Interview with Vyacheslav Nikonov, Professor of History and a member of the Russian State Duma.

Historians in the News

What would you define as the key lessons the world needs to remember not to run into another tragedy, like the World War II obviously was?

Well, the key lesson of World War II is that appeasement of aggression does not pay. Actually the policy which tried to compromise the European principles with Nazism failed. And the major leaders of the great European powers which were trying to prevent Germany from rising again actually contributed much to this rising, starting with the Treaty of Versailles which humiliated Germany and the Soviet Union made them outcasts in the European system.

So, the European security cannot be divided, that is one of the major lessons for today’s world and that is one of the messages Russia is sending to the outside world that the European security is something to be preserved, it is something which is indivisible, which cannot be really split into different sections, and the whole system of European architecture which was designed after the end of the Cold War in certain aspects reflects the mischief of the international system which existed between the two world wars. The ideas of the common European security architecture I think are extremely important these days, maybe they are not that important as in the 1930’es but still they are....

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