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December 22, 2016
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October 5, 2012
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January 23, 1943
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f I i, A , Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160034-5 Confidential T Document 228 January 23, 1943. SOVIET RULE IN EASTERN POLAND, 1939 - 1941 I. THE FOURTH PARTITION OF POLAND 1. The Invasion of Poland On September 18, 1939 the Moscow press published a communique of the Soviet General Staff announcing that dur- ing the early morning of September 17 the Red Army had crossed the frontier into Poland on a vast front running from the Soviet-Polish-Latvian border as far as the Soviet- Polish-Rumanian border. Although the invasion had been preceded by extensive military mobilization, the Soviet '.population was struck with amazement and dismay by the offensive action thus undertaken. In his radio address delivered. on the first day of the invasion Molotov failed to clarify the relation of the operations of tie Red Army to those of the German Army. I/ Limiting himself to a brief outline of Soviet policy toward. Poland, he explained that a situation had arisen in that country which demanded of the Soviet authorities especial concern for the security of the Soviet state, particularly since "Poland had become a convenient field for any contingency and. surprises which might create a menace to the Soviet Union"; and conse- quently the Red Army had been instructed to cross the Polish frontier and to take under its protection-the lives and property of the population of. Western Ukraine and Western White Russia". He continued to the effect that the Soviet Government could not "remain indifferent to the fate of the kindred Ukrainians and White Russians living in Poland,. who even previously were nations without any rights and who now have been entirely abandoned to their fate". 2. Justification of the Invasion from the . Soviet Point of View As for his note addressed to the Polish Ambassador in Moscow, which had ventured the view 'tthat the Polish State and its government have virtually ceased to exist", Pravda, September 18, 1939. Molotov Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160034-5 Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160034-5 Mmtotov quoted it as d.eclaring.'that the Soviet Government "intends to . take every. measure to deliver the Polish people from the ill-fated war into which it has been plunged by its unwise, leaders and to give them _. the...opportunity to live a pAaceful life". The ;l.ib:erati'on -of th.e Ukrainian, White Russian end. Polish pebo1'es in Poland was to be ef- by the Red Army which, he boasted, "this time, too, fected will display its combativ-e migh',:-:cla.'ss 'consciousness, and discipline" and will perform its great emancipatory task with new feats of. heroism and glory.,'. 2/ 3. German--Soviet Relations As the.: German Army .swebt: swiftly to ~ard- .the Soviet frontier ,while the Red Army 'advanced sl.oi,,rly -but st"eadily? toward the-.west nanic..spread to suc i n extent among the Sovie.t masses that Molotov was:?:obligedin :hi.e radio address -of September 17 to warn '.'that from 'these _ e.xc.e,ssive purchases of food: and goods only those will suffer i4ho. go in for this and hoard unnecessary supvlies.".: The general confusion was not . les?ened by. a run on., the savings barks ?in the large cities,. and .at. last the Kremlin-. was .obliged.'. to recognize that the Soviet masses ?ha.d, n.ot yet fully oriented themselves to the idea of - Soviet-German ?coaper'etion; Conseouently, ..on the day followwwing the' invasion .*the follo? joint Soviet-German c'oinmunique?.was issued; 31 In ' order.' to avoid' any type of, un'founde'd:' :, rumors with regard to the 'taGTs off'-?th_e Soviet: and 'Germen trooos._.w+whicb :;aro' operating. in Poland, the Government' of .the ?U:.:S.S. R. end. the Govern- .men t..:of''.Germany declare that the onerations of. the troops are- not in pur'suance' of. any aims con- trary -to'',the 'inter.ests.. of 'Germany or of the Soviet Union, nor contrary to the letter and spirit of the, non-aggression pact concluded be- tween Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. On the contrary,'the task of.the troops is to restore in Poland the order ':e.nd calm which was disrupted. by the disintegration of the.Polish state, and. to assist. the. popula- tion of Po19nd . in. re.orgafti zing the . "conditions - of ;it-ss existence. Bolshevik, No. 17, September 1939._ Pravda, September 19,. 