Andy Busch, who is currently teaching in Ukraine on a Fulbright grant, writes an interesting piece on the complicated nature of the victory over the Nazis in Eastern Europe. Unlike in the West where the victory is remembered as a simple example of good defeating tremendous evil, Eastern Europe remembers it as choosing the lesser of two evils, defeating Nazism by supporting Stalinism. His article is well written and thoughtful and the photo he includes at the end is priceless.
Wish it was e-mailable, though.
Yes I know quite well experience this from my time here in Poland. Also the fact that Stalin was Hitler co-invader in 39/40.. of Poland and the Baltic states is not something that is lost here. In Ukraine and in Estonia there is a problem of the ethnic sorting of Stalin moving large number of Russians colonies and now these groups are a constant sources of problems for reformers trying to westernize and liberalize their politics or their economies.
Also Stalin antics in the post war period where his NKDV or in Poland the UB, were often killing of not only the non-communist opposition (nationalists) and the non-communist intellectgencia. Also many of these NKDV/UB officers were Jewish (Stalin did this purposefully to insure that these local agents of his terror could not slip out of his control as Tito did in 46 because as Jews they could not rely on the nationalistic support of the locals, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Estonians, Ukranians)also explains much of the anti-Jewish feeling that so remains in the region and in memory of those who survived those eras.