The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact – History Matters (Short Animated Documentary)
The document that precipitated the outbreak of World War II is 80 years old
80 years ago, on August 23, 1939, the Non-Aggression Pact was signed between Germany and the Soviet Union, also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
Historians are still arguing about its role and significance in the events that followed. Some attribute the pact to the successes of Soviet diplomacy, others stigmatize the document.
Attached to the treaty was a secret additional protocol on the so-called delimitation of spheres of interest in Eastern Europe. It was so secret that entire generations of Soviet people knew nothing about it. Its publication had the effect of an exploding bomb..
As follows from the protocol, Stalin and Hitler essentially agreed on the division of Europe, which was soon carried out. Already on September 1, 1939, World War II broke out.
In 2009, the European Parliament proclaimed 23 August as the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Stalinism and Nazism
Voice of America Russian Service asked Russian scientists to comment on the document.
History professor Andrei Zubov is convinced that the pact was undoubtedly a conspiracy, vile and immoral at that..
“He was imprisoned behind the backs of others by two totalitarian regimes, which, not only did not put the interests of their peoples at a price, but also absolutely ignored the will of the peoples whose territories were being divided,” he argues. – This is collusion. In this case, collusion is not an evaluative characteristic, but completely objective and accurate “.
As for the very essence of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, it was he who, like nothing else, opened the direct path for the Second World War, the professor emphasized. According to him, 60 million people who died in this war, victims of the Holocaust and other tragedies are all on the conscience of those who signed the treaty on August 23, 1939..
“That is why the Kremlin propaganda is so diligently guarding the myth of the necessity and inevitability of concluding a pact today,” he says. – Because the correct vision of this treaty first of all denounces Stalin. The fact that Hitler was an aggressor was no secret to anyone by that time “.
At that time, Germany had already captured Czechoslovakia and Moravia..
One word from Stalin that he would conclude a non-aggression and mutual assistance pact with Britain and France could have stopped German aggression forever, Andrei Zubov believes and explains: “The balance of forces in Europe in 1939 was such that even after the capture of Czechoslovakia, Germany was infinitely weaker than England , France and Poland. If they had united, then, of course, they would have easily repulsed the Fuhrer, and Nazism, most likely, like a boil, would have dried up and disappeared by itself after a while. But Stalin, in every possible way pushing the conclusion of this pact, contributed to the creation of a war situation in the world. And it turned into a tragedy unprecedented in the history of mankind “.
Those who seek to whitewash the pact, trying to pass it off as an urgent need and stressing that Stalin, in fact, had no other choice, are either making a historical mistake or deliberately lying, the professor summed up.
In turn, the author of the recently published book “Russian history, conversations about meanings …” Professor Igor Chubais in an interview with the Voice of America correspondent insists that the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was just a signal of the beginning of World War II: “Because just a week later after the signing of the pact, Germany attacked Poland. In fact, on the same day, the Soviet Union got involved in the process: German planes flew to Warsaw on the signal of a radio station located in Minsk “.
This treaty has been analyzed many times, and its meaning is completely clear, Igor Chubais believes: “Here we can add that Hitler perfectly remembered the testament of Bismarck, who said: Germany should never fight on two fronts. Therefore, wishing to unleash a war, the Fuhrer first came to an agreement with Stalin, secured himself from the East, then to suppress and almost completely capture Europe. And when he did this, he attacked the Soviet Union as well. The leader of the peoples deeply miscalculated, which led to tragic consequences both for the whole world and for our long-suffering country “.
There are many different aspects here, the professor continues. In particular, in his opinion, this indicates that Russia has not had its own history for over a hundred years: “Therefore, the assessment of the pact is constantly changing. For decades under Soviet rule, it was argued that there was no secret protocol and could not be. Then, in 1989, the existence of the protocol was recognized. The document was published and publicly denounced as deeply immoral, unacceptable, and so on. And in recent years, at the suggestion of President Putin, they again began to assure us that the pact was signed on time, that it was correct, that Stalin thereby wanted to gain time. Everything is back to square one … “
The Kremlin is trying to whitewash this pact because Russia has declared itself the successor to the Soviet Union, Igor Chubais summed up. It seems to him that this is precisely why the picture of World War II and what preceded it remains seriously distorted and mythologized..