FW: [Web Comments] Memorial to Russian soldiersThis is the email I received from the West Hollywood Councilmember, following the protest email that I sent viaMessage 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2005View Source
FW: [Web Comments] Memorial to Russian soldiersThis is the email I received from the West Hollywood Councilmember, following the protest email that I sent via their web site.Krystyna SzypowskaKingston, Ontario, Canada----- Original Message -----From: Jeff PrangTo: kms0902@...Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 4:18 PMSubject: RE: [Web Comments] Memorial to Russian soldiers
Thank you for your email. I feel obliged to offer a clarification about the monument to be built honoring West Hollywoods Russian-speaking veterans.
First of all, it is not a "war memorial." Secondly, it is not a memorial honoring the Red Army or the former Soviet Union. Finally, it is not attempt to gloss over the war time atrocities of the dictator Josef Stalin.
This will be a monument honoring American citizens - citizens who live in and around West Hollywood. It will honor their efforts as American allies in the defeat of fascism and their contributions our local community.
While these Americans may have fought in the Soviet military services during the war, today, they stand proud and erect when the US national anthem plays, and they speak the words of the Pledge of Allegiance with greater enthusiasm and reverence than most native born Americans. With incredible pride, they recollect their military service as allies of the Americans, standing side by side in common cause.
These now-American, Russian-speaking veterans of World War II are predominantly Jewish and from the Ukraine. Many survived themselves and lost loved ones in the Holocaust; they endured Nazi occupation and destruction of their homeland; they were then oppressed and persecuted under Stalin and the communists. They moved to the United States as refugees - the "Refuseniks" - and helped build West Hollywood as a city.
West Hollywood is proud to honor the service and contributions of these "new" Americans who chose our country as their home.
Councilmember, City West Hollywood
From: kms0902@... [mailto:kms0902@...]
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2005 8:00 PM
To: City Council Web Email Address
Subject: [Web Comments] Memorial to Russian soldiers
Krystyna Szypowska has submitted the following comments through the city web site.
Please register my protest to the memorial that you are having built in West Hollywood. I can only assume that no one did any research into this subject before going ahead with the approval. You did not research the 50 MILLION + people (Lithuanian, Latvian, Polish, Ukrainian, Czechoslovakian, etc.) who were murdered by these very Russian soldiers or were roused from their beds in the middle of the night in minus 40 temperatures and stuffed into cattle cars and transported into the depths of Siberia as disposable slave labour (men, women, children, elderly alike). Dying along the way - their bodies tossed out of the cattle cars and left in the snow along the train tracks - by these very soldiers that you honor with your monument. Your monument will (perhaps unwittingly) be a monument to these horrors and inhumane treatments. By your actions you are applauding the monsters who perpetrated these crimes and who have never been made to face any International Court for these crimes. I am the child of a survivor of such inhumane acts and I can assure you that my mother is horrified to learn of your monument to her torturers; the executioners of her family. As long as people such as yourselves exist, people who act without thinking and proper ressearch, there will be more murders and more bloodshed and further monuments built to the perpetrators. Unless these monstrous crimes are unveiled alongside this monument, then by your actions you will be an accessory to these crimes.