Prague marks the 75th VE-Day anniversary with a new monument to Nazi collaborator Vlasov

The memorial plate quotes Solzhenitsyn, “Did all Czechs realize later which Russians had saved their city?”

On April, 30 2020, a monument to fallen soldiers of the Russian Liberation Army (ROA), headed by Gen. Andrey Vlasov, was installed in Řeporyje district on the outskirts of Prague. The monument is a 3-meter mast, on top of which a small sculpture of a Soviet tank covered with a German Wehrmacht helmet can be found. Next to the mast there is a memorial plate quoting Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago, ” Did all Czechs realize later which Russians had saved their city?”, added with an explanatory note mentioning the Prague uprising and 300 fallen Vlasov soldiers who, in the sculptor’s idea, were fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with the Czechs.  

Members of the district administration took part in the monument inauguration ceremony, lead by district head Pavel Novotny, Novotny, known for his scandalous reports in his past as a journalist, came with an idea to set up a monument to Vlasov soldiers in November 2019. In December 2019, most of his colleagues in the city council supported the idea, and the project received official appгoval. 

Novotny said that memorial plate cost the town Kč200,000 (approximately $8,000).

Many Czech politicians and public figures who believe Vlasov soldiers contributed to Nazi crimes has multiply protested against commemorating the Russian Liberaton Army with a memorial plate. President Miloš Zeman stressed that, although they may have helped Prague residents for several days, ROA militants do not deserve a memorial plate. 

In November of 2019, the Russian Foreign Ministry firmly condemned the plans to install a Vlasov Army memorial in Prague, reminding that the International War Tribunal in Nuremberg qualified Andrey Vlasov and other ROA members’ activities as complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity, which have no statute of limitation. ”Some in Prague are ready to pay tribute to Vlasov as a hero, meaning that Vlasov must replace the monument to Konev. This looks outrageously ridiculous on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Victory over Nazism,” said Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman. 

A monument to Soviet Marshal Konev was dismantled in Prague 6 district early in April of 2020. The city council officially approved the dismantling in its decision dated September 2019. The decision provides for the construction of a new memorial dedicated to the liberation of Prague from Nazi occupiers at the same location where statue of Konev stood. The document says that the project is meant to commemorate not only the Red Army, but also “Soviet-born people who fled their country in fear of Stalin’s terror.” This means that in 2022 there may be yet another Vlasov memorial in Prague. 

You May Also Like