The Yalta deal

Another of my comments following The Times article We can never be sure we’d be the good guys by David Aaronovitch.

Lech Borkowski 3 January 2020

Poland is not free or democratic – see my earlier comment. My wife and I lost our jobs in state institutions in Poland in 2015 after a long campaign of harassment and social violence, in which the authorities employed typical Communist methods.

The Soviets were killing members of the Polish resistance in 1944. This was on top of mass murders and deportations of 1939-1941. Yet the Allies decided to deal with the Soviets behind the back of the Polish government. In other words, they chose the short-term expediency, ignoring the facts, over the long-term commitment to human rights, democracy and rule of law.

My father knew about the Soviet mass murders and that is why he deserted from the Polish forces under Soviet control on 13 January 1945. His entire company deserted one day before the military oath was taken. Among them was Józef Franczak, who was later killed by Communist security forces in 1963.

I fully applaud my father’s decision to desert. It made no sense to fight one totalitarianism on behalf of another one.

Neither the Polish government, nor Polish citizens gave Allies the right to sign the Yalta deal with the Soviets on their behalf.

How can we expect individuals to stick to the rules of decency if the governments of the so-called free world fail to do the same?

I recommend reading the book “Dolgun” by Alexander Dolgun, an American employee of the American embassy kidnapped by the Soviets from the street in the centre of Moscow in 1948. The book should be an obligatory reading in the studies of Communism and totalitarianism in general. This is the story of being faithful to yourself, to truth and decency in the most extreme circumstances of Soviet prisons and camps. Dolgun’s adversity was compounded by the American government’s lack of commitment to care about him.

General Rudenko, who was part of the Soviet team at the Nuremberg trials post-WWII, signed false accusations in the Dolgun case. Philippe Sands, the well-known British human rights lawyer, failed in his recent book “East West Street” to even mention Rudenko’s record on the home front. I have not seen anyone pointing this out to Mr. Sands.