If your house means a thing to you
Stalingrad 2013. Alien Invasion
Study of undermeaning in Fyodor Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’.
Introduction. About a turn of civilization and the Russianness
Do you remember what Malchish-Kibalchish said when he sensed trouble: ‘Everything seems to be good, but something is not good’? If one of the young does not know the story, it's ‘Tale of a military secret, Malchish-Kibalchish and his firm promise’. The same thing happens again: after watching Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’ the descendants of the winners of that terrible war understand there are Russians speaking Russian on the screen, they wear the Red Army uniform but something is not good and they are not ours, really. The Fritzes also speak German, wear Hitler's uniform, but there is something wrong with them too, they are not the fascists, really. The first reaction is just to scold and swear at the filmmakers, and that’s exactly what many do, but the producer Alexander Rodnyanskiy and director Fyodor Bondarchuk laugh because they have already received their ‘barrel of jam and the whole basket of cookies’, like Malchish-Plokhish did for his bad deed. They have already lit a fuse and it is to explode soon. Do you think it is a joke? Read F. Bondarchuk’s statement: ‘...there will follow such large-scale and sweeping change of the world order that domestic problems will be forgotten. Russia will be involved in a giant turn of civilization’. So let's try to understand, before it’s too late, what these ‘Malchish- Plokhish’ bad boys want to undermine using ‘the turn of civilization’ as a cover.
It is our Great Victory that they want to undermine, and so will they Mother Russia later. You can read in Alex Shiropaev’s blog – he is one of the shot-firers - how openly and cynically he discusses the cult of ‘victory’ (he uses small letters in order to humiliate our sacred things):
The other Russianness which A. Shiropaev calls for, is, in fact, a great turn of civilization mentioned by Bondarchuk; it signifies elimination of our socio-cultural core and removal of such value like ‘integrity of Russia’ from it, in particular. A. Shiropaev writes it clearly: Don, Kuban. And there are some other shot-firers and separatists who go on ‘working out’ the same topic: S. Belkovskiy writes about the Caucasus, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan; E. Albats and ‘Echo of Moscow’ about Siberia and the Far East; Professor S. Medvedev from HSE about Arctic, etc. They discuss separatism and struggle against it over there. The separatists keep on trying to persuade us that after the division of the country and becoming small we will be able to live like Switzerland. I wonder why the West should allow us to live this way. Whose expense will they live at then? Who will pay their bills then? Who will have a desire to share wealth with the small ones? Our life will bear a faint resemblance with Bulgaria’s at best, and we are most likely to live according to a mixed scenario of war like it is in Syria and of hunger like in East Africa, instead (only unlike them we’ll be in the snow rather than in the sands). The way hunger was deliberately and artificially triggered in Africa, is described here, hence it can be implemented for any small country again. There is also economic justification of being big and strong; for example, the chief editor of ‘The Economist’ magazine, Professor of Moscow State University, Doctor of Economics S.S. Gubanov proves that..
Our natural Russianness confronts the other one, alien. It is necessary to explain that we understand the Russianness as the merger, joining of two sources – nature and spirit (we can correlate it with the body and soul of the Russian people as a Congregational Identity); our conception is based on the lines written by K. Simonov in the epigraph. A Russian by the nature is anyone of our countrymen who is called Russian abroad, no matter whether he considers himself a Russian or a Tatar, a Ukrainian or a Belorussian, or belongs to the Caucasian or Central Asian peoples, or any other large and small nations of our great sovereign Empire-symphony (which unites us with help of equity and is united on basis of love). We all come from the same family of Mother Russia and the same home, which is our Homeland, the country on the continent of Eurasia. ‘If your house means a thing to you...’ - think over these lines... A Russian in spirit is anyone of our like-minded persons who loves Mother Russia and our Homeland, no matter whether he is red or white, atheist or believer, liberal or conservative, Westerner or Eurasian, monarchist or democrat. ‘...Where you first dreamed your Russian dreams‘ – it is the Home where Russian spirit nourishes the soul of other nations... The Russians are a family of nations living in one house-Homeland in accordance with a principle - ‘one for all and all for one.’ All our nations are brothers and sisters of the state-building Russian people. We may only guess what kind of spirit the invading Russianness will have, but we think they will be embarrassed to speak Russian and ashamed of being called the Russians, especially when staying abroad. They may call themselves North-Europeans like Afro-Americans did and they will be a flock of orphaned nations living in the fenced houses in a colonial empire-filth (which enslaves people with power and rests on lies and selfishness) in accordance with the principle - ‘every man for himself.’
The other Russianness is said to have appeared due to undermining significance of the Great Victory first and subsequently Russia. Who is going to undermine it? These are the above-mentioned different Russians who will, since they are already among us. How will they undermine? It’ll be done by creating consciousness-poisoning myths about the Red Army the way it was done by Dr. Goebbels, one example of which, overcoming a nauseating feeling, we can demonstrate quoting notorious A. Sharopaev’s blog named ‘Tomb of the Unknown Rapist’:
Has your blood been at boiling heat with anger? If yes, you have a healthy immune system from the neo-Fascist virus. There is an advice for those whose blood the poisonous lies made curdle, and it is as follows: take an antidote in the form of documents and facts provided by Professor, Doctor of Historical Sciences, E.S. Senyavskaya. I can add here one more story from a friend of mine from Hungary who outlived the war. Extremely influential forces of the West are engaged now in the creating and distributing lies about the Red Army, i.e. the psycho-historical war is going on. Here is an example of such strikes, which these forces make at our history: on July 3, 2009, Parliamentary Assembly of OSCE on Lithuania and Slovenia’s initiative adopted a resolution that dared equate the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. If someone needs to undermine the Great Victory, it is necessary first to persuade us that the Red Army acted in Europe like a wild beast horde of looters, rapists and murderers. How can it be instilled the most effective way? Film art is the best, undoubtedly! Here we are coming back to our main topic, Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’.
We are not trying to find out why the fuel reserves of the whole German army have been at the forefront. We do not want to discuss whether a projectile could ricochet from a tank turret and turn the corner. We will not wonder why the captain Kahn rode just a track bike on the square designed for landing operations and rugged terrain actions, though there were only 8 733 tracked motorcycles which went into service in the Wehrmacht but the wheeled ones numbered hundreds of thousands (source). It’s no good trying to figure out why it had been impossible to call down the fire of our artillery on the heads of the Germans before they took over the building. We will not make fun of the fact that taking up/defending the building was going on schedule: the day time was devoted to fighting and the night time to sleeping and making love. Many deliberate mistakes of the script as well as meaningless 3D effects and slo-mo (slowdown) are a sort of false front used to impose the false myths and different, alien values on us.
We turn to consider the essence of this film, which consists in the intrusion of an Alien who is a sort of monster, into the holy of holies within the socio-cultural center, i.e. into the core of the Russian soul. You may imagine this core of the soul as a fortress, and temples inside this fortress as a storage of our spiritual values. The Alien invades the fortress unlocking the gate with a key of ‘Stalingrad’, the name sacred to our souls. Next, he steals up under the guise of an attractive person to the holy places and under a veil of the fogged truth smuggles in these temples new meaning, which distorts our values. The temples of our souls begin to be reborn and there are no more domes on the tops but some disgusting trembling goo instead. This is the way the other Russianness appears and thus the turn of civilization is prepared. What kind of thing is this froth and what is this undermeaning that mutilates the temples of our souls? We are going to figure out the undermeaning of the film having a good look at the scenes in which ‘everything is good, but something is not good.’
Part ‘Zero’. Dark world in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’
About the scientific foundations of dark matter and its correlation with the other world (hidden text)
If scientific approach and mysticism sicken you, you can skip to Part 1. ‘Dirty myths in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’.
However, our heart feels there are lot of undermeaning, the dark side in this emptiness and meaninglessness. It's like dark matter and dark energy in modern physics (in more detail here), i.e. it does not exist on the one hand but on the other one it occupies 96% of the Universe according to astrophysicists’ assessment. The dark matter is defined as a specific kind of matter that does not enter into the fundamental interactions (electromagnetic, strong and weak) with ordinary matter except gravity. Nor does ‘dark matter ‘of Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’; you cannot sense it and only a special part of our soul named intuition or the sixth sense can. Indicators of ‘dark matter’ recognized by our intuition are just nonsense and meaninglessness which are as important for our study as natural anomalies are for the researchers of the physical world who discover the hidden matter and energy while researching them. Actually, our method of investigation of the spiritual world is based on the detection of nonsense, which we consider in order to reveal its undermeaning in more detail.
According to the facts which we have established in process of the undermeaning study of Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’, its occult ideologists like the fascism’s ones (see Ahnenerbe), appeal to mysticism, apparently relying on its support in the implementation of their satanic plans aimed at making the turn of the civilization. They embed special dark characters and images in the storyline of the film, which are clear to the initiates and incomprehensible to ordinary consciousness. After reading this study you will become an initiated as well.
As we turned to the currently fashionable topic of dark matter and dark energy, it is necessary to give some explanation. Modern physics recognizes there is ordinary matter which we can sense and dark matter/energy of unclear physical nature which we cannot perceive, except some connection with gravity (we may name these matter/energy ‘dark world’). Ordinary matter consists of elementary particles such as electrons, protons, photons, recently discovered Higgs boson, etc. The structure of the dark world is wrapped in mystery. It is observed in astrophysics through the gravitational fields of the objects having galaxies size as well as it appears in some scientific experiments. That’s all. But the mystique and mystery of this world backed with the ‘sinister‘ word of ‘dark’, gives reason to ascribe some satanic properties to it and identify it, in particular, with Thanatos and some transformed forms.
When S.E. Kurginyan who we respect wonders if there is any ‘similar inner content’ between dark matter, Thanatos (Death) and transformed forms, we tend to respond there isn’t. What is there then? As we know from some religious and cultural traditions that declare there is quite real correlation of the dark world with the other world that interacts with a person through his soul. And the other world is not just a territory of Thanatos. This is habitat of both the divine forces of Good and the evil forces of Satan. The concept of ‘dark’ is not equivalent to the concept of ‘sinister’. The dark world has not been shown us yet. A dark temple does not mean a satanic one; if you light the candles, you will see the Holy Trinity. If we imagine the whole dark world under Thanatos occupation, we wonder where Good, God, is then? The transformed forms are a manifestation of satanic forces actions, their pernicious part, but they are not all of the dark world.
By the way, it is quite appropriate to recall an ancient methodological principle here: ‘entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity’. This principle is also known as ‘Occam's Razor’. If applied to our conversation it means the following: ‘Why are such new entities as the dark world or Thanatos (Death) or transformed forms or Evil being produced, if the prophets and saints have already revealed to mankind for their thousand-year history that the other world (dark world) means Good + Evil?’ Good and Evil are two parts of the other world (dark world) in this existing entity. Faust’s proud spirit gave rise to misconception in the hearts of the great New Age Promethean that they could comprehend the world without the help of God. They lost their way in broad daylight right in the place, which the divine messengers have shown us long ago. We can only advise future great sages to humble their pride before the infinite divine wisdom and open their hearts for Evangel.
‘Epic‘ mythology of Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’
Let us now consider the main actors of the ‘epic‘ mythology which was started by the sages-occultists from the film ‘Stalingrad’. The most important character in the mythology is sergeant Polyakov. He is like a prototype of Plato Karataev from the novel ‘War and Peace’, and Plato Karataev as we all remember from our literature course at Soviet school was the author’s voice of Leo Tolstoy. Therefore, sergeant Polyakov acting as author’s voice of Fyodor Bondarchuk, is ‘the personification of the spirit of simplicity and truth and a good-thinking man of the people’. When Polyakov appears (he is deliberately all grimy as if just out of fight from hell), Gromov asks him: ‘And what the devil are you?’ Polyakov replies: ‘I'm not a devil. I am an angel!‘ (with a smile, exposing a set of white teeth). This ‘angel’ remembered Lord after commander Gromov had murdered a woman with her child, i.e. he is supposed to be a believer. In the final scene before his death sergeant Krasnov tells the ‘righteous‘ Polyakov: ‘Well, Angel? Is it time to ascend to heaven?’ Polyakov replies with a smile: ‘Why just to heaven? To Paradise! I’ve got a pass’. Polyakov’s smile is a reference to the evangelical tradition: ‘Christ is most likely to smile rather than laugh, he has a condescendingly sympathetic smile, it is a forgiving smile, a smile meaning a sign of His greatness and understanding, incommensurability of merciful God’s omnipotence and human weakness and delusion‘ (quoted from a Doctor of Philosophy, Professor A.V. Golozubov’s book). Next, let us remember that it is ‘righteous’ Polyakov who soothes and comforts the weeping Katia offended by ‘sniper’ Chvanov’s mockery (‘You've been here with the Germans, and you are saying nothing...’), whose words could be considered as a hint at both Germans violence and her probable sin. We can see a direct correlation of our ‘righteous’ man with Christ who is the Comforter for both the offended: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’ (Matthew 11:28) and the sinners: ‘... and if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous ‘(Jn. 2:1). But there are two key scenes in which ‘righteous’ Polyakov shows spirit different from Christ’s, his alien Russianness. They are the shooting of ‘a seaman’ and the murder of a woman with her child. That is why we can see that sergeant Polyakov’s character has Alien’s horns even though Bondarchuk considers him righteous, we put this word in quotes.
