Новые известия(en)
While “humiliating monuments” are being demolished in America, busts of executioners are being erected in Russia
21 January, 13:37
While “humiliating monuments” are being demolished in America, busts of executioners are being erected in Russia
Photo: Фото: Соцсети
The famous monument to President Theodore Roosevelt was dismantled in New York, and a bust of the USSR Prosecutor General, who actively participated in Stalin's repressions, was erected in Novosibirsk

The blatant difference between democracy and totalitarianism was once again demonstrated by two events that took place on January 20 at different ends of the Earth - in America and Russia.

The sculptural composition humiliated the dignity

American journalist Sabirzhan Badretdinov reported on a remarkable event that took place in New York. There, they dismantled the monument to the 26th US President Theodore Roosevelt, which was installed in 1940 in front of the entrance to the Museum of Natural History (Recall that Roosevelt is a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1906, and yet...):

“The museum, in addition to being a world-famous center of culture, is also familiar to many from the movie Night at the Museum. Local authorities decided to move the monument to another location last year, amid the Black Lives Matter protests.

The monument (sculpture) depicts the President of the United States riding a horse, accompanied by an Indian and an African. Contemporary critics regard the composition as a "glorification of colonialism and racism".

When I saw this sculpture for the first time (it was probably 35 years ago), its composition immediately jarred me. Not only did the Indian and the African walk on foot, they also humbly clung to the feet of the "owner". I immediately remembered the command given to the dog: "To the leg!"

Looking at the composition through the eyes of racial minorities, I immediately understood the humiliating and insulting background of this, in general, beautiful and elegant sculpture.

To understand why this sculpture revolts many, you just need to imagine that you are a representative of a racial minority in this composition. For example, if you are Russian, imagine yourself walking at the foot of a Chinese master who recently conquered Russia, sitting on a horse. If you are a Ukrainian, then imagine that a Russian master is on a horse, and you are trampling near his feet. Etc.

Unfortunately, most people's imagination is not developed and many cannot put themselves in the place of another person, especially the victim.

Well, let's say the sculpture is really vile and offensive. But does this mean that it must be dismantled? After all, this is our history, whatever it may be. Is it right to approach history from the standpoint of modern moral principles, and not those that existed in the corresponding historical period? After all, we can say, for example, that the Egyptian pyramids are monuments to slavery. Should monuments to Columbus or Cortes be destroyed in Latin American countries, which many accuse of creating the conditions for the genocide of the ancestors of the local population? How about monuments to Confederate Army General Robert Lee in the US? Or Lenin and Stalin in Russia? Etc.

In short, there are serious arguments on both sides. Therefore, I still do not have a firm position on the question of whether it is necessary to preserve the monuments, reminiscent of the shameful aspects of certain historical events..."

In Russia, people do not want to learn the lessons of the past

But what about in Russia? And here's what. As Novye Izvestia has already reported, a monument to prosecutor Roman Rudenko was solemnly opened in Novosibirsk. This is one of the odious figures of the so-called Stalinist "justice", he was a member of the "special troika" of the NKVD, which during the years of the Great Terror, without trial or investigation, sentenced people to death. Later, after the victory, he represented the USSR at the Nuremberg trials, and when Stalin died, Rudenko quickly "reforged" and even took an active part in the rehabilitation of the victims of the regime, but this did not prevent him from equally actively persecuting Soviet dissidents.

Apparently, the Novosibirsk prosecutor's office considers Rudenko's activities a reason for pride. No wonder a bust was erected to him with the wording - "for a significant contribution to the preservation of law and order in the state".

This event was timed to coincide with the 300th anniversary of the formation of the Russian prosecutor's office, created by decree of Peter I. The ceremony was attended by Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia Dmitry Demeshin, Governor of the region Andrey Travnikov, Chairman of the regional Legislative Assembly Andrey Shimkiv, mayor of the city Anatoly Lokot and others interested people.

In their speeches, they spoke seriously about the great significance of the new monument for employees of the prosecutor's office and the whole of Novosibirsk, and also stated that it would decorate the city!

“So that’s why the authorities liquidated Memorial (recognized as a foreign agent in the Russian Federation) - in order to freely erect monuments to the executioners...”, - journalists of the ChTD channel comment on this event.

It should be especially noted that Theodore Roosevelt, unlike Roman Rudenko, will not dare to call his tongue an executioner, but at the same time, Americans, unlike Russians, are able to respect other people's feelings and objectively evaluate their own past. Russia before that - as before the moon.