Staunton, January 24 – Those who are victims of genocide typically fall into one of three categories: Some like Hitler’s Holocaust of the Jews are almost universally recognized and condemned; others like those of the Circassians, the Armenians or the Ukrainians are politically contested; and still a third like those of the Cossacks and East Prussians remain almost unknown.
This month includes the anniversaries of decisions launching one of each kind: the January 20, 1942 Wannsee conference which institutionalized Hitler’s “final solution,” Stalin’s January 30, 1930 dekulakization decree that led to the terror famine in Ukraine, and Lenin’s January 24, 1919 decree calling for the elimination of the Cossacks.
The first has been the subject this year as in many years in the past of commentaries on the evils of Hitler’s system, the second will undoubtedly spark new condemnations of Moscow in Ukraine and among the friends of Ukraine, but the third, concerning the Cossacks, the anniversary of which is today, risks passing unnoticed beyond a narrow circle.
But like all genocides it must be remembered and condemned, not only because of its inherent evils but also because the failure of all of us to recall and denounce such crimes raises the risks that either those who carried out these crimes or others will be tempted to commit additional ones.
In a commentary on what he calls “Three Horrific Anniversaries,” Yevgeny Ikhlov compares the terms of the three documents that set these acts of genocide in motion to show “why in the civilized world, Nazism and Communism are put on a par with each other” (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=5881A20210B10