1939,. The Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160034-5 Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08CO1297R000500160034-5 4. The First Demarcation Line By the time of the Red Army's Invasion, the Wehrmacht had plunged deep into eastern Poland; it had encircled Lwow, captured Lublin, and reached a line running in gen- eral from Bialystok to Brest-Litovsk, Wlodzimierz and Lwow, thus practically completing the destruction and capture even of isolated remnants of the Polish Army. On September 18 units of the Red Army and the German Army met for the first time, but aside from a minor incident at Lwow no untoward events took place. Such incidents, however, were feared, and since both armies were accompanied by vast arrays of members of the G. P. U. and Gestapo, by party-workers and propagandists, it was thought best to reach an agreement on the extent of the joint operations. On September 20.a group of German Army officers left Berlin for Moscow, w,,where, after a conference with their Soviet counterparts, a joint'statement was issued., on September 22, to the effect that a demarcation line between the two armies had been drawn up. 4/ This preliminary line ran from the East Prussian frontier at Kolno south along the Pisa River to its mouth on the Na rew River; it then followed the Narew to its junetu"re with the Bug River, thence along the Bug to the Vistula, south along the Vistula through Warsaw to Sandomierz, and then southeast along the San River past Przemy Il to the Uzoner Pass in the Carpathian mountains on the Hungarian frontier. This line cut through the city of Warsaw, giving the suburb of Pragr to the Soviets. The German Army, which had penetrated more than 150 miles be- yong the line of demarcation, now begn.n to retire. 5. The Second Demarcation Line While the drawing of such P. line well in advance of t1^e Red Army was undoubtedly designed to rrevent too close contact between the two forces, 5/ it is not unreasonable to speculate that Berlin was encouraging Moscow to move the Red Army farther westwards than the Kremlin had in- tended, with th.e aim of drawing the Soviet Union deeper into the German orbit. In this sense a large part of Poland proper was to serve Berlin as hostage for future Soviet co- 8peration. In the end., however, Stalin held the Red Army east of a front not differing greatly from the Curzon line. Upon Pravda; September 23, 1939. Despatch from Moscow No. 130, October 30,' 1939. Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08CO1297R000500160034-5 Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160034-5 Upon von Ribbentrop's second visit to Moscow, on September 27 and 28, a definitive line was drawn, which gave to the Soviet Union considerably less Polish territory than Hitler ? apparently was prepared to cede. The new line ran due west from the'tip of Lithuania to the frontier of. East Prussia, giving Germany the city and district-of Suwalki, a wedge between Soviet and, Lithuanian territory which was later to serve so usefully as a springboard for the German-advance. The line continued along the East Prussian frontier to Ostrolenko; hence southeast to the Bug River, along the Bug via Brest-Litovsk to the town of. Kristinopol, situated somewhat north of. Lwdw, and thence almost due west to the San River and. along the latter to its source on the border of Hungary (Ruthenia). The new line, according to the map published in Party Structure for September 1939', established. "the frontier between the respective state interests of the U.S.S.R. and Germany on the territory of the former'Polish.state". Furthermore, according to the Treaty of Friendship con- cluded between the Soviet and German governments on September 28, "the frontier between the respective state interests" of the two powers was recognized a.s "final" and designed "to eliminate any interference with this decision by third powers". II. SOVIET EXPANSION IN THE BALTIC Although the Kremlin stressed ethnic affinities as one of the principal motives for the annexation of Eastern Poland and showed reluctance to extend its control to re- gions of Poland in which White Russians and Ukrainians did not predominate, nevertheless it now hastened to gain con- trol over the Baltic States, where no ethnic justification could be advanced. It is understood that when von Ribbentroc and Stalin met in Moscow on August 23, 1939, their conversa- tion did not touch upon Lithuania; at least, it was tacitly assumed, from the nature of the specific territorial com- mitments agreed uoon in respect to Estonia,.: Latvia and Bessarabia, that Lithuania did not fall clearly within the sphere of Soviet interests. 