Russian revisionism

Truth, they say, is the first casualty in war. Sometimes it's also the last.


Some seventy years after the Soviets and the Nazis signed a treaty agreeing to invade Poland and split the country between them, Colonel Sergei Kovalyov, a Russian historian, recently published an article which appeared on the official website for the Russian Ministry of Defense entitled "Fictions and Falsifications in Evaluating the USSR's Role On the Eve of World War II" in which he explains how the war as all Poland's fault.

Good point. No doubt the the estimated 20,000 Polish army officers captured by the Soviets during the war and subsequently massacred  have only themselves to blame. After all, they stuck their necks in front of their killers' guns, didn't they?

Well, you can believe that or you can believe Andrzej Wajda, whose shattering film "Katyn" (that's the name of the forest  where thousands of the slaughtered were found in a mass grave), tells a different story. But then again, Wajda is hardly an objective source, since his father was among those slain.

Wajda also happens to be one of the world's greatest living directors. The films he's made include "Kanal" (1957), "Ashes and Diamonds" (1958)  and "Man of Iron" (1981), which are not only great movies but are also courageous historical documents.

If you missed "Katyn" during its run last week at the Brattle Theatre, you'll get another chance. They'll be screening it again this summer so keep an eye on their schedule. It's also available on DVD.


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