Sunday, May 10, 2009


At, Halya Coynash considers the place of the Holocaust in the 20th century history of Eastern Europe and Ukraine, and shows how the almost unimaginable forces of evil that worked together to create the atrocities engendered by Hitler and Stalin are still at work in contemporary society:

It is entirely unrealistic, I believe, to hope to convince people that there was no difference at that time between Hitler and Stalin, that it was necessary to fight both simultaneously. This is not necessarily because people don’t know about Holodomor, the Terror and the camps, but because the Nazi plague was in their country, bombing their cities, and we know that the death machine was murdering ever more people by the day. I am on principle not prepared to place different manifestations of evil on any scale of importance however I also believe at that historical moment it was first of all necessary to destroy Hitler and his evil. On the other hand, I can, and believe we all must, try to understand and respect people who in view of different, no less difficult circumstances decided to fight all those whom they saw as occupiers of their country. That is assuming, of course, that they took no part in the Holocaust, punitive actions against the civilian population or other military crimes.

Unqualified evil did not end with Nazi capitulation and was not eradicated at Nuremberg. We need to fight it together and for that we have to understand one another. Some find it convenient that there should be no such understanding and would seem to have their own reasons for perpetuating rancid lies and stereotypes. We are seeing the old, painfully familiar, puppeteers, as well, it would seem, as some new figures on the scene with no less dubious motives. Let’s not help them – in memory of the victims of unqualified evil and to ensure that there are no more.

Post a Comment