7/ Rather than advance deeper into Polish territory, Stalin apparently looked: upon Lithuania as a, more valuable prize and hastened to conclude A. treaty of mutual assistance with that country twelve days .6/ Bolshevik, No. 18, September 1939..V-+ 7/ Based on secret information obtained in 1939 from the German Embassy in' Noscotww. Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160034-5 Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08CO1297R000500160034-5 after the signature of the Soviet-German Treaty of Friend- ship. B/ This step apparently produced. the first violation of the spirit, if.not the letter, of the Soviet-German understanding. In return for the cession to Lithuania of the city and district of Vilna, Stalin obtained the right to maintain a considerable Red Army force on Lithuanian territory and thus prepared the ground..for the Soviet occupation in. June 1940.. At this time Molotov declared that Vilna, "forcibly.separated by Poland from Lithuania.", would, be re- turned-to the latter, "not because Lithuanians predominated there", but because "it was connected on .the-one -hand. with the historic bast of the Lithuanian State and, on.the other hand., i~,ith the national aspirations of the Lithuanian peo- ple". At the same time, in return for "mutual assist- ance", Stalin obtained similar rights in respect to Estonia and Latvia. _9/ III. THE SOVIET CONCEPTION OF THE GERMAN- SOVIET . AGREEMENT . While Moscow exoressed its ,jubilation over the expan- sion,of.Soviet territory, it by no means lost sight'of the"wider benefits which might ensue from the Soviet-German pact of non-aggression, as well as from the treaty of friendship. The joint Soviet-German. declaration of friend- shin, is.sued at the time of the signing of the treaty, af- firmed.that "a solid foundation for enduring peace in Eastern Europe" had .been created. Bolshevik LOJ expressed great srtisfaction over the view that, "while in the west commerce was more and more dying out, in the east of Europe economic co6oeration was expanding and being strengthened , the best example of "a. brood program of economic cooperation between the U.S.S.R. and Germany being 'tire considerable expansion of trade between the U..S.'S.R. and. Estonia", from Bolshevik, No.'19, 1939. 9/ Molotov's speech at the Session of the Supreme Soviet of. the Soviet Union on October 31, 1939: Bolshevik, No. 20, October 1939. 10/ Bolshevik, No. 193, September 1939. Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08CO1297R000500160034-5 Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/10/05: CIA-RDP08C01297R000500160034-5 ? ? which the Kremlin had just secured military privileges. At the session Of the Supreme Soviet of. the-Soviet Union, on October 31, 1939, Molotov also revealed that the Kremlin held a. broad conception of tie Soviet-German agree- ment. 11" He 'ventured the view that we always were of the opinion that a strong Germany is the necessary condition for durable peace in?Euro're",.and proceeded violently to attack the British and French imperialists as well as the Versailles settlement. Touching upon the question of Poland,, he e,xllained''that "it is. not necessary to prove that at the moment of the complete downfall of the Polish state our Government was obligated to extend a helping hand to our brother Ukrainians and our brother-White Russians" since "it did so", a.n explanation which.. drew ."tumultuous, prolonged applause" and. 'brought the deputies to their feet for an ovation. He added that "the Red Army entered these regions with the complete sympathy of the Ukrainian' and White Russian population, which met our troops as. its lib- erators from the yoke of the '', the yoke of the Polish landlords and capitalists". About.a. month later, at "the triumphant session of the Moscow Soviet", held on November 6, Molotov delivered another speech relating inter alia to the fourth partition of Poland. 12/ Blaming the war on the capitalist world which, "according to Lenin", was rotten and dying and iehich recently had been forced to "retreat" before the Red Army and censuring severely the'British and French "imperialists" for not calling. a. halt to their selfish war with the Nazis,, Molotov boasted tha.t: Soviet White Russia has almost doubled its terri- tory and population -and has created a state with a population of ten millions, which many European States do'not possess. An end ha.d been put hence- forth to the splitting up of the White Russi