Russian Ambassador Sergey Andreev has caused an outcry in Poland after stating that Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 was an act of self-defense prompted by the failure of the Poles to join a coalition against Hitler. It was a bizarre claim was not only politically disastrous but historically moronic. The Russians have often omitted from their accounts of the heroic Russian war with Germany that they were first and foremost an ally of Hitler and sought to carve up Europe with him. it was only when Hitler betrayed Stalin that the Russians fought against Germany in its invasion.
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop was non-aggression pact containing a secret protocol dividing Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Finland between the two dictators. Had Hitler not invaded Russia, Russia was committed to a non-aggression pact and the subjugation of its neighbors to dictatorship. It was a disgraceful chapter in Russian history that the Putin government appears eager to rewrite. Indeed, adding to this ignoble history, was the betrayal of Polish freedom fighters in the Warsaw uprising and the massacre of Polish intellectuals by the Russians in Katyn Forest.
The invasion of Poland was a joint operation between Nazi Germany and Russia — with the German invasion occurring one week after the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.
Andreev insisted “Polish policy led to the disaster in September 1939, because during the 1930s Poland repeatedly blocked the formation of a coalition against Hitler’s Germany . . . Poland was therefore partly responsible for the disaster which then took place.” It is an untrue and dishonorable statement from a country that contributed to the death of millions in Poland.
There is an irony in these efforts to shift blame, including Poland’s own checkered history in dealing with Hitler. The German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact was signed in 1934 and pledged to avoid armed conflict for ten years. Later, it was suggested that this pact was the result of a refusal by France to declare war on Germany when Hitler began to rearm his country and violate the Treaty of Versailles. When France refused, Poland moved ahead with its pact with Hitler, though historians are divided on this relationship between France’s decision and the decision of Poland to join Hitler in its own agreement. None of this however offers any excuse or rationalization for Russia to carve up Poland and other countries in coordination with Hitler.
Regrettably, Putin has reasserted many of the worst Soviet-era powers and practices, including propaganda and historical revisionism. Just in case pictures can speak a thousand words, here are the Germans and Russians congratulating each other on the invasion of Poland and carving up the country:
80 thoughts on “Russian Ambassador: Poland Responsible For German-Russian Invasion in 1939”
You seem to forget all about the Warsaw Uprising, and that the Soviet Union sat on its asses while hundreds of thousands of Polish citizens, Jews, and non-Jews alike, were slaughtered by the Germans. After German troops had leveled 90% of the city, the Soviet Union took great delight in slicing up what was left. The Soviets simply wanted control of Poland. Not some border in dispute – the whole thing! And they still do. Randyjet, you’ve got a real hard on for Russia, but I really can’t understand why.
Was Poland an innocent bystander when it was attacked and overrun in 1939 by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union? No, it was not.
Important clues lie embedded in the so-called Munich Agreement. One standard interpretation is that Hitler got the better of Chamberlain. Wrong because if that was the case why was Hitler furious at Mussolini (and some of his generals) for having supported the non-aggressive solution of the Sudeten issue? Because Hitler had hoped that Munich would fail before it even happened in which case he would have had the first opportunity to let a small foreign state know that he did not broke its “no” to his Third Reich. He would have sent his tank armies into Czechoslovakia and his generals would have complied.
What were the objectives of Great Britain and France? For both governments the greatest perceived threats to national security at that time were the Soviet Union and communist revolutions, especially in Germany. Munich had therefore two major objectives. First: no “regime change” in Germany with the risk of a return of the communist threat there. The notion that any conservative British politician considered the overthrow of Hitler at that time is ludicrous.
Secondly: try to bring Hitler Germany into the “cordon sanitaire”, the French concept of an alliance of states on the border of the Soviet Union to prevent its ideological and military expansion Westward.
The kingpin in that cordon was Poland because it was by far the most populous state on the Western border of the Soviet Union.
The role of violently anti-communist Hitler Germany in that concept was apparently that of a sort of “backstop” by potentially the most powerful military of Europe.
The Polish dictatorship supported the sacrifice of Czechoslovakia for that purpose and even stole a significant portion of that nation when Hitler did enter Prague. It became a de-facto ally of Germany.
The miscalculation of Great Britain, France, and Italy was that the Fuehrer had no intention of being a sort of “backstop” but intended to be the Savior of Europe all by himself.
Poland an innocent bystander? No. The only causer of WW2. No.
Dieter, While I agree with most of your post, I think you make an error in saying the German military would have followed Hitler’s orders to invade Czechoslovakia. The German military had sent a message to Chamberlain that they would NOT invade. This was because the fortifications the Czechs had on that border were of sufficient strength, and that the Wehrmacht was not strong enough, that such an invasion would have failed. The whole reason for placing the border there was to give the Czechs an easily defended border given its terrain. Chamberlain refused to believe the communication and their promise to stage a coup against Hitler, and the rest is history.
