German-Soviet non-aggression pact
|Non-aggression treaty between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics|
|Short title:||German-Soviet non-aggression treaty
also: Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
|Date:||August 23, 1939|
|Come into effect:||August 23, 1939|
|Reference:||RGBl. 1939 II, p. 968 f.|
|Legal matter:||Non-aggression contract|
|Signing:||August 24, 1939|
|Ratification :||September 24, 1939|
|Please note the note on the applicable contract version .|
The German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact (full name: Nonaggression Treaty between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ), known as the Hitler-Stalin Pact (also called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact after the signatories ), was a treaty between the German Reich and the Soviet Union , who on August 24, 1939 (dated August 23, 1939) in Moscow by the Reich Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and the Soviet People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov in the presence of Josef Stalin (as CPSU General Secretary de facto leader of the Soviet Union) and the German Ambassador Friedrich-Werner Graf von der Schulenburg signed and published. The pact guaranteed the German Reich Soviet neutrality for the prepared attack on Poland and in the event of a possible entry into war by the Western powers .
A secret additional protocol "in the event of a territorial-political transformation" included most of Poland and Lithuania in the German sphere of interest , eastern Poland, Finland , Estonia , Latvia and Bessarabia in the Soviet.
After the Wehrmacht had occupied western Poland and the Red Army in eastern Poland during the attack on Poland, closer cooperation between the two states was agreed with the German-Soviet border and friendship treaty of September 28, 1939, and the areas of interest were adapted to the new circumstances. In addition to affirming economic cooperation, accompanying, sometimes secret, agreements specified the division of Poland , the Baltic states , this time with Lithuania , struck the Soviet Union and determined the transfer of the German, Ukrainian and Belarusian minorities from the affected areas into their own sphere of influence.
With the attack on the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941, the German Reich broke these two treaties.
Application of terms
The terms for the contract vary according to time, region, intention and context:
German-Soviet non-aggression treaty is the official designation by the signatory states and is predominant in the field of diplomacy during the Second World War. In the times of the Cold War it was in use regionally in the Soviet and Central and Eastern European area and critics criticized this designation as implied a peaceful, non-aggressive non-aggression pact with the denial of the secret additional protocol.
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact developed in the circles of Russian and East Central European dissidents and emigrants and during the Cold War it developed into a fighting term against the communist system and the Soviet Union, in order to publish the treaty and its secret additional protocol and openly the motives for concluding the treaty to discuss. Neither the dictatorial systems nor the dictators of the signatory states were named.
Hitler-Stalin-Pact and Nazi-Soviet-Pact are a product of the Cold War in West German and Anglo-Saxon journalism. These terms emphasize the dictatorial and totalitarian character of the signatory powers, whereby the Hitler-Stalin Pact does not emphasize the systems, but the persons of the dictators.
In the Munich Agreement of September 29, 1938, France and England had kept the Soviet Union away from the negotiating table with the German Reich , so that the foreign policy options of the Soviet Union to defend against the National Socialist aggression plans left little room for maneuver. One of them was a tactical agreement with hostile Germany.
Development after the Munich Agreement
Adolf Hitler had tried several times to loosen Poland and Romania from their ties to France and to bring them into a common offensive front position against the Soviet Union. Despite the German-Polish non-aggression pact of 1934 and the German-Romanian rapprochement in 1936, this policy failed. In October 1938, Poland rejected Hitler's proposal for a joint eastern expansion that would preserve large parts of the Ukraine . For Hitler, a solution was therefore obvious: to forcibly divide East Central Europe into a German and a Soviet sphere of interest, excluding the Western powers. On April 28, 1939, the German-Polish non-aggression pact was unilaterally terminated by Germany.
When Germany occupied what was known as the rest of the Czech Republic on March 15, 1939 , it became clear that the Anglo-French appeasement policy had failed. Hitler had interpreted the Western powers as weakness in that they had tolerated his revisions of the Versailles Treaty , not as an attempt to integrate Germany peacefully into the European community of states. In Great Britain , the opposition forces within the ruling Conservative Party led by Winston Churchill demanded the end of all concessions to Germany. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain also saw this violent breach of the Munich Agreement of 1938 as a threat to the balance of power on which Britain's world position was based. The British-French declaration of guarantee for Poland's independence of March 31, 1939 signaled that Great Britain and France viewed an independent Poland as a vital interest of their own. As from March 1939 the insight increased that without the Soviet Union in Europe no effective position could be built up against Hitler, the Soviet Union, which had been excluded as a pariah in the Munich Agreement in 1938 , was now diplomatically upgraded and included in the circle of Powers took up which determined the fate of East Central Europe.
