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Moscow Publishes Photocopies of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Secret Protocols (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com)
223 points by okket 45 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 120 comments

As a bit of an aside, it is surprising how concise and to-the-point each of the articles (points) are. Compared to contracts written in modern legalese or your typical website TOS this looks almost "dumbed down" and yet it was one of the most important documents of 20th century. Perhaps we're overcomplicating things a bit today?

(ps: native Russian speaker here, but the German version looks similar.)

TOS are written for lawyers and courts. For bilateral contracts like this there's no overarching law and legal authority, so they're more like a protocol of a verbal contract.

When you read books about arms control between equal parties, they really drive in this point.

The lack of a binding authority means what you're really doing is communicating and clarifying your intentions. Knowing full well that either party could unilaterally chose to breach the terms.

One of the reasons that bilateral arms control agreements usually include a breach clause. "If you do X, we will do Y." Where Y is calculated to make X less advantageous.

I'd like to read more about arms control negotiation, do you have a book suggestion?

Contract law and international arbitration do exist though. The ultimate inability to enforce seems like it is a separate issue and not limited to bilateral contracts - nation states are more powerful than international courts in many cases.

Particularly at that time, there were no international courts that I know of who would have anything to say about a secret pact between two belligerents in the second world war.

The contract was to be enforced by the militaries of these belligerents, and to be interpreted and settled privately.

The International Court of Arbitration already existed, and there were other such courts even earlier.

It may well be the case that this was never intended as a formal contract, but I am responding to the assertion that there was no way for it to be. I stand by the claim: the issue is authority/power, not the necessary legal means.

When you say "nation states" here, do you really mean states which are based on cultural/ethnic values and self-determination or do you just mean "country"?

In the US, a "state" came to mean, well, a US state, and a "nation" (or "nation state"), a country. ('State' in the original sense, a government, is still used in some research contexts.)

While it is true about contract law and international arbitration, it would be inadequate to compare courts of early Soviet Union and today. As stated in the article, these agreements were meant to be privately handled between Adolf and Stalin, meaning there would be no overseeing court body to interpret the legality of their proposal. If anything, this agreement was their blueprint to lay a foundation for their own court system with them being their own judge and executioner.

Yes; that is what I'm saying: power is the real issue, not lack of legal framework/remedy (and in most cases, private contracts are specifically the purpose contract law; "I intended it to be privately handled" would not be a winning argument. "I have the Soviet army over that hill" might be though).

The Munich agreement was very detailed and formal. That made no practical difference. Everybody and their dog rushed to take a bite out of Czechoslovakia.

It looks fairly similar in length:


Well, relatively more detailed and formal :)

> The territory marked No. I on the 1st and 2nd of October; the territory marked No. II on the 2nd and 3rd of October; the territory marked No. III on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of October; the territory marked No. IV on the 6th and 7th of October. The remaining territory of preponderantly German character will be ascertained by the aforesaid international commission forthwith and be occupied by German troops by the 10th of October.

They also literally titled the secret amendment "Geheimes Zusatzprotokoll". And there is a photocopy of it!

It’s pretty interesting that this document is secret and there is no mechanism to enforce it. It’s pretty much just a declaration of intent.

Military is the mechanism of enforcing intent.

Lets agree to do this or there will be a war.

The complications are about drawing a line about what breaks the agreement and what does not. This is important when both parties rely on a third party to decide who broke the agreement, and justify penalties: Nobody wants uncertainty in front of a judge. In this case, neither Nazi Germany or the USSR really care about those things. If one party went over the line in a non-accidental way, there'd be would be war. It's not as if, when Germany invaded the USSR, some faux argument about the USSR breaking the agreement first would have made a difference whatsoever to third parties.

Therefore, what is best for large, highly militarized sovereign countries that solved their disagreements by trying to utterly destroy the other's regime might not work so well in civil life, where making sure we know exactly how he judiciary will interpret the contract is so important we incorporate in Delaware not just because it's cheap, but because we know how the judge will interpret the legalese.

As others have said, these agreements are meaningless, they are more like timeouts to get ready to attack. Lots of agreements were broken, when one side felt they could away with it.

> The Soviet copy of the original document was declassified in 1992 and published in a scientific journal in early 1993.

