Disinfo: Poland’s refusal to allow Soviet troops to enter their territory led to Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact

Summary

Poland was not an innocent victim of Nazi aggression. The history and uncomfortable facts of Polish foreign policy should not remain hidden. Poland’s refusal to allow Soviet troops to enter their territory led, in August 1939, to the failure of negotiations between the USSR, France and the UK and forced the Soviet leadership to accept Germany’s proposal of a non-aggression pact, signed on 23rd August 1939.

Polish officials who attack President Putin’s vision of the history of World War II are adopting a Stalinist mind-set and Stalinist-type rhetoric, claiming that their point of view is the only correct one.

Disproof

This message is a part of the ongoing Russian disinformation campaign against Poland claiming that Poland was a Nazi ally and was the main instigator of WWII. This narrative claims that Poland can only blame itself because its alleged provocatory behaviour towards the the Soviet Union was a key factor in the Soviet leadership’s decision to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and also in triggering German and Soviet attacks on Poland in September 1939.

The accusations that Poland was a Nazi ally and posed a “military threat” to the USSR are not confirmed by any available historical documents. 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”). Despite intense political pressure from Hitler, Poland refused to become a part of the Nazi block.

The accusation that the Polish authorities, by their refusal to allow Soviet troops to enter their territory, forced the Soviet leadership to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and triggered the Soviet army's subsequent intervention in Poland in September 1939 is a clear historical manipulation. It is a 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. The agreement to create a new German-Soviet border in the middle of Poland, as well as to consign Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland to a “Soviet sphere of interest”, was part of the secret protocol.

Thus, the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact directly caused the German and Soviet military aggression against Poland in September 1939, which resulted in its complete occupation by Germany and the USSR. Soviet ethnic cleansing of Eastern Poland and the Baltic states began immediately after the invasion with the arrest of hundreds of thousands of Poles and Balts and their deportation to concentration camps and settlements in the east.

Read similar cases claiming that Poland was an ally of Nazi Germany and had a role in the outbreak of World War II that some European countries, especially Poland, had conspired with Nazi Germany, that Poland posed a military threat to the USSR in 1938-39 that the Soviet Union was forced and reluctant to sign the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 184
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 08/02/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Russia, Germany, Poland
  • Keywords: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Putin, Joseph Stalin
  • Outlet: Sputnik Italia
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Nazi-Soviet pact was not the cause of WWII

Russia has become locked in a dispute with Poland and the Baltic States over the origins of WWII after the European Parliament passed a resolution in September on the history of the conflict. The resolution claimed that the 1939 non-aggression treaty between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany led to the start of the war. The responsibility for WWII lies with the Polish elite who ruled the country in the 30s, who were the first to conclude a non-aggression pact with Hitler in 1934, who were allied to him, who participated in the division of Czechoslovakia with Hitler and who received territorial acquisitions from the Munich conspiracy when Czechoslovakia was surrendered to Hitler.

Historians in the West, in Poland, in Europe, in the USA even earlier have held the point of view that allegedly the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact initiated the Second World War.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative distorting the events of the Second World War and accusing Poland of historical revisionism.

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.