German–Soviet Axis talks - Wikipedia
misjon.info On this day in , as punishment for betting on baseball, Cincinnati Reds. As this suggests, the series ultimately focuses more on Stalin than Hitler. Specifically, it examines the ways in which his partnership of. In October and November , German–Soviet Axis talks occurred concerning the Soviet . Stalin proposed a toast to Hitler, and Stalin and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov repeatedly toasted . By the end of August, relations improved again as the countries had redrawn the Hungarian and Romanian borders.
And alliance indeed it was. For Hitler, the pact provided a guarantee that he could invade first Poland, then France and most of the rest of western Europe, without having to worry about any threat from the east. For Stalin, it allowed a breathing space in which to build up armed forces that had been severely damaged by the purges of the previous years, as his botched invasion of Finland showed.
It also gave him the chance to expand the Soviet Union to include parts of the old Russian empire of pre-revolutionary times. Moorhouse is right, therefore, to insist that for Stalin the pact was not merely defensive, though he goes too far when he claims it was a golden opportunity for the Soviet leader "to set the world-historical forces" of revolution in motion.
Moorhouse tells a good story and, though it has been told before, notably in Anthony Read and David Fisher's The Deadly Embracehe is able to add interesting new details. Yet for all its virtues this is a deeply problematic book. Page after page is devoted to a detailed description of the horrors inflicted by Stalin and his minions on the territories the pact allowed him to occupy, with mass arrests and deportatations, shootings, torture and expropriation.
The shooting of thousands of Polish army officers by the Soviet secret police in Katyn Forest and elsewhere has been well known for decades, like the brutal deportation of over a million Poles to Siberia and Central Asia, but much of the material provided by Moorhouse on the Baltic states is relatively new and makes sobering reading.
The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941 – review
None of this, however, is balanced by any comparable treatment of the atrocities committed by the Nazis in Poland following their occupation of the western part of the country: If the pact allowed Stalin to visit his murderous policies on the Baltic states, it also permitted Hitler to do the same with the much larger and more heavily populated countries he invaded in western Europe at the same time, and even more so in the areas of southern Europe he conquered early in Moorhouse devotes considerable attention to the Soviet attempt to cover up the Katyn massacre, but fails to mention the deliberate killing of Red Army troops taken prisoner by the Germans.
The book ends by praising the European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, instituted by the EU in at the behest of the Baltic states, and held every year on 23 August, the anniversary of the signing of the pact.
It is written very much in the spirit of the founding declaration of this "Black Ribbon Day", whose 19 points focus almost exclusively on Soviet atrocities while sparing barely a thought for Nazi ones. Much of the blood shed in the lands concerned by the agreement would be that of Jewish civilians. On 17 September Stalin joined his ally Hitler in a military attack on Poland, sending the Red Army to invade the country from the east.
It met the allied Wehrmacht in the middle and organized a joint victory parade. The Soviet and German secret police promised each other to suppress any Polish resistance. It also executed thousands of Polish officers, many of whom were fresh from combat against the Wehrmacht.
The destruction of the Polish state is remembered in Polish history, understandably; what is often overlooked is the way that Polish and Jewish history must overlap. The Polish citizens murdered by the NKVD, usually reserve officers with a higher education, were killed because they represented the elite of the Polish state. Often they were Jews, whose death at Soviet hands left their families to face the German occupation without them.
Wilhelm Engelkreis, a Polish Jewish doctor and reserve officer, was murdered at Katyn. His daughter, writing later from Israel, recalled her childhood despair. Hironim Brandwajn, a doctor, was shot in the back of the neck with his brother officers at Katyn; his wife Mira would die two years later in the Warsaw ghetto without knowing what had happened to her husband. Mieczyslaw Proner, for example, was a pharmacist and chemist and a Jew and a Pole and a reserve officer and combatant.
He fought against the Germans in the Polish Army, only to be arrested by the Soviets and murdered with a bullet to the back of the neck. A few months later his mother was ordered to the Warsaw ghetto, from which she was deported to Treblinka and gassed. In the speech that rehabilitated the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and on other occasions, Putin has justified the Soviet alliance with Nazi Germany by referring to the complicity of the western powers in the destruction of Czechoslovakia at Munich.
From all appearances, he himself sees both Munich and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which he tends to group together, as positive examples.
The Russian campaign against Ukraine in is startlingly similar to the German campaign against Czechoslovakia in Of course, in the West, Munich is generally seen as a mistake and a negative example. France was trying to come to an agreement with the Soviet Union during the first half ofbut its interlocutors kept disappearing into the maw of the Great Terror.
