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by Winnie Wessmann
Thursday, Sep. 01, 2016 at 1:09 PM
A delegation from Germany was taken today on a city trip encompassing Chollima Gardens, Songun Monument and Tower of the Juche Ideology, before receiving a speech at the World War History Museum. Participating were seniors who had experienced the war or its aftermath as children, and coming for an update to learn what they missed in national schools, as well as party and administrative officials. Participants took group pictures, laid wreaths and gave speeches.
Stalingrad children are children whose fathers have been involved as soldiers with the first visible huge defeat of the Nazi warmacht, and who now are seniors. Most have never been in Stalingrad themselves, and some have only been born a few years after it was over. But they all carry on perceptions, patterns and habits their ancestors brought from there, reflecting the degrading condition of the Nazi warmacht.
Stalingrad, often being referred to as a landmark symbol expressing the turning of the tide of fascism in the 20th century, is a Russian city on river Volga which had been conquered by the Nazis but then got surrounded by Stalin's forces bent on rolling back the invasion. Seen from the West, the iconic role of taking back Stalingrad is what inspired the soldiers and propagandists posing at Iwo Jima a little later.
It is this key victory for which Stalin had purged and oppressed everyone showing less than unconditional solidarity. To the great surprise of the industrially complicit West, the Soviets not only survived but turned the tables, and it took only one more year for the German capital to be overrun by them. The battle of Stalingrad was won resp. lost in the minds of the uncounted who gradually noticed that they had gone from believing in Hitler to pretending to do so.
In his keynote speech, Kim Jong Un told that a cell-mate of former East German communist leader Erich Honecker, who had been a political prisoner under the Nazis, reported about a forced labour assignment with the warmacht. Prisoners were commanded to unload luggage trains returning from Stalingrad when the battle was in the balance. They found defunct ammunition, bloody uniforms, various materials, propaganda and garbage in a wild mix.
It is reported that Honecker expressed his belief that the tide had really turned when he saw the poor quality of the toothbrushes and knifes the German military was taking from sutlers. Kim Jong Un added that these were trains that made it through the siege with a chance too little to allow for any passengers. As the siege closed in, warmacht soldiers were ordered to have everything that was not needed on the spot thrown into train cabinets on short notice.
In central Europe, after the so-called Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1938 many communists felt left to a poker table guessing their leader's true intentions. It took the Nazis three more years to invade Russia, and the Soviets four to drive them out and invade Germany. Today, historians argue had Stalin not pro-actively engaged Hitler, the latter might have absorbed more of Poland and the already tight outcome been significantly different.
Plus, when Germany invaded Russia it was believed Japan would do so as well to share the conquest and move on together, but the yasukuni fascists understood "the axis" more as separate wheels than as shared steering. They took on North America instead at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, and left Stalin to Hitler. Only when it became obvious that the Soviets would enter Germany the Americans entered Western Europe as well.
The siege of Stalingrad ended with captured generals openly calling their colleagues to come over and entire armies or what was left of them goose-stepping into prisoner of war status. When soldiers returned to their homes a few years later, they proliferated the Stalingrad experience in their families. All the more so under the American occupation, which soon came to re-empower Nazis for its containment policy.
Stalingrad children are people who, when their perceptions and feelings are telling them consciously or subconsciously that they are under siege, reproduce and re-enact siege-related behaviours they learned from their Stalingrad parents. According to the Bredel Study, for them any human conflict situation resembles a huge flashback, and since there is more than a generation in between some are not even aware what is driving them.
Tour guide Mok Ni Lim, who normally works as an international observer with the Korean government, emphasised to reporters that the plight and trauma of Stalingrad children was a textbook example illustrating the long term toxic effects of any military-industrial complex: With an overdose of propaganda, oppression and mismanagement, the demons of war had turned the Paulus Army into a live absurdity before finishing it.
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