British and French elites hated and feared the Soviet Union. But some pragmatists, including Churchill and David Lloyd George , saw National Socialist Germany as the greater danger and considered an alliance with Moscow to be necessary against the common enemy, while Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and other conservatives resisted it. The French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier and his Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet were anti-communist and skeptical of a possible alliance with the Soviet Union. The fear that the world would fall to communism after a war in Europe, regardless of its outcome, had ultimately motivated her previous policy of appeasement. But now the French saw themselves more threatened by their neighbor Germany than the British in their island location. Public opinion in Britain and France, with the exception of the French right-wing press, favored an alliance with the Soviet Union.
Negotiations between the western powers and the Soviet Union on an alliance
Proposals for a three-way alliance
After rumors surfaced that Hitler would turn to Romania for Czechoslovakia , Great Britain probed the Soviet stance on March 18, 1939. Moscow proposed a diplomatic conference with Great Britain, France, Poland and Romania. Despite a positive exchange, the Soviet Foreign Minister Maxim Litvinov doubted that the Western powers were actually turning away from their appeasement policy. From his point of view, Chamberlain wanted to use the possibility of cooperation with the Soviet Union to put pressure on Hitler and Mussolini after Hitler's urge to expand had already been directed eastwards by the Munich conference. The Soviets doubted the British could protect Poland or Romania in the event of a German attack and were upset that the British silently dropped a proposed joint statement in favor of the Anglo-French guarantee. Nor did the Soviets believe that the French would deviate from their Munich line. Rather, Litvinov believed that it would be best to wait and see how things went.
The signing of the German-Romanian economic agreement on March 23, 1939 alarmed the Soviet Union that German control of Romania could be initiated. A British guarantee for Romania and Greece on April 13th did not calm things down . Two days later, the British ambassador to Moscow, William Seeds , asked whether Moscow would be willing to make a similar statement for Poland and Romania. On April 17, Litvinov Seeds submitted an 8-point plan for a three-party alliance agreed with Stalin, which, in addition to mutual obligations, ultimately provided for a military alliance. France rejected the Soviet proposal as too broad and complex, while the British remained silent.
On May 3, 1939, Stalin surprisingly replaced Litvinov as foreign minister by Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov . This step is interpreted differently. Many historians see this as a signal from Stalin to Hitler. Litvinov had stood for a foreign policy of " collective security ", that is, the integration of the USSR into the international system through multilateral agreements. Molotov, on the other hand, was considered a Soviet nationalist with a pro-German tendency. His appointment had signaled to Germany that Litvinov's foreign policy was a thing of the past and thus initiated an understanding with Germany. Sergei Slutsch sees the dismissal of the Jew Litvinov as a signal of concession to the anti-Semite Hitler. For Bianka Pietrow-Ennker , Stalin made Litvinov personally responsible for the failure of the collective security policy, which was revealed by the Munich Agreement. According to Jonathan Haslam, the behavior of the British had made it all too clear that the Western powers would not see the Soviet Union with Litvinov as foreign minister as an equal partner with other alliance options. Litvinov's dismissal would have been a signal to the Western powers. Geoffrey Roberts thinks it possible that Molotov was appointed to pursue the policy of a three-party alliance more vigorously, as Litvinov was known to be suspicious of the Western powers. Albert Resis points out that Litvinov acted against Stalin's realpolitik when he proposed an agreement with the Western powers to stop Germany. From a Stalinist perspective, he was too accommodating to the Western powers and at the same time ruled out an alliance with Germany.
