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The Forgotten

 

Yesterday the AP had a very interesting story on newly declassified documents that support the view that FDR and Churchill knew that the Soviets were responsible for the massacre of over 20,000 Polish prisoners of war at the same time they were publicly following Stalin's lead and blaming the massacre on the Nazis.  Later on, of course, FDR and Churchill followed Stalin's lead and consigned Poland to Soviet domination, even though Britain began the war fighting for Polish independence and benefited greatly from the Poles who fought for the Allies throughout the war,  particulalry the Polish pilots who may have provided the balance of victory during the Battle of Britain.

This story will have no impact on public opinion, which sees World War II as an unambigous morality tale and has largely forgotten about the tens of millions of victims of Soviet Communism.  It will have no impact on most professional historians, either, who have no more difficulty rationalizing the West's alliance with Stalin than FDR and Churchill did.   But it is still satisfying to see some more of the truth come out.

Tom Piatak

Tom Piatak

Thomas Piatak is a contributing editor to Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. He writes from Cleveland, Ohio.

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