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Greetings on opening of exhibition, 1939. The Beginning of World War II

August 21, 2019

Vladimir Putin sent greetings to the organisers and guests of the historical and documentary exhibition, 1939. The Beginning of World War II, which opened in Moscow.

The message reads, in part:

“Importantly, the Federal Archival Agency in conjunction with the Foreign Ministry and the Russian Historical Society continues to implement the fundamental research and educational project dedicated to key and pivotal landmarks in 20th century history. A new large-scale exhibition, 1939. The Beginning of World War II is opening now following the exhibition Munich-38. On the Verge of Disaster.

World War II was an enormous tragedy for humankind that left deep and open wounds in the hearts of millions of people and affected the lives of entire generations. The events that pushed the world to that fateful edge continue to be in the centre of attention of researchers and public and state figures today as well.

Unfortunately, attempts are being made in some countries to review the causes and outcomes of World War II. Historical facts are being distorted and openly false speculative views and conclusions are being imposed for the sake of self-serving political and economic interests.

In this regard, authentic archival materials of that era have become particularly important. Many of these unique documents are displayed at the current exhibition, some of them for the first time. They serve as a reminder for us and future generations of how fragile peace is. They caution us against political shortsightedness, selfishness and lack of unity in the face of global threats.

I am confident that the exhibition will cause a massive public outcry and will contribute to the preservation of historical truth. I would like to sincerely thank its organisers, who invested a large amount of work, and wish the visitors unforgettable experiences and new discoveries.”

August 21, 2019