The European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution with a beautiful and, most importantly, almost correct name: “On the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe”. I.e., it turns out that there is a certain separate historical “European memory” that only EU countries have.
It is simply awful to even think that it can differ from the memory of the US and Canada. And it is unclear at all what will happen to the “European memory” of Great Britain after Brexit — will it remain European or will it take on a special British character?
It would be possible not to pay attention to the title of the resolution if its contents didn’t correspond to the title. Euro-parliamentarians have made via this resolution the traditional “euro-political focus” of recent decades, having combined into one bottle condemnation of the policy of historical revisionism leading to the whitewashing of Nazi criminals and the indignation of the policy of the former USSR, which is assigned equal responsibility with Germany for the outbreak of war.
The “proof” that is used is the repeatedly condemned by the West Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, a conventional non-aggression pact for its time (the whole of Europe had similar agreements with the Reich), which in terms of monstrosity is far from being comparable with the criminal Munich conspiracy, thanks to which France, Great Britain, Italy, and Germany redrew the borders of Czechoslovakia, even without having listened to the opinion of Czechs.
A crime against the peoples of Europe
From my point of view, attempting to equalise the regimes of the USSR and the Reich, assigning them equal responsibility for the war, is criminal. And not because it is aimed against Russia. International politics is cynical, and condemning states for using false accusations against those countries that they consider to be their enemies is like taking offence at water for the fact that it is wet.
This attempt is criminal because it is aimed against the interests of Europe itself, its states, and peoples. Especially the one that appeared after World War I, the Eastern European “pot-bellied little thing”, which for a hundred years has ran from camp to camp — depending on who is today stronger and more generous.
Let’s not argue about pompous triviality like the fact that those who don’t like the Soviet-German treaty “On Non-aggression” and “On Friendship and Borders” have to return the territories they cut off as a result of these acts. In the end, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Lithuania (the only member of the European Union among potential victims), which the majority of the EU doesn’t care about, would have been affected.
This topic has been overplayed for a long time, new borders are confirmed by numerous post-war acts. But, as practice and experience show, their revision is possible if there is the desire, need, and sufficient enough power [related to physical force – ed] resources. In the presence of these components, the legality of tearing away this or that territory or even the complete elimination of a UN member state (e.g. Yugoslavia) will not worry anybody — they will think up mechanisms, and then diplomats will find an explanation and legalise the new political reality.
It is precisely for this reason that the free European interpretation of the events of 1938-1939 is directed against the interests of the EU and all its members. I understand that the Europeans would like to absolve themselves of responsibility for inciting the war, for their enterprises working for the military needs of the Reich, and for the fact that Europe, outside the boundaries of the Reich and its official allies, gave Hitler over half a million soldiers for troops of the SS alone (not counting other collaborationist formations). It is not a secret that an attempt is being made to use the accusation against the USSR – that it incited the war – in the current political game against Russia. But these goals can’t be successfully realised even if the entire population of the EU and US will devoutly believe that Hitler, together with Stalin, attacked the peace-loving Americans, British, French, and even dropped an atomic bomb on Japan.
Resembling a pre-war situation
Destroying historical memory, the politicians of modern Europe actualise the situation between both world wars. Back then, like now, international law practically didn’t work — everything was decided by the law of the strong. This law of the strong redrew Europe not in favour of the Czechs, Poles, French, and not even in favour of the allied to Hitler Romanians and Finns. Only the Croats and Hungarians situationally benefited from an alliance with the Reich, but I am afraid that if the Reich managed to survive and consolidate its power in Europe, then this misunderstanding would be quickly settled (after all, these are former Austro-Hungarian territories, and Hitler laid claim to any land where the Germans stepped foot on at least once, at least sometime, at least presumably).
Now small Europeans are being actively hit by their “elder brothers” in the EU (France and Germany), who try to make the European Union more controllable. Frantically lunging at Russia, accusing it of all mortal sins, including unleashing World War II, limitrophes deprive themselves of their second fulcrum, finding themselves (like in the 1930’s) at the mercy of their more powerful partners.
I will remind that back then Czechoslovakia was forced to refuse the help of the USSR, and Poland outright refused it, even despite the cautious pressure of Paris and London. It is possible to say that in modern Europe armies are not sent to resolve political affairs. But, firstly, the fate of Yugoslavia showed that they do send them (if another option doesn’t work), and nobody knows who will send troops next time, when, and where. Secondly, in the modern world there are many ways to destroy weak statehood without resorting to military operations (the example of Ukraine is indicative, and the Baltics is not far off).
Thirdly, relations even between young-Europeans themselves are not cloudless. The Poles, including many politicians, consider it historically fair to return to the borders of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth borders of the 18th and even 17th centuries, which cover not only a considerable part of the territory of modern Ukraine, but also Belarus and Lithuania in full and Latvia in part. And I wouldn’t guarantee that under favourable circumstances Warsaw wouldn’t try to “restore historical justice” by force. And if Belarus is saved by the Union with Russia, then the rest has no one to rely on.
Europe is defenceless again
But even for the “elder brothers” in the European Union it will be not so easy and pleasant to live in a world worked out in accordance with the template of the 1930’s. I will remind that the Reich crushed France on the battlefield and occupied it, and longly and persistently bombed Great Britain and nearly managed to disembark its army on its territory.
There is no Reich now and in Europe there is no claimant to hold this position? Right. But there is the US, which has repeatedly proved its readiness to resolve any controversial issue by force anywhere in the world.
Yes, Europe hasn’t yet been touched. Until recently, Washington had enough of the rest of the world to not only feed itself, but also to feed its European allies. It’s just that in the last decade the competition for the world resources that remained available to the West become more and more intense, and the available resources are themselves becoming less. If Obama tried to quietly, with the help of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, subordinate the European economy to the interests of the US, then Trump does the same thing openly, launching trade wars not only against China, but also against the EU. And all hot wars start as an economic confrontation.
Europe is defenceless in the military-political sphere. This became obvious 100 years ago. Its security can be guaranteed only by Russia or the US. The exception of Russia from this scheme (which the resolution of the European Parliament is objectively aiming to do) leads to unilateral American domination. The EU is currently trying to escape from under the power of Washington — and on its territory, under the pretext of protection against Russia, more and more American units are deployed. The occupation happens without war and without resistance. But the occupiers don’t come to give the occupied a paradise on earth. The occupiers need resources.
Those who don’t know or don’t remember the lessons of history are doomed to repeat past mistakes. Europe voluntarily renounces its own historical experience. If this case is brought to its end, the fate of Ukraine and the Baltics against the background of a pan-European catastrophe can seem a light breeze in comparison with a hurricane. Indeed, prior to the beginning of 1939 nobody in Europe believed that there was a chance of war between Germany and the French and British. Everyone was sure that the Reich would rush to the USSR, and were preparing to share out the loot with it. But they themselves became the loot.
Russia is strong enough to survive in the conditions of a paralysed system of international law, but the Europeans will have to pay a high price for their forgetfulness. Actually, they are already paying it.
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