On January 23 this year, during memorial ceremonies at the Israeli Yad Vashem complex to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp by the Soviet troops, Vladimir Putin made a significant statement. He suggested holding a meeting involving leaders of permanent UN Security Council members, namely Russia, China, the US, France and the UK " in any country, any point of the world where it will be convenient to colleagues." "We certainly all bear responsibility to make sure that the terrible tragedies of the past should never repeat themselves. We have to make sure that future generations remember the horrors of the Holocaust and the death camps," the Russian President said back that day.
As you might expect, Putin's call has been criticized in the West to become fully consistent with the general tone of the anti-Russian hysteria. Berlin's Die Welt summarized the comments by a number of German media: "Talking about the liberation of Auschwitz, Putin singled out the role of the Red Army but failed to mention the Stalin-Hitler Pact of 1939, when the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany united to invade Poland."
In other words, the Western elites keep following their strategy of rewriting history in such a way as to hold fascist Germany and the Soviet Union equally responsible for the outbreak of World War II. The official approval of the strategy, its acquisition of a "legitimate" status took place on September 19, 2019 in Brussels, when a relevant resolution of the European Parliament was adopted by majority vote. Having united over anti-Russian sentiments, European conservatives, liberals, and some social democrats actually brought a charge against the former USSR which had saved their countries from fascism.
The attempt to wash away the image of the winner, to impose the issue of the Soviet Union's "fault" with the European peoples is nothing more than one of the psychological warfare methods against Russia. However, there is another line visible here, no less dangerous.
Manipulation of history creates a situation in which Hitler's Germany seems to be partially relieved of responsibility for World War II. In other words, we are actually dealing with an attempt to rehabilitate fascism.
Further on, rewriting the past suggests that the events of 1933-1940 must be erased from people's minds, particularly the complicity of France and Great Britain with Nazi Germany, for instance, in the struggle against republican Spain; the Munich Conspiracy by which Chamberlain, Daladier and Mussolini gave their consent to Hitler's capture of Czechoslovakia; Poland's engagement in the partition of Czechoslovakia, as well as many other things.
Let's move to the next array of questions. What about the Nuremberg Tribunal's decisions concerning major war criminals? Should those be cancelled on all the four substantive charges? Let us recall them: plotting against peace; planning, unleashing, and waging a military aggression; crimes against international law; crimes against humanity. The international tribunal of 1945-1946 brought none of these against any other state except Nazi Germany. And now, 75 years later, when there are almost no living witnesses to the tragedy left, and new generations are moving further away from those events, the Western establishment has decided to "correct" history in order to accommodate the political climate.
They were willingly supported by a number of German media. Vladimir Putin's proposal to convene a summit of the UN founding countries came in very handy and added fuel to the flame. By fomenting the issue of the former Soviet Union's "fault" as regards the outbreak of World War II, the West is trying to discredit the Russian President's proposal to get a new peace dialogue underway.
All of this is happening when humanity has approached an extremely dangerous point. "We are dealing with a real and extreme threat, an absolutely unacceptable state of affairs," CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Rachel Bronson said. According to the journal, in 2020, the symbolic Doomsday Clock stopped 100 seconds to midnight. Which means the highest risk of humanity destruction.
Having created the clock in 1947, critical-thinking physics scientists set them 7 minutes to midnight. The Cuban missile crisis, the most dangerous one in the history of military confrontation, brought the zero point closer. Then, on October 27, 1962, a group of US Navy destroyers attacked a Soviet submarine off the Cuban coast. Thanks to the composure of naval officer Vasily Arkhipov, who talked the submarine commander out of the prescribed retaliatory nuclear torpedo strike, humanity managed to avoid an atomic war. Instead of the prescribed deadly salvo, the sailors gave the quite peaceful "stop the provocation" signal. The tension was cut against all the odds...
It would be an inexcusable error to rely on such an outcome in the future. UN Secretary General U Thant said the following in 1969: "Based on the information I've got, I believe the members [of the UN Security Council] still have some ten years to start global cooperation and put an end to the arms race. If this does not happen, I fear that the problems will reach a scale higher than the human ability to cope with them."
More than half a century has passed since the announcement. There have been numerous attempts to achieve a lasting peace and establish arms control, including by means of the START and INF treaties, but all of them are becoming invalid today. The West is violating their terms just like it went back on its promise to Mikhail Gorbachev: after the unification of Germany, the military infrastructure of NATO countries was not going to be expanded to the East, much less to the territory of the former Soviet Union.
In this regard, let us refer at least to the speech of German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher of January 31, 1990 at the Tutzing Evangelical Academy. This is what the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote at the time:
"Genscher realized that the hour of reckoning had come. His speech contained a demand for NATO to unequivocally state that no matter how events developed in the Warsaw Pact nations, the expansion of NATO's territory to the East, closer to the borders of the Soviet Union, would not occur. The changes in Eastern Europe and the German unification process must not lead to an impairment of Soviet security interests."
"They have lied to us many times, made decisions behind our backs, placed us before an accomplished fact," Putin will say decades later.
The Russian President is once again trying to reach out to his "Western colleagues" and offer them a path to a peaceful international order. His efforts aren't up to much so far, he is "not heard". And yet, many people come to comprehend the standstill we find ourselves in. This is what the calculation seems to be.