Artem Sokolov on Vesti.FM: the events of the Second World War are still very painful for many countries
Despite the fact that this year marks 80 years since the beginning of the Second World War, the history of this war and the events that preceded it continues to cause a lot of disagreements and disputes, an analyst of the Russian Federal news agency Vestnik Kavkaza, Artem Sokolov said in the National Question program on Vesti FM.
Today’s program was dedicated to the problem of historical coverage of national relations in Eastern Europe of the late 30s of the 20th century on the eve of World War II. As an example of the relevance of this topic, Artem Sokolov cited the Israeli-Polish scandal that flared up in late January last year due to the introduction of Warsaw's criminal responsibility for public statements about the involvement of Poles in the Holocaust. A month ago, this topic became relevant once again.
“Not so long ago, another wave of tension flared up between Israel and Poland because of the interpretation of the Holocaust history. Warsaw was outraged by the words of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that Poland participated in the extermination of Jews during the Second World War. The Israeli prime minister added that he does not know a single case when a person was brought to justice for such things,” Artem Sokolov said.
”In 2018, Poland adopted the law prohibiting even in words to impose collective responsibility on Poles for the elimination of Jews by the Nazis. Initially, the law established criminal liability for accusing the country of cooperating with the Nazis during the war years, but after a wave of discontent raised by Israel and the United States, Warsaw amended the law, according to which criminal liability under this article was abolished, ”the analyst of Vestnik Kavkaza reminded.
“As a result, it turned out that Netanyahu’s words were incorrectly interpreted by journalists. He spoke precisely about individual Poles, and not about the Polish nation as a whole. The conflict seemed to be handled, but in February of this year Israel’s acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz stated that every Pole “absorbs anti-Semitism with mother’s milk”. After these words, Poland refused to participate in the meeting of the Prime Ministers of the Visegrad Group and Israel, as a result, the summit was canceled, ”Artem Sokolov noted.
“This is rather an indicative story, which once again shows that the topic of the Second World War and the events that preceded it are still very painful for many countries. Of course, it is unlikely that all controversial issues can be settled, but it is also obvious that the dialogue is necessary. This dialogue must be conducted constantly, especially in the scientific community, ” he stressed.
“Although in Russia, the topic of the Second World War outside the Great Patriotic War is somewhat in the shadow, the work in this direction is still underway. For example, two weeks ago, an international scientific conference entitled "The Second World War of 1939-1945 in the history of the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Slavic peoples" was held in Prague. The event was organized by the representative office of Rossotrudnichestvo in the Czech Republic together with the Faculty of Public Administration of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Eurasian Research Center of the Minsk branch of the Russian State Social University (RGSU). Scientists from Belarus, Russia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic participated in the conference, ”the expert said.
“The Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences also works in this direction. In particular, last year in Poland, within the Russian-Polish educational project “Russia and Poland: Overcoming Historical Stereotypes,” the manuals for history teachers were published. This project has been implemented by the Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Central and Eastern Europe in the city of Lublin since 2012,” Artem Sokolov concluded.