BRUSSELS - The European Parliament has passed a resolution condemning a secret agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union that opened the door to those countries invading Poland in 1939 and paved the way to the horrors of World War II.
The resolution recounts how World War II broke out 80 years ago and stresses that Poland was attacked by not only Nazi Germany, but also the USSR at the time, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
The resolution says that on August 23, 1939, “the communist Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a Treaty of Non-Aggression, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and its secret protocols, dividing Europe and the territories of independent states between the two totalitarian regimes and grouping them into spheres of interest, which paved the way for the outbreak of the Second World War.”
Condemning the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the resolution says in its aftermath “Poland was invaded first by Hitler and two weeks later by Stalin – which stripped the country of its independence and was an unprecedented tragedy for the Polish people.”
The resolution pays tribute to all those who fought tyranny, including Polish resistance fighter Witold Pilecki, who infiltrated the Auschwitz German Nazi death camp during the war, the IAR news agency reported.
The resolution calls for May 25—the date of Pilecki’s execution at the hands of Poland’s communist authorities three years after the end of World War II—to be established as International Day of Heroes of the Fight Against Totalitarianism in “an expression of respect and a tribute to all those who, by fighting tyranny, demonstrated their heroism and true love for humankind.”
The resolution calls on the European Commission to decisively counteract “efforts by the current Russian leadership to distort historical facts and whitewash crimes committed by the Soviet totalitarian regime.”
It adds that such attempts are “a dangerous component of the information war waged against democratic Europe that aims to divide Europe.”
The resolution was drawn up as this year marks the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.
It says the conflict “led to unprecedented levels of human suffering and the occupation of countries in Europe for many decades to come.”
The document warns of “extremist and xenophobic political forces in Europe” that it says “are increasingly resorting to distortion of historical facts.”
It also condemns “all manifestations and propagation of totalitarian ideologies, such as Nazism and Stalinism, in the EU.”