Friday, August 20, 1943
Even today the world knows little about the brutal rule of Joseph Stalin. But back in 1943, there was certainly evidence that war had made him a strange and uncomfortable member of the Allied team. While the flap about the Quebec conference made news, typically only small paragraphs here and there informed alert readers about the reality in Eastern Europe: the Russian troops performed heroic feats forcing out Germans there but then established themselves as a new occupying force no less draconian. Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, The Ukraine – all were fair game for Russian expansion and western powers had little ability to protect them. As recently as 1938, Poland and Lithuania were at each other’s throats. Now both trembled at the coming of the Russian Bear. Although occasional editorials called attention to the coming danger, Russia as an ally against Hitler was too important to the war effort – especially to open another front in the Pacific. The post-war consequences of this situation will play out in the Cold War, a string of uprising followed by Russian reprisals, and, finally, a number of successful revolutions. But today’s tension over Crimea and the Ukraine shows it’s not over, even 70 years later. Another important news item: Fathers are certain to be called up in the coming October draft.
And speaking of fathers, what’s the news from Abe and Lois? Today Abe wrote his sister: “Your prediction about Friday the 13th is just as poor as ours about Tuesday the 17th. As far as Daniel is concerned, life is still with mother – he’s not anxious for ‘Life with Father’.”
Light the Sabbath candles and enjoy the moment of peace. It will change soon enough.