the grand Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces opened last year. Its exterior is army green and its floors are made from weapons and tanks seized from the German Wehrmacht. Arched stained glass windows feature insignia and medals.

On a recent Sunday, the church and its accompanying museum and park were full of visitors. A group of fifth graders from the Suvorov Military School in Tver, wearing their uniforms, filed out in two lines before marching to the museum. Their instructor said it was fundamentally important for the students, in their first year of military school, to learn about their predecessors.

“We’re doing a bit of propaganda, too,” the section leader quipped, declining to give his name.

Beyond the church grounds, visitors walked among snow-covered trenches in a simulated front line. Further afield, under the towering dome of the church, children could ride around a go-kart like track in a miniature replica of a battle tank.

“All children should come here and develop an interest in history from an early age,” said Alina Grengolm, as her 2-year-old son scrambled up an icy tank with his father’s assistance.

In Moscow recently, more than 600 people from across Russia gathered for a government-sponsored forum aimed at promoting patriotism among youth. Sergei Kiriyenko, Mr. Putin’s powerful deputy chief of staff, praised the attendees for doing “sacred work.”

a new phase of the conflict.

In a Levada poll published last week, 39 percent of Russians said war between Russia and Ukraine was either inevitable or very likely. Half said the United States and NATO were to blame for the recent rise in tensions, and no more than 4 percent — across all age groups — said Russia was at fault.

The conviction across society that Russia is not the aggressor reflects a core ideology dating to Soviet times: that the country only fights defensive wars. The government has even earmarked money for movies that explore that theme: In April, the Culture Ministry decreed that “Russia’s historical victories” and “Russia’s peacekeeping mission” were among the priority topics for film producers seeking government funding.

“Right now, the idea is being pushed that Russia is a peace-loving country permanently surrounded by enemies,” said Anton Dolin, a Russian film critic. “This is contradicted by some facts, but if you show it at the movies and translate that idea into the time of the Great Patriotic War, we all instantly get a scheme familiar to everyone from childhood.”

On Russian state television, the narrative of a Ukraine controlled by neo-Nazis and used as a staging ground for Western aggression has been a common trope since the pro-Western revolution in Kyiv in 2014. After the revolution, Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, fomented a war in Ukraine’s east and sharpened its messaging about Russia as a “besieged fortress.”

appears to have dissipated amid economic stagnation.

But the Kremlin is doubling down. Its drive to increase “patriotic education” includes funding for groups like Vympel. The “military patriotic” organization has some 100 chapters around the country, and it organized the recent skills competition in the city of Vladimir that ended on Thursday.

Veronika Osipova, 17, from the city of Rostov-on-Don near Ukraine’s border, won the award for best female student. For years, she played the harp, graduating with honors from an elite music school. But in 2015, she started learning how to shoot a machine gun and throw grenades. She resolved to join the Russian military to protect the country against its enemies.

“I follow the example of girls who, under bullets and grenades, went to fight during the Great Patriotic War,” Ms. Osipova said. “They had no choice, but we do have it, and I choose the army.”

Anton Troianovski reported from Moscow, Ivan Nechepurenko from Vladimir, Russia, and Valerie Hopkins from Kubinka, Russia. Alina Lobzina contributed reporting from Moscow.

View Source

>>> Don’t Miss Today’s BEST Amazon Deals! <<<<

‘Colette,’ From the Video Game Medal of Honor, Wins an Oscar

It was a night of firsts: First Korean actor to win an Oscar, oldest performer to win best actor, first woman of color to win best director.

And, for the video game industry, its first Oscar recognition for best documentary short.

The statuette was for “Colette,” a short film featured in the Oculus virtual-reality game Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, which is also the first Oscar for Facebook. (It owns Oculus, the virtual-reality group that produced the documentary short along with EA’s Respawn Entertainment.)

Oculus TV or YouTube, or on the website of The Guardian, which later acquired and distributed the film.

“We hope this award and the film’s reach means” that the memories of all of who resisted “are no longer lost,” Doran said.

View Source

South Korean Court Sides With Japan in Wartime Sexual Slavery Case

SEOUL — A judge in South Korea ruled on Wednesday that Korean women who were forced into sexual slavery by Japan during World War II cannot seek compensation from the Japanese government in a South Korean court, a decision that angered survivors and contradicted an earlier ruling in January.

In the earlier verdict, the presiding judge ordered the Japanese government to pay 100 million won ($89,400) each to 12 former Korean sex slaves, known as “comfort women.”