Katia is a pure soul despite the dark hair, the antipode of the fallen girl Masha with blond hair. She wins our favour with her sincerity, purity, kindness, integrity of her character, she is emotional and spontaneous. Katia is a sort of guardian angel for the building and soldiers. ‘When the girl gave her name, the soldiers came for themselves for a second and their faces enlightened’ (from Natalia Radulov’s blog). We have to add that theme song that began to sound at that moment was special and bright. Katia’s originally asexual appearance and her habitat emphasize her angelic essence (she was taken for a boy first). Unlike the other civil people Katia doesn’t live in the basement, she does upstairs, in her apartment, and whistling bullets cannot hit her angelic incorporeity. It’s significant that once the guardian angel Katia had left the building, it was destroyed, and all the soldiers were killed. Katia watched them dying from the top of the fire tower as if from the heaven. However, Katia also was ‘used’ by F. Bondarchuk to justify euthanasia (see the scene of the ritual burning). She took a sort of ‘metaphysical fall’ under the influence of ‘serpent-tempter’ Chvanov in the further scene of murdering a German near ‘the watering place’ (but she realized her fall at once and repented of it). We have to clarify that according to our system of values Katia committed no sin in the last scene. There is, however, another mysterious scene that takes place in ‘a strange place’ (after climbing up the fire tower along with Astakhov she says: ‘It is strange the Germans are everywhere but not here’) where Katia and Astakhov admire the romantic view of War glow as if they sit ‘on a cloud’. Whose side is guardian angel Katia on in this battle between Good and Evil?
‘Sniper’ Chvanov is an antithesis of ‘righteous’ and ‘angel-like’ Polyakov. He is neither more nor less a demon of defilement in Bondarchuk’s ‘epic’ mythology (mind you that he stands with his back towards all the heroes but the fallen girl on the mythological picture). As the saying goes, ‘the devil is in the details’, and we are going to reveal them now. First, sniper Chvanov is a mocker (remember how he was mimicking Nikiforov’s silences early in the film), scoffer and vulgar man of Comedy Club level. Let me explain the abovementioned with the quote from A.V. Golozubov’s book: ‘D.C. Likhachev noted the fact that ‘laughter was a steady sign of the devil’ in the ancient religious culture (‘Laughter in Ancient Russia'). Secondly, ‘sniper’ Chvanov’s demonic character is unmasked during his encounter with guardian angel Katia. Early in the film, there's a symbolic episode: guardian angel Katia runs into demon Chvanov in the corridor; he rudely stops Katia, his hand resting on the chest. He goes on sneering at her further too:
‘And Mammon wins his way where seraphs might despair’ (George Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage). Demon Chvanov’s sarcasm drives angel guardian Katia to tears according to the canons of demonology. The given scenes convince us that ‘sniper’ Chvanov is a morally depraved person ‘in general’. ‘Righteous’ Polyakov names him - ‘dirty mouth’ – and we remember this definition for ‘sniper’ Chvanov. We have to gain a grain of knowledge from the last scene: demon Chvanov is a kind of Mephistopheles to Katia since he seduces her with his knowledge offering her to learn shooting. We shall mention the real jeering sense of this mockery in Part 3 again. Jeering the Soviet snipers and sniper movement of Stalingrad defenders. We also note one more interesting detail: F. Bondarchuk described Chvanov’s character in his interview as ‘a man-lizard who keeps jerking his head and licking his lips’. Lizard is a reptile in fact, and it bears a resemblance to the snake-tempter.
‘Dumb’ tenor Nikiforov is ‘Lucifer’, ‘Satan’, ‘a fallen angel’; he is the Angel of Death Samael from Judaism coming for sinners with the serrated knife. The reason of his fall consists in our filtration camps being the embodiment of ‘satanic Evil of bloody underworld’. He sits with his back towards us in the symbolic black tailcoat on the mythological picture. ‘Lucifer’ Nikiforov is deprived of grace to chant, he can sing only by the grace of the heavenly forces of Good (at the request of the guardian angel Katia in honor of her birthday).
Charles Baudelaire verse ‘Litany of Satan’ of the controversial book ‘Flowers of Evil’ (1857).
When touching upon Lucifer, we have to cite the following quote as well:
This is a quote from S.S. Averintsev who was a prominent Soviet cultural and biblical scholar. His article about Lucifer entered the encyclopedia of ‘Myths of the World’ and other publications, and it is very common in the Internet. It is worth noting his membership in the ‘human rights’ PEN Club since 1995, the Masonic organization and sectarian circle as well as in Rotary clubs, L. Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology, New Age, pseudo-Orthodox and other false teachings. This aspect of S.S. Averintsev’s activity shows him as a new Russian ‘omniscient’ Faust. Relying on such an authoritative opinion we point out that ‘Lucifer’ Nikiforov embodies the first satanic element in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’, i.e. ‘spirit of revolt’ and demon Chvanov does the second one, ‘the spirit of corruption. At the same time, ’Lucifer’ Nikiforov demonstrates his superiority over the demon Chvanov: in the scene where Chvanov is sneering at Katia (‘Blessed... weak-minded... Have it and enjoy it’), Nikiforov significantly raises his fist to Chvanov’s ‘dirty mouth’ and the git immediately retreats.
It is difficult to say something about Krasnov and Astakhov at all. They look like two archangels of Good: the first is stern but compassionate, he wears black (a jacket, he’s a sailor), the second is soft but open and has dignity, he wears white (white fur cap with ear flaps). Krasnov’s distinction was shown in a way in the scene of shooting silly ‘seaman’ and Astakhov’s in a scene of admiring the romantic view of War glow.
Finally, the commander Gromov in ‘epic’ mythology of the film is like the archangel Michael (like God) who is an Archistrategos (i.e. a commander) of the heavenly host of angels according to the Christian tradition. However, his image is not canonical. The film occultists put ‘Archistrategos’ Gromov at the head of heterogeneous army of angels, both angels of Good (Krasnov Astakhov) and angels of Evil (Nikiforov and Chvanov). ‘Archistrategos’ Gromov includes both hypostases of Good and Evil. That is why he rebels against the ‘righteous’ Polyakov; he proudly considers himself equal to him and thinks he has the right to pardon and execute (in the scene of shooting the silly ‘seaman’). ‘Archistrategos’ Gromov like ‘righteous’ Polyakov is a sinister character; he repeatedly displays the other Russianness and protects the other values in the film. We can clearly see the Alien is masked under the guise of the heroic image of the Russian officer.
There is almost nothing about the Germans in the film. A German colonel is an archangel of Evil forces as he is marked with a special sign of lice plaguing him and thus is in line with Chvanov’s ‘dirty mouth’. Nevertheless, this aristocratic colonel is not a mocker; his proud stern spirit matches Lucifer’s. Captain Peter Kahn is ‘Archistrategos’ of the German soldiers, ‘a knight’ and an aristocrat very similar to the angel of Good (from the film’s authors’ perspective). There is a similarity between this ‘knight’ of the old family and ‘Archistrategos’ Gromov in many aspects: they both have a captain rank, they have a similar manly romantic appearance with designer stubble a la ‘George Clooney’ (note that the rest of our soldiers and all fascists are clean-shaven except dark archangel Krasnov). It is also necessary to underline the similarity of their characters - they both have passion for smoking and both are shown us as the defenders of weak women. Finally, the way F. Bondarchuk charactered the commander Gromov, suites both ‘Archangels’ to the ground:
Astral planes in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’ (hidden text)
After we have already shortly described the ‘angelic’ nature of the protagonists, we dare to explain two strange scenes in more detail. They are a scene of silent’ tenor Nikiforov chanting on Katia’s ‘birthday and a scene of Astakhov and Katia admiring the view of War on the fire tower. Therefore, we have to use such concepts as earthly and astral planes. These concepts came to us from the occult teachings in which the astral plane is the first one out of many fine planes of unrevealed world. We will use the term ‘astral plane’ in general use implying all dark underworld and any figurative (allegoric) sense (as it happened with the term ‘Xerox’ that was alienated from company name ‘Xerox’ and has become a common name of the copiers of all manufacturers). After all, we are conducting an artistic study and our goals justify such a generalization.
So, we can see a birthday of a pure soul named Katia on the earthly plane of the film. All soldiers have gathered around a piano, there are no sentries posted, no hostilities in Stalingrad at night and we are surprised to find out that there comes a time of love and musical evenings after nightfall. Both captain Kahn and the fallen girl Masha can hear a song coming from above, i.e. they seem to be present some way in there, too. Part of the audience believe those two really share the same building with our soldiers by a strange coincidence, and many do not even know that we are shown the astral ‘building’ at this stage rather than the earthly one. This scene on the astral plane is neither more nor less a ‘Synaxis’ of Heavenly Host of Good and Evil. ‘Archistrategos’ Kahn and fallen girl Masha are on the lower level of heaven ‘Synaxis’ where they can hear the chant flowing down on them from above. Tenor Nikiforov’s ‘dumbness’ and his unexpected chant can be explained only on the astral plane too as we know he is Lucifer devoid of goodness of chanting and only ‘Synaxis’ mercifully allowed him to (we have pointed it out at the beginning of the previous section).
How does such an interpretation of this scene correlate with the biblical tradition? Actually, it does directly. The scene of ‘Synaxis’ takes place in the film on Sunday, November 15th, and according to the Orthodox calendar the Synaxis of Holy Archangel Michael and all the Bodiless Powers is celebrated just in November (on the 8th of November Old Style and on the 21st of November New Style):
But the apparent similarity between the Biblical Synaxis and the film scene of ‘Synaxis’ on the astral plane is inverted, deceptive, in fact. Archistrategos Michael is a head of the Biblical Synaxis; he sings the anthem in the Day of Judgment, that is at the end of the victory of Good over Evil. In the film scene of ‘Synaxis’ ‘Lucifer’ is its head (‘dumb’ tenor Nikiforov); he offers up a tragic and disastrous song on the eve of Armageddon, i.e. before the ‘Battle of the end’, the last battle between Good and Evil at the end of time (on the earthly plane this is the last battle of our soldiers, and the defeat of the Nazis during the Battle of Stalingrad and in the war in general, and the future turn of civilization). We hear a brilliant Cavaradossi aria from Puccini's opera ‘Tosca’ (1887), which according to the plot of the opera he sings before his execution. Cavaradossi is a rebellian (he supported the Republicans) and a nothingarian (it’s a great advantage according to the liberals’ standards of all time). This aria is a key that helps us open a number of diverse matches in the considered storylines:
So we gradually got to the mystical stage when Katia and Astakhov admire the picture of Heavenly Battle from the fire tower. What really is Katia enthusiastically looking at sitting theatrically in the chair? Each flash in the sky signifies someone's death whether it is a Russian or a fascist, in the battle between Good and Evil. Which side are Katia and Astakhov on in this fight? Is it possible to find aesthetic pleasure in the contemplation of death? How can not one empathize with the tragedy of his people whose throes and pains are illumined with bloody firmament? This mysterious scene on the earthly plane is full of nonsense. On the astral plane, however, as we have already mentioned earlier, it is a scene of Armageddon. Black sinister contours of Nazi bombers look like the angels of death over the yawned hellhole, inferno fire is burning the earth, and Armageddon has arrived. The apocalyptic vision of the war is visible to Katia and Astakhov who remind us angelic beings as if they watch it through the thickness of the time just as we look through the centuries at the events of the opera ‘Tosca’ and do not correlate Cavaradossi's aria with Republicans struggle against the monarchy. We just enjoy a brilliant piece of music and sympathize with personal tragic feelings of the hero who is on the verge of death. Why he has to die, we do not think, though.
What actual sense did the occultists of film ‘Stalingrad’ imply in these mysterious scenes? We suggest that these are the signs-harbingers of ‘the Battle in late industrial society’ foretokening the end of the old Era and the beginning of the new one (New Age). Armageddon on the astral plane is an allegory of the turn of civilization on the earth plane. We’ll never cease to repeat what director F. Bondarchuk claimed on November 2, 2013 in his exclusive interview with paper ‘Sobesednik’:
Can you imagine the turn of civilization? It has nothing to do with the romantic change that our beloved Viktor Tsoi called for in his songs; it is not shock therapy a la Milton Friedman performed by Gaidar/Chubais (see the review of ‘Shock Doctrine’ by Naomi Klein,’ p. 1, p. 2, p. 3, p.4), it is even not a surgery a la ‘Shock and Awe’ in Iraq/Libya/Syria performed by ‘peacekeepers’. Nothing of the kind. It will be a real breakdown by means of ‘ax head/neck guillotine’ for hundreds of millions, and the performers are already among us.