The Hitler-Stalin Pact - HISTORY
We will know more about this if and when the relevant archival collections are opened, but to all appearances the Munich crisis was evaluated at the time in the Kremlin as an opportunity to intervene in eastern Europe. Even as London and Paris urged Prague to compromise with Hitler, the Soviets provided indications of their willingness to send their armed forces to central Europe to protect Czechoslovakia — which for simple geographical reasons would have required an invasion of Poland or Romania or both.
Four Soviet army groups were in fact moved to the Polish border. On 12 September, Hitler gave a speech about the need to liberate Germans from Czech policies of extermination, and to do away with Czechoslovakia generally.
Three days later the Soviet regime accelerated the ethnic cleansing of its own borderlands with Poland. Beginning on 15 September, Soviet authorities carried out swift mass executions of Soviet citizens found guilty of espionage for Poland, most of them ethnic Polish men.
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Throughout the territory of Soviet Ukraine, Polish men were shot in huge numbers in September. In the city of Voroshilovgrad today Luhanskfor example, Soviet authorities considered cases in the Polish Operation during the Czechoslovak crisis, and ordered executions.
In the regions of Soviet Ukraine adjacent to the Polish border, Soviet units went from village to village as death squads in September.
Polish men were shot, Polish women and children were sent to the Gulag, and reports were filed later — over and over again. In the Zhytomyr region Soviet authorities sentenced a hundred people to death on 22 September, more on 23 September, and on 28 September. That was the day that Hitler had set as the deadline for an invasion of Czechoslovakia.
The Red Army was standing at the Polish border; and the NKVD had cleared the hinterland of suspicious elements by massive shootings and deportations of Poles, regarded as the enemy nation. But instead the crisis was resolved. At Munich the leaders of Britain, France, Italy and Germany decided that Czechoslovakia should cede the territories that Hitler wanted. This was a shameful action and is remembered as such today not only in Prague but in London, Paris and Washington.
Soviet policy during those weeks is entirely forgotten. But the terror and mobilization provides a useful bit of background to Soviet policy after the next European crisis generated by Hitler did create the opportunity for a Soviet invasion of Poland.
The Soviet deportations of Polish citizens in repeated, on a smaller scale, the methods of the Great Terror. Beria, the head of the NKVD, established a special troika to deal rapidly with the files of all of the Polish prisoners of war.
He established a quota for the killings, as had been done in and In the Polish Operation of the Great Terror ofPolish men had been shot and the families deported to be exploited and denationalized. This was repeated in If the families of the executed men were in the Soviet zone, they were deported to the Gulag.
When Stalin was Hitler's ally
After the invasion of Poland, the next major Soviet act of aggression during the period of alliance with Nazi Germany was the invasion of Finland in November The winter war was a very costly victory for the Soviet Union, although the losses were much greater, in relative terms, for the much smaller target of invasion. A rehabilitation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is also a rehabilitation of that war. After sham referenda they were annexed to the Soviet Union. These three small countries lost tens of thousands of citizens to deportations, including most of the elites.
They were declared by Soviet law never to have existed, so that service to the state became a crime under Soviet law. They remember not only the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, but also the Nazi-Soviet Treaty on Borders and Friendship that followed, and the sham elections and propaganda in the Soviet zone that so resemble recent Russian actions in occupied Ukraine. In the first variant, Moscow invites Poland to play the historical role of Germany, and partake in a division of Ukraine.
No one in Warsaw took seriously such proposals. In the second variant, Moscow suggests to Berlin that Germany would be better suited if it acted as a great power, ignoring the new rules of the European Union and following the old rules of the interwar period. Although this would be strategic idiocy for Germany, whose admirable power position depends precisely upon European integration, important German statesmen such as Gerhard Schroeder and Helmut Schmidt have taken meaningful steps towards endorsing this position.
What is happening is the shift from one possible Russian memory of the war to another, a memory mutation with implications for all of Russia and all of Europe. From to the Soviet Union was a German ally, fighting in the eastern theatre and supplying Germany with the minerals, oil and food needed to make war against Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and most importantly France and Britain. During this stage of the war Stalin was eager to please Hitler, and in general fulfilled not only obligations of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the Treaty on Borders and Friendship but also specific requests of his German ally.
There was one major exception. Stalin was perfectly aware of the plight of Jews in the German zone of Poland. Unsurprisingly he was completely uninterested in helping them. There was no sign of interest in Moscow. This was one of the few German requests that was not fulfilled during the period of the alliance. Soviet propaganda passed over the first war in silence and celebrated Soviet feats of arms in the second.
Given the millions of Soviet citizens killed by the Germans this made perfect political sense. In this telling of Soviet history, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact had to be denied: