Gidon Kremer: On the murder of Boris Nemtsov
February 28, 2015 by norman lebrecht
‘No one can remain indifferent at this tragic hour. No one can stay silent. The conscience of every decent person who loves both Russia and freedom must raise their voice in response to this blatant crime.
‘The tragedy has unfolded as we knew it might. This death is neither ‘accidental’, nor is it a ‘provocation’.
‘The murder of Boris Nemtsov, a respected politician, was clearly ordered by someone, and is a culmination of sorts – it reflects an atmosphere which has reached fever pitch in our society. A society starved of pure air, pumped full of fear and jingoism, where good intentions have been driven into a dead-end.
‘In a civilized society, everyone is entitled to a point of view or a position. But there is one unambiguous fact: a country where the majority of the population treats lies and political murders – whether solved or unsolved, actual or symbolic – as part of the daily grind, and has found itself on the edge of moral collapse, cannot command respect. No matter how hard it advertises its historic grandeur.
‘A country does not stand on the shoulders of a single man. Every one of us is a citizen of his homeland, and every one of us is responsible for the state of this land. And here, then, is your answer to the eternal question: ‘What must be done?’
‘Switch off the brainwashing TV screens. Instead, take look at yourself. Follow your conscience – do not try to run from it. Do not fool yourself into thinking that there is no place, no role for conscience in our lives anymore.
‘There is nothing more valuable than a human life. The death of Boris Nemtsov rests not only on those who were ordered to kill him. His fate casts a shadow on all those who failed to protect him.
Gidon Kremer, musician’
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