Friday, August 21, 2009

Gromyko denies secret protocol of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact

On page 38 of his Memoirs, Gromyko writes, “Usually, when Western sources discuss the non-aggression pact they raise the question of an alleged secret protocol, supposedly signed by Molotov and Ribbentrop. This protocol is said to have registered an understanding between the two sides on the need for certain territorial changes to be made in the countries lying between Germany and the USSR.

“This story is not new. It was being peddled before the Nazi war criminals were brought to book. The Soviet chief prosecutor at Nuremberg labeled it a forgery, and correctly so, since no such ‘protocol’ has ever been found, either in the USSR or in any other country – nor could it be. The Soviet prosecutor’s declaration was a challenge to all those who wished to believe the forgery. After all, he made his statement right in front of Hitler’s foreign Minister, Ribbentrop himself, sitting there in the dock.”

The secret protocol was not accepted as genuine by Russian officials until 1992, after Gromyko died, but now there seems to be no challenge to its genuineness. Someone who wrote now as Gromyko did back prior to 1989 would be classed as a “denier.”

Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Secret Protocol:

“. . . there was also a secret protocol to the pact, revealed only after Germany's defeat in 1945, according to which the states of Northern and Eastern Europe were divided into German and Soviet "spheres of influence".[74] In the North, Finland, Estonia and Latvia were assigned to the Soviet sphere.[74] Poland was to be partitioned in the event of its "political rearrangement"—the areas east of the Narev, Vistula and San Rivers going to the Soviet Union while Germany would occupy the west.[74] Lithuania, adjacent to East Prussia, would be in the German sphere of influence, although a second secret protocol agreed to in September 1939 reassigned the majority of Lithuania to the USSR.[75] According to the secret protocol, Lithuania would retrieve its historical capital Vilnius, occupied during the inter-war period by Poland. Another clause of the treaty was that Bessarabia, then part of Romania, was to be joined to the Moldovan ASSR, and become the Moldovan SSR under control of Moscow.[74]

The German original of the secret protocols was presumably destroyed in the bombing of Germany,[187] but a microfilmed copy was kept[188] in the documents archive of the German Foreign Office. In May 1945, Karl von Loesch, a civil servant in Foreign Office, gave this copy to British Lt. Col. R.C. Thomson.

“Despite publication of the recovered copy in western media, for decades, it was the official policy of the Soviet Union to deny the existence of the secret protocol.[188] On August 23, 1986, tens of thousands of demonstrators in 21 western cities including New York, London, Stockholm, Toronto, Seattle, and Perth participated in Black Ribbon Day Rallies to draw attention to the secret protocols.

“It was only after the Baltic Way demonstrations of August 23, 1989, where two million people created a human chain set on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Pact, that a special Soviet commission under Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev examining the Pact admitted its existence.[187] In December 1989, the commission concluded that the protocol had existed and revealed its findings to the Soviet Congress of People's Deputies.[187] As a result, the first democratically elected Congress passed a declaration in December 1989 admitting the existence of the secret protocols, condemning and denouncing them.[189]

“In 1992, the document itself was declassified only after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.”


So we ask now, did Gromyko know the secret protocols were valid, and was he therefore lying when he called their existence a lie? Or was he kept in the dark about their existence. I am willing to believe the latter, that he was kept in the dark. Surely Stalin would want as few people as possible to know about them.

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