07 July 2011

Post-Soviet Monuments to Holocaust Victims, by Andriy Portnov

On Three Monuments to Holocaust Victims:
Reflections on Victory Day (9 May)

Andriy Portnov

There was no place for ethnically or religiously marked suffering or victims in the Soviet image of the Great Patriotic War. It is precisely for this reason that the phrase ‘peaceful Soviet citizens’ was used in referring to the millions of Jews who were murdered. The Soviet deportations on ethnic grounds and on accusation of collective ‘betrayal of the Motherland’ were an absolute taboo. Also unmentionable was the fate of Soviet POWs, millions of whom died of artificial famine in Nazi concentration camps, while hundreds of thousands more survived only to find themselves later sent to Soviet camps as ‘traitors to the Motherland’.