> Despite publication of the recovered copy in western media, for decades, it was the official policy of the Soviet Union to deny the existence of the secret protocol

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov–Ribbentrop_Pact

Ignorant Brit here! Is there an English version available?

Agree on the comment re this being one of the most important documents of the 20th century.

You can read it in English on Wikisource [1] among other places. The text itself is nothing new, it's been available for decades, it's just that few people have seen the Soviet-held original copies.

[1] https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Molotov–Ribbentrop_Pact

Most interesting part for me as a Pole, is "Die Deutsche Reichsreugierung" and "Union der Sozialistischen Sowjetrepubliken" and the same in russian script. So how they described themselves, and the rest is quite boring non agression treaty, so they skipped "we are going to meet in the middle of Poland and then we will see 'смех' 'Umfassungsgraben'".

As a Polish person who had Russian and German (English also :)) in school, so I can read those documents, I would say you Brits should get interested about it in 1939 not now.

Those French guys also should chip in earlier.

Don't take it personally it is a just historical joke!

Not sure. But from a rough translation if it, it is quite literally the bullet points that you've been taught in school.

"Neither party will attack the other for 10 years, with an automatic extention to this clause, if neither party denounces the other."

"In the Baltics, the northern border of Lithuania is the border of the interest of influence of both participants."

"Each party is interested in a chunk of Poland, divided by such and such river. If both parties are interested in an independent Poland, we can discuss this later."

"Any disagreements regarding this agreement should be resolved through a peaceful exchange of ideas."

It's chilling to see actual document which robbed so many people of freedom for 50 years, brought death and deportation to gulags and labor camps to more than 200k people in Baltics alone.

The phrase "publishes photocopies" has me in stitches.

Legal stuff and photocopies go hand in hand it seems.

There was a local case involving some harassing txt messages, the evidence was a series of photocopies of an iPhone on a copier....

Looks like the pact was a smart move after the West’s failure to support the initiative to create an anti-fascist coalition (in the hope that Hitler would attack the Soviet Union); its announcement even caused a government crisis in Japan.

The West hoped that Hitler would attack the Soviet Union?

That would mean the West hoped that Hitler would attack Poland as that was the only possible way that Hitler could even get to the Soviet Union at the time the pact was negotiated.

The Soviet Union wanted to modernize and expand. Hitler gave them that opportunity. If anything, it was the Soviet Union that hoped that Hitler and Western Europe would duke it out thereby weakening all their enemies.

Pragmatically, every party knew the massacre was about to start and tried to duke it out.

Smart move on part of whom, Germany or USSR?

Not only a smart move but also quite typical for that time. Note that Pilsudski was a kind of dictator and the Polish government was rather aggressive with respect to all its neighbors. Therefore, the war between Germany and Poland was a collision of two dictators - Hitler and Pilsudski.

You can't be serious comparing Pilsudski to Hitler. Poland had very good historical reasons for having an aggressive stance toward her neighbors, since it was still within living memory that their neighbors had carved them up and made them disappear from the maps. It happened again shortly after this, along with both the Nazis and Soviets committing gratuitous atrocities during their respective genocides.

I would go so far as to say that it is completely rational for Poland to doubt the intentions of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Russia to this day.

Do not forget Poland itself was aggresor occupying part of already independent neighbour Lithuania some 20years before WW2.

Well, after losing in the Great War, Germany, too, "had very good historical reasons for having an aggressive stance toward her neighbors." Which is the reason Hitler came to power in the first place.

A digression: in effect of the secret protocol being signed, then-USSR attacked Poland on 17-th of September 1939 (co-starting the 2WW, together with Germany). Wikipedia articles describing this "event" are typically named "Soviet invasion of Poland" or "Soviet occupation of East Poland", or something similar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_invasion_of_Poland

The Russian version is titled: "Polish march/hike/walk of the Red Army (1939)", and Russian speaking Wikipedians don't like the idea of changing the title.

"co-starting the 2WW, together with Germany"

It's so convenient to ignore the Munich agreement and the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia by Germany, Poland and Hungary with the approval of the West and despite the USSR's objections.

