In a December 28, 2019 broadcast on Russia 1 TV, Russian TV anchor Dmitry Kiselev criticized the West for rewriting history and failing to recognize the Soviet Union’s role in defeating Nazism in WWII. Kiselev said: “While the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over fascist Germany is approaching, the attempts to rewrite the history of World War II are becoming more insolent. As a result, it's nearly said that it's the USSR's fault that the war in Europe began.”
Kiselev also discussed a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which Putin described World War I as one of the greatest geopolitical disasters of the 19th century. Putin stressed that, in the Treaty of Versailles, the winners of WWI set conditions that created a revanchist sentiment in Germany, which had to pay “an astronomical sum” for those times. For Germany, the Treaty of Versailles became a symbol of blatant injustice and national humiliation. This revanchist sentiment was used by Adolf Hitler in his rhetoric to rise to power.
Then Putin moved on to discussing Poland’s role in WWII. “Hitler suggested that the Jews should be deported from European Countries, for starters, to Africa. The Poland’s envoy to Germany [Jozef Lipski, in a report to Foreign Minister of Poland Jozef Beck dated September 20, 1938] replied: ‘If that finds approval, we’ll set a beautiful monument to Hitler in Warsaw.”
Furthermore, Putin added that, answering Ribbentrop’s question on whether the Poles gave up Polish statesman Marshal Pilsudsky’s ambitious aspirations regarding Ukraine, Mr Beck said: “The Poles have already been to Kiev, and such intentions surely exist today.”
The state-owned Russian television channel Russia 1 reporter stated that Hitler always showed special regard towards Pilsudsky, and that he came even to his funeral in 1935. The reporter even noted that the memorial, under which Pilsudsky’s heart was buried, is still kept untouched in Vilnius. “The Poles bring flowers, the Lithuanians don’t object.” The Hitler-Pilsudsky Pact is the first agreement between a European state and Nazi Germany, while the reporter noted that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is the last.
At the CIS summit, Putin sought to set the record straight and listed all the pacts that were signed in Europe with Nazi Germany: the German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact, also known as the Hitler-Pilsudsky Pact, signed in 1934, the Anglo-German Naval Agreement of 1935, Great Britain provided to Hitler an opportunity to have its own navy, the Anglo-German Declaration, signed by Chamberlain and Hitler, on September 30, 1938, the Franco-German Declaration, signed on December 6, 1938, another agreement was signed by the Foreign Minister of Lithuania and Nazi Germany on March 22, 1939, the German-Latvian Non-Aggression Pact signed on June 7, 1939. “Thus, the agreement between the Soviet Union and Germany was the last in the list of those signed by other European countries… I wish to note that the Soviet Union agreed to sign this document only after all other opportunities had been exhausted and all the Soviet Union’s suggestions had been rejected – the suggestions for creating a unified system for security, basically an anti-fascist coalition, in Europe,” Putin stated.
The English translation was provided by Vesti.