September 8th, 2016 - Fort Russ News -
- op-ed - By Yakov Germanov -
- op-ed - By Yakov Germanov -
[continued from Part I]
My trip to Volgograd - Stalingrad - where I witnessed the beauty and marvel of the monuments to the Soviet Union’s fight against fascism, is a perfect place to reflect on the larger reasons for what Russia means to me, beyond the cultural reasons for moving here.
My entire extended Eastern European family is dead that I know of (though my family name survives, I mean the immediate relatives and cousins). They were murdered by fascists and Banderists during the war. My grandfather fought on the American side against Japanese fascists, and so being in the place where the battle of Stalingrad was had great significance for me.
As I walked up the hill to “The Motherland Calls” statue, I looked at the graves of noted dead, from 18 year old girls, to Russian men, to Russian Jews, to Chechens, Kazakhs, and Dagestanis, all with the same granite tombstones, quietly commemorating their deeds, all who equally gave for the rodina. At the top, labeled “sniper”, lay the final resting place of Vassily Zaytsev, who killed hundreds of enemy soldiers – who I had seen a movie about in America called “Enemy at the Gates”.
Seeing his grave like all the others, equal – that moved me almost to tears as I knew who he was long before seeing the grave. He was buried here though he died in 1991. Above them all stood the proud, defiant, warlike manifestation of “Mother Russia”, holding a sword and beckoning the country to fight to the death.
Russia has become one of the few European countries to openly hold in contempt so many pseudo-values that are ever-present in the western world, while opposing the globalist forces that want to force absurd sentiments on every culture, and at the same time tear down every shred of stability for a devotion to pseudo-ideals such as “democracy” (at all costs), “equality” (at all costs) and “humanitarianism” (a euphemism for cheap labor) – those very ideals that destroyed the middle east in less than a decade, and the push for the mass migration and widespread LGBT influence that is eroding European culture as a whole. It is this ideological backing added to my personal experiences of community that cements what Russia means to me.
Life is far from perfect, but the things I never had in America such as a real bond with the community, I do have here. I can express opinions that are not “pc”, and I feel a part of a country and a place. I feel like I belong to it, rather than the miasma of untempered anomie that the western world feels so imbued with. Once I was in a fight with some guys here – and onlookers rushed to my aid. I couldn’t believe it. People helping each other? When I get on the marshrutka, one has to pass one’s change up. If you sit near the door, you have to pass up a person’s change, and then pass back the remainder to them. If there’s lack of room, people will pick up a person’s child, and put the child on their lap without even asking the parent. If an old person needs help with anything, one rushes to help them and they smile. One gives their seat. It’s just normal. Expected.
The deepness of Russians and their emotions, understanding the depth of human expression is another factor. Russian people often seemed stone-faced to outsiders, but in reality emotions are a private thing in Russian culture. People feel them quite deeply, but they don’t express it so openly. One has to get to know another to express it. But once one does, it means something. It’s not just empty banter.
These small things mean the most to me, more than anything else… and combined with knowing that my new country is fighting the evils that my country of origin keeps spreading around the world – that lets me sleep well at night. I wear my St. George’s ribbon on my bag – I got it on victory day in 2015 – with great pride. I can’t say everyone else will have my experience. Learning a new language and learning to read a different alphabet than Latin is not easy. Learning Russian cultural sensibilities and intricacies can be hard as well. Things are often Chaotic in Russia. But at the end of the day, I know that I belong here. I can’t say it would be the same for all westerners, but I can tell you it is this way for me.
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