Saturday, January 24, 2004
"In any case, when the Soviet archives were opened after the fall of the Soviet tyranny in 1991, I hungrily devoured all the information inherent in the revelations in declassified documents, disclosures from former Soviet officials, etc. They all confirmed and substantiated what conservatives had been arguing for decades -- and what common sense had long ago instructed -- that the Soviets were totalitarian, power-hungry and expansionist brutes that started and prolonged the Cold War.
When I approached my colleagues with this new evidence, ranging from everything from the issues of the Korean war, Berlin, Soviet espionage, American communists’ links with the Soviet regime, etc., I showed how I had been correct on every issue that we had argued about for years.
And yet, instead of hearing a mea culpa, a stated regret or admission of some kind of lesson learned, all that I witnessed, in a manner that remains extremely eerie for me to remember, was a callous indifference and smug contempt for the issues at hand. Some of my colleagues articulated a few incomprehensible justifications of their positions; others just switched topics with remarkable speed and ominous neglect. All of them condescended to me for being interested in something so “old” and “ancient.” They patiently counselled me, with a disdain and arrogance that I will never forget, to stop chasing “old ghosts” and “engaging in necrophilia.”
And these were historians.
I have to say, I left the world of academia somewhat shell-shocked and angry. There was something very frightening that I had been exposed to, but I wasn’t completely sure what it was. I felt as if I had been poisoned and it took me awhile to get those people out of my system."
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