Paul Flückiger, “Ein Sieg, aber keine Kapitulation – vor 80 Jahren begann mit dem deutschen Angriff auf Polen der Zweite Weltkrieg; Vor 80 Jahren begann mit Hitlers Überfall auf Polen der Zweite Weltkrieg. Er kostete jeden fünften Polen das Leben,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 1. September 2019.
Germany and the Soviet Union signed a Non-Aggression Pact on August 23, 1939 (also known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact). In its secret Protocols, the two countries decided to divide Poland and to establish their respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe.
On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, setting off World War II. On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the East, leading to the division of Poland between the Soviet Union and Germany.
Without the Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviet Union, it seems unlikely that Germany would have invaded Poland when it did.
Eighty years later, Russia continues to violate the international law prohibition against the use of force across international frontiers, illegally occupying portions of Georgia, and the Crimea (sovereign territory of the Ukraine) and the eastern Donbas region of the Ukraine (Luhansk and Donetsk provinces) which it invaded in 2014, following the military seizure and purported “annexation” of the Crimea.
The 80th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland, and the historical responsibility of the Soviet Union in this regard, serve as useful reminders of the fact that the Soviet Union and Russia have repeatedly committed aggression in Europe and today openly flout the U.N. Charter and international law prohibition against the use of military force across international frontiers.
Even if the Great Buffoon who is currently the president of the U.S. does not appreciate or support the prohibition in Article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter, other nations who do understand and support an international order based on the Charter and international law are urgently called upon to speak out against past and current Soviet and Russian violations of this most fundamental norm of international relations.
The Trenchant Observer