75 years ago Soviet tanks entered Warsaw: Liberation or occupation?

The ghosts of World War II are alive and well in Poland and Russia. The horrendous scale of the war still resonates in ways that are hard for Americans to comprehend.

There have been recent Russian commemorations of the January 1945 Soviet Liberation of Warsaw, and the Russian government is concerned about Poland ignoring the anniversary. The Russians claim that the infamous 1939 Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact that allowed the Soviets to occupy the eastern part of Poland was necessary to the defense of Russia and point to similar pre-war agreements between Poland and Germany. For details see:

Instead Poland commemorated the uprising by the Polish Home Army that started in August 1944. The Soviet army waited on the outskirts to the city and refused to move forward despite pleas for assistance from the Poles and the western allies. After 63 days of battle the Nazis defeated the Poles and leveled the city. Estimates are 150,000 to 200,000 Polish civilians were killed.

Is the anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis in Warsaw a reason to celebrate?

Or was it just trading one set of occupiers for another?

Should the events of 75 years ago have any relevance to politics today?

Yes it is a reason for the Soviets (now Russians) to celebrate.

Yes it was

To the extent that 75 years ago led to 70 years ago, lead to 65 … They actually do have relevance.

I find it telling that the Russians are taking much the same line in regard to their 1939 invasion of Poland as Turkey has taken towards the Armenian genocide.

Poland is very concerned about the Russian war in Ukraine; they see it as a Russian attempt to re-establish the Soviet empire. That is one reason why the events of World War II still resonate today.

The US Civil War happened over 150 years ago, but we can still see the controversy about Confederate War memorials. Likewise Poland has been removing Soviet war memorials over Russian protests:

The Soviet Union never liberated anybody.

I was thinking of Catherine the Great rather than WWII when I noticed Russia going after the Ukraine.

Arguably the Soviet occupation of Poland was less brutal than the Nazi occupation, but real liberation had to wait for another 40+ years after the end of World War II.

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A tragedy of Polish history is that it is situated between Germany and Russia and so fated to seldom be left alone. Stalin’s army was no more interested in Poland as Poland than Hitler’s army was.

Yep… in WW2 Poland got screwed twice.