Remember to live on

<1><2><3><4> <5> In the days when Russia and Germany, the countries of the former USSR and other countries of the world recalled the tragic date in the history of the twentieth century – the 80th anniversary of the treacherous attack of the Nazi Third Reich on The Soviet Union, among the publications devoted to this bitter day, took a special place in the article of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin "To be open despite the past." <6> <7> <8> <9> <10> <11> Published in the Hamburg weekly "Die Zeit", it was addressed primarily to the German reader, although its presentation can be found in many world media outlets. It was written in polemics with those Western politicians and publicists who are trying to impose equal responsibility for the outbreak of World War II on Nazi Germany and the USSR. As with those who want to erect a new "iron curtain" between modern Russia and the rest of Europe. Returning to the past, she is obviously looking to the future. <12><13> It is important to note that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a video message to her compatriots on June 19, gave an unambiguous assessment of the events of eighty years ago, recognizing Germany's enduring responsibility for the crimes that followed the Nazi state's attack on the USSR on June 22, 1941. “For us Germans, this is a reason for shame. (…) We are indebted to millions of victims and their descendants.” <14> For us Germans, this is a reason for shame. (…) We are indebted to millions of victims and their descendants <15> With different views on certain events of the day, the leaders of the two countries, whose ancestors fought bloody wars with each other in the 20th century, essentially have no differences in their views of the past … And this is the hard-won understanding of historical events by their peers, bound by the greatest tragedy, which could lead to the physical destruction of the multinational Soviet people. <16><17> Among many others, there is such a definition of memory: "the ability of the brain to retain and voluntarily recover information." For me, the word "voluntarily" is key. It is all the more important that the views of Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel find support among the civil societies of the two countries. The appeal to the Russians and political leaders of Europe by former and current German parliamentarians, representatives of non-governmental organizations and business, scientists and cultural figures is very noteworthy. This document was also signed by the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. The authors of this appeal are unanimous in assessing the past and ways out of the current deep crisis in which relations between our countries are. Publishing such a text, in which they do not hide the important role of Russia in the modern world, during the pre-election struggle in the Federal Republic of Germany, is an extremely serious step that can cause (and, I think, will cause) a critical part of the German media. But this, from my point of view, is a necessary and therefore justified risk. "We know: peace in Europe cannot be achieved without Russia, but only together with it." These words develop the thought of A. Merkel: "Russia and Germany are closely linked historically, socially and economically. (…) We still need a dialogue with Russia." It is clear that dialogue and collaboration are not the same thing. And yet, nevertheless … <18> <19> In the appeal of the representatives of the German public there is a call to the politicians of Eastern and Western Europe: "Start to act! (…) Act as people in Russia, Germany and Europe do, conducting a specific work in the framework of the twin-city movement, youth exchanges, economic and scientific cooperation Leave your mental prisons dominated by images of enemies, hostility and fear! We need to re-understand the happiness of the world! The peoples of Europe have long awaited this. This is the main lesson 22 June and we learned it! "<20> There are many people in Russia and Germany who are ready for constructive good-neighborly cooperation <21> These are not at all empty appeals of people who rely only on the actions of politicians. On June 28-30, Kaluga will host the 16th Conference of partner cities of Russia and Germany, which will bring together about five hundred participants. This is one of the largest events organized by the German-Russian Forum together with the national associations of cities in our countries. The fact that it is included in the official program of the Year of Germany in Russia testifies to the serious role of civil societies in the implementation of large interstate programs. This conference, which involves the discussion of a wide range of issues – from economics and problems of urban management to exchanges of schoolchildren and students – is proof that there are many people in Russia and Germany who are ready for constructive good-neighborly cooperation. <22><23> I am confident that together with our German partners we will find ways of fruitful development of the most important dialogue platform for civil societies of the two countries – the Petersburg Dialogue, under the auspices of which major socio-cultural projects are being implemented. Civil societies of the two countries play an important role in the discussion of the most pressing problems of modern life. That is why it is so important that young Russians and Germans participate in most joint programs. The experience of the Potsdam Meetings youth section, established by the A. Gorchakov Foundation for the Support of Public Diplomacy and the German-Russian Forum, shows that all discussions about the infantilism of new generations and their consumer attitude to life are very superficial. And I am sure they are close to V.V. Putin that "the entire post-war history of Greater Europe confirms that the prosperity and security of our common continent is possible only through the efforts of all countries, including Russia … And we feel with% BMy second inseparable cultural and historical connection with Europe. "<24> <25> The real future can only be built on the foundation of the real past. It is only important that the past does not overshadow the future. <26> <27>