Thursday, January 4, 2007

Celebrations Marking 60 Years
Since the End of World War II

Babelfish Translation from Russian (unedited)
Controversial Interpretations of an Undisputed Anniversary
(An Empirical Study)

Pavel Vitek

Версия для печати/Print version

The 60th Anniversary of the End of World War II has become an opportunity to honor the victims who have lost their lives. At the same time, it is an opportunity to initiate historical discussions. Unfortunately, these are often perceived through politics. Therefore, a universally accepted interpretation of some historical events is difficult to be agreed upon; it can even lead to diplomatic disputes. In the European context, increased attention is given to discussions of the so-called Ribbentrop-Molotov pact and the consequences of the February 1945 conference at Yalta.

Both issues are marked by a clash between interpretations by Russia, which is often readopting the Soviet point of view, and by the directly concerned countries. The overall objective of this study is to confront various interpretations with historical documents commonly available to the general public. On that basis, it will be possible to asses what happened shortly before World War II, during the war, and after its end.

Reflections mostly by representatives of the Baltic countries whether or not to take part in Moscow celebrations marking 60 years since the end of World War II have given birth to a new wave of discussions of this issue. Reactions by top Russian officials have interfered with discussions among Baltic politicians and historians. Continuously commented on by Russia, discussions gradually started in Poland and Finland as well.

A statement by Latvian President Vaira V??e-Freiberga has ignited most reactions. President described, in a consistent manner, the mixed feelings of the Baltic countries as regards the 60th Anniversary End of World War II:

"Latvia, together with the rest of Europe, rejoices at the defeat of Nazi Germany and its fascist regime in May of 1945. However, unlike the case in Western Europe , the fall of the hated Nazi German empire did not result in my country's liberation. Instead, the three Baltic countries of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania were subject to another brutal occupation by another foreign, totalitarian empire, that of the Soviet Union . For five long decades, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania were erased from the map of Europe . Under Soviet rule, the three Baltic countries experienced mass deportations and killings, the loss of their freedom, and the influx of millions of Russian-speaking settlers."1

The reaction to V??e-Freiberga's statement of January 31, 2005 from the Russian Foreign Ministry has avoided a matter-of-factly argumentation, or a substantial attempt to assess past events in critical terms. Instead, the statement denounced President who, from historian's perspective, had not said anything new. She said, basically, that an occupation had been replaced with just another occupation, adding that Stalin actually matched Hitler. None-the-less, the reaction by the Foreign Ministry was sharp:

"It is only regrettable that the leader of a neighboring country lacks respect for the day sacred to the entire civilized world. On the other hand, after the many "explanations" of Latvian President, we have had an opportunity to understand still better of what configuration is the "hand of friendship" that Madame Vike-Freiberga is extending to Russia." 2

Latvian President sent her written statement to the heads of government of a broad number of countries. Reactions to the statement mostly expressed an understanding of the Baltic view of the events in connection with the German-Soviet pact. Shortly before the Moscow celebrations, loud voices expressed feelings that Russia should develop a critical stance vis-a-vis the pact. Condoleezza Rice or Guenther Verheugen made statements in that sense.

This time, the Russian Foreign Ministry took a less emotional position with use of certain dosage of historical argumentation:

"Question: Russia has recently been under growing pressure to recognize and condemn the "occupation" of the Baltic countries in 1940 and to assume responsibility for this. What is the Russian position in this connection?

Answer: The Russian position on the issue has been repeatedly put forward and remains unchanged. Neither the introduction of additional Red Army units nor the accession of the Baltic states to the Soviet Union contradicted the provisions of international law that were in effect at the time.

Thus, in accordance with the international legal doctrine of the mid-20th century, "occupation" meant the acquisition by a state of uninhabited territory that did not previously belong to any state by establishing effective control over it with intent to spread its sovereignty to it. In addition, the term meant temporary occupation during the course of an armed conflict by the army of one of the warring states of the territory (or part of the territory) of another state.
The term "occupation" cannot be used for a legal assessment of the situation in the Baltics in the late 1930s because there was no state of war between the USSR and the Baltic states and no military actions were being conducted, and the troops were introduced on the basis of an agreement and with the express consent of the authorities that existed in these republics at the time - whatever one may think of them. In addition, throughout the period when Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were part of the Soviet Union , there were national bodies of power, with the exception of the time when that part of the USSR territory was occupied by Germany during the Great Patriotic War. And it is known that it was these authorities - again, regardless of how one may assess them today - as represented by the Supreme Soviets of the corresponding republics, that made decisions in 1990 that led to their secession from the USSR.

So, if one were to question the legitimacy of the power bodies of the Soviet period, the question arises of the legitimacy of the promulgation of independence by the Baltic republics.

Accordingly, any claims, including demands for material compensation for alleged damage which, as some think, was the result of what happened in 1940, are without grounds.

Meanwhile, attempts to put the policy of the USSR during that period on the same footing as the actions of Hitler Germany which was waging an aggressive war in Europe in order to enslave or destroy entire peoples, are absurd if only due to the obvious fact that it was above all through the efforts of the USSR that Hitler Germany was defeated and Europe was rid of Nazism. Such insinuations have a particularly blasphemous ring on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Great Victory.

As for the assessment of the repressive actions of the regime that existed in the USSR in the 1930s-1950s, it has been repeatedly given both by the Soviet Union and by Russia . Moscow does not see any sense in revisiting the issue. If somebody is trying to turn it today into real politics, this is an attempt to speculate on memory for the sake of political expediency. 3
Should one accept the logic adopted by the Russian Foreign Ministry, it is for example difficult to understand the reasons to label the 1939 entry of German troops in Czechoslovakia as "occupation." That action was also executed following an agreement between Czechoslovakia and Germany. More to the point, there was not any direct military conflict; national and local governments and police remained functional.

In all likelihood, the path to the agreement between the two parties is the true problem. The modus operandi of the Soviet Union can be described on the example of Latvia that was the first country to find itself under repeated Soviet pressure:

"On the same day [June 14, 1940] at 2 PM , deputy Soviet's People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs V.G. Dekazonov received Urbsis who informed him of resignation of Skucas and Povilaytis. He repeated that Latvian authorities had not taken part in disappearance of Soviet troops, and pointed out the anti-Soviet stance of the Baltic Entante [thereby rebutting previous Soviet accusations]. There was no indication of a substantial turn in negotiations. However, at 11:50 PM, Urbsis was summoned to appear before Molotov who handed him a Soviet ultimatum (the text was published on June 16 in Izvestiya). The ultimatum demanded bringing Skucas and Povilaytis to justice, and forming a government that would duly respect the provisions of the agreement on mutual assistance and agree on the entry of more Russian troops on the Lithuanian territory. After having explained the entry of 3 to 4 corpuses (9 to 12 armed divisions) was to be expected, Molotov promised that the army would not interfere in internal affairs. He nevertheless stressed that the new government would have to be pro-Soviet. Molotov noted that unless his demands were met, the troops would immediately cross Lithuanian border anyhow. The deadline to meet the conditions of the ultimatum expired on June 15 at 10 AM." 4

Latvia, as well as the two other Baltic countries a little later, accepted the ultimatum. In his memoirs, N.S. Khruschev openly acknowledges the threat of the use of military power should the conditions not be met. Moreover, he links the actions against the Baltic countries to the implementation of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact:

"then Mussolini opened military actions against Greece and zavyaz in them. Further Hitler attacked in Yugoslavia and was straightened with it, because Germany was more strongly; without the shots it almost occupied Denmark and Norway, practically without the resistance it took Holland, invaded Belgium, in 1940 took the large part of France. So it ensured to itself on the sufficiently large space sea line, protection from the English fleet and on the north it approached close to our to Murmansk. It is natural that the Soviet government meanwhile realized the measures, which escaped from the agreement, signed by hammer and Ribbentropom. We began negotiations with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the fall of 1939 and produced our conditions for them. In prevailing then situation these countries correctly understood that by them not to keep balance against the Soviet Union, and our proposals were accepted, after concluding with us the mutual aid agreements. The change of their governments then occurred. It stands to reason!" 5

The telegram from German Ambassador to the USSR Schulenburg to Berlin indicates to what extent Moscow intended not to interfere in internal affairs of Baltic states. The telegram hinted, among other things, how the new governments would be formed. The awkward reason for the USSR to annex the Baltic countries merits our attention. The congratulation on the defeat of France is just "the best" moment of the whole text:

Moscow, June 18, 1940-1:10 a m
Received June 18, 1940-4 a m
No. 1167 of June 17

Molotov summoned Me this evening to his office and expressed the warmest congratulations of the Soviet Government on the splendid success of the German Armed Forces. Thereupon, Molotov informed Me of the Soviet action against the Baltic States. He referred to the reasons published in the press and added that it had become necessary to put an end to all the intrigues by which England and France had tried to sow discord and mistrust between Germany and the Soviet Union in the Baltic States.

