No, Russia And Germany Aren’t Equally Responsible For World War Two.
Of all the countries to get something wrong regarding the Holocaust, one you would think that would be especially sensitive to misinformation is Poland. It seems like recently, the opposite has been proven to be the case.
In Poland, it is illegal to mention the fact that Hitler ran death camps inside the country. This is despite Poland being one of the biggest NAZI bases in Europe, on the same level as Germany.
Now it seems like Poland is taking another step in the David Irving direction by passing a resolution that says both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin are equally to blame for World War Two. While Stalin was no saint, saying he is just as to blame as Hitler is simply nonsensical for a number of reasons.
Yes, Joseph Stalin did enter a pact with Adolf Hitler, that is true. However, he did so in 1939. For comparison, here are some other dates of major events in Germany:
- Hitler becomes Fuhrer of the NAZI Party: 7/29/1921
- Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany: 1/30/1933
- The Enabling Act is passed: 3/23/1933
- Hitler becomes Fuhrer of Germany: 8/2/1934
- The NAZI’s take control of Austria: 3/12/1938
- Chamberlain signs a deal with Hitler — the deal has become infamously known as “Peace For Our Time”:9/30/1938
- The Night Of Broken Glass: 10/9/1938–10/10/1938
These are all just off the top of my head, and notice how all of them happened during a time where Russia was barley involved.
In fact, why isn’t British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain? He was not only inactive, but actually signed a non-aggression treaty with Adolf Hitler — one Churchill logically disregarded. That is the exact same thing Joseph Stalin did after all. For that matter, why didn’t United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt get some of the blame? He ignored the rise of fascism worldwide — even had his own plan to get rid of the Jews and was highly sympathetic to the fascist cause — which could be considered just as back as signing a formal agreement.
While on that topic, why did Poland not condemn the countries that had been led by fascist dictators? Where is the condemnation of Italy for allowing Benito Mussolini to become Prime Minister? What about Spain for having the still dead General Franco to serve as President for over three decades after the end of the war? Going back to the United States, should we not be held responsible for allowing fascist sympathizers Charles Lindbergh or Charles Coughlin to enter our politics?
Wait, could it be Russians are usually not considered “Europeans” but all but one of the states I just mentioned are? Maybe it has to do with most people not seeing Russians as white people, primarily because Russia is mostly in Asia.
This is not to say communist Russia was innocent. Stalin did sign a peace treaty with Adolf Hitler against the wishes of even many top members of the communist party — including the then in exile Leon Trotsky, who was writing a book on Hitler when he was killed. However, so did many other nations up until Hitler started attacking people. I can’t help but wonder how the populists would feel if Poland invaded another country.
Besides that, Stalin did not do a good job fighting Hitler. When the Nazi army first invaded Russia, Stalin was — according to legend at least — so drunk off his ass he was unable to respond for two days straight.
However, in order to call them “equally responsible” you’d have to have no understanding of history, an incredibly loose definition of response, or an incredibly strict definition of response.