It’s worth noting that as soon as ‘progressive world community’ abolished three monarchies opposing hegemony of Anglo-Saxons early in the 20th century, the slogan ‘Down with the monarchy!’ quietly vanished and disappeared from the cultural and political life, and now the monarchy image appears only in sweet classics like Puccini, where aesthetic pleasure suppresses all ideological meaning that once seemed so incandescent. We listen to opera ‘Tosca’ the way Katia and Astakhov watch a War picture – with aesthetic delight. ‘Leading’ and ‘progressive’ directors, composers, writers and poets no longer stigmatize the monarchies which exist now quietly and imperceptibly and keep on ruling the world along with other international financial groups and other supranational elite structures of the world. Here is a list of these monarchies:
We do not defend the monarchy here. We are looking for undermeaning, and our method of analysis reveals it where strangeness, anomalies and absurdities exist. For example, nowadays the most important slogans are ‘We want democracy’, and ‘We want human rights!’. Under the banner of these slogans ‘peacekeepers’ shelled heavily Iraq and Libya. There is Saudi Arabia next to them where an absolute and totalitarian monarchy rules beheading publicly for adultery and shooting protesters on the squares. Saudi Arabia along with Qatar tears apart Syria and nobody touches them. It’s strangeness, anomaly! Also Saudi Arabia makes a statement that it actually possesses nuclear weapons, which is placed in Pakistan and can be delivered to the ‘owner’ at the right moment. Here's a BBC’s report on this topic dated from November 6, 2013: ‘Saudi nuclear weapons 'on order' from Pakistan’; and here’s a calm retelling of this news on a Israel's Russian-language web-site; here are analytical materials of ‘Nuclear terror Axis’ and ‘Saudi Arabia: The Game with the Atomic Bomb’. Have you heard any protests of the ‘world community’ about this? Have you heard a sound or a sort of it or at least some noise comparable to the hysteria over Iran's peaceful nuclear program? Has UN Security Council been convened? Or maybe economic blockade is being prepared like it was for Iran under the slogan ‘No nuclear program!’. Is it? What is the ‘world-seeing eye’ looking at? S.E. Kurguinjan paid attention to this fact and evaluated it in the program ‘The Game-47’ - who else? It’s strangeness, anomaly, nonsense!
There will be no hysterics, no blockades. Saudi Arabia is on the ‘hunters’ side. The slogans are weapon of ‘hunters’. And the ‘game’, which they are hunting now with this weapon are Iran, Russia and China. China was being destroyed in the mid-19th century under the slogan ‘Freedom for the opium trade!’. Russia was being destroyed in the 20th century under the slogans ‘Down with the monarchy!’ and ‘the USSR is an Evil Empire!’. Iran is being destroyed in the 21st century under the slogan ‘No nuclear program!’ and ‘We want democracy!’. All these and other slogans are just tools of ‘hunters’’ dirty politics. Also beautiful operas and dirty films, and thousands and thousands of other fashionable, talented, seductive, promoted, glamorous and perverse (today it is a great advantage for the ‘progressive city dwellers’) works of art are instruments of ‘hunters’’ real cultural ad political struggle for world domination.
There were times when Puccini’s Opera ‘Tosca’ was throwing down the monarchies and empires which were Great Britain competitors, and now Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’ must bring down Russia that is now competing with the rest of the West. The concepts of this struggle are usually developed in silence, on inaccessible Mount Olympus, in monarchist and international financial offices and private clubs for the ‘chosen’ world's elite rather than in the noise and clatter of the 'democratic' parliaments. Power of these quiet rooms and crowned clubs is called conceptual. It's the right place where the lists of ‘permitted and prohibited behaviors which the society relies on’ are made up; also trends of ‘cultural front’ are dictated from over there and producers and directors are suggested ‘topical’ themes and perspectives for the next ‘blockbusters’.
Part 1. Dirty myths in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’
Myth of the Red Army looting
F. Bondarchuk ‘threw light’ on the Red Army looting in a special scene at the beginning of the film; a pair of ‘dirty’ heroes - ‘sniper’ Chvanov and a silly ‘seaman’ were the main characters of the scene. We put these words in quotation marks to avoid denigrating the Soviet snipers and sailors’ glorious names (the approximate time of each scene is in brackets here and below).
Then follows a remarkable passage on the background of the scene when the ‘seaman’ is shot. It’s interesting to scrutinize it:
Proceeding to analyze these scenes we have to remind the readers that thanks to our discovery of the ‘dark world’ in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’ (see Part Zero), the main characters of film ‘epic’ mythology were revealed to us like images of the divine, angelic and devilish persons. We have to explain that we use quotes in order to denote those characters, whom we treat the way different from occult film ideologists’. The most significant character of the film is sergeant Polyakov. He is both ‘a righteous man’ and ‘an angel’. This is a very ominous character because there are Alien’s horns under the ‘sheepskin’ of ‘the righteous man’ visible in a number of scenes. Girl Katia is a guardian angel of the building and our soldiers; she is a complex and contradictory character. ‘The righteous man’ and the guardian angel’s mission in the film consists in preventing other values from penetrating into the viewers soul. ‘Righteous’ Polyakov and guardian angel Katia are opposed by ‘sniper’ Chvanov who is a Bondarchuk and other film ideologists’ demon-molester, moral monster, ‘dirty mouth’. His mission is to belittle our values. The next significant character is ‘dumb’ tenor Nikiforov or, in other words, ‘Lucifer’ and ‘Satan’. He acts like the angel of death, Samael, brutally killing Nazis sinners with his knife. This character’s mission consists in creating a dirty myth about the ‘atrocities’ of Soviet troops. Finally, there is captain Gromov who is like the archangel Michael, ‘archistrategos’. We have already pointed out that film occultists had hid Alien’s sinister nature in the human character of a Soviet officer. ‘Archistrategos’ Gromov’s mission is to strengthen the dirty myth about ‘atrocities’ of the Russians and promote other values using his authority (see Part 2, Topic Euthanasia).
Let’s consider the scenes of looting in essence now. It is important to note that none of our soldiers and even the commander did not condemn ‘sniper’ and ‘sailor’’s behavior and even did not make any comments. We also have to emphasize that this is, perhaps, the only topic in the whole film, which has no author's assessment. In other episodes we can find out Bondarchuk’s position expressly or by implication through his narration, or the ‘atmospheric and immersive’ music, or heroic ‘archistrategos’ Gromov, ‘righteous man’ sergeant Polyakov or guardian angel Katia’s assessment (all these authorities confirm and support euthanasia at once).
Soldiers’ emotionless attitude to their fellow fighters looting should convince us of the myth saying that this crime was habitual and widespread in the Red Army. Commander’s couldn't-care-less attitude looks especially strange because the Soviet troops command punished cruelly for looting, really, taking care of the discipline and morale of soldiers. Commander Gromov proved his concern about discipline when he ordered to shoot ‘the seaman’ (and a good job too). However, he did it not for looting but the other crime – ‘the seaman’ disobeyed his order and attempted to leave the field of battle. Therefore, we can reasonably conclude that Alien’s invisible features show up in commander Gromov’s character. We shall be able to see that more than once again.
Just for your information: looting is a serious military offense:
Criminal penalties for looting were invented not by ‘bloody’ Stalin (note that a more severe punishment including the death penalty was amended into the Criminal Code in 1960, when ‘liberal’ Khrushchev was in power, while it was just 3 years in Stalin’s time). Looting was punishable under Peter I and under Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich; it is also severely persecuted in all armies of the world since it demoralizes soldiers and officers. ‘Historians noted many times that as soldiers turn into marauders, the army gets corrupted and is no longer able to fight. Discipline quickly reduces and worsens, commanders cause problems, bribing superiors appears at once, easily obtained valuables help to buy out of the orders and guards and the hard work; hard drinking and lechery begin to thrive. Dealers of stolen goods appear and the criminal world ethics begins to reign‘.
After these words, many may feel resentment and misunderstanding. One may wonder if his grandfather who brought back a coffeepot from the war is a looter. No, he isn’t! This is deemed to be a trophy. It is legal and moral according to the international standards but looting is illegal and immoral! Trophy is an unattended or forfeit thing, while looting means to steal corpse’s belongings on the battlefield! E.S. Sienyavskaya has described the problem of trophies in her works in more detail. If someone dares to accuse a Russian soldier of a trophy camera or blame an officer for a gramophone, he has to commensurate these trifling trophies with a burnt house! Or with the whole city! Did not the predators really ravage half of the country? The hanged and burned persons do not count, do they? Looting was not a usual phenomenon in the Red Army. There were trophies in it. The difference between looting and legitimate trophy is just like one between prostitution and legal marriage, sex and love – they are divided with a fine moral line that our Russian soul can understand unlike the other Russianness, which does not recognize it.
Most viewers, however, do not know all these details; the true meaning of the film left unexplained to them. That is why the other Russianness is occupying temples of the Russian souls quietly and secretly. The myth about looting has been made up professionally.
The Myth of the Red Army Atrocities
The film ‘Stalingrad’ instills and persuades the myth of Russian soldiers’ atrocities very skillfully and subtly.
1. Do you remember the attack of our burning soldiers when they were flowing on the positions of unemotional Germans like lava? This scene is as ambiguous as many other things in this film. After all, we understand that people enveloped in flames cannot physically run for so long. Therefore, we have a gnawing feeling: ‘Everything seems to be good but something is not good’.’ The bad thing is that according to the modern signs and images system those burning soldiers, inexorably approaching their enemy, conjure up the undead, the zombies. Thus, someone tries to inculcate in the viewer’s subconscious mind an image of a beast-like Russian opposing a civilized German. F. Bondarchuk justifies this scene by ‘epic’ genre, which is sacrilegious. In fact, the heroism of Russian soldiers is based on indomitable strength of mind that allows to overcome the pain and torment rather than the boundless vitality of the body.
It is worth noting there is a superficial resemblance of this scene to some episodes of the defense of Stalingrad. First, sailor Michael Panikaha’s feat has taken place indeed: when a bullet broke a bottle of Molotov cocktail in his hands and he caught fire, he rushed self-sacrificing toward the tank and ignited it with the second bottle. Secondly, there is a book ‘There Was no Land for us Beyond Volga. Sniper’s Notes’ written by an outstanding sniper Vasily Zaitsev. There he describes a battle that the 284-th Infantry Division under the command of N.F. Batiuk fought on the night of September 23, 1942:
They tore off their clothes – they hurt them. Do you understand that? They behaved like human beings but they did not throw their weapon – it is strength of mind. Moreover, sailor Michael Panikaha was not a zombie, his several steps toward the tank are explained within his human nature, but his strength of mind is limitless and infinite.
2. Next Questionable Scene is Shooting of the Silly ‘Seaman’:
Let's try to understand what this many-valued scene means and tries to tell us. Commander Gromov is ‘Archistrategos’, a hero, a great man. The silly ‘seaman’ is a criminal, self-seeker and marauder; he resembles a jackal Tabaqui from Kipling’s ‘Mowgli’ fairy tale. ‘The battle ‘(episode 6:38). There are not only the characters similar in appearance, but also the situations and even intonation are. Tabaqui mimics Council of Pack trying to please Shere Khan: ‘‘We are taking the fight!’ they cried!’ and then he grimaces: ‘But we are going to the north!’. The film plot here looks like that: the Council of soldiers makes a decision to fight but the ‘seaman’ teases their Commander and mimics as if saying ‘I’m going to the north’ (excuse me, to ‘my headquarters’). Characters of other participants of the shooting scene are as follows: sergeant Polyakov is ‘righteous’; ‘dumb’ tenor Nikiforov is cruel, impassive; master-sergeant Krasnov is both severe and mild; lieutenant Astakhov (rescuer’s father) is an indifferent ‘Sissy’, ‘sniper’ Chvanov did not take part in the scene.
Thus, the ‘Archistrategos’ Gromov orders the ‘dumb’ Nikiforov to shoot the ‘seaman’ who laid down the law as a cowardly jackal, and Nikiforov immediately does it. Everything seems to be right in accordance with a military point of view, i.e. a Commander of any army in the world would give the same order in a combat situation to avoid undermining the discipline because it threatens to ruin not only his unit but other troops as well. The filmmakers show us, however, a different, peaceful point of view: ‘righteous’ Polyakov condemns the execution, and this is an authoritative assessment of the most important character in the film. What things make Polyakov-believer, ‘this personification of simplicity and truth’, condemn this shooting? He says: ‘... might be useful’, i.e. considering the shooting in terms of reasonability and usefulness, which is typical Western mentality! Our righteous man would have to say: ‘You should not have done so. We’d better off giving him to the tribunal,’ i.e. to consider it in terms of justice! Next, the Commander jokes about a steamer (in the American style). So his words also reflect the Western mentality. As a Commander, he had to explain: ‘He’s a self-seeker, a coward, a marauder. How might he be useful? He will shoot us in the back!’. There is one more thing that adds ‘ominous’ background to this scene. The ‘seaman’ was shot very quickly, heartlessly, cruelly, and soldiers’ apathy clearly tells us that it was an ordinary situation because shooting took place everywhere and a human life cost nothing in the Red Army at that time. There is also sailor Krasnov’s perspective who watched with condemnation silly man making faces, and he even reached out his hand trying to stop shooting, although it would be more natural to hear from severe Krasnov its approval: ‘You’ve done it, bastard!’. In general, there is ambiguous schizophrenia in the scene.
