So, the residents of Moscow will be offered to choose whom to erect a monument on the Lubyanka - the founder of the Cheka Felix Dzerzhinsky or Prince Alexander Nevsky. Moreover, the Public Chamber rejected all other options, including installing a fountain on Lubyanskaya Square or leaving it as it was. Voting will begin on February 25, and will be held at several sites, including the Active Citizen system and on media sites. This decision cannot be called anything other than wild. Historians explain why.
Nikolay Rudensky recalls the opinion of the outstanding Russian historian Kostomarov about Alexander Nevsky:
“Well, and a choice... Dzerzhinsky, the founder and first chief of the Soviet secret police, is one of the most terrible and sinister figures in Russian history. The Russian historian Kostomarov wrote about Alexander Nevsky as follows:
"Alexander... could not act against the eastern enemies with the same means. Western enemies only intended to conquer northern Russia, while the eastern ones had already managed to conquer other Russian lands, devastate and depopulate them. With the small number, poverty and fragmentation of the remnants of the then Russian population in the eastern lands, it is impossible it was also to think about how to knock out the weapon from the power of the Mongols. It was necessary to choose other paths. Russia had a different historical road, for Russian political people - different ideals. It remained to surrender to the magnanimity of the victors, bow to them, recognize themselves as their slaves and so the most, both for himself and for his descendants, to assimilate the slavish qualities... Alexander, as an advanced man of his age, understood this path and embarked on it "..."
Historian Nikita Sokolov, for his part, explains why the monument to Iron Felix was erected during the "Khrushchev thaw":
“I held my ground for a long time, but could not resist. About the monument in the Lubyanka wasteland in Moscow. Dzerzhinsky and Nevsky will reach the final.
- a symbol of what Dzerzhinsky was in 1958, when the monument was erected, no one remembers. But he was put on the edification of the special services to be equal to the impeccable Felix, who was then in every possible way opposed to the criminals Yezhov and especially Beria. Now (after all the historical material published in the last 30 years) this character has a completely different meaning. This is the image of "order through terror".
- the image of Alexander Nevsky changed its content 7 times (see the excellent book by Fridtjof Schenk, it is available on the Internet on the UFO website), but now the key element of this image is "anti-Westernism" and "cooperation with the Horde," that is, laying the foundations of a sovereignly distinctive power vertical...
A dismal prospect. A symbolic by now".
Historian Ivan Kurilla is sure that if Dzerzhinsky is returned, he will not stand for long:
There are rumors about plans to restore the monument on the Lubyanka. Either return the iron Felix, or put Alexander Nevsky there.
I have the following bewilderment in connection with this. It is clear that Dzerzhinsky, if he is installed, will stand there exactly until the next change of regime, and it seems inevitable within ten years. Here is the pool instead of the HHS, as they joked in the time of Luzhkov, they will not pour back, and removing the statue and taking it away is a matter of several hours, but the symbolic meaning is the sea.
And that's why it is needed, is this "back and forth" rolling of the statue? In moving and can be damaged.
They can, of course, deliver the next Salavat Shcherbakov. In the sense of "A. Nevsky". Far fewer people will want to understand this symbolism ("west", "east" - who cares?), - so they can resist a change of regime...
As an illustration - a monument to Alexander Nevsky in Volgograd (installed in 2008). Nothing and nothing..."
Historian Pavel Puchkov is concerned about the aesthetic side of the problem ::
“And the monument to Alexander Nevsky, sorry, whose work? With Dzerzhinsky, everything is clear - a magnificent (for my taste) work by Vuchetich. The hero is disgusting, the monument (as an art object) is beautiful. Who will do Nevsky? Salavat Shcherbakov, who fashioned Vladimir Krasno-Svyato-Solnyshko? His students, who are often no better than the teacher? But then the choice will have to be made not between historical characters, but between ethics and aesthetics: ethically Dzerzhinsky is disgusting, but aesthetically good; Nevsky, perhaps, is ethically slightly better than Felix, but aesthetically it will definitely be shit (otherwise it has never happened).
This is a mockery, not an election, dear friends. At least show me the second candidate, maybe then I will give myself to the first with a clear conscience..."
Sociologist Grigory Yudin draws attention to the success of the Dzerzhinsky monument in the very place where it stands today - in the Muzeon:
“The plebiscite“ Dzerzhinsky against Nevsky ”is an undoubted triumph of the Russian plebiscite democracy and its apostle Alexei Venediktov. The headlines "Moscow chooses Dzerzhinsky" or "Moscow votes for Nevsky" - you don't even know what to choose. Bravo.
I always bring guests from abroad to the cemetery of monuments in Muzeon - by the way, this is perhaps the most ingenious place of memory in Russia, and I have not seen a single foreigner who would not be delighted with it. Every time, stopping near Dzerzhinsky, I said that he was waiting in the wings, and when he returned (never used the word "if"), Russia would change radically.
The figure of Stalin combines many meanings for Russians, which we often forget about. However, the figure of Dzerzhinsky is much simpler, and the details of his fascinating biography are irrelevant here. Dzerzhinsky as a symbol has only one meaning: order through terror..."
The publicist Sergey Mitrofanov offers, at first glance, absurd, but in fact the best option for today's Russia:
"Since Nevsky is the Horde and Dzerzhinsky is the Horde, Genghis Khan must be put on..."
Critic Yuri Gladilshchikov even calls Nevsky a traitor:
“Muscovites were offered a choice: which monument to erect on Lubyanskaya Square: Dzerzhinsky or Alexander Nevsky?
An amazing choice: to which of the two bastards, bloodsuckers, traitors to the Motherland, to erect a monument in the center of Moscow? Which of them should be worshiped later?
The first is a Pole-Russophobe, the exterminator of the Russian intelligentsia, who became the banner of the Cheka, killing left and right all who kept the Russian Chekhov-Tolstoyan soul. The second - what modern historians talk about - is a pure myth, if we bear in mind his Neva and Chud victories. They exist only in our equally mythologized cinema. Maybe he defeated someone there. But not in a battle one hundred to one hundred thousand, but a maximum of one hundred to one hundred. In fact, this prince, who failed to gain control of the main city of Ancient Rus, Kiev, took revenge on the Tatars, who did not take possession of us after the first raids that went down in history in the 1220s and 30s. But the country was betrayed by Nevsky, who later led the real Mongol-Tatar invasion. Well, this is in the Russian tradition: to worship the traitors of the Motherland who received money from the enemy..."
But journalist Olga Tropkina drew attention to the quirks of Russian propaganda. It turns out that in the homeland of Alexander Nevsky they are not ready to celebrate even the 800th anniversary of his birth:
“I understand everything, but what do we have all through one place. My friends and associates are fighting to ensure that in the year of the 800th anniversary of Grand Duke Alexander Nevsky, at least something decent would be held in his homeland, in Pereslavl-Zalessky. There is even a presidential decree. To restore the temple, fix the monument, hold events. And they beat like a wall. But when the Grand Duke is needed as an information stopper as a monument in the Lubyanka, this issue is resolved instantly at the cost of huge money. It's all very, very sad..."