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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Officials condemn 1939 Soviet-German pact that aimed to carve up Poland, Europe

23.08.2021 11:15
Officials and historians have condemned a secret agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that more than eight decades ago opened the door to those countries invading Poland in 1939 and paved the way to the horrors of World War II.
Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov signs the infamous non-aggression pact between Germany and the USSR in Moscow on Aug. 23, 1939.  Standing (L-R): German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop; Soviet leader Josef Stalin; his interpreter Vladimir Pavlov; and the chief assistant to Ribbentrop, Friedrich Gauss.
Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov signs the infamous non-aggression pact between Germany and the USSR in Moscow on Aug. 23, 1939. Standing (L-R): German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop; Soviet leader Josef Stalin; his interpreter Vladimir Pavlov; and the chief assistant to Ribbentrop, Friedrich Gauss.Photo: Reproduction by Nikolai Akimov/TASS via PAP/ITAR-TASS

Poland's Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) noted on Monday that the day marked exactly 82 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.

The Polish history institute also noted that August 23 is commemorated across the continent as European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Totalitarian Regimes.

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.

(gs)

Source: IAR, PAP