Refuting Lies about the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact of August 1939

Grover Furr Replies to Steven M. Miner

Dear Friends:

On the site of the H-Net Discussion Group "H-Diplo" on January 18, 2015 Steven M. Miner published a review of the book by Roger Moorhouse, The Devil's Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-41.

Moorhouse's book is a rehash of Polish nationalist lies. It contains no sources in Russian, and relies heavily on Polish nationalist secondary stories and outright rumors.

This is typical of Polish nationalist historiography. Timothy Snyder, in his immensely dishonest book Bloodlands. Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010) does the same thing.

In my recent book Blood Lies I demonstrate from primary sources that every single charge or allegation of criminal activity by Stalin, the USSR, or pro-Soviet forces in Snyder's book is false.

Miner's review of Moorhouse is here.   It is extremely anticommunist. It is also full of falsehoods.

Further down the same page (but, evidently, without a separate URL) is a very solid reply by Geoffrey Roberts.

Roberts' reply refutes Miner's review and gives the true state of affairs: that the Soviet Union and Stalin were correct to sign this treaty and acted responsibly in doing so.

Miner's reply to Roberts is on the same page, below Roberts' reply. In it Miner attacks Roberts, states that some of what Roberts wrote is "wrong," but without providing any evidence that Roberts was wrong.

On Sunday, February 22 2015, I wrote a reply to Miner's review and posted it for moderation to the H-Diplo list, to which I have belonged for many years.

My reply was 'rejected' by the H-Diplo list manager(s). Here are the grounds given to me:

Hi Dr. Furr,
I apologize about the lack of communication. Unfortunately your post was
considered problematic on an academic basis with too much inaccuracies
and we will not be posting it to the list.
Please accept our apologies,
Seth Offenbach
H-Diplo List Editor

No such "inaccuracies" were cited. So this is a pure attempt at censorship.

I protested this pur attempt at censorship. Here is the next reply:

Hi Dr. Furr,
I apologize for the delay, I was conferring with a colleague to help me get a better understanding of the situation. Apparently your response was a response to a book review and we restrict those conversations as a whole to discussions of the actual book under review. From what I understand, your response did not adhere to this format. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience.

But this is false. Geoffrey Rorberts' reply was a comment on Miner's review, not on Moorhouse's book.

I am protesting further.

Here below is the text of my rejected post.

If you would like a DOCX copy of Roberts's reply and my reply, please email me and I'll be glad to email them to you.


Grover Furr

Montclair State University

February 23, 2015

Soviet Aims and Actions concerning Poland, 1939: Reply to Steven Miner

By Grover Furr, Montclair State University

Steven Miner's criticism of Geoffrey Roberts' response to Roger Moorhouse's book repeats Cold War falsehoods now revived by today's Polish nationalists.

The transcripts of the Soviet-British-French negotiations for "collective security"-- a military alliance against Germany -- were published in Mezhdunarodnaia Zhizn' in 1959. It is clear from those documents that the Soviets genuinely desired an agreement that would bind the U.K. and France to attack Germany, not leave the USSR to fight Hitler alone.

Subsequent events proved the Soviets were right not to trust the U.K. and France. Despite their declarations of war the U.K. and France did not attack Germany. Since they betrayed their ally Poland they would likely have betrayed the USSR even with a collective security treaty.

Nevertheless, the USSR offered to put approximately one million men in the field against Germany. [1] In sabotaging collective security by forbidding Soviet forces to enter Poland in order to engage an invading Germany army the Polish leadership guaranteed its own defeat.

Had Poland not rejected collective security, and assuming the British and French attacked Germany as they agreed to do, Hitler could have been stopped in 1939. That would have saved tens of millions of lives and prevented the Holocaust.

On September 17, 1939 the Polish government abandoned its own country without appointing a government-in-exile. Germany had already declared that without a functioning government Poland was no longer a state. But the German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact, including the secret protocol making Eastern Poland part of the Soviet sphere of influence, was an agreement concerning the state of Poland! German ambassador Schulenburg informed Molotov that, if the Red Army did not come in, new states could be formed in Eastern Poland. In fact the Germans were planning to form a pro-Nazi Ukrainian Nationalist state there. [2]

Molotov was correct when he claimed that the state of Poland had fallen apart, thus necessitating the entry of Soviet forces. Winston Churchill agreed, stating that the Red Army's entrance into Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine was in Great Britain's interest as well as that of the USSR. [3]

Prof. Miner claims that, like the Nazis, the Soviets were "conquerors." In fact it was Poland that had "conquered" - seized by force -- Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine from an exhausted Soviet Russia. These areas were east of the Curzon Line. Poles were a minority of the population.

