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Thread: "You weren't there"

  1. #1
    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
    Jul 2011


    "You weren't there"

    I had an argument, on a Russian board (me and a bunch of other much angrier people) with a dude whose grandfather was a "politsai" during WWII.

    The "politsai" were armed collaborators on Russian and other Soviet territories under Nazi occupation, who helped the Germans with security

    After the War, people hunted them down mercilessly, many, many were hung by their necks, with signs labeling for the traitors that they were

    Many towns had rows of these hanging corpses on their main squares. Other politsais were simply shot. Or had their throats slit. Etc. Red Army hunted them, NKVD hunted them, and regular civilians too, with rifles and pitchforks and whatever. Probably those caught by the civilians died the most gruesome deaths, I dare say...

    Some, though, were able to hide and survive for many years after 1945.

    Most famous example was one Antonina Makarova, later on - Antonina Ginzburg

    She not only collaborated, but executed people for the Germans, with a machine gun, hence her eternal nickname - "Tonka Pulemetchitsa" ("Machine Gun Tonka"). Allegedly, she executed no less than 1,500 people!

    After the War, she was able to obtain a fake ID, and misrepresent herself as an honorable veteran, a Red Army combat nurse, no less. She remarried, took her new husband's surname, Ginzburg (yes, Nazi collaborator ended up marrying an ethnic Jew, now THERE is fucking irony...), and was not caught until 1979 (!) when, by one version of the story, a man who had witnessed her killing people back then recognized her in the streets... He reported her, she was quickly apprehended, and received her just reward: a bullet to the back of the head. Things worked nice and fast back in those days...

    People in Russia really hated, and those older generations continued to hate, the politsais, even more so than the Nazis, the German ones, themselves.

    So much so that when, in 2011, as part of reforms to modernize law enforcement, Russian police changed its traditional Soviet-era name "militsya" to the Western-style "politsya"

    it was not at all very well received, a lot of people were very angry, many said especially the still living occupation survivors would be re-traumatized seeing that word, so similar to "politsai" on the uniforms and cars of modern police every day... Many people still refuse to use that word to this day, still address police officers as "comrade militsioner", just like in USSR, especially the older ones.

    Well, and here is this dude, whose grandpa was also executed back then, in the post-War purges, trying to maybe not necessarily excuse or justify what the fella did, but, at least explain it to us.

    "You weren't there. What choice did he have? Either become a politsai, or probably they would just have killed him too, and God knows what they would have done to his young wife [his grandmom], and his sister?"

    "He did what he did to survive, and to keep his family safe. That's all. I am not proud of what he did, of course, but will not condemn him either. Again, I wasn't there, and none of you either."

    Well, my one grandma was on occupied territory too, and she didn't collaborate, she joined the partizans, the resistance, and fought the Nazis for years, as did many other courageous women back then

    While, interestingly, there were rather very few female politsai, btw. That madam Makarova-Ginzburg being a very rare exception (and part of why she became so famous and infamous). It was most men, my own weak and pathetic gender, who collaborated, if we are being honest.

    I recall reading grandma's old diaries, full of her hatred for the politsai, who helped the Nazis hunt her friends back then. The partizans, in turn, would try to catch, abduct, ambush politsais, and torture them to death in all kinds of crazy ways. Grandma's diary actually talked of her breaking guys' fingers, gouging out eyes, slicing off ears and noses, ripping out tongues, pouring melted metal down their throats, castrating them while alive, etc, etc. I recall how shocked I was when first got hold of that thing, as a kid, as a teen, already in Moscow, where grandma was living by the time I moved there too. Here is my sweet little grandma Katya, who had just been making us all some great pastries, and now I am reading about her hanging some poor sod upside down off a tree, over a road, with his genitals sticking out of his mouth haha Fun times, for her, I guess...

    But, point is, others is same situation made different choice, they did not betray their people, even if it did mean death in many cases.

    I don't know... In my personal opinion, there is no excuse for it, for what his grandpa did. Though, if it was MY grandpa, I suppose I would not want to agree with that either...

    People on that forum always do start picking on that man, every time when My 9th, Victory Day, comes near, it starts, "So, I guss you are not celebrating, da, Kolya [Nikolai, his name is]?"

    That, in my opinion, is unfair, a person can't help who they happen to descend from... I actually ended up sticking up for him over this more than once, funnily enough...
    Last edited by The Man; 3rd May 2018 at 10:22 PM.
    Thanks from BitterPill

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