Youth Human Rights Group  
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28.07.2005

Let’s clean Petrozavodsk off xenophobic graffiti

On the 28th of July the activists of the Karelian Department of the “Youth Human Right Group” (YHRG) tackled to painting over the xenophobic inscriptions which caused any sane person to protest and do something over disappearing of the graffiti. It were anti-Semitist and nationalistic inscriptions witch appear again and again. “Our Jewish Community wants to thank your organization and personally you, Maxim. It is very important for us that the problem is being solved not only by The Community but also you. Actually, as J.P. Sartre said: “Anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem but a problem of ours”. – commented D. Tsvibel, the head of a Jewish religious community of Petrozavodsk.
Memory is both a great happiness and a deep sorrow because we remember bad and good. But there is something worst than the sorrow – it is oblivion. Just recall the situations when you were to do or to say something important and you could not reminisce what. You probably looked confused, ridiculous and miserable. The same is with the whole mankind which has lost its historical memory. It were anti-Semitist statements which consequently turned into genocide in 1933 and the Second World War. Russian history also knows many cases of a repressive national policy. So, what is the difference between a Russian street of our time and, for example, any Bavarian town of 1930-s? Is it due to our indifference and connivance of the government that there are nationalistic graffiti, swastika, xenophobic invoking in our city? Have you ever heard that ideology and “methodology”, moral values of nationalists-extremists, skinheads, anti-Semites and neo-fascists faced public condemnation, not talking about back actions from the part of the city and regional government, The Ministry of Education and The Ministry on Affairs of Youth? Isn’t it the loss of historical memory?
Our actions is the struggle against the consequence, not the reason. Large-scale educational programs for youth and the whole society, for schools, universities and for TV broadcast are needed to form the objective understanding of the reality and to set a basis of tolerance. Lacking this we can finally loose our historical memory and repeat the story of Germany in 1933 or USSR in 1930-s.
Maxim Efimov, the leader of The Youth Human Rights Group of Karelia.

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