Negotiations for a military alliance
The Western powers believed that war could be avoided and that the Soviet Union was militarily weakened after the Great Purges . The Soviet Union, on the other hand, feared capitalist encirclement, considered a war inevitable and little of the Polish army . She demanded military support if she was expected to open a second front against Germany in a possible war. The negotiations therefore focused on securing a military alliance and cooperation between the Eastern European allies of the Western powers. Over the early summer of 1939, the Western powers gradually met the Soviet demands. The sticking point turned out to be the question of a joint guarantee for the Baltic states by the Western powers and the Soviet Union. The latter seemed indispensable after Estonia and Lithuania had concluded non-aggression pacts with Germany in early June ( German-Estonian non-aggression pact , German-Lithuanian non-aggression pact ). A military mission by the German Chief of Staff, Franz Halder, to Estonia and Finland at the end of June 1939 caused additional concern on the Soviet side. From Moscow's point of view, the tendency of these countries to lean on Germany fueled the fear that the Baltic states and Finland could be transformed into a deployment area of Germany. The proposals of the Western powers, on the other hand, were deliberately kept vague, since Great Britain in particular was not prepared to risk Soviet hegemony in the Baltic States to deter German expansion to the east .
On July 1, the British and French negotiators agreed to add the Baltic states to a secret additional protocol. The Soviet draft of July 3, 1939 introduced the term "indirect aggression" against one of the guaranteed states. Molotov was referring to the precedent of Czechoslovakia, a coup d'état or a political change of course forced by an aggressor . The British were exasperated by the Soviet conduct of the negotiations and trusted the Soviet Union without further ado to take advantage of this point. They feared that this would enable the Soviet Union to threaten Baltic independence . The French were more willing to compromise on this point. The British and French negotiators agreed in principle with the Soviet demand, but wanted to limit the definition to violent actions that would undermine the neutrality and independence of the states concerned. The British in particular wanted to be tough on this point. At the July 17th meeting, Molotov called for the political and military agreement to be concluded at the same time. On July 23, he declared that the question of “indirect aggression” would be secondary and solvable once a military agreement was reached. Two days later, the British and French agreed to send negotiating delegations to Moscow.
Negotiations began with a delay on August 12, 1939, because the Anglo-French delegation under Admiral Reginald Drax and General Aimé Doumenc had traveled to Moscow by merchant ship instead of by plane or train. The military agreement failed because of the question of whether the Red Army could march through Poland and Romania in the event of German aggression. The Soviet negotiator, Defense Minister Voroshilov , raised the problem on August 14th. While the delegation of the Western Powers thought that the Soviet Union should ask the two countries concerned, the Soviet Union asked the Western Powers to ensure that their allies would agree to this. Especially since the British-French emissaries did not have the authority to conclude legally binding treaties and could not speak for the Polish government, the negotiations on August 17th came to an impasse. In memory of the Polish-Soviet War of 1920 , the government in Warsaw refused to grant any marching rights. The French government urged Ambassador Léon Noël to inquire in Warsaw, but Foreign Minister Józef Beck declined any concession. In Poland and the Baltic states, there was a fear that once the Soviet troops were in the country, they would never be rid of them. In addition, an understanding between Soviets and Germans was considered impossible in Poland. The Soviet Union will never accept a common border with Germany. Since the British and the French could not make any commitments on August 21, the negotiations were postponed indefinitely and became obsolete after the conclusion of the German-Soviet non-aggression pact.
After the Munich Agreement was concluded, Stalin initially responded to German proposals to revive credit and trade relations. By renouncing the Carpathian Ukraine and giving his cautious speech in the Reichstag on January 30, 1939, Hitler had indicated that he would be accommodating. On a speech on the XVIII. At the CPSU party congress on March 10, 1939, Stalin publicly distanced himself from the alleged British war planning. Whether he wanted to send a signal to Hitler with this speech is controversial in research.
After the German " smashing of the rest of the Czech Republic ", the Soviet Union concentrated on the security of the eastern Baltic region. Neither the western heads of government nor the governments of the Baltic states or Finland gave in to Soviet pressure for a military convention that would secure Soviet troops rights to march through Poland and Romania as well as bases on the Baltic Sea . In the meantime, in talks with the German side, the Soviet Union refused to play one side against the other, while Germany kept making new offers to the Soviet government as to how it could protect its interests. Basically, however, the Soviet interests in a German promise of non-aggression, in bilateral declarations of guarantees for the Baltic states and in a German declaration of renunciation of the eastern Polish territories, on the one hand, and Hitler's interest in an agreement on the unconditional neutrality of the USSR, which he needed for his war plans, on the other differently. In July 1939, however, it looked as if Great Britain was about to enter into compromise negotiations with Germany while the Japanese-Soviet border conflict escalated. Germany had also improved contacts with Soviet border states and concluded non-aggression pacts with Estonia and Latvia . The talks finally got moving when the governments of France and Great Britain left a request from the Soviet Union regarding the military convention unanswered on August 14, 1939. On August 15, Molotov discussed the German proposals for the first time in a conversation with Ambassador Friedrich-Werner Graf von der Schulenburg . The decisive contacts between the German and Soviet governments took place after the conclusion of a political agreement between the Soviet Union and the Western powers on July 24th and before the start of negotiations on a military assistance agreement on August 12th. The initiative came from the German side, since the plan of operations for the Polish campaign (“White Fall”) put them under time pressure.