Give this a read to know what was actually going on and
who was actually responsible…
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: 200 Years Together
Meant to say “were ALL crushed”
You can easily google Tito-Stalin, or go to Tito’s bio by Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not my first choice or source, but since you referred to it earlier for your source(s), the Wiki Tito bio might be the easiest way to find it.
Tito’ s Yugoslavia, Romania, and later Albania were the only 3 countries that demonstrated (and survived)an independence from Stalin and his first two successors.
Poland, East Germany, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia were are crushed by the Soviets when they got out of line with Moscoiw.
Tito’s letter to Stalin..”Stop sending people to kill me. We have already caught five of your assassins, one with a bomb, one with a rifle
If you continue, I’ll sent somebody to Moscow. And I won’t have to sent another”
Tito appears to be peeved at Stalin for trying to kill him.
I had not heard of the so called letter, but it would not be beyond the realm of probability since that was the level of their relationship. Of course, the reason for this is that Stalin had given Greece to the UK and Churchill had used the British Army in as brutal a way as the Soviets were in Hungary in 1956. Stalin ordered Tito to stop supporting their war time comrades in Greece, and he refused. He later ran out of material and eventually had to give in, and the Greek communists were defeated by the British, royalist Greeks, and US CIA. Churchill glosses over his role in fostering the civil war in Greece and mildly observes that his goal in Greece was to have a monarchy with a LOT more power for the king than Britain had. Needless to say, Churchill got his way through force of arms. When the Greeks finally had a chance for a truly free election, they kicked the King out and got rid of royalty.
Churchill died in 1965….no possiblilty of arguing with him. If he praised Stalin’s adherence to the Yalta agreements, that statement would be highly inconsistent with virtually all of what he said after WWII.
And counter to solid historical facts. The Soviets themselves ultimately conceded Stalin’s Yalta violations…not that that was news. The historical record on Stalin’s Yalta violations is very clear.
Tom READ Churchill’s Triumph and Tragedy. THAT will answer your questions.
The moral to the story. Politicians and the main stream media cannot be trusted, ever, unless you have a couple of unbiased third party validations. They do sometimes get their stories right.
It’s like Obamas support of government transparency and when they start coming forward, he double crosses them through prosecution. As if whistle blowers are supposed to redact all the potential national security breaches before exposing the material evidence.
Two idiots in a row. Can’t wait to see who the American people hire next.
“So much for the Yalta accusation”. These defenses of Stalin are WAY WAY beyond the pale.
Tom I suggest you argue with Churchill in Triumph and Tragedy where he praises Stalin for his adherence to the Yalta agreements and the one they had worked out in Moscow. Your argument is with HIM, not me and it is YOU that is beyond the pale, unless you wish to brand Churchill a liar and a cheat.
July 10, 1988 L.A. Times” Soviets concede that Stalin broke Yalta agreements”. March 1946, Churchill delivers Iron Curtain speech re Soviet aggression and violations of Yalta agreements.
This narrative reminds me of the propaganda spread on here…. #RevisionistHistorians #LoveCountry
There was a comment above about “the real imperialist”. I’d recommend to anyone unfamiliar with the advancement of Communism from 1917-1946 take a look at what happened to at least a dozen counties that were swallowed up by the Soviets…and to see how he did it.
The violations of the Yalta agreements by the Soviets, and Truman’s reaction, is a key part of Soviet imperialism. Since the Soviet’s massive atrocities were for ” a workers’ utopia”, those atrocities are tolerable and glossed over by some.
I mentioned earlier that I had not seen Nazi apologists on this site. The romantic, revisionist view Communism is still with us, to some extend.
I’d be interest in opinions as to whether the Soviet Communists were imperialists.
I’d recommend rereading the column…..the German-Soviet alliance did call for carving up other countries for Hitler and Stalin_not just Poland. The six million Poles who subsequently died at Hitler or Stalin’s hands were just a partial consequence of the Hitler-Stalon treachery.
Correction…you said Germans, not Nazis. The word Germans was missing from that sentence above.
It is a major project to untangle revisionist historian’s claims, especially if they are partisan hacks.
“Your statement was ” I don’t see you denouncing the aggressions of outside powers, especially the German”. Those are your words..that’s why I responded to that statement.
You are technically correct in saying that “you didn’t mention theNazis”… So since you said ” “, not Nazis, I guess Germans you were talking pre-Hitler Germany. But if that’s the case, then you have not cited pre-Nazi German aggression.
