The two secret police organizations implemented full collaboration in German-Soviet occupied Poland. On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact (MRP) it is important to remind ourselves of the thoroughness with which the spirit of the pact was fulfilled by the actions of the parties involved – namely the intimate co-operation between the Nazi Gestapo and the communist NKVD (forerunner of the KGB).
From October of 1939 on the KGB and Gestapo joined in meetings in Zakopane in Poland, to discuss possibilities of joint actions. On December 7 the Gestapo-NKVD conference planned the liquidation of Polish resistance. We note that at the time, the Gestapo numbered 7,500 while the NKVD ranks had 366,000 personnel. (Both Germany and the Soviet Union had invaded Poland three months before, as agreed in the MRP).
In March-April of 1940, after six months of the joint occupation of a conquered Poland, the NKVD and Gestapo held a prolonged conference in Kraków, Poland.
The infamous Katyn forest massacre occurred about the time of this last conference. About 15,000 Polish officers, policemen and some civilian authorities who had refused to collaborate with the occupying Soviets were taken to the Katyn forest and shot in the back of the head with German bullets, but with Russian weapons. Although Poles knew the truth about this war crime, Moscow insisted that German troops were to blame. Not until the break up of the Warsaw Pact was Warsaw willing to release documents revealing Soviet culpability.
Professor George Watson and historian Robert Conquest have both concluded that the fate of the interned Polish officers had been determined at this conference. Stalin gained confidence in deciding to exterminate them from details discussed at the conference.
“Being sixty times more efficient than the Germans,” the NKVD methods for combating Polish resistance were greatly admired by the Gestapo. During these meetings the Soviet NKVD shared its well-honed terror and extermination practices with the Nazi SS. The only advanced technique that the Nazis had over Soviet methods was the use of poison gas.
German communists and also Jews (some 4,000 individuals) who had been living in the Soviet Union were dutifully handed over to the Gestapo.
The MRP partnership also extended to other fields of endeavour. In spite of being warned that a German attack against the Soviet Union was imminent, Moscow faithfully continued to send trainloads of military raw materials to Germany, in fact right up to the moment of the German invasion of the USSR on June 22, 1941.
(To be continued.)
Nazi-Soviet complicity in Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact especially blatant in NKVD-Gestapo co-operation (2)