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Many Polish boys and girls became old men and women aching to find out what happened to their dads. Were they locked up in Siberia somewhere? Might they still be alive? Many of those fatherless children ultimately died of old age never knowing.
That brings me to that other news item from 2010, a bittersweet but somewhat redeeming one. The people of Poland got an early Christmas gift this year—and from an unlikely source: Moscow. There, the State Duma, Russia’s legislature, passed a statement conceding Soviet responsibility for the Katyn massacre.
It was news not only for Poles but for the history books. It was something many of us who have studied and written about this incident have long awaited.
Frustration is a persistent feeling for those of us who study and record the horrors of 20th century communism, as we see those horrors ignored repeatedly by our illustrious “scholars” in the academy—and by people who erect statues to Stalin on American soil. Joe Stalin and his cronies duped countless “progressive” Americans from the 1920s to the 1950s, from the likes of educator John Dewey, writers like H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw, ACLU founders like Roger Baldwin and Harry Ward, Vice President Henry Wallace, and even our four-term president, the iconic Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (Click here and here and here.) Can’t we learn anything from history?
If Russians today can deconstruct the legacy of lies erected by Stalin to build up himself, then we Americans today can cease to erect monuments to the man on our own soil.
Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His books include“The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and the newly released “Dupes: How America’s Adversar.
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