Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

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henryk
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Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by henryk » 07 Jun 2019 21:03

https://forum.polishorigins.com/viewtopic.php?t=10854
On May 31, 2019 for the first time, a Moscow portal, Istoricheskaya pamyat, has published photocopies of the Russian originals of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols, the agreements which made Hitler and Stalin allies, opened the way to World War II in Europe, and divided the continent into German and Soviet spheres of influence.

Our dear, invaluable Elzbieta Porteneuve found an article about that in the Russian press, translated it in English, Polish and French and prepared a pdf file including historical photographs and comments.

You can read it here, as she kindly agreed to publish it on our Forum. Thank you Elżbieta!
Download available from the above site.
Russian source site:
https://www.dw.com/ru/в-россии-впервые- ... -49003672

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by henryk » 24 Aug 2019 19:01

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... rks-outcry
Molotov-Ribbentrop: why is Moscow trying to justify Nazi pact?
Exhibition about Soviet-Nazi treaty, signed on 23 August 1939, seeks to turn spotlight on west’s behaviour in 1930s

Andrew Roth in Moscow Fri 23 Aug 2019 07.17 BST Last modified on Fri 23 Aug 2019 10.14 BST

Vyacheslav Molotov (left) signs the pact as Joachim von Ribbentrop (centre) and Joseph Stalin watch. Photograph: ullstein bild via Getty Images

Eighty years after the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a non-aggression treaty dividing Europe into spheres of influence, Russia has put the original Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and its secret protocol on public display. Alongside the pact at the exhibition at Russia’s State Archives in Moscow are documents spanning from the 1938 Munich agreement and occupation of Czechoslovakia until the outbreak of war, which organisers say confirm Soviet fears that the west sought to redirect German aggression toward Moscow.

The message to Europe is clear: everyone was at it. Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who spoke at the exhibition’s opening this week, made that point explicitly: “Under these circumstances, the Soviet Union was forced on its own to ensure its national security and signed a non-aggression pact with Germany,” he said.

Sergei Lavrov speaks at the exhibition opening. Photograph: TASS/Barcroft Media

The Soviet Union long denied that the secret protocol to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact – which was signed on 23 August 1939 – ever existed, only acknowledging and denouncing it in 1989 under Mikhail Gorbachev. Now, Russia has sought to normalise the non-aggression pact, arguing that the treaty had been taken “out of context” of the vicious realpolitik of 1930s Europe. That attempt, accompanied by a foreign ministry social media campaign trumpeting the “truth about WWII” has sparked an outcry from nearby countries in eastern Europe that were annexed and divided under the pact.

The Führerbau Photograph: Bundesarchiv

“[Vladimir] Putin is saying that annexation of the Baltic states, aggression on Poland, aggression on Romania, on Finland, all of this was not a big deal, a natural part of history, and that is a problem,” said Sławomir Dębski, a Polish political scientist and the director of Polish Institute of International Affairs. “We should ask ourselves why we commemorate all these historical events. Not because these politicians are historians. We do it to send a message to our contemporary society about what is right, and what is wrong.” Besides Munich, Putin has also cited Poland’s annexation of Czechoslovakian territory in 1938 as evidence that it was not just Moscow making agreements with Adolf Hitler. Dębski argued that Polish elites had since condemned the annexations, pointing to 2009 remarks by the former president Lech Kaczyński to world leaders, including Putin, where he called the Polish annexation “a sin”.

Neville Chamberlain shakes hands with Adolf Hitler eight days before signing the Munich agreement. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

“We should ask ourselves why Russia does not condemn the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and what kind of message Russia trying to send,” Dębski said.
The governments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania have released a statement saying the pact “doomed half of Europe to decades of misery”. In a statement, they added: “This is why on this day proclaimed by the European parliament as a European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Totalitarian Regimes we remember all those whose deaths and broken lives were a consequence of the crimes perpetrated under the ideology of Nazism and Stalinism.”

