Disinfo: Hungary, Lithuania and Poland distort their Holocaust past and claim only Germans were responsible

Summary

A number of governments distort their countries’ Holocaust past, including Lithuania, Poland and Hungary, but there are “vocal minorities in other places as well”, where people insist that the Germans, not they themselves, were responsible for all anti-Jewish violence. […] Current Polish authorities try to wipe clean history to make it look more convenient.

Disproof

A recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative on anti-Semitism and an attempt to depict EU member states as anti-Semitic.

Anti-Semitism is a tragic part of European history, and few countries can claim never to have hosted anti-Semitic sentiment. There is also no doubt that the manifestations of anti-Semitism still can be encountered on in the European public discourse. EU and all member states have at several occasions clearly denounced anti-Semitism and committed to combating it.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue180
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: English
  • Country: Hungary, Lithuania, Poland
  • Keywords: Anti-Semitism

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Poland was liberated thanks to the Soviet Army

The Soviet Army liberated Warsaw on January 17, 1945, during the Vistula-Oder offensive. The liberation of the city allowed the Soviet forces to rush strongly and decisively towards the borders of Germany.

During the Warsaw liberation process, about 200,000 Soviet soldiers fell.

Disproof

While the Red Army's contribution to the liberation of Poland is a fact, it did not achieve it single-handedly as is often suggested by pro-Kremlin narratives. The article fails to notice that there was a strong resistance movement in Poland, the Home Army, Armia Krajowa. It was one of the largest resistance groups in occupied Europe, numbering over 350,000 soldiers. In August 1944, as the Red Army was approaching the Eastern Suburbs of Warsaw, Armia Krajowa organised an uprising against the Nazis. But the Soviet advance stopped, allowing Germans to regroup and destroy the city during the suppression of the uprising, which lasted 63 days. The Home Army was disbanded on 19 of January 1945 to avoid civil war and armed conflict with the Soviets.

Red Army's presence in Poland resulted in a repressive communist regime set up by the Soviet Union.

Unlike Iran, Ukraine has not had the courage to acknowledge it shot down a civilian airliner

It takes a lot of political courage [from Iran] to come clean and acknowledge that it accidentally shot down a civilian airliner, something that Ukraine has failed to do for over five and half years since it took down MH-17

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the downing of the flight MH17 and a repeated attempt to discredit Joint International Investigation. 

The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy (or: Pervomaiskyi). At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT), has concluded that the BUK-TELAR used to down MH17, originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation. On the basis of the investigation conducted by the JIT  the Dutch Public Persecution service will persecute 4 individuals for causing the crash of the MH17 and murdering of 289 persons on board.

Poland was an ally of Nazi Germany and had a role in the outbreak of WWII

The fact that they, in the European Parliament, are condemning the Russian view of Poland’s role at the beginning of World War II is logical. On September 19, 2019, the European Parliament passed a resolution on “the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe ”, which blamed Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union for the outbreak of World War II.

This is the position of Poland, Romania, the Baltic states and many others. They want historical justice for themselves, as they see it because for 45 years they have been under the control of the Soviet Union and are now trying to punish Russia for the twentieth century.

This debate was motivated by the Russian President’s statements about World War II and Poland’s role in it. Putin mentioned that, shortly before the war broke out, Poland was with Nazi Germany. In 1938, Poland participated in the division of Czechoslovakia.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and an attempt to erode the disastrous historical role of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact by stating that Poland was a Nazi ally, so it should blame itself.

Claims are not confirmed by any available historical documents. Before WWII, Poland had tense political relations with Nazi Germany, which expressed open territorial claims to Poland (revision of the status of the Free City of Danzig and control over the “Polish Corridor”). Despite intense political pressure from Hitler, Poland consistently refused to become a part of the Nazi block.