A few days back the Ukrainian parliament promulgated four laws to dis-communisize and dis-nazify Ukraine. The details appeared in an article by the Ukrainian newspaper Ekspres and it was called "Farewell, hammer and sickle". Among other things, the use of communist emblems of any kind (including the hammer and sickle) as well as Nazi ones will now be punished with 5 years in prison. There will also be a massive renaming of cities, towns and streets as well as re-registration of citizen's documents, many of which still date from the communist era. This includes the removal of all Soviet-era symbols. The stated purpose of this law is to help the formation of the Ukrainian nation and cut all mental dependence from Russia in all historical terms. Also because of the need to condemn the crimes of totalitarian communist regimes as well as the prevention of the resurgence of Nazi (that's right, Nazi) ideology.
The real purpose is, of course, to prevent further Russian encroachment in Ukrainian territories through winning over the "hearts and minds" of Ukrainians. The idea is to prevent Russian propaganda from exploiting the myths of the "valiant" soviet SMERSH (Смерть шпионам or Smert Shpionam or Death to Spies) who "protected" the world from fascism.
Of course, the law does not apply to all the "valiant" Ukrainian fighters and movements who fought for the liberation if Ukraine in the XX century (100 years). They can be freely named and propagandized.
Basically, anything that is foreign in Ukraine is out and anything that is nationalistic in nature is in. This reminds us of the good old days of the Soviet Union since Stalin when history was written, rewritten and rewritten over and over again, depending who was sitting on the chair of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. As a matter of fact, the history in the USSR was re-written to many times that the most common complaint of historians is that nothing makes sense and it cannot be made sense of. That's the level of chaos in the documentation. The peoples of Russia (and the former USSR) have lost their memory.
But why is this important?
Excellent question. This is important because as Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás said in 1905, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". We have written before about this topic in Lost Memories as to how Socialism took over and brainwashed generations through the convenient process of "forgetting" the past. The French did not rebuild the village of Oradour-sur-Glane after it was destroyed by the Nazis. There are plenty of museums around the world retaining the memories of a horrific past such as in Guernica, Dresden, Perm-36 and Hiroshima. What could be saved was saved for posterity. Memories were preserved. Generations will be taught what it was. But not in Ukraine. In Ukraine the official policy now is one of amnesia. This is no better than the forced historical amnesia that the Soviets forced upon the Ukrainians.
We understand the needs of "realpolitik" but unfortunately an informed citizen is a driven citizen. A brainwashed citizen is a drone. When group A is ostracized and group B is aggrandized, they are both lies and nothing can be built on top of lies. The horrors of the totalitarian past are forgotten and the horrors of the "freedom fighters" are sanctified. Lies, lies and more lies.
This is the same "realpolitik" that prevents the scientific and historical research of Nazi concentration camps in East Europe. The truth is that with the exception of few eye witnesses, we have no idea what went on in those camps, despite massive speculation. Scientific evidence is sketchy at best. This is a state of affairs that cannot be tolerated. We can know with great degree of scientific certainty that the mass extinction of the Cretaceous-Paleogene took place due to an asteroid impact that took place 66.043±0.011 million years ago, yet we have no clue as to what happened in those concentration camps only 75 years ago. Ridiculous!
Erasing history must never be done, yet politicians do it all the time. Why would they do so? Because they never pay the consequences, we do. The political evolution of people is always delayed by these actions. But then again, political evolution is always to the detriment of current political "leaders". A state of chaos is the best state there is and we don't remember where we have been, we won't know where we want to go. Ukraine is doing just that. Ukrainians will pay the consequences. Always remember, there is no free lunch… unless you are a socialist, in which case we will take a double cheese burger with fries and a large coke, for free, of course… and… bill it to your Central Bank please, since they can obviously print wealth from thin air.
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