A major German television show, viewed by millions of people, had a panel discussion on Russia and Moldova in which one of the panelists, Borys Szumiacki, began talking about how the reason why Russia goes to war is because Russians are violent by nature, hearkening back to the German World War Two portrayal of the Russians as violent mongrels. As we read in Think Poland:
Roundtable discussions with Markus Lanz, host of the German talk show on the second channel of German television ZDF, have been broadcast three times a week since 2008.
The program is watched by about 3 million people, the share in the television market reaches over 24%. The topic of the talk show on 18 May was Moldova’s desire to withdraw from the CIS and an analysis of the prospects of Russian ‘aggression’ against this post-Soviet republic.
The message of this program was that many Germans see the events in Ukraine as a struggle between freedom and lack of freedom, democracy and autocracy, free development and violence. Hence, they say, Russia’s desire to prevent such a development of events by violence.
The program was attended by Borys Szumiacki , a German-language writer living in Germany since the 1990s and portrayed as an expert on Russia; member of the Bundestag from the SPD specializing in foreign policy; the Berlin journalist Ludmila Corlăteanu and the German political scientist Hannes Meissner .
The most important thing in this program, however, was not the analysis of the situation in and around Moldova, although it was preceded by a documentary filmed by Lanz in Moldova and Transnistria. My attention was drawn to the moderator’s attempts to explain the reasons for Russia’s aggressive, in his opinion, behavior. And it, judging by Szumiacki, comes from … the Russian mentality.
The writer tried to support the main ideological line drawn by Lanz and describe in detail the cruel nature of the Russians, who are always ready to use force. In his opinion, Europe has long turned a blind eye to the danger posed by Russia. But behind the beautiful picture shown by the Russians in Germany, there was in fact violence. And this, they say, is the dominant feature of Russians. In Russia, in his opinion, only the language of violence reigns. The culture of violence, he said, is pervasive in Russia. After that, the moderator can only say: “evil is considered a good sign for Russia.”
In this regard, it is worth recalling the scientific work of the German scientist Martin Munke ” Russlandbilder im Nationalsozialismus: Hitler, Goebbels, Rosenberg”, published in 2013. The author recalls that already during and after World War I, “demands for living space in the east (as it is similar to NATO’s eastward expansion and the involvement of the former Soviet republics in the EU) and hatred of Jews were associated with a racially colored contempt for Russian- Slavic subhumans. Russia was presented by German propagandists of the time as “the personification of barbarism and backwardness, and its army as “semi-Asian hordes”