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70th anniversary of WWII

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message 1: by Erma (new)

Erma Odrach | 4 comments Today, Sept. 1/09 marks the 70th anniversary of WWII. The question remains: who started WWII? Was it Hitler or was Stalin also responsible? Last July the EU and the OSCE passed a resolution stating that both Stalin and Hitler, with the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that carved up Europe, were both equally to blame. As Germany moved in on the Westerplatte fortress in western Poland, just over two weeks later the Red Army launched an attack on eastern Poland. But Putin and Russia's president, Dmitry Medvedev, argue that Stalin's actions were "necessary", and the two are now going about setting up bodies to challenge, as Medvedev puts it, the "falsification of history".


I have to admit, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact touches a very special nerve in my system because my father, author Theodore Odrach, lived in Vilnius and later Pinsk (then both a part of eastern Poland) when Bolshevik troops moved in. For anyone interested in this part of the war, my father wrote a novel, Wave of Terror, which details the atrocities committed by the Soviets during this time. His book is set in the Pinsk Marshes in southwestern Belarus, the same location as the movie "Defiance". Though fiction, Wave of Terror is heavily based on eyewitness accounts, and according to my mother (I was a child when my father died and I hardly knew him), almost all the events and people are real. I should also add, I'm my father's translator and we're Publishers Weekly and TLS approved.

As for who started the Second World War, the debate continues. But what's indisputable here is the fact that the war gave birth to two monsters both at the same time.

message 2: by Katherine (new)

Katherine (sandrakay) | 2 comments Thank you for posting this information. I added this book to my to read list. Hopefully your book will go a long way to prevent revisionist history from glossing over any atrocities. I agree Hitler and Stalin were both monsters whose impact can still be noted in my generation. Glad that you have translated your father's words into English. I look forward to reading this part of history.

message 3: by Erma (new)

Erma Odrach | 4 comments Hi Katherine,
Thanks so much for your interest. The eastern front is too often overlooked, and yet millions lost their lives, both to the Russians and later the Germans (and then to the Russians again). The very sad part is that the setting for Wave of Terror today finds itself in the Chernobyl Zone, and the "yellow" prison figuring prominantly in the book is now a cancer hospital. When I traveled to Pinsk, seeing it was very disturbing.

message 4: by Katherine (new)

Katherine (sandrakay) | 2 comments You should consider writing your own book in search of the history. It would be very interesting. I know my family on my mother's side comes from Russia, Hungary and Germany but I do not know many details about them. I have pictures without names and bits and pieces of stories. I recently traveled to the Czech Republic and to Hungary. I was so glad to see that some of the old world still existed and was not destroyed by war and life under the Soviets. It is hard visiting these places and not feeling that there are ghosts. (figurative)

message 5: by Erma (new)

Erma Odrach | 4 comments I went to Belarus area several years ago, and there's so much historic/political denial everywhere, maybe fear. When people talked of the Great Patriotic War it was loud and clear, but when they spoke of Salinist oppression, it was always under their breaths. I don't believe nations can heal unless they confront their pasts. You talk of ghosts and it's so true. During my visit I felt like I was walking on corpses.

Would love to visit Prague one day. It`s beautiful from what I`ve seen and read.

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