Putin’s Big Lie

In a series of comments in late December, the Russian president appeared to blame Poland for the outbreak of the Second World War.

In the opening scene of the most famous Polish movie of the past two decades, a crowd of anxious, desperate people—on foot, riding bikes, leading horses, carrying bundles—walks onto a bridge. To their immense surprise, they see another group of anxious, desperate people heading toward them, walking from the opposite direction. “People, what are you doing?!” one man shouts. “Turn back! The Germans are behind us!” But from the other side, someone else shouts, “The Soviets attacked us at dawn!” and both sides keep walking. General confusion ensues.

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