Putin's allegations against Poland are indecent - German daily

The German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) commenting on the latest accusations by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who blamed Poland for actual collusion with the German Third Reich, considered them "obscene and indecent."

FAZ wrote on Friday that over recent days Putin has repeated accusations against Poland that it cooperated with Hitler and contributed to the outbreak of World War II and the Holocaust.

"It is true that the Polish armed forces took Zaolzie (lands beyond the Olza River - PAP) after the Munich Agreement (...), but the attempt to make Poland the culprit, in the view of the size of Hitler and Stalin's crimes, is obscene and indecent," FAZ said.

FAZ has no doubt that the reason for Putin's attacks is the European Parliament resolution adopted on September 19, raising the awareness of the importance of European history for the future of Europe. It condemned, among others, all forms of propagating totalitarian ideologies such as national socialism and Stalinism. The resolution also criticised the Russian authorities for relativising the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact.

Following the resolution, a spokeswoman of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the European Parliament of historical revisionism and complained about the practice of equating Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Last Friday at a sitting of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Putin said the immediate cause of the war was not the August 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, but the 1938 Munich Agreement, which secured the cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territory of Czechoslovakia and which Poland attempted to use to secure its claims to the Zaolzie region it was in dispute over with Czechoslovakia.

Referring to the Soviets' September 22, 1939, takeover of Brest in then eastern Poland (today's Belarus) from the Germans, who had captured the city several days earlier, Putin stressed that did not mean the Soviets had taken it from Poland, as they were not fighting against Poland at the time and Poland had lost control of the area. He also observed that the Red Army's entry into the region probably helped save many local lives, especially those of Jews, who would have been exterminated by the Germans.

"At that time the Polish government had lost control of those territories, so there was nobody to negotiate with. The Soviet Union did not actually take anything away from Poland," Putin said.

He also accused Poland's pre-war government of hedging ties to Nazi Germany, by which they "exposed their people, the Polish people, to the German war machine and contributed to the outbreak of World War Two."