Every year on May 9 Kazakhstan celebrates Victory Day.
However, recently the significance of this holiday began to cause many doubts.
I’ll try to understand each of them.
1. Was there any Patriotic war in general? World War II is known throughout the world. It was named Patriotic for propaganda purposes in the Soviet Union.
Yes, I agree. The same war is named differently in different countries. In England, it is called as the Eastern Front. In Germany, they write about it as the German-Soviet war, the Russian or Eastern campaign. In most other countries, it is more often simply a part of the Second World War. And only in the former Soviet Union, after using it June 22, 1941 in Molotov’s radio address to the people the term “Patriotic War”, and later “Great Patriotic War”, this name got stuck in the minds of people.
What was the purpose of this?
Obviously, the Soviet leadership needed to separate the war, that had already been going on for almost two years in Europe and had not touched the citizens of the USSR, from the moment when Nazi Germany invaded the territory of the Soviet Union. Since that moment, the life and freedom of citizens of our country have been directly threatened. It was logical to call the defense of this aggression Patriotic, as protection of the Fatherland from foreign invaders.
I do not see anything wrong with this step of the Soviet leadership. Leadership of any country could have done that to raise the patriotic spirit of the nation. And I do not see anything wrong that in different countries people call the same war differently.
2.Was it worth it for Kazakhstan to fight against Hitler, if he did not plan to enslave the peoples of the Soviet Union, but only intended to free them from communist oppression? In fact, both regimes are anti-human. The Nazi regime proclaims the superiority of one nation over others and justifies their enslavement. The Communist regime proclaims the superiority of the collective over the individual and justifies its oppression. Under the Communists, and under the Nazis, society and individual can not develop harmoniously. Under the Communists, our people received a cult of personality, repression, and famine. With the Nazis, we were destined for the role of slaves and maintenance personnel for the Aryan nation. Numerous documents testify to this. Thus, to say that the struggle against Nazism embodied in Hitlerite army was in vain is a big mistake. Yes, of course, it was necessary to fight with the communist regime too. We fought with it. But this is a topic for a separate discussion.
3.Did it make sense for the Kazakhs to fight not for their homeland, but for Russia and for the Stalinist bloody regime?
It did. By the beginning of the Great Patriotic War (or World War II), Kazakhstan was part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. And the defense of the state was a civil duty of all inhabitants of the Soviet Union, regardless of nationality. Just like if a war between Kazakhstan and any other country started, it would be illogical, for example, to the Kazakhstani Germans or Koreans to say that this is not their country, and they should not fight for Nazarbayev.
4.Did the Kazakhs voluntarily fight in that war? Were they forced by the Soviet authorities?
Like it now (as then) or not to some people, but Kazakhstan was part of the USSR at the beginning of the war. It would be unreasonable to assert that at that time it was occupied by Russia and was its colony. Even if historical references can be altered to please those in power, many of us have ourselves were in the Soviet Union and know our grandmothers and grandfathers who lived there before the war. I will not be mistaken if I say that although certain nationalistic sentiments were present in Kazakhstani society, in the traditional sense, citizens of Union republics did not feel themselves as residents of Russian colonies. The bulk of people supported the current regime and voluntarily fulfilled their civic duties. Including the duty of protecting the Fatherland. The bulk of our grandfathers, and this is about one and a half million people, went to the front voluntarily, without resistance. There were, of course, who refused, but it was a small number. No more than in any other republic of the USSR, including in Russia itself.
5.Should we celebrate Victory Day if it is associated with millions of victims around the world?
Many believe that World War II is a tragic page of humanity and celebrate its end day is blasphemy. However, I would put in this emphasis on the word “end”. On this day, we celebrate not its beginning and its course of action, but the ending and final victory over Nazi Germany, and hence overall victory over Nazism and fascism in the world.
I agree that one should not forget the price paid for the Victory, including half a million Kazakhstanis. However, not celebrating the Victory, it means not celebrating their Victory, not recognizing the value of their sacrifice for the Victory. Personally, I regard it that way.
So, here’s my conclusion.
Victory should be celebrated. On its example, we need to educate patriotism in our younger generation. Our patriotism, Kazakhstani patriotism. Although at that time we fought against Nazism as part of another state, but this does not abolish the heroism of our grandfathers, their selflessness in the fight against the enslavers of our people.