Poland had no right to these areas except by conquest - just like Vilnius, which Poland seized by force from Lithuania in 1920 or the Teschen area of Czechoslovakia, seized by force in 1938. In tacit recognition of its past imperialism today's Poland claims none of these lands.

The interwar Polish regimes viciously suppressed the rights of the Belorussian and Ukrainian inhabitants. They also sent many thousands of ethnically Polish "settlers"-- osadnicy -- to "Polonize" these non-Polish areas. It was this Polish imperialist infrastructure that the Soviets deported in 1939-41.

Prof. Miner claims that both the Nazis and the Soviets "unleashed" "unparalleled savagery" in what had been Poland. But the Soviets did no such thing. The Germans were deliberately murdering the Polish elite in their "AB-Aktion." The Soviets did not murder the Polish osadnicy. Meanwhile, in acts of unparalleled savagery Poles, including the Polish Home Army, were murdering Polish Jews, often without any urging from the Germans. [4]

The conventional Cold War / Polish nationalist narrative of the "Katyn massacre" is a fraud. Drafts of the forgery of the so-called "smoking gun" documents, including the "Beria letter," were presented to the Russian Duma in October 2010 and widely publicized. There is a significant scholarly literature challenging the bona fides of these documents. [5]

In 2010-2011 a joint Polish-Ukrainian archeological team at a mass murder site in Volodymyr-Volyns'kiy, Ukraine discovered that some Polish policemen supposedly killed by the Soviet in April-May 1940 as part of the "Katyn massacres" were really murdered by German and Ukrainian Nationalist forces at least 15 months later and 700 miles away. This discovery explodes the "mainstream" narrative of Katyn. It is simply hushed up. [6]

Contemporary Polish nationalism is firmly committed to the now-disproven "mainstream" Katyn narrative because it is viewed as essential to the demonization of the USSR and, now, of Russia. Katyn is also central to the renewed, and dishonest, effort to equate Stalin's USSR with Nazi Germany.

In this whole disastrous period only the Soviet Union's actions appear proper in historical retrospect. A pity that such views are virtually unmentionable given the renewal of Cold War shibboleths associated with efforts of Poland, Ukraine, and other post-Soviet states to recast the histories of their prewar and wartime regimes.

As for today's Ukraine crisis, a topic raised by Prof. Miner, Pres. Putin's response has been very restrained by world standards. Faced with a far smaller threat to American security the United States openly invaded tiny Grenada in 1982 and Panama in 1989. I recommend Professor John Mearsheimer's realistic analysis, "Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault," in the September-October 2014 issue of Foreign Affairs.

Grover C. Furr Montclair State University

For fuller documentation of the statements in this article see Grover Furr, Blood Lies. The Evidence that Every Accusation against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union in Timothy Snyder's Bloodlands Is False. New York: Red Star Publications, 2014.


[1] The promise is cited in Mezhdunarodnaia Zhizn', No. 3, 1959, p. 141. See "Stalin 'planned to send a million troops to stop Hitler if Britain and France agreed pact'". The Telegraph (London) October 8, 2008. At

[2] See "The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg)", September 15, 1939. At On the Nazis' planned use of Ukrainian Nationalists if the Soviets did not enter see Julius Mader, Hitlers Spionagegenerale sagen aus. Berlin: Vlg. der Nation, 1971: 122, 124.

[3] Churchill's statement that the Soviet intervention was in the interest of Britain and France as well as of "Russia" see The New York Times October 2, 1939, p. 6.

[4] On the massive murders of Jews by Poles, including the Home Army, see Stepan Zgliczynski, Jak Polacy Niemcom Zydów Mordowac Pomagali ("How Poles Helped the Germans Murder Jews") Warsaw: Czarna Owca, 2012. Zgliczynski is the editor of the Polish edition of Le monde diplomatique.

[5] An overview of the Katyn controversy and citation of a good many of these works is on my page "The Katyn Forest Whodunnit," at

[6] Grover Furr, "The 'Official Version' of the Katyn Massacre Disproven? Discoveries at a German Mass Murder Site in Ukraine." Socialism and Democracy 27, 2 (2013), 96-129. Now ownline at