American Jewish Committee slams Moscow's WWII 'revisionism against Poland'
PR dla Zagranicy
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has roundly condemned claims by Russia's Ambassador to Warsaw that Poland was 'partly responsible' for the outbreak of World War II.
Warsaw's Monument to the Fallen and Murdered in the East, which commemorates victims of Soviet aggression who were deported to labour camps in the Soviet Union. Photo: wikimedia commons/cezary p
The AJC said in a statement that “for the Russian Ambassador to ignore the deeply painful and well-documented history of 1939-1941, and instead suggest that Poland brought calamity upon itself, and others, turns well-documented historical facts on their head.”
The AJC noted that the “infamous” Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union had been signed on 23 August 1939, a week before the Wehrmacht invaded Poland, “giving Berlin confidence that it would not face war with the USSR anytime soon.”
Russian Ambassador Sergei Andreyev had argued that the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland on 17 September was a defensive manoeuvre “to guarantee the security of the Soviet Union.”
However, the AJC noted that “countless Poles were seized by the occupying forces and imprisoned in the Soviet Union,” and that “Stalin’s unprovoked action resulted in a permanent change to Poland’s eastern border.”
The AJC continued that “in the spring of 1940, thousands of Polish military officers were murdered by the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, in Katyn Forest, although it took Moscow more than five decades to acknowledge this obvious and painful truth.”
Ambassador Andreyev's comments sparked outrage in Poland, although it is not the first time that Russian statesmen have sought to play down the significance of the 17 September invasion of Poland.
The AJC concluded that “we can only hope that his [Andreyev's] superiors in Moscow will quickly distance themselves from the Ambassador’s comments, lest the impression be left that his view is indeed official Russian policy today.”
The AJC was founded in 1906 and it is considered to be one of the US's most important Jewish organisations. (nh/rk)