Defaming Veterans

I have written a piece for RT paralleling Alexei Navalny’s trial for defaming a WW2 veteran with the arrest of someone in Scotland on similar charges, and link it all to the place of WW2 in national mythology. You can read it here.

Meanwhile, my morning newspaper brought me this story of a fellow professor at the University of Ottawa whom a Polish court has just ordered to apologize for allegedly defaming someone (long dead, I believe) in relation to WW2. Is this a new trend?

24 thoughts on “Defaming Veterans”

  1. It’s absolutely a trend. Look at the recent governmental polemics around Molotov-Ribbentrop and Poland and the USSRs mutual blackguarding of the events around the annexation of Czechoslovakia and the invasion of Poland, or Mike Pompeo’s nonsense about how the US won World War II, with an assist from Britain.

    We’re just seeing it writ small in these cases.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. “The parallels between the two cases are uncanny, but not entirely coincidental. They reflect what one might call the ‘post-imperial complex’ that besets both the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation.”

    Dear Professor! Did the Nazis plan to eradicate your people as species – yes or no? Becuase, guess what? They planned just that for the Russians and many, MANY other peoples of the Soviet Union.

    How do you think, Professor, do the individual people, whose collective effort not only prevented the genocide, but also delivered a crushing retribution to those enacting in (individually or collectively) deserve the UTMOST respect and a vaunted status of the “heroes” – again, yes or no?

    Maybe – MAYBE! – lack of respect and veneration of the Great Patriotic War/WW2 veterans in other countries stems not from your go-to-librul universal answer of “post-imperial complexes” but from a simple and undeniable fact that these countries who do respect are the winners, while the rest are either losers or the collaborateurs of the losers. Never crossed your mind?

    “As a Brit himself, Walker may, of course, have been projecting onto his subject some issues carried over from his homeland.”

    […]

    Looks like, he’s not the only Son of the Albion doing it right now.

    “In an effort to deprive the state of its legitimacy, they have taken to attacking things that most of the population consider sacred. In the process, they have discredited themselves.”

    Professor, does the concept of the “sacredness” mean anything to you? At all?

    Like

    1. Lytt, your indignation is heartfelt, but the fact that Nazis planned to exterminate the Slavs is simply NOT KNOWN in the West. So no need to go full frontal here.

      Perhaps we should have done a better job making it known, like the Jewish people did. Why didn’t we? Were we too great for such “pettiness”? (speaking of (post)imperial complexes…)
      That’s the eternal curse of Slon and Mos’kas: damned if you pay attention to them, damned if you don’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For accuracy sake, this disclaimer is made (given how some can twist things) that the following is mentioned without any intended endorsement of Nazism

        Croatia, Slovakia and Bulgaria. As a point of fact, the Nazis had some flexibility.There’s also historical follow-up noting that the Nazis revised some of their stances concerning northeastern Slavs, in a way that included Germanizing the ones that physically looked the part.

        Max Schmeling’s wife:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anny_Ondra

        Like

      2. “the fact that Nazis planned to exterminate the Slavs is simply NOT KNOWN in the West.”

        [..]

        Lola, did you you just call our most gracious host Professor Robinson an ignorant imbecile?

        Also – cut your typical “Russian liberal” victim blaming straigth outta Perestroyka era “Ogonyok” articles bs. No one’s buying it.

        Like

      3. Lola,
        I guess I should stay out of discussing the Nazis as Nazi descendant. Intentions concerning the Slavs or Slavic nations? They no doubt were as crazy as bureaucratically organized, thus who knows? Maybe they really planned an extension of their racial cleaning action once finished with the Jews …

        Untermenschen sure, but their categories of undesirables were quite extensive, not only on the racial side: Everyone non-Aryan? Whatever that means over the millennia.

        Like

    2. Huh? You lost me at “Ogonyok” remark. I was too young to read it during Perestroika I guess 😉 No clue what it is, exactly, that you’d like me to “cut”.

      As for “not known”, I am sure Professor is aware. But he writes for a Western audience, so understandably he needs to establish common ground with them, not with us. We are not his intended readership at all.

      Like

      1. “Huh? You lost me at “Ogonyok” remark. I was too young to read it during Perestroika I guess 😉 No clue what it is, exactly, that you’d like me to “cut”.”

        Then adult enough to enjoy it during the “Holy Democratic 90s” I presume?

        “As for “not known”, I am sure Professor is aware. But he writes for a Western audience, so understandably he needs to establish common ground with them, not with us”

        THEY know. THEY don’t care. In fact, THEY (of appropriate political tilt) even approve. After paperclippin literally thousands of actual Nazis and their collaborators from the Butthurt Belt of Europe into Canada and US of A precisely because they had both the needed skills and, most important of all, “valuable experience” of their use. They were picking people, who proved themselves adept at “dealing with” and “finding solution” to the “Reds”. Everything in the name of Democracy, of course!