For the negotiations concerning the formation of the new Governments the Soviet Government had, in addition to the Soviet envoy accredited there, sent the following special emissaries:

To Lithuania: Deputy Commissar Of Foreign Affairs Dekanosov; To Latvia: Vishinski, the representative of the Council of Ministers; To Estonia: Regional Party Leader Of Leningrad Zhdanov.

In connection with the escape of Smetona and the possible crossing of the frontier by Lithuanian army units, Molotov stated that the Lithuanian border was evidently inadequately guarded. The Soviet Government Would, therefore, if requested, assist the Lithuanian Government in guarding its borders.


In connection with the euphemism "the introduction of additional Red Army units" appearing in the statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry, it is good to bring up the memo No. 390ss of June 17, 1940 by People's Commissar of Defense Timoshenko to Stalin and Molotov:

"for purposes of the guarantee of the fastest preparation of Baltic TVD [ war theatre ] I consider it necessary immediately to approach, in the territory of the occupied republics, the realization of the following measures:

1. boundary with East Prussia and Baltic coast to immediately engage by our frontier troops for averting the espionage and diversionary activity from the side of western neighbor.
2. into each of the occupied republics to introduce on one (first of all) regiment of troops OF THE NKVD for the protection of internal order.
3. possible to rather solve a question "with the government" of the occupied republics.
4. to approach disarmament and disbandment of the armies of the occupied republics. To disarm population, police and existing militarized organizations.
5. protection of objects, guard and garrison duty to lay on our troops.
6. decisively to approach the Sovietization of the occupied republics.
7 7. in the territory of the occupied republics to form Baltic military district with the staff in Riga. Commander-in-chief of forces of region to appoint the commanding SAVA colonel general Apanasenko. Staff of region to form from the staff of the eighth army.
8. in the territory of region to approach the works on preparation of it as the theater of military actions (building of strengthenings, the altering of railroads, road and highway building, storages, the creation of reserves and so forth.) The plan of preparation TVD I will present dopolnitel'no"8

Considering these and other facts that could be adopted, as well as events after the entry of Russian troops on the territory of the Baltic countries, it is extremely difficult to describe the situation as" the introduction of additional Red Army units ". It is necessary to user the expression "occupation." Probably not de iure, but de facto without doubts.

German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact

President Putin Has Made A clumsy Contribution To Discussions Surrounding The 60th Anniversary When He commented In slovak Media On The Ribbentrop- Molotov Pact: "To protect its interests and security on its western borders, the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact with Germany." 9

Putin adopted the Soviet interpretation of the reasons for the Soviet Union to have signed a non-intervention treaty with Hitler's Germany. His words mark a continuation of Russian authorities ' skating on extremely thin ice, both in historical and political terms. The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry Immediately Reacted To The Statement. Among other things, the Ministry noted President of Russia had returned the interpretation before December 24, 1989 when the Congress of People's Deputies of the Soviet Union denounced the Pact: 10

"the decision of the congress of the people deputies of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics about the political and lawful estimation of the Soviet-German nonaggression treaty of 1939.

1. congress of the people deputies OF THE USSR takes into consideration findings of the commission for the political and lawful estimation of the Soviet-German nonaggression treaty of 23 August, 1939.
2. congress of the people deputies OF THE USSR agrees with the opinion of commission, what agreement with Germany about the nonaggression was concluded in the critical international situation, in the conditions for the growth of the danger in the aggression of the fascism in Europe and of Japanese militarism in Asia and had to one of the purposes - to lead from THE USSR the threat of the moved war. In the final analysis this purpose on was achieved, and the errors, connected with the presence of the obligations of Germany before THE USSR, aggravated the consequences of perfidious Nazi aggression. At this time the country stood before the difficult selection. Obligations by agreement came into force immediately after its signing, although agreement itself was subject to assertion by the Supreme Soviet OF THE USSR. The decision about the ratification was accepted in Moscow on 31 August, and the exchange of ratification instruments took place on 24 September, 1939.
3. congress considers that the content of this agreement did not disperse from the standards of international law and the contractual practice of states, accepted for a similar kind of regulatings. However, both with the conclusion of a treaty and in the process of its ratification hid itself the fact that with the agreement it was simultaneously signed "secret additional protocol", by which were delimited the "spheres of interests" of the negotiating parties from the Baltic to the black of seas, from Finland to Bessarabia. The originals of protocol are discovered neither in the Soviet nor into foreign arkhivakhy. However, the grapho-logical, photocopying and lexical examinations of copies, maps and other documents, the correspondence of the subsequent events to the content of protocol, confirm the fact of its signing and existence.
4. congress of the people deputies OF THE USSR presently confirms that the nonaggression treaty of 23 August, 1939, and also the prisoner on 28 September of the same year the treaty of friendship and border between THE USSR and Germany, just as other Soviet-German understandings, in accordance with the standards of international law - lost force at the moment of the attack of Germany in THE USSR, i.e., on 22 June, 1941.
5. congress establishes that protocol of 23 August, 1939, and other secret protocols, signed with Germany in 1939-1941, both according to the method their compositions and in the content were withdrawal from the Leninist principles of Soviet foreign policy. The differentiations of the "spheres of the interests" OF THE USSR and Germany undertaken in them and other actions was situated from a juridical point of view in the contradiction with sovereignty and independence of a number of the third countries. Congress notes that in that period the attitudes OF THE USSR with Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were regulated by agreement system. According to peace treaties of 1920 and nonaggression treaties, concluded in 1926-1933, their participants were forced to mutually respect in any case sovereignty and territorial integrity and the inviolability of each other. The Soviet Union had similar obligations before Poland and Finland.
6. congress establishes that the talks with Germany on the secret protocols conducted by Stalin and By molotov in the secret from the Soviet people, TSK the AUCP(B) and entire party, the Supreme Soviet and the governments OF THE USSR, these protocols they were iz"yaty from the procedures of ratification. Thus, the solution about their signing was actually and on the form the report of personal authority and it in no way reflected the will of the Soviet people, which did not bear responsibility for this agreement.
7. congress of the people deputies OF THE USSR condemns the fact of the signing of "secret additional protocol" of 23 August, 1939, etc. secret of understandings with Germany. Congress recognizes secret protocols by legally unfounded and ineffective from the moment of their signing. Protocols did not create new lawful base for the interrelations of the Soviet Union with the third countries, but they were used by Stalin and by his environment for the presentation of ultimata and power pressure on other states and a violation of the undertaken before them lawful obligations.
8. congress of the people deputies OF THE USSR proceeds from the fact that the realization of the complex and contradictory past is a part of the process of reconstruction, intended to ensure to each people of the Soviet Union of the possibility of free and equal development under the conditions of the integral, interdependent peace and expanding mutual understanding.

