“Is it really so much? “. The Germans do not know how many Russians their ancestors killed.15-year-old Gunter suddenly had hysteria – an hour after the tour began. He fell to his knees near the barrack and began to weep, wiping tears down his cheeks. The crowd gathered around the boy. One of the classmates called on his cell phone, someone was looking for pills in his pockets.” Why?! – yelled Gunter. – How could the Germans do SUCH a thing to people?! Do we even deserve forgiveness? “.Nervous breakdowns of German teenagers in the ex-SS Dachau concentration camp near Munich are quite common. Nevertheless, attending the memorial is a mandatory high school curriculum. Children are shown the furnaces of the crematorium, where tens of thousands of prisoners burned, gas chambers, and photos of the monstrous experiences of Eses doctors.” It’s necessary to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” a museum employee told me. – After all, the worst evil is forgotten over time.” I suppose it is so. According to surveys, 80% of Germans now do not know that their grandfathers killed 27 million people in the USSR…”What do I think about Victory Day? Oh, Russians seem to me like mysterious heroes from fantasy films. Probably, that’s how the people who toppled Hitler should be. Many Germans still do not understand why Germany decided to go to war with you. Like other nations, we have a lot in common – take at least the love of sausages and beer! “.78-year-old lawyer Rolf Clement was a child when the war began. His cousin, a Wehrmacht officer, froze in Stalingrad. He says there can be no offense here: “We attacked, you defended yourself. All is fair.” But Rolf has a different attitude to the Americans and the British: “In the summer of 43, their aviation completely burned down Hamburg, 42 thousand died.” human. Is this a right war? Germans often emphasize in conversations: Hitler is a monster, but they also had to suffer under his power. They remember both the death of Paulius’ army, the bombing of cities, and the fall of Berlin. They are perfectly informed about the Holocaust and the millions of Jews who died in concentration camps. However, the inhabitants of Germany know not much about the seas of blood that the Soviet Union sought. For Germans, Russia is a country of ice and snow, where “General Winter” froze poor boys dressed in swastika uniforms. But in Germany, they are shy to reason about what the Wehrmacht and the SS created in the occupied territory of the USSR. On tv and they do not forget to mention in the press: only 6 thousand. a soldier ( out of 100 thousand ) captive in Stalingrad) returned home. However, few people are aware that 3 million Soviet prisoners of war were martyred in Essays concentration camps. Citizens of the German Federation are terrified by air raids of the allies – 600 thousand. Germans were buried alive under the debris of buildings in Berlin, Dresden, Regensburg. And they have no idea that because of the blockade of Leningrad the same number of people died of hunger and shelling. Munich was also bombed, albeit weaker. Individual “iconic places” of the Third Reich survived, but they were later destroyed by the Germans themselves. For example, demolished Burgerbroikeller beer, where Hitler pushed speeches (to avoid neo-Nazi’s pilgrimage).The person I came to for an interview is taking me downtown.” You know,” I tell the traveler. – If my grandfather saw us, he wouldn’t like it.- Hmm, – he notices back. – And mine is all the more. I – and I’m sitting next to a Russian!My grandfather, a Soviet military pilot, was shot down in late 1944 and was captured before Germany surrendered. The grandfather of my interlocutor, 34-year-old engineer Wolf Gess, is the deputy of Hitler in the party, the Obergruppenführer Rudolf Gess. Wolf himself is anti-fascist and sincerely believes that May 9 is the liberation of his country from dictatorship. “I want to know,” he asks. – If I come to Russia, will I have no difficulties? “Of course not,” I say. – Even those who fought forgave the Germans. “Wolf nods: “I have never felt that the Russians are our enemies. A… how many civilians were killed in the USSR? “I answer – about 18 million. Hostage shootings, mass executions in Babiyar, punitive actions, “suffering” machines in Krasnodar. The wolf is getting pale. “Is it really that much?! “.I often hear this phrase in Germany. “Do you want to see a photo on the internet? – interested in myself. – There the SS members are posing next to the mountains of corpses. There are thousands of pictures in the archives.” My satellite is plunging into reflection. “We rarely talk about it,” he sighs. – The main theme of the Nazis’ atrocities is the Holocaust.” My opinion is that the Holocaust should never be forgotten. This is the insane extermination of an entire nation, from babies to old people. Another thing – it turns out that repentance for the atrocities of the German army is quite selective. Movies, talk shows, and television shows are devoted to one fact, others are silent. Even in Austria, in a city next to the ex-concentration camp of SS Mauthausen, I asked passers-by who were killed in the barracks. Opinions are divided. “It seems like a Jew,” one man said. “Communists,” the second one recalled. No one named the Russians, but 39% of Mauthausen prisoners were Soviet prisoners of war. The image of the Eastern Front in the thoughts of modern Germans – snow, the horrors of the assault of burning Berlin, and the lost human form of soldiers in Stalingrad. Celebrating May 9 as the day of the defeat of the Third Reich, Germany has not yet realized the extent of the casualties among the USSR population. One of the students who arrived in Dachau in a group with Gunter talked to me while his classmate was being given a sedative.- Are you from Moscow? Must be a big city. And I don’t even know that the Germans were in Moscow during the war?.” Full, full,” I answered the boy. – They built a bunch of houses around the Forum cinema, Moscow University helped build, restored the factories.- So they were prisoners? – the boy was confused. – Oops… excuse me for asking this.- No problem, – I smiled. – But now you know the truth.
(c) Zotov The photo shows the shoes of Osencams prisoners.