Both in 2015 and this year, when a new wave of migration of peoples from Asia and Africa to Europe broke out six years later, EU politicians found themselves in an ambiguous position.
On the one hand, one’s shirt is closer to the body, and among other things, the state’s duties to its citizens include border guarding. Not that they were tightly closed in front of migrants, but the last word – to let them in in this particular case or not to let them in – should remain with the authorities. If the authorities find themselves powerless in the face of the migrant pressure, then the viability of such a state is called into question. Therefore, under certain circumstances, a country must defend its borders, including by force.
On the other hand, the EU proclaimed the protection of human rights as the alpha and omega of its own policy, which favorably distinguishes Europe from other countries. In particular, Europe has been declared a haven for the persecuted and the poor. If such a generous principle is proclaimed, this is fine, but then it is the duty of European governments to let gloomy as well as cheerful guests in. And not just let in, but contain. “We can handle it,” as Angela Merkel said in 2015.
The problem is that now, when guests from the south are trying to penetrate from Belarus through Lithuania and Poland to richer countries – “I came to you to settle forever, I hope I find shelter with you” – such an innocent desire does not meet with full understanding. But what now? “I took up the tug, do not say that it is not hefty.” There was no need to make such extensive promises and talk about alpha and omega.
Of course, one can blame Lukashenka for everything, especially since he has some relation to the current difficulties, but the trouble is that even if the Belarusian president did not exist at all, the law of nature that water would find a hole would not have gone anywhere. Not there, so here.
And such broad promises appeared long ago – as a reaction to the history of the era between the two world wars, which is quite shameful for Europe (and not only Europe).
As the writer-historian notes: “During the war and the next two decades, coups d’état took place in a number of countries. They forced many people to flee from their homeland to a foreign land. Thus, a multinational emigration arose. Wherever these gloomy guests came, they were unwelcome. Earth. and the work was divided between nations. There were no more countries where they needed capable newcomers. On the contrary, everywhere they looked askance at foreigners who wanted work and bread. They were not allowed to work, they were barely allowed to breathe. It was difficult for the exiles to obtain confirmation that they were were what they were. In many countries this served as a welcome excuse to get rid of them. It happened that people who did not have papers, the gendarmes at night secretly threw across the border into a neighboring country,and the next night the gendarmes of the neighboring country also secretly threw them back. ”The last phrase – as if from today’s news feed.
But emigrant poverty was not so bad. Much worse was the fact that, when it was not about a piece of bread in a foreign land, but simply about saving lives, democratic countries showed the same indifference to the fate of the fugitives. The story about the “ship of the doomed” – the liner “St. Louis”, which left Hamburg on May 13, 1939, became a textbook story.
The ship was carrying 900 German Jews with Cu-ban visas. As it turned out, canceled by the time of ar-rival in Havana. Passengers appealed for help to both the United States and Can-ada, but they were refused, motivated by the fact that the economic situation of both countries is difficult, all immigration quotas have already been selected and we can not help. Arriving on May 27 in inhospitable Havana, “St. Louis” June 6 set off on the return journey. It was only at the very last moment that the Jewish organization “Joint” made sure that the passengers of the “St. Louis” were allowed to disembark in other European countries: 287 people agreed to receive Great Britain, 224 – France, 214 – Belgium and 181 – Holland.
In other not so well known cases, there was no such permission – and the refugees were left to their fate. There was a formulation of the Swiss authorities: “Das Boot ist voll” – “the boat is full”, that is, the country is not rubber. And it was not only the Swiss who acted this way. Back in the summer of 1938, a conference of democratic powers was held in the French resort of Evian on the topic of how to deal with Jewish refugees from the Third Reich, and the position of the participants was uniform. “We sympathize, b-ut…” Paradoxically, count-ries that are in no way democratic – Spain, Portugal, I-ran – sometimes showed m-uch more condescension to the trepidation of Jewish concerns. Of course, the p-owers were indifferent to t-he fate of not only Jews, but with other refugees everything was mostly in private, here they tried to sound the alarm – but to no avail.
And then the usual happened. Punishment of the innocent and rewarding the innocent. That is, there was no punishment – both guilty and innocent – but with the awarding everything wor-ked out as it should. As a result of the tragic quarter of a century – 1919-1945 – economic migrants from third world countries turned out to be beneficiaries. Be-nefits, allowances, most fa-vored nation treatment, etc. As compensation for the in-human treatment of the re-fugees of the interwar era, there was an extremely sensitive and humane attitude towards people who are not threatened by anything in their homeland, but in a foreign land the set of life benefits is much greater. They were partly admitted to this set. This is a common thing. In his 1918 article “The Intelligentsia and the Revolution,” Blok wrote: “Why are they shitting in the manor estates dear to the heart? – Because they raped and flogged the girls there: not at that master’s, as at a neighbor’s. Why are they knocking down centenary parks? years under their spreading lindens and maples, gentlemen showed their power: they poked a beggar in the nose with money, and a fool with education.” Whether the bar of ancient times was so sinful is a separate question. Ma-ybe they are sinful. But co-mpensation for the suffering of their victims was re-ceived by Polygraph Polig-rafovich Sharikov, who himself did not suffer from the bar. Some suffer, but the benefits are completely different – on this, it seems, t-he whole world is built. A-nd the human rights of Eur-opeans – too. Human, too human.