Moscow, the Kremlin.
Chairman of the Supreme Soviet OF THE USSR
on 24 December, 1989.
M. Gorbachev "11

In light of what we know today about the nature of the Ribbentrop- Molotov Pact, its raison d'etre as a means to protect the Western border of the Soviet Union seems very complicated. While from the military perspective, any and all acquisition of a buffer territory May be important, it is necessary to evaluate the means the USSR adopted to strengthen its security. From that perspective, any defense of the past is a question of bad palate, at least. The wording of the agreement and its subsequent execution indicate that the two parties in the pact shared clearly aggressive intentions - no matter that these were hidden in euphemistic statements: "Article II In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narev, Vistula and San." 12

Should one still doubt about the true nature of the pact, we can mention the words by N S Khrushchev. He quoted Stalin's interpretation of the pact with Germany in the circle of the closest coworkers,:

"A in Stalin we they were gathered on 23 August toward the evening. Our hunting trophies thus far were prepared for the table, Stalin described that Ribbentrop already flew away to Berlin. He arrived with the draft of the nonaggression treaty, and we signed this agreement. Stalin was in the very good mood, he said: here, it is said, tomorrow Englishmen and Frenchmen learn about this and will leave not with which. They at that time still were in Moscow.

Stalin correctly evaluated the value of this agreement with Germany. He understood, that Hitler wants us to deceive, it is simple to outwit. But assumed that these are we, THE USSR, they outwitted Hitler, after signing agreement. Here Stalin described that according to agreement to us actually they will move away Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bessarabia and Finland in such a way that we themselves will solve with these states the problem about the fate of their territories, but Hitlerite Germany with the this as does not be present, this it will be especially our question.

Stalin said relative to Poland that Hitler will attack it, it will take and will make by its protectorate. The eastern part of Poland, populated by Belorussians and Ukrainians, will go away to the Soviet Union. It is natural that we stood for the latter, although feelings experienced those mixed. Stalin this understood. He told us: "here goes game, who whom will outwit and will deceive". 13

The speech by Foreign Minister V Molotov of October 31, 1939, at the 5th extraordinary session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, also illustrated the intentions of the Soviet side. The statement is full of communist demagogy mixed with the pride of thieves who have just achieved a spectacular Act of robbery.

With the use of very specific "logical" arguments, the Minister told delegates to -.tyue usual believers in anything they were told- that after defeating Poland, Germany is a country looking for peace. He added that both France and England want to continue the useless war: "it is known, for example, that for the latter several months such concepts, as" aggression "," aggressor "obtained the new concrete content, acquired new sense not difficult to surmise, that now we cannot use these concepts in the same sense as, let us say, 3-4 months ago. Now, if we speak about the Great Powers of Europe, Germany is located in the position of state, which approaches for the fastest end of war and peace, and England and France, yesterday still fought against the aggression, they stand for the continuation of war and against the conclusion of peace. Roles, as you see, change.

The attempts of the English and French governments to justify this their new position by data to Poland by obligations, it goes without saying, are clearly unfounded. On the restoration of old Poland, as to each it is understandable, there can be no discussion. Therefore the continuation of present war under the flag of the restoration of previous Polish state is senseless. Understanding this, the governments of England and France, however, do not want the curtailment of war and peace-making, but they search for new justification for continuing the war against Germany." 14

In front of the same audience less than half a year later, the Soviet Foreign Minister developed this argumentation in a very "unorthodox" manner:

"Germany, which combined within the last period to 80 million Germans, which placed under its supremacy some adjacent states, and in many respects strengthened in military sense, became, as is evident, the dangerous competitor of main imperialistic powers in Europe - England and France. Therefore, under the pretext of the fulfillment of their obligations before Poland, they declared the war of Germany. It is now especially clearly evidently, as the real purposes of the governments of these powers from the interests of the protection of decomposed Poland or Czechoslovakia are distant. This evidently already from the fact that the governments of England and France proclaimed as their goals in this war crushing defeat and breakdown of Germany, although these purposes before the people masses are still covered by the slogans of the protection of "democratic" countries and of "rights" of small peoples." 15

Molotov was not the only one to use this argumentation; it was the Official party line of the Soviet leadership. The short statement by Stalin for Pravda summed up the whole position. It is interesting to point out that the statement was published on the very same day the Soviet aggression against Finland began. It looks as if Stalin wished to tell Hitler that their pact was still valid, asking that Germany does not intervene in the cleaning of territories under the pact in the Soviet sphere of influence:

"a) not Germany attacked in France and England, but France and England attacked in Germany, after taking upon itself responsibility for present war;
b) after opening of military actions Germany was turned to France and England with the peaceful proposals, and the Soviet Union openly supported the peaceful proposals of Germany, since it was counted and continues to consider that the fast end of war would radically facilitate the position of all countries and peoples; c) the ruling circles of France and England roughly deflected both the peaceful proposals of Germany and attempts of the Soviet Union to attain the fastest end of war." 16

Molotov holds the opinion that the declared intention of England and France to destroy Hitlerism is pointless: "the recently ruling circles of England and France attempt to depict themselves as the champions for the democratic rights of peoples against the Hitlerism, the British government declaring, what supposedly for it the war aim against Germany is, not more and not less as. the "destruction of Hitlerism". It is obtained so that English, and together with them and French, the supporters of war declared against Germany something like the "ideological war", which resembles old religious wars. Actually, in their time religious wars against the heretics and the heterodox were in the mode. They, as is known, led to the consequences gravest for the people masses, to the economic destruction and to the cultural savageness of peoples. Nothing other these wars could give. But these wars were in the times of the middle ages. Not to these whether times of the middle ages, to the times of religious wars, superstitions and cultural savageness do pull us the again ruling classes of England and France? In any case, under the "ideological" flag is now ventured the war of an even larger scale and even larger dangers for the peoples of Europe and entire peace. But of this type war has for itself no justification. The ideology of Hitlerism as any other ideological system, can be recognized or denied, this is - the matter of political views. But any person will understand that it is not possible to destroy ideology by force, it cannot be put an end to it by war. Therefore not only it is thoughtless, but also is criminal to wage such a war as war for the "destruction of Hitlerism" that covered by the false flag of fight for "democracy." 17

As regards the attack from behind against Poland to -.shyuichyu was resisting German invasion at its Western border of -.Molotov did not have any doubts about the reasons to do so. Quite on the contrary. After having described the successful action,

"ruling circles Poland little did not boast" by the strength of "their state and" by the power "of their army. However, it proved to be sufficient of short impact on Poland from the side of first German army, and then - the Red Army so that nothing it would remain from this deformed creation of the Versailles agreement, which lived due to the oppression of nepol'skikh nationalities"), 18

he listed plunder gained by the USSR:

"as far as our combat trophies in Poland are concerned, they compose 900 and the more of instruments, it is more than 10.000 machine guns, more than 300 thousand rifles, more than 150 million rifle cartridges, about 1 million artillery shells, to 300 aircraft, etc.

The territory according to its sizes passed to THE USSR is equal to the territory of large European state. Thus, the territory of West Belorussia reaches 108 thousand square kilometers, with the population into 4 million 800 thousand people. The territory of the West Ukraine is 88 thousand square kilometers, with the population into 8 million people. Thus, the passed to us territory of the West Ukraine together with the territory of West Belorussia is 196 thousand square kilometers, and its population - about 13 million people, of whom Ukrainians - it is more than 7 millions, Belorussians - it is more than 3 millions, Poles - it is more than 1 millions, Jews - it is more than 1 millions." 19

The Soviet Union was strengthening "its interests and security on its western borders" - as Putin put it- in a very special manner, indeed. What other terms could be used to point out that Moscow allowed German naval forces to use the Teriberka navy force base for Atlantic operations? This action had had significant importance for Germany before it obtained naval bases in Norway. As stated in the telegram by the Foreign Ministry to Ambassador Schulenberg in Moscow, the German leadership did appreciate such assistance:

"our fleet is intended to forego the given to it base on by Murmansk coast, since at present to it it is sufficient base in Norway. If you please, you will inform about this solution of Russians and on behalf of imperial government you will express by them appreciation for invaluable help." 20

Was it necessary for Putin’s "strengthening of borders" to overhand a group of German communist activists to Gestapo's hands?

