Friday, November 26, 2010

A good sign

The Russian Duma recently publicly admitted that the Soviet Union, under direct orders from Josef Stalin, was responsible for the massacre of Polish soldiers at Katyn Forest.  For decades, the Soviets blamed this horrific incident on the Nazi's.  After the fall of the wall, evidence came to light placing the blame squarely on Stalin and the NKVD.  This has been a bleeding sore in relations between Russia and her neighbor, Poland.

Over the past couple of years, Russia has been moving closer and closer to admitting its role in the massacre and the cover-up.  With this declaration, most of the darkness surrounding it has been shed.

Russia seems to be learning, at least in part, from what Germany has done since the end of the Second World War:  Admit everything, hide nothing, apologize profusely.  If Germany had not completely come clean about what happened in Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe during WWII, then I cannot see how Germany could have become as central to Europe as it is today.  Countries that now ally themselves with Deutschland economically, politically, and militarily could not do so in good conscience if the Germans denied the camps, the ghettos, and the massacres.

Likewise, as Russia reaches out to Europe for integration and influence, it must admit to past abuses.  Mending fences with Poland over Katyn is a good first step.  I see several more years of Russia admitting to how badly it treated the members of the Warsaw Pact for 45 years.   As sunshine cleanses the history of Russia and her neighbors, hopefully it will allow Europe to truly heal from the World Wars and their aftermath.


Old NFO said...

One hopes... Now if the Japanese would just admit their WWII atrocities, maybe this world would move on!

DaddyBear said...

That's going to be a long wait. The Japanese have made some token efforts to make amends, but they have a long way to go.

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