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It takes heroic Poland - and the truth about Katyn - to show us how evil Communism is

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  • Lucyna Artymiuk
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/edwest/blog/2009/05/03/it_takes_heroic_poland__ and_the_truth_about_katyn__to_show_us_how_evil_communism_is
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2009
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      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/edwest/blog/2009/05/03/it_takes_heroic_poland__
      and_the_truth_about_katyn__to_show_us_how_evil_communism_is




      <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/edwest/blog/2009/05/03/it_takes_heroic_poland_
      _and_the_truth_about_katyn__to_show_us_how_evil_communism_is> It takes
      heroic Poland - and the truth about Katyn - to show us how evil Communism is


      Posted By: <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/edwest> Ed West at May 3, 2009 at
      01:24:00 [ <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/edwest/blog/cat/general> General]
      Posted in: <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/go/category/view/Politics>
      Politics , <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/go/category/view/Arts> Arts
      Tags:
      <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/edwest/go/tag/view/blog_post/Communism>
      Communism,
      <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/edwest/go/tag/view/blog_post/poland> poland,
      <http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/edwest/go/tag/view/blog_post/Soviet%20Union>
      Soviet Union


      I'm an unashamed Polonophile. If you grew up in a certain kind of
      Irish-British Catholic household in the 1980s, Poland was a heroic and
      tragic fairytale kingdom that, having endured the neo-pagan Nazis, was now
      held captive by the godless Soviets - and yet maintained its faith, chivarly
      and honour.

      The story of medieval Christian chivalry battling against the monstrous
      modernists had a Tokeinesque grandeur to it (or Lucasian, you could stay -
      Star Wars has similar themes) and the election of John Paul II, and the
      overthrow of the Communists in early 1989, was the end of the hero's
      journey. The Evil Empire was destroyed.Katyn tells the truth about Communism

      The Soviet Union was certainly evil and one its worst moments was Katyn, the
      massacre of 12,000 Polish officers, policemen and intellectuals in April
      1940. The Nazis discovered the bodies in 1943 but for some reason no one
      believed them when they said they hadn't done it this time. Our Russians
      maintained this lie and the West went along with it, as we went along with
      Stalin's vicious colonisation of our ally.

      The massacre, and the subsequent battle for the truth, is the subject of an
      overwhelming new Polish film, <http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0879843/> Katyn.
      I went to a screening last week and, rarely for review screenings, there was
      total silence afterwards. The audience was stunned

      The last 20 minutes is incredibly powerful, certainly the most devastating
      account of Communism's inhumanity I have ever seen. Without much melodrama
      we see unarmed men being taken from trains to trucks and down into a bunker
      and shot. Others are brought to the edge of the mass grave where their now
      lifeless friends lie in piles, and shot in the back of the head. The men -
      who have mothers and sisters and wives and daughters back home - say their
      prayers and clutch their rosaries. Their executioners impassively murder
      them and then share cigarettes, before burying the bodies and bayonetting
      the survivors.

      The horrors of Nazism are so well known they are part of the cultural
      landscape. But even the wrongs committed by the West during the Cold War
      have been endlessly chronicled in cinema, television and theatre. Compare
      the number of films and plays about Senator McCarthy's victims (who lost
      their careers) compared to productions about Beria and Stalin's victims (who
      lost their lives).

      It's because Western artists prefer not to tackle Left-wing tyrannies that
      Communism has always been given an easy ride.

      People walk around with CCCP football tops, wear Che T-shirts, or go
      drinking in vodka bars called Revolution (an especially tasteless idea -
      would the council allow me to open a Nazi-themed bar called Lebensraum?
      Admittedly it would become a gay bar pretty soon). When David Beckham turned
      up one day wearing an Adolf Eichmann T-shirt I thought maybe for one second
      it was a protest about the casual way mass murderers are turned into icons
      (what Mark in Peep Show calls the "ironic veneration of tyrants").

      We shouldn't forget how bad the Soviet Union was, especially to heroic
      Poland. Katyn is out on 19 June - watch it, and next time you see someone
      wearing a Che T-shirt, punch them.



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