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Russian historian Oleg Kuznetsov’s book reiterates Umberto Eco’s warning about the Nazi threat : EU Reporter China

Russian historian Oleg Kuznetsov’s book reiterates Umberto Eco’s warning about the Nazi threat

| September 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Guest contributor

Oleg Kuznetsov

Everyone, regardless of their nationality, political
views, or religious beliefs, retains a part of the 20th-century pain
in their soul. Pain and memory of those who died in the fight against
Nazism. The history of the Nazi regimes of the last century, from
Hitler to Pinochet, indisputably proves that the path to Nazism taken
by any country has common features. Anyone who, under the guise of
preserving the history of their country, rewrites or hides the true
facts, does nothing but drag own people into the abyss while imposing
this aggressive policy on neighboring states and the entire world. In
1995, Umberto Eco, one of the most globally famous writers and author
of such best-selling books as Foucault's Pendulum and The Name of the
Rose, took part in a Symposium held by the Italian and French
Departments of Columbia University in New York (on the day when the
anniversary of the liberation of Europe from Nazism is celebrated).
Eco addressed the audience with his essay Eternal Fascism that
contained a warning to the entire world about the fact that the threat
of fascism and Nazism persists even after the end of World War II. The
definitions coined by Eco differ from the classical definitions of
both fascism and Nazism. One should not look for clear parallels in
his formulations or point out possible coincidences; his approach is
quite special and speaks rather about the psychological features of a
certain ideology that he labelled ‘eternal fascism.’ In his message to
the world, the writer says that fascism begins neither with the
Blackshirts' brave marches, nor with the destruction of dissenters,
nor with wars and concentration camps, but with a very specific
worldview and attitude of people, with their cultural habits, dark
instincts and unconscious impulses. They are the true source of the
tragic events that shake countries and entire continents.
Many writers still resort to this topic in their journalistic and
literary works, while often forgetting that, in this case, artistic
fiction is inappropriate, and sometimes criminal. Published in Russia,
the book State Policy of Glorification of Nazism in Armenia by
military historian Oleg Kuznetsov reiterates Umberto Eco's words: “We
need an enemy to give people hope. Someone said that patriotism is the
last refuge of cowards; those without moral principles usually wrap a
flag around themselves, and the bastards always talk about the purity
of the race. National identity is the last bastion of the
dispossessed. But the meaning of identity is now based on hatred, on
hatred for those who are not the same. Hatred has to be cultivated as
a civic passion.�
Umberto Eco knew firsthand what fascism was, since he grew up under
Mussolini's dictatorship. Born in Russia, Oleg Kuznetsov, just like
almost every person of his age, developed his attitude to Nazism based
not on publications and films, but primarily on the testimonies of
eyewitnesses who survived in World War II. Not being a politician but
speaking on behalf of ordinary Russian people, Kuznetsov begins his

book with the words the leader of his home country said on May 9,
2019, on the day when victory over fascism is celebrated:
”Today we see how in a number of states they consciously distort the
events of war, how they idolize those who, having forgotten about
honour and human dignity, served the Nazis, how they shamelessly lie
to their children, betray their ancestors».The Nuremberg trials have
always been and will continue to be an obstacle to the revival of
Nazism and aggression as state policies – both in our days and in the
future. The trials' results are a warning to all who see themselves as
the chosen "rulers of the destinies" of states and peoples. The goal
of the international criminal tribunal in Nuremberg was to condemn
Nazi leaders (main ideological inspirers and headmen), as well as
unjustifiably cruel actions and bloody outrages, not the entire German
people. In this regard, the UK representative to the trials said in
his closing speech: “I repeat again that we do not seek to blame the
people of Germany. Our goal is to protect him and give him the
opportunity to rehabilitate himself and win the respect and friendship
of the whole world. But how can this be done if we leave in its midst
unpunished and uncondemned these elements of Nazism, which are mainly
responsible for tyranny and crimes and which, as the tribunal can
believe, cannot be turned to the path of freedom and justice?�
Oleg Kuznetsov's book is a warning that is not aimed at inciting
ethnic hatred between Armenia and Azerbaijan; it is a plea to common
sense. The plea to exclude the falsification of historical facts (that
make it possible to manipulate ordinary people) from the state policy.
In his book, the author asks the question: ”Glorification in various
forms of Nazism in Armenia through memorialization of memory of the
Nazi criminal Garegin Nzhdeh and his openly racist theory of the
tsehakron, the doctrine of the Armenian superman, is the subject of a
purposefully and systematically conducted state policy. Therefore, we
consider it important and necessary to explain why the Armenian
authorities and the Armenian diaspora have made such serious efforts
in recent years to exalt the personality of Garegin Nzhdeh, and not
someone else from among the Armenian nationalists who more contributed
to the appearance of the Republic of Armenia on the political map of
the world than Nzhdeh.»

