Friday, August 01, 2014

Injustice Corrected

Speech of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, President of the Russian Federation, on Monument Hill, Moscow, August 1, 2014 (source)

WW1 Memorial at Poklonnaya Gora, Moscow (source:

A century ago on this day, Russia found itself obliged to enter World War I. Today, we are unveiling this monument to its heroes – Russian soldiers and officers. We are unveiling the monument here on Poklonnaya Gora, a site that preserves our grateful memory of Russian military glory and of those who at various moments in our country’s history have defended its independence, dignity and freedom.

The World War I soldier and his comrades in arms have their place of honour here too. It was the fate of many of them to later fight again on the frontlines in the Great Patriotic War. These experienced veterans inspired and brought out the best in the young soldiers and passed on to them the traditions of military comradeship and brotherhood and the traditions of military honour.
The Russian army’s great values and the heroic experience of the generation who fought in World War I played a big part in our people’s spiritual and moral upsurge at that moment. This was a generation that was fated to go through not just the difficult trials of the first global world war, but also the revolutionary upheaval and fratricidal civil war that split our country and changed its destiny.

But their feats and their sacrifices in Russia’s name were forgotten for long years. World War I itself, which the rest of the world calls the Great War, was erased from our country’s history and was labelled simply ‘imperialist’.

Today, we are restoring the historical truth about World War I and are discovering countless examples of personal courage and military skill, and the true patriotism of Russia’s soldiers and officers and the whole of Russian society. We are discovering the role Russia played in that difficult and epoch-changing time for the world, especially in the pre-war years. And what we see reflects very clearly the defining features of our country and our people.

Russia over many centuries supported strong and trusting relations between countries. This was the case on the eve of World War I too, when Russia did everything it could to convince Europe to find a peaceful and bloodless solution to the conflict between Serbia and Austro-Hungary. But Russia’s calls went unheeded and our country had no choice but to rise to the challenge, defend a brotherly Slavic people and protect our own country and people from the foreign threat.

Russia stayed true to its duties as an ally. The Russian offensives in Prussia and Galicia upset the adversary’s plans and made it possible for our allies to hold the front and defend Paris. The enemy was forced to turn its attention east, where Russian regiments, a large part of our forces, put up the fiercest possible struggle. Russia withstood the attack and was then able to launch an offensive. The Brusilov offensive became famous throughout the whole world.

But this victory was stolen from our country. It was stolen by those who called for the defeat of their homeland and army, who sowed division inside Russia and sought only power for themselves, betraying the national interests.

Today, we are restoring the links in time, making our history a single flow once more, in which World War I and its generals and soldiers have the place they deserve, and our hearts hold the sacred memory that they rightfully earned in those war years. As the saying goes, “better late than never.” Justice is finally triumphing in the books and textbooks, in the media and on cinema screens, and of course, in this monument that we are unveiling here today.

This must continue. There is a need for large-scale educational work and serious archival research. This will help us to learn more about the exact causes of the war and its events and identify the names of all who took part, so that present and future generations can learn about the fate of their own forebears and know their family’s history.

It is very important to properly immortalise the memory of our soldiers, and find and bring order to World War I burial sites, of which there are hundreds in Russia. They are the resting places of soldiers from many countries, all of whom are forever bound together now by this common tragedy.

This tragedy reminds us what happens when aggression, selfishness and the unbridled ambitions of national leaders and political establishments push common sense aside, so that instead of preserving the world’s most prosperous continent, Europe, they lead it towards danger. It is worth remembering this today.

World history gives us so many examples of what a terrible price we pay for refusing to listen to each other, or for trampling on others’ rights and freedoms and lawful interests in the name of our own interests and ambitions. It would be good if we could learn to open our eyes and to calculate at least a step ahead.

It is long since time that humanity learned and accepted the single great truth that violence breeds violence. The road to peace and prosperity is built out of goodwill, dialogue, and the memory of our past wars, the people who started them and why.

