President of the Russian Federation V. Putin concerning the pre-history of the World War II
Informal CIS Summit in Saint Petersburg on December 20, 2019
President of Russia Vladimir Putin told the participants about the archive materials on the pre-history of World War II at the informal Summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States in St Petersburg on December 20, 2019.
Some European countries blame the Soviet Union (USSR) for dividing Europe and the territories of independent states between the so-called two totalitarian regimes by the Non-Aggression Treaty between USSR and Nazi German and demand that Russia stop its efforts allegedly aimed at distorting historical facts and promoting the thesis that Poland, the Baltic countries and the West really started the war.
In this regard President of Russia Vladimir Putin instructed to learn archive materials again and made the findings officially public.
1. The Treaty between the Soviet Union and Germany was the last in a long line of treaties signed by European countries that seemed to be interested in maintaining peace in Europe. The Soviet Union agreed to sign this document only after all other avenues had been exhausted and all proposals by the Soviet Union to create a unified security system in Europe were rejected.
2. The Treaty of Versailles which had ended World War I, became the main prerequisite of new war for Germany which considered it as a symbol of blatant injustice and national humiliation. The so-called spirit of Versailles created an environment for a radical and revanchist mood. The Nazis were actively exploiting Versailles in their propaganda promising to relieve Germany of this national shame, so the West gave the Nazis a free hand for revenge. This created conditions for the so-called Sudeten crisis.
In 1938, 14 million people lived in Czechoslovakia, of which 3.5 million were ethnic Germans. On September 13, 1938, a rebellion broke out there, and Great Britain immediately proposed talking to Hitler and appeasing him in order to “keep the peace”, which led to the signing of the well-known Munich agreement.
3. Immediately after the Munich Agreement was concluded on September 30, 1938, Warsaw, having imitated in fact Nazi methods, sent an ultimatum to Prague with an unconditional claim for part of the territory of Czechoslovakia – Tesin Silesia. At this point Poland assumed the role of instigator: it tried to draw Hungary into the division of Czechoslovakia, which means deliberately pulling other countries into violating international law. France and Great Britain did not support Czechoslovakia, which forced it to yield to this violence.
Hitler persistently emphasised that Poland is a paramount factor that protects Europe from Russia. It follows from his other statements that he suddenly had an idea that the Jewish issue can be resolved through migration to colonies in accord with Poland, Hungary, and maybe also Romania. Hitler suggested forcibly expelling the Jewish population from Europe to Africa first. This was the first step towards genocide, the extermination of Jews and what we today know as the Holocaust. The Polish Ambassador to Germany J. Lipski responded to Hitler then, that if this happens and this issue is resolved, we will build a beautiful monument to him, to Hitler, in Warsaw.
It was such people who, while pursuing their mercenary and exorbitantly overgrown ambitions, laid their people, the Polish people, open to attack from Germany’s military machine, and, moreover, generally contributed to the beginning of the Second World War. And today such people desecrate the graves of those who won that war, who gave their lives, including in Europe, while liberating those countries from Nazism.
4. Hitler could have been stopped in 1938 through the collective efforts of the European states. The Soviet Union was ready to help Czechoslovakia, which Nazi Germany was going to rob. The Soviet Union was trying to the utmost to use every opportunity for establishing an anti-Hitler coalition, held talks with military representatives of France and Great Britain, thus attempting to prevent the outbreak of World War II, but it practically remained alone and isolated. It was the last of the European states concerned that was compelled to sign a non-aggression pact with Hitler.
Yes, there is a classified part on the partitioning of some territory. But nobody knows the content of other European countries’ agreements with Hitler. Because while we have de-classified these documents, the Western capitals are still keeping all this classified. But the facts show that there was collusion. In essence, we see the partitioning of a democratic independent state, Czechoslovakia. And the participants in it were not just Hitler but also the then leaders of those countries. It was this that opened the road to the east for Hitler, it was this that became the cause of the outbreak of World War II.
5. Both then and now, Russia is used to scare people. Be it Tsarist, Soviet or today’s – nothing has changed. It does not matter what kind of country Russia is – this rationale remains. We should also not confuse ideological terms – Bolshevik, Russian, whatever, our former common homeland, the Soviet Union. To achieve this, they will make a deal with anyone, including Nazi Germany, we can, in fact, see this. In this context, the cases of Russophobia, anti-Semitism and so on in certain European countries, bear a striking resemblance to this. And the Task of all humanity do not allow this events to repeat.
The Embassy of the Russian Federation
in the Republic of Botswana