Staunton, August 22 – One of the more infamous publications of the Cold War was a 1948 Moscow pamphlet with the title “Falsifiers of History” which justified everything Stalin did before and during World War II including the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in August 1939 with its secret protocols that divided Europe and unleashed war.
That long-ago pamphlet, which was issued by the Soviet Information Bureau (royallib.com/read/sovetskoe_informatsionnoe_byuro/falsifikatori_istorii.html#0), has been widely cited and denounced by most Western scholars and some Russian ones as a classic example of Soviet mendacity and duplicity.
Unfortunately and tragically, this year, on the 80th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Putin regime has gone all out to promote exactly the same notions that the Stalin-era pamphlet did, treating the subject as the Soviet dictator did as “a front” in the ideological war, Irina Pavlova says (ivpavlova.blogspot.com/2019/08/80.html#more).
Indeed, if anything, the Putin regime has promoted its Stalinist vision to new heights with a series of meetings greeted by the Kremlin leader and attended by senior ministers and experts who are prepared or compelled to follow his line and by new publications that reiterate all the conclusions of the 1948 pamphlet, the US-based Russian historian says.
Perhaps the most important of these took place ten days ago under the chairmanship of Sergey Naryshkin who heads both Russia’s foreign intelligence service and its Russian Historical Society which has released a new edition of a book of carefully selected documents on Soviet-German relations (rg.ru/2019/08/22/rodina-pakt-molotova-ribbentropa.html).
Like Stalin’s propagandists, Putin’s blame the outbreak of World War II on “’the irresponsible actions of a number of European powers” including appeasement and efforts to direct Hitler away from them toward an attack on the USSR. One participant says if Stalin had not arranged the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, “Hitler’s army might have pushed us back almost to the Urals” (statearchive.ru/1230).
Four days ago, Pavlova continues, the Russian state archives opened an exhibit that makes exactly the same points; and in one concession to changes, Moscow has launched a special Internet project to push the ideas that Stalin used a widely disseminated pamphlet to promote (1939.rusarchives.ru/).
The Russian historian points out that “in all the speeches of the Kremlin’s representatives who have been deployed to defend the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the main thing is the unequivocal acknowledgement that contemporary Russia is a continuer of Stalin’s USSR and his foreign policy.”