Fighting the "Captive Nations Week Resolution"
|From its founding, the CRA has been protesting the
"Captive Nations Week Resolution." To appreciate its hateful, racist nature,
consider its complete text:
"PUBLIC LAW 86-90 CAPTIVE NATIONS WEEK RESOLUTION
JOINT RESOLUTION providing for the designation of the third week of July as "Captive Nations Week"
Whereas the greatness of the United States is in large part attributable to its having been able , through the democratic process, to achieve a harmonious national unit of its people, even though they stem from the most diverse of racial, religious, and ethnic backgrounds; and Whereas this harmonious unification of the diverse elements of our free society has led the people of the United States to possess a warm understanding and sympathy for the aspirations of peoples everywhere and to recognize the natural interdependency of the peoples and nations of the world; and Whereas the enslavement of a substantial part of the world's population by Communist imperialism makes a mockery of the idea of peaceful coexistence between nations and constitutes a detriment to the natural bonds of understanding between the people of the United States and other peoples; and Whereas since 1918 the imperialistic and aggressive policies of Russian communism have resulted in the creation of a vast empire which poses a die threat to the security of the United States and of all the free people of the world; and Whereas the imperialistic policies of Communist Russia have led, through direct and indirect aggression, to the subjugation of the national independence of Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Latvia, Estonia, White Ruthenia, Rumania, East Germany, Bulgaria, mainland China, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, North Korea, Albania, Idel-Ural, Tibet, Cossackia, Turkestan, North Viet-Nam, and others; and Whereas these submerged nations look to the United States, as the citadel of human freedom, for leadership in bringing about their liberation and independence and in restoring to them the enjoyment of their Christian, Jewish, Moslem, Buddhist, or other religious freedoms, and of their individual liberties; and Whereas it is vital to the national security of the United States that the desire for liberty and independence on the part of the peoples of these conquered nations should be steadfastly kept alive; and Whereas the desire for liberty and independence by the overwhelming majority of the people of these submerged nations constitutes a powerful deterrent to war and one of the best hopes for a just and lasting peace; and Whereas it is fitting that we clearly manifest to such peoples through an appropriate and official means the historic fact that the people of the United States share with them their aspirations for the recovery of their freedom and independence: Now, therefor, be it Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That: The President of the United States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation designating the third week in July 1959 as "Captive Nations Week" and inviting the people of the United States to observe such week with appropriate ceremonies and activities. The President is further authorized and requested to issue a similar proclamation each year until such time as freedom and independence shall have been achieved for all the captive nations of the world.
Approved July 17, 1959, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower."
Disregarding such racist, historically incorrect, language as "Russian communism" and "Communist Russia," the main racist offense of this resolution is in the fact that Russia is omitted from the list of captive nations! By this omission, the Russian people are accused of being the captors of all these other "captive nations." In other words, Russians, the first and foremost victim of international Communism, were accused of crimes committed by Communists. Moreover, the list of "captive nations" has unmistakable markings of a Nazi-produced document: "Nations" of White Ruthenia, Idel-Ural, Cossackia, Turkestan were all invented by Alfred Rosenberg, Hitler's minister for "Eastern Regions." His national policy in those regions was to dangle the promise of independence before these and other ethnic groups making up the Soviet Union. We know from history that this theory was proven wrong and that it backfired. By invoking Russian patriotism, Stalin was able to deceive the Russian and other peoples within the Soviet Union and induce them to fight for their "Motherland." Let us recall that in playing the "Russian patriotism card," a year after World War II began and Germans were approaching the Volga river, Stalin revived the Russian Orthodox Church (including the office of Patriarch, vacant since 1925); revamped the Soviet military to resemble the old czarist army, reinstated its officer corps; introduced series of medals and orders named after famous Russian generals and military leaders; and applied czarist regimental names to Soviet regiments and divisions, suggesting their right to succession; etc.
Most of these concessions were rescinded after the war. But it was the Russian patriotism card that brought victory over Hitler's Germany, i.e., it was proven to the entire world that the victory was won by Russians and other peoples (later listed as "captive nations" in P.L. 86-90) who lived in Russia for generations -- not by Communists and their Marxist theory.
For these reasons the CRA fought against the P.L. 86-90 since its founding in 1972. During this better-than-25-year struggle, a number of Congressmen attempted to amend the Captive Nations Week Resolution, but they could never overcome the prevalent Russophobia.
Even after the break-up of the Soviet Union and the advent of a democratic Russian Federation, the P.L. 86-90 is alive and well. While it is hopelessly outmoded and irrelevant, the forces of latent Russophobia are doing all they can to "keep it on the books."
The latest attempt by the CRA to abolish this racist legislation was made in 1996, on the eve of another (37th!) captive nations "celebration." The CRA president urged President Bill Clinton to do away with P.L. 86-90 and, after writing a letter to the President, issued and widely distributed the following News Release:
Release # CRA-117 Media contact: Peter N. Budzilovich
June 28, 1996 914-358-7117
RUSSIAN-AMERICANS SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE "CAPTIVE NATIONS WEEK"
NYACK, N.Y.-- As another third week in July is about to be mandatory proclaimed by President Bill Clinton as the "Captive Nations Week," the Russian-American community strenuously protests its racist Russophobia, see P.L. 86-90 on the reverse.
According to Mr. Peter N. Budzilovich, president, Congress of Russian-Americans, the CRA wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton, which included the following statement:
"Since 1959, the 'Captive Nations Resolution,' P.L. 86-90, has been accusing the Russian people of all the barbaric crimes committed by international Communism. Many U.S. Presidents, misled by racist Cold War Russophobic misinformation, have been equating the 'Russians' with 'Communist' and 'Communism.' As a number of former 'Captive Nations' are voluntarily embracing Communism today, the 'Russians,' while exercising a democratic freedom, have shown themselves to be true anti-Communists. A strong anti-Communist position was proclaimed by the Yeltsin team on June 17.