On August 15, Schulenburg read Ribbentrop's declaration from the previous day that Germany would renounce violence against the USSR, regulate territorial issues and recognize mutual “living spaces”. Molotov then announced on August 17 that the Soviet Union wanted the "conclusion of a non-aggression pact or the confirmation of the neutrality pact of 1926 " with a special protocol on the interests of the contracting parties as part of the treaty. After discussions about the details, Ambassador Schulenburg delivered a note to Foreign Minister Molotov on August 17th in which the Germans expressed their willingness to enter into a non-aggression pact in writing, to which a confidential special protocol regarding spheres of interest should be enclosed. Based on the verbal agreements between Molotov and Schulenburg, Friedrich Gaus , the head of the legal department in the Foreign Office , prepared the text of the later agreement that Ribbentrop brought to Moscow on August 23, 1939.
First of all, on August 19, the German-Soviet economic agreement on Soviet raw material deliveries for the German Reich , which had already been negotiated for months, was concluded in Berlin . In this, the Reich granted the Soviet Union a credit line of 200 million Reichsmarks (seven years term) in return for raw material deliveries in the amount of 180 million Reichsmarks (within two years).
On the same day Molotov informed Berlin that the Soviet government was now ready to receive Foreign Minister Ribbentrop on August 26th and 27th to ratify a non-aggression pact. On August 20, Hitler sent a telegram to Stalin in which he stated that the “tension between Germany and Poland” had become “unbearable” and that “a crisis could break out every day”. With this he revealed his readiness for war and the self-imposed time pressure. Stalin came to the conclusion that a treaty with the German Reich would be more advantageous than a treaty with the Western powers. In the telegram of August 21st, he wrote indirectly in reply that the conclusion of a Nichantgriff treaty would create the “basis for the liquidation of political tension”. On August 21, Schulenburg Molotov brought an express message from Hitler to Stalin that Ribbentrop could go to Moscow in the next two days to clarify the final details and for ratification, whereupon Ribbentrop's arrival by Stalin was scheduled for August 23. The German delegation was received by the Soviet side at 6 p.m. The final details of the contract were still being negotiated on the basis of a draft. The secret additional protocol took up most of the time. A detailed question that Ribbentrop wanted to clarify with Hitler led to an interruption at 10 p.m. The German-Soviet non-aggression pact, dated August 23, was signed after midnight on August 24, 1939 by Ribbentrop and Molotov in Moscow. By entering into a secret additional protocol, the Soviet Union accepted, at Germany's request, a "bougoise" secret diplomacy that violated the openness of international agreements as defined by Lenin's decree on peace . The German Foreign Minister informed Hitler about the conclusion of the contract by telephone at around 2 a.m. On the same day Pravda and Izvestia reported the treaty on their front page.
The contract consisted of five articles. In the first article, citing the Berlin Treaty of 1926, the parties mutually renounced any use of force. Article II promised mutual neutrality in the event of war. Article III provided for consultations in the event of differences of opinion, Article IV excluded participation in a grouping of powers directed against the respective contracting party, Article V stated the intention to settle any conflicts amicably. The term was ten years. Unlike the non-aggression treaties that the Soviet Union under Foreign Minister Litvinov had concluded with Finland, Latvia, Estonia and Poland, among others, the German-Soviet non-aggression pact did not contain the clause that it would automatically expire if one of the two contracting parties attacked a third country . This absence gave the German Reich full freedom of action against Poland.
The text of the contract and the additional protocol were already available to some Western diplomats in Moscow a few hours after the contract was signed.