        They’ve been living with their families et al in the Blessed West since the end of the War. Openly. They’ve integrated perrrrrrfectly (see the number of the monuments to the ethnic Butthurtbelters collaborateurs in Canada and US of A).

        Besides, how do you, Lola, imagine the “enlightening” of the West about the Nazi’s atrocities in the USSR? First of all – isn’t the job of the respective Western governments to devise the education programs and information policy in such a way (in theory!), as to reflect the reality and be truthful? Which means – it was they, who either failed egregoriously, or deliberately lied (even by omission) to their citizens. All in the name of Democracy, of course! What, you want to feel sympathy to the Reds?! That’s a sure way to lose the Cold War!

        Btw, here comes “second”! Lola, do you know that there was a Cold War which began nigh right after the Second World War? That the essence of said War was in the US of A and its sattelite states to destroy our country using all possible means, including “soft power” (aka propaganda). If, as you, hopefully know, even from the very start of that War the US of A either shrugged away or dismissed via whataboutism classic Soviet truism (which was 100% true) about lynchings, how do you think, Lola, would the Powers That Be of the collective West treat revelations about their new productive citizens doing something… “icky”… to the “Reds”? You have two guesses.

        Finally. Okay, if the Soviet/Russian method of the “enlightening” of the ignorant Westerners, then SURELY others did it much, much better… right? Like, in the West talks and discussions about the Holocaust are everywhere (even from each cloth iron), with innumerable movies, articles, books, speeches, commemorations and, most important of all, NGOs. Surely, each and everyone in the West knows about the Shoah (and what this word means)? Right? Right?!

        Wrong. Nearly 2/3 of the American “millenials” don’t know. Bah, ignorant stu-pid yanks! But dem Euros must be better, right? Wrong again! 1/3 of them had no idea. And that’s leaving aside the question of the exact number of those who do know, but approve.

        That was the result of the decades long money flushed “talking about genocide right” policy. Well, still better than the global awareness about the Armenian genocide!

        That’s why I’m saying in plain language, Lola – quit victim blaming us (not sure about you) Russians, for not making dear Westies know obvious fact. That’s bullshit. You defense of them and their “ignorance” is lame and pathetic.

        Like

      2. Well, that’s awkward – how one letter can change the meaning… Not “reassure”, but “treasure”. as in “cherish” and “place high value in”

        Like

    3. Hey, hey, easy 🙂 I never blamed the victim, I only asked – hypothetically, mind you! – if aggressive promotion of this knowledge would have changed things for the better.

      The rest of your fury can be summarized in one word: PEOPLE! People. Stupid people, ignorant people, self-centered, ruthless, greedy, manipulative, and, above all, hypocrits. But, again, there are people who are smart, knowledgeable, selfless, kind, generous, straightforward, honest. All mixed up.

      When feeling confused about people, I like to consider, among other things, the story of Maori and Moriori, two genetically identical Polynesian tribes that became culturally divergent. I invite everyone to read their story at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moriori.

      Not a happy reading. But enlightening.

      Like

      1. “I never blamed the victim, I only asked – hypothetically, mind you! – if aggressive promotion of this knowledge would have changed things for the better.”

        Mh-hmm… Meanwhile, what you actually wrote in your topmost comment in this comment section:

        “Perhaps we should have done a better job making it known, like the Jewish people did. Why didn’t we? Were we too great for such “pettiness”? (speaking of (post)imperial complexes…)”

        I.e.

        A) You were claiming, not asking “hypothetically” that nothing had been done, while implying not-so-obliquely universal liberal go-to universal explanaition of “(post)imperial complexes” as the root cause.

        B) You – unironically – put on a shield as a good example of “how it should be done” the case of Holocaust awareness promotion by the Jews. I just explained how “successful” it was.

        So, Lola, either you are debate not in good faith by moving (constantly) goalposts… or you can’t coherently express your own thoughts.

        Asking “Why didn’t we [done the same thing as the Jews]?” by default presumes that the reason for the lack of the Western awareness about the genocide of the Soviet people (which, in some places on the occupied territories, HAD BEEN implemented) lies with *us*– the victims of it – not doing anything/enough. That’s what’s called “victimblaming”. If we’d be talking about some sacred cow of the mainstream western progressivism right now and not us, deplorable Russians, you, Lola, would have long ago labeled “Karen” and then canceled with extreme prejudice.

        The rest 2/3 of your response (the “PEOPLE” segment) is blithering nonsense, having nothing to do with the subject at hand. I provide concrete examples and facts. You, as always, resort to touch-y-feel-y rhetoric that might work only on feebleminded or brain-rotten kreakls.

