Applebaum’s fake narrative

My two comments on book review Twilight of Democracy by Anne Applebaum review — how the right went rogue and wrong by Gerard De Groot in The Times, 17 July 2020.

Anne Applebaum works as a functionary of a fake narrative. She should rather write about herself and her husband. Radek Sikorski has been trained by the Communists. His public image is completely fake.

In Poland the entire public narrative is false. My pianist wife Małgorzata Głuchowska wrote her long letter in May 2013. There was no response. This letter is available on the Internet. We have since been expelled from our jobs. I was an associate professor of physics at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. My wife was a piano teacher at the State School of Music in Zielona Góra.

The authorities unleashed an absolutely vicious campaign against our family. Our story and our project directly contradict the narrative Anne Applebaum is part of.


I happen to be a child of Polish citizens imprisoned after WWII in Communist concentration camps in the Arkhangelsk region of northern Russia. I am not impressed by Anne Applebaum’s writings. Quite the opposite.

Anne Applebaum’s earlier book “Iron Curtain” is an example of how not to write history. A chaotic hodge-podge from East Germany, Hungary and Poland in the immediate aftermath of WWII. There is of course a method in this madness. Writing a book focused on a single country would put more pressure on producing a coherent narrative, whereas this jumping all over the map prevents the reader from gaining even a limited understanding. This book was written with an aim to obfuscate, not to explain anything. You will quickly notice it when browsing through the book’s index.

The first sentence of the blurb from the back cover, Penguin edition, says “At the end of the Second World War, the Soviet Union unexpectedly found itself in control of a huge swathe of territory in Eastern Europe.” This is precisely the element of the Communist narrative, a big red warning sign.

On the front page, there is a quote from Simon Sebag Montefiore, “Superb, brilliantly perceptive, totally gripping”. SSM praised the book in his Evening Standard review, supporting the view that Stalin simply took advantage of an unexpectedly convenient situation. Here is the first sentence of Montefiore’s review: “When Stalin’s armies liberated eastern Europe in 1944-45, the Soviet dictator realised that he would be able to impose his system on the countries he occupied.” The Communist narrative again.

Of course, these are my remarks on the margin of a review of a different book, but it helps to realize how much the narrative has already been distorted by the same author and her supporters earlier and that she did everything to defend the Communist narrative, while superficially pretending to shed light on the decade following the WWII.

Subsequent twists and turns and ideological contortions of the author should therefore not come as a surprise. Those twists and bends, however, show a remarkable consistency. Those transformations preserve the Communist narrative.