August 24, 2013
YOU ONLY HAVE TO MAKE YOURSELF FORGET...:Echoes from the killing fields of the east (Timothy Snyder, 9/28/10, theguardian.com)
It is confoundingly hard to remember that the second world war began with an alliance between Hitler and Stalin. In August 1939, Berlin and Moscow signed a non-aggression pact, including a secret protocol in which they divided the lands between Germany and the USSR into spheres of influence. The next month, the Wehrmacht and the Red Army both invaded Poland, met at a demarcation line, and arranged a joint victory parade. Seventy-one years ago today, on 28 September 1939, the Polish campaign complete, the two powers signed a treaty on borders and friendship, finalising their division of Poland and providing for future economic cooperation. [...]Despite differences in ideology, the Nazis and Soviets followed strikingly similar policies in Poland. The Soviets deported about 400,000 Polish citizens to Kazakhstan and Siberia, the Germans a similar number to make room for German farmers. Together, the two powers executed tens of thousands of Polish civilians, many of them educated people. The demographic profiling was similar enough that, in some cases, the Germans murdered one sibling and the Soviets another.When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, Stalin reversed alliances, beginning the history that is most comfortable to remember in Russia, Britain and the United States: of the common struggle against Hitler.
...if you feel the need to pretend we won.Posted by Orrin Judd at August 24, 2013 1:13 PM