Poland has a long tradition of bucking political trends.
In February, in a case that made international headlines and provoked widespread condemnation, a court in Warsaw ordered two Polish historians of the Shoah to apologize to an elderly woman from the village of Malinowo for having “inexactly portrayed” her uncle Edward Malinowski, the village’s wartime headman.
The news from Central Europe seems to be uniformly bad: democracy threatened, rule of law subverted, historical revisionism triumphant. It all carries a nasty 1930s flavor. To Western readers, moreover, most of that news seems to come from Budapest and Warsaw. We don’t hear much from such places as Bratislava, Bucharest or Ljubljana—and no news is good news, right? Look again.
Mina Yuditskaya Berliner, a retired teacher of German, could be forgiven for feeling surprised when one of her former students invited her for tea after almost half a century. Berliner, now 94, hadn’t seen him since she made aliyah to Israel from the USSR in 1973. But in 2005, the former student came to Israel to visit—an official visit, no less, the first ever made by a Soviet or Russian leader.
By Konstanty Gebert. Over the past few years, a series of books has brought to the attention of English-speaking readers the morally challenging, historically important and often overlooked or forgotten story of the Polish contribution to the Allied war effort in World War II, and of the terrible fate of the Poles under German rule.