"Most of the emigrants from Nazi Germany were falsely and arbitrarily accused of sympathizing with the fascist regime -.a quite absurd accusation addressed to KPD members who had only barely escaped the hands of the Gestapo. The Hitler Government And Its Messengers In Moscow Showed Their Open Satisfaction With Stalin's Terror Against The German Refugees. The Gestapo Realized With Astonishment That A number Of Top Communist Officials, at the head of the fascist "wanted" list, had been dispatched by the NKVD." 21

Should we mention in this context the cooperation between NKVD and Gestapo to destroy the Polish resistance during occupation?

"There were many new contacts between intelligence personnel aiming a joint approach to the issue of the Polish resistance movement. Among other things, three joint conferences of NKVD and Gestapo specialists took place (in lvov, Krakow and Zakopane)." 22

Upon their return to the territory of Poland, Soviet security authorities relaunched their unfinished actions aimed against the Polish resistance. Armia Krajowa Officers Were The Primary Targets Of Their Activities, for they posed a major danger to geopolitical plans of the Soviet Union:

on 14 November 1944g.
With N k s s with R - T. to Molotov

I direct to you the communication of tov. Serov from Lyublina about the provodimikh State Security Agent measures for the fight with active participants in the "armies Of krayovoy" and other underground organizations, which act on teritorii of Poland.

From 15 October with g. are arrested 2.648 people... Furthermore by the county divisions of public safety of Poland it is arrested 1.732 people, majority of which akovtsy.

In all in the territory of Poland our operations groups together with the security services arrested more than 4.200 participants in the "armies Of krayovoy" and in other criminals...

In the course of consequence in matters of underground organizations "armies Of krayovoy" around Lyublinu city are established the Roman Catholic priest- Catholics, who actively help akovtsam in their underground activity.

Tov. Serov raises the question about the production of otdelnykh searches in the church buildings and about the arrests of a number of Roman Catholic priests.

THE NKVD OF THE USSR considers tselesobraznym this measure to sanction.

People commissioner
of the internal affairs of the union OF THE USSR
L. Beria "23

The situation got so far that London, though its Ambassador A.C. Kerr, asked Moscow to carry out her own military inspection of the Soviet-controlled territory. The letter by N Bulganin from Poland to First Deputy Foreign Secretary Andry Vishinski, describes the unwillingness to allow such an action to "keep Russian Army's freedom to take action against the military forces of ' Armia Krajowa '".

"g. of lyublin
on 3 November, 1944.


In connection with your demand I consider that the secret note of Kerr to Molotov's name T. of 2 November is an attempt at the pressure to the Soviet government for a Polish question and is directed to create political difficulty the Soviet Union, with the advance of the Red Army to the territory of Poland beyond the Vistula.

Therefore I assume that it is necessary to take measures not to make possible to Englishmen to reach the decreed purpose it will preserve the freedom of the hands of the Red Army with respect to the vooruzhenykh forces of the "army of boundary" in the territory Polshi after iznaniya of otsuda of Germans.

Necessary to proceed from the fact that we examine underground organizations created in the territory Poland by the representatives of Polish emigration in London as hostile to the Red Army and to the Soviet Union, since that part of these organizations, which proved to be nna of the territory of Poland, by the freed Red Army, without any occasion from the side of Soviet military authorities undertook and undertakes the armed actions, directed against the union to the British forces of the Red Army...

In light of the awareness of these actions by the Stalin regime, is it possible not to understand the monstrosity of the non-intervention pact, much less stand defend it as a classic defense treaty? Today's Russian Officials, as well as former Soviet leaders, do not hesitate to use such an argument. Putin has even strengthened the Stalin- Molotov thesis of comparing the pact with the Munich agreement:

"The Soviet- German document was signed on a much lower level - on the level of foreign ministers - one year later, in response to the treaty signed by the western countries, which is now called the" Munich pact ". I would also remind you - and for you as slovaks, this is probably especially important: as a result of the Munich pact, Czechoslovakia was handed over to Nazi Germany, and the western partners, as it were, showed Hitler where he should go to fulfil his growing ambitions - to the East." 25

It is very likely that President Putin was not in his best shape when using this argument. The Munich Agreement Undoubtedly Is A wrong Agreement Mirroring The Bad State Of European Politics Of The Y9e0'.s. However, there is no reason comparing it with the Ribbentrop- Molotov pact.

The sole objective of both England and France to take part in the agreement was to protect Europe from war. 26 Such efforts were completely vain but it is not relevant in this context. The crucial reason for the USSR to sign the treaty with Germany was to divide Poland and take action against the Baltic countries and Finland.

The Munich Agreement Had Proved To Be a badly Chosen Means That Did Not Reach Its Objectives. None-the- loess deposits, the pact did not have any secret provisions and its signatories did not take part in the German annexion of Czechoslovakia that is what the Soviet Union did in the case of the German aggression against Poland.

Neither England, nor France used the Munich agreement to occupy other countries. On the other hand, that is exactly what the Soviet Union did on the basis of the Ribbentrop- Molotov pact when it annexed the Baltic countries and started war against Finland.

Last but not least, unlike the Soviet Union England and France abolished the Munich agreement yet before the end of World War II:

"The negotiations on recognition of Czechoslovak Government in exile between Benes And Great Britain Were Closely Connected With British Attitude Towards Munich. The British Attitude Was That The Treaty Was Concluded As a valid One And Ceased To Be valid Only After Germany Broke Its Obligations And Established The Protectorate. The question of validity of Munich was connected with the British reluctance to recognize re -establishment of Czechoslovakia in its pre-Munich borders. In August of 1942 the compromise was reached between the two parties.

France took different approach towards the repudiation of Munich during WWII. The reason was that France was defeated by Germany in June of 1940 and that General De Gaulle was able gradually to establish French National Committee /.FNCH/ in exile. In September of 1942 FNC reached an agreement with Czechoslovak exile Government on the question of validity of Munich. FNC proclaimed Munich Agreement to be null and void from the very beginning. In 1944, when French Provisional Government was established, Czechoslovak Government was among the first Allied Governments, which recognized it. Again the question of French attitude towards Munich was opened and after initial problems French Provisional Government repeated the proclamation from of 1942 on the Munich Agreement." 27

Not only Moscow defended the pact as vitally important, but over a long period of time it denied at least to the socialist bloc the existence of its secret additional protocol. The actual position on the pact is best described by the fact that the USSR kept most of the territories it had annexed on the basis of its pact with Germany.

Estonian President A R??.tel Said During His Radio Address On January 20 that he had been told by President Putin that he had been ready to support repudiation of the pact by Russian side. 28 this information has not been confirmed by following Putin’s statements. Russian President Was Moving Rather The Contrary Way Because The Interview Mentioned Above For Slovak Media In which He defended The Pact Took Place Just A little Later.

Impacts of German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact

After the separation of Poland, Moscow began "securing" its borders in other directions as well. First, it forced the Baltic countries to allow it to build military bases on their territories. Later, covered with the pact and using the defeat of France, Moscow annexed the three Baltic republics even though it had repeated many times that their independence was untouchable to the USSR:

"the special nature of the pacts of mutual aid indicated by no means indicates any interference of the Soviet Union in the matters of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as this they attempt to depict some organs of the foreign press. On the contrary, all these pacts of mutual aid solidly specify the inviolability of the sovereignty of their signatory states and the principle of nonintervention into the affairs of another state. These pacts proceed from the mutual respect for the state, social and economic structure of other side and must strengthen the basis of peaceful good-neighborly collaboration between our peoples. We is cost for honest and punctual putting into action of the prisoners of pacts on the conditions of complete reciprocity even we declare, that the chatter about the Sovietization of the Baltic countries is advantageous only to our general enemies and any anti-Soviet provocateurs." 29

If the objective of the USSR really was to secure its borders, its agreements with the Baltic countries- ace well as the military bases it built on their territories-would have been sufficient to reach that goal. Indeed, that was the Soviet Foreign Minister was confirming in his speeches:

"in view of the special geographical location of these countries, which are appeared of their kind approaches to THE USSR, especially from the side of Baltic sea, these pacts give the Soviet Union the possibility to have naval bases and airfields in the specific points of Estonia and Latvia, and with respect to Lithuania the protection of Lithuanian boundary joint with the Soviet Union is established. The creation of these Soviet naval bases and airfields to the territory of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and the introduction of certain quantity of Red Army parts for the protection of these bases and airfields they ensure the reliable support of defense not only for the Soviet Union, but also for quite Baltic states and, thus, they serve a matter of preservation of peace, in which are interested our peoples." 30

However, Soviet ambitions were much more far-reaching and especially more aggressive. The issue of the complete annexion of the Baltic countries proves that neither passing over military bases, nor giving up a part of national sovereign could stop the USSR from fulfilling its own geopolitical goals.

