The Holocaust, dichlorvos, glue for wallpaper

Cestry Karatygina got something to aspire to many of their peers - wide fame. It is for it, they came to the MUZ-TV, the program "Insanely beautiful." In the not very clever quiz, which is far from the subject of the USE, suddenly turned the word "Holocaust." Girls with the issue failed.


Clip from TV shows fragment gathered a large audience on Youtube and has caused a lot of questions to the Russian Education and, of course, to the girls themselves. Radio Liberty correspondent sought "insanely beautiful" sisters Karatygina and organized them in a meeting with the studio of Radio Liberty chair of the "Holocaust" Alla Gerber.

The Holocaust, the glue for wallpaper

Modern Russian semi-literate youth and for three minutes of fame is ready television at all? As the history of Xenia and Eugenia Karatygina, so - but all is not lost.


Xenia rents an apartment with her boyfriend on the outskirts of Moscow, Eugene lives in a dorm. Learn sister well, later it was confirmed Textile University Rector Sergey Nikolaev. In general, Xenia and Eugene fired at us with Alla Gerber good impression: polite, a little shy, but at the same time is not afraid to speak on camera, do not be afraid to ask about what you do not understand ... He was short, but not brittle, very mobile and artistic, funny and bright talk about their childhood.

What should we know about the Holocaust?

"The modern Russian youth is barely literate and for the three minutes of television fame is ready for everything? As the history of Xenia and Eugenia Karatygina, so - but all is not lost."


They were trying to make a funny gear and ran into the word. And it blew up the situation. Since this project was born in the first pages of online radio "Freedom", and then continued in the newspaper "Top Secret." And I, of course, rezanulo hearing - the Holocaust, the glue for wallpaper. I felt the fake notes. I believe that in such a sequence, these words should not exist. Interestingly, I wanted to understand what kind of girl, and that for the program and why it happened.

The experience gained not only by the Karatygin girls but by audience is invaluable. Mumin Shakirov, the film’s director has achieved something which without seeing for yourself would be difficult to believe. Spiritual growth through knowledge and sympathy for another's tragedy is indeed possible; a glimmer of hope for Russian tough guys who on May 9th roast shashliks, drink beer and smash empty bottles on the street.


They have not been taught, they have not been explained and have not been shown. The film’s director reveals this issue through this documentary. The girls’ history teacher admitted that she did not teach her students much about Holocaust. “If I had the material, and if this subject would draw my attention, I would surely teach them", says the teacher. "And now, perhaps someday, I will put together a lesson about Holocaust." This one response allows Mumin Shakirov to demonstrate the fatal inefficiency of the Russian education system. The point is not about the Karatygin sisters, who have by now learned the real meaning of the Holocaust, but the fact that millions of others are still left in the dark. Not only is their knowledge of the Holocaust poor; they know little about World War II, about repression, about the Great Hunger and about labour camps. They would not be so indifferent to this history if told the truth, as many of us would expect them to be. They are not hopelessly stupid but are lost because their textbooks, media and teachers ignore this crucial part of history.


One of the most resonating premieres at the Moscow International Film Festival was the documentary by Mumin Shakirov, entitled “The Holocaust – Glue for Wallpaper?”


The reason for its creation was an event that caused a lot of fuss on the Russian blogosphere two years ago.

The 21-year-old twins Ksenia and Evgenia Karatigina, while participating on the trivia show “Crazy Beautiful” (MusTV, December 2011), when asked the question "What is the Holocaust?" replied: "Isn't it glue for wallpaper?


Shakirov... had not planned to make a publicity movie; instead he took a detached and neutral position, trying not to pass judgment on the younger generation and being more interested in finding the causes for the depressing lack of knowledge.


As the director said, it was not easy to convince the young women to go on the trip and to take part in the filming: “More than anything, they were afraid that they would be portrayed as being stupid.” They agreed mainly because it was an opportunity for them to go overseas for the first time.


The girls’ story in this film becomes a portrait of their generation, which has no idea about the crimes committed by the Nazis. We are faced with a phenomenon that is much more complex than “Holocaust denial”: an absence of knowledge about it.

Shakirov does admit that this problem is present not only in Russia. In Europe, the United States and even Israel, many members of the younger generation prefer not to learn about this topic.


Vasiliy Gerosin, “Russia Beyond Headlines”, June 28

Journalist and film director Mumin Shakirov was not angered by the response given by the sisters, unlike members of the public (for the the Holocaust is wallpaper paste answer at the TV show) when he came up with the idea to buy them train tickets to Warsaw but rather understood their ignorance.


Traveling with them to Auschwitz, not far from the capital of Poland, he wanted them to see and experience the truth about Holocaust. He wanted to film their reaction and show the contrast from their original answer.


A great idea that couldn't fail, that two joyfully oblivious girls who understand so little about the world, turn up in Auschwitz and instantly age 70 years.


The mental image created by “Work sets you free” written on the camp’s gate, photographs of the tortured people, skinny skeletons without any flesh and pictures of naked corpses not wearing any clothes, create the feeling that there is no hope. Even a cruel animal would have tears in its eyes seeing these horrors and would feel compassion.


“Moskovsky Komsomolets” daily, Moscow


Mumin Shakirov’s film “Holocaust is it wallpaper paste?” will be surely screened on television, and this is not only because it fits the TV timeframe – the film’s length is approximately 58 minutes. The story is of two twin sisters from the city of Vladimir that outraged the Russian blogosphere. When taking part in a popular TV quiz show, the sisters were asked to define the word Holocaust. 

Instead of presenting the obvious answer, they out of pure ignorance thought it to be a "paste for wallpaper". Instead of mocking the girls for their lack of knowledge, Mumin Shakirov organized a trip to Auschwitz for them to discover the answer for themselves. In a segments of the film, the Karatygin sisters’ converse with their mother about revealing their awareness. The director also interviews their school teacher who claimed there was not enough material to cover a Holocaust lesson. This paints the ugly picture of the historical education system in contemporary Russia, where the spotlight is focused on Stalin’s role in history rather than the great human tragedy that plagued civilized Europe.


The memory of the Holocaust is the memory of a human catastrophe. The criticizing views of the past lead to skeptical views of the present. Making people to forget it is much easier than is to remember. The film and the press conference related to the festival screening has made it clear that most Russians do not know the truth about the Holocaust. This is evident enough when talking to regular Russians or what's shown on Russian television.


Kommersant daily, Moscow


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