British historian Roger Moorhouse on the impact of Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its Secret Protocols
Brest, which belonged to Poland, was occupied by the Wehrmacht during the campaign against this country, which began on September 1
Eighty years ago, solemn events were held in Brest on the occasion of the transfer of the city by the Wehrmacht – the armed forces of Nazi Germany – under the control of the Soviet Workers ‘and Peasants’ Red Army. Wehrmacht soldiers marched in front of the rostrum, which was attended by representatives of the Soviet and German command. The German flag was lowered and the Soviet.
Brest, which belonged to Poland, was occupied by the Wehrmacht during the campaign against this country, which began on September 1. On September 17, Soviet troops entered Poland. According to the agreements between Germany and the USSR, the city, however, was part of the so-called Soviet sphere of influence and had to be transferred under the control of Soviet troops, who approached it from the east..
Photo and video of the parade, as well as the memories of the German general Heinz Guderian (later one of the leaders of the German offensive on Moscow) and the Soviet brigade commander Semyon Krivoshein, who received it, have been preserved..
Later, Brest, like other territories of Western Belarus, was included in the Byelorussian SSR. After the German attack on the USSR in June 1941, heavy battles were fought for the Brest Fortress.
In Soviet times, the fact of joint activities of Soviet and German troops in Brest was not advertised. A number of Russian historians argue that it is impossible to talk about a joint parade, since Soviet troops did not participate in the passage of troops, but only watched it. The same opinion is shared by the Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky, who in one of his interviews called the evidence of the parade a phantasmagoric lie, invention and photoshop of that time “.
On the anniversary of the parade in Brest, the Russian Foreign Ministry published a tweet stating that “thanks to the Soviet-German non-aggression pact (the so-called Molotov-Ribbentropp Pact, signed on August 23, 1939, the secret protocol to which delimited“ spheres of influence ”in Poland. – RS) the war began on the strategically more advantageous borders for the USSR, the population of these territories was subjected to Nazi terror two years later, hundreds of thousands of lives were saved “
The tweet drew a strong reaction from many social media users..
In connection with the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on September 19, in which it blamed both Germany and the Soviet Union for its unleashing and condemned totalitarian regimes – both Nazi and communist. At the same time, the current Russian authorities were accused of trying to falsify historical facts..