Vzpomínky na Gulag

„Není nic nenápadnějšího než pomník," řekl před sto lety rakouský spisovatel Robert Musil. Z trosek jiného impéria, totiž ruského, bych dodal: Není nic nápadnějšího než chybějící pomník.

Pomníky vytvářejí očím přístupné tělo národa. Při pohledu na pomníky cítíme, jak národní stát potvrzuje svou kontinuitu. Když tuto kontinuitu přervou revoluce, vyvolají násilí proti pomníkům. Jak nám opětovně připomněl příklad Saddáma Husajna, strhnout pomník je snazší než soudit diktátora. Porevoluční období však připouštějí více možností. Někdy se odhalí nové pomníky. Jindy se na svá původní místa vracejí pomníky staré. Ještě jindy se pomníky vypaří jako profesoři na vědecké dovolené.

Zatímco na německých vysokých školách byli popírači holocaustu vymýceni, ruské univerzity zaměstnávají nesčetně učitelů ruských dějin, kteří ve svých přednáškách zřetelně zachovávají o Gulagu mlčení. Přestože teror v nacistickém Německu i v komunistickém Rusku postihl mnoho milionů obětí, vzpomínky na tyto události jsou naprosto odlišné. Tím nejpoutavějším, ač nerozpoznaným mezi všemi postsovětskými pomníky Gulagu je pětisetrublová bankovka, vydaná na konci 90. let a dnes široce používaná.

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