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Posts Tagged ‘Katyn massacre

In 1940 Hitler and Stalin were doing their very best to destroy Poland

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One of the mass graves at Katyn.
Image via Wikipedia

I just viewed Andreaj Wajda’s film about the Katyn Forest Massacre. This event characterized Stalin’s paranoid politics as no other event could. We have the basic human honesty of the Poles to thank for that. They seemed beaten down by Hitler, Stalin and their own Communist politicians, but they survived and now they are telling their stories.

This morning I read that the conflict in Kashmir has taken the lives of over 70,000 over the last 40+ years. The title of this post by Arundhati Roy, an Indian writer, is titled “Is Democracy melting?”

I can recall too many reminders that India is the oldest and largest democracy in the world that works! And there is little doubt that if you need to find evidence of how messy democracy can be, there is no better democracy than India’s.

In the dirty thirties and bloody forties of the 20th century it was all about Hitler and Stalin. Now there is a leaky virulent strain of political violence that nests very effectively in SE Asia.

SRINAGAR, INDIA - OCTOBER 6: Indian security f...
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Wajda’s movie gave me the creeps with it’s forthright truth telling. The story revealed by Ms. Roy gives me the shivers, especially because so many new Canadians are from SE Asia. Will the virulent strain of political violence leak from Kashmir to India to Canada?

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Written by BobG in Dalian & Vancouver

2009/09/30 at 09:53

Previous exchanges in the USSR vs. other Eastern European countries were just the curtain raiser

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Stalin (in background to the right) looks on a...
Image via Wikipedia

It seems that the full blooded words are just beginning today on the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland and Danzig. Check out this link for the latest. And this is how the Guardian characterized verbal exchanges in Poland where official ceremonies were held.

Putin today condemned the Nazi-Soviet pact, but equated Stalin’s actions with those of western leaders at the time. “All attempts to appease the Nazis between 1934 and 1939 through various agreements and pacts were morally unacceptable,” Putin said. “We must admit these mistakes. Our country has done this.”

Adam Rotfeld, a former Polish foreign minister, described the Russian campaign in the run-up to today as “disgusting”. The Polish tabloid press has been screaming with indignation. “Russia! Apologise for your crimes!” said the banner headline in the Super Express. “Apologise for attacking Poland, for the Katyn genocide, for murdering our heroes, for sending Poles to Siberia.”

The Russians are particularly outraged over what they see as western attempts to equate Stalin with Hitler. “Those who falsify history forget the things they gained as the result of the Red Army‘s liberation campaign,” said Lavrov.

But “liberation” ushered in 45 years of repressive Soviet communism in Poland and the Baltic. Adam Michnik, a leading Polish intellectual, told the Russians: “For us, Stalin was a criminal and an aggressor. The creator of the lands of the gulag is entirely comparable with Hitler.”

Of course, a very credible British historian, Richard Overy, who is considered an expert on the Hitler and Stalin, did say very bluntly that the “victory of the Western Allies” over the German war machine, was largely set up by bloody war waged on Russian and Chinese soil.

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