The work of evil that Soviet authorities launched in several waves on the annexed territory of the Baltic countries calls for a comparison between Soviet terror and Nazi terror. In light of the total population of Baltic countries, terror unleashed by the Stalin regime in the Baltic countries before as well as after World War II reached tragic dimensions:

"Altogether around 139 700 persons were deported from Latvia during the reign of Stalin. During the whole Communist era 51 973 Latvians were arrested, according to Official information 1 986 of those were executed. The total number of known victims of Communist genocide in Latvia - arrested, executed and deported - would thus be 191 673 persons. That number constitutes about 15 per cent of the country's population according to the of 1959 census. The real number was probably higher because far from every arrestation, execution or deportation was recorded and archived. Besides, many Latvians were killed in Russia but nobody knows the exact number. Out of the Latvians living in the Soviet Union prior to World War Two, around 70 000 were hit by the wave of terror of 1937-1939 and 25 000 among them were killed.

The total number of known victims of Communism in Lithuania, calculated in the same way, was around 360 000 persons; ca 130 000 were deported (28 000 of those died in Siberia), ca 200 000 were arrested (149 741 of those were later transferred to Communist concentration camps), 25 000 members of the resistance movement were killed as well as 2 747 prisoners in Lithuanian prisons.

In Estonia The Number Of Victims Can Be summarised As follows: around 30 000 were deported, around 80 000 were arrested, around 2 000 were executed and the same number of civilians fell victims to Communist bombing, around 10 000 soldiers fell while fighting on the Russian side, (and 8 000 fighting on the German side). The population losses in Estonia were two or three times larger. That means that around 70 000 refugees, around 20 000 Baltic Germans who moved "home" to Germany prior to and during the war, around 80 000 persons who were evacuated or mobilised and sent to Russia, around 70 000 inhabitants of areas that were forcibly separated from Estonia and incorporated with Russia should be added to the above mentioned number. If one includes relatives of all those arrested, executed, deported and generally persecuted one could claim that around half the population was hit by Communist persecutions." 31

Stalin's allies had a generally clear idea about the situation in the occupied Baltic countries. They had no illusions of what would become of them once war was over. In Teheran, Roosevelt was attempting to soften the inevitable development. However, the future of the Baltic countries was sacrificed to building the relationship with Stalin:

"№ 63 memorandum of the conversation I. V. Stalin
with F. Roosevelt
on 1 December, 1943, 15 hours. 20 min.

Roosevelt. In the United States a question about the start of Baltic republics in the Soviet Union can be raised, and I assume that the world public opinion will consider it desirable so that sometimes in the future in a some manner expressed the opinion of the peoples of these republics on this question. Therefore I hope that marshal Stalin will take into the attention this wish. I personally do not have any doubts about the fact that the peoples of these countries will vote for the connection to the Soviet Union so harmoniously, as they made in 1940.

Stalin. Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia did not have an autonomy before the revolution in Russia. Tsar was then in the union with the United States and with England, and no one raised the question about the conclusion of these countries from the composition of Russia. Why this question is placed now?

Roosevelt. The fact is that the public opinion does not know history. I would want to have a talk with Marshal Stalin about the home situation in the United States. Next year in the United States selections be in prospect. 4 I do not desire to advance my candidature, but if war is continued, then 4 perhaps I will be it is forced this to make. In America there is shest'-sem' of millions of citizens of Polish origin, and therefore 4, being practical person, he would not want to lose their voices. I is agreeable with marshal Stalin in the fact that we must restore Polish state, and personally 4 I do not have objections so that the borders of Poland would be moved from the east to the West - up to Oder, but for political reasons 4 I cannot participate at present in resolution of this question. I divide Marshal Stalin's ideas, I hope that he will understand, why 4 I cannot publicly participate in resolution of this question here, in Teheran, or even in spring future year.

Stalin. After the explanation of Roosevelt 4 this I understand.

Roosevelt. In the United States there is also a certain quantity of Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians. I know that Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and in the past and very recently composed the part of the Soviet Union, and, when Russian armies again enter into these republics, 4 not to camp to war because of this with the Soviet Union. But public opinion can require conducting there plebiscite.

Stalin. As far as voleiz"yavleniya of the peoples of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is concerned, we have numerous cases to give to the peoples of these republics the possibility to express its will.

Roosevelt. This will be to me usefully.

Stalin. This, of course, it does not mean that the plebiscite in these republics must pass under any form of international control.

Roosevelt. Certainly, no. It would be useful to state at the appropriate moment, that the selections take place in their time in these republics. Stalin. Certainly, this can be will be made. I would want to know, was resolved finally a question about the departure tomorrow. 32

The proverb that only victors write history could only remain valid over a short period of time. It is not possible to label occupation as liberation forever. Moscow's reactions nevertheless indicate that Russia has not yet gotten over the "single right opinion" scheme. To put it in more exact terms, it is returning to the same mindset -.after period of freedom of speech by Yeltsin- under Putin's leadership.

Accordingly, the reaction by the Russian Foreign Ministry to the speech by President Tarja Halonen of Finland in the French Institute for International Relations33, in which the President briefly commented on the issue of the Soviet-Finnish war, uses vicious and unjustified wording. The Ministry Commented On Another Example Of The Use Of The German-Soviet Pact:

"In late summer of 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union agreed on a division of Europe into spheres of influence. The following winter Finland had to fight off an attack by the Red Army in order to preserve her independence and avoid being occupied by the Soviet Union. We had to do this alone, without significant outside help.

Five years later, in the summer of of 1944, we again managed to stop the Red Army's attempts to conquer Finland. Our country was not occupied at any stage, during or after the war. We lost part of our territory, but we achieved a defensive victory. We held on to our independence as well as our democratic political system and our economic system.

For us the world war meant a separate war against the Soviet Union and we did not incur any debt of gratitude to others." 34

The statement by the President of Finland contains ambiguous parts. There is no doubt that Finland faced a Soviet aggression in the first war of of 1940; this interpretation is beyond any doubt. Even Stalin Did Not Hide That The War Constituted An Aggression By The USSR:

"The first question - about the war with Finland. Correctly whether did enter the government and the party, that they did declare the war of Finland? This question specially concerns the Red Army. It cannot be whether it was manage without the war?

It seems to me that it was. Could not be manage without the war. War was necessary, since peaceful talks with Finland did not give results, but safety of Leningrad should have been ensured unconditionally, since its safety is safety of our fatherland. Not only because Leningrad presents percentages 30-35 defense industries of our country and, that means on integrity and safety of Leningrad depends the fate of our country, but also because Leningrad is the second capital of our country. To burst open to Leningrad, to engage it and to form there, let us say, bourgeois government, white guard - this means to give sufficiently serious base for the Civil War inside the country against the Soviet regime.

Here to you the defense and political value of Leningrad as the center of industrial and as the second capital of our country. This is why safety of Leningrad - is safety of our country. It is clear that as soon as the negotiations peaceful with Finland did not lead to the results, it was necessary to declare war in order with the aid of the Armed Forces to organize, to affirm and to fasten safety of Leningrad and, that means safety of our country." 35

In the two subsequent clashes with the Soviet Army, Finland accepted German support; the interpretation is not so clear in this point. There is room for reflection whether or not it is possible to use one devil to fight another one. This issue concerns not only Finland but also the anti-Soviet resistance in Ukraine, Baltic countries and even in the USSR.

