A World Safe for Stalinism

Long ago, a British veteran of World War II offered this sober moral judgment on the war:

It was just such a sunny, breezy Mediterranean day two years before when he read of the Russo-German alliance, when a decade of shame seemed to be ending in light and reason, when the enemy was plain in view, huge and hateful, all disguise cast off; the modern age in arms.

Now that hallucination was dissolved, like the whales and turtles on the voyage from Crete, and he was back after less than two years’ pilgrimage in a Holy Land of illusion in the old ambiguous world, where priests were spies and gallant friends proved traitors and his country was led blundering into dishonour.

The occasion for the disillusionment of the hero of Evelyn Waugh’s masterful World War II trilogy was, of course, news of the alliance between Great Britain and the Soviet Union.  But most Anglo-American historians lack the moral sense of Waugh, whose service in Yugoslavia allowed him to see firsthand the type of “allies” the West was helping to bring to power throughout Eastern Europe and who realized that an alliance with Soviet Russia would inevitably stain the honor of America and Britain.  Instead, most Anglo-American historians subscribe to what Norman Davies terms the “Allied Scheme of History,” which is marked by “The ideology of ‘anti-fascism,’ in which...

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