May 9, 2021

THE 1939 PROJECT: Moscow’s war on history.

In the wake of Russia’s Victory Day military parade on Sunday, Russian lawmakers plan to ban any comparisons between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The parade marks the 76th anniversary of the end of World War II and, as is traditional, will be held in Red Square.

The bill follows President Vladimir Putin’s orders to prohibit publicly equating the role of the two collaborationist powers during the war. Such moves illustrate that Putin’s expansionist ambitions not only involve the revision of post-Cold War borders but also the rewriting of European history.

The key event in Putin’s restoration mythology is the “Great Patriotic War” that ended in victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. The Kremlin’s historical myths have become state scripture and entail the omission of key events and the whitewashing of Soviet crimes. Histories in Russia remain silent about Stalin’s collaboration with Hitler. The two dictators jointly launched World War Two with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, after signing a nonaggression pact to carve up and incorporate Central-Eastern Europe in their growing empires. Putin has criticized the European parliament and neighboring capitals for condemning the Soviet-Nazi pact.

Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.

Of course, Oceania has also been reported to have retconned WWII as well: Was It Over When the Germans Bombed Pearl Harbor During the ‘European Civil War?’

Between Moscow’s war on history, the EU’s war on history, and the New York Times’ war on history, Orwell didn’t know the half of it, when it comes to how malleable history can be.

 

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