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In 2009, then-reigning Russian President Dimitry Medvedev and Israeli President Shimon Peres issued a joint statement, clearly demonstrating how important the Holocaust doctrine is to Russia's national patriotic ideology, and in turn, to its foreign policy in Eastern Europe and the surrounding regions. They stated: "We express our deep indignation at attempts to deny the great contribution that the Russian people and other peoples of the Soviet Union brought to the victory over Nazi Germany and also (attempts) to deny the Holocaust of European Jews."
It is important to note that this statement was issued on the heels of Eastern European movements that honored those that fought alongside the Germans in WWII. Clearly, the Kremlin sees the threat that Holocaust revisionism poses to the political ideology that they promote and depend upon. Although Russia supplies and backs Israel’s enemies, on the issue of the Holocaust mythology there is convergence of interests between International Jewish Zionism and Israel on the one hand, and the Russian government on the other hand.
With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that in early May 2014; Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that renders “denial of Nazi crimes” and “distortion of the Soviet Union’s role in World War Two” criminal offenses which are punishable by up to five years in prison. The Kremlin leaders are astute enough to realize that the Holocaust doctrine is indeed "Russia's baby." The Holocaust and the Russian patriotic view of WWII are intimately linked. If you disprove and trash the Holocaust, ultimately the whole Russian patriotic view of WWII will be dragged into the garbage can along with the Holocaust.
The Kremlin's "reasoning" goes something like this: "Well, yes, Stalin did oppress and commit crimes against Russian and Eastern European peoples. But the Nazis were far worse, as they mass-murdered six million Jews and millions of non-Jews. So, yes, even though Stalin committed his crimes, in the end Stalinist Russia was a benefit to humanity because it saved the world from the far greater menace of murderous Nazism."
One can now plainly see why Putin would outlaw Holocaust revisionism: it is a direct threat to the ideology that "justifies" and "legitimizes" his government and political agenda. Indeed, a Revisionist repudiation of the Holocaust ideology would allow another reappraisal of the crimes, atrocities, genocide and oppression committed by the Stalinist regime. The end result of such historical revisionism would be the demolition of a pillar of Russian patriotic ideology, and the worldwide realization that Stalinist Communism was more oppressive and evil than National Socialism.
Furthermore, the Putin government needs to use the Holocaust as an ideological weapon against those non-Russian ethnic groups (such as the Ukrainians) that backed the Germans during WWII and are presently in conflict with Russia. We saw this in the recent conflict in the Ukraine. Russia's Ukrainian opponents were depicted by Russian officials as "rampaging neo-Nazis" who wanted to "create a new Auschwitz."
Even the bitter intellectual opponent of Holocaust revisionism, Deborah Lipstadt, admits that Stalin killed more people than Hitler. If you disprove and discredit the Holocaust in the eyes of the world, then Stalinist Russia arguably takes the place of Nazism as the most sinister and brutal tyranny the world has ever seen—and this would be a severe blow to Russia's national image and its foreign policy in Eastern Europe and the surrounding regions. In a word, Holocaust Revisionism could end up demolishing the very ideology that the Putin government promotes and depends upon. It is for this reason, I believe, that Putin outlawed it.
More generally, we can now see why the Holocaust mythology may survive and thrive for many more years to come. Although it can be disproved by reason and science, the Holocaust doctrine continues to service the political, economic, social, and psychological needs of very powerful Jewish and non-Jewish power elites worldwide. For this reason, Holocaust nonsense may have a very bright future.
But lo and behold! Russia’s outlawing of “Holocaust denial” may have a different effect upon those Eastern European peoples that are currently in conflict with Russia and who backed the Germans during WWII. Russia’s criminalization of Holocaust Revisionism could spark in these anti-Russian ethnic groups a renewed interest in debunking the Holocaust, as the latter may correctly see that the Holocaust ideology is simply an ideological weapon of one of their enemies, the Russian government. So, why shouldn’t these anti-Russian ethnic groups debunk an ideology that is used against their people and country?
In conclusion, no one can predict the future with certainty. Only time will tell how Holocaust Revisionism will fare in Eastern Europe and Russia’s neck of the woods.
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|Title:||Russia and the Holocaust Ideology, What Is the Future of Holocaust Revisionism in Eastern Europe?|
|Sources:||Smith's Report, No. 206, June 2014, pp. 5f.|
|First posted on CODOH:||June 10, 2014, 7 p.m.|