"Therefore, we strongly urge you to give the Russian people the encouragement they deserve by praising their perseverance and devotion to the cause of freedom and democracy. Furthermore, we feel that you might call upon the Congress to abolish the racist Cold War relic, the infamous P.L. 86-90, that blames the Russian people, the first and foremost victim of international Communism, for all the evils of Communism."
Asked if he thinks that the White House will heed this plea, here is what Budzilovich said: "We certainly hope so, but we will see what the resolution will say in a couple of weeks. Obviously, we feel that now is the time to get away from racist Cold War policies and embrace the Russian people for what they had the courage to do -- support democracy in spite of all the hardships that they have endured because of this."
To add insult to injury, the same people who have been behind the P.L. 86-90 and the entire captive-nations madness, in recent years came up with an idea to "commemorate victims of Communism." The National Captive Nations Committee worked behind scenes to pass a legislation that would give them the task of developing a suitable monument. The CRA reacted by urging the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to stop this legislation:
Nov. 8, 1993
"Dear Mr. Chairman:
Viewing the design and construction of a monument to honor the victims of Communism as an extremely important undertaking, I felt compelled to express more clearly why the Russian-American community is against giving this task to the National Captive Nations Committee ("NCNC"), as proposed in the H.J. Res. 237.
I'd like to begin by stating that we fully support both the idea of the monument and the wording of the H.J. Res. 237. As you might know, Russian-Americans have been commemorating each November 7 as "The Memorial Day for Victims of Communism" for over a decade (prior to that, as "The Day of Sorrow and Defiance"). And the Congress of Russian-Americans, in its By-Laws, specifically excludes communists from membership.
However, we cannot accept the idea that the NCNC is given the responsibility for designing and constructing the monument as a matter of principle and ethics. Not only the NCNC represents the same racist interests that misled the U.S. Congress in 1959 by composing the "Captive Nations Resolution" (the P.L. 86-90), but it has resisted for over 30 years and to this day any changes aimed at correcting its Russophobic, chauvinist nature, in spite of numerous and continuous protests on the part of all segments of the Russian-American community.
For over 30 years the NCNC used the P.L. 86-90 as a tool for instigating ethnic hatred toward the Russians, including the Russian-Americans. We can cite at least one case when a Russian-American, a U.S. native, was murdered as a "Russian spy" about 10 years ago. Russian-American children have been routinely called "commies," "reds," etc. by their schoolmates because of the confusion between the terms "Russian" and "Soviet" or "Communist" propagated and promoted by the NCNC and its supporters. For over 30 years, the NCNC, blinded by its chauvinist hatred, has not been an anti-Communist, but an anti-Russian organization.
Therefore, we view the assigning of the task of creating a monument to honor the victims of Communism (among whom ethnic Russians constitute the overwhelming majority) as a deliberate insult to the memory of tens of millions of Russians who perished at the hands of their Communist masters and who were purposely removed from the list of captive nations in the P.L. 86-90 and portrayed as the captors. We view this as the confirmation and continuation of the original misconceptions contained in the P.L. 86-90.
Accordingly, for the sake of justice and for saving the reputation of the U.S. Congress, we repeat our protest against involving the NCNC in any capacity in the process of creating this monument. We feel that a special committee consisting of representatives of all ethnic groups, as well as representatives of general public, should be created and instructed to implement this project in a dignified, unbiased manner."
Why the Congress of Russian-Americans cannot cooperate with the National Captive Nations Committee "(NCNC"). Nov. 8, 1993
Written in the best traditions of the Nazi Germany and its World War II "Eastern" policies (based on the presumed animosity of non-Russians within the Soviet Union toward the Russians; these policies have contributed significantly to the eventual Nazi defeat), the "Captive Nations Resolution" is thoroughly racist and has been directed against a single ethnic group -- the Russians. In the years that passed since its passage in 1959, there are numerous writings by its proponents, from Lev E. Dobryansky down, clearly showing that their main intent always has been to shift the blame for crimes committed by international Communism to the Russians. Volumes have been written to "prove" that the "Soviet Russian" policies (Dobryansky's favorite term for the Soviet Union) are merely an extension of the "czarist imperialism" (totally ignoring the fact that, after helping America during the turbulent years of the American Revolution, Russia and the U.S. enjoyed almost a century of relations that today would be termed as the "Most Favored Nation" status).
While strongly anti-Russian, both the P.L. 86-90 and all the actions and writing by the members and supporters of the NCNC have largely ignored the real enemy -- international Communism. In fact, Russians, the first and foremost victim of international Communism, are the only ethnic group in the West that for 70 years has been commemorating every Nov. 7 as "The Day of Sorrow and Defiance" and, later, "The Memorial Day for Victims of Communism." Yeltsin's ban on Nov. 7 demonstrations in 1993 is directly related to these efforts.
Consequently, to place the NCNC in charge of creating a monument to the victims of Communism (which the CRA never opposed) would be the final insult to all the Russians who have been opposing Communism all these years and many of whom lost their lives fighting Communism, who set free all the "captive" nations, and who have been insulted for over 30 years by the insinuations that they are the main Communist supporters, and then. The best way to correct this historic injustice -- short of asking the Russian people for forgiveness for calling them Communist -- would be to place the Congress of Russian-Americans, who have been leading the true anti-Communist efforts by the Russian-American community all these years, in charge of the design and construction of such a monument.