Your best bet is to team up with Amb. Andreev to rewrite history. He’d be a good partner for you.
Pointing out clear errors of revisionist historians and partisan hacks is too time consuming. Don’t have time for that today.
Tom, I suggest you and others go to Wikipedia to test my assertions. You will find as I wrote in my posts that I am right and you are not. It is quick and easy folks. I use as my sources Churchill by the way. I suggest you read his book Triumph and Tragedy in which he discusses how he met Stalin in Moscow and divided up post war Europe. He also praises Stalin for scrupulous adhering to the terms of that agreement. So much for the Yalta accusation. I thought for awhile that Churchill had a good case against what happened in Poland until I read other books such as Keegan Six Armies in Normandy which mentioned the absurdities of the London Poles in regards to the Red Army entering Poland in which they urged the Polish Home Army to fight against the Red Army. That shows what the Reds were faced with in the London Poles who were in any case hardly a freely elected government to begin with. The Soviets did allow for free elections up until 1948 when Stalin decreed a crack down and imposed a Stalinist state system throughout Eastern Europe. Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech in 1946 was basically a lie since Czechoslovakia and other countries still had non communist governments which did have communist representatives in them.
If you will go to Wikipedia again, and look at all the individual countries bordering the Soviet Union, you will find that the Germans were active in Finland in attacking the Reds and in those countries bordering them such as the Ukraine, The US was also involved in attacking the Soviet Union. So I think that imperialist is more appropriate for the US since we were thousands of miles away, yet had GIs fighting and dying on Russian soil. So what part of imperialism don’t you understand? The fact is that the Soviets were on their own borders where they were imposing friendly governments, just as the US has done in our hemisphere. At least the Soviets post WWII were not as bloody as the US has been in Latin America in the same period.
randyjet – From the book titled “The Creature from Jekyll Island” a non-fiction by G. Edward Griffin. He provides the evidence that During WWI, Churchill while Secretary of the Navy (British of course) was responsible, along with an undersecretary of the US Navy, some young guy named Franklin Roosevelt, sent the Lusitania into known German U-boat waters “unescorted” even though the Germans had warmed them that they knew the US Government was using the Lusitania to ship military supplies to Europe, against the Geneva Conventions. Churchill, Roosevelt and their bankster cronies of course wanted America in the war; more profits. I wouldn’t rely heavily on Churchill as that reliable a source. The Lusitania was of course sunk.
Two interesting facts.
All major US news sources were also provided the German warning and only a few published it, even though civilian US and European passengers were on board.
Both men went on to be world leaders.
hski, I have found Churchill to be truthful on most things in what he writes since he was subject to fact checking at the time. While he does not usually resort to outright lies, he DOES omit essential facts. He also glosses over some of his less savory things that he did. One has to know the facts surrounding some events before one can take his word at face value. In the main when he is reporting on things he did face to face, he is usually accurate. When he goes on to things like the Greek situation, he is less than forthcoming on the sins he committed, but one can read between the lines and figure it out.
randyjet – when Churchill was writing, he was still under the Official Secret Act. He could not speak about Ultra, etc. There is much that is missing from Churchill.
The only thing that the Ultra information provided when it was released recently was the answer to the mystery of WHY Churchill, a rabid anti-communist, would favor Tito’s communist partisans over the Chetniks in Yugoslavia. We found out that Ultra had yielded the treaty the Chetniks had signed with the Nazis to pretend to fight the Germans when they were actually concentrating their effort against Tito. They also found that the Germans were troubled most by the Partisans and the Chetniks were not a real threat to them. So thus Churchill’s support to Tito. By the end of the war, the Partisans had their own air force, and navy as well as a good sized army. Most of the equipment for the navy and air force was captured German ships such as a destroyer and coastal vessels, and most of their air force was thanks to the Luftwaffe. it was truly an impressive performance. Even more impressive was Milovan Djilas who dared to criticize STALIN to his face and in public in Moscow. I don’t think I have the courage to do something that rash.
An excellent speech and fine suggestions by Mr Putin presented to the United Nations.
He is a world leader of historic stature, next to Lilliputians. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/09/28/read-putins-u-n-general-assembly-speech/
The US made the mess in the middle east, Russia will help sort it out. If that comes at a loss to the prestige the US gains through chaos and suffering, GOOD.
Randyjet…..I think I have a fairly good knowledge of history. Without trying to sort out our disagreements on the facts one by one, I’ all take up just a few areas of contention.
You mented that you didn’t see me condemning Nazi atrocities(I guess my referring to Hitler and Stalin as the two biggest mass murderers in history was overlooked by you). Additionally, I have not, to date, seen apologists for Hitler on this site.