        But, hey! This is the Internet, after all – the abode of lies and iniquity. I don’t really expect you to publicly admit to be wrong or even change and improve. No, Lola, I reassure you as you are – a typical “Russian liberal” victim of the handshakable propaganda, trying to make sense/excuses to the crap your Beloved Civilized World is doing right now. It’s highly entertaining, you know. Don’t ever change!

        Like

  3. While sharing our host’s uneasiness about the veneration of the military, I’d like to point out that the urge to protect our elderly veterans stems from a different and much deeper root.

    First, there are shared ancient taboos. Disrespecting the elderly is just one aspect of a more general principle: in most cases, it is shameful for an able-bodied man to take advantage of, or be aggressive towards, a senior, a woman, a child, or a disabled person. It’s a sign of weakness and a cause for resentment, and often it is a crime.

    This sentiment is as strong in the West as it is in Russia, but it is sometimes “enforced” differently. For instance, in the West, I rarely see young men yielding their subway or bus seat to the elderly (and almost never to pregnant women or women with young children). In Russia, this is expected, and public shaming of those who don’t yield is common. There are other differences of course.

    With regards to special significance of WW2…. unlike Holocaust, it’s rarely brought up in the West, but it’s worth remembering that the plan Nazis had for the Slavs was extermination (after a brief period of enslavement). Unlike Western Europeans, we were deemed Untermenschen, to be used and discarded, and unlike them, we remember it well.

    So for us, WW2 veterans are not just any veterans. We literally owe our lives to them. And for those who choose to disrespect it… is it a crime? That’s up to our lawmakers and judiciary. But would I consider such people my compatriots? No way.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Professor, I think the Grabowski situation is different also, in that the man he is accused of “defaming” is just a politician, described as a “wartime mayor”, so not a hero of the front lines who fought against the Nazis, unlike this Russian soldier, or the English soldier as well.

    Professor, do you and Professor Grabowski know each other? I see that you are colleagues at the same academic institution, and that he is also tenured. He seems like a decent chap, those Polish trolls who are badgering him should just go far away and maybe drown in a lake, I wish.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My impression growing up was that the Perestroika and the ’90s consisted of non-stop facing the terrible truths of the communist past. It’s not that people don’t know or haven’t heard, it’s that they eventually got tired of hearing it over and over again (especially after the discovery of certain exaggerations for effect). Ukrainians can build their identity around Holodomor if they so wish, but that’s not how Russians operate. They don’t revel in pointless suffering. They move on.

    Like

  6. One faces an interesting situation. On side “in 1950, Malinowski was cleared of collaborating with the Germans in a Polish court proceeding”, on the other “in her capacity as a scholar of the Holocaust, she (Engelking) chose to believe the Jewish survivor and witness,”.

    Regards,

    Like

  7. @yelenis,

    This has not been the point of may observation. In simple terms you have two versions of the same story. In any research you cannot say, I simply trust this or that. As I understand from some other articles this whole thing could have been resolved without a court case – apparently the historian in question attempted to discuss the issue with person(s) affected.

    Regards,

    P.S. For you interest. Courts and witnesses can be wrong for various reasons. If you can get hold of “The Truth About the Truth Commission” by Anthea Jeffery I suggest you read it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. vandermerwe: Oh, that’s okay about the nik misspelling, I don’t care. As for the substantive point: I apologize that I misunderstood the point you were making and read my own opinion into yours.

        Yes, I realize that eye-witness testimony can be unreliable, or even plain wrong, that’s another thing that courts and judges have to take into account. I still tend to believe this witness over Malinovsky, however! Maybe it’s just my own bias against Polish politicians…

        Like

  8. Invoking Baba Vanga once again

    I predict:

    If/when donatenführer Alexei N will start the next court hearing by taking off his pants, taking a shit and then procedeeing to eat his own feces, the Mainstream Democratic Western Media ™ will commend his bravery and devote terabytes worth of symbols to explain, how this frightens the Kremlin. Leo Volkov and Julia Navalnaia would try to prove, who of them two deserves the mantle as the one and true successor to the “Foundation of Bitcoin Collectors” (FBC) by trying to emulate their Guru. Madonna, Scarlet Johansson and other assorted icons of the show biz start on-line challenge #WeToo, posting their results on Twitter, FB, Instagram and YT. Eliot Borenstein will once again “correctly” predict global trends. Mark B. Smith will puff his cheeks trying and failing to look serious and important, while writing yet another self-immolating post “on connecting history to the present” and arguing, that, yes – Navalny is Love, Navalny is Life.

    Like

    1. Baba Vanga also predicts the Glorious Era of She-Presidents emerging in the not too distant future.
      When President-sha Harris of the U.S., President-sha Tikhanovskaya of Belarus and President-sha Yulia Navalnaya of Russia, dressed as the Three Norns, shall preside over the next round of Hunger Games in the Occupied Colonies.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s