Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Russian Relations with Eastern Europe: Where Current Events Impact Historical Interpretation

During the recent International Holocaust Remembrance day, Poland's Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna discussed Auschwitz and used the occasion to praise the Soviet Ukrainian Army's role in liberating  the concentration camp. The Russian Foreign ministry saw this as an insult to the Red Army and the many fallen Soviet Russian soldiers.

This spat happened almost simultaneously alongside St. Petersburg's decision to expel the Polish consulate from its city.

As we approach the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, I expect these diplomatic jibes will only increase. Russia views itself (or rather its Soviet legacy) as the heroes of the Second World War and the single-handed defeaters of Nazi Germany. Poland views the Soviet role in the War as responsible for, and inseparable from, its Soviet occupation until 1989. While Ukraine and Russia remain at war, nations worldwide will continue to take sides and interpret history to benefit one or the either.

As a history major, I find it highly fascinating when interpretations of historical events directly impact current relations between nations.

Here's the link to the full article: Russia, Poland argue over World War Two anniversary

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