Vladimir Putin gives a speech during this year’s Victory Day parade in Red Square, Moscow. Photograph: Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

This kind of language is anathema to Moscow, where equivalencies of the Nazi and Soviet roles in the second world war have been deemed “falsifications of history” and even a threat to the country’s national security. In 2009, Lavrov wrote: “The victory came at too high a price to allow it to be taken away. For us, it is a ‘red line’.” Many Russians feel that the west has underestimated the Soviet role in defeating Nazi Germany, a victory that cost the lives of an estimated 26 million Russians, Ukrainians, and other Soviet citizens.

Over the last decade, the Kremlin has sought to combat criticism of its wartime record, by revising textbooks, expanding celebrations for Victory Day, and partnering with historians, reviving the tsarist-era Russian Military Historical Society in 2012 under the leadership of Sergei Naryshkin, a senior official later appointed as Russia’s spy chief.

Joachim von Ribbentrop, second left, with Joseph Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov, far right. Photograph: TASS via Getty Images

“For better or for worse, history plays a colossal role in Russia, and is often used for political ends,” said Oleg Budnitsky, the head of the International Centre for the History and Sociology of World War II and Its Consequences at the Higher School of Economics. “War history plays an exceptionally large role.” The re-evaluation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact began as early as 2005, when Putin compared it to the Munich agreement and accused the Baltic states of attacking Russia “to cover the shame of collaborationism”. By 2007, as Russia clashed with Estonia over a bronze statue to a second world war soldier, Russian historians were increasingly publishing books and essays defending the pact as expedient.

But praise for the treaty really escalated after Russia’s annexation of Crimeain 2014, when Moscow compared far-right support for Ukraine’s revolution to Nazi-era collaboration. The following year, Vladimir Medinsky, the country’s culture minister, called the treaty “a great achievement of Soviet diplomacy”. “What’s happening in the last few years is certainly a kind of backslide, clearly in connection with politics,” said Budnitsky.

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by SloveneLiberal » 24 Aug 2019 21:22

Well "good old Putin" again in action. XD At least they do not deny the secret part of pact anymore. XD

I think it is right to quote here mrs. Merkel which said in 2015 after meeting with Putin: Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is difficult to understand without considering the additional secret protocol. With that in mind i think it is wrong. It was done illegaly.

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by OpanaPointer » 24 Aug 2019 21:55

When I was an undergrad I did a paper titled "The Effect of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on Soviet Cinema."
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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by Sergey Romanov » 24 Aug 2019 22:44

The actual texts were declassified in 1992 and published in 1993 (together with the Katyn documents).

Whether mere publishing of images is newsworthy I'll leave to the others to decide.

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by Art » 24 Aug 2019 22:58

Formally speaking the non-aggression pact was first published in August 1939. The additional protocol (Russian version) was known since early 90s. The text was reproduced about 1000 times thereafter.
We should ask ourselves why Russia does not condemn the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact
Soviet Congress of People's Deputies condemned the secret protocol in 1989 (Text in Russian). There were no official statements that had withdrawn this condemnation.
the agreements which made Hitler and Stalin allies
Non-aggression agreement doesn't make its parties allies.

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by Art » 25 Aug 2019 07:11

Worth to add that the same Congress of 1989 recognized authenticity of the available copy of the secret protocol, even though the Soviet original hadn't been made public yet.

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by Sergey Romanov » 25 Aug 2019 10:26

Albeit not yet officially condemned, the 1989 declaration has no political currency in Putin's Russia, where the pact and its secret agreements (as well as further treaties, like the friendship and border treaty which made the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union friends aka allies) are justified by blaming the Western democracies.

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by Sergey Romanov » 25 Aug 2019 10:45

As an illustrative example, an excerpt from an article that appeared on the website of the Russian Ministry of Defense in 2009:

http://web.archive.org/web/201011271403 ... i_SSSR.rtf
Everyone who has studied the history of the Second World War with an open mind knows that it started because Poland refused to satisfy German claims. However, it is less known what exactly A. Hitler was trying to achieve from Warsaw. Meanwhile, Germany's demands were very moderate: to include the free city of Danzig in the Third Reich, to allow the construction of extraterritorial highways and railroads that would connect East Prussia with the main part of Germany. The first two requirements are hardly groundless. The vast majority of the inhabitants of Danzig, which was excluded from Germany under the Treaty of Versailles, were Germans, who sincerely wanted to reunite with their historical homeland. The demand for roads was also quite natural, especially since the land separating the two parts of Germany from the "Polish Corridor" was not encroached upon. By the way, unlike the western borders, Germany never voluntarily recognized the territorial changes made by the Treaty of Versailles in the east.