Secret additional protocol
In a secret additional protocol, the two countries agreed to divide Poland, the Baltic States and Bessarabia into German and Soviet spheres of interest in the event that “territorial-political changes” should occur. The four points of the additional protocol provided for the following:
- In the case of the Baltic states (which also included Finland at the time ), these “spheres of interest” should be delimited by the northern border of Lithuania; Latvia , Estonia and Finland should be in the Soviet sphere of interest, Lithuania in the German one.
- The national territory of Poland was divided into two spheres of interest along the line of the Narew , Vistula and San rivers . "Whether the mutual interests make the preservation of an independent Polish state appear desirable and how this state should be delimited", that should only "be clarified in the course of further political developments".
- With regard to Southeastern Europe , the Soviet Union expressed its interest in Bessarabia, while the German side declared "the complete political disinterest in these areas".
- The additional protocol should be "treated as strictly confidential" by both contracting parties.
Since Hitler expected that Great Britain would not keep his guarantee promise to Poland and that the German Reich could come to a diplomatic arrangement with the Western powers after the planned attack on Poland, it was expressly left open whether an independent rest of Poland should continue to exist and what its borders should be.
Central documents on German-Soviet cooperation, such as the German drafts for the non-aggression treaty and the treaty negotiations, were kept strictly secret and destroyed in the course of a general German destruction of secret documents on instructions from Ribbentrop. The original of the map showing the partition of Poland with the signatures of Stalin and Ribbentrop was preserved on the German side. Legation councilor Karl von Loesch saved rolls of film from destruction, including copies of the treaty, and gave them to the Western Allies for viewing. The film rolls were returned to the Foreign Office in Bonn at the end of the 1950s.
During the Nuremberg trial of the major war criminals in 1946, the accused former State Secretary Ernst von Weizsäcker reported about the Secret Additional Protocol, but the Soviet prosecution denied its existence. However, the defense could not produce the document because the Reich Chancellery in Berlin had been destroyed in a bomb attack. For almost five decades that followed, the government of the USSR labeled references to the Protocol as anti-Soviet slander.
The secret additional protocol gave the Soviet Union territories that negotiations with the Western powers could not offer. In this way, the territorial losses suffered after the First World War could be reversed and a security zone became possible that kept the war away from Moscow. For a long time, Soviet historiography taught that the USSR only concluded the Hitler-Stalin Pact in order to delay Hitler's attack. In order to support this thesis, the additional protocol was kept secret because it proved that, despite all ideological differences, both dictators shared the will for political and ideological expansion. The Kremlin leadership forbade any mention to Soviet historians.
In the late 1980s, the text was well known because it had already been published in state-censored publications in Poland and the Baltic Soviet republics , but had also often been printed and distributed in samizdat .
In 1989, at the People's Deputies Congress in Moscow , representatives from the three Baltic Soviet republics of Estonia , Latvia and Lithuania asked the Soviet head of state and party leader Mikhail Gorbachev to produce the original of the document. Gorbachev stated at the time that there was no such document. There is nothing about it in the Kremlin's archives . According to the memoirs of his clerkship chief Valery Boldin , Gorbachev had very well had the document in his hands beforehand, but had instructed him to remain absolutely silent about it.
When he handed over his workrooms to the new Kremlin chief Boris Yeltsin in December 1991 , Gorbachev admitted that this document, which had previously been stored in the archives of the CPSU Central Committee, was there, and unsealed the folder in which it was located. A little later, Yeltsin announced that the long-sought document had been found. In 1993 it was first published in Russia in the magazine Novaja i novejschaja istorija .
Evaluation of the Soviet foreign policy
When assessing the negotiations leading up to the German-Soviet non-aggression pact, historians are divided. How seriously did Stalin negotiate with the Western powers? Did the British effectively prevent an alliance or did Stalin consider an agreement impossible? Did Stalin want an alliance with Germany from the start? Answering these questions comes up against the source problem that Stalin made as little public comment as possible on foreign policy issues. In the official Soviet version, the Soviet Union alone, with its principle of collective security, tried to protect Europe from fascism . The western democracies had already let this policy fail with the Munich Agreement. Alexander Chubarjan points out that some Russian historians concede the illegal and immoral character of the Secret Additional Protocol, which the Supreme Soviet had already officially condemned during perestroika as being contrary to the norms of international law. At the same time he criticizes "the tendency ... to put the Nazi regime in Germany and the Soviet Union in a row" and to compare them. In his opinion, the events of August and September 1939 should be understood from the geopolitical point of view of the time and the national and security interests of the Soviet Union. Moscow felt surrounded by enemies and gave in to the insistence of Hitler, who had now also wanted to neutralize Moscow. Tschubarjan refers to the "inflexible attitude" of Polish government circles, which denied the Soviet Union marching rights, and to the fact that the Soviet Union did not occupy eastern Poland but integrated it immediately. Stalin had bet that Germany, France and Great Britain would weaken and consume one another.
On the question of why and when Stalin decided to form an alliance with Hitler, there have essentially been two opinions since the 1950s. On the one hand, understanding with Germany is seen as the real goal of Soviet foreign policy in the 1930s. Accordingly, both dictatorships pursued similar goals, namely maximum territorial acquisition and rule over their neighboring states and the world. In this interpretation, ongoing foreign policy goals and aspects are given considerable autonomy over domestic policy considerations. Under the premises of totalitarianism , which state that the two dictatorships were electively related, the understanding is dated to around 1933. If the doctrine of the world revolution is emphasized as the driving force behind Soviet foreign policy, the special relationship between the Soviet Union and National Socialist Germany appears as a legacy of international socialism. The contacts between the two dictatorships thus reached their actual destination in the non-aggression pact.
Gerhard L. Weinberg argues that Stalin always preferred an alliance with Hitler. Hermann Graml believes that Stalin wanted to lure the reluctant Germans out of the reserve and at the same time made demands on the Western powers for tactical reasons that he knew they could not accept. Stalin hoped to use a war between Germany and the Western powers for imperialist advances. He had just carried on negotiations with the Western Powers with the seriousness that was needed to lure Hitler into accepting Soviet advances. However, the talks have had no serious significance since mid-April.
Sergei Slutsch also believes that Stalin has long preferred an alliance with Hitler. For him, the foreign policy of “collective security” is only “a convenient camouflage for the general line of Stalin’s strategy”, in the sense of the Marxist-Leninist doctrine “to divide the world and incite states against one another”. Stalin used a possible agreement with the Western powers as a means of exerting pressure against Germany without wanting to “slide into war” through talks with the Western powers. He said he had taken advantage of the weakness and inconsistency of the Western powers and wanted to lead the talks of the military missions into a dead end from day one.
Proponents of the preventive war thesis see the politics of Stalin as a gamble to trigger the war. Viktor Suvorov, for example, thinks that it was Stalin's intention to use the pact to drive Hitler into war with the Western powers in order to then incorporate the bled-out states into communist power. According to the Eastern European historian Manfred Hildermeier , such interpretations are rejected by specialist science as not verifiable and speculative. Richard C. Raack and Robert C. Tucker , for example, argue in this direction . In their view, Stalin wanted war as badly as Hitler did because he expected a war of attrition between the capitalist states that would lead to revolutions and allow the Red Army to intervene.
On the other hand, historians argue that Soviet foreign policy reoriented itself in the course of the transition to “building socialism in one country”. Securing the Soviet Union through bilateral non-aggression agreements has been given increasing priority. This interpretation assumes a close connection between internal and external development and presupposes considerable Soviet pragmatism. Instead of continuing the tradition of ideologically based expansionism or being guided by a systematic similarity, Stalin's foreign policy was rational and purposeful in order to secure the integrity of the Soviet Union. After the snub as a result of the German-Polish non-aggression pact in 1934, the Soviet Union pursued a policy of multilateral security and did not give up efforts to reach an understanding with the Western powers until 1939. The alliance with Germany was an offensive pact, but it opened up the possibility of staying out of the struggle between the “capitalist powers” for as long as possible. Stalin handed Poland over to the German attack and was given a free hand to subjugate the Baltic states, Bessarabia and Finland, i.e. to restore the borders of the Tsarist empire and, in the case of northern Bukovina, beyond. Stalin had ruled out that he himself would soon need the support of strong allies against Nazi aggression. It remains to be seen whether this is to be understood as a return to the imperial great power politics of the 19th century or as an unchecked outflow of ideological goals that have always been envisaged.
