In partnership with the Polish National Foundation, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation established a Poland Studies program consisting of two 10-month, residential research fellowships to support publications and events aimed at understanding Polish history. The 20th and 21st century history of Poland can be seen as a microcosm of Western history: it is the story of freedom’s suppression by the forces of Nazism and Communism and liberty’s eventual rebirth. Understanding how these totalitarian systems oppressed the Polish people and how free government was reestablished in their wake better ensures our present and future endeavors to defend liberty against the ideas and forces of tyranny.
Seventy-five years ago this week, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a pact of non-aggression and cooperation. The sinister 1939 pact (along with its secret provisions) between Hitler and Stalin and negotiated by Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and…