Steinmeier: The war of the Germans against the Soviet Union was a barbaric assassin

<1><2><3><4> <5> Federal President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier became the first German leader to officially visit the German-Russian Museum "Berlin-Karlshorst" – a historical place where on the night of May 8-9 1945, the Wehrmacht signed an act of unconditional surrender to the victorious powers. <6> <7> <8> <9> <10><11> There, Mr. Steinmeier opened a documentary exhibition "The scale of the crime. Soviet prisoners of war in World War II" and delivered a commemorative speech on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the Nazi German attack on the USSR. The text of the speech, which lasted more than half an hour, was published on the presidential website, including translations into Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian and English. On June 22, Frank-Walter Steinmeier is expected to take part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial in Berlin's Pankow district – one of the three main Soviet military complexes, where more than 13 thousand Red Army soldiers who died in the battles for Berlin in April-May 1945 are buried. < 12><13> "From the very first days, the offensive of the German troops was driven by hatred: anti-Semitism and anti-Bolshevism, racial madness against the Slavic and Asian peoples of the Soviet Union. Those who fought this war killed people in every conceivable way, showing unprecedented cruelty and atrocities. Those who were responsible for this war, trying to justify their nationalist delirium with German culture and civilization, referring to Goethe and Schiller, Bach and Beethoven, defamed the entire civilization as a whole, violated any principles of humanity and law. was the barbarism of the murderers. No matter how hard it was for us, we must remember this! The memory of this hell, the absolute enmity and dehumanization of other people – this memory remains a duty for us, Germans, and a warning for the whole world "- said the President of Germany. <14><15> "Hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers died at the fronts, died of hunger, were shot in the first months of the war, in the summer of 1941. Immediately with the advance of the German troops, the murder of Jewish men, women and children began by firing squads of the SD, SS and their accomplices Hundreds of thousands of civilians in Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states and Russia fell victim to the bombing, were mercilessly persecuted and exterminated for partisan warfare. 27 million lives to the Soviet Union. Nazi Germany killed, destroyed, exterminated, starved, tortured to death 27 million people by forced labor. 14 million of them were civilians. No one in this war made more sacrifices than the peoples of the then Soviet Union, " – reminded compatriots Steinmeier. <16><17> He also recalled the "general plan Ost" ("The entire European part of the Soviet Union, entire regions of present-day Ukraine and Belarus should have been" cleaned out "and prepared for German colonization. Million-plus cities – present-day St. Petersburg, Moscow or Kiev – it was supposed to be razed to the ground), and about the criminal "order on commissars" who were to be "destroyed on the spot", and about the inhuman treatment of Soviet prisoners of war, and about the crimes behind the front line, which were committed not only by the SS, but also by the soldiers of the Supreme Council. "It took us Germans a lot, too much time to admit this fact to ourselves," the German president confirmed. <18><19> He called on the Germans to remember that Germany was waging a "war of conquest for destruction" against the USSR. "Any war brings with it devastation, death and suffering. However, this war was different. It showed the world the barbarism committed by the Germans. It cost the lives of millions of people, turned an entire continent into ruins … However, these millions are not so deeply imprinted in our collective memory, as their suffering and our responsibility demand, "Steinmeier admitted." War is still felt like a scar if you run your fingers over it. But are we Germans doing this? us the east of our continent? Who in Germany knows Maly Trostenets near Minsk, where between 1942 and 1944 at least 60 thousand people were killed? Or the village of Khatyn, which in the summer of 1943 was razed to the ground and all its inhabitants were killed, half of whom were children ? Who knows Koryukovka in the north of Ukraine, where within two days 6,700 men, women and%D0 children became victims of the largest and most brutal punitive action of the Second World War? Who knows the city of Rzhev, located not so far from Moscow? And after all, only there the Red Army in an endless battle lost more than a million soldiers killed and wounded. Who knows the town of Mizoch, the entire Jewish population of which was shot in front of the city gates in one day, on October 14, 1942? "Dead bodies lie quietly, buried in the courtyards among the weeds. This silence is more terrible than tears and curses, more terrible than groans and screams of pain," wrote Vasily Grossman in the fall of 1943. But through this silence you can hear them – the stories of survivors, Soviet prisoners of war, forced laborers, civilians expelled and robbed to the bone, Red Army men who still had to flee and defeat the Wehrmacht. "<21> "The crimes committed by the Germans in this war are a burden on us, as they oppress the descendants of the victims … We are all overwhelmed by the fact that it was our fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers who fought this war and were involved in these crimes We are overwhelmed by the fact that too many perpetrators of the most serious crimes have not been brought to justice We are overwhelmed by the fact that we have not recognized the victims in the occupied east as victims for too long … I would very much like young people to visit, including forgotten places in the east of our continent, just like people come to the memorials of World War II in the west. It would be an important contribution to our common memory … The fact that after all that happened, the Germans today feel hospitality in these very places on the part of the inhabitants of Belarus , Ukraine or Russia, that they … are greeted with a kind heart – all this cannot be called anything other than a miracle. ”Six years ago, on the anniversary of the end of the war, I, then the Minister of Foreign AffairsIn Germany, in Volgograd, the former Stalingrad, a solemn reception was given in the presence of numerous veterans. With their heads held high, in their military uniform, which had become too great for them, they saluted me military honor, and tears stood in their eyes. This moment will remain one of the most touching, forever imprinted memories of my life, "concluded Frank-Walter Steinmeier. <22> <23>