Mikhail Alshansky: "I don't think anti-Semitism will disappear at political or everyday level"
International round table "Minsk Ghetto: 75 Years Later", organized by Vestnik Kavkazka, the Diasporas History Laboratory of the MSU History Faculty, the All-Israel Association of Belarussians, the History Institute of the Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the History Faculty of the BSU, was held in the Moscow State University. Participants of this event discussed not only genocide of Jews during the Second World War in occupied territories of the USSR, but also attempts to glorify Nazi collaborators in some post-Soviet countries.
One of the moderators of this round table, chairman of the All-Israel Association of Belarusians, Mikhail Alshansky, spoke about this genocide in an interview with Vestnik Kavkaza.
- How relevant is the topic of this round table?
- Topic of destruction of the Minsk ghetto is very complex. 800,000 Belarusian Jews - every third person - were murdered during the Second World War. Before the war, Belarus was inhabited by 2 million 400 thousand Jews. I'm grateful to the Faculty of History of the Moscow State University for their initiative to hold this round table. I hope that we will hold such events at least once every three years.
- This topic is obviously very important and relevant, especially considering recent events that occurred in the American city of Pittsburgh. In your opinion, what instruments should be used to eridicate ethnic hatred and anti-semitism from the world?
- It happened in Pittsburgh, things like that happened during the Second World War, in times of the Spanish Inquisition, things like that always happened. I'm a pessimist when it comes to this matter. I don't believe that it will ever disappear. As long as there are Jews, there will be anti-semitism. And it's very, very sad. But I don't think anti-Semitism will disappear at political or everyday level.
- What do you think about cooperation between Russia, Israel and Belarus in the fight against anti-Semitism?
- Let's go back to history. There was a time when Israel and Russia didn't have any diplomatic relations, embassies were shut down. Remember Golda Meir's diplomatic mission.
Today's relations between Israel and Russia are at a completely different level; they have changed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu even calls President Putin "my friend Vladimir Vladimirovich." It's a completely different level, completely different relationship. Great movies are being filmed. I enjoyed "Sobibor", starring Khabensky.
Of course, it would be great if our relations developed faster. I don’t want to think that relations between Russia and Israel can change for the worse. Today various interests collide in Syria, interests of Israel, Russia, and America, as well as various groups. Israel can't afford to keep a weak army, to not defend itself and its people. Friendship with Russia is bearing results today. Russia acts as a deterrent Syria.