Polish-Soviet Dispute and the United Nations
Overlapping Polish-Soviet Territorial Claims
The polish-soviet boundary dispute, which has produced a series of crises during recent months, is again becoming acute as the Red Army drives German forces farther back through the territory of prewar Poland in its 1944 offensive.
The overlapping territorial claims of the Moscow government and the Polish government-in-exile at London, and the present impasse in Soviet-Polish relations, are matters of deep concern to the British and American governments because disunity in the family of the United Nations is a potential handicap both to the cooperative war effort and to the establishment of a durable peace after the war. British and American efforts to heal the breach between the two governments have met with no success to date.
The Soviet government lays claim to nearly half the area of the Polish state as it existed before the outbreak of the present war. It would move the Polish border back to the neighborhood of the line tentatively fixed in 1919 as the eastern ethnographic boundary of the new state set up by the Treaty of Versailles. The Poles would reestablish the line accepted by the government of Lenin and Trotsky in the Treaty of Riga, after the Bolsheviks had been defeated in the Russo-Polish war of 1920. The dispute has its roots far back in history, for the Polish claim is based not only upon the terms of the Treaty of Riga but also upon the Polish boundary as its existed in 1772, prior to the first partition of Poland by Prussia, Russia and Austria.