Manfred Hildermeier tends to interpret the Soviet Union as striving for “collective security”, but does not want to ignore the objection that Soviet foreign policy was contradictory and inconsistent, so that the main goals, the greatest possible guarantee against its own participation in the war, on the one hand, and striving after maximum territorial gain, on the other hand, not mutually exclusive. He sees the Soviet Union's increased territorial hunger in 1940 as part of the Great Russian imperial tradition, whereby the aim was to regain Tsarist territory. Pietrow-Ennker understands Stalinist foreign policy as a classic great power policy and German-Soviet cooperation from September 1939 as a seized opportunity to move borders and export the Soviet system. For Gerhard Wettig , Stalin had no other option than to negotiate with the Western powers until August 1939, but he hoped to bring about an offer from Hitler, which he hoped would be more accommodating in his expansion plans. Stefan Creuzberger sees expansive power rather than defensive security-political motives at work in Stalin. The willingness to come to an understanding with the Western powers was in a dubious light because Molotov approved the talks with Germany on August 11th. Even before the decisive phase of the negotiations with the Western powers, the decision was made in Moscow to bet on the German card.
Interpreters of both directions agree that Stalin’s foreign policy was based on Lenin's teaching of the irrevocable opposition between capitalism and socialism and the hostile encirclement of the Soviet Union by capitalist states. Accordingly, Stalin placed the highest priority on staying out of the supposedly inevitable armed conflicts in the capitalist camp. Until the attack on the Soviet Union, Stalin was guided by the maxim he had already expressed in 1925 that he wanted to be the last to step into the ring. According to the predominant research opinion, despite all the external hunger for power and expansion, he did not want to start a war. Even if he tried through forced industrialization to prepare his country for the inevitable final battle against capitalism and in an environment of growing international tension since 1936 directed more and more resources into armament and the expansion of the army, he wanted this fight that way postpone as long as possible. The Hitler-Stalin Pact also forced Japan to admit defeat in the Japanese-Soviet border conflict and thus averted the danger of a two-front war in East Asia and Europe from the Soviet perspective .
Historians who take the Soviet foreign policy of “collective security” seriously, such as Teddy J. Uldricks, point to the enormous effort that Soviet politicians would have made to implement it during the 1930s. Uldricks sees only one foreign policy line of the Soviet Union, namely the striving for a balance of power. The assumption that all imperialist powers are hostile to the Soviet Union motivated the pursuit of an alliance with the Western powers as well as with Hitler. Geoffrey Roberts criticizes the fact that Soviet foreign policy was long written on the basis of German sources. From the Soviet point of view, Germany campaigned for the Soviet Union and the Soviet Union only reacted to it from the end of July 1939. Historically based mistrust of the Soviets towards Western powers had been reinforced primarily by the conduct of the British negotiations. The Soviets had not been given the guarantees of security that they were not justified in demanding. Roberts is astonished that the Soviet negotiations with the Western powers even got so far. For Michael Jabara Carley, too, neither the French nor the British were prepared to make the necessary concessions; H. to forge a clear, watertight military alliance with the Soviet Union. Stalin was a cynic who didn't trust anyone and wanted to buy time, but he wasn't an ideologue. Carley, on the other hand, identified anti-Bolshevism as the most important element of Anglo-French politics. In London and Paris, people feared the prestige that the Soviet Union would have gained through a three-party alliance.
For Ingeborg Fleischhauer , the foreign policy options of the Soviet Union had narrowed to an arrangement with Germany after Poland had rejected an assistance pact and the Western powers had not recognized the justification of the Soviet strategic concept. Stalin's foreign policy decisions were determined by the “cool and controlled, poorly agile mind and the cold-blooded, defensive pragmatism of the realpolitiker”. His interest in statesmanship was a policy of appeasement to keep the Soviet Union out of a war. Gabriel Gorodetsky believes that Britain has not met the fundamental security needs of the Soviet Union. The realpolitician Stalin was therefore forced to seek a compromise with Hitler, because he knew how determined he was to go to war. Stalin took advantage of the opportunities presented to him, but did not primarily pursue expansion ideas or orientate himself on Leninist ideology.
Zara Steiner sees no conclusive answers to the question of whether Stalin preferred an alliance against Hitler or with Hitler. In any case, he mistrusted Great Britain and Poland. On the British side, she only sees a willingness to talk about Germany's military deterrence, but not about military cooperation with the Soviet Union. As a result, the Western powers could not have given Stalin the impression that they were ready for war should Germany attack. Despite warnings that the Soviets were negotiating with the Germans, it was assumed that the Soviet Union would choose isolation rather than an alliance with Germany. For Jonathan Haslam, the policies of Chamberlain and Stalin were mirrored: if Stalin believed that Chamberlain wanted to steer the Germans eastwards, it was justified for him to steer them westwards in turn. Stalin therefore not only behaved passively. However, that does not yet prove that he wanted war, but rather possibly a fundamental mistrust. He subordinated everything to personal power. For this it is essential to accept contradictions.