That's something both Polish and international historians condemn, and there's no serious justification of this act, not in maintream Polish history books, nor on Wikipedia (described as "annexation" in .pl wiki). PS: Poland was not a signatory to the Munich agreements.

But Molotov-Rippentrop pact is a direct consequence of the Munich agreement that clearly signalled that the West doesn't intend to fight Nazis and the USSR would be alone.

The same signal was reinforced by the failure of the USSR to form an anti-Hitler alliance with France and the GB.

The events that followed prove the lack of will to fight Hitler on part of the West - the Great Britain declared war on the Germany after it invaded Poland, but this war is called the Phony War for a reason - the GB didn't actually do anything.

So when you reduce the history to "the USSR signed the pact with Hitler and they together started WW2" it is at the very least uninformed.

At the time, it didn't prevent Poles to take their bite from Czechoslovakia too.

I've already condemened it.

PS: I like sharp counterarguments, but I guess it cannot go as "P1: We did wrong! P2: What about that time you did wrong?"

No honor among thieves. Poland was marked to be taken off the history books because her neighbors were powerful. Poland would have the same back then, if it was in their position. History of the world. The last few decades are very unique as we have peace, minus a few things here and there.

There's a short story (by Alan Dean Foster?) about the Polish empire surviving into the 20th century and leading to a glorious utopian age.

Yeah! what about that![0]

0: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

Please don't mindlessly repeat this Cold War propaganda bit.

There is a direct cause and effect relationship between the Munich agreement and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Talking about the latter starting the WW2 without mentioning the former is at the very least misleading.

Please, don't mindlessly repeat this Russian propaganda. Rapallo happened in 1922. And there is a direct cause and effect relationship between it and German militarization.

You will need to elaborate on that.

Edit: Please don't substantially edit your comments after they have a reply.

And you still need to elaborate.

The war nearly started in 1938 over Czechoslovakia. Hitler was already determined upon war at that point, so he is right that it’s a split toe more complex than that. You have to look at the preceding years, appeasement and Munich.

Worth noting that the Allies who justified the protection of Poland to declare war on Germany, avoided declaring war on Soviet Russia which invaded Poland on the Eastern side (about 2 weeks after).

From another POV: those two week later Poland as a state didn't exist, the former Polish government was in exile, and USSR took back territories that Poland took from USSR in the 1919-1921 Polish-Soviet war.

Polish government went exile after the Soviets invaded.

PS: In 1919, it was USSR who fought the war on Polish ground, and lost. I don't think you'll find too much material to play moral high ground here.

2nd Polish republic was established after WW1, so there was no Polish ground. The border was supposed to be Curzon line (exactly that line, that USSR took back in 1939), but the Poles were gunning for more, hence the 1919-1921 war.

If you consider Polish ground whatever was high mark of Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, then good luck with that. It was empire building in the making, they overstretched and didn't make it. It is no Polish ground exactly in the same sense, that Balkan is not Turkish either.

> 2nd Polish republic was established after WW1, so there was no Polish ground

Versailes declaration (FR, UK, IT), with support of Polish statehood - June 1918 / End of WW1 - November, 1918 / 2nd Polish Republic established - November, 1918 / Start of Polish-Sovet war - February, 1919

Polish statehood is not the same as the polish territory at a convenient point of time.

After Versailles, the Poland was established on the territory of Germany, Austro-Hungarian empire and Russian empire. However, the Russian empire part was supposed to be up to the Curzon line.

Instead, the Poles went opportunistic far behind it. What they gained in the war (because Soviets were weak at the time), they lost in the war 20 years later (table has turned, they were weak at the time).

Not that they didn't similar things elsewhere; they had to annex parts of Czechoslovakia too (1919-1920).

Sorry, I don't have sympathy when a conqueror loses whatever they conquered.

- In 1918, borders of Poland were established on the future Curzon line (more or less, less in fact) - https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historia_Polski_(1918%E2%80%93...

- The territorial gains of Poland in 1919-1920 materialized, because it won a war started by the Soviet Union

- Curzon line was proposed/described only in 1920

- Those lands (that you described as conquered and re-conquered) weren't Russian etnically, more like Belarusian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Ruthenian

- (edit) The secret pact (Germany-USSR) didn't say Soviet union will recover the territorial gains from 1920-1921, but that it will occupy Eastern Poland (east of Vistula River), making it effectively partition of Poland, so no Curzon line here too.

