On December 24, Vladimir Putin took part in the Defense Ministry Board meeting held at the National Defense Control Centre. During the Defense Ministry Board meeting, Putin discussed the role of European countries in contributing to the outbreak of WWII. Commenting on Poland, Putin used strong words to criticize the Polish ambassador to Nazi Germany, Josef Lipski, who backed Hitler in 1938. “That bastard! That antisemitic pig – I have no other words,” Putin said referring to Lipski. This video aired on Rossiya-24 TV (Russia) and was translated into English by Vesti.
The Kremlin’s website published the full transcript of Putin’s remarks:
President Vladimir Putin: The USSR was the last country in Europe to sign the Treaty of Non-aggression with Germany. The last! All the other leading European countries did this before the Soviet Union. Yes, the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (let me remind you that Ribbentrop was Germany’s foreign minister, and Molotov was the foreign minister and chairman of the Council of Ministers) was signed, and there was also a secret protocol which defined the spheres of influence.
But what have the European countries been doing before that? The same! They had all done the same thing, starting in 1938, when Hitler claimed part of Czechoslovakia, and Great Britain and France turned their backs on their ally, although France had a treaty of mutual assistance with Czechoslovakia. Thus Hitler got a chance to seize part of the country.
But what did the other countries do, Poland, for example? They actually conspired with Hitler. This much is directly evident from the documents – from archive documents. Another question is whether there were any secret annexes or not – but it doesn’t matter. It is important how they acted. They acted in collusion for certain – just from the documents on how they negotiated. And at the so-called Munich Conference, Hitler directly represented the interests of Poland, and partly of Hungary. He directly represented their interests, and then he said to the Poles: It was so difficult to defend your interests, you know. We have it all in the documents. Thank God, we have enough archival documents that we attained as trophies from the European countries after World War II.
But that’s not all. What really hit me hard, I’m telling you honestly, was how Hitler and the official representatives of Poland discussed the so-called Jewish problem. Hitler told the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and later bluntly said to the Polish Ambassador to Germany that he had a plan to send the Jewish population to Africa, to the colonies. Imagine, in 1938, to expel Jews from Europe to Africa. [This meant] sending them to their extermination, to destruction.
And here is what the Polish ambassador wrote to the Polish Foreign Minister, Mr Beck: When I heard this, he wrote, I responded (to Hitler, he means), that if this happens and this issue is resolved, we will build a beautiful monument to him (to Hitler) in Warsaw. That bastard! That anti-Semitic pig – I have no other words. He was in complete solidarity with Hitler in his anti-Jewish, anti-Semitic sentiment and, moreover, he proposed erecting a monument to Hitler in Warsaw for persecuting the Jewish people. And he wrote to his patron, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, apparently hoping for understanding and approval. He would not have written this without a reason.
I won’t go into more detail now, but in any case, I want to emphasize again: we have enough materials to prevent anyone from corrupting the memory of our fathers, our grandfathers, and all those who gave their lives for the victory over Nazism.
I just want to note that this kind of people, people like the ones who were negotiating with Hitler back then, they now deface monuments to the liberator soldiers, Red Army soldiers who liberated the countries of Europe and the European peoples from Nazism. These are their followers. In this sense, unfortunately, little has changed. And we must keep this in mind, also with regard to the development of our Armed Forces.