16 September 2020 — Indian Punchline
Signing ceremony of The Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany: Foreign Ministers of USA, UK, USSR, France, GDR, FRG (from left to right) ; Moscow, September 12, 1990
“I look for the land of the Poles that is lost to the Germans, for the moment at least. Nowadays the Germans have started searching for Poland with credits, Leicas, and compasses, with radar, divining rods, delegations, and moth-eaten provincial students’ associations in costume. Some carry Chopin in their hearts, others thoughts of revenge. Condemning the first four partitions of Poland, they are busily planning a fifth; in the meantime flying to Warsaw via Air France in order to deposit, with appropriate remorse, a wreath on the spot that was once the ghetto. One of these days they will go searching for Poland with rockets. I, meanwhile, conjure up Poland on my drum. And this is what I drum: Poland’s lost, but not forever, all’s lost, but not forever, Poland’s not lost forever.” (The Tin Drum, Günter Grass)
(Part 1 of this three-part essay can be seen here.)
The Russian diplomacy, which has a glorious tradition in modern history, does not make its moves accidentally or impulsively. The historical consciousness is intense. Memories from the past and the present lie deeply embedded, hopelessly entangled in the collective consciousness. A little-noticed fact remains to be that the Russian-Chinese statement of September 11 was released on the eve of the thirtieth anniversary of The Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany.
Continue reading →