Hello Chris and Carol:
Carol, I couldn't agree more with your comments about Putin and also
about education of children in post-Communist Poland. Until Russia de-
Leninizes and de-Stalinizes it will never be free and must be feared.
I am afraid that Putin wants Russia to be feared rather than free and
will probably succeed in bringing Stalin back.
Let me add a few comments on Putin. I have always been puzzled by the
shallowness of reporting and lack of perception on the part of
Western media and their political commentators about political
changes in Russia. When Putin literally overthrew the dully elected
Yeltsin government, our media reported it but never stressed the fall
of democracy but only babbled about how corrupt Yeltsin was, which
was Putin's propaganda line. Yeltsin kept quiet and fortunately
survived the coup. It was one of the best planned overthrows in human
history. Overnight a new administration, from top to bottom, was in
place. Our media shuns from direct criticism of Putin and always
someone else is blamed. The media even criticized Kaczynski for
standing up to Russia and demanding that they honor treaties they
signed with EU. As you recall, the media bashed Kaczynski and was
sympathetic to Putin. Only recently, as it is becoming apparent that
Putin has a tight grip on Russia and intends to confront the West
politically and possibly militarily that the media has began to
notice that Russia is solidly in the hands of KGB.
Why is Putin rehabilitating Stalin? Because Stalin did not act alone
and abuses and mass killings continued after his death. The order to
kill Polish officers in Katyn type executions was signed by every
member of the Politburo. As for the killing of other POWs that
apparently did not require a consensus it was part of daily
routine. The post-Communists have to rehabilitate Lenin, Stalin, and
the rest of the murderers in order to remain in power. Above all they
have to lie and lie something they had a lot of practice in doing. So
far the West and its media have allowed them to get away with those
What is most painful to me is the ongoing treachery by the Polish
Communists and post-Communists in covering up Soviet and communist
crimes. It is not historical amnesia but rather a deliberate betrayal
of Poland by people who claim to be Poles. I also had similar
experiences with Polish children as you did. They do not know the
real history of WWII. Even children and grandchildren of survivors of
massacres seem to know little about the events. It seems that Russia
is not the only country that needs to be de-communized. Although, I
believe that the Soviet wartime and post-war propaganda is at the
root of historical distortions and anti-Polish defamation,
nevertheless the role of the Polish Communists and post-communists is
more deplorable since they were the ones who spread that propaganda,
gave it credibility and put it in Polish history books.
With best regards and best wishes for the coming year,
--- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
, "Carol Dove" <stashaok@...>
> After reading this I had to reflect on how Pres. Putin can get away
> with this? When we look at how many are not educated to the truth
> and the silence placed over Communist Poland, and the magnitude of
> exiled Polish family's, it is amazing they were silenced as long as
> they were. It was if a wave of reality hit as of 1989 and then the
> whole truth really hit the world. Even today the Polish I speak to
> were told of our exiles as running to a life of luxury and felt we
> abandoned them. Not the truth that they were, "enemies of the
> and would have faced arrest and death.
> Children in Poland today that I spoke to are taught very little of
> our family's plight. One girl (16 years old) told me a teacher took
> them to the "holocaust" and she saw where the Jewish were killed.
> When I asked her about Roman/ Greek Catholics, her reply was yes
> heard of the military killed. Others said they were told nothing.
> Sadly, I think we all know how our own countries teach the subject.
> How many new members join the group and speak of parents that never
> spoke to them of Siberia, amnesty or a loved one that had passed
> away. I would say the number one question is how can I get them to
> talk? If they are unable to talk it is our responsibility to learn
> and talk for them as Jagna did so well.
> Stalin further added to this with what I consider "tower of babble"
> he just never foresaw this age of computers and translators. We
> to tear down the "tower" and speak out for the ones that are listed
> on the memorial wall.
> Never should "Stalin" have a place in history where he is glorified
> as a great leader. It is now up to us to demand respect for our
> ones. I am sorry for drawn out reply, I just feel this behavior is
> unacceptable and thoughtless to all victims.
> Carol Celinska Dove
> --- In Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com, Chris Fisher <kryskoselak@>
> > Just thought I'd share the following article:
> > Historical amnesia
> > Putin heralds teachers' manual glorifying Stalin as great leader
> > Calgary Herald
> > Monday, December 03, 2007
> > It's generally best for historical figures who are vilified by
> the evidence of history to stay that way.
> > There is usually good reason for their infamy and to
> them is to forget the painful lessons their brutality taught the
> world in the first place. Unfortunately, such arguments cut no ice
> the provocative and fervidly nationalist Russia of President
> > Long known for his confrontational stance on foreign relations,
> authoritarian instincts and nostalgia for Soviet power, Putin took
> dangerous step down the road of historical amnesia recently when he
> began promoting a new manual for Russian high school teachers that
> glorifies the murderous Soviet dictator Josef Stalin as a great
> leader who, while cruel, modernized Russia and transformed it into
> world power.
> > Now, a pro-Stalin revisionist movement has long existed in
> Russia, but it has only been in the 16 years since the collapse of
> the Soviet Union that ordinary people, frustrated at the
> uncertainties of life in a violent and poorly governed Russia, have
> turned to it in greater numbers as a salve for insecurities and
> battered pride.
> > This offers a convenient way for Putin to strengthen his hold
> over the Russian public. More disturbingly, there is little doubt
> that he honestly shares this nostalgia. Putin's grandfather was the
> tyrant's chef.
> > Such misplaced pride cannot hide the evidence of Stalin's
> nor can it erase names like the Katyn Forest Massacre, the
> famine or the Great Purge. A ferociously paranoid man, Stalin's
> deportations, executions, show trials, gulags and haphazard style
> government left a body count in the tens of millions, exceeding
> the number of victims of Adolf Hitler's megalomania.
> > Far from being a great leader, Stalin was the sort of man who
> and believed only what he wanted to. In 1939, despite clear
> of Hitler's propensity for breaking peace treaties, Stalin agreed
> the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with Germany that stipulated non-
> aggression between the two nations. When the Nazis invalidated the
> pact by invading Russia in June 1941, Stalin at first refused to
> accept reality and resorted to having messengers bringing news of
> invasion killed.
> > By the time he realized the truth, the Germans had destroyed
> of the lacklustre Soviet war machine -- Stalin had killed most of
> Red Army's best leaders before the war -- and it was only the onset
> of the Russian winter combined with Hitler's stubborn refusal to
> retreat that allowed the Soviets to regroup and counterattack.
> > Stalin's vaunted industrial reforms were built on sand. The
> corruption, inefficiency and lack of economic freedom fostered by
> system crippled the Soviet Union and contributed significantly to
> eventual collapse. Were it not for high oil prices, Russia today
> would be an economic dwarf equivalent to a middling European
> > Russians need to carefully consider where their nostalgia might
> lead them. Otherwise, they may wake up one day to find they have
> on the shackles of the past and thrown away the key.
> > © The Calgary Herald 2007
> > ---------------------------------
> > Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your homepage.
> > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]