[...]

The Soviet-German Treaty of 23 August 1939, used in the Baltic States as the basis for claims against the Russian Federation as the legal successor to the USSR in a conspiracy, as a result of which Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined it (it should be noted - at the request of the governments and parliaments of these States on an absolutely voluntary basis), was absolutely competent under international law. All treaties, including this one, have been included in the League of Nations register, whose members could only be sovereign States subject to international law.
At the same time, it should be noted that neither the provisions of the treaty of 23 August 1939 nor the oral agreements reached during the consultations established the state borders between the countries. The Treaty of Friendship between the Soviet Union and Germany of 28 September 1939 was essentially an agreement of "non-intervention" between these countries "within certain states or territories". Thus, the declaration of Lithuania and a significant part of Poland as a "sphere of influence" of Germany in the practice of the latter's relations with the Soviet state "could mean that the USSR would not start a war if German troops entered the territory of these countries".

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by Art » 25 Aug 2019 12:16

What quoted above is a private opinion without official status. On an official level, I repeat it, the statement of 1989 wasn't refuted so it is still in force today.
"Friendship" is usual term used in many international treaties which is not equivalent to "alliance".

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by Sergey Romanov » 25 Aug 2019 21:50

Art wrote:
25 Aug 2019 12:16
What quoted above is a private opinion without official status. On an official level, I repeat it, the statement of 1989 wasn't refuted so it is still in force today.
"Friendship" is usual term used in many international treaties which is not equivalent to "alliance".
What was quoted was posted on an official government site and thus consitutes an official opinion.

On the other hand, the 1989 statement has no political currency whatsoever in Putinist Russia.

Friendship is friendship and includes the notion of alliance.

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by Sergey Romanov » 25 Aug 2019 21:58

Here's an official statement defending the pact and blaming the West (and gets numerous dates wrong): https://idd.mid.ru/-/o-pakte-molotova-ribbentropa-
And it was not this "pact" that served as a "signal" for the outbreak of World War II, but the treacherous policy of a number of European powers, especially England and France, which instead of repulsing Hitler's aggression, sought only to turn it to the East.

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by Sergey Romanov » 25 Aug 2019 21:59

Here's Putin trying the relativization maneuver:

https://poland.mid.ru/ob-istorii-rossii ... d/14216006
And when the Soviet Union realized that it was being left alone with Hitler's Germany, it took steps to prevent a direct clash and signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In this sense, I share the opinion of our Minister of Culture that the sense for ensuring the security of the Soviet Union in this pact was. This is the first one.

Now the second one. I would like to remind you that after the signing of the relevant Munich Agreement, Poland itself took actions aimed at annexing a part of Czech territory. And it so happened that after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the partition of Poland, it itself was a victim of the policy that it tried to pursue in Europe.

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by Sergey Romanov » 25 Aug 2019 22:03

Here's a statement from a couple of days ago that fully defends the whole pact:

https://australia.mid.ru/ru/main/-/asse ... irect=true
The signing of the Soviet-German Treaty was an exceptional measure in the exceptional circumstances created by the policy of pacification of Great Britain and France. Ultimately, the treaty proved effective for the final defeat of Nazi Germany and the liberation of Europe.

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Re: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact Published in Moscow

Post by Sergey Romanov » 25 Aug 2019 22:06

Yet another official statement fully rehabilitating the pact:

https://mongolia.mid.ru/en/-/k-80-letiu ... bbentropa-
Is it any wonder that in this situation the Soviet diplomacy made a manoeuvre and responded to Berlin's proposal to start negotiations on a non-aggression pact and secret protocols to it, on the areas of separation of German and Soviet territorial interests in Europe? In that historical situation, it was the only correct decision.

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