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Honor was one motive that seemed singularly lacking as inspiration for Poland's new rulers, men who struck Churchill as "the greatest villains imaginable". In their inscrupulous drive for power, they were ever ready to use trickery, flattery, and deceit. Yet they had redeeming virtues that were particularly timely in their country's dire predicament: a devotion to its national interest as they understood it and a readiness to uphold it even to Stalin. Rather than being his eager stooges, they were harbingers of a Poland that in the end would reemerge from its travails, not an independent nation to be sure but still Moscow's most difficult, as well as most respected, satellite.
In the ruins of Warsaw, the romantic Policsh propensity for gallant but hopeless resistance succumbed along with the elite of old Poland, and a new pragmatism was born. The dual experience of Soviet cynicism and Nazi barbarity proved a sobering lesson for the nation in general and its new ruling elite in particular. Nowhere in Soviet eastern Europe would be the veneer of the Communists' devotion to their official creed be as thin as in Poland, and nowhere would be abuses of Stalinism be more effectively mitigated by leniency. The frightful memories that the Communists shared with the rank and file of their compatriots sealed an unwritten compact between the rulers and the ruled: to make life livable again, certail minimum standards of civility had to be maintained.
Vojtech Mastny "Russia's Road to the Cold War. Diplomacy, Warfare, and the Politics of Communism, 1941-1945" Columbia University Press. 1979