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USSR and Great Victory: Polish look

SSSR and Great Victory of 1945: Polish look

Hair Mariusz

In the Polish perception 1945 in the history of the Soviet Union is, first of all, a greatest military and political victory of I.V. Stalin who, thanks to support of the western states, broadened the sphere of the political impact and the interests. The Yalta conference in February, 1945 which is almost unanimously treated by Poles not only as a classical example of majestic dictatorship, but also as the statement of the new bipolar peace arrangement divided into contradictory blocks became a peculiar symbolical act in its realization. The phenomenon which is carried out with the consent of the American president Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the English prime minister Winston Churchill who, seeking for support of the USSR in overthrow of the Third Reich and defeat of Japan, paid off with Stalin, having ceded it Central and Eastern Europe.

Finding of the USSR of the status of the great power became one more result of events of 1945. The Soviet Union got access and influence on world politics, in particular, as the state creator of the United Nations and the permanent member of its Security council. In general it is possible to tell that in a modern historiography and the Polish journalism the point of view about unfair — in particular concerning Poland, the Baltic countries, Finland and Romania — revision of their eastern frontiers from the USSR on several hundreds of kilometers to the West dominates. As a result of it pre-war borders under the Riga contract of 1921 were changed according to the so-called "Kerzona line" recommended on the British initiative in December, 1919

In fact new borders meant distribution of the direct power of the Kremlin up to Elba, and a bit later, and to the western border of the German Democratic Republic. In the Polish historiography and journalism the discussion begun at the end of the 80th and the beginning of the 90th years of the XX century concerning value for Poles and for the history of Poland of invasion of the Soviet Army in the territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth still continues.

Some, in my opinion, the minority of modern Polish historians, journalists and publicists consider that release from Nazis

saved the Polish nation from physical destruction. After "the final decision of a Jewish problem", Hitler intended to destroy Slavs, including, of course, and Poles. Looking from this point of view, Poles have to be grateful to the Red Army for release in 1944 and 1945

Only some Poles remember that also Polish soldiers participated in Victory Day parade at Red Square in Moscow in 1945, together with Soviet. It was the exclusive decision of Stalin who agreed to participation of Poles from the structure of the National army created in the territory of the Soviet Union in 1943

There is also a completely different look. To me it is thought, most of modern Polish historians, journalists and publicists considers that at the end of war the German occupation was replaced by occupation sovetskaya1. Concrete expression of such relation can be considered actions of elimination of monuments of the Red Army in Poland in the early nineties. It is considered that they were perceived not as the visible embodiment of gratitude of Poles, and as symbols of dependence on the USSR. At the same time it should be noted that these actions did not affect numerous military cemeteries and burials of the Soviet soldiers (all them in the territory of Poland about seven hundred thousand) which treated and continue to belong with uvazheniyem2.

After release cruel repressions against political opponents, first of all against soldiers of Army and supporters of the emigratory Polish government in London, practically against all whom the new power considered enemies of a socialist system began Craiova. Poles did not forget that at the beginning of 1945 Stalin ordered to imprison leaders of the Polish anti-fascist underground who were condemned Soviet the military by tribunal in Moscow in June, 1945 3

The famous Polish politician and the statesman Stanislav Mikolaychik, the former prime minister of the Polish government in emigration, published in English the book under the name "The Raped Poland" ("The rape of Poland", "Polska zgwalcona") which reflects views of this part of the Polish politicians, historians and publitsistov4.

A hair Mariusz is the Permanent representative of the Polish Academy of Sciences to RAS, professor


The second subject around which the discussion continues in modern Poland is search of the answer to a question — whether there was Poland near the USSR, the USA, Great Britain and France in 1945 in a camp of the winner countries in World War II? The main point not only in huge human losses of Poland: according to official figures, which, however, were repeatedly called in question from researchers, during World War II about 6.030.000 Polish citizens, including about 3 million Jews died. It made 17.3% of the pre-war population of the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Some historians consider that the number of the victims should be estimated approximately at 5 - 5.5 million people, including about 2.35 - 2.9 million Jews — the Polish citizens. In only one Warsaw it was killed or about 800 thousand people died. Material losses only in the territories occupied by Germans were about 50 billion dollars according to the prices of 1939. The main point not only in territorial changes — prior to World War II the territory of Poland made 388 thousand, and after war of 312 thousand

The main point, first of all, in a question of independence of the Polish state. Prior to war the destiny of Poland was decided by Poles, and after the Great Victory the fate of Poland and Poles, all important political, economic, even cultural and scientific issues were resolved in the Kremlin. The real owner of National Poland, since 1952. The Polish People's Republic, there was I.V. Stalin. The new Polish authorities on most of which of modern Polish historians, looks journalists and publicists as at deputies of Stalina5 could resolve without consent Moscow only minor issues.

