This is a blog for use in both of my HIS 241 and HIS 242 Russian history survey courses at Northern Virginia Community College.

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11 October 2012

Russian History Free Digital Versions at Pitt Press

The University of Pittsburgh Press has unveiled a great new feature, free digital versions of quite a few Russian history monographs that have been published by the press in the last twenty years or so.  Some of these are pretty standard works.  Check at for a complete list.  (I found 53 listed under the topic Russia and Eastern Europe.)

01 October 2012

Katyn Revisited

A recent AP News story headlined, Memos show US hushed up Soviet crime, by Randy Herschaft and Vanessa Gera.
The gist of the article was that it appears that the US government might have had some credible evidence during the war about the Russian massacre of Polish POWs that took place on the orders of Stalin.
American and British POWs views the site of the massacre (Germans took them there and made then inspect the site to prove that it was the Russians who carried out the killings.)   It is unclear exactly at what level of the US government the information stopped and was not passed on (It is not clear what really could have been done, although one could argue it might have given Roosevelt and his key advisers a different appreciation of Stalin when it cam time to meet at Yalta.  Perhaps, the history of Eastern and Central Europe might have been different, but that remains problematic as the Red Army was already there.).  I would like to review the documents, when they do become available, to see if we can identify what exactly what level of the government the information stopped.
Now the other issue that I have is the reluctance of the US government (despite what Congress concluded in 1952) to assert the guilt of the Russians until the 1990s.  Sometimes political correctness goes too far.
I have course materials available on Katyn.