August 22, 2017

FORGET IT, JAKE — IT’S THE TIMES: Red Century story makes me see red.

“Depending on whom you ask today, my grandfather’s story is that of a partisan, a traitor, a hero or a spy. The revolution asked a terrible amount of those who served it. Those who resisted paid a similarly awful price. It left in its wake countless lives, like my grandfather’s, that cannot be compassed by a single line.”

Such a statement doesn’t make up for the many facts omitted from his story, starting with the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact signed on Aug. 23, 1939, which directly led to Hitler’s invasion of Poland on Sept. 1. A secret protocol of the treaty called for the partition of Poland, with Germany getting the western portion and the Soviets the east. The Soviets invaded on Sept. 17 to grab their half of the spoils.

Also left out is what happened to Poland in the roughly 21 months of Soviet rule. Hundreds of thousands of Poles were deported to Kazakhstan, Siberia and other points east during the occupation. Even worse, more than 22,000 military officers, politicians, professors, priests and other civic leaders were executed in what is collectively known as the Katyn Forest massacres.

Mikanowski writes that the Nazis in 1939 captured his grandfather, then a Polish soldier, but he escaped and made his way to Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Curiously, he doesn’t explain why Jakub didn’t halt his flight in Soviet-occupied Poland instead of going hundreds of miles to the east. Maybe Mikanowski didn’t want to bring up all that awkward partition business and Nazi-Soviet hanky panky.

So Mikanowski says it depends on your perspective whether Jakub, a Soviet pawn, was “a partisan, a traitor, a hero or a spy.”

The Times won’t stop running Communist sympathizer pieces until they stop being sympathetic to Communists.