A plagiarism scandal is making rounds in Russia after it was discovered that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s speech over the annexation of Crimea, the first anniversary of which will be pompously celebrated in Russia on March 16, mirrored the speech of the German Fuehrer Adolf Hitler over the annexation of Danzig and the Corridor. Euromaidan Press provides a comparison of the two speeches.
|Crimea is and remains Russian, Danzig is and remains German
|In people’s hearts and minds, Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia.
|Danzig was and is a German city. The Corridor was and is German.
|Common history and cultural development
|To understand the reason behind such a choice it is enough to know the history of Crimea and what Russia and Crimea have always meant for each other.Everything in Crimea speaks of our shared history and pride.
|Both these territories owe their cultural development exclusively to the German people.
|The nagging historical problem
|And as this collapse [of the Soviet Union] was legalised, everyone forgot about Crimea and Sevastopol. <…> I heard residents of Crimea say that back in 1991 they were handed over like a sack of potatoes. This is hard to disagree with.
|For months we have been suffering under the torture of a problem which the Versailles Diktat created – a problem which has deteriorated until it becomes intolerable for us.
|Important territories had been lost
|It was only when Crimea ended up as part of a different country that Russia realised that it was not simply robbed, it was plundered. <…> This country was going through such hard times then that realistically it was incapable of protecting its interests.
|The Versailles Diktat is not law to us. A signature was forced out of us with pistols at our head and with the threat of hunger for millions of people. And then this document, with our signature, obtained by force, was proclaimed as a solemn law.
|Russian had been assimilated by force, German minorities had been maltreated
|Time and time again attempts were made to deprive Russians of their historical memory, even of their language and to subject them to forced assimilation.
|<…> all German minorities living there have been ill-treated in the most distressing manner.
|We respect minorities
|We have great respect for people of all the ethnic groups living in Crimea.
|Minorities who live in Germany are not persecuted.
|There were attempts to accommodate Ukraine, peaceful proposals had been attempted
|We accommodated Ukraine not only regarding Crimea, but also on such a complicated matter as the maritime boundary in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait.
|As always, I attempted to bring about, by the peaceful method of making proposals for revision, an alteration of this intolerable position.
|No reciprocal steps to proposals for cooperation, calls for friendship not returned
|We are constantly proposing cooperation on all key issues; we want to strengthen our level of trust and for our relations to be equal, open and fair. But we saw no reciprocal steps.
|I have repeatedly offered friendship and, if necessary, the closest co-operation to Britain, but this cannot be offered from one side only.
|Thanks to those who understand
|At the same time, we are grateful to all those who understood our actions in Crimea; we <…> greatly appreciate India’s reserve and objectivity. <…> I believe that the Europeans, first and foremost, the Germans, will also understand me.
|The other European States understand in part our attitude. I should like here above all to thank Italy, which throughout has supported us, but you will understand that for the carrying on of this struggle we do not intend to appeal to foreign help.
|Permanent crisis and conditions resembling civil war
|Russians, just as other citizens of Ukraine are suffering from the constant political and state crisis that has been rocking the country for over 20 years.
|I am resolved to remove from the German frontiers the element of uncertainty, the everlasting atmosphere of conditions resembling civil war.
|Repressions against enemies of Maidan and Poland’s fight against Danzig
|In some cases, you need a special permit from the militants on Maidan to meet with certain ministers of the current government. This is not a joke – this is reality. Those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression.
|Not only were [our proposals] answered first with mobilization, but with increased terror and pressure against our German compatriots and with a slow strangling of the Free City of Danzig – economically, politically, and in recent weeks by military and transport means.
|Inhabitants suffering and suffering victims
|Naturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress.
|But that time is not a matter of indifference to us. Moreover, it was not and could not be a matter of indifference to those who suffer most.
|First, we had to help create conditions so that the residents of Crimea for the first time in history were able to peacefully express their free will regarding their own future.
|I will see to it that in the East there is, on the frontier, a peace precisely similar to that on our other frontiers.
|Russia can’t retreat any more, Germany can’t remain inactive
|Our western partners have crossed the line <…> Russia found itself in a position it could not retreat from. If you compress the spring all the way to its limit, it will snap back hard. You must always remember this.
|<…> if Poland continued to send to Danzig notes in the form of ultimata, and if on the Polish side an end was not put to Customs measures destined to ruin Danzig’s trade, then the Reich could not remain inactive.
|International law was not infringed, no law was transgressed
|They say we are violating norms of international law. <…> – what exactly are we violating?
|It is also impossible to say that he who undertakes to carry out these revisions for himself transgresses a law.
|We want friendship with Ukraine we want peaceful coexistence with Poland
|We want to be friends with Ukraine
<…> Most importantly, we want peace and harmony to reign in Ukraine, and we are ready to work together with other countries to do everything possible to facilitate and support this.
|I am determined to solve (1) the Danzig question; (2) the question of the Corridor; and (3) to see to it that a change is made in the relationship between Germany and Poland that shall ensure a peaceful co-existence.
|Address by Vladimir Putin
– March 18, 2014
|Address by Adolf Hilter
– September 1, 1939