Second World War 80th anniversary events in Poland

These events were supposed to commemorate 80 years since the outbreak of World War II, a tragic chapter not only in 20th century history but in the history of all mankind. This date has been marked for many years, bringing together representatives from various countries as an event that truly deserves global attention. But frankly, it is appalling to see what this year’s event has turned into. It is a quintessential example of rewriting history. Except this time it all went too far and became full-blown global bigotry.

Warsaw reduced what I wish I could call memorial events to a spectacle that was completely subjected to a demonstration of so-called unification of a civilised, free and democratic world against evil – first, Hitlerism, then Communism and, finally, modern imperialism. All this evil is allegedly represented by Russia. It is an attempt to rehash history and invent an “axis of truth.” Naturally, this whole concept is based on NATO’s cynical, flagrant and hardline approach. This is not even propaganda or misinformation. It is a crime against our common history.

The concept of the event was formulated by Polish President Andrzej Duda, who said in his statement that, in political terms, World War II only ended in 1989 along with the weakening of the Soviet Union, which withdrew from the historical scene. What is this? Where did he read this? Who suggested this? Where is this group of real history experts – I would like to see them? I don’t mean those who pretend to be experts or those who wrote a couple of posts on social networks but those who have written serious research papers and are recognised by the academic community. Where are the historians who signed off on this?  

He was not the only one with these insinuations – there was a chorus with these dreadful, cynical and very dangerous lies.

I would remind all those who had to listen to this and then, probably, read this that the International Military Tribunal established at the USSR’s initiative by the London Agreement between the governments of the USSR, the United States, Great Britain and France on August 8, 1945 accurately defined the timeline for one of the bloodiest conflicts in modern history and named the people responsible for it. These included all the top-ranking officials of the Third Reich and the Axis powers and all those whom we called and continue to call collaborators or accomplices. Any interpretations or pseudoscientific concepts, including statements about the responsibility [for unleashing the war] which has yet to be reviewed, and the equal responsibility of two totalitarian regimes that were at war, as well as the two periods of the occupation of Eastern Europe – all those statements made in Warsaw have no legal or historical foundation whatsoever. We will firmly oppose all attempts to revise the outcome of World War II or rewrite it, in particular, attempts to forget its final documents or misrepresent them, including by bringing to trial, in addition to Nazi criminals, anyone else who was not there at the time [of the tribunals]. This is a crime against world history and our common history – a history that came at a heavy cost of millions of people losing their lives. This was not the end of obscurantism.  

Many have shown their value in Warsaw. Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszczak was one of these. He blamed Moscow for not receiving war reparations from Germany. This is not only beyond the boundary of decency but humaneness as well. I would like to remind that the 1953 Declaration stating Poland’s refusal to receive reparations was approved by the legitimate Polish government, which was recognised by the international community and represented this country in the UN. Or do they think differently in Warsaw today? If Warsaw has changed its mind and thinks differently, then it must first sort things out as far as its own history is concerned. Before making statements like these, one should think about, among other things, the legal implications. I will also remind you that due to a number of diplomatic efforts by the Soviet government, 25 percent of Germany’s territory in 1937 borders was transferred to Poland after the war ended: these are areas to the east of the Oder-Neisse line and other areas. We will release more materials about the substantial financial aid and logistical and technical assistance provided by the Soviet Union to Poland and about the rebuilding of the country.

We will never get tired of returning to this subject; we will never get tired of refuting fake stories, innuendoes and misinformation because this subject is eternal and ever-lasting. The multiethnic Soviet people, as we always emphasise, the allies of the USSR in the anti-Hitler coalition and participants in the guerilla and resistance movements have displayed unparalleled courage in order to allow subsequent generations to live, work and create in a world free from the man-hating ideology of Hitlerism.

The victory over Hitler’s National Socialism has a tremendous uniting message. We will never get tired of repeating that, despite ideological differences, the nations that fought and rose against the crimes of Hitlerism represented different cultures, traditions and religions, including the views on their future in terms of culture, economics and politics, but they united their efforts. They were able to overcome their differences to prevent a catastrophe, which could really encompass all of humankind. That uniting message was addressed to all countries. One of the main objectives of the countries and governments that managed to hold on and defeat Nazism and Hitlerism was to unite efforts in order to prevent the repetition of similar mistakes in the future. I want to emphasize again that we did this even then, during the Cold War, notwithstanding our differences in political and economic views. Unlike our Western partners, we do appreciate the contribution of all countries and peoples in the struggle against Nazism, and we do not attempt to follow a pattern of confrontation by dividing the victory into our victory and their victory. Only combined efforts will allow us to prevent the horrors of war from recurring. This uniting drive is being neutralised by the efforts of the leadership of some Western countries, with Poland playing a leading part, which everybody can see now. However, it is not the Polish people, but certain politicians who are pursuing their own interests.

