Snubwatch: Where did the end of the Cold War begin?

A fuss in Poland about a European Union video clip commemorating the end of the Cold War. Poland is mentioned at the beginning — Jaruzelski announcing martial law in 1981 — and that’s pretty much the end of that. No clips of Solidarnosc, no Pope. When things really start to hop in 1989, it’s portrayed as basically a Berlin thing.

I’m not well placed to judge the merits of all this. My hunch is that in other Central and East European countries, people wonder why Poles think the miracle didn’t happen in their countries too. I only note the depth of the hurt feelings here over something that, to many of us, must seem trivial — it’s a Youtube, after all — and point out the obvious reason: because what happened 20 years ago was a miracle. And it amazed everyone who lived through it. And they’d hate to see anyone forget it or overlook it.

These occasional “Snubwatch” features are funny, of course, as we look around the world (or closer to home) for groups or people who fret and worry that somebody’s disrespecting them. But try to imagine you’ve been working for something fundamental all your life. And one day, almost without warning, it happens. And everything changes. And years later you’re not sure anyone even noticed. It would be a strange feeling.

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