War in Ukraine: Denazify, the tenses of the verb | Opinion

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Denazify and demilitarize, two persistent verbs since February 23, 2022 in Putin's mouth that transcend the insulting triviality of war propaganda. To see beyond the slogans and find their full meaning, you have to combine them in all tenses.

In the past tense, they explain Stalin's project for Europe in 1945, devotedly applied to Germany occupied by Soviet troops, the territories of the future Democratic Republic. The effects of the ban on the defeated ideology and the severe application of justice to its leaders soon reverberated on all the parties and citizens who were wayward with the new communist power imposed by the Stalinist tanks, including the social democrats hostile to the union of the left decreed from the Kremlin. The Nazis disappeared there, but freedom did not return until 1989.

Everyone, Soviet and American, wanted a disarmed Germany. Henry Morgenthau, Roosevelt's Secretary of Commerce, thought of splitting it in five and turning it into an agrarian economy. He agreed with Stalin, who applied part of the deindustrialization program to his area of ​​control. He placed his trained puppets in power, seized the bulk of heavy industry, subjected it to the socialist camp's division of labor, and organized a Warsaw Pact armed and security force to his liking.

On the other side, however, there was neither what Stalin could understand as denazification nor demilitarization to his liking. The repression against the former Nazis ended as soon as the Cold War began and it was not until the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1961 for genocide that accountability for the Holocaust gained momentum. The Marshall Plan and the social market economy led to the recovery of the German industrial power. With the entry of Federal Germany into NATO, Moscow was once again able to wield the scarecrow of militarism, now American, once again installed in the heart of Europe as in Hitler's time.

In the present, Putin conjugates the same verbs in the Ukraine as Stalin after the defeat of Hitler. His troops are already applying them in the part of Ukraine that they consider conquered. The atrocities committed in Bucha, Irpin and many other locations can hardly be dissociated from the behavior of the Red Army so well described in A woman in Berlin, shocking testimony of the type of looting and raping host that defeated and succeeded the German troops, even more criminal. Like the occupation and paralysis of nuclear power plants, the bombing of infrastructures and factories or the destruction of the Antonov, the world's largest air freighter and the pride of Ukrainian aviation, correspond to the purpose of obliterating Ukraine as an economic power. Just as the deportation of populations, the kidnapping of children, the looting and destruction of heritage and the disappearance of any trace of pluralism and freedom in the already occupied territories seek their disappearance through assimilation and Russification. Denazifying means that Ukraine does not exist as a free and sovereign European nation.

In the past it is about recovering a myth, that of victory over Nazism. At present, it is the way to wage a total war, which does not distinguish between civilian and military objectives, or between combatants and ordinary citizens. The greater the destruction, the more denazified and demilitarized the country, that is, the less Ukraine. In the future tense, these verbs conjugate Putin's peace project, even for other countries in the region, such as Moldova and, in the most unlikely event that no one resists, then Poland and the Baltic republics.

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