Polonaise no. 1

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By JOÃO QUARTIM DE MORAES

The ironic advice of Vladimir Putin to the Poles contains good history lessons

The journalistic means of the so-called “West” disseminated, with militant empathy, the bellicose communique entitled “Poland holds mega military parade on message to Moscow”, from which some excerpts follow: “August 15 is a highly symbolic date for Poland: it was in her that in 1920, in a last-ditch effort, soldiers and volunteers managed to stop the Red Army's offensive at the gates of Warsaw – the decisive turn in the war with the Soviet Union. In the previous months, Soviet troops under the command of General Mikhail Tukhachevsky had achieved several military victories, being on the verge of taking the capital of the Polish Republic reestablished with the end of the First World War. The submission of Poland was just one step in the plans of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky: the Soviet leaders intended to “step over the corpse of Poland” to reach Berlin, from where they would launch a world revolution. Celebrated in national history books as “the miracle of the Vistula River”, this Polish victory came to thwart such plans”.

The grandiloquent phrase: “in a last effort, soldiers and volunteers managed to stop the Red Army offensive at the gates of Warsaw” hides how the success of this “last effort” was made possible. He also implies that the war was triggered by Soviet Russia (we don't say the Soviet Union, because that wasn't formed until two years later, in 1922). We will show later how much the fallacies of the indomitable journalist who authored the communiqué are worth.

From the outset, it should be noted that the “message” from the Polish neo-fascist leaders was actually a counter message to Vladimir Putin. Commenting last July on the war that has been fought in Ukraine since 2014 (and not 2022, as the NATO cartel maintains), Vladimir Putin addressed an ironic warning to the current leaders of Poland, reminding them that the current territory of their country , annexed by the Third Reich in 1939, was granted to them by Stalin in 1945.

The greatest irony is that the Polish extreme right, the hegemonic force in the country, which includes the head of government Mateusz Morawiecki and president Andrzej Duda, both from the extreme right party euphemistically titled Law and Justice, ardently aims to reconquer vast territories of Ukraine and Belarus which the clerical-fascist regime of Marshal Pilsudski had taken over in 1920, taking advantage of the terrible difficulties of the Soviet power, which was facing the counterrevolutionary forces of the tsarist generals supported by French imperialism. The Polish offensive reached Kiev in May of that year. It would have gone further had it not been for the Red Army's counteroffensive, led by Kamenev and Tukhatchevsky, which drove the invaders back as far as Warsaw.

France and England, the two imperialist powers that had emerged victorious from the carnage of 1914-1918, assumed a tutelary role in guaranteeing the bourgeois order established in devastated Europe. Alarmed by the advance of the Bolsheviks to the gates of the Polish capital, they quickly mounted a military intervention to save the Pilsudski regime and stop the prospect, for them catastrophic, of the Red Army continuing the offensive until it joined with the German revolutionary proletariat.

Weygand, one of the leading generals in the French armed forces during the great war just ended, was dispatched to Warsaw to assume command of the two hundred officers who made up the French military mission to aid Pilsudski. He launched a successful counteroffensive in August, which in two weeks reversed the situation, making the Red Army retreat to the Minsk-Molodechno line. Tukhatchevsky, once again, stopped the Poles, but he lacked the human and material means to counterattack.

The divergences that this very difficult situation aroused among Soviet leaders are well known. Lenin's opinion prevailed, accepting a peace agreement that implied ceding to the Poles vast territories, mainly Ukrainian, in order to save the essential: the survival of the October Revolution still threatened by the internal counterrevolution. The Red Army recovered those territories only in 1939, during the validity of the non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany. For a short time.

Less than two years later, on June 22, 1941, after easily conquering France and its surroundings, Hitler launched the gigantic Operation Barbarossa, during which about 4 million soldiers from Germany and its European satellites, from Finland to Romania , invaded the Soviet Union, unleashing a deluge of fire, lead, steel and explosives. They were arrested and repelled at the gates of Moscow in December of the same year.

On the way there and on the way back (which only ended in Berlin in early May 1945), the Wehrmacht and the SS carried out systematic operations to exterminate the peoples they classified as “Untermenschen”. At terrible human and material cost, the Red Army and the Soviet people shattered the invaders' war machine.

In February 1945, at the Yalta conference, which brought together the three great powers with victory already within reach, Roosevelt and Churchill agreed with Stalin that the territories of Belarus and Ukraine, conquered in 1920 by Marshal Pilsudski, would be returned to the Soviet Union. In July 1945, meeting at the Potsdam conference, the leaders of those same powers corroborated the Yalta decisions and, to compensate Poland, granted it a vast territory of more than 100.000 km to the west.2, which stretched to the Oder and Neisse rivers and until then was part of the German Reich. Vladimir Putin's tongue-in-cheek advice to Poles contains good history lessons.

*João Quartim de Moraes He is a retired full professor at the Department of Philosophy at Unicamp. Author, among other books, of The military left in Brazil (popular expression)(https://amzn.to/3snSrKg).


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