Let's assess this ambiguity now. Commander Gromov legitimately ordered to shoot the silly ‘seaman’ according to the situation and his powers. His words about the steamboat were a lie since a real Commander could not answer this way; he's neither a crime boss, nor an American ranger. So it is obviously an Alien’s grin. Reproach of ‘righteous’ Polyakov comes from another Russianness, it’s the same soft Alien’s lies. Severe Krasnov’s softness is also a lie, because this ‘jackal’ defamed the sailor name. ‘Silent’ tenor Nikiforov’s impassivity is a lie since he is an artist, i.e. he has to live emotional life. We shall see further that he carries a tailcoat with a bow-tie throughout all fronts. The ‘ominous’ background is an artificial reality the abovementioned lies have formed.
However, the audience has no time to realize that all because the scene lasts for 45 seconds only, and then another key one quickly catches their attention in which the Germans are rounding up people for unprecedented action, a ritual burning. Disquieting music begins to sound and it tells us that something terrible is about to happen. Therefore, audience’s consciousness is blurred and it experiences cognitive dissonance, contradictory feelings are tangled up and eventually the only impression leaves that ‘something is bad in the Red Army, there is something sinister and cruel’. By doing so ‘one more brick’ about Russians’ atrocity is laid into the subconscious myth.
3. Meanwhile, a scene of ritual burning of a woman and her child is going on whipping up into horror. We will analyze it in detail in another section below but now we can state only one thing - Commander Gromov shoots the poor woman and her child with a sniper rifle to save them from suffering burn alive. There is a small but important remark to this scene - Katia screams hysterically even before the burning starts: ‘Shoot them!’. That that Katia called for, ‘righteous’ Polyakov silently approved and the Commander performed, is an act of euthanasia, i.e. killing victims in order to save them from suffering even without their formal consent. After watching this scene a conservative and religious part of the West society brought up on traditional values can say: ‘Yes, Russian soldiers are savage barbarians, they don’t believe in Christ and are brutish. Thus, one more brick is laid in the myth of atrocity. As for Russia, I think people will understand that this scene about euthanasia is another lie about the Battle of Stalingrad and the Great Patriotic War.
What idea should this scene add to the subconscious image of an ‘atrocious’ Russian according to the authors’ opinion? It is the thought that, if necessary, a Russian wouldn’t hesitate to kill a woman and a child.
4. The culmination of the film ‘Stalingrad’ is a scene of killing a fascist who came for water. They film authors planned that the ‘atrocities’ of Russian soldiers should come to a climax in it. All previous key stages are tightly connected with this scene and prepare the audience to the right perception according to the author's point of view, i.e. to the other Russianness’.
Let's try to understand this nonsense. Images of characters have become clear to us by this moment. We already know Commander Gromov as a person whom the righteous’ Polyakov has blamed for shooting the silly ‘seaman’. Also we have seen the Commander shooting a woman and her child without hesitation. Thus, we have been led to believe that the Commander is cruel and ruthless even for the Russians. ‘Sniper’ Chvanov is a demon, marauder and moral monster; he’s got a ‘dirty mouth.’ Katia is a bright and innocent image of a wonderful girl, a sort of a guardian angel. In fact, the demon Chvanov seduced her in a way (from F. Bondarchuk’s point of view) tempting her to kill the fascist. Therefore, the main conflict in the scene is between Commander-hero Gromov and ‘sniper’-marauder Chvanov.
It is also important to note that the present action follows the scene of the ritual burning of a woman with her child, which opened in fighters such hatred for the Germans that they rushed into the melee with a superior number of the enemy forgetting about the order to protect the building and thereby jeopardizing their main task of covering the crossing. As viewers we remember the explanation of the German colonel that the burning was not an atrocity but a sort of a simple ritual (according to the film’s authors it was a crime but not atrocity). However, our soldiers do not know that and take the act for an atrocity. We are instilled subliminal ideas that our soldiers had never seen Nazi atrocities before and that is why the picture of burning impressed them so much.
Thus, in terms of hierarchy of values the film’s authors hold to, the scheme of the episode is as follows:
Commander Gromov was shocked at the murder of the fascist who came for water. Even he, a cruel and merciless ‘God of War’ who had got used to killing without hesitation before, realized the depth of the utter atrocities and abominations of what had happened, and condemns it as the universal evil! It’s interesting to note that there is a reference to Rudyard Kipling’s fairy tale ‘Mowgli once again. The phrase ‘even animals do not devour each other at a watering!’ is about ‘water truce’ of the animals during the drought heralded by wise elephant Hathi (episode 3:58). ‘Mowgli’ is a favorite cartoon of all Soviet and Russian children; the adults also love and respect it. Therefore, appealing to the image of the beasts, which allegedly do not devour each other at the watering (they do! Watch National Geographic!), is a consciousness manipulation trick when subliminal images are used for the suggestion that the Russian soldiers were even much worse than beasts! When ‘sniper’ Chvanov tries to protect his right to kill fascists ‘at the watering’ by reminding about his younger brother who had been killed, it looks obviously weak because Chvanov is a moral monster and he’s got a ‘dirty mouth’, i.e. Chvanov has no credibility and respect. His ‘dirty mouth’ also says: ‘Do you know the verse, Comrade Captain? Every time you see him, you have to kill him!‘. Calling a ‘verse’ K. Simonov’s ‘Kill him!’ written by heart blood (we'll listen to it below) is blasphemy which the filmmakers entrusted to commit to the vilest character of the film, i.e. a demon (at least, the silly ‘seaman’ had already been shot). Chvanov‘s ‘dirty mouth’ has to devalue this argument in the eyes of viewers thanks to K. Simonov’s lines.
Let us review this nonsense again. The fascist could not walk carefree to ‘the watering’; it is a lie since the Germans themselves always hunted for our soldiers who came for water (see below for evidence), and could not rely on a fabulous ‘water truce’. Chvanov the fighter, even being a moral monster and marauder, had in our hierarchy of values a sacred right of a soldier to kill any fascist even coming for water. Katia had experienced the Nazis’ brutality and violence and had the moral right to avenge of herself, her dead mother and sister, all the victims of her friends and neighbors of her building. A real Commander Gromov could not condemn the murder because spirit of hatred lived in every soldier and, of course, every Commander, and it dictated only one order: ‘When you see him, just kill!’. A Soviet Commander who condemns killing fascists is an Alien in the uniform of a heroic Russian officer, a monstrous mutant bringing us the other Russianness and the turn of civilization.
Let me say about the so called ‘water truce’ and Nazi’s ‘cultural mercy’ in the war. The older generation remembers the story of the Brest Fortress heroic defense in June 1941 and how much blood its defenders shed for water (i.e. we paid blood for water from the first days of the war). Alexander Shcherbin writes about that:
And let the witness from the sites ‘Children of Stalingrad’ and ‘Historical Truth’ score the last nail in the coffin of the myth about the fabulous ‘water truce’ during the Battle of Stalingrad:
But the audience, especially the young, have no clue about it. Gromov and Chvanov’s dramatic dialogue continues 35 seconds, then other scenes grip the attention of the audience and even adults have no time to think them over. So this way one more ‘brick’ of myth about ‘atrocities’ of Russians is instilled into an inexperienced person’s subconsciousness.
5. Cruelty of our soldiers is relished in a number of episodes. Twice camera shows a close-up how ‘dumb’ Nikiforov dispassionately plunges a knife into a German body and turns it crunching. In another episode Commander Gromov disembowels a fascist’s corpse and daub his blood on the face to mask. Do we believe that this was a war? Of course, we do. Can we condemn the Red Army soldiers who fight so desperately? Of course, we can’t. They can kill the fascist bastards in any way and use any means for that. The fascist scum invaded our country, killed millions of our people and brought untold suffering to the Russian people. Thus, they put themselves in our hierarchy of values onto the position of utter metaphysical evil, which must be won at any cost and by any means.
So, we believe that our soldiers cruelty is truth. But there is a Malchish-Kibalchish’s painful sensation disturbing us here again: ‘Everything seems to be good, but something isn’t not good’. The problem is there is no proportionality between the images of our soldiers and images of the Germans. Cruelty of our soldiers is on the screen, it is savoured close-up but the cruelty of the Germans is behind the scenes, though; it is somewhere far away expressed by F. Bondarchuk’s indifferent voiceover. If there is no proportionality, the war image completeness and perfection are violated. And when there is no completeness and perfection, it means there is no Truth of war in this film. And if there is no Truth, thus, it all works for the same myth of the ‘atrocities’ of the Russians.
6. Eventually we got to the final episode - the murder of a fallen girl Masha.
Absurdity of sniper’s behavior when he ‘lays down’ (a Chvanov’s expression) a Russian girl, even though she was fallen, instead of a German officer, slips away from the audience. All eyes are on the tragic denouement of ‘love story’ taking place ‘against the background of one of the bloodiest battles in the history of mankind’ (as they say in the film advertisement). Music (i.e. the author's opinion) tells the viewer: the crime happened and love is killed. German captain Kahn, a positive character in the value system of the film’s creators, condemns this cowardly murder around the corner. He is like a real Teutonic knight rises proudly and fearlessly in all growth near the body of the fallen girl and calls his enemy: ‘Russian!’. Shocked ‘sniper’ Chvanov is unable to shoot a German officer even though he reloads his weapon.
It is noteworthy that other film characters are not present in this scene, and it seems at first glance we will not hear their comments. Let's note, however, that Katia condemned the murder of the fallen girl in absentia when she was indignant with ‘sniper’ Chvanov’s suggestion to shoot the girl and said: ‘Are you nut?’ (it was in the scene before the murder of the German at ‘the watering’). Girl Katia, as we already know, is a clean and openhearted character, a voice of conscience in this film, so the authoritative assessment has been given.
It’s important to note one more detail. This scene unfolds against the backdrop of another exciting one in which Nikiforov performs his last feat: he first throws a grenade and undermines the Germans, and then uses a stratagem and brutally kills a German colonel sacrificing himself (you remember he's Samael, the angel of Death, coming for sinners with a serrated knife). This definitely heroic act is contrasted with stupid murder committed by ‘sniper’ Chvanov, thus enhancing his conviction.
Let us make our assessment too. We join Katia’s opinion that Chvanov is a fool. Of course, the punishment of the fallen girl through her murder is disproportionate to her offense. She ought to be judged, as it happened in Soviet Union. In France 20,000 women were condemned for cohabiting with Germans (for the so-called ‘horizontal collaboration’) according to the law adopted in 1944. They were inflicted upon a penalty of public humiliation on the streets. In Soviet Union those were put in prison. It was much harsher. But every society has its own laws according to the mentality, culture and current circumstances. We had our own, the French – theirs. Scale of the fascism crimes in the USSR and France is incommensurable. Such women were formally condemned harsher, but who can evaluate what punishment brings more suffering: either to go to jail or be publicly humiliated and become a social outcast. Anyway, the punishment according to law is different, but the assessment of the act is the same: it is a universal crime for any healthy society (General Charles de Gaulle is so great because he returned the honor for the French, i.e. the moral health), since common interests are above the personal ones in hierarchy of values of such a society (at least they were for the French in a situation of war and national humiliation) and honor prevails over salvation through treachery:
But what does our audience feel? They will have squeamish precipitate of ‘atrocities’ of the Russians again because they have no time to think. Nikiforov performs his feat and we bow our heads in memory of our heroes. However, the air is filled with the pernicious spirit of the other Russianness.
Myth of the Instability of the Russian Soldiers’ Spirit During the Battle of Stalingrad
There is one scene in the film ‘Stalingrad’ that has caused perhaps the greatest outrage among viewers. It happens when the filmmakers expressed their doubts about the intestinal fortitude of the Russian soldiers in a dialogue between two protagonists:
Can you imagine that a Soviet Commander on November 16, 1942, just three days (!) before beginning our historical attack and breaking fascism’s back, admits that his fighters could give up?! It was the Germans who did instead! They fled in panic along with the Italian and Romanian divisions! It was their generals, famous Prussian aristocrats, who negligently missed preparation of our strategic offensive and concentration of forces in the main direction of impact! It was our State Defense Committee (GKO) headed by Joseph Stalin that was able to mobilize resources of the exhausted and exsanguinated country to deploy new weapons production, construct new railway lines unprecedented in terms as well as to supply the army with all necessities. It was their highbrow intellectuals who having enormous human and material resources of all satiated Europe and having occupied the most important economic zones of the USSR, failed to beat us for armaments. The German command sent ‘tons of candies (!), dozens of boxes of condoms (!), knitted sweaters, ladies' coats (!), muffs, gloves, caps with ribbons and without them (!), slippers, home shoes made of camel wool, pot warmers, boots for skates (!)‘(source). Some think that material resources are the most important thing in the war. We believe that the most important thing is to beat the enemy's spirit, though, and it will create the matter necessary for victory.
Do you feel the Commander Gromov’s heroic image stinking of Alien’s pernicious breath? You can see him, Alien, making faces and trying to seduce young and tender souls as well as breaking elders’ ones filled with gloom. Do you want to know the truth? Here is the testimony of Konstantin Simonov, our great poet who wrote those extremely harsh lines within one day at the Stalingrad front when Germans were coming up to the Volga. He is now appealing to you, listen to his verse: ‘Kill him!’ says Simonov. Do you understand? The spirit of that time and the short name of this spirit are emphasized in the word «hatred»! Hatred for the enemy, the fascist scum, which burned our villages and towns, hung and shot, tortured and raped millions of people! This spirit broke into the ‘ether’ through the hearts of our poets and writers in July 1942 at the Stalingrad front and spread rapidly throughout all other ones. Enormous flame of unspeakable suffering and loss, total enslavement threats and thousand-year history loss created a smashing plasma sword in the Russian soul - the holy spirit of hatred and revenge, which brought death to fascism. ‘Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind...’.
