Disinfo: Poland does not want to know the truth about its past

Summary

A number of Eastern European countries do not want to know the truth about their past. It is about cooperation with the Nazi occupiers. For example, in Poland, they caught escaped war prisoners and brought them back to the Nazis. The same happened with Jews. National historical schools avoid these facts, especially in Poland. They make their people look more as a victim and do not admit guilt in complicity.

These countries, and Poland, first of all, need to make a moral effort and, finally, recognise the presence of dark spots in their history – cooperation with the Germans. Otherwise, there would not have been so many victims, including among war prisoners.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and part of the ongoing disinformation attack on Poland. It accuses Europe of "covering-up facts about the Second World War". According to this policy, the official Russian historiography is the only “true” way of interpreting the historical events about WWII.

It is an undeniable historical fact that both Nazi Germany and the Stalinist USSR were totalitarian regimes, which directly caused the deaths of tens of millions of people. Moreover, these two regimes are mutually responsible for the outbreak of WWII. It is a historical 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.

According to mainstream Polish historians and the views of the predominant part of Polish society, in 1944-1945 the USSR occupied Poland, establishing the undemocratic and repressive Communist Poland. Poland was kept under the Soviet sphere of influence until 1989.

Following the German and Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939, the country was divided between those two occupiers. Nazi concentration camps, aimed at exterminating the Jews, were built on the Polish territory at the time when it was occupied by Nazi Germany. While incidents of Poles attacking and denouncing Jews were recorded, a substantial group of Poles risked their lives during the German occupation to save Jews from Nazi extermination. Artur Hofman, chairman of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, the largest Jewish organization in the country, emphasized that Israelis know that Poles were not complicit in the Holocaust. He called the Russian attempt to blame Poles for cooperation with Hitler “a provocation”.

The European Parliament called the World War II the bloodiest tragedy of the century, which resulted in millions of victims of authoritarian regimes both of fascist Germany and the USSR. The European Parliament adopted a resolution, describing the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 23 August 1939 as a key element, causing World War II.

Read similar disinformation cases claiming that Warsaw supported Hitler’s plan to expel Polish Jews to Africa, that Poles killed more than 400,000 Jews during WWII, and that Facts about WWII are being covered-up in Europe in order to conceal “unpleasant moments” in its own history.

Read a statement from the Polish MFA on false narratives on World War II presented by the Russian Federation here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue182
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 22/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Poland
  • Keywords: Eastern Europe, Historical revisionism, WWII, 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.

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Poles obsessively try to whitewash Hitler’s history

Poles are obsessively attempting to whitewash Hitler’s history after President Vladimir Putin exposed the relationship between Poland and Nazi Germany, and then they begin to accuse the Soviet Union of igniting World War II.

On December 24, Putin called the former Polish ambassador to Nazi Germany, who proposed setting up a statue of Hitler for his promise to expel the Jews to Africa, as “a bastard and anti-Semitic pig.”

The meeting between Hitler and the Polish ambassador Józef Lipski was not the first occasion at which the “Jewish question” was discussed between representatives of Nazi Germany and the government of Poland at the time.

The “Jewish issue” was discussed regularly between the two sides, and on October 24, 1938, German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop announced in a meeting with the aforementioned Polish ambassador that he “sees the question of colonialism and the transfer of Jews as a possibility for cooperation between Poland and Germany.”

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative professing the unimpeachability of Soviet decision-making before and during the Second World War; minimizing the role of the 1939-41 Nazi-Soviet alliance in provoking conflict; and accusing Poland of historical revisionism.

The Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939 is an objective fact, not an exercise in revisionism. This two-sided aggression was waged in accordance with the provisions of the Nazi-Soviet pact, which entitled the Third Reich and the USSR to clearly defined spheres of influence in a series of secret protocols.

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Disproof

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March 5, 1946, Churchill announced his “Iron Curtain” against communism

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Disproof

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Churchill emphasises in this speech Russia's decisive role in defeating the Nazis and welcomes Russia as "one of the leading nations of the world".

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