It remains nevertheless beyond any doubt that if the Soviet Union had not attacked Finland in 1940, the latter would not have used a year later the German attack to regain the territories lost to the previous Soviet aggression and the subsequent tough peace agreement:

"Article 2

the national frontier between the Republic of Finland and the U.S.S.R. shall run along a new line in such fashion that there shall be included in the territory of the U.S.S.R. the entire Karelian Isthmus with the city of Viipuri and Viipuri Bay with its islands, the western and northern shores of Lake Ladoga with the cities of Kexholm and Sortavala and the town of Suoj?.rvi, a number of islands in the Gulf of Finland, the area east of M?.rk?.j?.rvi with the town of Kuolaj?.rvi, and part of the Rybachi and Sredni peninsulas, all in accordance with the map appended to this treaty...

Article 4

The Republic of Finland agrees to lease to the Soviet Union for thirty years, against an annual rental of eight million Finnish marks to be paid by the Soviet Union, Hanko Cape and the waters surrounding it in a radius of five miles to the south and east and three miles to the north and west, and also the several islands falling within that area, in accordance with the map appended to this treaty, for the establishment of a naval base capable of defending the mouth of the Gulf of Finland against attack; in addition to which, for the purpose of protecting the naval base, the Soviet Union is granted the right of maintaining there at its own expense the necessary number of armed land and air forces.

Within the days from the date this treaty enters into effect, the government of Finland shall withdraw all its military forces from Hanko Cape, which together with its adjoining islands shall be transferred to the jurisdiction of the U.S.S.R. in accordance with this article of the treaty." 36

However, the statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry does not deal with the relation between cause and effect. It only argues with the use of the peace agreement of of 1947 between the Allies and Finland. From the legal point of view, there is no room for doubt: an agreement is an agreement. Unless one wishes to look into the conditions under which these agreements were signed at the end of war, we do not have to raise unnecessary questions. Over a long period of time, this was the manner in which the USSR argued against any and all mentions of Soviet participation in the Katyn massacre:

The Communist Party Of the Soviet Union.

№ P1/35
To Brezhnev, Kosygin, Suslov,
To Andropov, To katushevu,
To ponomarevu, Gromyko, To Rusakov.
Extraction from the protocol № 1 session of the
Politburo of the CC CPSU
of 15 April, 1971 On the idea OF MID of England in connection with the
anti-Soviet campaign all around so NAZ.
the "Katyn matter".
To affirm the project of indications to sovposlam in
London and Warsaw (it is applied).

To point 35 channels № 1

You will visit MID of England and you will state the following:

"on the available in embassy information, television company the BBC will intend to show the prepared by it hostile to the Soviet Union film about the so-called" Katyn matter ". The publication in England of the slanderous book about the Katyn tragedy is timed to the same time.

To English side it is well known that the guilt of Hitlerites for this crime irrefutably is proven by the authoritative special commission, which conducted on the spot the investigation of this crime immediately after expulsion from the region of Smolensk of German occupiers. In 1945-46 g.g. International military tribunal in Nuremberg recognized main German war criminals as being guilty of conducting the policy of the destruction of Polish people and, in particular, in the shooting of Polish prisoners of war in the Katyn scaffolding.

In this connection cannot but cause surprise and disturbance the tendency of some it is circular in England again take out to the light of the insinuation of Goebbels' propaganda in order to slander the Soviet Union, whose people by its spilled blood were the Saviour of Europe from the Fascist enslavement. Embassy expects that the Foreign and Commonwealth office will take the appropriate measures to the non-admission of the propagation in England of the mentioned above slanderous materials, calculated, according to the intention of their authors, for that in order to cause worsening in the relations between our countries ".

The text of idea can leave to collocutor." 37

Both Soviet allies were aware of the Finland's specific position. They attempted, even by the end of war, to negotiate with Moscow easier conditions for Finland. However, when Stalin did not want to back off from his position, they contented themselves with the guarantee that the USSR would not annex the whole of Finland: "A separate peace with Finland was discussed at the summit meeting of the three major powers in Teheran on December 1, 1943. Roosevelt spoke in favour of Finland, and so did Churchill, even though Britain had declared war on Finland in December of 1941. Stalin admitted that "a people that had fought so valiantly for its independence deserves consideration". He presented his terms for peace: restoration of the borders of the of 1940 treaty; Annexing Petsamo To The Soviet Union; a "50 per cent restitution" for the damage caused by the Finns; the expulsion of Germans from Finland; and demobilization of the army. Roosevelt and Churchill did not comment. For them, the important thing was for Finland to remain an independent and democratic society." 38

The question why Stalin he told Tito in April 194539 - eventually regarded the Americans too much and did not annex the whole of Finland, has not yet been successfully answered. Molotov later argued pointing to the stubborness of Finns: "We were wise not to annex Finland. It would have been an running sore... The people there are stubborn, very stubborn." 40 if we take into account Stalin's above mentioned words about "a people that had fought so valiantly for its independence".it is possible that desperate courage of the Finnish people showed in two conflicts with the USSR allowed Finland to gain better position than some of the Central European countries that stood by the side of the victors only to find themselves in the Soviet sphere of influence.

Most of all, that is the case of Poland. In the beginning of the war, Poland became victim of a German-Soviet aggression. During the war, it fought the Nazi at home and abroad. It suffered horrible human and material losses only to give in to the Soviet Union large territories in the East and suffer from a communist regime installed by the Soviet Union.

"Polish Munich"

Although the Polish leadership in the West had no illusions of the consequence of the war for Poland, the result of the Yalta conference were terrible:


The Following Declaration On Poland Was Agreed By The Conference:

"A new situation has been created in Poland as a result of her complete liberation by the Red Army. This calls for the establishment of a polish Provisional Government which can be more broadly based than was possible before the recent liberation of the western part of Poland. The Provisional Government Which Is Now Functioning In Poland Should Therefore Be reorganized On A broader Democratic Basis With The Inclusion Of Democratic Leaders From Poland Itself And From Poles Abroad. This new Government should then be called the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity. "M Molotov, Mr. Harriman and Sir A Clark Kerr are authorized as a commission to consult in the first instance in Moscow with members of the present Provisional Government and with other Polish democratic leaders from within Poland and from abroad, with a view to the reorganization of the present Government along the above lines. This Polish Provisional Government Of National Unity Shall Be pledged To The Holding Of Free And Unfettered Elections As soon As possible On The Basis Of Universal Suffrage And Secret Ballot. In these elections all democratic and anti-Nazi parties shall have the right to take part and to put forward candidates.

"When a Polish Provisional of Government National Unity has been properly formed in conformity with the above, the Government of the U.S.S.R., which now maintains diplomatic relations with the present Provisional Government of Poland, and the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the United States of America will establish diplomatic relations with the new Polish Provisional Government National Unity, and will exchange Ambassadors by whose reports the respective Governments will be kept informed about the situation in Poland.

"The three heads of Government consider that the eastern frontier of Poland should follow the Curzon Line with digressions from it in some regions of five to eight kilometers in favor of Poland. They recognize that Poland must receive substantial accessions in territory in the north and west. They feel that the opinion of the new Polish Provisional Government of National Unity should be sought in due course of the extent of these accessions and that the final delimitation of the western frontier of Poland should thereafter await the peace conference." 41

Poland was more or less let down upon Moscow by its Western allies. The Soviet Army And Security Personnel Were Very Active Immediately Upon Their Arrival To The Conquered Territory. "In eastern Poland, the bloody situation from between 1939-1941 took places all over again. Armija Krajowa Officers, representatives of conspiratory parties and groups, and the intelligence were sent to prisons. Again, transports deporting the condemned took their way to the USSR. The circulation of the Polish press was discontinued; social organizations did not restore their activity. There was constant pressure to move beyond the Curzon line fueled both by the authorities and Ukrainian partisan units." 42

During the war, the Soviet regime was continuously building a parallel structure to the Polish government in exile, with seat in London, and its military forces. The objective was to build a strong base for these structures, as it was clear that they would not survive without Soviet support. Creating such positions led through destruction of the Polish resistance, and in particular Armia Krajowa officers. The army suffered heavy losses in direct hits by Soviet military forces. It also lost most of its strength in the Warsaw insurrection.

