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21 september

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Lessons from Nuremberg: the historical truth must remain unchanged

An exhibition prepared by the State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia has opened at the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation

Lessons from Nuremberg: the historical truth must remain unchanged

On September 21, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation opened an exhibition "Lessons from Nuremberg: never to be forgotten", prepared by the State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia. The exhibition will run until October 11.

“Today it is more important than ever to remember the lessons of Nuremberg,” said Irina Velikanova, Chair of the Commission of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation on Culture Development and Preservation of Spiritual Heritage, Director General of the State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia.

“Oddly enough, the West has long preferred to forget about these lessons. Increasingly, there are statements that the Soviet Union bears the same responsibility for the outbreak of World War II as Germany. 75 years ago, during the Nuremberg trials, all assessments were given, and it seemed that all the lessons had been learnt, but today it turns out that not everyone is on the same page,” she stressed.

The mastermind behind the exhibition, historian Alexander Zvyagintsev, recalled that the Soviet Union consistently demanded and aimed for the Nuremberg trials; from the very first days of the war, a special commission was created to investigate the atrocities of the Nazis.

“The Nuremberg trials should serve as a formidable warning to those who are trying to dominate the world and unleash wars. The Nuremberg trials practically laid the foundations for the future world order. Before Nuremberg, there was no concept of genocide; what is more, the process abolished the statute of limitations for crimes against humanity; determined that it was impossible to delegate blame to the upper echelons of government and conceal guilt with criminal orders, etc. All these are enduring universal values. And even against this backdrop, some are trying to rewrite history, so it is important to record these developments in documents and videos and constantly stir up the interest of people around the world to what is happening so that their determination for the truth remains intact,” Alexander Zvyagintsev was quoted as saying.

The Executive Director of the History of the Fatherland Foundation Konstantin Mogilevsky spoke about the importance of popularizing Russian history and keeping the historical truth unchanged. In his opinion one can only talk about history on the basis of documents.

“This is a topic for historical reflection. It is important to understand how these discussions between the prosecutors and the accused went on, and why such results were obtained. It is crucial to understand why some of the main Nazi criminals were charged, but many of those who were objectively implicated did not bear responsibility,” he said.

Mikhail Amirdzhanov, the grandson of the chief prosecutor from the USSR at the Nuremberg trials Roman Rudenko, submitted documents from the family archive for the project and highlighted the fact that the Allies found the strength and will to conduct not just a trial, but an objective legal process.

“Attempts to ignore the results of the Nuremberg trials and deliberately distort the historical realities of those times are active not only in the West, but also, surprisingly, in our country, and this must be fought against. The historical truth must remain unchanged and the maximum number of people should know it", he stated.

The speeches given by the historians also reminded everyone that the USSR suffered heavy losses during the Second World War and that it was the USSR that insisted the trials be open. The history of the Nuremberg trials, experts say, is a convincing lesson today for those who are trying to distort the role of the Soviet Union in the victory over fascism.

Tags: Irina Velikanova

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