Russia's Place in the World: The Struggle for Survival

Russia's Place in the World: The Struggle for Survival

Russia's Place in the World: The Struggle for Survival

Russia's Place in the World: The Struggle for Survival

Synopsis

Prof. Kreutz presents a concise geopolitical and historical background of Russia and the major predicaments that currently hamper its full international integration and acceptance. He outlines the negative and potentially dangerous aspects of the existing situation. In the author's view the Russian Federation, which is a successor state of the Soviet Union and the previous Russian Empire, should not now be treated as a defeated nation on probation. Rather, alongside China, it should be acknowledged as a great independent power with its own political traditions and interests. Only such an approach can secure international peace and cooperation in Europe and Asia, which are needed by all countries of the region and even the world at large.

Excerpt

I was born in Cracow, Poland, three and a half years before the outbreak of World War ii. What I associate with this event are mere snatches of memories, overwhelming panic and the unsuccessful flight of my family, the causes of which were at the time above my understanding. I remember much more from the years of German occupation and the fears and deprivation that occupation caused. the coming of the Soviet Army to Cracow in January 1945 remains in my mind as a great breakthrough, the end of a long nightmare and the beginning of a new, much more normal, life and education. I started to attend Polish school, where in addition to Polish and many other subjects I was taught French and Russian. Though many Poles were not happy with the Soviet (Russian) influence in their country after the war, it was nevertheless an enormous contrast to the years of war and German extermination, and there were many chances for revival and further development.

I started to learn Russian in 1949. I seriously wanted to understand the language, history and culture of this great, and at that time powerful, neighbor of Poland. However, I soon became critical about many aspects of the imposed regime, which included limitations of political and social freedoms, overseas travel and control of the cultural life of the nation. This control was much milder in Poland and more relaxed than in the Soviet Union, and in many ways it was in fact a splendid period in the history of Polish culture, including the cinema, literature, and a flourishing religious life — though there were still enough reasons to be discontent. As I never joined the Communist Party (or any political organization), and was often too outspoken, I began to be seen with suspicion. Because of that, when I was working as an assistant professor at the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun I was not allowed to travel with the university . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.