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SlavkoKro
Prague  Czech Republic
Posts: 3
Joined: 2020
Demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev in Prague
4/14/2020 5:07:52 AM
On April 3, a monument to Marshal Ivan Konev was demolished in Prague. This person commanded the Soviet troops who liberated the Czech capital in May 1945. In recent years, countries of Eastern Europe have been struggling with the legacy of the communist era, destroying not only the monuments glorifying the Red Army, but also the buildings associated with the time when these countries were Moscow satellites. For example, in 2017, Polish activists took the initiative to demolish one of the highest buildings in the European Union - the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw. It was a gift from the Soviet Union to socialist Poland. The idea was supported by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mateusz Moravecki, Minister of Culture and National Heritage Professor Peter Glinsky and former Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorsky.


Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw

The building, by the way, is not abandoned - it houses two museums of the Polish Academy of Sciences, as well as its administration, two theaters, a swimming pool, a 300-seat congress hall and exhibition venues, along with offices of commercial firms. To demolish a building with a height of 231 meters and a total area of more than 123 thousand square meters is not as simple as a monument. However, a lot of historical monuments have already been dismantled in Poland, including the ones on the territory of the military burial sites of the Red Army.

Behind the war of the Poles and Czechs with the bronze Soviet soldiers and generals stands a keen sense of wounded national dignity. They perceive these memorials as a symbol of the Kremlin’s power over their countries, the power that was dumped through years of struggle. That is why the monument to Marshal Konev was annually attacked by vandals on the eve of the anniversary of Prague Spring.

However, Marshal Konev and his soldiers had nothing to do with the deaths of 108 Czechoslovak citizens in August 1968. In May 1945, the Soviet Union paid the lives of almost 12 thousand people to liberate Prague and support a revolt against German occupation. On May 6, it was Marshal Konev who decided to go on the offensive to support the rebels. He was awarded the title of "Honorary citizen of Prague".

Moreover, the restoration of Czech statehood became possible only due to the political will of Moscow. Of course, Joseph Stalin pursued his own goals, recreating Czechoslovakia within the pre-war borders, but the fact that the modern sovereign Czech Republic, a full member of the European Union, still exists is a direct result of mentioned events. Marshal Konev and his soldiers brought the Czechs not only the liberation of their capital, but also the opportunity to recreate their own state. Indeed, from March 1939 to May 1945, there was no such country as Czechoslovakia.

According to the results of the Munich agreement, signed between Hitler, Mussolini, British Prime Minister Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Daladier on the night of September 29-30, the Sudetenland, populated by ethnic Germans, became part of the Reich. In fact, the powers, supposed to be the guarantors of the independence and security of Czechoslovakia, left it in the lurch. Officials in London and Paris hoped that this would quench Hitler's appetites. By the way, on the eve of the Munich conference, only the Soviet Union volunteered to provide military assistance to Czechoslovakia, however Poland did not let the Soviet troops to pass through its territory. Probably it was done due to the preparation to annex the Zaolzie, inhabited by 80 thousand of Poles. The Polish army entered this territory on September 30, when the Wehrmacht troops occupied the Sudetenland.



Chamberlain: "SHH-HH! HE’LL BE QUIET NOW - MAYBE!"
British cartoon, 1938


Chamberlain and Daladier were mistaken, Hitler was not going to stop. On October 7, under the pressure from Berlin, the Czechoslovak government gave Slovakia a wide autonomy. On March 15, 1939 German troops occupied the remains of Czech lands, turning them under a protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Since that moment the Czech national state has been wiped from the map of Europe with the tacit consent of the great powers. Only the Soviet Union protested against such violation of international law by presenting a note to the German government on March 19.
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev in Prague
4/14/2020 8:48:17 AM
Ahhh, our very own Russian troll on MHO. How nice.

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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 959
Joined: 2005
Demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev in Prague
4/14/2020 8:32:48 PM
The statue was "removed" not demolished. And, I bet most Czechs did not see Konev as a liberator; good for them, another Communist knocked off.
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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev in Prague
4/15/2020 6:42:48 PM
Careful Dan, you might scare the troll away....

K
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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
Brian Grafton
Victoria BC Canada
Posts: 3577
Joined: 2004
Demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev in Prague
4/15/2020 11:26:49 PM
Kai, I haven't read any Grimm in some decades. In their tales, what could kill Trolls?

I have no way of knowing whether SlavkoKro suggests masculine, feminine or neuter gender, so I'm gonna choose masculine. So "he" and "him" and "his" are my defaults.

