Disinfo: Poland and Western democracies cooperated with Hitler

Summary

We cannot forget that before the German attack on Poland, the authorities of this country were ready to cooperate with Hitler and were connected to Germany by an agreement. The Poles even attacked Czechoslovakia taking part in the division of spoils. Stalin could not trust in the fact that the Polish Army would not be used for a German attack on the USSR. […] It is known that initially, Stalin tried to find allies among Western democracies, which, however, counted on the clash of two totalitarian systems. This conflict would have destroyed their potential, enabling Western capitals to reconstruct devastated Eastern and Central Europe, not without profit for itself. In the 1930s, the Western democracies had enough force to suppress Hitler’s aggression in the bud and the USSR offered them a coalition against Hitler. Although, they were afraid of Bolshevism, so that is why they preferred Hitler.

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 the statements that the USSR was forced to sign this pact; other European countries signed various international agreements with Adolf Hitler, Munich Agreement triggered WWII and various historical conspiracies saying that the Western democracies wanted to inspire a war between Nazism and Communism. The claim that Poland was “an ally of Nazi Germany” goes against all available historical documents. Before WWII, Poland had tense political relations with Nazi Germany, which expressed open territorial claims on 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 part of the Nazi block. According to the pre-war plans of Hitler, Poland was supposed to be part of the “living space”/ Lebensraum for the Third Reich, a large part of its territory was planned to be incorporated into the German state and millions of Poles and Polish Jews were supposed to be exterminated. The Munich Agreement (September 30, 1938), indeed, permitted German annexation of the Sudetenland in western Czechoslovakia. The policy of appeasement towards Adolf Hitler was heavily criticised in Europe and proved to be a disastrous move. World War II began in Europe one year later, on 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland. The signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was a mutual decision of two totalitarian regimes (Nazi Germany and the Stalinist USSR) aimed at the division of Eastern and Central Europe between these two powers. It is a proven fact that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact contained the Secret Supplementary Protocol, which assumed the division of Poland and other Eastern European countries between the USSR and Germany. Thus, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact enabled the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in the occupation of this country by Germany and USSR, triggering the beginning of WWII. Read similar examples of the Russian historical revisionism concerning this issue - Signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact thwarted the UK’s expansionist plans in Europe, The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact did not violate the rights of the Polish state, The shift of all blame for WWII outbreak at the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact the best example of manipulation of history. [Note: This opinion piece contained other disinformation about the removal of the Konev monument in Prague and Western countries revising WWII history to evade responsibility for allowing Hitler to gather strength for the attack on the USSR.]

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 196
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Polish
  • Country: UK, Russia, Germany, Poland, France
  • Keywords: USSR, Anti-Russian, Historical revisionism, WWII, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Nazi/Fascist

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.

see more

Poroshenko and Lutsenko hide their and their “Western allies’” involvement in Euromaidan

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko are attempting to hide their and their “Western allies’” involvement in the shooting of civilians and policemen in 2014 during Euromaidan.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Euromaidan protests and a coup d'etat in Ukraine. According to a 2015 report of International Advisory Panel on Maidan investigations, “--- the PGO investigation found evidence relatively quickly to the effect that a Berkut unit had killed 39 protesters with AKS 7.62mm calibre weapons on 20February 2014.” 2015 ICC Report on Preliminary Examination Activities states that “(t)he acts of violence do not appear to be a mere aggregate of random acts, but rather evidence a pattern of behaviour suggesting that such acts formed part of a campaign or operation against the Maidan protest movement. In this respect, it is noted that the alleged acts committed share common features in terms of their characteristics and nature (including in relation to a pattern of excessive and indiscriminate use of force, such as during public order operations, and the means used, such as batons, firearms and other special means), the population targeted (Maidan protesters and other civilians in the vicinity of the protests), the alleged perpetrators (state security forces –most often the Berkut and Interior Troops –and titushky), and locations (mainly the sites of demonstrations, predominantly in the city centre of Kyiv and to a lesser extent in other regions and cities in Ukraine, such as Cherkasy and Dnipropetrovsk)." The New York Times also established that “Berkut” forces were behind the killings that took place on 18-21 February 2014. Finally, 'Euromaidan' was not a coup but a nationwide popular protest against the government's sudden announcement that it would not sign the promised EU Association Agreement. See the full debunk here. Read similar disinformation cases alleging that far-right influence on Ukrainian politics grew after 2014 Kyiv coup, that Euromaidan was a coup led by fascists and that civilian killings during Euromaidan were orchestrated by opposition leaders. Also see related cases claiming that the US brought Poroshenko to power via an armed coup and that President Poroshenko was brought to power by the US and Ukrainian oligarchs in order to establish a nationalist regime in Ukraine.

NATO illegally expanded to the borders of Russia

Russia was never an aggressor. It was always attacked by the West. […] In 1990 Germany was reunited, but NATO illegally expanded to the borders of Russia. Now the Cordon Sanitaire against Russia is back. Russia’s security interests must always be considered by the West.

Disproof
This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West encircling Russia via NATO. The NATO enlargement was not "illegal". NATO Allies take decisions by consensus and these are recorded. There is no record of any such decision having been taken by NATO. Even if there was a personal assurance from an individual leader, it could not replace Alliance consensus and does not constitute a formal NATO agreement. This promise was never made, as confirmed by Mikhail Gorbachev, then-president of the Soviet Union. Central and Eastern European countries began seeking NATO membership in the early 1990s. NATO actively sought to create a cooperative environment that was conducive to enlargement while simultaneously building special relations with Russia. NATO does not "expand" in the imperialistic sense described by pro-Kremlin media. Rather, it considers the applications of candidate countries who want to join the alliance based on their own national will. As such, NATO enlargement is not directed against Russia. NATO's "Open Door Policy" is based on Article 10 of the Alliance's founding document, the North Atlantic Treaty (1949). The Treaty states that NATO membership is open to any "European state in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area". Every sovereign nation has the right to choose its own security arrangements. This is a fundamental principle of European security and one to which Russia has also subscribed. For similar cases, see here and here.

White Helmets are frank falsifiers

The White Helmets are still doing everything they can to prove to the international community that Syrian President Bashar Assad is poisoning his people with either bleach or sarin-zaman-V-gases. And Washington itself is doing everything possible to make people believe these frank falsifiers. Because [the US] needs to throw Assad out at any cost.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative deflecting blame for chemical attacks away from the Assad regime. It also aims to discredit the OPCW in addition to labelling the White Helmets as terrorists or as accomplices of terrorist organisations by staging and/or perpetrating chemical attacks. These claims are not supported by evidence. The UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism found Syria’s Government responsible for the April 2017 attack in Khan Shaykhun. On April 2018, Russia vetoed a US-drafted UN Security Council resolution that would have created a new inquiry to ascertain responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. In June 2018, the OPCW members granted it the power to assign responsibility for chemical attacks. Read more about the “alleged” usage of chemical weapons in Douma. For more disinformation cases attempting to discredit the OPCW, see here. [Note: Another disinformation case from the same article is that it is false to assign equal responsibility for the outbreak of WWII to the USSR as to Nazi Germany.]