PS: Please reply if you'd like, and EOT for me. This whole centithread started because I wanted to display that the current Russian historiography is heavily biased (way more than other "western" countries) towards minimizing its own misdeeds, and portraying them as innocent, normal or justified.

I'm sorry, but this reads like "Russians fought for Belarusian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Ruthenian lands".

Looks quite strange at least about Ukrainians (which were half as many as Russians). Do you think they stayed home? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_All-Union_Census_of_the_...

Meanwhile Poland occupied ethnic Ukrainian territories https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish–Ukrainian_War (east of future Curzon line).

This helped Bolshevik to overthrow https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_People%27s_Republic

Of course Bolshevik never intended to stop until all Europe is in fire.

That's Poland who started the war https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiev_Offensive_(1920)

> Piłsudski also said: Closed within the boundaries of the 16th century, cut off from the Black Sea and Baltic Sea, deprived of land and mineral wealth of the South and South-east, Russia could easily move into the status of second-grade power. Poland as the largest and strongest of new states, could easily establish a sphere of influence stretching from Finland to the Caucasus. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish–Soviet_War

I can't see Poland in good light here - same imperial attitude, same old flows in ethnic politics. Same as Russia.

As for the pact

> The terms of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939 provided for the partition of Poland along the line of the San, Vistula and Narew rivers which did not go along Curzon Line but reached far beyond it and awarded the Soviet Union with territories of Lublin and near Warsaw.


> Soviet Union annexed all territories east of the Curzon Line plus Białystok and Eastern Galicia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curzon_Line

PS: I've replied only because I wanted to display that the comment is heavily biased (way more than other "western" countries) towards minimizing its own misdeeds, and portraying them as innocent, normal or justified.

I don't think I've ever made a point that PL (and earlier PL-LI commonwealth) had a stellar record of treatment of minority nationalities in its borders. Could you clarify with which point I'd made you argue?

> Those lands (that you described as conquered and re-conquered) weren't Russian etnically, more like Belarusian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, and Ruthenian

Those lands were not Poland ethnically.

  hey were weak at the time
Didn't "Weak" Poland survive longer fighting a two-front war than France did in its single-front war? And for the remainder of the war, escaped Poles fought for Britain and other allies.

> USSR took back territories that Poland took from USSR in the 1919-1921 Polish-Soviet war

Essentially, Poland was occupying these territories between 1921 and 1939. Also, Poland had a dictatorship (quite typical in Europe at that time) and they were highly aggressive with respect to their neighbors: Polish-Ukrainian War (1918–19), Polish-Lithuanian War (1920, culminating in Żeligowski's Mutiny), Polish-Czechoslovak border conflicts (beginning in 1918).

It had authoritarianism (with many democratic elements in place) since 1926 (way way more liberal than that of Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany). Before that it was fully democratic (though, chaotic).

As for the conflicts you'd decribed, some of them were conflicts without clear aggressor (e.g. Polish-Czechoslovak conflicts of 1918) typical of those times, some were misdeeds of Polish state (annexation of Vilnus and Czechoslovakian Zaolzie in 1938).

This is an absolutely non valid POV. The Polish government still existed back on the 17th of September when the USSR invaded, and Russia and Poland has signed a treaty of non-aggression that was renewed for 10 years in 1934 and was still claimed to be valid by both parties back in 1938.

There's no way you can deny that the USSR invaded a state of Poland that still existed and was still fighting against aggressors right when Russia troops passed the frontier.

One source, out of many: https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k4437527/f1.item.zoom

Note that your comment is actually pure propaganda from Staline's himself (this is exactly what the USSR claimed when they invaded Poland, and they presented themselves as liberators and protectors instead of invaders). Of course, you should know better than to trust the communist propaganda.

The invasion by the USSR is what caused the collapse of Poland. It couldn't fight a two-front war.

As if it hadn't been losing to the Germans already.

So, helping Nazi Germany in the beggining of the WW2 seems justified in light of this, I agree.

The Germans did not need help, and they would have been happy to take all of Poland.

USSR didn't exist in 1920 either, it was established in 1922.

