Disinfo: Poland is rewriting history of Second World War

Summary

Poland has been revising that devastating conflict’s history for quite some time, seeking to shun any responsibility relating to events during that period, while presenting itself as a victim of both Nazi and Soviet aggression and occupation.

Warsaw has been removing monuments to Soviet soldiers who died while liberating the city from Nazi Germany occupation, and also initiated an EU Parliament resolution in September, which claims that the 1939 non-aggression pact between Moscow and Berlin had “paved the way for the outbreak of the Second World War.”

This last move did not sit well with Moscow, which labeled it a falsification of history. Putin himself eventually joined the heated debate between the two nations, when he called Jozef Lipski, the Polish ambassador to Berlin from 1934 to 1939, “a bastard and an anti-Semitic pig.”

The Russian president referred to the fact that the envoy had promised Adolf Hitler that Poles would “erect for him a beautiful monument in Warsaw” if he expelled all European Jews to Africa. Warsaw took offense to Putin’s remarks, though no one disputed Lipski’s words, which have long been known to the public.

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.

The European Parliament resolution in question stresses the fact that WWII was an immediate result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. It aims to promote historical remembrance of the Second World War, and is supported by broad consensus on the causes of its outbreak.

Putin's remarks about Lipski have indeed been disputed, not least by Poland's chief rabbi Michael Schudrich who has called them "scandalous" and "taken totally out of context." See here for our full disproof concerning Lipski's stance on Hitler and the European Jewry.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 180
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 18/01/2020
  • Outlet language(s) English
  • Country: USSR, Poland, Germany, Russia
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, World War 2, Historical revisionism, USSR, Adolf Hitler, Nazi/Fascist
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Ukraine is under foreign control since independence

Unfortunately, from the very first moment of Ukraine’s independence, our country has been under systematic external control. We have been given advice that is incompatible with our successful living.

Disproof

Unfounded claim, no evidence given. Recurring Kremlin disinformation narrative about Ukraine, which it claims is under external control from the US or EU. Ukraine is a sovereign state, not controlled by any foreign government. Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are respected by almost the whole world, including the EU.

Poland tries to adjust history to politics, misinterpreting the historical facts

Warsaw tries to adjust history to politics. Due to the current political situation, within the so-called historical policy, the historical facts are interpreted in a way, which often does not have any connection to history. They are adapted to justify the current political goals.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it accuses Poland of “falsification and re-writing” of its history and of the alleged information war against Russia. According to this policy, the Russian official historiography is the only “true” way of interpretation of historical events for the countries of Eastern and Central Europe.

Both Nazi Germany and the Stalinist USSR were harsh totalitarian regimes, which directly caused the deaths of tens of millions of people. It is a proven 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.

The Polish economy was revived thanks to the Soviet Union

The USSR provided huge economic assistance to ruined Poland, and the Polish economy was revived thanks to the Soviet Union. The recent statements of the Polish authorities is another attempt to rewrite history according to the current anti-Russian sentiments prevailing among the Polish elite. The USSR not only liberated Poland but also helped to rebuild this country.

Disproof

This message is part of Russian historical revisionism and part of a disinformation campaign portraying the USSR as a peacemaker and liberator.

The Sovietisation of Poland and other countries of the so-called Eastern Bloc after WWII was accompanied by terror, massive repressions, nationalisation of industry, expropriation of privately owned land, destruction of market economy and restrictions of civil and political freedoms. The Warsaw Treaty Organisation (the Warsaw Pact) was the Soviet Union’s “external empire”, where people faced daily strife, including shortages of food and housing. Read more about life in Poland under the Communist rule. As a result of the post-war Soviet “economic assistance”, the Polish economy was turned into an inefficient Communist-type economy, unable to provide its citizens with a decent level of life.