Disinfo: Poland reached mutual agreement with Nazi Germany and participated in the partition of Czechoslovakia after the Munich Pact

Summary

Moscow considers the attempts by the Polish authorities to blame the Soviet Union for the outbreak of the Second World War unacceptable. Poland reached a mutual agreement with Nazi Germany and participated in the partition of Czechoslovakia after the Munich Pact.

Disproof

This message is a part of the ongoing Russian disinformation campaign against Poland claiming that Poland was an ally and partner of Nazi Germany and was the main instigator of WWII.

The article suggests that it was the Munich Agreement of September 1938 that triggered WWII, a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative that seeks to relativise and erode the disastrous historical role of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact (the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union) and its secret protocols, which divided Eastern and Central Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence. The Munich Pact has historically been seen as a symbol of dangerous “appeasement policy"; it has been widely criticised for its disastrous consequences. Great Britain and France, without inviting Czechoslovakia, decided that for the sake of peace in Europe, the Czechoslovak Sudetenland region, which was predominantly inhabited by Germans, must be surrendered to Germany.

The claim that Poland was “an ally of Nazi Germany” goes against all available historical documents.   German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact of 1934 was a standard international agreement aimed at the mutual recognition of borders and a declaration that existing political conflicts  would be solved through diplomatic tools. There is no historical evidence that this pact contained any secret protocols which assumed common aggressive actions of Germany and Poland against third parties. Moreover, before WWII, Poland had tense political relations with Nazi Germany, which had open territorial claims to Poland (revision of the status of the Free City of Danzig and control over the “Polish Corridor”). The government in Warsaw consistently rebuffed Hitler’s demands that Poland publicly confirm its subservience to German foreign policy by adhering to the anti-Comintern pact.

A theme that recurs in pro-Kremlin propaganda related to the Munich Agreement is that Poland has no right to “currently position itself as an innocent victim of two predators – Hitler and Stalin”, because in autumn 1938, when Czechoslovakia was breaking down, Poland “got its hands” on individual borderland territories. However, Poland has apologised to its neighbour for this action in 1938. For instance, in 2009, the president of Poland Lech Kaczyński called the participation of pre-war Poland in the division of Czechoslovakia “not only a mistake, but a “sin”."

Read previous cases claiming that Poland and Western democracies cooperated with Hitler and that Europe is not yet prepared to admit that Poland and other European countries colluded with Nazi Germany.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 199
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Germany, Poland
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, USSR, Historical revisionism, WWII, Adolf Hitler, Nazi/Fascist
  • Outlet: Sputnik Italia
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Disproof

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It is a lie, that the USSR along with Germany is responsible for the outbreak of the WWII

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Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it accuses the West of the “falsification and re-writing” of WWII history in order to “minimise the role of the USSR in victory over Nazism” and to “get rid of its share of the blame for the outbreak of WWII”. It is also an attempt to erode the disastrous historical role of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

Both Nazi Germany and the Stalinist USSR were harsh totalitarian regimes, which directly caused the deaths of tens of millions of people. The European Parliament resolution on the importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe stressed the fact that WWII was an immediate result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The resolution is aimed at the promotion of historical remembrance about WWII and the condemnation of totalitarian ideologies. Western countries do not question the role of the USSR in the victory over Nazi Germany.