Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Playing with Hitler

On 19 April one of the most influential newspapers in Ukraine “Dzerkalo tyzhnia” published an article that was widely reprinted and quoted by international media. The article informed that in local toy stores of the capital of Ukraine Kyiv are available… toy-dolls of Adolf Hitler, the cruelest dictator in recent history of Europe.

This information was widely spread through Internet and written press through all the continents. Recently the main Russian TV-channels reported more details: the 40-centimetre figure of Hitler costs approximately $250 and – like Barbie doll or similar – is equipped with extra set of clothes and accessories (even with swastika armband for leather coat).

I tried to find the doll in Kyiv’ souvenir shops to make my own pictures, but failed. So, I reprint a photo of Hitler doll from the Daily Mail website.

The appearance of this information in Ukrainian and the world media is not a negative factor for Ukraine and its international image. This operative work of Ukrainian and international journalists has led to the hot discussions on this point inside Ukrainian political and social circles, and that is good. What I didn’t like in this situation is the attempts to use this “unclean” marketing ideas of one private businessman as a weapon in information war against independent and democratic Ukraine, opened by some political forces from outside and also from inside of my country.

I would just quote the text published on the mentioned Daily Mail website: “The former Soviet republic in recent years has seen increasing nationalist activism, amid reports of increasing xenophobia and racism and some extremists supporting racism similar to that of Nazi Germany under Hitler”.
For me, Ukrainian and grand-daughter of the World War Two heroes, it is really very painful to read these words.

I am strongly convinced that in Ukraine there are no any real reasons even to talk about fascisation or similar. National values of Ukrainians still safeguard memory about Germany’s World War Two invasion and terrible cruel crimes of Nazis in Ukraine, when more than 3 million of civil Ukrainians died. There is no room in today’s Ukraine for xenophobia and racism. It is also illegal in Ukraine to perform a Nazi propaganda. It is a fact.

Today I’ve met one respected ex-member of Parliament of Ukraine. He first started to talk about the Hitler-doll-case. I like the words he said: “The problem with the Hitler toy is not a problem of the raise of Nazi ideals in Ukraine (this question even does not exist). The problem is in the absence of self-respect of some Ukrainians who, thinking about short-term profit, betrayed the memory of their grandparents, who won the war against Hitler”.

I can add that millions of people who were fighting with fascism in the World War Two, especially Ukrainians, Russians, Belorussians who took on themselves the hardest first years of the War, the soldiers who died and that who survived, all of them saved the world and Europe from the Nazi plague. And only owing to their feat of arms Europe became as prosperous and happy continent as it is today.

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