Today is the Day of Memory and Sorrow in Russia. The date of June 22 is called now in this way. 61 years ago, Nazi Germany, together with its satellites – Romania, Hungary, Finland – attacked the Soviet Union. Today, people start to forget that war. Some veterans are still alive, every year, the authorities ceremoniously pronounce beautiful words about grandeur and heroism of the nation which stood in the battle with a very strong enemy. Though, this is a fact: many Russians, especially the youth, do not know with which event for Russian history June 22 is connected.
Yesterday, Public Opinion fund carried out a poll on this subject. It turned out that among the respondents (before 35 years), 18 percent do not know what the day it is – June 22. While an elder respondent sadly noticed: “In 5 years, everybody will forget it.”
He is right, probably. At least, in some school books, only several pages are devoted to Great Patriotic War. So, it is hard to remember about June 22…
Moreover, recently works of well-known Viktor Suvorov (his real name is Miron Rezun), the author of The Ice-breaker, became very popular. According to his version, that was the Soviet Union who intended first to attack Germany. Till recently, serious scientists of the war even could not work at this problem at all. The Rezun with his books simply provoked discussion of this subject.
While being apart from disputes about who wanted to attack first, one conclusion could be made: the Soviet Union is the victim of the war. Now, even an approximate number of victims of the Nazi aggression still cannot be called: 20 million or 27 million of died people… But, remembering about thousands of destroyed cities and burned villages…
This day is Memory Day not only for Russian citizens, but for ex-USSR citizens, too. We must remember about heroism and suffering of people who carried the unbearable load of war, and not only on July 22…
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/06/22/43052.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969