June 15, 2009
The columnist, Gwynne Dyer, has drawn my attention to an article, written by Colonel Sergei Kovalev, Director of the scientific research department at the Institute of Military History. It is entitled “Fictions and Falsifications in Evaluating the USSR’s Role On the Eve of the Second World War.”
Kovalev asserts that the Poles, not the Germans, started the war in 1939. The British and the French in 1939 guaranteed Poland’s independence, which gave the Poles “delusions of grandeur“. This misled them into rebuffing Germany’s “very modest” requests – the return of Danzig and a German road and rail corridor across the territory that gave the Poles access to the Baltic Sea, but separated eastern Germany from the rest of the country.
The frightening thing is that the Russian Ministry of Defence put this article on its website (subsequently removed after a Polish protest).
Last month Russian President Dmitri Medvedev ordered the creation of a Commission to Counteract the Falsification of History to the Detriment of Russian Interests. There is legislation before the Duma that would outlaw any portrayal of the Red Army as invaders, even on the territory of former Soviet republics.
This week, there are meetings in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg, of both the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the BRICcou ntries (Brazil, Russia, India & China). Underlying these meetings is a clear desire to escape from US hegemony, ostensibly to build “an increasingly multipolar world order”.
In Europe, we are seeing increasingly nationalistic policies when clearly a single European voice would have much greater influence.
These happenings reveal a growing mood which reflects the pre-1940 balance of power type of thinking, ignoring where this landed us, and why we needed a European Community.Author : Stanley Crossick