The Russians in Paris, will honor the memory of the fallen in the First world war

© RIA Novosti / Irina to Kalashnikova in potamocorbula soldiers of the Russian expeditionary force in France. Archival photoThe Russians in Paris, will honor the memory of the fallen in the First world war© RIA Novosti / Irina to Kalashnikova the image Bank

Russian-speaking residents of France will honor the memory of the fallen in the First world war in the centenary of the end of the first in world history, global conflict, told RIA Novosti the teacher of the subject «Russian language and civilization» at the National Institute of Oriental languages and civilizations (INALCO), head of the coordination Council of Russian compatriots in France Georgy Shepelev.

«In different regions of France its Russian-speaking residents will participate in memorial events. In Paris, the representatives of the Russian Diaspora will lay flowers at the monument to soldiers of the Russian expeditionary corps,» he said.

In 1916, true to its commitments, Russia sent an expeditionary force to assist the allies on the Western front. His main contingent defended with the French troops the region champagne-Ardenne. Particularly distinguished Russian infantry under Reims, blocking the way to Paris to the German divisions.

Monument to the soldiers of the Russian expeditionary corps was opened in Paris in the summer of 2011 during the visit of Vladimir Putin, then Russian Prime Minister. The monument is located in the historic quarter of the capital on the right Bank of the Seine near the Grand Palais and Pont Alexandre III, whose rule was signed Russian-French Alliance.

According to the head of the Council of compatriots «in some universities and schools will be held scientific conferences and lectures dedicated to the theme of the First world war», which, of course, will take participation and Russian-speaking residents of France.

«I think that for many of us this is another opportunity to remember the millions of victims that have sustained humanity, determined to speak out against war, for peace and understanding between peoples», — said the historian.

According to him, «world war came from outside, she was born in the bosom of the European civilization.»

«It was born out of the inability of the diplomats to find mutually acceptable solutions to the problems, was born based on the idea that the war – an event of heroic and beautiful, legitimate way to protect the interests of the country and its borders – or expansion. Blind faith societies, politicians and mass media from primitive xenophobia, which at the time of the conflict «suddenly» skillfully was inflated to huge sizes,» said Shepelev.

He believes that «the memory of the war should serve us all a serious warning: the world is fragile, and war could erupt in the most peaceful and «civilized» place on our planet – be a background and the causes of war has not eliminated».

The centenary of the First world will be widely celebrated in France on Sunday, 11 November. The Forum is timed to mark the date, gather a few dozen world leaders and heads of government, held a commemorative ceremony at the arc de Triomphe and other memorial places.

«I hope that politicians and diplomats will be useful to realize that a heavy legacy of the war successfully overcome societies of the countries participating in it. The memory of the First world war — unlike the Second — almost does not create serious conflicts on the European scene of international relations», — says the teacher.

«This experience of overcoming of the conflict and out of the war, shared the tragic historical experience, I think it would be useful to share and politicians are facing urgent tasks of conflict settlement in the Donbass, not to mention the middle East,» the source continues.

He is confident that «the civil society of our countries should be more rigidly to put before their governments to prevent armed conflicts and de-escalation of the arms race – without our active participation in the struggle for peace politicians will not be able to solve these problems».

He stressed that «in recent years one can observe the development of the dialogue carrier of historical memory of the two countries: representatives of the Russian community participate in the memorial ceremonies dedicated to the events of the First world war, and the French are coming the shares of the Russian community, dedicated to the great Patriotic war first on the people’s March «Immortal regiment», which has been held for four years in France».

According to him, this dialogue is welcome.

An important page in the history of the First world war, and Russia Shepelev calls the story of Russian soldiers in France. «Part of the Russian expeditionary corps in the battles against the German army repeatedly became a subject of memorial ceremonies with the participation of French and Russian politicians and members of the public,» he says.

Historian recalls in this context the revolt in the camp of the Russian corps in the commune of La Courtine in the autumn of 1917. Then the Russian soldiers demanded the cessation of participation in hostilities and the return to Russia.

«Suppressed by French military forces remaining loyal to the Interim government of the Russian parts, the rebellion entered into a series of actions of the resistance war, which took place on both sides of the front. It became one of the first armed episodes of the next phase of the political changes in Russia, one of the main points of the program which was the end of the war,» says Shepelev.

«And the participation of Russian troops in the war in France, and their rebellion against it continue – events that fit into pan-European memorial landscape of the First world war, and a new theme — bridges for dialogue between historians and societies of France and Russia,» — said the historian.