This monument to the heroes of World War I is not just a mark of tribute to their feats but is also a warning and reminder to us all of our world’s fragility. It is our duty to look after peace and remember that the most precious thing on earth is peaceful, calm and stable life.

We cherish the memory of World War I heroes. Glory to Russian arms and to our hero-soldier!


Anonymous said...

another quote at zerohedge:
"In the late 1980’s, the Serb extremists, led by Slobodan Milosevic, who attempted ethnic cleansing of the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo, were carbon copies of the Black Hand with the very same racist-nationalist geopolitical goals."


CubuCoko said...

The second quote explains the first. They are basically shoehorning the (falsified, twisted) narrative of 1914 to fit into the false, twisted narrative of the 1990s-present.

NOTHING in the two quotes is true. Not. A. Thing.

Well, except that Franz Ferdinand was assassinated on June 28, 1914. But even then, Zerohedge (quoting Clark) alleges it was a deliberate provocation of war and that Sophie Chotek-Hohenberg was killed on purpose. Both lies.

Natalie said...

In reply to commenter dave's fist post:

Yes, the common narrative is to depict the Archduke's assassins as Serb nationalists, when in fact they were not. And you're perfectly right about the racism present against Slavs—if memory serves me right, the Austro-Hungarians were very, very anti-Slav, which of course the Slavs in the empire resented.

balkaninfo said...

The explanation for Clark's denial of German war guilt and for his anti-Serb attacks is pretty obvious: Clark is paid by the German government. Hiring a foreign national to spread revisionist and anti-Serb propaganda is a smart move by the German government. A German historian would have discredited himself as a far right revisionist with such a book.
Clark basically recycles propaganda spread by German governments and German nationalists since 1914 and he conceals incriminating evidence from German archives(for example a quote of the German chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg) known to him(he uses the very same document when it fits his agenda). Well-respected German historians dismiss Clark's revisionist views.

"historian Christopher Clark ... He is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of the German Historical Institute in London, which is supported by the Max Weber Foundation - a Foundation of the German government, under supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The German foreign ministry is also represented on its Board of Trustees.
"In a period, when the Federal Republic of Germany has again become a regional great power," denial of Germany's primary guilt for starting World War I is "balm for the soul of educated social sectors, grown more self-confident," explains the historian Stig Förster.[7] "

German chancellor Bethmann-Hollweg in 1914:
"An action against Serbia can lead to world war"

CubuCoko said...

Huh. Thanks for digging that up! I always thought Clark was a simple Germanophile, what with his earlier work being all in praise of Prussia. Not sure whether being a mercenary is better, or worse, than that.

balkaninfo said...

Here is another article of a German historian on WW1. The German leadership did not discuss wether they should go to war but only about the best time to start one (a canal for German battleships had to be finished first). They were hell-bent on starting a world war and there was nothing the other European powers could do to stop them. Even when thier illusory (expected no resistance from Belgium against the German invasion) war plan of 1914 failed the German leaders did not want peace.

"the emperor angry: "... The Serbs must be cleaned up, and soon ... Now or never"
"The sooner, the better"
On the morning of December 8, 1912, during a severe crisis in the Balkans, the emperor summoned the three admirals Alfred von Tirpitz, August of Heeringen and Muller and the Chief of Staff von Moltke to a conference in the Berlin Palace. Wilhelm II. Announced Lichnowsky had reported from London that Britain would fight in a future war on the side of France and Russia. This is a "desirable clarification of the situation". Austria must now powerfully occur against Serbia. If Russia should support the Serbs, then "the war would be inevitable for us." Moltke supported the Emperor: "I believe war to be inevitable, and the sooner the better." Grand Admiral von Tirpitz interjected, "that the Navy would like to see the postponement of the great fight and a half years," until the completion of the extension work on North Sea-Baltic Canal, which would make it passable for the German battleships. Accordingly, the round agreed that it should move the war to the summer of 1914."

