Sixty five years have passed since the end of World War II and nearly twenty since the disintegration of the USSR, but the legacy of past actions and decisions continues impacting people who live in nations that once were part of the old Soviet Union. No where is this more evident than the country of Belarus which is ruled by a Soviet style dictator, Alexander Lukashenko and his fist is made of iron. During post WWII changes in territory and boundaries a large Polish group became trapped in Belarus and when the Soviet Union collapsed they became a minority in a country run by a man who brooked no opposition.
Lukashenko has initiated a crackdown on the Union of Poles which represents many of the 400,000 Polish people who are treated as second class citizens. Poland has warned Luakshenko it will block European Union aid to his country if discrimination continues against Poles in his nation and the EU has also made clear it will block funds.
The past looms large in the lives of so many people in eastern Europe, but, probably no more intensely than for Poles in Belarus.