence and their independence has ended in victory over the German invaders and German tyranny. Henceforth the great banner of the freedom of the peoples and peace among peoples will fly over Europe. Three years ago Hitler declared for all to hear that his aims included the dismemberment of the Soviet Union and the wresting from it of the Caucasus, the Ukraine, Byelorussia, the Baltic lands and other areas. He declared bluntly: ‘We will destroy Russia so that she will never be able to rise again.’ This was three years ago.
However, Hitler’s crazy ideas were not fated to come true—the progress of the war scattered them to the winds. In actual fact the direct opposite of the Hitlerites’ ravings has taken place. Germany is utterly defeated. The German troops are surrendering. The Soviet Union is celebrating Victory, although it does not intend either to dismember or to destroy Germany. Comrades! The Great Patriotic War has ended in our complete victory. The period of war in Europe is over. The period of peaceful development has begun. I congratulate you upon victory, my dear men and women compatriots! Glory to our heroic Red Army, which upheld the independence of our Motherland and won victory over the enemy! Glory to our great people, the people victorious! Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in the struggle against the enemy and gave their lives for the freedom and happiness of our people!”
FAKE 3. “THE USSR FILLED GERMANY WITH CORPSES AND THEREFORE WON”, “IT’S NOT A HOLIDAY, BUT A DAY OF SORROW”, “WINNERS’ DAY”
Vitaly Dymarsky about the absence of a special role of the USSR in the victory:
“The authorities, and above all Vladimir Putin himself, are obsessed with the idea of returning Russia’s greatness. This is understandable. After all, it is much more pleasant to feel like the leader of a great country, than a country that’s ‘not great’. And Russia cannot move away, as many believe, from the humiliation and the failure in the Cold War, which led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. What can be opposed to this defeat? Only a victory in a ‘hot war’, in this same Great Patriotic War, which was even allocated a special chapter of the Second World War (stressed by the author). The sacralisation of military history, in which there should be exclusively ‘glorious pages’, and all ‘not glorious’ ones – into the waste paper bin, comes from here. This is how they try to regain their lost greatness.”
About the function of “Putin parades”:
“And since in the present conditions there isn’t many prerequisites for this – if not to count pure PR, connected with the invention of a new missile or a new tank, or with a noisy demonstration of far from new modifications of weapons on the paving stones of Red Square on the occasion of the latest anniversary – the confirmation of greatness switches to the plane of the past.”
About the absurd concept of the “Victory” itself:
“But we are talking about what the country has lost – based on official generally accepted data – about 30 million lives of our compatriots. This is if we don’t take in account the purely material losses and costs, which are the topic of a separate conversation. So, if the Victory has no price, and we calculate it, this price, first of all in victims, in human lives, so then, according to the logic of those who put the question this way, the very concept of the Victory can be brought to an absurd level. I.e., we are ready to put on the altar of the Victory even the entire population of the country: let them all die, but will remain… What will remain? For whom is the Victory? For one person from some bunker?”
About Stalin’s “crimes” during the war:
“If to say that the paid price is too high, then we have to admit another thing – mistakes, and even crimes committed by the Soviet political and military leadership of that time. Simply put, by Joseph Stalin, who appears today in the official and officious history in an impeccable, unblemished military and political jacket.”
Dmitry Gudkov, Chairman of the Civic Initiative party, spoke at “Echo of Moscow” in favour of cancelling the May 9th holiday:
“…Because we have recently had May 9th turned into such a rattling of weapons in the spirit of ‘we can repeat it’. And I would like May 9th and in general the day of victory to be the day of remembrance and sorrow for the dead. And heaven forbid we have to repeat it someday. Or to have it happen to us or to our children”. This holiday is needed only by Putin: “It is very important to him. It’s such a major propaganda trump card for him.With his approval rating falling, I think he’s trying to keep it for the last moment. But the decision is not made, although, in my opinion, common sense and logic suggests that it is necessary to postpone it to September. But he has no desire. Because what he does, remember, as in the poem-that he is being filmed. Therefore, it is very difficult to refuse good PR.”
