Nazi collaborator monuments in Russia
There are hundreds of statues and monuments in the United States and around the world to people who abetted or took part in the murder of Jews and other minorities during the Holocaust. As part of an ongoing investigation, the Forward has, for the first time, documented them in this collection of articles. For an initial guide to each country’s memorials click here. For a 2022 update to the investigation, click here.
Yelanskaya — In the Rostov region of Russia stands a memorial complex to Don Cossacks who fought against Bolsheviks. Looming over the complex is a statue of Pyotr Krasnov (1869–1947), historian, antisemite and Nazi collaborator. Krasnov was a prominent commander of the Don Cossacks who had fought against the Communists during the Russian Civil War. In 1941, when the Third Reich invaded the Soviet Union, Krasnov leveraged his stature of Cossack hero to recruit fighters for what he proclaimed was Hitler’s crusade “against communists, Jews and their minions who trade in Russian blood.” In turn, the Nazis placed Krasnov in charge of Cossack affairs in the Reich Ministry for the Occupied Eastern Territories.
Yelanskaya’s memorial complex employs a common whitewashing tactic: lumping both problematic and non-problematic figures into a single pantheon of “heroes.” Jointly honoring Don Cossacks who fought against Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War and WWII collaborators like Krasnov allows whitewashers to use genuine (or at least non-problematic) heroes to shield the collaborators. Any denunciation of the collaborators becomes twisted as a denunciation of the entire pantheon.