On January 27, on the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust and on the Day of the Complete Liberation of Leningrad from the Nazi Siege, the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly held the 12th Session of the International Public Forum “Preserving the Memory of World War II and the Great Patriotic War”.
The topic of the forum is "Grateful descendants in memory of the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the prisoners of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz by the Red Army and the 78th anniversary of the lifting of the Siege of Leningrad."
The forum was supported by the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio (Russia), the Military Heritage Institute (Lithuania) and the Digital History Research Foundation.
Partners - Section "History of Bulgaria after World War II" of the Institute of Historical Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Sofia, Bulgaria), "Daugavpils Branch of the Russian Community of Latvia" (Daugavpils, Latvia), Search Center "Libava" (Liepaja, Latvia), Military historical association "FRONT LINE" (Tallinn, Estonia).
The forum was attended by historians and representatives of public organizations from 12 countries - Russia, Belarus, Israel, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Serbia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Moldova, Estonia and Germany.
The purpose of the forum is to draw attention to the issues of preserving the historical memory of peoples, to support the movement against the erosion of the value and semantic aspects of history and the falsification of the results of World War II and the Great Patriotic War.
- Valery RUZIN, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, President of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio (Russia);
- Yurijus TRAKSHELIS, Deputy Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly, Chairman of the public organization "Institute of Military Heritage" (Lithuania).
The Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly Andrey BELYANINOV addressed the participants. He stressed that the Eurasian Peoples' Assembly works to unite public organizations in order to defend and promote the truth about the victory over Nazism in the information space, and also recalled that the topic of genocide had already been announced on the agenda of the forum.
“For the second time we turn to the topic of the destruction of the Soviet population by Nazi Germany in the occupied territories. In December 2020, in St. Petersburg, the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly, together with the Digital History Research Foundation, held the 6th Session of the International Public Forum, where Yegor Yakovlev and a number of other historians presented materials indicating that even before the start of the Great Patriotic War, the Nazi leadership had plans to exterminate up to 30 million of the Soviet population. Subsequently, these materials were sent to the Investigative Committee, as well as the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation with a proposal to further investigate these criminal plans.”
Andrey Belyaninov added that the generalization and collection of living evidence of the crimes of the Third Reich is of particular importance today, since there is still no international recognition of the actions of Nazi Germany as a fact of genocide against the peoples living on the territory of the USSR.
In memory of the victims of the Holocaust, the forum participants raised the topic of the genocide of the Jewish population in the occupied territories.
During the occupation, on the territory of Latvia alone, more than 70 thousand Latvian and 20 thousand Jews brought from other places were killed at the hands of Nazi executioners and their accomplices from among local collaborators. According to historians, only 1,000 Jews survived the Holocaust in Latvia, with the exception of those who managed to evacuate deep into the Soviet rear. About 90% of the Jews who lived in Latvia before the start of the war were killed.
Varvara BONDAR, one of the last participants in the liberation of the camp living in Estonia, told about the Auschwitz death camp. She was a medical instructor of the 329th separate horse-drawn transport company, later she joined the commission to investigate Nazi crimes.
The scientific secretary of the Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War, Valery NADTACHAYEV, announced that Belarus has not yet restored the population that was in the republic before June 1941. In April last year, the General Prosecutor's Office of Belarus opened a criminal case on the fact of the genocide of the population of the republic during the Great Patriotic War. Valery Nadtachaev does not rule out that in the course of investigative actions the final figure of victims of the actions of Nazi Germany can be adjusted. At the moment, historians know about 2 million 357 thousand victims among the civilian population of Belarus, as well as 810 thousand killed among prisoners of war.
Natalya BALANOVA, coordinator of the Immortal Regiment-Slovakia campaign and chairman of the public organization Russian Association Berega, spoke about three concentration camps in Slovakia, where slave labor of people of Jewish nationality was used, after people exhausted by hard labor in the concentration camps were transported by echelons to death camps in Germany and Poland. The Slovak camp Sered was liberated by the Red Army on April 1, 1945.
The representative of the Belarusian Union of Suvorovites and Cadets, Ilya KORABLIKOV, presented the tragedy of the Jewish people during the Great Patriotic War using the example of a single family.