The emergence of hatred was caused by a number of circumstances, among which there were widespread evidences of Nazi atrocities in the occupied territories. During our winter offensive of 1941-1942 many German photographic and film materials as well as letters of German soldiers and staff documents showing unprecedented torture, murder, rape of the civilian population were captured. Moreover, our operators were able to film the villages and towns liberated from the Nazis. Thanks to these materials the Nazis atrocities became clear and evident and appeared in newsreels. Information about the atrocities was also published in the newspapers. It filled the Russian soul with resentment and anger toward fascism, and at the certain time of the extremity in July 1942 it resulted in a spirit of hatred.
Hatred! Hatred for the enemy! In July 1942 practically every soldier has read or heard Simonov’s ‘Kill him!’ or Ehrenburg’s ‘Kill!’ and other calls of our writers and poets. On July 28, 1942 the famous order number 227 ‘Not a step back!’ was issued. It was read out to all the troops and has played a prominent role in strengthening the spirit and discipline. This spirit of hatred was shown in August 1942 throughout all fronts. It was not yet that clear in 1941, and it apparently was not shown to such an extent after 1942, when it merged tightly with the spirit of confidence in victory. It was a special moment, both desperate and decisive. If Moscow had been given up, it would have been infinitely painful, but the army would be able to go on fighting. If Stalingrad had, however, how would they have been able to fight without traffic and communications and connection to the oil-bearing regions of the Caspian Sea, without fuel?
Ilya Ehrenburg remembers the spirit of Russian soldiers at the beginning of the war in his book ‘People, Years, Life’:
Here is the a memory of my close relative about summer of 1942; he was a teenager at that time and survived the war in the village of Otrozhki on the left bank of the Voronezh river, 7 km from the city of Voronezh that was occupied by Germans (Stalingrad direction):
Do you understand that it was in August 1942, namely in the city of Stalingrad which was located in the direction of the main strategic impact of Nazi Germany, when their tanks rolled victoriously to the outskirts of the city, when on August 23 their carpet bombing brutally burned and destroyed Stalingrad, when their power seemed to break our resistance; that's the time when the miracle of the Russian spirit transformation has seized all the people of our great country! And F. Bondarchuk has lost or has not noticed this spirit of the main participants of the Stalingrad Battle either in the heat of love passion or because of his focus upon the creation of the civilization turn. On the other hand, other personal experiences are displayed on the screen by means of deep diving in the 3D IMAX format and slo-mo effects.
The Myth About the Harmlessness of Fascism
1. Nazi atrocities? According to Bondarchuk’s version, there is no need to recall them, even if they had really taken place. Europe is culturally educated and if we begin to rub their nose in genocide of the Russian people during the Great Patriotic War, it will not be tolerant and politically correct. Therefore, it is not worth showing anything like that in the film, just a voiceover will comment that ‘wife was killed, daughter was killed, sister was raped...’. But audience’ impression from the voiceover is thousandfold weaker than from powerful synthetic visual effects (3D) and music (‘immersive’) series. Moreover, monotone insinuating Bondarchuk’s voice sounds in the film so that you feel there is a main thing missing - the love for the Fatherland; this voice expresses indifference at best. But we remember how the voice of the people who have a heart burning with love for their Motherland, sounds and how it can express attitude to disaster and suffering, the triumphs and victories. Listen how much courage, anger and bitterness in Y. Levitan and Konstantin Simonov’s voices or in this Oath! Listen how Y. Levitan proclaims about our successes, of breaking the blockade of Leningrad and the victory at Stalingrad! Not for nothing did Hitler considered Yuri Levitan a Reich’s enemy number one. Marshal Rokossovsky said Levitan’s voice was equivalent to an entire division. Bondarchuk’s voice can probably only demoralize. As a result, the film creates a myth about the harmlessness of fascism.
2. The next scene is to show us a high moral character of fascists through the German Colonel’s assessment of Captain Kahn’s affection to the fallen girl Masha when he obviously neglects his officer duty (to prepare his soldiers for assault, maintain their morale and many other things an officer has to do in a combat situation):
Unlike the other scenes in which the performance is made rapidly and the viewer has no time to gather his thoughts, this scene is slow, it includes long pauses for we need to feel the depth of the Captain’s fall in Colonel’s estimation; it was not without reason that he guardedly repeats several times: ‘I have no words’. We are gradually persuaded the idea that the Captain’s behaviour is an extraordinary act, the German army’s morale was high and the German officers abode the rules of honor and controlled the soldiers. But we know about the moral character of German soldiers a little more than the filmmakers do, and we’ll share to share a selection of expressive images with readers (acknowledgments to blogger uglich_jj).
3. One of the most striking scenes in the film ‘Stalingrad’ is Captain Kahn’s speech in front of a line of heroic fascists who stood erect as if they were on parade:
In this scene the ‘heroic’ image of the German army is promoted quite frankly and without any hesitation. In the film ‘Stalingrad’, which plot is ‘sacred’ for its authors, blasphemous glorification of fascism is going on before our eyes. We are instilled ‘they are not animals, just another army’s soldiers wearing different uniform, speaking a different language, but they are just like us, they also want to go home, to their families, we made war with them a bit, but now let's pay tribute to their courage and heroism‘. However, we remember that these were not just soldiers and it was not just a war. These were the Nazis and they came not to conquer us but destroy. We know the following Hitler's statement about the war in the East:
‘On March 30, 1941 at a meeting of the Wehrmacht high command Hitler stressed that all the efforts in the war against the Soviet Union would be aimed at ’destruction and the fight would be very different from the war in the West. Cruelty in the East is useful for the future.‘ In accordance with the general plan ‘Ost’ 120-140 million people in the USSR and Poland were supposed to be annihilated. The main directions of this policy Reichsfuhrer SS Himmler have stated in the secret memorandum ‘Some Reichsfuhrer SS Himmler’s ideas about the treatment at the hands of locals in the eastern regions’.
Ideological propaganda of the Wehrmacht and SS’ soldiers was carried out during preparation for aggression against the USSR and it contributed in practical implementation of the crime. ‘German soldier handbook’ published for the Wehrmacht staff said: ‘You have no heart and nerves, the war does not need them. Get rid of any pity and sympathy, kill every Russian, Soviet, do not stop even if you face an old man or woman, girl or boy, kill them; this way you save yourself from death, secure the future of your family and be famous forever‘.
Compare the scene of fascism glorification with the above evidence and you see with half an eye that it is not an Alien’s shadow but Alien himself in his entire animal guise. Can you feel your bones begin to crunch because of upcoming turn of civilization?
4. There is no single episode of Germans’ violence, cruelty and atrocities against the locals in Stalingrad. The only exception is the scene of the ritual burning of the woman and her child, but the Germans have an excuse - it is their response to the ‘barbarism’ of Russians who had thrown out Germans’ decaying corpses (but what else to do with them in such situation?). We are again gradually imposed the impression that all Germans’ actions are motivated by ‘cultural’ and ‘ritual’ considerations. Accordingly, the locals walk along the streets without fear and anxiety just trying to get round the Germans who do not pay attention to them. It is worth mentioning a scene of impudent woman with a child trying to break through our positions into the occupied part of the city. She is not afraid of going over there although the German Colonel will say later that she is a Jew. This quite experienced and knowledgeable woman is not afraid of the Nazis in the second year of the war. We wonder if she did not hear about Babi Yar in Kiev where the Germans shot 150,000 Jews in 1941 including women and children. Doesn’t she take care of her child? A Stalingrad resident A.A. Jagodin recalls what was happening over there in fact:
There is nothing of the kind to show us in the film ‘Stalingrad’. Today's youth grown up and educated by the EGE-test system may not suspect any fraud. Lulling us with nice images of the indifferent Nazis, we are once again gradually and blatantly told a lie promoting a myth of harmlessness fascists in the subconsciousness of the audience.
5. There's a brutal scene of ritual burning of a woman with her child, but the German Colonel has explained to us: ‘We have forgotten our roots and origins in this war. The ancient Germans sacrificed to their gods before a fight’. That is not brutality but a cultural tradition of the Germans; there was no the ideology of fascism, the Waffen SS troops and genocide against Jews and Slavs. Even the flamethrower man before the ritual burning looks not brutally but cynically and good-natured with a cigarette sandwiched carelessly in the corner of his mouth; he quietly lights his partner’s cigarette from the flame and his whole appearance says that it's just a job to burn people, like a modern profession of killer now. I think that Germans themselves will have to review and realize this historically false film since justification of the burning of people with reference to ‘the roots and origins of the ancient Germans’ rather than racist theory of fascism, insults the German nation with its great culture and traditions.
Of course, this episode is severe, but it cannot be compared to the scale of the atrocities committed by the Nazis in the Soviet Union. The filmmakers must merely have been ashamed of telling us about it. And we are not ashamed and remember, for example, about the tragedy of the Belarusian village of Hatyn where fascist beasts burned alive 149 inhabitants:
I think that this tragedy can cause terror in every person, no matter how cynical he might turn out to be. We consider it as an extreme of violence. But the horror of fascism is that it has no extremes. Let us have the courage and say that altogether there were destroyed and burned 9,200 settlements including 5,947 villages, along with their inhabitants in Belorussia; in 1941 there were 219 villages, in 1942 – 822, in 1943 – 3,731 and in 1944 – 1,006‘.’Scorched earth’ tactics became more widespread in the autumn-winter of 1943-44. In the last period of the Nazi occupation special teams of arsonists were created and they played a role of Wehrmacht in the implementation of total devastation policy in the occupied territory. Their task was to carry out the utter devastation of the territory while Nazi troops retreated. The population was killed or taken to Germany. One of the main methods... was the mass destruction of human settlements together with the residents. As a rule, people were driven to a house, shed or barn, then it was tightly closed and set on fire. The Nazi policy of genocide and ‘scorched earth’ resulted in 2.23 million people killed in Belarus for the three years of occupation. Every 4-th person in Belarus was killed‘.
Total losses of the USSR in World War II amounted to 26.6 million people.
6. Next we see a strange scene of driving Soviet people to Germany for slaves. F. Bondarchuk tried very hard to avoid the cliche. There are neither barking shepherds breaking loose from their chains nor evil shouts of the guards nor severe butt hits nor howling of mad women separated from their children. People are wandering humbly and quietly, the guards are standing still. The scene is mournful but not brutal as it was indeed and was reflected in the memoirs:
Here is another memory of a Stalingrad’s inhabitant:
This is the most appalling tragedy of our nation: 5 million people were driven from the USSR to Germany during 1942-1944! They were driven to hard labour, which is why the young and strong ones were selected, but babies and old people left, so the families were broken, mothers and children were separated, they were shot for disobedience, but people were still hiding, running away! Isn’t this the brutality of fascism that trampled on all human laws?! But we could see nothing of the kind in the film. It means someone really needs to erase this truth from our memory and create a myth about the harmlessness of fascism.
7. A rape scene of a miserable broken girl by German officer Peter Kahn is a masterpiece of F. Bondarchuk’s film art. The rape scene is consecrated with majestic ‘immersive‘ music having a note of some sadness and sorrow because we have to express sympathy to the German captain - he is about to lose his officer’s honor. There is some justification, though. Herr Captain has just stopped fighting, so you should be tolerant and understand him when he is lust-stricken first and later when he takes hard the loss of his honor. Blogger Frallik believes that F. Bondarchuk kept his head at this crucial moment and used a trick of ‘product placement’ adding advertisement of push-up bra by an unknown brand. I really do not know whether it is worth suspecting him in such pettiness taking into account the billion budget of the film. Well, after the rape follows a very informative scene:
Did you understand everything? It was us who made Germans the beasts because the victim provokes the executioner, thus the victim is guilty towards the executioner in seduction. This is one more justification of fascism, which is written into the subconscious of gullible and receptive audience.
We have to note for reference: Captain Kahn called Paulus Field Marshal, but Hitler appointed him only on January 30, 1943 in the hope that he would commit suicide. Hitler’s radiogram to Paulus especially pointed out that ‘No one German Field Marshal has ever been captured yet.’ But on January 31 Paulus surrendered to the Soviet command.
Let Konstantin Simonov say with all the pain and blood of his heart how the fascists raped our girls in fact:
Part 2. Other values in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’
Film ‘Stalingrad’ advertisement promises us: ‘No cliched ideological and propaganda approach’. But we cannot believe it because the first shot of the advertising trailer of a la Russian film ‘Stalingrad’ shows a proud image of the American company ‘Columbia pictures’ that is approaching us overshadowing with its brilliance. This is the power of cinema – one shot is enough to make the situation clear. And F. Bondarchuk’s voice addressing to the West is heard for the whole film:
We are going to talk about propaganda of other values in F. Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’. The approach to propaganda is not really cliched since there are a lot of innovative techniques from the modern arsenal of psycho-historical war.
