The exhibition “Ordinary Nazism” has opened on Poklonnaya Hill. The program includes stories about the atrocities of Bandera, swastikas and a comparison of Nazi Germany with modern Ukraine. We got acquainted with this (very strange) exposition

The Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War has been running an exhibition called “Ordinary Nazism” for a month now, which tells about the “inseparable connection of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists ” with “modern nationalist organizations of Ukraine that have revived the ideology of Nazi Germany.” Meduza visited the exhibition, where they looked at tiktoks in which “Russian invaders save civilians” and the Ukrainian flag next to a mug with a swastika.

The Victory Museum, renamed the “Victory Museum” in March , is in great demand on weekends. There is bustle in the wardrobe of the main building: tourist groups are looking for their guides. Most of the visitors are children: from first-graders who run up the stairs in a crowd, to graduates who look with boredom at hot dogs in a cafe. On the menu, hot dogs coexist with the “Field Kitchen” section, where the only dish is presented: buckwheat porridge with meat. 

In the souvenir shop, merch with the letters Z and V has been added to the usual assortment. Supporters of the “special operation” can buy a beer mug with the inscription “For Ours” or a badge “My President PUTIN VV” there. A mother and an adult daughter are looking at souvenirs: they are arguing which notebook to choose – with a star and the word “Victory” or with Putin on the cover. In the end, both are taken. WHAT IS THIS MUSEUM

On April 19, the temporary exhibition “Ordinary Nazism” was opened in the museum. For a month, according to the museum itself,  more than 150 thousand people visited it.

“More than 200 exhibits tell about the atrocities of Ukrainian nationalists during the Second World War, as well as the mass crimes and terror of modern neo-Nazis against the inhabitants of Ukraine in 2014-2022. The materials of the exhibition will show the inextricable link between the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) , which participated in the destruction of the civilian population during the war years, and the modern nationalist organizations of Ukraine, which revived the ideology of Nazi Germany, ” says the content of the exposition on the museum’s website. 

“It is hard to accept that these destructive ideas again found ardent followers. I am sure that more than 200 exhibits and documentary materials will not leave anyone indifferent,” Alexander Shkolnik, director of the Victory Museum, deputy secretary of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation , said about the exhibition.

Two weeks after the opening of the exposition, Shkolnik was put on the UK sanctions list with the wording “he used his position as head of a major national cultural institution to spread disinformation.” The schoolboy, according to the British, supported and promoted “false information from the Russian government that the invasion of Ukraine is denazification.”

Later, the director of the museum was also included in the sanctions lists of Australia . “I consider this an indicator of our work. It means that we are doing everything right,” Shkolnik himself commented on the sanctions.

To get to the exhibition, you need to go through a part of the permanent exhibition of the museum, which is dedicated to the Great Patriotic War. The hall is opened by a semicircular composition with a number of words: “Woe”, “Blow”, “Aggression”, “Protest”, “Crime”, “Tragedy”, “Torture”, “Genocide”, “Occupation”, “Execution”, “Ruins and dozens of others.

Here is a quote from the  speech of the representative of the prosecution from the USA Telford Taylor from the  Nuremberg Trials : “The atrocities committed by the armed forces and other organizations of the Third Reich in the East were so amazingly monstrous that the human mind can hardly comprehend them … These atrocities took place as a result carefully calculated orders and directives issued before or during the attack on the Soviet Union and which constitute a coherent logical system.

Behind this stand is an anti-war poster with the slogan “Oh, if there were no war” with a plan for economic growth and living standards in the USSR in 1938-1942.

After the alley “Faces of Victory” and  the Hall of Memory and Sorrow , there are exhibits dedicated to the course of military operations of the Great Patriotic War. One of them is interactive. A soldier with a gun at the ready in military uniform and a cap stands with his back to the viewer, and if you get closer, he begins a story about the war. Losing sight of the man, he again and again pronounces the beginning of the speech: “In the forty-first we were raised on alarm, then for a long time I could not believe that the war had really begun.” 

A girl in a Red Army cap is climbing the stairs to the Generals’ Hall. She walks towards the large letters “Ordinary Nazism” on the wall on the left side of the hall. Caretakers are on duty in front of the entrance to the small hall, and there is a sign “18+” right on the way. Children run around her and Ordinary Nazism. 

A man in glasses is rapidly walking past the caretaker, leading a six-year-old boy by the hand to the center of the hall – towards the Ukrainian flag and objects with the image of swastikas. “The point is not that [children] should know or not know, the point is in the psyche, it’s not just 18+,” the museum employee reproaches the man, but does not dare to stop him. A red-haired woman walks a little more slowly behind a man with a child. 

“This is modern Ukraine and what is happening to it,” the father says clearly and measuredly, holding the child by the hand. “Ukraine uses the swastika, which my grandfather and great-grandfather fought against.”

The family quickly makes their way around the exhibition and stops at one of the stands dedicated to modern Ukraine: the photo next to it shows children’s bodies lying in a row. “Lesh,” the red-haired girl of her husband snaps. “He already saw everything,” he replies sharply, but nevertheless leads the boy away from the “Atrocities of Nazism” stand. 

The exhibition is a small rectangular space with stands. Its curators are not identified. The central part of the exposition – both on the  announcement and in fact – is a large children’s swing with traces of rust, next to which there are new soft toys and one children’s shoe. Above them are figures of angels with the names of children and their ages written on them: “Valentina Litovchenko, 2 years old”, “Anastasia Konapleva, 13 years old”, “Daniel Belykh, 14 years old”.

There is not a single sign explaining what kind of swing it is, why children’s things are scattered around them and what the names on the figures mean at the exhibition. These names, along with those of 73 other children, Meduza found, first surfaced online in 2015 on pro-Russian websites linked to the self-proclaimed DPR. It was alleged that the list contains children who died during the military conflict in the Donbass, later the dead children from this list were called “angels” . There was no official confirmation of these data either from Ukraine or from Russia.

Another element in the middle of the hall is the flag of Ukraine with phrases in Ukrainian written on it with markers: “United Ukraine”, “Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes” and “Ukraine, we love you! You’re the best! Mariupol, you are with us! Next to him on a shelf behind glass is a modern mug with a swastika. How and why she ended up at the exhibition and what relation she has to Ukraine is unclear. 

The exhibition is held to the sound of a metronome. It is divided into two semantic parts: the information row on the right side of the entrance is dedicated to the events of the 20th century, on the left – to modern Ukraine.

On the right side, they talk about the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists: “OUN – UPA  – accomplices of the Nazis,” – highlighted in bold in the text on the wall.

“Even before the German attack on the USSR, the OUN Bandera were planning ethnic cleansing and proposing the program “Ukraine for Ukrainians,” visitors are told. In the same wording, the phrase is given in  Wikipedia .

(C)MEDUZA 2022

One comment

  1. The ruSSo-nazis keep pushing the false narrative that anyone that opposes Russian-style fascism is a Nazi, regardless of what they do. As far as I know Ukraine/Kyiv have never invaded anyone in a thousand years. Yet they are the nazis….
    Where is my horilka?….

    Liked by 3 people

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