Though I may – who am I kidding? Inevitably will be) – branded a whole bunch of nasty things, I think our new member SlavkoKro has a right be heard. He is writing about Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and at least claims to be from Prague, which IIRC is still that country's capital city.

I'm skeptical about his post, because it rings somewhat false according to my knowledge post 1945. Does that make him a troll, or could something else explain why he offers his comments?

I think he makes a pretty good, if somewhat cynical, presentation of how the Czechs were sold down the tube in 1938. The Brits and French may have found a means of justifying Munich in order to redeem their lost honour, but they haven't convinced me yet, and it seems that they haven't convinced SlavkoKro. As a Czech at the time, I would have felt utterly abandoned. As a Czech today, I would have trouble thinking the UK/French sell-out gets more understandable with time, or should be forgotten. Not when you're sold down the toilet by so-called allies.

That said, is SlavkoKro running a "Soviet" party line version of history? Maybe. Does that make the comments trollish? Don't know. But my guess is, not necessarily. It makes them uncomfortable for many of us in the west. It probably threatens at least some of us because it challenges Western post-war political lore.

More specifically, and perhaps more linked to Kai's "troll" comment, I think SlavkoKro has reached out to a rather obviously pro-western, perhaps increasingly pro-US site, and has found himself labelled a potential troll.

The post that led Kai to suggest SlavkoKro was a troll is open for comment. I've given at least a first-stage comment on the 1938 comments. SlavkoKo isn't shy about his opinions, so at least in theory an avenue for discussion is open. Before SlavkoKro is determined to be outside MHO's comfort zone.

That's kinda sad.. .

Cheers
Brian G

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"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly. "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2856
Joined: 2010
Demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev in Prague
4/16/2020 3:07:24 PM
First. Slavko is a common Slav name.

Based on his article, I do not see him following the Soviet line - the Soviet Union hasn´t existed for over two decades. Putin Russian line , maybe. He has expressed an opinion. A valid one. There were no lies in it. There were similar discussions in Berlin about Soviet monuments. It was decided to remove monuments to Lenin, soviet generals, but to maintain the memorials for the Soviet dead.

Dan, there was a hell of alot of Czechs who saw the Soviets as Liberators because there was a hell of a lot of Czechs and Poles fighting in the Soviet Army. They would be disappointed of course but they did not know at the time.

Judgement just on one post ?

Not on MHO, but I´ve been called a Neo-nazi ( amongst other things) simply because I´ve challenged the Anglo-centric "nursery school" historical myths.

Give him a chance.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev in Prague
4/16/2020 6:30:54 PM
Quote:
First. Slavko is a common Slav name.

Based on his article, I do not see him following the Soviet line - the Soviet Union hasn´t existed for over two decades. Putin Russian line , maybe. He has expressed an opinion. A valid one. There were no lies in it. There were similar discussions in Berlin about Soviet monuments. It was decided to remove monuments to Lenin, soviet generals, but to maintain the memorials for the Soviet dead.

Dan, there was a hell of alot of Czechs who saw the Soviets as Liberators because there was a hell of a lot of Czechs and Poles fighting in the Soviet Army. They would be disappointed of course but they did not know at the time.

Judgement just on one post ?

Not on MHO, but I´ve been called a Neo-nazi ( amongst other things) simply because I´ve challenged the Anglo-centric "nursery school" historical myths.

Give him a chance.

Trevor

Ah, yes, I recognise that neo/nazi comment. I have had that a few times as well when I have suggested that ww2 may not actually have been the good against the bad.

My judgement on this post was based on the fact that it can be found almost word by word on several different fora, posted by different users and around the same time, both in the US and in Europe -the username SlavoKro has posted a few of them- partly from an IP address in Czech Republic, the other time from a US based IP address....Now that might just be use of a VPN service of course. The US based IP 107.182.231.93 has been used several times by known Russian trolls to get around the geographic block on US newspapers. The Czech IP address 185.189.115.113 is owned by a UK based cloud company.
Could just be bad luck of course, and I admit it is possible that SlavkoKro had strong opinions on this matter, decided to register on at least six different historical forum sites and post almost identical texts.

[Read More]
[Read More]
[Read More]

Interestingly, many of the original posts have now been removed again, so only a couple remain.

The opinions expressed are almost identical to a post published by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs about a week ago, where the blame for the fate of Czechoslovakia was placed on Poland for not allowing Soviet troops to march through Poland to "help" the Czechs. There was also the same use of the expression 'war with the Soviet bronze soldiers" used in this text.

