Tuesday, Dec 21, 1943
Rarely is a new national anthem front page news. But Russia’s decision to drop “The Internationale” (top video) in favor of an anthem extolling Lenin and Stalin is noteworthy. While the older anthem stressed socialist solidarity and raising up “The wretched of the earth,” the new one is a militant proclamation of “Union indissoluble” whose banner will “Lead us from victory to victory (bottom video). Indeed, art, in this case music, is imitating life as Russia continues to drive west, making gain upon gain in former Nazi territory. But Russian success also brings unease to Eastern European countries sandwiched between Germany and Russia. In fact, success is emboldening Russia to press for “rectification of her western boundary,” according to the New York Times today (p.4). The Polish government, understandably jittery, is requesting assurance that Russia will honor the Polish/Russian boundary from before 1939. The 1939 boundary would give Russia 79,000 additional square miles and 30,000,000 Polish citizens. This situation will not end well.