True, but when you use the optics "it is no man's land, let's take it while we can", why only in the case of 1919-1921, but not in the 1939 case?

When Soviets crossed Polish borders in 1939, the Polish statehood was exactly in the same defunct state as the Soviet in 1919-21.

Polish borders as of 1918 are here - https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historia_Polski_(1918%E2%80%93...

Soviet Union decided to attack, it lost the war, it had to ceede territory.

Poles didn't cross the Soviet border in 1919.

British and French had treaties with Poland, the US didn't enter the war until 41.

Roosevelt and Churchill seemed to believe Stalin's promises about Poland at Yalta. Only later did they seem to realise Stalin's words were empty. Churchill was hugely criticised in parliament right after for the poor treatment of Poland, including by his own party. There was even a vote of confidence in the government.

Of course post-war Europe ended up looking very suspiciously like the Molotov-Ribbentrop lines...

Roosevelt and Churchill practically gave away the whole of Eastern and Central Europe to Stalin. That's why the whole Yalta affair is quite unpopular amongst Eastern and Central Europeans. Hopefully history won't repeat itself now that we're all part of Nato.

Trump is tearing down NATO right now and the US doesn't even need it anymore since it's focusing on China. I'm glad that Romania is on the Western side this time, maybe we get to be spared from foreign imposed governments for once.

If we get lucky maybe we can sneak in a reunion with Moldova within the next few decades while Russia goes through its usual cycle: https://www.economist.com/sites/default/files/images/print-e...

If you ignore the bullying, Trump is rather pragmatic. He's not tearing down NATO but pushing other NATO countries to take responsibility, fund their militaries and maybe buy US weapons in the process. Poland and Romania are quite receptive, Germany not so much because they aren't directly threatened.

The focus on China and Iran is also pragmatic. China has gotten more aggressive lately and Iran is likely getting punished.

"USSR attacked Poland on 17-th of September 1939 (co-starting the 2WW, together with Germany)."

German army was to complete the occupation of the Sudetenland (part of Czechoslovakia) by October 10 (1938), and an international commission would decide the future of other disputed areas. Czechoslovakia was informed by Britain and France that it could either resist Germany alone or submit to the prescribed annexations. The Czechoslovak government chose to submit.

The Soviet Union also had a treaty with Czechoslovakia, and it indicated willingness to cooperate with France and Great Britain if they decided to come to Czechoslovakia’s defense, but the Soviet Union and its potential services were ignored throughout the crisis.


They ended up with the USSR coming to their "defense" anyhow, just like they also did later, in 1965.

Why lie?

>Польский поход Красной армии (17—29 сентября 1939 года), в советской историографии освободительный поход РККА, в современной историографии также советское вторжение в Польшу

Polish march of the Red Army, liberating march of The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army in soviet historiography, also Soviet invasion of Poland in modern historiography.

Listen, after decades of listening to the American Civil War being refought, this discussion is fascinating and entertaining. But can we keep it somewhat civil?

Please retract the accussation of lie, it's quite unpleasant to me personally: I said that the title says "march", and you seem to confirm.

Your comment states this as if russian version has nothing to do with 'invasion", if not a lie, than clearly an attempt to make people think that russian version is somehow different in this regard, which is a lie. As the 'march' part is only applicable to soviet historiography as stated on the wiki page and obviously should not be changed as this is a historical fact.

Is this when there were mass killings of poles in the forests? Or was that by the Nazis?

Katyn was perpetrated by the Soviets.


Would you please not post flamebait to HN? Especially not nationalistic flamebait. It's pretty amazing that the commenters who replied stayed so level-headed, because normally a comment like this would lead straight to the inner circles of hell.


How would you state facts on the ground without getting an ire of people whose own political position puts them on a collision course with truth?

I'm not being provocative here. Saying that "genocide of Jews during ww2 is an established fact," for example, does not feel to be an insult or provocation to any level headed person.

Why are you accommodating such people?

You could start by making sure that your "fact" is both true and relevant, and by giving people enough information to establish that for themselves.

Comparing your comment to something that everybody knows is misleading in this case. You made a provocative claim on an inflammatory topic (which all nationalistic topics are, and unfortunately getting more so). That's flamebait by default, so to follow the HN guidelines, you need to pack your comment with flame retardants like substantive information and neutral language.

