Russia’s WWII docs repetitive, bias: Polish National Remembrance Institute

Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) commented on the WWII documents published by the Russian Ministry of Defence on Friday which coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Soviet army’s entry into Warsaw ruined by Polish-German combat during the Warsaw Rising. The IPN stated on Friday that the documents fail to provide any new insight.

“The documents do not provide any significantly fresh information on Soviet activities in 1944-1945. It is during these years that the USSR, while fighting Germans, was also carrying out a consistent policy of hampering the revival of the independent Republic of Poland. Following the annexation and subjugation by force of the eastern territories of Poland by the USSR, the Soviet instrument of terror perpetrated repressive actions against the independence forces and the Polish society who held dear the hope for the revival of free Poland,” reads the IPN’s statement.

The IPN noticed that the Russian documents pretermit the “soviet actions that facilitated German quelling of the Warsaw Rising and also the actions that curbed the western allies’ aid throughout most of the Warsaw Rising...” The documents “fail to demonstrate Soviet forces’ endeavours to fight and destroy the Home Army [AK] forces that tried to relieve the Warsaw uprisers.”

“The following documents were produced by the Soviet and communist instruments of repression and propaganda in 1944-1945… the Soviet documents outline the fight against AK and other independence forces… The Russians falsely depict self-defence actions on the part of AK against the Soviet subjugation, mass repressions and murders at the hands of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs [NKVD] and other Soviet formations on the Polish territories occupied by the USSR as ‘terrorist operations’. By doing so the Russians dissimulate the Soviet policy that was carried out against Poland in 1944-1945. This is a model example of Stalin era communist propaganda,” the statement reads.

The IPN also noted that the documents lack information on systemic murders of AK soldiers perpetrated by Russians in September-October 1944 in the forests of Turza in the vicinity of the southeastern Polish city of Rzeszów.

The IPN wrote that a couple of the documents relate to “the entering of the Soviet army (and Red Army-affiliated Polish troops) to ruined Warsaw on January 17, 1945. These documents repeat the fallacious framing of this topic. No documents on Stalin’s decision to withhold the Soviet army’s march to allow the German forces to quell the Warsaw Rising and to demolish the Polish capital were published.”

Although the documents include a description “of food aid to a part of the population… they fail to communicate the Soviet crimes of murder, plunder and rape perpetrated in the whole of Poland. The documents also overlook the pillaging of Poland’s industry infrastructure that was moved to the USSR in an organised manner,” the IPN wrote, adding that “no documents presenting the scale of Soviet repressions were published.”

“The IPN appeals to the Russian Federation for a policy of transparency and for making the Soviet army and repression instruments’ entire data produced during the years of the communist totalitarianism available to historians,” the IPN concluded.