WWII history reduced to caricature

My second comment on Hitler and Stalin by Laurence Rees review by David Aaronovitch in The Times, 23 October 2020. Polish version: Druga wojna światowa zredukowana do karykatury.

Lech S Borkowski, WWII history reduced to caricature, comment The Times 26 October 2020
WWII history reduced to caricature, my comment on Hitler and Stalin by Laurence Rees book review, David Aaronovitch in The Times 26 October 2020

26 October 2020

I would like to return to the second paragraph of the review, on which I commented already earlier. The entire article is based on the concept of symmetry of the two dictatorships.

“One of the Polish cities the Soviets annexed was Lwow, which they incorporated into Ukraine.”

Ukrainian Soviet “republic”.

“As the German forces neared Lwow the local NKVD — the internal security police — massacred 4,000 political detainees in Brygidki prison. A few weeks later the occupying Germans egged on local Ukrainians to murder 4,000 Jews by way of retaliation. It was a bloody symmetry, of a kind.”

This is a misrepresentation. There is no symmetry here. Those killed by the Soviets were Polish citizens of Polish and Ukrainian ethnicity. Those killed by the Germans were also Polish citizens. Omitting their citizenship is beneficial to the Communist narrative. Soviet Union worked through their agents before WWII, such as the father of a contemporary prominent figure in the Polish media, on promoting support for the annexation of eastern Poland. The occupation by the Soviet Union of eastern Poland in 1939-1941 and again post-1944 was appropriately manipulated by Moscow. Declaring that Poland was dead, omitting the victims’ citizenship, and focusing on their ethnicity instead, while eliminating Poles from the picture, is part of that Communist narrative.

The Nazi occupiers also killed professors of the Polish universities in Lwów.

Poland was the only significant country which fought against both of these totalitarian states.


P.S. Note the captions under pictures of the dictators:

“Adolf Hitler always planned to attack the USSR”
“Joseph Stalin refused to listen to warnings about German aggression”

Communist caricature of WWII.