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RE: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Roos evelt’s Lost Alliances - review

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  • Lenarda Szymczak
    John very raw honest article, but what caught my eye, was – Quote - ... At the Potsdam Conference in July–August 1945, both President Truman and the new
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 7, 2013
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      John very raw honest article, but what caught my eye,  was –

       

      Quote - ... At the Potsdam Conference in July–August 1945, both President Truman and the new British prime minister, Clement Attlee, agreed to the expulsion—by then partly accomplished—of over ten million ethnic Germans from the Baltic countries, and from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary as well as Yugoslavia. This would become one of the greatest and cruelest ethnic cleansings in modern European history. Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe, Poles and Ukrainians continued their informal war that had begun under German occupation.

       

      In hindsight, this could have been done differently as these poor people went back to hunger and destruction, with no way of their native country sustaining them, actually causing death again on top of the murder of WWII.  With the Soviets rounding up all their people arriving from the West and either sending them off to Gulags because their work force had been depleted with the Amnesty of the Polish People,  or shooting their own people once they got back to Soviet soil, to stop their Communist System being corrupted by Western Outsiders who would question their ethics and motives. According to reports written by Tolstoy, a Russian from the Czars Imperial Guard, a witness and now on foreign soil, after the Yalta Treaty, the Russians were committing suicide rather than be deported back to SSR and Stalin and the oppression continued long after WWII ended.

       

      All this makes my blood boil, but unfortunately I am not a Historian to actively debate, do not have the skill in writing or remembering dates and facts,  but feel strongly just the same. There were so many many many mistakes made by the Powers in charge hurting innocents.

       

      Lenarda, Australia  

       

       

      From: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of John Halucha
      Sent: Friday, 08 March, 2013 5:52 AM
      To: Kresy-Siberia@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [www.Kresy-Siberia.org] Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances - review

       

       

      - New York Review of Books review of Roosevelt’s Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War by Frank Costigliola

       

      The book sounds like a dud, another rehash of long-repeated Western apologist rationalizations trying to squirm out of condemnation for the betrayal of Poland. But I took a lot in the review as a hopeful sign that understanding is starting to grow in the popular press. Following are some excerpts with stuff I am not accustomed to seeing in Western media. I am not in 100% agreement with the reviewer, but in many places he went boldly where few have dared to tread.

       

      John Halucha

      Sault Ste Marie, Canada

       

      "Bad feelings about Roosevelt’s policy of cooperation with Stalin persist in the rest of Eastern Europe, too, especially in Poland, which, unlike the other Eastern European countries, never collaborated with the Nazis. The Polish people fought Germany with amazing fortitude; yet at the end of the war, the Western Allies consented to Poland’s political subjection and territorial losses to the Soviet Union—with partial compensation for the losses in the form of German territories.

      ... Churchill himself repeatedly accepted the primary Soviet interests in Eastern Europe.

      ... How much did the president and the prime minister know about Stalin’s misdeeds? Even if they had heard little of the mass deportation and partial extermination of many ethnic minorities during World War II, they should have been aware of the intentional killing by starvation of millions of Ukrainian and other peasants in the early 1930s, and the shooting of hundreds of thousands of imaginary political enemies in the later 1930s. Moreover, the Polish exile government in London had scrupulously informed both Western leaders of the Soviet attempts, beginning in 1940, to eliminate much of the Polish leadership, including tens of thousands of Polish officers, civil servants, and professionals, at Katyn and elsewhere.

      Accustomed to the death of millions in the war, the two leaders should still have been deeply shocked by the brazen Soviet lies and the mendacious finger-pointing that followed the German discovery, in 1943, of the Katyn mass graves. Churchill had outbursts of fury over it; Roosevelt had no visible reaction.

      ... Roosevelt had indeed been extremely worried about the million-strong Japanese Kwantung Army in Korea and Manchuria. To defeat it, he feared, would cost a huge number of American lives if the Soviet forces were not willing to engage their armies there. In order to avoid such a calamity, the president was willing to make significant concessions to Stalin, yet these could only be made in the one area—Eastern Europe—that the Soviets were claiming for themselves.

      ... Some months later the Czechoslovak government, while still in exile and financed by the British, formally recognized the Polish government in Lublin, a Soviet creation imposed on Poland in July 1944, as the sole legitimate representatives of the Polish nation.

      ... Poland’s case was truly special. From the distant past loomed the memory of mutual invasions and, from a more recent past, the Polish advance deep into Russia during the war of 1919–1921, which resulted in Poland’s acquisition of tsarist Russian territory that came to be known as Eastern Poland. The Soviets made it clear they harbored a grievance over the mistreatment and widespread deaths of captured Red Army soldiers when the Bolsheviks were driven out of Poland after World War I. But following the Soviet pact with Nazi Germany signed on August 23, 1939, the Red Army invaded Poland on September 17 without any Polish provocation and at a time when many Poles were being killed by the German onslaught. The Soviets annexed or re-annexed the eastern half of Poland, deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan a large part of the Polish population, and massacred thousands of innocent Polish soldiers and civilians. The opening scene in Andrzej Wajda’s powerful movie Katyń, in which masses of fleeing Polish civilians bump into each other on the bridge connecting the Soviet and German occupation zones, illustrates the entire Polish tragedy.