Situation in the most Soviet Union after the victory of 1945 in modern Poland is represented very badly. The fact that in publications and images which are created not without their influence, the accent is put, mainly, on negative events and the phenomena is characteristic.

The victory of 1945 is understood as the opportunity which gave Stalin a free hand — after the short-term period of some liberalization in the USSR during the war with the Third Reich — again to return to practice and tactics of times of "big terror" of the end of the 1930th years. The victory partly approved the dictator and his environment in justice and need of such actions. Liquidation of the Jewish Anti-fascist Committee, growth of anti-Semitic moods inspired by the authorities, so-called "business of the Kremlin doctors" — all this is interpreted as a presage of next "cleaning" which was not carried out only for a cause of death of the dictator in March, 1953 6

Enormous losses among the civilian population of the USSR during the most bloody World War II and cause today sympathy in Poland, but among the reasons are called also such as disrespect for the value of the human person, attitude towards soldiers of the Red Army as to "gun meat" from their military leaders seeking to execute at any cost directives of Moscow. In this regard the attitude of the Bolshevist power towards the Soviet prisoners of war with whom Stalin after their release disposed to deal shortly with ruthless cruelty is often cited as an example.

In other words, 1945 is important date in the history of the USSR as subject of the international relations, marking its considerable and even dazzling success which paid back huge losses, but did not become rotary in internal political development of the Soviet Union, having been only the next milestone of a Stalin era.

Summarizing, would like to emphasize that, by and large, the few in Poland think of the fact that participation of the USSR in World War II as Poles speak, or as it is called in Russia, the Great Patriotic War, was and still remains one of main, and perhaps, the most important factor of formation of national and historical identity of modern Rossii7.

1. See Wandycz P. Wiek XX//Historia Europy Srodkowo-Wschodniej. T. 1. Ktoczowski J edition. Lublin, 2000. S. 493-503; Topolski J. Historia Polski. Warszawa, 1995. S. 313-329. Poland told such joke in which Stalin spoke to the marshal K.K. Rokossovsky after war: "It is simpler to me to change clothes of one you for the Polish uniform, than all Army Polish to change clothes for Soviet" — Falcons B.V. Rokossovsky. M, 2010. Page 477.
2. Golon M. Symbole wdzi^cznosci czy ulegtosci? Pomniki wdzi^cznosci Armii Czerwonej — przyczynek do dziejow propagandy komunistycznej w Polsce po II wojnie swiatowej//Europa Orientalis. Polska i jej wschodni sqsiedzi od sredniowiecza po wspotczesnosc. Studia i materiaty ofiarowane prof. Stanistawowi Alexandrowiczowi w 65 rocznic^ urodzin. Edition of Karpus Z., Michaluk D. and Kempa T. Torun, 1996. S. 601-618.
3. N.V. Petrov. The first chairman of KGB Ivan Serov. M of 2005. Page 41.
4. Mikotajczyk S. The rape of Poland: pattern of Soviet aggression. New York, 1948.
5. Koztowski C. Namiestnik Stalina. Warszawa, 1993. Passim.
6. Smaga J. Rosja w 20 stuleciu. Krakow, 2002. S. 143-168; Bazylow L., Wieczorkiewicz P. Historia Rosji. Wroctaw, 2006. S. 472-487.
7. The prof. Anatoly Gromyko wrote in very interesting article: & #34; The Red Army together with allies put defeat most

strong army of Europe — German — also destroyed fascism. Today we are successors of this Great Victory. It became great achievement, a fruit of October. To deny it нечестно" Gromyko A. Katok history//Literary Newspaper. 19 - On September 25, 2007 No 37 (6137). Page 3.

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