I would like to remind you that Warsaw consistently follows a course of historical distortion: they demolish monuments to Soviet soldiers-liberators and desecrate their graves and memory. Regretfully, some of our former allies in the anti-Hitler coalition have decided to show solidarity with Poland and support this trend: fashion is fashion. 

For example, US Vice President Michael Pence, in his September 1 remarks, mentioned dual invasion of Poland in 1939, two occupations of that country, and thanked European nations for their contribution as freedom-fighters without saying a word about the Soviet people. According to that high-ranking US representative, 16 million American soldiers, the British and patriots of resistance movement only had the merit of liberating Europe from Hitlerism. We remember who liberated Poland and how, and what price was paid for this.

Such actions and statements by Western leaders only testify to their own political impotence and historical short-sightedness. With their politicised judgements, which are far from historical truth, they betray the memory of all the fallen in that war, including their own compatriots.

Let’s remember what they forgot to say in Warsaw: what preceded the beginning of World War II?

At that time, right-wing nationalist forces came to power in a number of Central and Eastern European countries. The borders fixed by the Versailles Treaty did not suit them. Take Poland, for example. Preparing to take part in the partition of Czechoslovakia and hoping for German support, Poland concluded a non-aggression pact with Germany in 1934, which actually implied allied relations with the Nazis. We can also recall 1938 when Britain and France agreed with the Munich collusion in an effort to send the Wehrmacht war machine to the east.

I think it is also worth remembering the gist of a “liberal world order” to which the historical truth is being sacrificed now in Warsaw. The “liberal world order” was a continuation of a colonial or neocolonial regime for most developing nations. It is strange that this was not expressed in Warsaw in 2019 when a free world and values are mentioned. This regime meant “the right of the strongest” and the law of the jungle for a number of continents, not just countries. Let’s remember napalm in Vietnam and depleted uranium in Yugoslavia. Maybe some people have forgotten about Abu Ghraib and the methods that the “liberal world order” that is in reality a regime used in the Middle East and North Africa since the start of the 2000s. Maybe we should also recall how representatives of this “liberal world order” dealt with those who described these methods like Julian Assange. Many Asian, Latin American and African countries were denied an opportunity to develop properly in the 20th century due to this “liberal world order.” Their governments were simply shuffled to please those that represented states that are now called liberal and democratic. The “liberal world order” is to blame for countless expedition wars with millions of victims, distorted economies and poor populations deprived of rights in entire regions of the world. This is the truth. So, why didn’t you talk about this in Warsaw?

Now let’s get to the main point. They should have spoken about this in Warsaw since they so willfully prolong the world wars, starting and ending them whenever they want. Let’s talk about international terrorism that the world community does not know how to deal with. It was born and grew from the criminal experiments of the “liberal world order” when the West supported all kinds of anti-government, extremist groups to enable them to uphold the values of the “liberal world order” with arms in hand on the territory under their control. This applies, for instance, to the mujahidin in Afghanistan who eventually became al-Qaeda. Wasn’t it interesting to discuss this in Warsaw since everyone has departed so far from the main theme of the event?

Let’s be honest and straight. During the entire postwar period the USSR and its allies kept the world from a global disaster and complete barbarity, and curbed the expansion that the leaders of the “liberal world order” tried so hard to carry out. Take the process of decolonisation. What did the “liberal world order” have to do with this process? Name the countries and nations that had the opportunity to stop being colonies based on free will, the will of the representatives of Western countries. I am referring to the countries that announced fantastic achievements in the freedom of the “liberal world order.” Does someone know? Can someone recall?  

It was the Soviet Union that provided the impetus for decolonisation in Asia, Africa and Latin America and maintained regional security in Europe. At the same time, it was restoring, on its own, the economic infrastructure of the war-ravaged countries. But some people do not want to remember this. This is not interesting because it completely destroys the myth of the “liberal world order” and the benefits it brought to humanity. It is worth recalling them and we will continue to do this. In the past, we felt embarrassed about doing this, but after the mayhem in Warsaw we have no choice.

We urge our Western partners to stop distorting historical facts and renounce attempts to undermine the existing system of international law. They should be guided in their assessments by the international law that unequivocally fixed the results of World War II. It is in our common interests to depoliticise as much as possible any discussions of our recent historical past and channel them into a professional dialogue between academic historians.

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