Poland IN interviewed Robert Kostro, Director of the Polish National History Museum on the different narratives of Central European history.
See full interview here:
The historian defined narratives of history as “visions of the past that come from experience”. He believes that Central Europe, for a long time could not develop its own narratives of history because of the fact that the totalitarian communist regime only had one version of it.
The allied narrative of history was simple in projecting WWII as a struggle between Germany and the rest. In Central Europe, however, there were two occupiers: Germany and the Soviet Russia.
Germany has now accepted its guilt, even though there has been some “watering down” of late, via references to German civilian suffering and resettlement. But Russia, he feels, has failed to deal with its history. According to Mr Kostro it is still failing to respect the freedom of those countries that broke away from the USSR and insisting that WWII took place only between 1941 and 1945.
In contrast, Poland has nothing to hide in its history argues Robert Kostro. It accepts that the 1938 Munich Conference was a mistake, but it was one that was an attempt to keep peace in Europe. On the other hand the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact of 1939 was in reality an act of war with the division of the spoils clearly defined in a territorial agreement between the two aggressors.