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After the German atrocities came the Red Army invasion and the installation of Communist regimes, political repression and things like the invasion of Hungary and the Prague Spring.

Very roughly, if you're 30 years old you remember "shock therapy". If you're 60 years old you remember the Soviet satellite regimes. You have to be 90 years old to remember the Nazis. Of course, the Polish Twins were happy to annoy both Germany and Russia, and in the Czech Republic apart from a President whose only political message is "<insert thing Klaus dislikes> is like Communism" they have an ongoing controversy over the Beneš decrees which are perceived to be a symbolic bulwark against the German "return" you talk about.

In addition, Germany did engage in a fair amount of soul-searching in the 1960's. Perestroika might have led to Russia doing the same about now, except that the result of Perestroika was that the USSR imploded instead, followed by "shock therapy" and a nationalistic backlash.

So while I think the Russian bogeyman is ridiculous, I can understand where the sentiment comes from and how sociologically Marek may well be totally correct that a more cooperative relationship between the enlarged EU and Russia "simply isn't going to happen" "in the short term".

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 26th, 2009 at 08:41:13 AM EST
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