Fourth of five parts
I WANT to show you another document — a transcript of Adolf Hitler’s conversation with Foreign Minister of Poland Jozef Beck on Jan. 5, 1939. This document is indicative. It is a sort of distillation of the joint policy of the German Reich and Poland on the eve of, in the course of and after the end of the Czechoslovakia crisis. The content is cynical in its attitude towards neighboring nations and Europe as a whole. And it clearly illustrates the contours of the Polish-German alliance as a striking force against Russia.
Let me quote just a few excerpts, Document 13. Everything is in fine print here. This is a copy of the May 17, 1939 document, and I asked my colleagues to make excerpts for me so they are readable.
So, quote number one. The Fuehrer says bluntly, “It was not easy to get the French and the English to consent to the inclusion of Polish and Hungarian claims to Czechoslovakia in the Munich agreement.” This means Hitler was working in the interests of those countries then. In fact, Hitler was an attorney for the Polish authorities in Munich.
And the second quote. The Polish minister says, with a certain pride, that Poland does not show such nervousness about enhancing its security as, for example, France does, and attaches no importance to the so-called security systems that went completely bankrupt after the September crisis (Sudetenland crisis) in Czechoslovakia. They do not want to establish anything. The Polish foreign minister says this to Hitler directly.
None of the decision-makers in Berlin or Warsaw cared about the fact that the security system in Europe was disintegrating. They cared about something else.
In this connection, the third quote. Hitler says: “Under all circumstances, Germany will be interested in the preservation of a strong national Poland, absolutely independently from the situation in Russia. Be it Bolshevik, Tsarist or any other Russia, Germany will always be extremely cautious in regard to this country. A strong Polish army takes a considerable burden off Germany. The divisions that Poland is forced to keep on the Russian border relieve Germany of additional military expense.” This looks like a military alliance against the Soviet Union.
This document, as you can see, was completely undisguised, and it did not come out of nowhere. This was not a result of tactical maneuvering, but rather a reflection of the consistent trend toward Polish-German rapprochement to the detriment of the Soviet Union. And I have more evidence in this vein, though from earlier dates; it is very revealing.
This is an excerpt from a conversation on Nov. 5, 1937 between Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Szembek and Hermann Goering about Polish-Soviet relations. Goering is confident that the Third Empire, that is, the Third Reich, would not be able to cooperate with the Soviets and with Russia in general, regardless of its internal structure. Goering added that Germany needed a strong Poland; he added that the Baltic Sea was not enough for Poland and it must have access to the Black Sea.
Both then and now, Russia is used to scare people. Be it Tsarist, Soviet or today — nothing has changed. It does not matter what kind of country Russia is — this rationale remains. We should also not confuse ideological terms — Bolshevik, Russian, whatever, our former common homeland, the Soviet Union. To achieve this, they will make a deal with anyone, including Nazi Germany. We can, in fact, see this.
And related to that is another very revealing document — a transcript of the conversation between German Minister of Foreign Affairs Joachim Ribbentrop and Polish Foreign Minister Jozef Beck on Jan. 6, 1939. We got hold of a fairly substantial number of documents from Eastern Europe and Germany after World War 2. Ribbentrop expressed Germany’s position, which, I quote, “will proceed from viewing the Ukrainian issue as Poland’s privilege, and we support Poland in all respects during the discussion of this issue, however, only on condition that Poland takes a more salient anti-Russian stance (this is a quote) since otherwise we (Nazi Germany) are unlikely to have common interests.” Responding to Ribbentrop’s question as to whether Poland had given up on Marshal Pilsudski’s ambitions regarding Ukraine, Mr Beck said, “The Poles have already been to Kiev, and these plans are undoubtedly still alive today.”
Actually, this happened in 1939. Let us hope that at least something has changed in this respect. However, the foundation of what I am sharing now is pathological Russophobia.
The European capitals, incidentally, were perfectly aware of that. Poland’s Western allies at that time were perfectly aware of that.
The following document will prove what I have just said. This is a report by Ambassador of France to Poland Leon Noel to Foreign Minister of France Georges Bonnet on his conversations with his Polish colleagues on May 31, 1938. In this document, the French ambassador wrote about the unequivocal statements made by the Polish leaders, who did not mince words during their meeting.
To quote, “When a German is a rival, he nevertheless remains a European and a man of order.” And Poland would soon find out what a “European and man of order” means. Everyone experienced this on Sept. 1, 1939.
According to Noel, the Poles saw Russians as barbarians with whom “all contact would be perilous and all compromise mortal.” To comment, this can be seen as a typical example of racism and contempt for the “untermensch,” a Nazi concept that included Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians and, later, the Poles themselves.
You know, in this context, I look at the cases of Russophobia, anti-Semitism and so on in certain European countries, and they bear a striking resemblance to this.
Aggressive nationalism always makes one blind and eliminates any and all moral boundaries. Those who take this path will stop at nothing to achieve their goals — but ultimately, it will hit them back, which we have seen repeatedly.
In this context, here is another document to support this, a report by the Ambassador of Poland to Nazi Germany Jozef Lipski to Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Jozef Beck on Sept. 20, 1938, which I think is necessary to read to you aloud. Lipski had spoken to Hitler, and this is what he, the Polish ambassador, wrote to his Minister of Foreign Affairs: “Further to our discussion, the Chancellor of Germany, Hitler, persistently emphasized that Poland is a paramount factor that protects Europe from Russia.”
It follows from Hitler’s other statements that he suddenly had an idea that the Jewish issue can be resolved through migration to colonies in accord with Poland, Hungary and maybe also Romania. Hitler suggested forcibly expelling the Jewish population from Europe to Africa first — and not just expelling them, but actually sending them to their extermination.
We all know what was meant by colonies in 1938 — it meant extermination. This was the first step towards genocide, the extermination of Jews and what we today know as the Holocaust.
And this is what the Polish ambassador wrote to the Polish foreign minister in this connection — apparently hoping for understanding and approval: “I responded that if this happens and this issue is resolved, we will build a beautiful monument to him, to Hitler, in Warsaw.” There.
The Jewish question
An excerpt from the above-mentioned conversation between Adolf Hitler and Polish Foreign Minister Jozef Beck of Jan. 5, 1939. Hitler said, “Another issue of common interest for Germany and Poland is the Jewish issue.” He, the Fuhrer, is firmly resolved to oust Jews from Germany. At that moment, they would be allowed to take along some of their belongings, and Hitler noted, they would definitely take with them much more from Germany than they had when they had settled in that country. But the longer they procrastinate with emigration, the less property they will able to take with them.
What is this? What kind of people are they? Who are they? I have the impression that today’s Europe wants to know nothing about it, it is being deliberately hushed up while they try to shift the blame, including for starting World War 2, from the Nazis to the communists.
Yes, we know who Stalin was, we have given our assessments of him. But I think the fact remains that it was Nazi Germany that invaded first Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, and then the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.
(To be continued)
Speech delivered by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the informal summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States, held in Moscow on Dec. 20, 2019.