Less than a year ago, the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly
adopted a draft resolution (initiated by Russia) on combating
"glorification of Nazism, neo-nazism and other practices that
contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance." 121 states voted
in favor of the document, 55 abstained, and two opposed it. It is
known that the issue of the unified struggle against Nazism and its
modern followers has always been as fundamental for Azerbaijan and its
political leadership (without any tolerance of even a slightest
compromise) as it has been for Russia. President Ilham Aliyev has
repeatedly spoken – both at the United Nations assembly and at the
meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of State – about the state policy
of glorifying Nazism in Armenia, citing irrefutable facts to prove
this assertion. At the meeting of CIS Council of Defense Ministers,

President Aliyev not only supported Russia's policy to fight Nazism
and neo-Nazism on a global scale, but also expanded its scope,
pointing to Armenia as the country of victorious Nazism. That said,
Armenia's representatives to the UN always voted for the adoption of
the resolution calling for the fight against any manifestations of
Nazism, while the leadership of their country openly erected monuments
to the Nazi criminal Nzhdeh in the cities of Armenia, renamed avenues,
streets, squares and parks in his honor, established medals, minted
coins, issued postage stamps and financed films telling about his
"heroic deeds." In other words, it did everything known as
"glorification of Nazism" in the parlance of the relevant UN General
Assembly resolution.
Armenia now has new government, but the authorities are not in a hurry
to eliminate the Nazi legacy of their predecessors, thus demonstrating
their commitment to the practices of glorification of Nazism that had
been adopted in the country prior to the coup that took place two
years ago. The new leaders of Armenia, headed by Prime Minister Nikol
Pashinyan, could not or did not want to radically change the situation
in their country – and found themselves either hostages or ideological
continuators of glorification of Nazism that had been practiced before
their coming to power. In his book, Oleg Kuznetsov says: ”Starting
with the Millennium, the authorities of Armenia have completely
consciously and purposefully pursued and, despite the change of the
political regime in the country in May 2018, still pursue an internal
21 political course towards the nation’s Nazification through state
propaganda of the theory of tsehakron as a national ideology of all
Armenians living both in Armenia and in the diaspora, while simulating
international efforts to combat glorification of Nazism and neo-Nazism
in order to mask the cultivation of these phenomena in the territory
under their control, including the occupied regions of Republic of
Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian polar explorer and scientist, once noted:
”И�тори� арм�н�кого народа – �плошной �к�перимент. Эк�перимент на
выживание». In what way will today's experiments carried out by
Armenia's politicians and based on manipulations of historical facts
affect the lives of ordinary residents of the country? The country
that has given the world a number of remarkable scientists, writers,
and creative figures whose works were never marked with the seal of
Nazism. With Kuznetsov's book revealing the historical facts, those
who studied the ideology of German Nazism in depth might develop a
different attitude to the words said by the German writer Sigmund
Graff who made a mistake of connecting his life with the Nazi party of
Germany and felt guilty towards his people until the end of his days.
At the end of his life, he wrote: ”History is a policy that can no
longer be corrected. Politics is a history that can still be

Oleg Kuznetsov

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