I maintain for now that this smells of troll. A fairly clever one, admitedly - for instance the text has been washed so the usual mistakes in articles that is a tell-tell sign of Russian trolls, have been avoided. I suppose we will see when Slavko gets back to work, whether there are any plans to follow up on this or whether it is just a tossed hand grenade, as is usualwith the trolls.


I am all for free discussion, and welcome any new input, and if I have misjudged SlavkoKro, I apologise.

I agree that the topic itself is worthy of a discussion. Through an article I did for MHO a few years back on Czech exile forces in WW2 I have been contacted by probably sixty or so different people from all over the world, wanting help with finding details about their relatives that fought in the war, both in the western allied forces and in the Soviet forces. I would definitely welcome a serious discussion on Czechoslovakia and ww2.

K

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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev in Prague
4/16/2020 6:33:04 PM
Quote:
Kai, I haven't read any Grimm in some decades. In their tales, what could kill Trolls?





Not sure whether the Grimms had any trolls, but in general sunlight is what kills trolls. I.e. exposure.

Perhaps I am wrong here and being paranoid, but this smells a little bit too much of the Russian official line for me.

K
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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
scoucer
Berlin  Germany
Posts: 2856
Joined: 2010
Demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev in Prague
4/17/2020 9:54:41 AM
Kai,

You, of course, know more about such things as me. My intelligence work was way !!!!!!!! back in the last millenia

I do tend to see the best in people and give them a chance - problem in my proffession. Something my children have often complained about. I often wonder if the cynicism I accrued in the military was part of the reason I became a Family Therapist.

Trevor
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`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev in Prague
4/17/2020 12:11:51 PM
Quote:
Kai,

You, of course, know more about such things as me. My intelligence work was way !!!!!!!! back in the last millenia

I do tend to see the best in people and give them a chance - problem in my proffession. Something my children have often complained about. I often wonder if the cynicism I accrued in the military was part of the reason I became a Family Therapist.

Trevor


Trevor,
I think your approach of seeing the good in people and giving people a chance is a good one. I think and hope I am usually quite open to give people a chance and discuss ideas and concepts I might not agree with. I believe you may well be right that your background could have steered you towards your current carreer, and I believe it would be a major strength to have that level of ingrown cynicism combined with an open mind.

However, having worked with this side of the business for a few years now, and having seen how the Russians have developed this into a art (of warfare), I do tend to smell the trolls, but at the same time I am aware that I can at times be too critical and make too quick judgements. I hope I have not done so this time.
We have a saying; "if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, but denies it is a duck- then it is a Russian duck....".

The Russians and their proxies are as active as ever, jumping on any chance to cause discontent and discussion. The narrative about the statue in Prague has given them a perfect opening these last couple of weeks. It used to be that one could keep an eye on RT and Sputnik News and one would know roughly what line was being pushed, but nowadays it is far more complicated. Notable are for instance the stories that have been pushed lately about how the EU abandoned Italy and how it was Russia and China that had to come to their aid. They appear to have achieved some success in Italy with this narrative, and unfortunately were allowed to control the narrative on this for too long. That story too began as seemingly genuine forum posts and newspaper comments from "Italian doctors, nurses and government officials" and were quite uncritically quoted in other European news media, and partly US media that found these reports matched their expectations of a failing EU.

However, and I genuinely mean this:
This could still just be a case of a guy that has strong opinions on the subject and decided to share them in some history fora, having pre-written a post to copy and paste from, as his first language is not english, and by chance stumbled upon the same VPN IP servers that the trolls use.
I use VPN technolgy myself at times, and dont always have control with who else have been using the same IP addresses at all times....I see his post has been removed and/or marked as spam/troll in about half the forums it was posted so far, but has also spawned a couple of interesting interesting

The post itself is quite clever, and, as you say, there are no direct lies in it (except that the statue was not actually demolished I guess), and it does form a basis for a discussion on the topic, so perhaps the best would be to do as Brian G suggests and start a real discussion on this topic?

K
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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.
kaii
Oslo  
Posts: 2897
Joined: 2010
Demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev in Prague
5/20/2020 6:28:35 PM
Oh well, I suppose they only got paid for one post and not a follow up.

On another note, aren't we due another Angela/realwarsense soon?

K

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“My dear boy, as long as you don’t invade Afghanistan you’ll be absolutely fine.” - Harold Macmillan to Alec Douglas-Home upon the latter taking over as PM.

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