Dmitry Samoilov “Bridge over the San River” connecting the poles 03/03/2024, 08:06

The world we live in is always moving towards inner confrontation for some unknown reason. It always divides into poles. And these poles, as a rule, contradict each other. Of course, we mean that part of this world that is visible and understandable to us – European civilization. You can go deeper into its boundaries, but it’s not about that anymore.

Now about how the opposition of the poles destroys the lives and destinies of ordinary people. Looks like live and be happy. There will be enough space and even resources for everyone. But the Hegelian logic of great catastrophes that drives history continues to govern humanity. We see this now, and we will see this, for example, when we look at the history of the Second World War.

Recently a book by Doctor of Laws and writer Lev Semenovich Simkin was published. “The bridge over the San River. Holocaust: a missing page”. This is a big story about the world being divided in two. And the border between these halves passed through the city of Przemysl, the ancient Russian Przemysl. This city itself is divided by the San River, and its halves are connected by a bridge, which in the pre-war and war years became the junction of the two poles, at the same time a border and a path to liberation.

Thousands of volumes have been written about the Holocaust, and everyone has heard the ominous names of the death camps, the phrase “final solution to the Jewish problem” and even the name of the deadly poison gas “Zyklon B.” But few people know about the San River. That’s why the subtitle of the book states that this is a lost page in history.

And the historical plot looks like this: when the famous Molotov-Ribbentrop Act was signed, the border between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union passed precisely through this Przemysl – a city traditionally densely populated by Jews. The Jews found themselves in an extremely difficult situation. Staying on the German side was mortally dangerous; Going over to the Soviet side meant, firstly, breaking the law and, secondly, plunging into complete uncertainty about one’s fate. But what about the fate of their loved ones, who still had to be dragged into this Soviet part, although they had no clear prospects?

In the book “Bridge over the River of the Sun” Simkin tells the stories of ordinary people who found themselves on the polar millstones of a terrible history, where not a single daily decision guaranteed the right to life, did not even give a ghostly hope.

The problem with most people who fled from the German side to the Soviet side was that in the USSR they found themselves undocumented and undeserved, also by default they were considered violators of the state border, and then, as a rule, they were sentenced to three to five years in prison; This sounded relatively humane at the time, of course, but for many it was deadly and devastating. This had an ideological component; It was believed that people living in Poland and engaged in trade or crafts there were already poisoned by the capitalist way of life and were therefore completely unfit to build socialism, still less to defend socialism. Soviet country during the war. It would be better to send them away.

When German troops advanced east in 1941, Przemysl was, of course, completely captured, and a Jewish ghetto was organized on its territory, where Jews worked for the benefit of the Wehrmacht. However, with the emergence of the doctrine of the “final solution of the Jewish question”, it was decided to take the Jews from the ghettos to death camps. It was called displacement, but it meant destruction.

Below is the story of the confrontation between Przemysl commander Max Liedtke and his aide-de-camp Albert Battel and the police chief Bentin in charge of the “resettlement”. Even in fascist Germany, which seemed the most ideologically and disciplinaryly integral, it became clear that there were contradictions between the interests of the police, which embodied the Judeophobic ideology, and the Wehrmacht, which people defended more. economic order. Under the pretext that without the help of several thousand Jews in the ghetto, the Wehrmacht could not receive the necessary material assistance, Liedtke and Battel closed the bridge over the San River, cutting off access to the part of the punitive units under their control. Hundreds of families were saved in this way, and years later the commander and his adjutant were among the righteous of the nations who saved Jews and risked their own lives during the Holocaust.

And there are about a hundred similar stories in the book; stories that tell how the world fell apart, only to be reunited thanks to the selfless efforts of people who found themselves in the terrible conditions proposed. There’s so much about the senseless deaths of thousands of people, the heroism of Soviet soldiers, Jews and Poles in Uzbekistan, Poland’s anti-Semitism, global indifference – while entire countries swear they really want to shelter the persecuted Jews but can’t because I have enough problems myself. About cruelty and mercy. In general, approximately two poles around which world history and all human life exist.

The author expresses his personal opinion, which may not coincide with the position of the editors.

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Source: Gazeta

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