Image of nation-victim is basis of modern Polish statehood
Moscow promised that Poland's acceptance of the law on de-communization, which provides for the dismantling of monuments dedicated to Soviet soldiers, will not remain unanswered. On June 22, Poland's Sejm passed amendments to the law on the prohibition of communist propaganda in the names of buildings and objects.
Commenting on the issue, the head of the scientific sector of the Russian Military-Historical Society, Yuri Nikiforov, recalled that the monuments being demolished in Poland now are related primarily to Polish history: "This is part of their history. Many monuments were established by citizens grateful for the liberation of Poland in memory of the brotherhood-in-arms. However, the grandchildren of the Polish Army soldiers are denied by the Polish authorities the right to honor their ancestors, bringing flowers to memorials, monuments and commemorative plaques where this brotherhood-in-arms was immortalized. They ignore their own history, the history of their ancestors, those who fought along with the united nations, together with the Soviet Union. They will never tell their own citizens how their ancestors greeted the Soviet soldiers with gratitude, how they buried the Soviet soldiers killed in the battles on the territory of Poland together. "
According to Nikiforov, there are documents confirming that the Soviet command forbade tankmen at the First Ukrainian Front to drive along the asphalt roads so as not to break them with caterpillars: "The did it despite the war, despite the fact that this led to additional difficulties for our advancing troops. People in an occupied country do not behave like this. It irrefutably testifies that our general idea of brotherhood-in-arms meets what we call historical truth, historical realities. And the Polish leadership, refusing this part of its history, commits a crime before the memory of its own ancestors. "
Deputy Director of the CIS Institute Igor Shishkin recalls that Poland has declared war on monuments since the beginning of the 1990s: "We preferred not to notice it and perceive it as some excesses of the emergence of a young democracy. But the appetite comes with eating. One monument was demolished - they got away with it, the second - they also got away with it. Then, in 2015, about a dozen monuments were demolished, including the monument to General Chernyakhovsky - they got away with it as well. In 2016, the number was already several dozen. At the same time, a program was developed to completely cleanse the "signs of Soviet domination," which was endorsed by President Andrzej Duda. "
Speaking about the motives of the Polish authorities, Shishkin noted: "Poland has turned its history into the main tool for solving internal and external problems. The image of a nation-victim is the basis of modern Polish statehood. This allows them to unite the population with stories that their neighbors are the source of all evil - Russophobia and Germanophobia. This enables them to constantly demand all kinds of preferences from neighbors - "you are guilty before us, you must repent and make concessions. This Polish strategy brought them considerable dividends. The last time Russia repented before Poland in 2010. Why should they abandon such an effective tool? But now it's time to put them in their place. "