My fellow escapees from the former USSR often wonder why I hate Russians so much. My responses can be long and varied, but the first one would probably be “they ask for it, and then they reinforce it.” Here is one illustration.
I enjoy cooking, so my friend attached me to one of the numerous cooking groups on Facebook. This particular one was composed of all kinds of Russian-speaking individuals, living in different countries, practicing different religions, not practicing anything, young, old, single, married, women, men, etc….needless to say, it was pretty diverse. And for a while I was really enjoying it - the colorful photos, the varied recipes, the great food suggestions, the humor that only former Soviet citizens would understand, and, most importantly, the general lightness and the polite tone of the whole enterprise. Till the International Holocaust Memorial Day, that is….
Since Facebook is, after all, a social media platform, people occasionally used the group for non-cooking posts (especially in cases of emergency). Seeing this, one of the admins created an offshoot group - specifically for any kinds of posts of the non-culinary variety. Simple rule: food posts in the main group, non-food posts - in the secondary. So, on The International Holocaust Memorial Day, one lady posted an article about FOOD during the Holocaust - and “the fun” began….
First, of course, the usual groaning - “this is a food group; why the heavy and depressing subject of the Holocaust?!!” Well, the post WAS about food! Next, very polite and caring comment, informing the poster that the Holocaust numbers are severely exaggerated, and maybe, possibly ONLY ONE million Jews was killed, and not six - that produced a somewhat fierce battle in which, of course, the arguments against Holocaust denial were ignored and shouted down. The final argument was simply a poetry in motion that completely floored me.
A true Russian patriot, in a true Russian patriot fashion produced a masterpiece that, roughly translated, sounded as following: “They are really tiring with their Holocaust! Holocaust, Holocaust, that’s all you hear from them! Enough milking it already! Who cares! We knew true hardships, tragedy, and Holocaust: 1941-1945! That was real suffering!”
So, let me get this straight: the biggest mass murder in history is, apparently, a tiresome exaggeration, but a result of the war YOUR mass murdering dictator started in partnership with the one who perpetrated the said “exaggeration” is A-OK? Please note how you conveniently forget when the war was actually started, but only note the part that resulted when your blood-thirsty comrade preempted the strike on him and attacked first; you also choose not to remember the criminal ineptitude of your own beloved dictator, instead claiming victimhood and undeserved accolades.
The admins and moderators of the group (most of whom were Jews, by the way), decided simply to remove the offending post in the end. I, for my part, simply could not envision sharing recipes and dinner photos with these people, so I just left the group - because in the end, even the most benign group you could possibly imagine, and the mutual love of cooking and baking could not protect me from their virulent hatred.
Next time, when someone would like to know why I hate Russians so much, just re-read what I wrote.