Theme of Euthanasia
The scene in which Commander Gromov commits murder of a women and her child, is the most important one in terms of establishing a metaphysical basis of the other Russianness.
So, we have seen the murder of a woman and a child by Soviet Commander Gromov committed probably under mitigating circumstances: the victims were in unbearable pain and suffering, and the Commander delivered them from this suffering by killing them without their prior consent, i.e. by force. In modern Western liberal society such an action is reduced to the notion of euthanasia :
There is one nuance - Commander Gromov’s victims were not unconscious but the above definition has a small loophole: it says ‘as a rule, unconscious’. We know what the phrase ‘as a rule...‘ stands for; as the saying goes ‘if you may not do anything, but really want to, you can’. Thus, we have come to the conclusion that a murder is included into the defined circle of concept of ‘euthanasia’, at the very edge of it.
There is another nuance – it is Katia’s call for shooting the woman with her child before the flamethrower man set their bus on fire. Such a murder, if it really took place, would already go beyond the meaning of euthanasia because future victims of physical suffering have not yet experienced it. Here, the filmmakers apparently test the audience for further extension of the concept of euthanasia. We also note that Katia calls on fighters to the murder of the woman and her child being in abeyance, she does not have a complete picture of what is happening, she does not look in binocular like Commander, the distance is large enough to see and hear anything that is going on there. Commander responding to Katia’s hysterical cry says: ‘She's right, Chvanov, shoot!‘. Sniper Chvanov responses: ‘Do you want me to shoot at children?‘. Such Chvanov’s response returns him the dignity of man. Although his response can be understood as a refusal to shoot the children in the square, we will treat it as a refusal to shoot at a child in the bus because in a mythological drama every little thing has its certain meaning. The filmmakers would indicate us: ‘You see how this moral monster showed himself – he did not want to help the suffering people die!’. Well, we are grateful to Chvanov in his commitment to traditional values during the terrible ordeal. It’s a very difficult episode.
So, the ideologists of the film ‘Stalingrad’ using the authority of ‘Archistrategos‘ Gromov, guardian angel Katia and ‘righteous‘ Polyakov (he did not mind, which means that he acquitted the murder), try to make us think about the permissibility of euthanasia. In our opinion, by Christian dogma a murder is a mortal sin. That’s it! It was also a sin among the heathens before the Christian era, and the Hippocratic oath reflects the unacceptability of euthanasia for a person of the Ancient World.
It is interesting to compare in this respect F. Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’ and B. Hotinenko’s ‘Pop‘ in which the director despite his bias in creating the image of ‘bloody regime‘ does not cross the line in a similar situation. In the film ‘Pop’ there is a very dramatic scene when the Nazis were hanging four partisans, among them one woman. People were herded together to make them watch and a priest Father Alexander turned out to be there by chance. Partisans were stood up in a truck with the nooses around their necks. Truck starts moving off, the three partisans had no foothold and hung in the loops, the girl was about to, but she managed to cling on to the edge of the truck with her bare feet... At the last moment the truck stuck in a rut and went into a skid; the girl hangs between life and death. She already began to twitch convulsively but her legs were still on the back of the truck. The soldiers tried to push the truck, but their efforts were not enough. Then a Hitlerite, one of the film heroes, pushed it strongly and the truck finally broke out of ruts, the girl hung in the loop with her comrades. Do you remember what Father Alexander shouted later when that fascist came in his home? ‘Get out of my house! Out!‘. And repeated several times to his wife: ‘It was him, him who pushed… you know?‘. When that Hitlerite pushed the truck, he might have helped her to get rid of suffering at the last moment of her life, but in our system of values he committed the murder, a mortal sin.
The architects of civilization turn unlike V. Hotinenko, did without the ‘cliches‘ in the film ‘Stalingrad’ and presented us an image of the other Russianness; they managed to use actors’ impressive emotional acting and the guise of a powerful comprehensive authority of ‘Archistrategos‘, ‘angel ‘and’ righteous man‘ (i.e. ideological occultists of the film ‘cannonaded of all calibers‘) in order to let malicious virus into the souls of audience.
The Theme of ‘Five Fathers’ as the Main Intrigue of the Film
If you did not see the film, there is a short remark: ‘Stalingrad’ begins with a scene of people salvation from collapsed buildings in Fukushima (Japan) in March 2011 after the disaster at the nuclear power plant (!). An emergency squad arrives; a Russian lifeguard rescues a German tourist from beneath the Japanese debris telling her that he had five fathers:
Our rescuer was born in 1943, he has turn 68, but he's still at the forefront of rescue operations. Obviously, Bondarchuk needed such a weird risky story just to introduce an ambiguous intrigue into the film wondering whether lifeguard mother cohabited with five men or not? This special method of consciousness manipulation called the capture of an audience is based on the ambiguous theme in this case. Probably the very theme of the Battle of Stalingrad did not seem to F. Bondarchuk very exciting, or there lie other ideas. Anyway, the manipulator F. Bondarchuk skillfully keeps intriguing the audience till the end of the film, and everyone is waiting for the weird version becoming finally clear and saying whether the future Fukushima hero’s mom slept with five men or not. In the end, thank God, it has become clear: he had the only father, Astakhov. I think everyone would understand that his mother had four brothers and was their sister and that she had the only husband, if she told her son-rescuer that clearly, especially taking into account that in the English version of the trailer of the film ‘Stalingrad’ our soldiers are called Brothers in Arms. But in this case the film ‘Stalingrad’, according to Bondarchuk’s opinion, would have lost its main intrigue.
Another mysterious intrigue that exists in parallel with the main one may be designated as follows: ‘Six men - five fathers. Who is superfluous?‘ At the very beginning of the film, when Katia met with the heroes of the film for the first time, F. Bondarchuk gently commented off-screen: ‘So they got acquainted - five men and my young mother.’ At that time there were really only five men because sergeant major Krasnov who would be the sixth one, has not yet managed to join them. The same group is displayed on an advertising poster, there is no sergeant major Krasnov on it. So, six men-fighters and five fathers. Who is superfluous? According to F. Bondarchuk’s comment it is sergeant major Krasnov, but the whole film story says it is a demon Chvanov. In fact, Krasnov joined the group of fighters almost immediately after the ‘righteous’ Polyakov and shared their fate till the very end; he is a hero who deserves respect, and how can Katia deny him like a ‘father’ and prefer Chvanov, the moral monster, instead? We can only build our hypotheses and wonder why it was necessary to introduce this intrigue in the film. We may dare to assume that both intrigues (‘five fathers’ and ‘who is superfluous’) are designed to distract the audience's attention from the main theme, let in more murkiness in order to enable film ideologists to do their tricks under this cover the way a circus magician or card sharpie do.
To be able to understand the passage about five fathers, we have to remember the scandal with Masha Gessen (she was a director of the Russian service of American radio ‘Freedom’ at that time), which broke out in April 2013 and caused stormy debate in hundreds of publications (e.g. at the websites of such opposite magazines like ‘Odnako’ and ‘Snob’). In this context ‘five fathers’ mean a paraphrase of Masha Gessen’s children’s five fathers. An Australian radio broadcast on ABC Radio National says that on June 11, 2012 at the meeting with LGBT activists during Sydney Book Festival Masha declared in her candid speech:
To conclude: if even so well prepared audience was confused, what can we say about us, the former ‘Soviets.’? However, we are not going to wiredraw the conversation far away and talk about the fact that F. Bondarchuk tramples on traditional family values. Just keep it in mind for a while. F. Bondarchuk admitted in one of his interviews that the script was meant for different target groups.
The Theme of Different Love and a Different Hierarchy of Values
1. Primary attention in the film is paid to the theme of love between man and woman. We can see the evolution of two love stories: between five fighters and Katia and between German captain Kahn and girl Masha. Certainly, Katia touched the hearts of all fighters including ‘sniper’ Chvanov; we remember how his face brightened when Katia said her name. But Chvanov has his own ‘romance’ with Katia - he must seduce her metaphysically, which he does in the scene of killing a German at the ‘watering’. The remaining fighters love Katia ordinarily, like humans - they want a simple personal happiness. And that's really beautiful because such love is one of the spiritual values for us. But they were carried away by this feeling so much that Commander Gromov told Katia he had some doubts about their fighting spirit: ‘If you are killed, they’ll give up.’ Now, pay attention! Here the key point – it’s important how the Commander evaluates the change (let’s call it this so far) of his fighters’ spirit and what example of treating such kind of things he shows. But Commander does not upbraid his men for the possible emotional breakdown they turned out to be in, i.e. equal to betrayal of their military duty. Saying nothing on his part is equivalent to the justification and is an example of his tolerant attitude. As this love story is shown exceptionally bright and chaste, we, according to the authors of the film, should have no doubt about their right to such kind of a ‘higher love’ that justifies their possible neglect of their military duty. However, we have some doubts, as always in such scenes of Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’: ‘Everything seems to be fine, but something is not good.’ A bad thing is that our hierarchy of values turns upside down here. The film proclaims personal feelings priority over public duty. We, in our turn, prioritize the latter over the former. Our military duty and love for the Fatherland prevails over our personal love:
We wonder if young Russian viewers can distinguish this substitute. Will they? It's so easy and comfortable to use another hierarchy of values and justify neglecting the public duty with personal circumstances and romantic feelings; also there is nothing to be ashamed of before people because the other Russianness and other morale are tolerant to such behavior.
2. Let us consider another aspect of this romantic story: how such kind of ‘love’ makes progress. There is no sign that our soldiers experience weakness of spirit at the very beginning, but as the relationship is developing, ‘love’ to the girl displaces their fighting spirit, it goes into a new quality and the men turn into the unreliable warriors. That is, they seem to be strong so far but under certain circumstances they may break. It has nothing to do, however, with our traditional understanding of love as an uplifting feeling and the transition of man to a spirit strengthening state when he cannot even think of committing an indecent act because he knows that if he betrays his duty to the country, he will lose the love, honor, dignity, his girl will turn away from him and despise. And even if his beloved dies, the lover continues to commensurate his actions with his duty of honor keeping his love in mind because his love stays by his side invisible and looks at him. A real Commander, our Commander, being aware of such high true love, will always be sure of his soldiers and never express doubt about their fighting spirit. In the film the Commander Gromov neither doubts their right to the other love nor expresses any surprise with the paradoxical result of this ‘love’. Having shown love as a process of human descent, his spirit degeneration, and presenting it as a natural process, the film ideologists made another abominable forgery of our traditional values. This is different love and it is fraught with the threat of the turn of civilization. By the way, we had one more chance to see an Alien’s shadow behind the Commander Gromov.
3. Let us now consider the romance of a German officer and a German ‘broad.’ At the beginning of their affair Masha seemed to be in a broken, confused state. It is worth noting that the guardian angel Katia remains clean and unbroken even after she had been touched by the Germans, while subsequently fallen Masha had been flawed, wanton and broken even before she was touched. No matter whether the body is touched, preserving the temple of soul does. Masha experienced that breakdown when her ‘lover’ raped her. The Captain Kahn abused her body in this scene but spiritually she was not yet fallen. Masha showed no resistance but we can justify her, assuming she was shocked. However, when Masha rides the Captain Kahn’s tracked bike, she makes her metaphysical fall, she is tempted by ‘love’ and betrays her people. On the other hand, she could spit in this bastard’s face and stay with the ones driven away into slavery in order to preserve her human honor and share her people’s fate. Indeed, in our system of values honor is above betrayal salvation. We can see again that Masha’s ‘love’ is not our traditional one. Blossoming of her ‘love’ has led to a moral fall. True love elevates, ennobles, inspires, spiritualizes... The other one makes you sink...
4. And what about the Captain Kahn? Has the love ennobled his soul or cleared from the fascist hassle? After all, he could wake up and ask himself as a Prussian aristocrat, ‘What am I doing here on the banks of the Volga, why am I killing these Russians? They turned out to be like us or the French, they are not a subhuman inferior race’. But nothing like that happens. First, he rapes poor Masha and loses an officer and aristocratic honor because of the ‘love’. He admits to himself that he has become a beast but his fascist essence blames on Masha for this fall. Second, he begins to spend time with Masha instead of committing his combat duties. The Captain loses control of himself, his feelings are more important to him than service, he betrays his duty in fact and makes his moral fall, which soon leads him to death. But again, the author's assessment does not coincide with ours; they justify neglecting military duty with ‘high love’; personal is again above public; the Captain Kahn appears to be a romantic hero in the film, he is a noble knight trying to protect the lady of his heart at any cost.
