Photo Credit: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia
Joseph Stalin shakes Joachim von Ribbentrop's hand as the USSR and Nazi Germany prepared to invade Poland

The Polish authorities must apologize for their country’s policies towards the Jews before the start of World War II, Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of Russia’s Duma (lower house) said on Tuesday, Tass reported.

“Nazi Germany exterminated more than 3 million Jews on Polish soil,” Volodin said, adding, “This is a horrifying number, colleagues. The largest portion of the Jewish people in Europe was exterminated in Poland, and it’s no coincidence.”

Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin / Courtesy

According to the Duma speaker, there was a good reason Poland had been picked by the Nazi occupiers to erect hundreds of concentration camps and death camps “where Jews, Slavs, POWs of various nationalities were deliberately exterminated.”

Speaker Volodin is convinced the large number of concentration camps in Poland was made possible by the “pre-war atmosphere in Poland and its government’s position which stoked anti-Semitic sentiment in society, creating fertile ground for the subsequent genocide and the Holocaust.”

“Perhaps we should demonstrate our position now and demand that the current Polish authorities apologize for what happened in Poland during the pre-war years and for what is happening now,” Volodin stressed.

Of course, this finger-pointing at the country whose population was deemed most likely to collaborate with the mass extermination of Jews is the tip of a Russian propaganda drive, following a resolution that had been passed by the Polish Sejm (parliament) recently, declaring that Moscow was to blame for the start of World War II.

Speaker Volodin struck back at the Polish politicians and suggested that they study the statement made by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who acknowledged the key role of the USSR in fighting Nazi Germany.

“Before passing resolutions that aim to smear the memory of the warrior-liberators of World War II [….] Our colleagues in the Sejm would do well to learn the statement by US President Franklin Roosevelt,” Volodin said.

He recommended that “those who make decisions that distort history – in Poland or elsewhere – must learn [Roosevelt’s statement] by heart.”

He elaborated: “During the difficult days of April 1942, [Roosevelt said]: ‘On the European front the most important development of the past year has been without question the crushing counter-offensive on the part of the great armies of Russia against the powerful German army. These Russian forces have destroyed and are destroying more armed power of our enemies – troops, planes, tanks and guns – than all the other United Nations put together.”

Of course, the Poles are absolutely correct in suggesting the start of WW2 involved two, count them, two invasions of their country: one from the west, that’s Nazi Germany, the other from the east, that’s the Soviet Union.

It began on August 23, 1939, with the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop pact, officially known as the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which was a neutrality pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed in Moscow by foreign ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov.

Thereafter, Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939 (sooo German to pick the first of the month for going back to school and invading Poland). Soviet chief Joseph Stalin ordered the invasion of Poland on September 17 (sooo Russian), because it was there.


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