The two different decisions by two different judges in the Seoul Central District Court complicated the survivors’ decades-long effort to hold the Japanese government legally accountable for wartime sexual slavery. The two rulings also showed that the South Korean judiciary was divided over Japan’s claim that international law shielded it from lawsuits in foreign courts.

In January, the South Korean judge ruled that the Japanese government should be subject to Korean jurisdiction because the experience of Korean sex slaves involved “anti-humanity acts systematically planned and perpetrated by the Japanese Empire.” For such acts, Japan cannot claim exemption from a lawsuit in South Korea based on state sovereignty, he said.

2015 agreement, which South Korea and Japan called “final and irreversible,” permanently settled the long-running dispute over comfort women. Previously, in a 1993 statement, Japan issued a formal apology for the practice.

On Wednesday, a different South Korean judge, Min Seong-cheol, sided with Japan and threw out the lawsuit filed by a separate group of former sex slaves. If courts start making exceptions to the principle of national sovereignty, “diplomatic clashes become inevitable,” the judge said in his ruling. Mr. Min also cited the 2015 agreement, under which Japan acknowledged responsibility for its actions, apologized anew to the women and set up an $8.3 million fund to help provide old-age care for survivors.

Some of the surviving women have accepted payments from the 2015 fund. Others rejected the agreement, saying that it failed to specify Japan’s “legal” responsibility or to provide official reparations. The lawsuit thrown out on Wednesday was filed in 2016 by 20 plaintiffs, including 11 former sex slaves. Only four of the 11 are still alive, and all of them are in their 80s or 90s.

Neither the ruling in January nor the one on Wednesday is the final say on the matter. The plaintiffs in the second lawsuit said they would seek the opinion of higher courts by appealing Wednesday’s decision.

“It will go down in history as a shameful case where the judge shirked his duty as a last bastion of human rights,” said an advocacy group in Seoul that speaks for the women who filed the lawsuit. Lee Yong-soo, a former sex slave who joined the lawsuit, accused the judge of denying the victims “the right to seek judgment on war crimes and anti-humanity crimes,” according to a statement from her spokeswoman. Ms. Lee also demanded that both governments ask the International Court of Justice to rule on the case.

“Comfort women” is the euphemism Japan adopted for the nearly 200,000 young women — many of them Korean — who were forced or lured into working in brothels run by the Japanese military before and during World War II. Over the last 30 years, survivors from South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, China and the Netherlands have filed a total of 10 lawsuits against the Japanese government in Japanese courts, according to Amnesty International.

The survivors lost in all of those cases before winning their case in the South Korean court in January.

“What was a landmark victory for the survivors after an overly long wait is again now being called into question,” Arnold Fang, researcher for East Asia at Amnesty International, said in criticizing Wednesday’s court decision. “More than 70 years have passed since the end of World War II, and we cannot overstate the urgency for the Japanese government to stop depriving these survivors of their rights to full reparation and to provide an effective remedy within their lifetimes.”

In Tokyo, Katsunobu Kato, chief cabinet secretary to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, said the Japanese government planned to review the ruling in detail before commenting on it. He added that his government could not answer whether the new decision reflected a change in South Korea’s stance on the issue, but that “Japan’s attitude doesn’t change at all.”

Washington has urged Seoul and Tokyo to improve ties so that the allies can work more closely to address North Korea’s nuclear threat and China’s growing military influence in the region. For years, Japan and South Korea have locked horns over comfort women and other historical issues stemming from Japan’s colonial rule of Korea from 1910 to 1945.

Tokyo insisted that all claims arising from its colonial rule, including those involving sexually enslaved women, had been settled by the 1965 treaty that established diplomatic relations between the two nations, as well as the 2015 comfort women agreement. Under the 1965 agreement, Japan provided South Korea with $500 million in aid and affordable loans.

The South Korean government did not immediately comment on Wednesday’s court ruling. But during a forum in Seoul on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong said that, although his government had not abandoned the 2015 deal, the victims and their demands must be “at the center” of any effort to resolve the issue.

Hisako Ueno contributed reporting from Tokyo.

View Source

Marie Supikova, Survivor of Nazi Terror in Czech Village, Dies at 88

And her mother was dying of tuberculosis.