The cultural legacy of war

The first world war resulted in a technological revolution and changes in the world culture. Among the famous people who fought in that war, was the Creator of Winnie the Pooh Alan a Milne, author of «the Lord of the rings» J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ernest Hemingway, who wrote the novel «farewell to arms». However, Russian literature keeps the memory about the war.

«In the Russian literature, I would highlight the anti-war journalism of Leo Tolstoy, in particular the famous article «think Again!», written in 1904. Today we read it as a prediction of even more terrible war — world, the warning of the great writer, which was not heeded by his contemporaries,» recalls Shepelev.

But on the Fat the list goes on. «Which authors, in your opinion, is most fully revealed the horrors of war, depression after her?» — this question Shepelev continues to call books and films, mixing popular and forgotten.

«The iron flood» Serafimovich, Alexander documented reflected the merciless cruelty of the «epilogue» of the First world war – a civil war. It is impossible not to remember «On the Western front» by Remarque and «the death of the hero» Aldington «Paths of glory» from the Humphrey Cobb’s eponymous film, shot in 1957, this book Stanley Kubrick. By the way, it came out in France, only 17 years later, so tough at that time the Director has raised the forbidden topic – forcing soldiers to war, their command and brutal repression of the unwilling to fight» — lists the historian.

«Gallipoli» by Peter Weir (1981) continues the line of movies showing that the «romanticism» of war, hides in fact a terrible meat grinder. As for the topic of communication between cultures – in the war and despite the war here, not to mention the wonderful human film by Christian Karion «merry Christmas» (2005), telling of how ordinary soldiers cannot stop the carnage and to see each other as people and friends,» said Shepelev.

The present and the future

After the war in 1919 Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles, drawn up by the countries-winners, including the US, France, Britain and Belgium. Under the Treaty Germany was returned to France Alsace and Lorraine, Belgium — Malmedy and the County Eapen, Poland — Poznan and several other territories, including the city of Danzig. Germany has made commitments to respect the sovereignty of Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia, and deprived their colonies. The German armed forces were limited to the land army to 100 thousand people, compulsory military service was abolished, the development of weapons, including technically the most promising, in fact, forbidden. In addition, the Entente ordered Germany to compensate incurred by them, including civilians, losses and damages.

Some historians have called the Treaty one of the causes of the Second world war.

«With the end of the First world war in Europe was over with nationalism, racism, the cult of military force, expansionism. Remained and developed xenophobia and the idea of other peoples as inferior. It wasn’t just ideas floating in the air, many European countries in the interwar period were brutal colonialist policies, where these thoughts were implementation,» said Shepelev.

He adds that «attempts at «prevention» of war in different ways — from pacifist movements and non-violent actions to radical social revolutions, which were to eliminate the «class» background of wars – have failed in the whole of Europe, and it splits into «socialist» and «capitalist» only exacerbated the situation.»

«Only after the Second world war, both sides were able to finally implement the principle of peaceful coexistence of States with different social systems — that saved Europe from a new war. Sad to admit, but, perhaps, only the threat of a nuclear Apocalypse forced the Europeans to seriously address the stabilization of Europe and its disarmament in 1970-1980-ies. Alas, it was inconsistent and inconclusive,» adds the scientist.

On the question why Germany has become a hotbed of a new war in Europe and the world, he gave several reasons. Among them, the militarist tradition, the expansionist strategy of big capital and political elites, the ideology of superiority – scientific, technological, cultural — over the neighbors, which became a fertile ground for Nazism.

«Is there a danger of the return of hateful ideologies in Europe? In parallel with the global increase of population mobility, intercultural dialogue and exchanges of all kinds, the abolition of state borders in Europe and the strengthening of right-wing parties and regimes, not to shun primitive xenophobia and militarism. Which trends will prevail? I think that it depends on all of us, but the cause for blind optimism,» says the source.

The Russians in Paris, will honor the memory of the fallen in the First world war© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Fedorenkova in fotobabbles Spiegel: Europe is becoming «brown»

Now, according to Shepelev, «our world is not immune from the new global conflict».

«The system of checks and balances can be easily undermined by the actions of one party in power in one of the leading countries of the world: another dangerous example of this we saw just a few weeks ago with the beginning of unilateral revision «old» treaties limiting nuclear weapons,» he recalls.

The historian believes that «international diplomacy is often ineffective.»

«Developed countries periodically demonstrate their readiness for war, and sent to a «crusade» to Third world countries, often with more than unclear and an ill and dangerous consequences in the face of competitors. But the major limiting factor that played an important role in defusing tensions in the 60-80-ies of XX century, since he was seriously weakened,» he concludes, speaking of the massive international peace movement.

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