The television channel “Sakartvelo” aired a remarkably creative video that, in theory at least, should entice young people to join the army. The video does not particularly have any distinguishing special effects; in it, some cheerful young men are heading from a recruiting station to the army headquarters. As they enter through the welcoming, swung-open doors, it seems to be the perfect place for a slogan such as: “Welcome to the army, son!” But instead, a quote by Adolf Hitler appears on television screens.
“We once and for all must understand that we will never be able to regain the lost territory with prayers, which have become a formality, nor with hopes in the League of Nations, but with the strength of our weapons. Adolf Hitler. 1932.” These subtitles are accompanied by a well-performed voiceover – perhaps to make it more convincing.Perhaps only the creators of the video know why the Fuhrer needed to be included in the propaganda campaign – especially since there is already an abundance of similar banal expressions that could be found in the repertoires of many politicians and military commanders. Thus, there was absolutely no need to include Hitler as the main “revenge expert.”
The misstep of the political strategists is clear. A television campaign was being created based on the approval of an official representative of Georgia’s Ministry of Defense and according to the example of the NATO countries. But it is hard to imagine that “in order to promote the military,” Americans, the English, the French and especially the Germans would use “Mein Kapf” or other classical writings of the Fuhrer.
It is not clear as to how long the scandalous clip has been on the air. The television company does not have a wide audience, despite the fact that it is broadcast over the entire country. In April 2007, Sakartvelo began cooperating with the military based on the “Law on State Procurement,” and began operating in September of the same year.
Prior to that, Channel 33, which broadcasts Sakartvelo, belonged to the opposition television company of Eduard Shevardnadze and Mikhail Saakashvili, 202. According to the latest available information, currently Sakartvelo is owned by Denal Union. In November 2009, the non-governmental organization Transparency International called the company “mysterious” in one of its reports.
While it is just a coincidence, Georgian activists of the Center for Human Rights posted the clip on their website – http://www.hridc.tv/ and http://humanrights.ge/ – almost immediately after the clip on the destruction of the Memorial of Glory in Kutaisi. The clip was posted on the eve of the Georgian government’s presentation of the “State Strategy in Relation to the Occupied Territories,” according to which Georgia’s leadership plans to resolve the Abkhazia and South Ossetia conflicts only thought peaceful means.