5. In connection with the novels reviewed, it is very appropriate to underline an Alexander Sherbina’s important thought that heroes of the best military works always worked through ‘a certain way of spiritual formation.’ And what can we see in the film ‘Stalingrad’? Has Nikiforov followed any path of spiritual formation? It’s a tricky question. On the one hand, there is one Nikiforov ‘behind the scenes’ with his cruelty he had gained after being in our filtration camp. That is the ‘callousness’ of our system that caused his brutality rather than the Nazis atrocities. In this sense, he has worked his way of a spiritual rebirth and even, according to some subtle signs (e.g. Nikiforov turned his back to us on the advertising poster as much as the demon Chvanov) the filmmakers condemn his ‘off-screen’s’ rebirth. There is one more thing concerning Nikiforov: he is an artist, tenor, he is dressed up in the tailcoat but he is cruel at the same time. Hence, we are subtly whispered, ‘Scratch Russian tenor’s tailcoat and you’ll find a beast beneath it!’ On the other hand, Nikiforov behaves ‘on-screen’ constantly heroically. Taking into account all the above, we do not agree with the author's assessment of Nikiforov. But the heroes of love novels, as we have shown above, have gone spiritual degeneration. This is, of course, our opinion, even though the filmmakers and the invisibly present Alien entice us with a different system of values.
As for Katia, her love is not clearly expressed and manifested; it has resulted in the only thing we know. It is an MES’ employee Astakhov. We can easily understand, however, her chastity and permanence because she is a guardian angel of the house and men, and the angels never change.
So, let’s try to summarize. In a system of the other Russianness’ values, such kind of ‘other’ love triggers a natural process of prevailing personal values over public ones and is subject not only to justification but approval as well. In our system of values, such kind of ‘other’ love leads to degeneration and breakdown of the spirit, and it is to be condemned because we set public values above personal ones.
Part 3. Jeering at the Army and People in Bondarchuk’s Film ‘Stalingrad’
Do you remember the parable of the blind wise men and the elephant? One passed his hand across an elephant’s side and said it was a wall. The second one touched its tusk and said it was a spear. The third went to the trunk and cried out that it was a snake! And so on.
And where are the ‘blind wise men’ who created the film ‘Stalingrad’ in this parable? As you may have guessed, they are all located in the elephant's ass, where they try to realize what is happening around with all their sense organs. This method of investigation of reality is called ‘through the asshole.’ It creates a different reality, in which the principle of integrity and proportionality is violated, marginal and deviant acting becomes standard. If you ask for water in this ‘reality’, you will be served with a beautiful crystal glass full of sewage water from the toilet sink boasting, ‘We have the best wine glasses - with gold border and shining edges!’
Now we are going to explore what the consequences of applying the method ‘through the ass’ in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’ are.
Mockery of the Soviet Sailors-Defenders of Stalingrad
A ‘typical’ Soviet sailor in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’ portrayed by means of ‘through the ass’ method is a silly ‘seaman’, marauder, with the habits of an anarchist of 1917, scum and cowardly jackal. ‘Sailor’s’ appearance is repulsive: he is deliberately lop-eared, his facial expression is criminal, thieves’. There in another seaman in the film - sergeant major Krasnov, but he is always in the shadows and does not show himself. Moreover, the filmmakers removed him from the list of the ‘five fathers’, thus humiliating him in some way. Therefore, the audience begins to accept a silly ‘seaman’ as a typical one. It seems that the film ideologists just hate real Soviet seamen and vent their anger on them in this film. One more thing to be added to their hatred is that according to Ozhegov’s explanatory dictionary ‘silly’ stands for ‘big-eared, clumsy, sluggish.’ This is a particular detail in the image of a ‘seaman’, a sort of minor filth, a mockery at these seamen because the seamen by right are proud of their daring, they are brave guys, agile, strong and mentally alert.
The seaman played a prominent role in the defense of Stalingrad. Naval brigades from Sevastopol, Kerch and the Crimea were included in the troops of the Stalingrad Front. The seamen the Caspian Fleet and Volga Flotilla fought as part of marine brigades; tens of thousands of seamen also came to the Stalingrad front from the Pacific Fleet and the Amur Flotilla. ‘In the most intense periods of the Great Patriotic War the Navy sent about 400 thousand seaman to the Red Army, e.g. 146,899 in 1941 and 188,976 - in 1942, as well as 54,100 in the first five months of 1943. In 1942 the seamen having sent to fight on land were fighting mainly at Stalingrad. That year the newly formed divisions and brigades, which had many seamen, were not called ‘marine’ yet. Many seamen of marching companies and battalions replenished infantry formations and units which have suffered losses in battles‘ (source).
For us the image of a Soviet seaman is a hero of Alexander Deineki’s brilliant picture ‘Defense of Sevastopol’. We also know about the exploits of Soviet seamen in Stalingrad. When the seamen in black pea jackets fearlessly rose to attack like black waves during the battle for Mamaev Kurgan, it terrified Germans. Sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich carved immortal monument ‘Stand death!’ devoted to them. But a special character of seaman dedication is an attack when they wear only striped vests. Former Chief of Staff of the 2-nd Guards Army Marshal Biryuzov recalled:
‘The seamen have committed many deeds during the battle of Stalingrad. Red Fleet seaman Ilya Kaplunov, anti-tank riflemen of 260-th Infantry Regiment of 86-th Infantry Division (this division consisted of about 4 thousand seamen), hit 5 German tanks in one battle. His leg was torn off by a piece of shrapnel but dying he continued to fire from anti-tank rifle and hit three tanks more. Then, having been wounded in the arm he managed to hit the ninth tank. For this feat seaman I.M. Kaplounov was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union’ (source).
And here are some evidences of Germans who wrote about those battles too. It is an extract from the letters of a German soldier Erich Ott, November 1942:
Note that soldier Erich Otto writes about ‘a crowd of the unfeeling dead’, in which they have turned in. He writes it in November 1942; this is the moment when the film events are developing. Compare the real situation with the scene in which Russian soldiers go in like the living dead, zombies, and which was palmed off on us under the cover of the epic battle at the beginning of the film. So, we are not zombies. They are. Brutalized Nazis lost their human essence raping and killing innocent people. And the German soldier Erich Otto in his testimony from the Stalingrad exposes lies of film ‘Stalingrad’’s ideologists.
Jeering at the Soviet Snipers and Sniper Movement of Defenders of Stalingrad
A ‘typical‘ sniper in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’ according to the same ‘through the asshole‘ method is marauder Chvanov – a demon, a moral monster, ‘dirty mouth‘, man-lizard. Many viewers realize very late that ‘sniper’ Chvanov has been at the forefront for several days but could not shoot any fascist - he killed only the fallen girl Masha. There are many scenes in which he leads an eye on the German positions examining a machine-gunner in the nest, a few Germans near destroyed self-propelled gun, but never shoots. Film ‘Stalingrad’s’ ideologists entrusted his ‘dirty mouth’ a special role in the mockery of snipers. Mocking sophistication ‘decorated ‘a few episodes. When he is examining the German positions, his singsong begins to sound, he is speaking with himself, ‘Nobody can escape from Chvanov, and nothing can hide from Chvanov.’ In another episode, he sings, ‘Hey, hit, rifle, accurately, cleverly...’ in an attempt to spoil a good song, ‘Vintovka‘; listen to it. But the most abominable episode is when ‘sniper’ Chvanov turns to Katia:
The further monolog is very vulgar and the phrase ‘Gonna learn shooting?..‘ from Chvanov’s ‘dirty mouth sounds insulting to the sniper movement in which the most important thing was that the skilled snipers trained other fighters on the initiative ‘from below’, without orders, on a friendly basis. Thanks to fighters’ enthusiasm, the sniper movement took an unprecedented scale, and the command certainly supported it. The order of the Commander of the Stalingrad front dated from the 29-th of October 1942 ‘About the development of the sniper movement and the use of snipers in combat with the enemy‘ said, in particular:
The most successful sniper in Stalingrad was Vasily Zaitsev, a Pacific Ocean Fleet’s seaman from the 62-nd Army who eliminated 225 German soldiers and officers including 11 snipers, and among them was a sniper ace, Head of snipers school in Zossen, Standartenfuhrer SS Heinz Thorvald, purposefully sent from Germany to hunt Zaitsev. Many memoirs noted that a serious sniper competition started among the seamen of the 62-nd Army during the Battle of Stalingrad. They shot six thousand Germans, and in Stalingrad all snipers killed ten thousand fascists. This was an outstanding contribution to our victory because they ‘were laying down’ not German chefs at ‘a watering‘ but they lay in wait for the officers, signalers, gunlayers, artillerymen, tank men, machine gunners, i.e. they eliminated Command, destroyed communication systems, disabled skillfully trained soldiers.
Vasily Zaitsev and other snipers have developed special tactics, which were widely spread in the army, that is why our snipers were so successful. For example, for dangerous situations there was established a rule: ‘one position - one shot.’ ‘In search for firing positions Vasily began to walk away from the forefront deeply towards our location, at a distance of up to 1,000 meters away from the German snipers. It was already difficult for them to detect the Soviet rifleman. Fighting with the German snipers alone became increasingly difficult. Then an idea of organizing a group of snipers occurred. Vasily Zaitsev went to the companies, had long conversations with the soldiers selecting the sniper group. Eventually he did 30 people. Studying was right near the front line‘ (source). The same sniper groups have also started to be organized in assault troops.
There is a quote from the German soldier Erich Ott’s last letter dated from January 4, 1943 :
Jeering at Soviet Teenagers and Girls
A ‘typical’ Soviet teenager in the film ‘Stalingrad’ under the influence of the above-mentioned well-known method draws himself up at attention at the sight of a German officer and shouts a Nazi salute ‘Heil Hitler!’. A ‘typical‘ Soviet girl in occupation puts out to a German officer with no resistance, and then falls in love somehow.
That blasphemous image of Stalingrad’s adolescents and young women personally offended many members of the audience. For in the adolescents and girls from the film we see our fathers and grandfathers, mothers and grandmothers. We know how they worked hard in place of adults, helped the wounded, prepared food for the soldiers, worked signalers and scouts, participated in hostilities. A lot of adolescents and young women died from Nazis tortures, were shot and hung. Below are some of the memories of Stalingrad residents.
‘When the fighting began on the outskirts of the city of Stalingrad, Sasha Filippov was 16. He came to the Komsomol Committee of Voroshilovsky District and filed an application, ‘I am 17 years old (he added one). I ask District Komsomol Committee to send me to the Red Army to defend my city...’. He was denied because of his age. Then he organized his comrades to collect bottles for Molotov cocktails (incendiary mixture)... Later he crossed the front line and contacted our military unit... and became a scout and was nicknamed ‘a schoolboy ‘...Sasha crossed the front line 12 times. In December 1942, Sasha and Maria Uskova (from our unit) were performing a combat mission... and were captured, tortured... Before his death, he managed to shout, ‘Anyway ours will come and kill you like mad dogs!‘ Sasha was hung on a tree near the school building (now the school N21)... Bryanskaya street on Dar-mountain, where he was born and lived, is named after the young hero-scout. Sasha Filippov was awarded the Order of the Red Banner posthumously for courage and heroism‘.(source)
‘When the bombing started, Zhenya Motorin born and brought up in Stalingrad lost his mother and sister – they were killed. So the fourteen year old teenager had to stay for a time together with the soldiers on the frontline. They tried to evacuate him through the Volga, but failed because of the constant bombing and shelling. Eugene experienced a horrible nightmare when during another bombing a soldier walking beside closed the boy with his body. As a result, the soldier was literally torn with the splinters of a shell but Motorin was alive.... He saw a submachine gun lying close to him. He grabbed it. He heard rifle shots and long bursts of automatic fire nearby. The fighting was going on in a building across the street. A minute later, a continuous burst of machine gun fire struck on the backs of Germans trying to take in the rear of our soldiers. Zhenya rescued our soldiers and became a son of the regiment since then. Later soldiers and officers called the boy ‘Stalingrad’s Gavroche’. Medals ‘For Courage‘, ‘For Military Merit’ appeared on the soldier blouse of the young defender’. (source)
Beschasnova (Radyno) Lyudmila Vladimirovna Recalls:
‘The enemy came to the Don and they had tens of kilometers to Stalingrad. It was difficult for the adults to get over the obstacle... it was hard... Command tried to send children to explore. Six ones were selected in the children's home. We were being prepared for the mission for six days. By albums we learnt the enemy’s technique, uniforms, badges of rank, symbols on the cars and trucks and how to quickly count the number of soldiers in a column (4 people in a row, then a number of rows - it’s a platoon; 4 platoons comprise a company, etc.). Another great value was to see any numbers in a soldier or an officer's notebook on pages 1 and 2, and to keep this all in mind... Of course, the Germans were in no hurry to show their documents. But it was sometimes possible to win Germans’ favour and persuade them to show their Frau and kinder’s photos because it was a weak point of all front-line soldiers. Photos were stored in their service jacket’s pockets near the notebooks. Of course, not all allowed to even open a book but sometimes it worked. Passing the front line was not always very smooth. We were caught, of course, and interrogated‘. (source).
