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Poland’s Historical Revisionism Is Pushing It Into Moscow’s Arms

Poland’s Historical Revisionism Is Pushing It Into Moscow’s Arms

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  • There is an old and telling dark anecdote when it comes to Poland and Russia:

    Poland is invaded on two fronts. From the West comes Germany, and from the East comes Russia. The Polish leadership clamors for what to do next, and asks their top general what they should do. The General says, “We shall start

    There is an old and telling dark anecdote when it comes to Poland and Russia:

    Poland is invaded on two fronts. From the West comes Germany, and from the East comes Russia. The Polish leadership clamors for what to do next, and asks their top general what they should do. The General says, “We shall start in the west with Germany, and then handle Russia in detail.” “Why?” asks a junior cabinet officer, befuddled by the proposed strategy. To which the general replies, “business before pleasure.”

    I don’t think Poland is ever going to be predisposed to any favorable view of Moscow, there is just too much history of subjugation and antipathy there for such a relationship to ever flourish. Though this is about history.

    Poland is a nation that has been partitioned four times by foreign aggressors in under two centuries. If you ask a Pole about the Second World War, they will tell you it lasted 6 years for most other countries; but it lasted almost 50 for them with subsequent Soviet subjugation. The concept of Western Betrayal is still very real, as many Poles hold Britain and specifically Churchill responsible for not driving away the Red Army in 1945 - not that he could have done so anyway in reality.

    Indeed for most of its history, Poland has only ever been able to rise due to either their Russian Empire/Soviet and German neighbors inability to stop it, or their disinterest in doing so. It is a nation that has had a very real struggle to survive and maintain its sovereignty. Hence even a relatively benign EU, given Poland’s past, can appear like a foreign monolith that bristles Polish sensibilities.

    The fact they’re struggling to cope with that history now is not surprising, nor is it possible to know where it shall take them. Yet how they ultimately choose to reconcile with a very dark period of their past in the long run will undoubtedly shed much light on future prospects. Though Poland’s future path has certainly not been set in stone.

  • Conflicted thoughts on this article-- it mixes intelligent, savvy analysis of many of the so-called "Law and Justice" Party's shady activities with overblown and hyperbolic statements about the domestic and foreign policy trajectory of Poland. Overall very much worth reading, just bear in mind that the

    Conflicted thoughts on this article-- it mixes intelligent, savvy analysis of many of the so-called "Law and Justice" Party's shady activities with overblown and hyperbolic statements about the domestic and foreign policy trajectory of Poland. Overall very much worth reading, just bear in mind that the author is often exaggerating the danger of the Party's doings.

    PiS is dangerous for Poland, make no mistake, but the country is neither on the verge of collapse nor dictatorship. The Polish government is by no means a healthy democracy, but it also isn't as out-and-out authoritarian as, say, Orban's Hungary.