The following Forum participants took part in the exchange of views on the Nazi camps in Europe:
- Tomasz GANIKH, Chairman of the Military History Club of the Czechoslovak People's Army, employee of the Military History Museum (Slovakia);
- Vlad BOGOV, author of the book “Revived Names. New research about the camp in Salaspils” (Latvia);
- Konstantin PEEV, representative of Rossotrudnichestvo of the Russian Federation in Bulgaria. “The salvation of the Jewish people by the people of Bulgaria during the Second World War is a feat that will be remembered forever” (Bulgaria);
- Irina YAKIMOVA, Research Fellow, Section "History of Bulgaria after the Second World War" at the Institute of Historical Research at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. "Forgotten tragedy. Concentration camp for prisoners of war pilots of the anti-Hitler coalition in Shumen during the Second World War” (Bulgaria);
- Viktor GUSCHIN, Director of the Baltic Center for Historical and Socio-Political Research, Ph.D. "Nazi death camps in Jelgava" (Latvia);
- Dmitry RYBNIKOV, Deputy Chairman of the Daugavpils branch of the Russian Community of Latvia. “Crimes without a statute of limitations. Nazi death camps in Daugavpils (Latvia);
- Ramazan NAZAROV, Chairman of the Board of the Liepaja Society of Military Pensioners, Member of the Board of the Search Center "Libau". “Nazi atrocities against the civilian population and prisoners of war in Liepaja” (Latvia);
- Irina BABRAUSKIENE, Executive Secretary of the Board of Russian Citizens' Organizations in Lithuania. "History of the Nazi death camp in Alytus" (Lithuania);
- Larisa SOLOSHENKO, Chairman of the Klaipeda Society of Former Prisoners of Nazi Concentration Camps “Prisoner”. “Juvenile prisoners of concentration camps” (Lithuania);
- Vyacheslav AFONIN, head of the NGO "Kaunas regional association of participants in the war in Afghanistan, disabled people and veterans of military service", Head of the Russian community of Kaunas. “Contribution of descendants to the preservation of the memory of the Nazi death camp in Kaunas” (Lithuania);
- Sargis MATEVOSYAN, representative of the Union of Veterans of Wars, Labor and Russian Compatriots of Kivioli. Kiviõli labor camps (Estonia);
- Andrey LAZURIN, Head of the military-historical association "FRONT LINE", representative for international relations of the Tallinn Society of Participants of the Second World War. “Evidence of the crimes of Hitlerism. Klooga is the first Nazi concentration camp, the horrors of which the world saw from the inside” (Estonia);
- Yuri EREMENKO, editor-in-chief of the «Russkoe Pole» portal, member of the All-German Coordinating Council of Russian Compatriots and the Media Alliance of Russian Communities (Germany).
Natalya BODROVA, Chairman of the Interregional Public Organization Search Team "Fakel" (Russia), spoke about the activities of the search teams of the Oryol region to perpetuate the memory of civilians who suffered during the atrocities of the Nazi invaders in the region.
Janez UICIC, Director of the International Research Center of the Second World War in the city of Maribor and the Museum of the Nazi POW Camp "Stalag XVIII D" (Slovenia), spoke about the work of the research center on the example of the preservation of the memory of the Second World War by descendants.
Elena BURAKOVA, Director of the Russian Intellectual Center, Deputy Chairman of the Congress of Russian Communities of the Republic of Moldova on Education and Science (Moldova), spoke about the hardships of settlers in the Chisinau ghetto, created by the Romanian authorities during the occupation of the city in July 1941, and the need to expand access to information about the crimes of the Nazis and their accomplices against the civilian population.
Egor YAKOVLEV, a well-known historian, Director of the Digital History Research Foundation, spoke about the historical aspects of preserving memory and evidence that shed light on the true plans of the Nazi elite in relation to the Soviet Union. He dwelled on the aspects of dehumanization that were used by Nazi propaganda in relation to Soviet citizens.
Founder and Co-Chairman of the Holocaust Research and Education Center, Professor of the Russian State Humanitarian University Ilya ALTMAN turned to the topic of defining the concept of genocide, which developed in world historiography during the Nuremberg Trials and the search for suitable terminology to refer to the crimes of Nazi Germany in the works of modern historians.
In the photo: Historians Ilya ALTMAN, Egor YAKOVLEV
Olesya ORLENKO, head of the Historical Memory Foundation for the Promotion of Contemporary Historical Research, spoke about the notes left by Judge Robert Falco about the Nuremberg Trials, where Falco represented France.
Historian Nikolai KALININ reported on a specially trained punitive detachment of the SS Cavalry Brigade, involved in the massacres of both the Jewish and Polish, Russian and Ukrainian populations in Poland, Ukraine and the Tver region.
The Forum participants emphasized the importance of opening access to archival documents of the war years both in Russia and abroad. Particular attention was paid to the preservation of memory through the creation of associations of the descendants of the liberators and the involvement of young people and representatives of international public organizations in this work. Issues on the further activities of the project and the publication of a collection of articles and reports of participants in the sessions of the International Public Forum from 2019-2021 were discussed.