MARCH 5 – Sometimes history is like that.
On 5 March 1940, Stalin signs an order to murder 22,000 members of the Polish elites, including Army officers taken as prisoners of war in September of the previous year, when the Soviet Union invaded Poland in accordance with the stipulations of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact.
The officers are murdered and buried across a number of different locations, but one in particular – the Katyn Forest in the present-day Belarus – lends its name to the entire crime and enters history as a particularly infamous instance of a communist atrocity.
The Soviet Union goes on denying the responsibility almost right until its very end.
On 5 March 1946, Winston Churchill contributes to the vocabulary of the 20th century in his speech at Westminster College in Missouri when he talks about an “iron curtain” descending across Europe and cutting off the east from the west.
On 5 March 1953, Stalin dies a long and painful (but nowhere near long and painful enough) death in his dacha near Moscow.
P.S. Also on 5 May, in 2013, Venezuela’s socialist ruler, Hugo Chavez, permanently moves on to the workers’ paradise.