Utorak 23.7.2024.

To je znak pobjede nad nacizmom

Povodom uklanjanja Spomenika Crvenoj armiji u Sofiji

Među brojnim protestima i reakcijama koje ovih dana izaziva odluka o uklanjanju Spomenika Crvenoj armiji u Sofiji, prenosimo komentar mlade kulturne radnice Gabrijele Panove iz Bugarske. U jeku rusko-ukrajinskog sukoba, uklanjanje i rušenje spomenika posvećenih Crvenoj armiji i drugim ijevim antifašističkim pokretima i vojnim formacijama u istočnoj Europi postalo je sve učestalije. Pod krinkom antiruske ratne kampanje ovime se normalizira i potiče javna difamacija antifašističkih tekovina, dobro poznata na ovim prostorima. 

*Komentar prenosimo na engleskom jeziku i zahvaljujemo Radoslavu Ilievu na drugarskoj pomoći oko prijevoda. 

Monuments are not for the past, but for the future. Those who sacrifice their lives for others to live after them are heroes. Anyone who denies this is either a barbarian or ignorant. Speculating on this topic is unworthy and disgraceful. Defiling the memory and attacking those who defend it is a crime.

I don't want our fathers, brothers, husbands, and sons to ever go to war. I don't want to live in the midst of war, hiding in bomb shelters, seeing tanks and death in the streets and trenches. I want humanity to avoid wars, but for that, it must understand war and its causes. It must be vigilant and organized enough to resist those who have an interest in it. They say that when the last living witnesses of war are gone, the new generation, not vigilant enough and with a light touch, is prone to let it happen again. The same manipulations, witch hunts, book burnings, and then people burning.

It is good, even imperative, for a person to know some indisputable truths, as they are in the science of history, not as they are interpreted for the convenience of the powerful of the day. In the science of history, it is not disputed that the greatest contribution to the victory over the Third Reich and the liberation of Europe, so that we can even celebrate May 9th as its holiday, was made by the Red (Soviet) Army. That's why in many European capitals, as well as in Sofia, its monuments remain untouched and in good condition to this day. Its contribution is not disputed even by its contemporaries. The Western world leaders of the time, such as Churchill, Roosevelt, and Truman, even speak approvingly of the achievements, spirit, and contribution of the Red Army in the battle against "the forces of barbarism."

Specifically, the monument in Sofia is a symbol of the Third Ukrainian Front, part of the Red Army, in which the Bulgarian army also participated during the final stage of the war. During the battles in the lands of Serbia and Hungary against the Nazi army, Bulgarians, our compatriots, found their deaths. One of the many examples is Ivan Hadzhiski, considered the founder of Bulgarian sociology, who volunteered and died as a war correspondent. The memory of these people, who stood against one of the most ominous events in human history, deserves respect.

Bronze and concrete memorials are a shield and a warning. An attempt to cement any future danger of war, to recognize it at its inception and eradicate it. So that the sacrifice of millions of human lives, the sacrifice of youth, is not needed again.

In such dark conditions, when entire nations were trampled upon, and children were killed with impunity, the European anti-fascist resistance was born. This led to the grabbing of rifles and the acceptance of the advancing Red Army as liberators.Their celebratory waving comes later, after many sacrifices. It is a sign of victory over Nazism.

However, from so much spit on the soldier who raised his rifle after the end of the war, they fail to see the other two iconic figures of the monument. The sculptures of the worker and the mother with a child in her arms. It is not surprising that those who consider themselves democrats do not notice them because they simply are not interested in them in real life. Similarly, in our present society, ordinary workers, mothers, and children remain unnoticed and neglected by the political elite.

Words only become a priority during elections. This is evidenced by the worsening working conditions, social inequality, paltry child benefits, the lack of accessible sports and cultural activities for children, the crumbling healthcare system, the trading of health, and the humiliating pay of nurses, and so on. This list will grow longer as the solution to all these problems is offered, several times a year, through the dismantling of a monument in the center of Sofia.

I prefer to have a sculpture of a soldier with a rifle raised above my head rather than a real one.

And I'm in no way concerned that in the center of the capital, a worker and a mother carrying her child are also being erected. Nor are the compositions of embracing people celebrating the victory over fascism and the end of World War II. On the contrary, the message of celebrating the victory over fascism should only bring joy to a person. And it should keep them alert for the future. For me, the message of monuments has always been paramount. And the artistic value of the Monument to the Soviet Army has been discussed and documented enough; there are whole studies on the subject.

However, regional governor Vyara Todeva and the district mayor of "Sredets" Traicho Traikov risk becoming a laughingstock in the eyes of the people when, with all their high-sounding seriousness, they declare the relocation of the Monument to the Soviet Army as a matter of paramount public interest and top priority.

Indeed, we could not think of anything more important for Sofia's administrators to work on. Finally, all our problems will be solved with this magnificent act. Never mind that the Museum of Socialist Art has no space for such a large composition as the Monument to the Soviet Army. But these are minor details that such elite administrators will handle in no time. Then, in the name of our prosperity, let them start the procedure for moving the buildings constructed during the second half of the last century: the National Palace of Culture and the buildings in the center known as the "Power Triangle" - the Presidency, the National Assembly, and the Council of Ministers.

Just as long as it doesn't turn out in the end that our entire nation and statehood have been systematically dismantled in recent decades, and Bulgaria will end up irretrievably in the Museum of History, thanks to our political elite.

Text: Gabriela Panova (Facebook)
Translation: Radoslav Iliev
Photo: Toros Horisyan, 1970s
Photo Archive: Stefan Spasov

Gabriela Panova rođena je 20. travnja 1992. godine u gradu Ćustendilu u Bugarskoj. Diplomirala je međunarodne odnose na UNSS-u i magistrirala na Povijesnom fakultetu Sveučilišta u Sofiji. Predmet njenog istraživačkog interesa su antiratni pokreti u književnosti. 

Fotografija Torosa Horisyan, 1970s
Photo Archive: Stefan Spasov