Poland's Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) noted on Tuesday that the day marked exactly 83 years since the communist Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a Treaty of Non-Aggression, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, that sought to divide Europe between the two totalitarian regimes.
In marking the anniversary, the head of the Polish history institute, Karol Nawrocki, said, that "the interwar period saw the birth of two states built on the same foundation of hatred for some social classes or ethnic groups, and on a constant drive for expansion."
He added: "The USSR and German Reich were the realms of disdain, propaganda, lies and death."
The Polish Prime Minister's Office noted that August 23 is commemorated across the continent as European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Totalitarian Regimes.
The Polish foreign ministry in a tweet paid tribute to all "those who perished under Soviet and Nazi terror."
The European Parliament in 2019 passed a resolution that recounted how World War II broke out more than eight decades ago and stressed that Poland was attacked by not only Nazi Germany, but also the USSR at the time, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
The resolution said that on August 23, 1939, “the communist Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a Treaty of Non-Aggression, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and its secret protocols, dividing Europe and the territories of independent states between the two totalitarian regimes and grouping them into spheres of interest, which paved the way for the outbreak of the Second World War.”
Condemning the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the resolution said that in its aftermath “Poland was invaded first by Hitler and two weeks later by Stalin – which stripped the country of its independence and was an unprecedented tragedy for the Polish people.”
The resolution adopted by MEPs in September 2019 also called on the European Commission to decisively counteract “efforts by the current Russian leadership to distort historical facts and whitewash crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime.”
It added that such attempts were “a dangerous component of the information war waged against democratic Europe that aims to divide Europe.”
The resolution was drawn up as the international community commemorated the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.
Source: IAR, PAP