On March 23, 2022, the prominent American politician died Madeleine Albright. Born in Prague, into a Jewish family (her original name was Marie Jana Korbelova), who had to flee her native Czechoslovakia when her country was invaded by the Nazis on March 15, 1939. After a tour of Hungary, Yugoslavia and Greece, she settled with her family in London, more precisely in the Notting Hill district. It was the years of the Second World War and, in his childhood memories, the bombardments launched by the German Luftwaffe on the British capital where his father, Josef Korbelworked in radio in the service of the Czech government in exile.
During the Holocaust, the part of his family that remained in Czechoslovakia fell victim to Nazi barbarism, costing the lives of three of his grandparents, as well as “many of our uncles, aunts and cousins”, as she will remember later. .afternoon. With particular emotion, he alluded to the murder of his maternal grandmother Ruzena Speiglova.
After the end of the world war with the defeat of the fascist powers, he returned to Czechoslovakia in 1945, but, after the Stalinist communists came to power and the assassination of the minister John Masarykhis family went into exile again, this time to the United States (1949), where he would henceforth reside and whose nationality he acquired.
His brilliant intellectual career, which began at Columbia University, where he obtained his doctorate in 1975 with a thesis on The Prague Spring, will continue his political career in the ranks of the Democratic Party within which he will occupy, for more than 30 years, the vice-presidency of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI). Her in-depth knowledge of international politics will make her the first woman to hold the post of American Secretary of State between 1997 and 2001 under the presidency of bill clinton.
Particularly revealing was his book Fascism. A Warning (2018), written alongside Bill Woodward, in which he warns democratic societies against the risks of totalitarianism, whether fascist or Stalinist. In it, and referring to the both provocative and alarming title of his book, he said: “Some consider this book and even its subtitle alarmist. Well, that may be true, but what we cannot do is not be aware of the assault on democratic values that is taking place in many countries around the world and which is also dividing states -United.
Facing the future, we must avoid the temptation to “close our eyes”, because it is a warning that we dare not ignore.
Now that our retinas and consciences are pounding, the cruelty and cruelty of the Russian invasion of Ukraine appeased by the warmongering frenzy of Vladimir Poutineremember the autocrat of Moscow, the grandson of the cook of Stalinsaid Albright in said book and which he defined as “small, yellowish and so cold that he almost looks like a reptile”.
Albright pointed to Putin’s authoritarian drift since he assumed the presidency of the Russian Federation in 2000. In fact, he alluded to how he hid behind the debacle suffered in the years following the disappearance of the USSR, “to discredit democratic institutions” and, therefore, does not hesitate to affirm that “Putin is not a full-fledged fascist because he does not need it at all”. And it is clear that his power is supported by a failing political system, with a sham of opposition parties, elections that are more than questionable in their transparency, media controlled by the Kremlin and a civil society which, “when it does not ‘is not tamed, we disqualify him by saying that he is a puppet run by foreigners’, an accusation leveled against any political dissident of Putin’s autocracy, as we have seen recently in the case of Alexei Navalny. Thus, Putin’s accumulation of power was achieved by removing it from the provincial governors, the Legislative Assembly (Duma), the courts, the private sector and the press: this is how he has built what he calls the “vertical state”, whose most aggressive and threatening face has been demonstrated in the criminal aggression against a sovereign state like Ukraine.
These thoughts on the threat posed by Putin, to whom the dissident Vladimir Kara Murza defines as “the postmodern Stalinist”, for peace and international relations, as Madeleine Albright had already sensed, to recall the memory of the recently deceased American politician who alerted us to the threat of fascism, of all kinds , which darkens our future, a warning that becomes more and more prescient.