Two orphans escape from their torched home in a small village. The village—its history, language, and culture—has left an indelible impression with me. So much of the sentiment I have for this region of Poland spin around, for a lack of a better word, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Thousands were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands to live in another country. Each seems to harbour a sense of sadness buried somewhere inside. Melancholy? A feeling of pensive sadness? Perhaps. Even Ukraine’s national anthem seems to reflect this sadness.
The concept of the Soviet Union was built over many different territories and a number of national identities. Powerful nations fought to conquer either Poland or Ukraine, thus laying the foundation for many divisions. History can divide us or we can use it to unite people. It is best to come to grips with the past before embracing a vision for the future.