Last week a representative conference of contemporary history researchers was gathered in Sevastopol, Crimea. ORIENTAL REVIEW republishes the Final Statement of the forum.
Adopted by the International History Conference Commemorating 70th Anniversary of the Outbreak of 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War (Sevastopol, June 15-17, 2011)
We, the assembled representatives of historical research communities and civil societies of Belarus, Latvia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine participating in the Sevastopol International History Conference commemorating 70th Anniversary of the outbreak of 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War, regard the War and our Victory as one of the most tragic and at the same time heroic pages in the common history of our nations.
We are increasingly alarmed with the current rise of revisionism of the history of World War II in the West and in several post-Soviet republics where incendiary political considerations outweigh commitment to historical accuracy.
We consider it absolutely unacceptable to draw the Great Patriotic War against fascism as a ‘fight of two totalitarian regimes’, to deny the justified and liberating nature of that war for our nations, to depict the Red Army’s liberation mission in 11 European countries as ‘Soviet occupation’.
We state that the concept ascribing ‘mutual responsibility’ for unleashing the war to ‘the Nazi and Soviet regimes’ lacks any historical and moral foundations. As historians, we are aware that the responsibility for that devastating war rests fully with the Western powers. Until now the diplomatic archives in London keep guarding the secrets of the British-German talks held in June 1939 on the division of the world into Great Britain’s and Germany’s spheres of influence, aimed to deter Soviet Union from taking part in shaping the future of Europe.
While Hitler’s military machine was destined to exterminate Soviet Union as a ‘hotbed of Bolshevism’, today the Nazism is sometimes being portrayed as a ‘natural response to the red threat’. This is an utmost lie contradicting recognized historical facts.
We claim that all civilized nations should officially outlaw any endeavors to justify fascism, Nazi criminals or collaborationists. Any revisions of the Nuremberg Tribunal outright statements condemning fascism are totally inadmissible.
The present round of revisionism is supposed to provide an ideological backing for “anti-totalitarian” appeals like the notorious OSCE Parliamentary Assembly resolution adopted on July 3, 2009calling for a trial over the Soviet Union’s allegedly ‘criminal past’. Such campaigns, provoking territorial claims against Russia and compensation demands for ‘damages caused during Soviet occupation’ trigger imminent and far-reaching dangerous consequences for the European security, still not adequately assessed by the short-sighted instigators of these campaigns and their blind contractors.
A distorted view on the meaning and the results of World War II and Russia’s Great Patriotic War would pave the way for a new division of Europe and the world with catastrophic consequences. This is why we are calling upon the academic community for a fair and unbiased research of the period of 1941-1945 in the name of historical truth and our common future. The sacrifices of millions of Russians in the defeat of Fascism and the devastation wrought in the war must not be perverted for current political narratives. Such actions only serve to cause division within Europe, and prevent the advancement of peace and unity amongst peoples.
Source: Strategic Culture Foundation