Poland, Russia, Masha Gessen discussed on On The Media


Election. I spoke with Newyorker writer Masha Gessen, who, after having lived long under Vladimir Putin had some advice for anxious Americans trying to navigate the so called new normal. She explained that for the would be authoritarian, the lying is the point that the ability to create a reality flagrantly staring down conspicuous fact. Is a crucial component of building and sustaining power. And last fall boxes, David Roberts noted bluntly, where such a strategy left unchecked, could lead to the sort of cultish increasingly authoritarian movement takes over the country. In Russia and Turkey and Poland. Right's a disturbingly longer and longer list. We see countries that we thought were democracies. Devolve into this. In the U. S. So much has happened in the last few years that we thought would never happen. I think we should really loosen up our imaginations as to what can happen when a movement that is convinced that everything it knows and loves is in danger of falling apart movements that's thinking like that unconnected anymore to fax or reality. And got its hands on the power of the federal government is the basic recipe for democracy is falling apart. And so last fall on, the media producer Leia Feder reported on one of those places Poland, a young democracy teetering on unstable ground and where it's far right Nationalist government is intent on rewriting the nation's painful history. For almost a decade, Poland has been in the grip of a conspiracy theory what really happened when a plane crashed in the forest in western Russia, killing Poland's president and dozens of other government officials. The plane had been on route to commemorate another Polish tragedy, a massacre that had occurred in the very same location in 1940. 1973 documentary explored the mystery. While the German army is advancing from the West, the Soviets crossed Poland's eastern front court. In a method furnish army collapsed, Um, surrendered. The victors, divided the country down the middle and imprisoned every soldier they captured. Russia took a 215,000 half Poland officer corps were never seen alive again. Many would die near Smolensk, in a forest called captain after decades of opacity and suspicion on investigation in the early nineties, confirmed finally that it was not Hitler. But Stalin, who had ordered the massacre. And so when, on April 10th 2010 a delegation of 96 Polish politicians and officials traveled from Warsaw to Smolensk. It was in service of remembrance and reconciliation. What happened instead compounded the national pain. Poland's prime minister burst into tears when he heard the news today that his country's president was killed in a plane crash pilot tried.

Coming up next