07 May 2020

“The Last Battle” documentary has premiered on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory. The movie is an attempt to look at the Great Patriotic War through the eyes of veterans themselves. The author of the idea and the director of the film is Aleksey Batkovskiy.

These days we hear a lot about what politicians and historians think about the war. Politicians and historians who are ready to forget and score out, distort and rewrite the past. We see how the seeds of scepticism are sown in the minds of descendants – ordinary men ready to follow some fashion trends and chase after sensations. While asking the surviving veterans about the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century, trying to recreate the picture of the Feat from the mosaic of memories – was not just unwelcome, but rather deliberately avoided in recent years.

It could be so because they, living veterans, are the real bearers of the truth about the war, a real war and not the one invented in the offices of newly created institutions and not the one thought out according to the order, but rather a real war with its pains, losses, worries, joys and victories. For them, this is part of their life, and not a political order. The truth about the war is unfavourable for many a man.

Back in his days, one Chinese emperor ordered to burn all the books in order to start the history from himself, leaving no memory of the past. Many of our contemporaries are trying to do the same thing – if not to burn books, then to distort the memory, to erase recollections, to impose their own version of history, and to forget real heroes. This documentary is clearly not going to be liked by modern managers of history. Yet, let them try to argue with eyewitnesses. Let them attempt to put their theories next to the truth of veterans. The number of living participants in the war is becoming fewer every year. Now, seventy-five years after the end of the war, living veterans are a rarity, and we need to value the opportunity to become acquainted with the living history and living evidence.

For each of us, this war is not only about maps of battles and fights, newsreels and memoirs of great commanders. This war is part of our family legend. Each of us in his or her family had those who went to the front, and who fought. The majority of us have those who did not return from the war. This war is a very recent history, only two, three or four generations that separate us from those great and tragic events.

And while we remember and honour the feat of our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers, we have the right to be called humans and citizens.

Happy Victory Day!

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