“We recognized each other instantly, but we couldn’t talk to each other because I spoke only German and had forgotten the Czech language,” she told BBC Radio in 2012 about their reunion. “We had to have a translator from Lidice who helped us to talk, and my mother told me that she always believed I had lived and that she would see me again.”

After her mother’s death in Prague in late 1946, Marie went to live with an aunt in Kladno. She graduated from a nursing school in Ostrava.

She bore witness to her Holocaust experience when she testified in October 1947 at the Nuremberg trial of members of the SS Race and Resettlement Main Office. Then only 15, Marie was one of three people — two teenagers and one middle-aged woman — to testify that day about the massacre and their lives afterward.

By the mid-1950s, she was married to Frantisek Supik, adopting the feminine version of his surname, and had a daughter, Ivana. They moved from Ostrava to Lidice, which was being rebuilt, in 1955. She took on a series of local administrative jobs and was the secretary of the Lidice National Committee, which took care of the operation and maintenance of the village.

And she continued to tell her story, often to children. In July 2018, she and her great-granddaughter, Karolina, then 10, laid a bouquet on the gymnasium floor at the high school in Kladno to mark the location where the Gestapo separated Marie from her mother in 1942.

In addition to her daughter and her great-granddaughter, Mrs. Supikova is survived by two grandchildren and three great-grandsons. Her husband, a roofer, died in 1990.

Before Mrs. Supikova’s mother died, she took her daughter to the ruins of Lidice.

“She told Marie, ‘We’re going to see your father,’” said Elizabeth Clark, a retired journalism lecturer at Texas State University, San Marcos, who is writing about Lidice for a faculty writing project. “Marie didn’t understand at first that they were going to the mass grave where he had been buried.”

View Source

The U.S.S. Johnston Sank in 1944. Divers Just Visited Its Wreckage.

The two-person submersible piloted by Mr. Vescovo “has no operating depth limitation,” allowing it to go farther than the vehicle used in 2019, according to Caladan Oceanic.

The others on the mission were Parks Stephenson, a retired lieutenant commander with the U.S. Navy; and Shane Eigler, a senior submarine technician.

Last month, Mr. Vescovo and his team came up empty-handed on two dives. But on a third attempt, something new emerged: “the very sharp pointy end of the bow of the ship,” Mr. Vescovo said during a telephone interview this week from his home in Dallas. “We were just stunned at how intact it was.”

Mr. Vescovo, who was with Mr. Eigler on the dive, slowly steered his submersible to the side of the ship, and, “There it was, bright white numbers, on the hull: 557,” he said. “I turned to my co-pilot, because I was very busy piloting the sub and making sure that we were safe, and I said, ‘Get a picture! Get a picture!’”

It was, he later wrote on Twitter, “an extremely intense experience.”

On their fourth dive, they took more pictures and video, which showed two five-inch gun turrets, twin torpedo racks and several gun mounts on the ship. And, of course, the giant 557. “Imagery from the site clearly shows the ship’s hull number 557 confirming the identity of the wreck,” the Naval History and Heritage Command said in a statement on April 1.

The trip to the wreckage of the Johnston was not Mr. Vescovo’s first headline-making dive. In 2019, he declared that he had made the deepest-ever dive by a human being, after piloting a submersible into Challenger Deep, a spot nearly seven miles down in a long fissure in the western Pacific.

(That claim was disputed by James Cameron, the Hollywood director of “The Abyss” and “Titanic,” who is also a diving devotee and explored the Challenger Deep during a 2012 expedition.)

View Source

In New Holocaust Survivor Testimony, Hate Speech Is a Dangerous Seed

So far, more than 30 videos, each a little over a minute long, have been submitted by Holocaust survivors. The videos will be posted each week on the Claims Conference’s social media platforms.

One of the first is from Abraham H. Foxman, who was born in Eastern Europe in 1940 and was saved from the Holocaust by a Catholic nanny. He immigrated to the United States in 1950, and joined the Anti-Defamation League the day after he passed the bar exam. He retired from the organization in 2015.

In his video for the campaign, he talks about the beginnings of the Holocaust.

“The crematoria, gas chambers in Auschwitz and elsewhere did not begin with bricks, it began with words — evil words, hateful words, anti-Semitic words, words of prejudice,” Mr. Foxman, 81, says. “And they were permitted to proceed to violence because of the absence of words, because of silence.”

