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?