As we approach the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, the history surrounding the beginning of the conflict and the Soviet Union’s role in it attracts more attention (“Why the heroic deeds of the Soviet people must not be forgotten,” Web, Aug. 21). In this context, the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact is of particular historical significance.
This secret agreement between the German Reich and the Soviet Union opened the door to the German and Soviet aggressions on Poland, as well as to the annexation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Stalin’s winter war against Finland and the occupation of Romania’s eastern provinces. Despite Mr. Lakhonin’s attempts to distort the cooperation between Hitler’s Germany and the Soviet Union, the truth remains clear that the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact was inexcusable and its consequences deadly.
In its attempt to shift blame away from the Soviet Union, the op-ed mentions Poland and its alleged role during Nazi Germany’s annexation of Czechoslovakia. Poland played no role in the German Reich’s intrusions into Czechoslovakia. Poland’s leadership refused a political-military alliance offered by Nazi Germany.
When the German Reich invaded Poland, the Czechoslovak Legion and Czechoslovak pilots stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Poles against this aggressor. As history shows, Poles and Czechs would fight again side-by-side against Nazi Germany during the Battle of Britain.
Poland was not an aggressor, and attempts to redraft historical facts are shameful.
In line with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, on Sept. 17, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland while Poland was defending itself against Nazi Germany. The Soviet Union unmistakably broke international law invading Polish territory. Both it and Nazi Germany attacked Poland.
It’s saddening to see the way the Russian Federation distorts history to cover the Soviet Union’s role in the outbreak of World War II. As we approach the anniversary of the outbreak of the war, we must remember to preserve the historical facts. We look forward to hosting President Trump in a few days for the upcoming commemorations, which will allow us to mark this important date together.
Spokesperson, Polish Embassy