Unlike the apologists for Stalin and Communism. A few months ago you rewrote the history of Afghanistan, too…..for the record, I corrected some of your more glaring errors, like omitting the progressive Duaod regime and crediting the Communists for stability in Afghanistan. Absolutely false, if you bother to check the history. The Communist coups amd soviet invasion were the major initial factors in the destabilazation of that country.
You seem to want to sugarcoat the imperialistic aspects of Lenin, Stalin and co. As if the Baltic states and others I mentioned all embraced the Bolsheviks, and liked being swallowed up by the Soviets. Or that the Soviets were somehow entitled to dominate these countries. The Bolsheviks viewed Poland and other Eastern European states as pathways to Berlin, Paris, and London. The were expansions minded, and “True Believers”.
I still haven’t found any evidence to support your claim that ” the West invaded Hungary”. I do know that the Soviets invaded Hungary in 1956, Prague in 1968, and put down popular uprisings elsewhere. In addition to killing Hungary’s Kun, Hungary’s Nagy was executed after the soviets crushed the 1956 uprising. Kun and Nagy were reform-minded Communists, but not “Communist enough” for the Soviets.
At least you’re consistent…..you keep rewrotin history, then claim that you’re “astounded by my ignorance of history”.
I’m generally not a frequent commentator on this site. If I see a pack of lies repeated by revisionist historians, that is one pet peeve that will sometimes provoke a response from me.
Good luck with your continuing historical fantasies.
Tom, You are wrong or misinterpreted my points on the atrocities since I did NOT name the Nazis as one party in that since they did not exist at the time of post WWI in the early 20s. I DID note your glossing over the mass murder committed by the Brits, French, Czechs, etc who were fighting and supplying the White Armies in the Soviet Union, Hungary, and Finland, Poland, among the countries. As I noted before, all of the countries of the former Russian and Austro-Hungarian empire had civil war going on with the west supporting the imperialist and capitalist political regimes and forces. In the Soviet Union itself, many of the leading Bolsheviks were Polish, Georgian, Ukrainian, and Jewish and other nationalities. So of which nation should they be viewed as being nationals? In many of those countries, the Reds had a majority, but were driven out or were executed by the Whites and the western imperial powers. I have to laugh at your characterization of the Soviets as imperialist, since most of the western powers such as the British and French had massive imperial empires. That is the pot calling the kettle black. In FACT the Soviet ceded most all of the nations that had been part of Russia. In FACT, the Soviets insisted on a voluntary association within the Soviet Union. The violation in Georgia of that policy is what caused Lenin to break with Stalin. There were varying degrees of support for the Reds in the former Russian nationalities. In Finland the Reds had a majority, less so in the Baltics and Poland. All of those regimes establishment and boundaries were decided by warfare not elections. The whites then used the method of terror and mass murder to ensure their success. There were none which became democracies in that period, and those which had some electoral governments initially, soon became dictatorships of the right wing as in Poland.
As for Hungary, a cursory reading of their history of that period in Wikipedia would show you that Romania, Czechoslovakia, France and Serbia all attacked and invaded Hungary and overthrew Bela Kun. One would think that he simply wound up in the Soviet Union because he took vacation there and forgot to return according to you. They also lost 3/4 of their territory and about half their Hungarian population.
The Bolsheviks made no secret of their desire for revolution in the world and especially Germany, which they viewed as being essential to the success of the Soviet Union. The Bolsheviks and Mensheviks all knew that Russia could not build a socialist society without help from outside. The difference was the Mensheviks did not think a revolution could or would happen in Germany, while the Bolsheviks though it would and it was their duty to help the Germans establish a socialist society. It was a near thing in Germany, but the SPD decided to murder their opponents and support a capitalist state in conjunction with the right wing elements. The one time the Bolsheviks did try to bring revolution by bayonets was in Poland where after the white Polish regime had advanced to Kiev, they were thrown back to the Curzon line. There was a debate as to whether or not the Red Army should pursue the Poles into Poland. Lenin and the majority thought that they had every right to go after them. Trotsky and the minority rightly thought that the Red Army was overextended, and that it was wrong politically to do so. The Red Army suffered a massive defeat at Warsaw, and they lost more territory past the Curzon line. It is hardly imperialist to help the ordinary people of other countries establish their own governments that are representative of the majority. One has to remember that in the UK only 25% of the adult male population had the franchise at the time. In France women did not get the vote until much later. In the US the majority of the population did not have the right to vote either, that is women and virtually all the minorities. I guess that makes no difference to you or other apologists for the real imperialists. Supporting such things was in fact the goal of the Bolsheviks. Too bad you would have disagreed at the time I am sure.
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