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Ettore Chinnella devoted his scientific work finding answers to the question whether the Holodomor in Ukraine as genocide? Ettore Chinnella many years taught the history of Eastern Europe at the University of Pisa, and then worked in the Central Archives of Moscow. The current 300-page work is based on historical documents in five countries.
Deutsche Welle: Professor Chinnella when you decide to write this book if you did not have fear because of the high politicization of this topic?
Ettore Chinnell: No, on the contrary, to write it, I postponed other plans. I consider this book to their civic duty in view of the international situation. It should convey to the public opinion data on the darkest page in Ukrainian history. About her would know all, but in fact almost no one knows. As for the famine we complete documentation, we do not lack. But in the history books - ten lines of collectivization, its victims, hunger, and that's all. We must convey to people that Ukrainian nationalism may seem naive, even irritating, but Ukrainian when they say that if they are not dragged the Soviet Union, it could have been avoided enormous tragedy - they are right. No other country has been "punished" in a cruel manner as Ukraine in the early 30's.
In your opinion, what about the Holodomor was a known fact?
Many countries still alive "neostalinska" culture. All condemn Stalin's crimes, but not all of Stalin's crimes known! Known to his "cleansing", "great terror", but why? Because the Soviet Union in its time allowed to talk about it. While other pages silenced. If the crimes of Nazi Germany known and thoroughly analyzed, with Stalinism is not so. Today you can not speak well of Hitler, the Holocaust. No one will say, "Yes, he killed millions of Jews, but then they got their own state in Palestine, and therefore it is positive." And Stalin something like that and still talk. Had Hitler won that war, their roles would be swapped with Stalin. We would know thoroughly all the crimes of the Soviet regime starting from 1945. And today, no one could not speak well about Stalin. And, perhaps, would be someone who claimed to be: "Yes, Hitler committed many crimes, but he overcame the terrible Soviet communism, and delivered him from European civilization." Stalin and Hitler's regimes have been very different, but both are horrified. I still can not decide which of them was worse.
You believe that once held something like a conditional "Nuremberg" for Stalinism?
Well, if it has not happened ... Especially now we notice in attempts to revive Stalinism. Why is this happening? So that - an empire. When the Empire was the largest and most successful? For Stalin. In no other identity except imperial because they resist with all his might to "not lose Ukraine." It is the myth of Kievan Rus as the cradle of their civilization, though Moscow has no relation to. They will have to look for another identity, and this problem.
And what processes you see in shaping the Ukrainian identity?
Already in 2003, during the commemoration of the Holodomor anniversary was obvious that a nation that sees this tragedy as one of the pillars of its national identity. And rightly so. For example, Jewish identity is very complicated, but what unites all the Jews - it is memories of the Holocaust. As there is no single Jew who would say that the Holocaust did not matter and no one will call Ukrainian Holodomor insignificant historical detail. Actually, not knowing the history of the Holodomor, and can not understand the current conflict. It's a pain that is. In my opinion, the Russians would have to apologize, resolutely condemn Stalinism imperialism. They would say, "you suffered from Stalinism, we also got, let's be brothers. Why do we occupy Ukraine? We have our own boundless territory." But they do the opposite. I believe that the current aggression and roz'yatryla opened this wound, the memory of the Holodomor. I'm afraid that would be even worse. This could trigger a real uplift Ukrainian nationalism.
On the question of whether the Holodomor is directed against the Ukrainian, between Ukrainian and Russian historians no agreement. What conclusion are you?
Holodomor - a genocide, primarily social. The aim was to destroy the most industrious layers of the rural population. But the fact that 2/3 of the victims - Ukrainian, not an accident. It is not a coincidence and destruction of the Ukrainian intelligentsia in the same period. Stalin feared manifestations of strong national feelings, Kazakhstan, Ukraine. There are letters in which he speaks of the "risk of Ukrainian schools". And then they were many, including outside Ukraine - in the Caucasus. Then Ukrainian culture was very attractive, and Stalin did not like it.
That would make Ukraine and the European Union to overcome this conflict?
Ukraine has become an example of a country that really wants to update, develop democracy, to investigate the murder of a journalist to explain the real problems and needs of the country to spread knowledge of its history. Europe now rather reluctant in reacting to the aggression against Ukraine, state the size of France. She did not really want to respond, but should understand that in Ukraine there is no way to integration with Russia. This people terribly dilapidated prynyzhuvanomu yesterday and today, there is no other way but to integration with the world less barbaric than the one from which he suffered. Europe must help, but also has the right to ask Ukraine to guarantee real change, real reform, transparency, democratic government. In Italy, many politicians in love with the Russian regime and their "strong leader." Furthermore, Italy has diplomatic tradition which tries to "understand all", including aggressors and oppressors. But we must go forward and demand a smarter foreign policy that is more adequate condemnation of aggression and violation of international law.
By Irina Kashchei, Rome