This, of course is a bit of exaggeration, but I see what you mean. As a one who had to study history from Soviet textbooks, as far as I remember there was no such thing as Secret Protocols to that pact. Correct me if I am wrong, but the Soviet invasion of Poland did not happen (and Katyn massacre was work of Germans) and Baltic states asked to be "admitted" into Union (all of them, almost simultaneously). The winter war with Finland of course was Finnish provocation, for which they had to pay by giving up parts of Karelia. I wouldn't be surprised that officially endorsed interpretation of history in modern Russia is not far from what it was back then.

I'm Czech, and I was hitchhiking around Balkan last summer. One time we stopped a young-ish Russian driver (around 35). He didn't even know that their army occupied Czechoslovakia, he thought we got attacked and the Warsaw Pact army came to help. He thought (and probably still thinks) I'm lying, even after I've shown him a wiki page. He nearly left us on the side of a highway over this, he got really angry about it (but he was a good person!).

I wonder was it something he had been thought at school or did he learn it from media/internet/friends later on. I'm Polish and I remember history classes on Tesin in 1938 or Poland's involvement in 1968 invasion. But I also see a lot of history whitewashing from nationalist movements succesfully penetrating the society.

I too used to hitchhike in the Balkans and usually tried to avoid politics or sensitive subjects but I guess I wouldn't be able to resist myself in this case. Probably ending up thrown out by the driver considering current Poland-Russia relations. Sad how people in Central/Eastern Europe are still traumatized by the consequences of WW2.

You can't really blame him for being taught an alternative history. Another victim of soviet propaganda. I don't know what they've been telling people in Czechoslovakia before 1989, but in the rest of the Warsaw Pact countries the Soviets were touted as liberating heroes, even after they invaded Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

I don't blame him in the slightest. I was already aware by then that Russians are taught bullshit from different personal experience. One point though, he went to school after the fall of the Soviet Union, not before.

I'm sure they think that they liberated Crimeea and Donbass as opposed to occupying parts of Ukraine. No wonder the accepted line of thought in Russia is still that the USSR has liberated all these ungrateful nations.

A few weeks ago I watched the police detain a drunk 60-ish Russian man in Prague who screamed at people visiting the protest (against Babis, the prime minister who is directing EU fund money to his corporation Agrofert) that we're "ungrateful bitches" and "we'll [Russians] be back to take what we gave you".

Are you referring to the events of 1968 ?

Yes, the Warsaw Pact invasion that ended the Prague Spring - he had no idea even about Prague Spring

Well, that entry did not exist in history books of USSR back then, and chances are low it is included now.

I assume this comment was not intended to be taken seriously. Most of the population of what are now independent countries of Belarus and Ukraine, but used to be part of USSR, are pretty well aware of where the Polish border was in 1939. If you visit, it becomes apparent that this fact would be impossible to hide, and no serious efforts to hide it have been made in recent years or earlier. Most towns West of Minsk still bear polish-sounding names and are predominantly catholic while those East of Minsk are orthodox with Russian-sounding names. Many people in western parts of Ukraine and Belarus hold the equivalent of polish green cards issued to them as poles, and everyone is pretty well aware of the reasons, and so on. I don’t know what the modern school books say on the subject (it is true that 30 years ago they began the WWII history with the 1941 events) but there is abundance of information on the subject, including Russian resources, and none of it certainly “gets you killed”.

1. stating a historical fact gets you a prison term for sure https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&...

2. Going to jail in Russia is a 1 in 10 to 1 in 5 chance to die from terrible conditions or prison violence. And that is of course will be more aggravated if you are a political prisoner.

3. A list of people who went missing going into thousands now

>These days saying "Union invaded Poland" in public gets you killed in Russia.

Can you please stop with this bullshit, really? We even have this is school textbooks: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6jSNt06CW1HQlM5ekpUWDVfdUU...

Thank you for posting. I was very interested to know what the modern-day school history books say.