Aleksey Melnikov, a journalist of “Echo of Moscow”, gave the “Echo” concept of victory:
“‘Plane money’, ‘salute money’, ‘money in the clouds’. In order to burn money with military planes at rehearsals and a parade on May 9th, flying over an empty Moscow. To shoot a salute into the sky so that citizens put in ‘quarantine without money’ by Putin can see their salaries burning with coloured lights. To disperse clouds with hundreds of millions rubles in order the planes over an empty city appear not against the background of grey clouds, but in a blue sky. All of this is the Victory…
A similar ‘Victory’ in the middle of the devastation, gushing like a fountain from the propaganda sewer, is familiar from Orwell’s novel ‘1984‘.
The main character lived in the broken house called ‘Victory’, where the elevator did not work, and in the lobby there was the stench of boiled cabbage. He also drank ‘Victory’ gin, a nitric acid-like drink that made you feel like you’d been hit on the back with a rubber baton. Cigarettes were also called “Victory” – their tobacco had fallen on the floor. Flags up!”
Valery Rashkin, a deputy of the State Duma, a member of the Communist Party, suddenly also became an “Echo of Moscow” adherent, speaking out against the “winners”:
“For whom are the salutes? Yesterday in an empty Moscow, whose residents are driven home and jailed with digital collars, another grandiose salute was given. As far as I know, it cost us 53 million rubles. In total, more than half a billion were spent on ‘festive events’ in Moscow. It just remains to understand for whom this holiday was arranged, and in honour of whom and what there was a salute yesterday. Because personally to me, for example, it is clear that all these yesterday’s ‘celebrations’ neither to us, nor to veterans, nor to the memory of those who fought, and who died – have nothing to do with it.
I’ll explain why I think so. Yesterday morning I, as well as my friends, colleagues, like-minded people went to the street to walk through the center of Moscow with a copy of the banner of Victory, to worship the grave of the Unknown Soldier. We observed the ‘social distancing’, we did not have posters with political slogans, we did not disrupt public order, we, as the government requires from us, were wearing medical masks. And we were not going to make picnics or kiss random passers-by. We just wanted to celebrate this Day the way we used to do it, as that date requires it. And we honestly don’t need pompous parades, salutes or Sobyanian marches. We were just walking down the street, singing war songs, carrying symbols of the Victory. Because each of us has a personal relationship with this Day, with this Holiday – each of those who came out with me on May 9th has in their family those who fought and died. But already on the square of the Tverskaya Zastava we were encircled by modern ‘blackshirts’ who started to restrain our arms and push us into the police van.
There is a video online that was shot by eyewitnesses and participants of events. It shows how the police took out of my hands a copy of the banner of Victory, which 75 years ago was raised above the Reichstag, how the deputies of the Moscow City Duma – including people who are no longer young- whose only fault is that they went out on the street on the day of the main national holiday, were dragged. I don ‘t think that 10-15 people who went out on the street can infect anyone. Even if people were given the opportunity to leave the house yesterday and walk the usual route through the city center from the Aleksandrovsky Garden to the square of the Bolshoi Theatre – and if several thousand people came out on the street – I don’t think it would somehow affect inflated disease statistics. It seems to me that what happened yesterday is not about fighting the epidemic at all. It’s about the Victory. Only the victory of fascism. And in separate heads of these same policemen, and in our state as a whole.”
Leonid Gozman, political scientist and enemy of communists, suddenly on “Echo of Moscow” supported Rashkin:
“The banner of Victory for the present authorities and for its oprichniks is devoid of some sacral meaning, some high meaning, personal involvement. For them, it’s just a propaganda move, an advertising sticker that they take advantage of for their own benefit.”