After the USSR successfully got its way as regards the government of Poland spite of Stalin's Yalta commitments- the door to communizing Poland was opened. It is then little surprising that Poland was bewildered at the statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry of February 12, 2005 that described Yalta as the place where "the allied powers affirmed their shared desire to see Poland strong, free, independent and democratic."

"Question: Please comment on the assessments that have appeared in polish media recently of the outcome and consequences of the allied powers ' Crimean (Yalta) Conference.

Commentary: We have learned with regret about the attempts being made in Poland and a number of other countries to misinterpret the outcome of the Crimean Conference of the heads of the leading allied powers of the Anti-Hitler Coalition, which concluded these February days 60 years ago.

Its most important result was, as is well known, the agreeing of the plans for the final defeat of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and Japan, and the determination of the basic principles regarding the Post- sphere world arrangement, including the establishment of the United Nations.

It was in Yalta that the allied powers affirmed their shared desire to see Poland strong, free, independent and democratic. As a result of the Yalta- Potsdam arrangement Poland received a substantial increase of its territory on the north and on the west. Security was guaranteed Poland not only by the United States and Britain, but also by the USSR.

Over the postwar decades none other than the Soviet Union was the chief stimulator of the final establishment of the Polish border along the Oder-Neisse line, which found reflection in the treaties on Poland's border with the GDR in July of 1950, and subsequently with the FRG in November of 1990. The status of the new Polish borders was reconfirmed in the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany of September 12, 1990, of which the Soviet Union was a participant along with the US, Britain and France.

So it's wrong for our Polish partners to complain about Yalta. and then too to "rewrite" the history of World War II by snatching historical events out of the context of that era is an unscrupulous thing to do." 43

Besides necessary "pity" to have abused history, stated by Russian side, the argument that "Poland received a substantial increase of its territory on the north and on the west" merits our attention. A well-versed reader attempting here to look for a mention of the territories lost in the East would be looking for vain.

Like in other cases that were or were not quoted earlier, interpretation of history by Russian authorities differs seriously from interpretation used outside Russian borders. Concerning Yalta We Can Remit To Speech Delivered In Riga Before Moscow’s Commemoration By President Bush. President summed up results of conference critically enough. He acknowledged historical responsibility of all participants of Yalta conference including President Roosevelt. Such step has not yet done by Russian side:

"For much of Germany, defeat led to freedom. For much of Eastern and Central Europe, victory brought the iron rule of another empire. V - E Day Marked The End Of Fascism, but it did not end oppression. The agreement at Yalta followed in the unjust tradition of Munich and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Once again, when powerful governments negotiated, the freedom of small nations was somehow expendable. Yet this attempt to sacrifice freedom for the sake of stability left a continent divided and unstable. The captivity of millions in central and Eastern Europe will be remembered as one of the greatest wrongs of history." 44

A simple statistics -.if ones does not intend to believe in theory of conspiracy- indicates that the Russian perspective of selected past events is not without problems. The reasons for this situation are not to be sought in a lack of understanding of Russia's own history; our attention should be given to the political ambience of the Putin regime. Current interpretations of the Soviet history in today’s Russia mirror this atmosphere quite exactly.

In March, the statement by the Military Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation did not help things, saying that the Katyn massacre did not constitute an Act of genocide. Moreover, the Office announced that while it was ready to hand over to Poland a portion of Katyn - related documents, 116 files would remain closed and classified as "top secret."

The statement by the Seym of Poland of March 22, 2005 reacted to both issues:

"Sejm Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej wyra?.a r?.wnocze?.nie ubolewanie, to?.e do dzi? zbrodnia katy?.ska jest przedmiotem politycznych dzia?.a?, zmierzaj?.cych do jej zrelatywizowania i pomniejszenia, a tak?.e rozmycia odpowiedzialno?.ci sprawc?.w. Jeste?.my przekonani, to?.e tylko ujawnienie pe?.nej prawdy o zbrodni a tak?.e napi?.tnowanie i ukaranie wszystkich jej sprawc?.w b?.dzie s?.u?.y? zabli?.nieniu ran i kszta?.towaniu dobros?.siedzkich stosunk?.w mi?.dzy Rzecz?.pospolit? Polsk? A federacj? Rosyjsk?. Pojednanie i przyja?? mi?.dzy narodami s? mo?.liwe jedynie na fundamencie prawdy i pami?.ci, a nie przemilcze?, p??.prawd i k?.amstw. Dlatego - wierni pami?.ci niewinnych ofiar spoczywaj?.cych w katyniu, Miednoje i charkowie - oczekujemy od narodu rosyjskiego i w?.adz Federacji Rosyjskiej ostatecznego uznania ludob?.jczego charakteru mordu na polskich je?.cach, tak jak to zdefiniowano podczas proces?.w w norymberdze. Oczekujemy te? wyja?.nienia wszystkich okoliczno?.ci tej zbrodni, a zw?.aszcza wskazania miejsca pochowania ogromnej grupy zamordowanych je?.c?.w, kt?.rych grob?.w do dzi? nie uda?.o si? odnale??. Uwa?.amy tak?.e, to?.e nazwiska wszystkich sprawc?.w zbrodni katy?.skiej - nie tylko mocodawc?.w, ale i wykonawc?.w - powinny by? publicznie ujawnione i napi?.tnowane. Wyra?.amy ubolewanie z powodu umorzenia of?.ledztsha w sprawie zbrodni katy?.skiej przez prokuratur? Federacji Rosyjskiej. Oczekujemy od strony rosyjskiej wydania wszystkich dokument?.w zgromadzonych w trakcie prowadzonych?.ledztsh." 45

The statement refers to the Nuremberg War Crime Trials, during which the USSR itself described the Katyn massacre as an Act of genocide. An Act committed by Germans, indeed:

"By shooting the Polish prisoners of war in Katyn Forest, the German invaders consistently realised their policy for the physical extermination of the Slav peoples." 46

When the USSR pushed this point through to the agenda of the Nuremberg War Crime Trials, it intended to forever blame the massacre on a false culprit. The ruling by the trial has since caused trouble to Russian officials. It is obvious in reactions by the usually epic Russian Foreign Ministry. In reaction to the statement by the Seym, the Ministry avoids answering the Seym's demands. It rather quotes earlier statements:

"Question: How does Moscow regard the adoption by the Polish Sejm of a resolution calling upon Russia to condemn the execution of the Polish servicemen in 1940?

Commentary: Disclosing the truth about the Katyn crime back in the early 1990s, the leadership of our country took a principled position on this question, which found reflection also in the joint statement of the Russian and Polish presidents as they signed the Treaty on Friendly and Good-Neighborly Cooperation between the two countries on May 22, 1992. We would consider it relevant to quote it:

"The memory of the victims of totalitarianism is sacred. Russia and Poland, condemning the antihuman essence of totalitarianism in all its manifestations, declare their resolve to overcome the negative legacy of the past and to build qualitatively new bilateral relations in the future based on the positive values in the history of both peoples and states as well as on international law, democracy and the observance of human rights."

We also recall the statement of five years ago by then Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Poland Jerzy Buzek at the ceremony on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Katyn tragedy: "Katyn - this symbol of Polish torments - can become a symbol of common memory, a pledge to jointly overcome the difficult part of history for the sake of a common future, for the sake of strengthening the friendly feelings between Poles and Russians and for the sake of building friendly relations between our two counties."

