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Coming to the Defense of the Red Army

August 04, 2004

In the Aug. 1 article on the anniversary of the tragic Polish Home Army uprising ("Warsaw Remembers 200,000 Slain in 1944 Uprising"), The Times claims that "the Soviets stood idly by on the east side of the Vistula River" as Germans massacred the inhabitants of Warsaw.

Idly? In fact, the Red Army, after staggering losses in men and tanks during its great summer offensive, was desperately fighting off a counterattack by the three elite SS divisions and two panzer divisions (equipped with the new Super-Tiger tanks) that Hitler had rushed to Warsaw. The Soviet front commander was a Pole (and former prisoner of Josef Stalin), Marshal Rokossovskii, who committed his last armored reserves in a heroic but unsuccessful attempt to break through the German flanks.

The Times, like the rest of the U.S. media, seems determined to ignore or distort the decisive role of the Red Army in the defeat of Hitlerism. I suppose this is one of the spoils of "winning" the Cold War.

Mike Davis

Professor of History

UC Irvine


I was stunned to read in The Times that the Warsaw rebellion failed, "as had the Warsaw Ghetto uprising by the last 60,000 members of Warsaw's Jewish population a year earlier."

The Warsaw Ghetto uprising was launched to strike blows against the Nazi enemy, to assert the dignity and courage of the Jewish people and to inspire freedom fighters throughout the world. In each of those ways, it succeeded magnificently.

Mark Warschauer


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