“Who was yesterday’s salute for? I indeed don’t really understand. If it was for the people, why weren’t people given the opportunity to go outside. If it was for people who were forcibly locked up at home – you could show them last year’s salute on TV, or the salute that was for the 70th anniversary. If it’s just a show, then what a difference what to show? And if it was a salute personally for President Putin, just to rejoice him and amuse his triumphant feelings, then wouldn’t it have been wiser to hold it in front of his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, on a more modest scale.
Everything has already been written about the fact that the government turned Victory Day into the apotheosis of unculturedness and stupidity, the desecration of Memory. Salutes in an empty city, divers with portraits of veterans at the bottom of the river – the water sprites were imbued with the greatness of our victory, girls on nails, plump bosses in bows – all this reflects the disgusting trend of recent years. The front men I knew caught only the beginning of this process, but they spat on it even then and never participated in official shows.
The meaning of the actions of the authorities is, in general, clear – there are no achievements of their own, it is necessary to stick to the tragedy and try to declare ourselves as the winners. Earlier the war used to be won by Stalin, not the people, and now it’s by Putin. And concerning how much is stolen through it, I don’t even want to talk about it. But there is another aspect of this sabbath, which is actually crossing out the best day of our history. The authorities need a new victorious war like oxygen, and it is only via this that they can hold on – and they are actively looking for it. There is no second Crimea, and from the first one only hangover remains . They don’t want a world war – they want to blackmail, but they don’t want to push it to the edge. Small adventures do not bring fruits. But defeating the internal enemy is a nice thing.”
The results – we can already observe today what lies behind the “historical” disputes of liberals, their revision of the verdict of the Nuremberg trial:
Firstly, it is the desecration of monuments dedicated to the Soviet commander-in-chief and soldiers who saved Europe from Nazism. Let’s recall only the latest two facts:
In Prague, by the decision of the local authorities, on April 3rd, a monument to Ivan Stepanovich Konev was demolished, and a monument to a Vlasov collaborator was erected in its place.
Czechoslovakia was occupied by Nazi Germany from March 1939 until May 1945 and was named Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. It was liberated as a result of the Red Army’s Prague offensive on May 6th-11th, which was led by Marshal I. S. Konev. The monument appeared in Prague on May 9th, 1980 on the 35th anniversary of the Victory and stood for 40 years.
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation initiated criminal proceedings for the rehabilitation of Nazism. In the Czech Republic itself, the actions of the district authorities were condemned by President Miloš Zeman. Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu sent a letter to the Czech Defence Ministry requesting that the monument to the Soviet marshal be handed over to the Russian side. The spokesman of the Czech Defence Ministry Jan Pejšek said that the department cannot help Russia because “the statue is not ours”.
Instead of the monument to Konev in the area of Prague-Řeporyje – a commemorative plaque in honour of soldiers of the Russian Liberation Army of General Andrey Vlasov – collaborators who fought on the side of the Third Reich.
The plaque is carved with a quote from the book “Gulag Archipelago” written by the writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: “Did all Czechs then understand what kind of Russians saved their city?”
The monument to Zhukov in Kharkov was installed in 1994. In the second half of the 1990s, the monument was not maintained, it gradually collapsed. In 2012, at the initiative of Mayor Gennady Kernes, the monument was recreated in its original form. In early June 2019, nationalists demolished the bust of the Soviet military commander, after which the city authorities restored the monument. The Ukrainian Institute of National Memory stated that the monument to Zhukov is subject to mandatory dismantling, as it is “dedicated to a person who has held senior positions in the higher authorities and administration of the USSR” and falls under the so-called “law on de-communisation”. Nevertheless, many Ukrainians consider Marshal Zhukov to be an outstanding Soviet military commander who made a huge contribution to the defeat of Nazism during the Great Patriotic War, and they cherish the memory of him.
By revising the fair verdict of the Nuremberg trials, “Echo of Moscow” historians touched upon the modern interests of our country and the foundations of our historical memory of the Great Patriotic War. This is a legacy inherited from our ancestors, like the Battle of the Neva, the Battle of Kulikovo, and the Patriotic War of 1812. One must not engage in the desacralisation of this memory, which unites the people.
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