Donorship during the war is another undeservedly forgotten theme. Millions of girls in the home front donated blood for the wounded and, by doing so, they saved millions of lives of our soldiers. Read what I accidentally learnt from my mother when recently began to question her about her life in Balashov after evacuation from Stalingrad (she was telling me this quite casually, among other memories, ‘Germans were bombing, we were working...’):
Jeering at a Symbol of Hunger of Blockaded Leningrad
Propagandists of other valuables decided not to stint themselves of lying about the Battle of Stalingrad and decided to make a circus with one of the symbols of hunger in blockaded Leningrad. Do you remember the scene with the vociferous woman who is brawling with the soldiers as a market woman from the Odessa’s ‘Privoz’, insisting that she has to go to the occupied part of the city? She carries two baskets full of black earth (the Volga banks are sandy and clayey, just a remark). And this woman explains that a barge with grain was bombed and people took the earth mixed with sand on the bank and then tried to extract the burnt grains out of it. Here we would like to stop and say a few words about the falsity of this episode, in which the filmmakers make fun of black earth in baskets that represents a deadly famine during the siege of Leningrad for us. We are talking about a dramatic story associated with Badaevskiye warehouses in Leningrad, which the Nazis bombed on the 8-th and 10-th of September, 1941. The burnt warehouses contained 3 thousand tons of flour and 2.5 tons of sugar. Melted sugar soaked the whole earth around the place. About 1 thousand tons of burnt flour and 900 tons of burnt sugar were processed later at food factories. A. Adamovich and D. Granik write about this in their book ‘Blockade Book‘:
This ‘black curd‘ must have saved tens of thousands of lives from starvation in blockaded Leningrad, so it is holy for survivors. Being exhausted during the blockade, moving like shadows, they dragged their baskets of salutary lumps of black sweet earth on the sleds with their last strength. When scandalous brisk woman waving two baskets of earth in her hands, begins to prove her rights before soldiers, it is clear that she is far from hungry fainting. But a basket of earth is a sign of deadly famine, despair, hopelessness, impasse, no chance to find any food. Combination of incongruous things in relation to sacred objects is one of the techniques of the mocking ridicule.
With regard to the plausibility of this episode in Stalingrad, none of memories about Stalingrad mentions earth with sand taken and carried for further extraction of some grain. On the other hand, there are many memories about how burned and half-burnt grain was sought for on the elevator, without sand and earth:
Part 4. Lie by omission or paralipsis in Bondarchuk’s Film ‘Stalingrad’
Lie by omission or paralipsis stands for misleading by means of concealment of essential information. It is obviously exists in the film we are reviewing since the most significant information about the Battle of Stalingrad left off-screen or concealed. Such an act could be qualified as burglary of meanings. Burglary implies the misuse of the sacred name ‘Stalingrad’, which the authors of the film use as the skeleton key to our soul. In this section we reveal in general the most significant meanings associated with the battle of Stalingrad.
Scale of Battle of Stalingrad
1. Scale of Battle of Stalingrad is blurred and hidden in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’ as if our young, all to a man, know our history, and even a brief sketch of the major milestones of this battle would be redundant for them. Let’s fill this gap:
Note that the main heroes of the film die on the 16-th of November, the next day after Katia’s birthday. And just three days later, on the 19-th of November, 1942, we began our devastating offensive:
Moreover, four days after the beginning of our offensive encirclement of the 2-nd Field Army commanded by F. Paulus was tightened and closed. More than 300 thousand fascists became isolated in the ‘pot‘. Eventually, an elite army of Nazi Germany famous for the victories over the French, the Poles and the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk was destroyed:
But audience does not even know what great events will follow in a few days. We used to think that Paulus’ army defeat looked like German ‘warriors‘ frozen in winter snows, but everything began in the last days of November 1942. Nobody explained and showed it to us.
2. We want to draw attention to one more fact of the greatest importance that usually remains out of sight and is not discussed. It is a question of resources opposing us in the war. Why do they say that we were at war with the only Germany? Sometimes they add ‘with the Third Reich’. But it was the united Europe we fought against. Fat, skilled workers, engineers, scientists from France, Czech Republic, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, Finland, Romania, Italy, Bulgaria, Belgium, Croatia, worked hard producing weapons for the Nazis. And we had the elderly, women and children. Were they full and fat?! Or maybe qualified and skilled? Well, the elderly must have been, but not children and women. Nevertheless, we have overpowered.
Have a look at Sweden. Do you think it kept ‘neutrality’? Here is an evidence of its involvement in the military-industrial complex of the third Reich, ‘At the same time the so-called ‘non-interference state‘ can be called conditional because the Sweden leadership mediated in time of armed conflict, namely, they helped Nazi Germany conclude a number of trade and economic agreements for the supply of industrial raw materials and finished products for the war: iron ore, ball bearings, electrical equipment, instruments, cellulose and in some cases, even weapons and equipment‘. (source).
Here follows Denmark, ‘In accordance with the agreement on trade and economic cooperation and the clearing, signed by the Government of Denmark, export to England was forbidden, and delivery of goods to Germany were done on credit which was supposed to be paid off after the war. The country's economy has been completely shifted to Germany, where almost all agricultural products and coal were sold to‘. (source).
Belgium: 500 000 Belgian workers having deported to Germany (we think they were also skilled and qualified) worked against us and for fascists’ victory. ‘In March 1942, the occupation authorities imposed forced labor, from November 1942 on they began to send Belgian workers for work in Germany. These events have caused a rise of anti-German sentiments in Belgium. In February 1943, another 31 thousand of Belgians were sent for labor in Germany. In total, before the liberation of Belgium 500 thousand inhabitants of Belgium had been sent for forced labor in Germany (220 thousands were prisoners of the Belgian army and the citizens of Belgium‘. (source).
And so on.
3. Where was the frontline before our decisive offensive? According to the film, Germans kept the defense on the right bank of the Volga, and Russians attacked from the left one crossing it in several places. But that’s not true! Nothing of the kind. Our troops rested back on the right bank of the Volga, and then there was a famous order ‘Not one step back!’ Have you heard of a sore battle for Mamaev Kurgan? It's located on the right bank of the Volga. Sometimes our positions were merely 300 meters from the Volga but our troops held their ground! Look at the map of the Battle of Stalingrad: it is clarifies the actual situation.
4. Scale of the Battle of Stalingrad and its importance in the defeat of fascism was so great that thousands of settlements, streets, squares, theaters, etc. were named in Europe in honor of Stalingrad. This is a great appreciation of European nations and we must remember this.
Strategic Importance the Battle of Stalingrad
What was the point of the Battle of Stalingrad in the strategic plan? Why did the Germans rushed to the Volga? Did they dream about the way to India as the filmmakers romantically told us using German captain Peter Kahn? Or, does anyone think we defended Stalingrad so fiercely just because the city was named after Stalin? This is nonsense. Determined defense of Stalingrad was a strategic necessity. First, Stalingrad was the largest industrial and transportation hub in the southeast of the country. Second, that the Volga was for us more than just a river, and both Germans and us were well aware of that. It was an artery of life. The Volga was a transport corridor linking the industrial areas of the USSR and the Caucasus oil fields located in the Caspian Sea where over 70% of the country's oil was made. If this artery of economic life had been cut, 2/3 of tanks, aircrafts and vehicles would have remained without fuel. Of course, the USSR actively developed oil production during the war in the Volga region, the Urals, Kazakhstan. But let us remember that by summer of 1942 we had completely lost the oilfields in the Caucasus (‘Grozneft’), which had been either in the occupied territory or destroyed; however, it was 7.5% of the country's oil. Therefore, the loss of the Volga and Stalingrad would have entailed tragic consequences for the future of our country, undoubtedly.
Evacuation of the Civilian Population and the Number of Victims
The Internet is filled with myths about the fact that the population of the city was 900,000 at the beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad, and only 40,000 left after the defeat of Nazi troops, i.e. it means, 860,000 people were killed! That that bloggers are not surprised with this mythical figure of losses and they mindlessly reprint it, is explained either with their irresponsibility or EGE-education that does not teach to commensurate the parts of the whole and to generally use common sense. In order to be able to evaluate and make a decision what was true and what wasn’t, let’s compare this figure with the number of the dead during the blockade of Leningrad. It was estimated at 900,000 people in Leningrad, and the blockade lasted 871 days from the 8-th of September 1941 to the 27-th of January 1944. In October 1943, the population of Leningrad was 3.3 million people (source). We suppose it makes no sense to explain how brutally Leningrad was bombed and how severe and rampant the starvation was at that time. Before the war Stalingrad population was 400-450,000; another 400-450 thousand people were evacuated and arrived in the city at that period. Duration of fighting in the city of Stalingrad from September 1942 to January 1943 was about 150 days. Now try to figure it out for yourself whether this figure of losses of 860 thousand people may be plausible.
Here are the real figures on the population of Stalingrad in September 1942:
It must be remembered that tens of thousands of Stalingrad workers joined the Soviet troops. The rest of the population was evacuated. Online roam myths that Stalin, in order to avoid panic, banned Stalingrad people to evacuate across the Volga. I wish anyone could show at least one document related to this rumour. I can rely only on common sense of my mother’s memories:
Further information about the railway ferry via the Volga and construction of railway lateral road in 1941-1942 under Stalingrad is here.
Atrocities of Fascism. Carpet Bombing of Stalingrad on the 23-d of August, 1942
As we have already pointed out many times in this review, there is no image of fascism brutish appearance in the film devoted to the battle against fascism. In order to be able to realize all the abominations that the Nazis were doing, we suggest to see a documentary film ‘Ordinary Fascism‘ by Mikhail Romm (1965, 20 million viewers). All the horrors of modern thrillers pale in comparison to those scenes, which are shown there. And there is one page of our history having a lot to do with the Battle of Stalingrad which out of respect for the memory of the victims cannot be quickly scrolled off-screen, as it was done in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’. We are now going to talk about the barbaric bombardment carpet of Stalingrad on the 23-d of August 1942:
Bombing of Stalingrad in terms of kilotons of the dropped bombs and its consequences exceeds the bombing of Dresden on the 13-th of February 1945, committed by British and American air forces. 4.5 thousand tons of bombs were dropped on Dresden, the losses counted not less than 25,000 inhabitants. During the raid on Stalingrad the fourth Luftwaffe air fleet, which included dive frontline bombers Junkers Ju 88 (2 tons of bombs on board) and bombers Heinkel-111 H- 16 (3 tons of bombs), completed about 2 thousand sorties; thus, we can calculate the mass of bombs dropped on Stalingrad: not less than 5,000 tons. The death toll of Stalingrad is 42 thousand people. Based on this we can refer to the following description of the Dresden bombing in order to be able to imagine how it was like in Stalingrad.
So as a result of using advanced military technology of that time Stalingrad underwent firestorm along with the cities of Dresden, Tokyo and Hiroshima. The extent of the damage and the number of victims in this case are comparable with the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Is not that the greatest tragedy of our country, which could have been expressed by all modern means of cinematography with all the so-called effects of the presence! However, ‘Stalingrad’s’ filmmakers were too shy to touch this topic.
There is no image of the Battle of Stalingrad in Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’. It looks like we make a film ‘The Wedding of Peter and Maria‘, and never show any groom Peter nor bride Masha in it. And what do they show us then? These are dirty myths, propaganda of the other Russianness’ valuables, a mockery of the army and the people, the seamy side on the background of ‘political correctness’, bloopers on the background of epic music and the most important thing for some members of the audience - 3D IMAX effects and slo-mo. To paraphrase a famous saying, the filmmakers have thrown the baby, but left the dirty water in a glamorous bath. All their excuses are boring because we do not trust them; it is clear that sacred name of ‘Stalingrad’ was cynically exploited there like an advertising brand and people go to that name expecting to see the truth about Stalingrad. Authors of the film partly perverted this truth, partly concealed, as their measure of dignity of the film is a success in the form of cash fees. We have our own measure, though; in our opinion, this film is worth being called subversive, treacherous, lighting the fuse of a bomb under the fortress of our Russianness and letting Alien in.
Dirty mythologizing of history and perversion of our traditional values reached a new level in film ‘Stalingrad’. Justification for euthanasia alone counts for a lot! But there was still ‘brutality‘ of killing a German at ‘a watering‘, mocking images of ‘seaman‘ and ‘sniper‘, etc. This is not just a ‘bloody atrocity‘ of NKVD but the ‘brutality‘ of Soviet troops in general, i.e. it is a question of bestial savagery and brutality of all Russian people. We are led to the conclusion that something is wrong with the social and cultural core of the Russian people, we need to repent and become a sort of ‘universal‘ people and change this core by means of the turn of civilization, thus coming to the other Russianness.
Have you heard of the concept of converted form? In simple terms, it means that the form starts to devour its contents, for example, rather than developing education the Ministry of Education eliminates it. So does in here: rather than explaining the meanings of the Battle of Stalingrad, Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’ devours them. It would be interesting to measure the degree of inversion of the film. The questionable scenes we’ve considered have a total duration of 655 seconds or about 11 minutes. The film itself (without captions) has a duration of 1 hour 58 minutes; so these scenes take only 9.2 % of overall time, and the remaining 90.8% represent quite ordinary sight; but in comparison with the grand scale and real importance of the battle of Stalingrad it is just peanuts and mucus. If you cut the dirty scenes from the film, it will be like extracting a fang out of the snake’s mouth, but what’s left then? Do you remember a wonderful image of evil coming out in the film ‘Green Mile‘? After a black righteous man John Coffey had pulled evil spirits out of a moral monster Percy Wetmore, the latter became just mucus, subhuman. So does Bondarchuk’s film ‘Stalingrad’ in reality: it is just mucus in glamorous wrapping of 3D IMAX full of Alien’s evil spirits.
November 18, 2013
Nobody is Forgotten, Nothing is Forgotten
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