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    Ribbentrop-Molotov – IV Partition of Poland

    82 years ago, on 23 August 1939, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Foreign Minister of the Third Reich, and Vyacheslav Molotov, People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, signed the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact with a secret additional protocol, which resulted in the Fourth Partition of Poland.

    The secret additional protocol signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov, which was an integral part of the non-aggression pact between the Third Reich and the USSR, consisted of four points.

     

    In the first of them, it was stated that: “In case of territorial and political transformations on the territories belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) the northern border of Lithuania will at the same time constitute the border of the spheres of interest of Germany and the USSR. In this connection, both sides recognize Lithuania’s interest in the Vilnius region”.

     

    The second point directly concerned Poland:

     

    “In case of territorial and political transformations on the territories belonging to the Polish State, the border of the zones of interest of Germany and the USSR will run approximately along the line of the rivers Narew, Vistula, and San. The question of whether it will be in the mutual interest to maintain an independent Polish State and what the boundaries of this State will be finally clarified in the course of further political events. In any case, the two governments will resolve the issue by friendly agreement”.

     

    Another point referred to the area of South-Eastern Europe. The Soviet side emphasized its interest in Bessarabia (belonging to Romania), while the German side expressed its total lack of interest in these territories.

     

    The last paragraph of the document stated, “This Protocol will be treated by both parties as strictly confidential”.

     

    “On the anniversary of the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, which led to the Fourth Partition of Poland, we celebrate the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. The treaty opened the way to World War II and then the “Cold War”, which for Central and Eastern Europe meant enslavement,” wrote Ziobro on Twitter.

     

    The leaders of Britain, France, and the USA knew about the secret protocol of the Ribbentrop- Molotov Pact almost from the beginning. However, they did not pass this information on to representatives of the Polish authorities.

     

    August 23 is the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, established in 2008 by the European Parliament.

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