Credit…United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

In his testimonial, Mr. Zoltak, 89, described visiting his grandparents in 1935, when he was 4, in the Polish village where they operated a general store. He remembered young Polish people standing in front of the store, “not allowing people to enter, with signs that said ‘Don’t Buy From a Jew.’”

Mr. Zoltak said he didn’t yet know what anti-Semitism was, but that was his first encounter with it.

About seven years later, he and his parents escaped from a “ghetto that was being liquidated.” He recalled how his mother, who sought help from friends and former classmates, would knock on their doors, only to be called “dirty” and turned away.

View Source

He Led Hitler’s Secret Police in Austria. Then He Spied for the West.

The Nazi leaders building that force needed experienced police officers, said Michael Holzmann, the son of an Austrian Nazi who has for many years been researching the activities of the Gestapo in that country. “Huber seized this opportunity and turned from a little investigator into a most successful leader of the Gestapo terror regime in former Austria,” he said.

In March 1938, after Germany annexed Austria, Huber was made the Gestapo chief of the most important part of the country, including Vienna, the capital. Shortly after, the Gestapo began an extensive hunt for dissidents in Austria, and Huber gave orders “to arrest immediately undesirable, particularly criminally motivated Jews and transfer them to the concentration camp Dachau.” A few days later, the first two transports of Jews left Vienna for the camp, with many more to follow.

Huber remained in his post until the end of the war, being given more and more personnel and authority. During that time, 70,000 Austrian Jews who were not able to leave the country were murdered, close to 40 percent of the original community, while their property was looted by the Nazis.

Eichmann confirmed at his trial that he was involved in the deportation of Jews but refused to plead guilty to genocide, saying, “I did not have any other option than to follow the orders I got.”

Huber took a different approach. Speaking to an official of the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal in 1948 — who interviewed him as a witness, not a suspect — he said he had known nothing about the extermination until the end of 1944, when his deputy told him something vague.

“But the historical evidence paints a completely different picture,” says Prof. Moshe Zimmerman, a historian and Holocaust scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “Eichmann may have been a face more familiar to the Jewish community, but the one who shared responsibility for carrying out the terror against the Jews, their collection, their forced boarding on the trains and their deportation to the camps, was the police and the Gestapo under Huber.”

View Source

Britain Unveils £50 Bill Honoring Alan Turing, Famed Code Breaker

LONDON — The mathematician Alan Turing spent World War II cracking German codes, and is credited by many historians with helping to hasten the end of the conflict. But a conviction under Victorian indecency laws for his homosexuality left his postwar life in ruins.

On Thursday, the Bank of England unveiled a bill featuring Mr. Turing, one of a series of efforts by Britain in recent years to posthumously right some of the wrongs inflicted on Mr. Turing during his lifetime.

Mr. Turing’s scientific contributions embodied “the spirit of the nation” and “showed us the way to the future,” said Andrew Bailey, governor of the Bank of England, as he introduced the bill. “By placing him on this new £50 bank note, we celebrate him for his achievements and the values he symbolizes, for which we can all be very proud.”

The new bill, worth about $68, features an image of Mr. Turing taken in 1951 by the photography studio Elliott & Fry and includes a 1949 quotation by him about one of his computer inventions: “This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be.” The bill will start circulating on June 23, Mr. Turing’s birthday.

the British government apologized for the “appalling” treatment of Mr. Turing, and Queen Elizabeth II granted him a royal pardon in 2013. A law in his name, which pardoned men convicted in the past for homosexuality, was passed in 2017.

The Bank of England announced in 2019 that it had chosen Mr. Turing for the £50 bill. The bill was last overhauled in 2011 to feature James Watt, who helped develop the steam engine, and Matthew Boulton, his backer.

Paper currency in Britain has Queen Elizabeth’s face on one side, and honors different notables from British history on the other, depending on the denomination.

Ada Lovelace; the physician Stephen Hawking; and Margaret Thatcher, the former prime minister. The new bill will be made out of a polymer, which allows for more security measures and makes it harder to counterfeit.

Mr. Bailey, the bank’s governor, on Monday applauded Mr. Turing as “someone who, not content with abstract ideas, applied himself to the physical embodiment of those ideas,” adding, “from his sheer force of will came enormous leaps of progress.”

Mr. Turing’s face on the bill marked a “landmark moment in our history,” Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, a government intelligence and security organization, said in a statement about the design. The honor celebrated Mr. Turing’s scientific genius and “confirms his status as one of the most iconic L.G.B.T.+ figures in the world.”

View Source