Mar 27, 2005

One can wish...

...for more often updates, perhaps? Well, I guess not. Still, I have not abandoned the blog. Just that I am busy working on Wiki (and my doctoral studies seem to have finally picked a pace up...more on that later).

Central and Eastern Europe have been a site of much war and destruction over the last few hundred years. But in alternate history, this could have been different, for example, if one man dream would have became a reality:

In 1919 Józef Piłsudski envisioned a federation (the "Federation of Międzymorze"), a Polish-led confederation comprising Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine and other Central and East European countries now emerging out of the crumbling empires after the First World War. The new union would have had borders similar to those of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the 15th–18th centuries; and it was to be a counterweight to, and restraint upon, any imperialist intentions of Russia or Germany. It might have made central Europe into a "Third Europe" invulnerable to Poland's historic antagonists, Germany and Russia.

It might have. It didn't, since it never happened. Soviets pulled all strings they could to prevent this. Western Allies feared that weakened Germany and Russia may not be able to pay First World War reparations, and that the balance of power in Europe would be offset too much by the newly independent countries. Lithuanians, Ukrainians and many other nations that were approached for entry into the Miedzymorze federation were afraid of any compromise limiting their own, dearly awaited independence, and in many cases had good reasons to be wary of Poland, as various border conflicts and even all-out wars divided their new, respective governments (especially the Polish-Lithuanian War, Polish-Ukrainian War and border conflicts between Poland and Czechoslovakia). Finally, many Polish politicians like Roman Dmowski were opposed to the idea of multi-cultural federation, prefering the creation of nationalistic, pure-ethinic Polish country. Eventually, Piłsudki's dream was lost in the aftermath of the Polish-Soviet War, and the alliance between Central and Eastern European countries was never formed. Less then two decades after Piłsudski first articulated the proposal, and five years after his death, all of the countries that so persistently guarded their independence were again swallowed by their neigbours - Germany and the Soviet Union.

One can only wonder what would our world look today if Piłsudski's dream became a reality. I can't help but think that for the war ravaged European countries this alternative world would be a better one...

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