As we understand, these assessments remain relevant to this day." 47

In this case, Russian authorities clearly avoided condemning words. Why, then? Although Russia Is The Legal Successor To The USSR, she does not bear responsibility for crimes committed by the Soviet regime. None-the- loess deposits, Official statements tend to defend past actions by the USSR, regardless of likely and pointless suffering of relations with former Soviet satellites.

Unless changes are made, these relations shall bear the burden of history. Instead of reconciliation, Russia turns to acting outraged dignity that often replaces even the mildest penitence. The example of Germany can be used here. Since the end of World War II, Germany has shown significant efforts to build trust with the countries that suffered from the Nazi aggression. The image of Willy Brandt kneeling down in front of the memorial of Westerplatte defenders has become a symbol of the Germans ' genuine plea for forgiveness. Can we imagine Putin in a similar position at Katyn graves...

1 Statement of Vaira V??.e-Freiberga of January 12, 2005.
4 Mel'tyukhov M.I. the missed chance of Stalin. The Soviet Union and fight for Europe: 1939-1941 (documents, facts, judgment), Moscow, meeting, 2000, p. 203.
5 7

6 the Avalon Project: Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941

7 The Minister had probably misread the speech by his colleague Molotov of October 31, 1939 which says: "the special nature of the pacts of mutual aid indicated by no means indicates any interference of the Soviet Union in the matters of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, as this they attempt to depict some organs of the foreign press. On the contrary, all these pacts of mutual aid solidly specify the inviolability of the sovereignty of their signatory states and the principle of nonintervention into the affairs of another state. These pacts proceed from the mutual respect for the state, social and economic structure of other side and must strengthen the basis of peaceful good-neighborly collaboration between our peoples. We is cost for honest and punctual putting into action of the prisoners of pacts on the conditions of polnoyvzaimnosti even we declare, that the chatter about the Sovietization of the Baltic countries is advantageous only to our general enemies and any anti-Soviet provocateurs." Hammers v. M., report about foreign policy of government (at the extraordinary fifth session of the Supreme Soviet OF THE USSR), on 31 October, 1939.

8 ibidem, p.207.

9 interview with Radio Slovensko and the Slovakian Television Channel STV, 22. 2. 2005.

10 "In the interview the Russian President claimed that the Soviet Union signed the so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in order to" safeguard its interests and security of its western borders ". However, the protection of one's interests May not serve as an excuse for annexation of another sovereign country. The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Of The Republic Of Lithuania Reminds That The Congress Of The People's Deputies Of The USSR Gave Its Political And Legal Evaluation Of This Notorious Pact On 24 December of 1989, whereby the Congress condemned the secret protocols and declared them void. Therefore an attempt to "explain" the legitimacy of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact May be regarded as an attempt to once again turn over the already closed page of history and thus to review the decision of the Congress of the People's Deputies of the USSR. "Statement by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry of February 23, 2005.


12 Nazi-Soviet Relations 1939-1941. Documents from the Archives of the German Foreign Office, Washington D.C., 1948, p. 78

13 p 228

14 Molotov v. M., report about foreign policy of government (at the extraordinary fifth session of the Supreme Soviet OF THE USSR), on 31 October, 1939.

15 report of the chairman of the Council of Peoples' Commissars and the people commissioner of foreign affairs at the session OF VI session of supreme Council of the Union OF SSR on 29 March, 1940,

16 answer to the editor of "Pravda". True, 30. THE XI. 1939.

17 report of the chairman of the Council of Peoples' Commissars and the people commissioner of foreign affairs at the session OF VI session of supreme Council of the Union OF SSR on 29 March, 1940,

18 ibidem.

19 ibidem.

20 telegram to Ambassador Schulenberg, September 5, 1940. In: USSR - Germany. 1939 - 1941. In 2- X Vol. doc. and materials about the Soviet-German relations. Vol. 2., Vilnius, 1989, S. 76 - 77.

21 An interview with Nathan Steinberger (1997). World Socialist Web Site, 9..III. 2005.

22 eberhardt Piotr: Jak kszta?.towa?.a si? wschodnia granica PRL. In: Zeszyty historyczne 90/1989, Instytut Literacki, Pary? 1989, s.16

23 East Europe in documents of Russian archives 1944-1953, that I of 1944-1948, Moscow- Novosibirsk 1997, s. 99-100.

24 East Europe in documents of Russian archives 1944-1953, that I of 1944-1948, Moscow- Novosibirsk 1997, c. 85-86

25 In reaction to Putin's last sentemce, we can add one more quotation from Molotov's speech: "for the change of the hostility, which was being in every way possible preheated from the side of some European powers, arrived rapprochement and establishment of the friendly relations between THE USSR and Germany."

26 See speech given in defense of the Munich Agreement by N Chamberlain in the Parliament in october 3, 1938. Discussing Question Of Different Attitude Of Contracting Sides Towards German-Soviet Pact And The Munich Agreement It Is Enough To Compare The Note Of Speeches Given By Molotov In moscow And Chamberlain In london After Completion Of Above-mentioned Documents.


28 what Did Putin Actually Tell Ruutel, and How Did He phrase It?

29 Molotov v. M., report about foreign policy of government (at the extraordinary fifth session of the Supreme Soviet OF THE USSR), on 31 October, 1939.

30 ibidem.

31 /.shshsh.rel.eye

32 Teheran conference of the leaders of three union powers - USSR, THE USA and Great Britain. Moscow 1978. Citov?.no dle

33 "It is an interpretation of history that has gained currency in finland, particularly in the last decade. A striving for respect of its past is natural for each country. The period of mutual distrust between the Soviet Union and Finland, twice leading to war, brought incalculable suffering on the peoples of both nations. Today, 60 years later, reminiscences of this common pain should not disunite, but unite and orient us towards building constructive good-neighborly relations. Yet there are hardly any grounds to make all over the world corrections to history textbooks, erasing the mention that in the years of World War II Finland was among the allies of Hitler Germany, fought on its side and, accordingly, bears its share of responsibility for the war. In order to make sure what the historical truth is, it's enough to open the preamble to the of 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, concluded with Finland by the Allied and Associated Powers. By the way, the Treaty contained a number of serious political provisions guaranteeing the restoration in postwar Finland of human rights and freedoms, the foundation of democratic society."


35 appearance at the conference of the commanding composition on the generalization of the experience of the war shooting against Finland on 17 April, 1940.

36 Reading the articles of this agreement confirmed by the peace treaty of of 1947, one cannot help "appreciating" J.V. Stalin's sense of humor. During the lunch he hosted to honor the delegation of Finland that signed the Agreement on Mutual Assistance of April 6, 1948, he said: "agreements occur equal and unequal in rights. Soviet-Finnish agreement is equal agreement, since it is concluded on the basis of the complete equality of rights of sides. Many do not believe that the relations between the large and small nations can be equal. But we, Soviet people, consider that such relations can and must be Soviet people they consider that each nation, nevertheless, large or small, it has its qualitative special features, its specific character, which belongs only to it and which is not in other nations. These special features are that contribution, which introduces each nation into the general treasure-house of world culture and it supplements it, it enriches it. In this sense all nations - and small, and large - are located in the identical position, and each nation is equivalent to any other nation. Therefore Soviet people consider that Finland, although it is the small country, comes out in this agreement as the equal country with respect to the Soviet Union. A little it will be located the political figures of the Great Powers, which would consider small nations as equal with the large nations. The majority of them looks at the small nations on top, condescendingly. They not to away go sometimes to the one-sided guarantee for the small nations. But these workers, generally speaking, do not go to the conclusion of equal agreements with the small nations, since do not consider small nations it their partners."


38 jakobson, M, Defensive victory led the way to peace,

39 "We took the Americans much too much into account" Ibidem.

40 Interview with Molotov in 1974. Ibidem


42 paczkowski, A, Half Century of Poland's History, 1939-1989, Prague 2000, s. 74. Translation from Polish.



45 UCHWA?.A Sejmu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 22 marca 2005 R. upami?.tniaj?.ca 65. rocznic? zbrodni katy?.skiej.


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