      ...Back in 1939, Britain and France had made a binding commitment to the defense of Poland but then did little or nothing to stem the combined Nazi and Soviet invasions. The Poles went on fighting nevertheless, both by means of anti-Nazi underground armies and organizations and as soldiers in Norway and France in 1940; as the best of the RAF fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain; in giving crucial assistance in the decoding of German military communications; as sailors in the Polish navy and commercial fleet; as members of the anti-Nazi army formed by General Władysław Anders, which was initially made up entirely of Poles who had survived deportation to the Soviet Union; and as members of the Polish army set up by the Soviet Union.

      Polish divisions invaded Nazi-occupied Europe on the side of the British and the Americans in 1944; Polish tanks closed the famous Falaise Gap, thereby helping to destroy the German army in Normandy. Polish troops conquered Monte Cassino in Italy; the Polish Home Army reconquered Warsaw in August 1944. But then the Red Army, which was already in Poland, not only refused to come to their aid but did much to prevent the Allied air forces from dropping supplies to the besieged insurgents. The conquering Red Army treated members of the Home Army as fascist enemies, killing thousands of them, and Polish resistance leaders were tried and sentenced in Moscow.

      Costigliola writes that “the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa or AK), linked with the London exiles and supplied by British air drops, switched from combating Germans to fighting Russians and pro-Soviet Poles.” But in reality, the “London exiles” had been recognized even by Stalin as the legitimate government of Poland until the break of diplomatic relations, in 1943, over the Katyn massacre, for which the Soviet government ignominiously denied all responsibility. American and British pilots, trying to help the Home Army against the Nazis, had been routinely denied landing rights for fuel by the Soviet military command, and Home Army commanders were lucky if the Soviets only disarmed them and did not throw them in prison or shoot them outright.

      Ignoring Polish protests, the often erratic Churchill accepted the so-called Curzon Line as Poland’s new frontier, meaning that the Polish conquests of 1919–1921 were lost. In exchange, the Western Allies squeezed a vague promise out of Stalin for the Soviet-sponsored Lublin government to accommodate a few representatives of the London exile government as well as to allow for fair national elections. Neither promise was kept.

      ... Stalin’s hatred for the Poles was so great that while he allowed Hungarians and Czechoslovaks to form more or less genuine multiparty governments for as many as three years (while also installing secret services loyal to Moscow), he immediately imposed a completely nonrepresentative government on Poland, and both Britain and the US withdrew their recognition from the Polish government in London. The Polish exiles were allowed to remain in the country but were never recognized for their wartime service. For instance, General Stanisław Maczek, who had fought under British command since 1940 and who had led a highly decorated Polish tank division in Normandy, worked as a bartender in an Edinburgh hotel after the war. The British government denied him and his fellow Poles recognition as Allied soldiers; they were given no rights as combatants, and they were given no pensions.

      The minor political concessions on Poland that Roosevelt and Churchill had squeezed out of the Russians were immediately violated, but at least they formed the basis for the creation and gradual assertion of the Polish freedom movement between 1956 and 1989. The Polish crisis helped to create an anti-Soviet backlash among the Western leaders and the public.

      While Roosevelt’s New Deal–era advisers gradually disappeared from the scene, younger intellectuals around the president looked at the alliance with Russia with growing suspicion. Within the military, the calming influence of Generals George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower, as well as of Secretary of War Henry Stimson, was challenged by the inflammatory, strongly anti-Russian statements of the popular hero General George Patton and Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, who as early as April 1945 said to the newly installed President Truman that if the Soviets did not retreat on the question of Poland, “we had better have a showdown with them now than later.”

      ... At the Potsdam Conference in July–August 1945, both President Truman and the new British prime minister, Clement Attlee, agreed to the expulsion—by then partly accomplished—of over ten million ethnic Germans from the Baltic countries, and from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary as well as Yugoslavia. This would become one of the greatest and cruelest ethnic cleansings in modern European history. Meanwhile, in Eastern Europe, Poles and Ukrainians continued their informal war that had begun under German occupation.

      ... The US offered the Marshall Plan to the Soviet Union and to the other Eastern European countries, but its strict requirements of economic and financial openness as well as close cooperation with a United States–dominated international agency made it unacceptable to the Soviet leaders.

      ... Nothing in 1944–1945 could stop the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe. The installation of the Lublin government in Poland occurred before the cold war broke out; but Roosevelt’s influence on these events and on the developing cold war was very limited indeed. We will never know if he might have helped to prevent even greater suffering and tragedies."

       

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