Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin dominate the second world war and the second world war continues to dominate us. It was a special war, and in Central Europe, one that ended in ambiguity according to Robert Kostro, Director of the Museum of Polish History.
Click here to watch the full interview.
This ambiguity, that Eastern Europe exchanged one murderous regime for another while Western Europe could rejoice in liberation, formed the substance of a historical conference, “The Burden of Victory” organised by the Museum on 8 May.
It brought together European historians to debate various aspects of the war - memory, legal and historiographical.
Robert Kostro acknowledged that there was a dominant Allied interpretation regarding the second world war, but since the collapse of communism, historical debate has become freer and the eastern European experience has become included in it.
National governments too have their historical policies that compete in the arena of debate. Russia seems to be the prime example of conflating historical truth with creation-mythmaking and this type of thinking needs to be challenged.
The complexity and diversity of interpretation is a necessary part of the debate and forms the core of historical thinking and writing. The conference was a valuable piece in that puzzle and more interviews with some of the contributors will follow on PolandIN.
To watch the international online conference "Burden of Victory: The Second World War and its Consequences from the Perspective of 75 Years since its End" use the links below:
The Second World War and its Consequences from the Perspective of 75 Years since its End. Panel 1.
The Second World War and its Consequences from the Perspective of 75 Years since its End. Panel 2.
The Second World War and its Consequences from the Perspective of 75 Years since its End. Panel 3.