On 4th May the results of a poll among the Russian clergy about teaching the Holocaust in Russia, conducted by «Regions.ru / News from the Federation." were published: see (Http://www.regions.ru/news/2406292/) It became clear that parts of the Russian society are not ready to admit the obvious fact that the Holocaust is a constitutive element of the history of our country. In particular on the occupied Soviet territories, including 23 regions of Russia, almost half of all victims of the Holocaust perished. It was not by chance that the date for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, established by the UN General Assembly, became the day of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army
It is deplorable how distortedly the first important steps of the Ministry of Education and Science were reported performing the training of pedagogues on this subject in accordance with Russia’s international obligations In March 2012 t the mass media reported the introduction of training modules on Holocaust of 72 hours in the regional training institutes of further education. It was developed by our colleagues from the regions and has been tested at the Federal Academy for Further Education. 60 teachers have been trained in the framework of this program. At the same time it was reported that the subject Holocaust was included into the standard State Exam. Apparently for political purposes the public was informed that the72h course will be given in high schools.
Unfortunately a number of respected mass media. fell for this provocation. It is not by chance that the initiators of the poll did not address our organization, conducting almost 20 years educational seminars and editing textbooks on the subject. We declare definitively that the subject Holocaust is present in many books on domestic and world history, it has been included in the training program of institutes for further education in more than 30 regions of our country During the last 4 years with the support of a Presidential grant educational seminars on the topic were held in 24 cities from Kaliningrad to Khabarovsk and from Krasnodar to Tomsk. In the last competition for school and university students and teachers of Russia "Lessons of the Holocaust - the path to tolerance" 2,000 representatives of 68 republics, territories and regions of Russia took part In schools and colleges the history of the Holocaust is taught as an integral part in connection with many topics and within the frameworks of many curriculums and more and more also in extracurricular and research activities. Nobody insisted on a module from this scale which was in mind of those criticizing the Ministry of Education and Science. But the lack of systematic knowledge also in the preparation of the general examen (EGE) just leads to such a situation that young people in a live TV show answer on the question what is Holocaust to the the amusement o the whole civilized world:” Holocaust that is a sort of glue”
It is repeated again and again that during the war all peoples of our country suffered. This is absolutely true. But Nazi ideology built a clear hierarchy, determining which peoples had to be annihilated totally or in parts. Nazis assigned the Jews to be the first but not the last victims.
One might not love the Jews and Israel but is therefore right to apply ones prejudices on that what is recognized by the whole civilized world. Is it reasonable to forget about the heroism of those who were shot only for the reason that they hide their Jewish neighbors ad friends Do you remember Aleksej Glagolev, Mother Mary, dozens of priests who issued falsified baptismal certificates. Just simple Christian believers, including the well known Japanese diplomat Chyiune Sugihara(.who converted to Christian faith) So will we better understand the lessons of this war, and the core of Nazi ideology? Or will we continue to wonder why the swastika appears primarily on the monuments to Holocaust victims and Jewish cemeteries?
It should be noted that the in the course of the poll Russia's Catholics and Protestants were not involved. And yet this represents a central issue in the Churches attempts to atone for the crimes of the Nazis and their accomplices: unfortunately many of the executioners were devote Christians. That is why the Protestant organizations in Russia made a significant contribution to the establishment of a memorial in Lubavitch last November
At the eve of the Victory Day it is appropriate to remember that this day only in our country and in Israel is celebrated on 9th May. The issue of the Holocaust and the fact that our army liberated dozens of ghettos. concentration and death camps remains nearly unknown to our youth. Unfortunately there is no national memorial day of the victims of the Holocaust and the liberators for which we are striving already ten years. In particular the government and the society should understand now that the universal lessons of the Holocaust have to be acknowledged in Russia.
The theme of Holocaust–is very difficult and painful. The debate about its place in the national memory was led in almost all Eastern European states. As a result, Lithuania declared 2011 the Year of the Holocaust, the 27th January became the National Day of Remembrance in the Ukraine (despite of another widely remembered date –the Day of Babij Yar). In Latvia they released postal stamps with rescuers of Jews and Righteous Among the Nations. In almost all countries the governments awarded people who saved Jews: unfortunately this is not the fact in Russia.
The topic Holocaust does not divide the descendants of the victims, as some respondents of the poll try to prove . It helps to understand the words of our Russian national philosopher Mikhail Gefter, that "there is no genocide against one people - genocide is always directed against all."