About a week ago, here in the USA, we were all about Independence Day, a celebration of our own country’s history and founding and freedom. That was on July 4th, recalling the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. We tend to celebrate our accomplishments and ignore our darker days, though. But the very next day, July 5th, is another famous day in our history–or should I say, a rather infamous day.
On July 5, 1945, the US government (and that of Great Britain), formally turned their backs on the legitimate government of Poland, a country whose people fought side-by-side with them to help defeat the Nazis. On July 5, 1945, the US and Great Britain formally recognized the puppet, Soviet-controlled, Communist government of Poland, Stalin’s Provisional Government of National Unity (TRJN). This was the final nail in the coffin of Poland’s legitimate government in exile, though the process had begun 5 months earlier at the Yalta Conference when the allies “divied up” a post-war Europe and handed Poland to Stalin on a platter.
This treachery by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill should be remembered as well. Though they knew all along what was going on in Poland during the war, though they knew about the holocaust for years, and though they knew the truth about the Katyń massacre–and though they knew what a tyrant Stalin was, they consciously chose to abandon their faithful ally and hand Poland over to Stalin.
As a result, many tens of thousands of Poles could not return to their homeland after the war. As a result, many loyal Poles who remained in Poland were arrested, tortured, even murdered by the secret Police. As a result, many Poles (and others)–including some of my relatives–were forcefully relocated after the war, forced out of their homes, forced to abandon their land and posessions, are relocated to make the Soviet-controlled area of Europe more “ethnically pure.”
What a sad day in history July 5th should represent. It was the day on which Poland was abandoned by her allies. But, the hope of a free Poland, once again, did not die. It’d be nearly 45 years, but eventually Poland managed to free itself from Soviet control, and emerge once again as a proud and free nation and throw off the shackles of Communism. But never forget that it was Roosevelt and Churchill that turned their backs on their loyal ally, Poland, and betrayed her, sealing her fate on July 5, 1945. Those two–they may have done some great things for which they are now remembered, but we should also remember the bad things they did. Treachery! Betrayal! Shame, shame on them.
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