"Tsar to Kaiser, July 29, 1:00 A.M.
To try and avoid such a calamity as a European war I beg you in the name of our old friendship to do what you can to stop your allies from going too far."

"Kaiser to Tsar, July 29, 6:30 P.M.
I cannot consider Austria's action against Servia an "ignoble" war. Austria knows by experience that Servian promises ono paper are wholly unreliable."

Clark knows those documents, but nevertheless he has choosen to blame the victims of the German-Austrian genocidal aggression and to absolve the perpetrators. He even repeats the Srebrenica lie to demonize the Serbs of 1914.

By the way, before 1914 there were other assasinations and assasination attempts against European nobility(for example against the Austrian empress Elisabeth) by other anarchists. Not a single one led to diplomatic frictions let alone war.

balkaninfo said...

In 1848(!) German politicians demanded a "holy war" against Yugoslavs and Russians when there was no German Reich and no Serbia at all. Anti-Slavic racism and warmongering was rampant long before Hitler.

"Debates on the Balkans in St. Paul's Church
Klaus Thorner
In St. Paul's Church was stressed that it "lies in Germany's high interest," the emergence of new independent "to prevent Slaven- and Magyars kingdoms" on the eastern border of Germany. These new states would be "infallible" one "South Slavic" turn covenant. In this case, the German and Austrian mission, "threatened to carry the German civilization ... after the barbaric East" to be impossible (RfdN, Vol. 4: 2779). [ 29 ]
There was a risk of the emergence of a large, independent "South Slav kingdom"

which must conquer our grandson with the sword again, if the German people to spread the task which this people, namely the civilization, the German culture and the German spirit to the East, become clear is (RfdN, Vol. 4: 2852 f .). [ 30 ]
The anti-Slavic and anti-Russian> Mission <
The view of St. Paul's deputies was marked by the rampant in the German principalities belief that nature had> the Slavs <determined to slaves and servants and not rulers. This view had been handed down and solidified since the German conquest and colonization of large parts of eastern and southern Europe since the 10th century. A submission "of the Slavs by the Germans," as was lawful and of course viewed (Wippermann 1981: 38). The 'Slavs' was denied the ability to and the right to statehood. To their leadership was "the German cultural nation" called (Lammich 1978: 3 f, 19.).
Another parliamentarian spoke of "holy war," the already sometime "must be held between the culture of the West and the barbarism of the East" (Wollstein 1977: 303). [ 41 ] Another said: "If it should ever come to war, then there would be a war between Germans and Slavs" (RfdN, Vol. 4: 2779). [ 42 ] Heinrich von Gagern wrote in retrospect over the period of bourgeois revolution:

The war with Russia - to the Baltic Sea and the Baltic provinces sake - to Poland - to the Danube and Oriental conditions ... was the most popular throughout Germany (cited n Valentin 1977, Vol 1: 544...).

Bakunin reported, "the senseless clamor of the Germans against the Slavs" was 1848-49 heard loudest in the Frankfurt Parliament. This had nothing to do with democracy, but had been "the reputation of the German national egoism." The Germans had long been accustomed to regard the "Slavs" as their serfs and verträten the view they would have those "under the floor hold" to discipline them (quoted in MEW 18:.. 609). Bakunin noted:

This hatred of the Slavs, in this Slawenfresserei are all parties (1848-49) were all agreed; ... Loudest shouting the Democrats against the Slavs: in newspapers and pamphlets, in parliaments and public meetings, in the clubs, the pubs and on the street ... It was such a noise, so ceaseless storm that the Slavs, when the German shouts could kill or harm someone, long ago all perished would (Bakunin 1973: 137 f.).

The hatred of Russia called Bakunin as a "the most National passions of Germany" (quoted in MEW 18:.. 613).

Document the speeches of Paul council how much an alleged "Slavic threat" was seen as a threat to German culture and the German economy. Six decades later, this danger was the reasoning patterns for the alleged necessity of the First World War (Lammich 1978: 3, 5)."
Thorner's dissertation on the subject: