Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Auschwitz Snub

From DW:
"Putin to pass on Auschwitz anniversary ceremony"

The Russian president will not attend a commeration marking 70 years since the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp. The move comes alongside further posturing by the West and Russia.Russian President Vladmir Putin will not attend a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the Kremlin said on Tuesday. Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Ekho Moskvy radio that the president had not received an invitation. Putin did attend the 60th anniversary memorial in 2005, and his decision shows just how the deep the chill is in relations with the West, as the camp was liberated by Soviet troops and some 1.5 million victims of Auschwitz were Russian Jews or prisoners of war. Auschwitz museum director Piotr Cywinski told the Associated Press that no specific invitations were sent, but rather embassies of EU nations and governments of donor countries, which include Russia, were given a notice that the ceremony would take place on January 27. Cywinski said that French President Francois Hollande and his German counterpart Joachim Gauck will be among the guests, as well as ambassadors and members of European royalty. Peskov acknowledged in the radio interview that the Kremlin was aware no direct invitations were sent, but dodged questions about Putin's specific reasons for skipping the ceremony, and simply cited the president's busy schedule.

^ After reading (from this article and several others) I don't think there was a snub by Poland or Auschwitz since no official invitations were sent out - maybe they should have sent some invitations. Putin not attending the official 70th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp by the Soviets only diminishes the role of the Soviet Union and their role during World War 2 and anyone who has every talked to a Russian about the Great Patriotic War (WW 2) knows that they don't take kindly to anyone trying to change their view of what the USSR did and suffered during the war (even if what they learned was Communist propaganda and can be proven wrong.) If German leaders can go to the event (considering that Germany started the war and carried out the mass murder in death camps like Auschwitz) then you would think Putin could put aside whatever feelings he has about the international sanctions, etc and stand-up for his country in an important event like the 70th anniversary of the liberation. ^


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