Poland And Russia Battle Over WWII History

Today is the 70th anniversary of the beginning of World War II as Germany bombarded Westerplatte with canon fire.  Katyn massacre posterEventually Germany made peace with their neighbors by recognizing the role they played in the devastation of Europe.  Since then Europe has experienced only one conflict[1] since the end of World War II.

But Russia remains another matter.

Russia continues to be belligerent in their interpretation of the war.  Denying much culpability in their conflict with Poland and even insinuating of Polish-German designs on the Soviet Union.

In the days leading up to anniversary, Russian media has aired a string of accusations against Poland, claiming that Warsaw intended to collaborate with Hitler in an invasion of the Soviet Union, and that Jozef Beck, Poland’s foreign minister in 1939, was a German agent. Moscow broadcasters have also claimed that there was a “German hand” in the 1940 Katyn massacre of thousands of Polish PoWs, an atrocity generally held to have been the exclusive work of Stalin’s secret police.

In fairness, the de facto ruler of Russia, Vladimir Putin, did offer a conciliatory tone relating to Russia’s aggression towards Poland:

“Our duty is to remove the burden of distrust and prejudice left from the past in Polish-Russian relations,” wrote Mr Putin, who went on to describe the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact as “immoral”, and also thanked Poland “from the bottom of my heart” for the 600,000 Poles who fought on the Eastern Front under Red Army command.

When Russia finally admits its role in World War II and the atrocities committed by Adolph Hitler’s evil twin in terror, Joseph Stalin, will there be a final peace in eastern Europe.

To read more of this article by Matthew Day of London’s Daily Telegraph click here.

_._

[1] See the Third Balkans War or the Yugoslav Wars.

[2] See Katyn Massacre.

  1. Great post, Tito–and an important reminder of the world-spanning nightmare that began on this day.

    I grit my teeth to say this, given that Putin is nothing short of a murderous thug, but his statement is an excellent one. Given where Russia is now, his opinion counts for more than the increasingly rabid pro-state media’s. Or Dmitri Medvedev’s.

  2. I agree, Mr. Medvedev is nothing more than a symbolic leader.

    I don’t see Russia apologizing for anything in the near future. If the current Oil drop in prices hasn’t shaken Russia, then nothing will.

    Russia needs to admit their role in World War II of being more than a ‘benevolent liberator’.

  3. I grit my teeth to say this, given that Putin is nothing short of a murderous thug…

    As if the ex-KGB, who himself was responsible for many heinous crimes, could actually be considered anything less than.

  4. It’s nitpicking, but I think the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, to cite but one instance, would count as another European conflict post-1945.

  5. Putin might also call immoral the fact that the Red Army stood by and did nothing after the Polish Home Army rose in revolt in Warsaw in 1944 while the Soviets were at the very gates of Warsaw. For 63 days the Soviets did nothing to aid the uprising. They allowed the use of Soviet air bases by the Western Allies dropping supplies to the Poles only near the end of the rising after the Soviets knew it was nearing defeat. As ever, Stalin was only too happy to have Hitler kill Poles for him.

  6. Don:

    You can hardly blame the Soviets for being the Soviets. A successful Polish Home Army would have been a potential contender for power in post war Poland.

    As Professor Norman Davies points out in his history of the Warsaw Rising much of the blame for the rising failure can be laid at the feet of the British and the US governments which encouraged the Poles to revolt and promised assistance when they had no way to provide such assistance and knew such resistance would be futile but would aid them by tying up German troops.

    http://www.warsawuprising.com/paper/davies1.htm

    The Poles – as before the war – were fools to depend on the assurances of countries that had no means by which to provide assistance.

  7. Bloody murderers Awakaman can always be blamed for being bloody murderers. I have read Davies’ book and as usual he mixes insight and rubbish. It was the Polish government in exile in England that was pushing for the revolt. The Americans and Brits could care less since holding down troops in Poland, which never amounted to more than a few low grade Wehrmacht divisions diverted from the Eastern front, was of little consequence to the Western allies. They wanted more recruits for the Polish forces fighting in the West and operations in Poland were a very low priority for the Brits and the Americans.

    As for the Poles being fools, they fought gallantly throughout WW2 against foes seeking to exterminate them. They engaged in no action against Hitler or Stalin in 1939, but they were a marked nation. Against all the odds they have outlived as a people both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. I regard them not as fools but as rather one of the more heroic nations that fought in WW2.

  8. As Professor Norman Davies points out in his history of the Warsaw Rising much of the blame for the rising failure can be laid at the feet of the British and the US governments

    And professors can always be blamed for being professors.

    “What is the function of intellectuals, but to tell us that things are not as ordinary people perceive them?” – Fr. Neuhaus.

  9. usa stood by and watched more than 20 million russians getting killed. When the Sovietuning was standing before poland they “interveined”.
    Usa the great liberator….

    Who else when not russia?

  10. What complete rubbish. The US provided extensive lend lease aid to the Soviets throughout the war, which included hundreds of thousands of vehicle and extensive food aid to feed the Red Army. The British and the Americans tied down one-third of the Wehrmacht in the West throughout the war, and the bomber fleets of the British and the Americans devastated Germany and forced the Luftwaffe to redeploy from the Russian front many of their fighter squadrons in order to defend Germany from the Allied bombers.