For non-Russian speakers I can confirm that on page 203 of the above-referenced history book for the 9th grade it says that World War II started on Sep. 1, 1939 with the German invasion of Poland. It also contains plenty of info on Soviet invasion of Poland, albeit in such context as “it was necessary to create a buffer zone” etc - but it’s there. The Soviet-German pact is also referenced and so is the secret addendum, and it specifically states that Germany and USSR have divided Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe into “spheres of influence”. Which is pretty much what the actual newly declassified document says.

I myself studied by a much earlier version of this textbook, and can attest an almost 5 fold reduction in material covering thirties in comparison to edition I was taught on.

The biggest omission being the use of word invasion or statements amounting to Soviet-German conspiracy to start the war against these countries.

> specifically states that Germany and USSR have divided Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe into “spheres of influence”

You have to admit, dividing "spheres of influence" sounds way more benign in comparison to "joint invasion plan"

I haven't been killed yet.

> These days saying "Union invaded Poland" in public gets you killed in Russia.

This surprised me. What's the officially sanctioned version of history?


>Польский поход Красной армии (17—29 сентября 1939 года), в советской историографии освободительный поход РККА, в современной историографии также советское вторжение в Польшу

Polish march of the Red Army, liberating march of The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army in soviet historiography, also Soviet invasion of Poland in modern historiography.

For some reason some people over here are very eager to 'prove' some weird fantasies.

I even bothered to find a scanned copy of a moder school text book. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6jSNt06CW1HQlM5ekpUWDVfdUU...

The polish invasion is there. Not awful lot about it, just that Hitler and Stalin desided this is how it shall be and that sovieat army entered Poland on 17th.

> What's the officially sanctioned version of history?

To hear the official version, you have to ask first, and that either gets you a jail term for "denial of historical facts (of course, without stating which facts)" or you will just go missing to be found in separate body parts a month later.

This is complete nonsense.

The Russian government cares about one thing - perpetuating the Russian government. Nobody in it cares about 80-year-old history.

> or you will just go missing to be found in separate body parts a month later.

My communist ancestors would call this "getting swallowed by the night"

As someone who grew up in Russia and went to school in Russia in the 90s and early 2000s, this is not true.

I would be curious what your sources are, if any.

Just because there is limited freedom of the press in Russia doesn’t mean it’s a Stalinist dystopia.

   "Union invaded Poland" 
   in public gets you killed
Why? What is taught in schools about this part of Soviet history?

Russia isn't even the Soviet Union, and the leader at the time was Georgian.

Instead of WWII they started to teach about The Great Patriotic War, which starts in 1941, when Germany attacks USSR. I heard many Russians deny WWII, since the first two years are full of shameful acts and nazi-friendly stuff.


Well, that's just bullshit.

WWII, its dates and events were all in history textbooks in Russla when I was in school (1995-2005) and they are stil there.

We do not teach about The Great Patriotic War instead of the WWII. For TGPW is the greatest part of the WWII, for obvious reasons, that is why it is tought in more deapth and has more hours than other parts combined.

This used to be true 30 years ago but is no longer true.

As I recall from conversation, it's that the USSR did not jointly invade Poland with Germany; this is evidenced in the fact that they did not invade on the same day. Furthermore, the USSR wasn't even invading Poland; the USSR was striking West through Poland in order to protect Poland from Germany.

Aha, of course, just like the Berlin Wall was an "Anti-Fascist Protection Barrier"!


Just in case your comment is taken out of context, I'd recommend starting it with:

In schools it was taught that …

> What is taught in schools about this part of Soviet history?

Now, nothing, or at least in newer textbooks. USSR just "did nothing for the whole of nineteen thirties"

Not true. One of the commenters on this thread was nice enough to post the modern-day history book for the 9th grade. Unless you believe he went through the effort of redacting it, you will see that it contains details of USSR’s invasion of Poland in 1939, German-Soviet pact and its secret addendum, nature of the agreement to divide Poland and other countries between Germany and USSR, and so on. Factually it seems to agree pretty well with Western sources.

Orlov's history textbook don't even give it a glancing mention in latest editions. That one is more common in more lower tier educational institutes.

A more liberal Brandt's textbook, the one posted above, been heavily edited year after year to its current state where the pact, invasion of Poland, and whole of thirties was reduced to just few pages.


Please do not do nationalistic flamewar on HN. It's most unwanted here.


How was Poland "one of the biggest warmongers in WW2"?

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