current salvos of antifascism, it remains unclear to what extentrnmodern democracies would be able to retain their legal statusrnand humanitarian profile. Since 1945, thousands of books criticalrnof Hitler have been published in the West; scores of antifascistrnwar movies have been shot; libraries of children’srncomics have been built, portraying every antifascist fighter as arnhandsome guy eating chocolate, even,’ Wehrmacht soldier as arnfat and ugly Kraut.rnMany intellectuals have sold themselves to the parroting media,rnthereby forgetting the basic tenet of dispassionate academicrnresearch: free spirit. In academic discourse, fascism is alwaysrnportrayed as an absolute evil, in contrast to communism, whichrnis viewed as an historical nuisance. Naturally, there are objectivernreasons for the trivialization of the Gulag and for the academicrndismissal of the communist killing fields. One way orrnanother, Hitler will always be worse than Stalin—for the simplernreason that liberal democracies, side by side with communistrndemocracies, fought the common enemy of fascism andrnNazism. The short-lived yet extremely important wartimernbond between liberals and communists explains why in thernWest today few speak passionately about communist ethnicrncleansing or the persecution of fascist-leaning writers and intellectualsrnin post-Vichy France, or about how the Allies put outrnto pasture some 20,000 German professors and academicsrnat the end of the war. Only timid mention is made of the firebombingrnof the old library in Hamburg in 1943, the destructionrnof the museum in Munich in 1944, or the carpet-bombing ofrnDresden by the Allies in 1945. To speak openly today aboutrnethnic cleansing by the Red Army from the Baltics to the Bal-rnTurn to the Mirrorrnby Robert BeumrnTurn to the mirror and you leave the room:rncomb, set, paint, spangle, and you leave the room,rnbrightened into that woman-space within:rnrainbows in silver not in any roomsilverrnbecomes its own space and you’re therernbright leaning, bending, turning, brightnessrncommanding brightness—wave the comb and pullrnmore light and more light, promise no release,rnchemise, glass boxes, bottles, brooches breakrnto iridescence and you comb it in:rnthe mirror shows the freedom to be knownrnrainbows in silver, and von leave the room.rnkans, from Riga to Trieste, means retroactively to lay blame onrnthose in the West who invokmtarily helped establish hybrid totalitarianrnstates in the region, including the multiethnic patchworksrncalled Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, or the Soviet Union.rnA prominent French philosopher of Jewish extraction,rnShmuel Trigano, argued in Le Monde (March 26, 1997) thatrn”the constant reinvocation of S/zoa, as a sole source of globalrnmoralism, risks bringing about a birth of a new spirituality,rnwhich is supposed to confer to each Jewish sign the absoluternethical value.” In other words, those who incessantly resort tornthe paradigma of Jewishness or use the state of Israel as the onlyrnintellectual superego might actiially provide an alibi, in precariousrnhistorical moments, to those who target Jews for all fictitiousrnevil. Exaggerated and fake philo-Semitism seems oftenrnto stem from people who, speaking in academic “ideal-tpes,”rneasily turn into vicious anti-Semites. By such intellectual acrobatics,rnthese individuals not only betray their cultural memoryrnbut also gravely hurt the memory of the Jewish people.rnIn Europe today, it is clearly more profitable to be antifascistrnthan anticommunist. After all, were not Nazis and fascists thernmost consistent representatives of anticommunism? Suchrnequations —that Hitler equals or even surpasses Stalin, thatrnmore died at Auschwitz than in the Gulag ossuaries—yield inrnpractice always opposite results.rnAfter the end of communism in Eastern Europe, highschoolrnhistory texts underwent a profound change. No morernpalavers about friendly, good-looking communist partisansrnalways defeating the ugly Germans. Students in Eastern Europerntoday are obliged to learn the body count of their own martyredrnpeople, particularly in the sensitive years following WorldrnWar II. Little by little Eastern European students must come tornterms with the fact that the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia,rnGzechoslovakia, and other communist countries were not justrnliberating them from fascist terror, but were also, in turn, subjugatingrnthem under a new and often worse terror. Yaltarnobliges.rnThe supreme irony of history is that—contrary to communistrnparanoia—the end of communism was not the result of a GIArnconspiracy, dark forces of bourgeois evil, etc. Communismrnbroke apart because it had, paradoxically, entered into its ownrnhistoriographic entropy. By the mid-1980’s, not a single EasternrnEuropean citizen believed a word that communist hacksrnsaid. Even when communist scribes uttered words of truthrnabout the decadent, crime-ridden West, out of sheer anticommunistrndefiance, nobody believed them. Neither Americanrnmarines nor the omnipresent CIA but the vulgar surplus ofrncommunist mendacit)’ brought about the end of communism.rnThe writing of histor’ depends on time and place, and is alwaysrnsubject to revision. (It must not be forgotten that communistrnhagiography was crafted not only by communist apparatchiksrnbut also by left-leaning scholars in the West.) Butrnwhen times of great intellectual demythification arrive, whenrnnew political myths become fashionable, old political veritiesrnmay be subject to revision —so argued Georges Sorel. ‘V^dien arnpolitical myth no longer sways the masses, the time may bernright for vengeance and violence, which can attain ver)- nast-rnproportions. When a victimolog)’ of one side turns into a secularrnreligion, the other side may wait for the appropriate fruitionrnof its own political theology. And when the body count of arnpeople turns into show business, one must be prepared for therncounterarrival of new stars in the liiue-lit gallery of world sufferers.rnIndeed, the ithing new in history.rn20/CHRONICLESrnrnrn