Remember this -- WWII didn't happen in the USA. It's all very well for you to sit around in Cincinnati or Buffalo and wonder about the longevity of the Russian memory of the war, but it wasn't the case that 25 million Americans were killed by German troops invading on the east coast and occupying everything from there to Denver. If it did then you might understand, but it didn't.
Stalingrad might have been brutal, for both sides, but if the German armies made it all the way to Tashkent then it might have been even more brutal.
Imagine the war from our perspective: we have been steamrolled from the west, then from the east, while our allies sold us because of having to use one evil to win over the other evil. And it's questionable which one was the lesser of the two (one was more cruel, the other lasted longer and killed more people). My German grand-grandmother refused to speak German at all after 1939 (like the admiral, Unrug), though it took the communist government to cause grand-grandfather's premature death. Second grand-grandfather was killed in a German camp, because he was an educated Pole. My other ancestors are from Byelorussia, so I know about their "eastern perspective" plight at the hands of both regimes. All in all, unhappy times for everyone living in these lands in Central Europe.
The story of the Second World War is full of so many heart rending episodes, but the fate of Poland is amongst the saddest. I am so grateful to the Polish servicemen that fought alongside their RAF, RN and army counterparts in all the main conflicts of the "western war". The RAF memorial in North London is a fine, and totally deserved, tribute to the Polish airmen that fought with us. It is just so sad that that their sacrifice did not result in the free Poland that they fought and died for.
< Message edited by warspite1 -- 6/3/2013 4:55:36 PM >
England expects that every man will do his duty.
Horatio Nelson - October 1805