The then French Foreign Minister Georges Bonnet wrote that Russia a. a. the motive was that "the hostilities took place as far as possible from his capital". In his words, the recovery of the Baltic States, Polish Ukraine and Bessarabia "undoubtedly" prevented the capture of Moscow and Leningrad because "the starting point of the Hitler offensive in June 1941 was brought forward".
Evaluation of German foreign policy
Hitler was ideologically hostile to the pact, but this was offset by the advantage of realizing his expansion plans in Poland. Furthermore, from the perspective of the German Reich, an impending alliance between the Soviet Union and Great Britain had been averted. A war on two fronts should be prevented at all costs.
The intensification of economic relations with the Soviet Union, which opened up the supply of raw materials on a large scale, was also of great importance. Hitler told generals on August 23 (shortly before the conclusion of the German-Soviet non-aggression pact) that the German Reich no longer had to fear a sea blockade.
With the non-aggression treaty, Hitler saw the chance to overthrow his “real opponent, the Red Army” if the western powers assumed neutrality or passivity. In this case his aim was to occupy the entire Polish territory and thus to achieve a promising deployment position against the USSR. According to the military historian Rolf-Dieter Müller , he considered it possible to agree to a cooperation with a “new Polish government installed after the attack on Poland” in order to achieve the joint military strategy that he had previously striven for but had rejected by Poland To be able to implement action against the Soviet Union after all. He assumed that the USSR would collapse quickly, so that a war against the Red Army was not to be feared as early as 1939.
The pact protected the German Wehrmacht from the dreaded two- front war and in 1940 allowed expansion to Western Europe and National Socialist hegemony in parts of Europe, which brought the National Socialist European plans and the large-scale economy closer to reality.
Consequences of the contract
Partition of Poland
The German-Soviet non-aggression pact did not remove distrust on either side. Stalin explained to a small group: “Of course this is all just a game to find out who is better at cheating on whom. I know what Hitler has in mind. He thinks he smeared me out. And it is I who smeared him out. ”The tactics that historian Lew Besymenski calls the“ dictators' poker game ”led Europe into World War II .
On September 1, 1939, Hitler began the attack on Poland under the pretext of violating the border and protecting German ethnic groups . Stalin's Soviet Union initially remained officially neutral, which made Hitler very nervous. 3 days after the start of the war, von Ribbentrop brought Stalin a request, as agreed, to get the loot agreed in the pact. Molotov repeatedly stated to the German ambassador von Schulenburg that the Soviet Union is still waiting for the right time. It is important for the Soviet Union to “underpin” the action only when the political center of Poland, the city of Warsaw, has fallen. Molotov therefore urged Schulenburg to “inform as closely as possible when the capture of Warsaw is to be expected.” The German Reich reacted annoyed and let rumors of an armistice with Poland spread. Stalin saw the risk that he could go away empty-handed and this motivated him to start war against Poland even before Warsaw surrendered on September 17, 1939.
There were two reasons for the Soviet Union's delayed entry into the war.
- On the one hand, Stalin's propaganda wanted to present the Soviet Union as a peace power and as an alternative to the aggressive imperialist forces. That is why the German Reich was given precedence and the opportunity to present itself unabashedly as an aggressor in front of the world public. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, wanted to communicate that, as a “peace power”, it would have to “liberate the Polish people from this unfortunate war in which they were overthrown by unreasonable leaders” and also “act to protect the Ukrainian and Belarusian brothers ”.
- The other reason was that Stalin wanted to wait for France and Britain to react to Hitler's acts of war against Poland. When they responded with a seated war instead of launching a relief attack, Stalin was certain that a Soviet invasion of Poland would not involve the Soviet Union in a war with the Western powers.
On September 22, 1939, the German military attaché Ernst-August Köstring and Kliment Voroshilov signed a military agreement in Moscow, which also included agreements on how to jointly defend and combat the Polish resistance. The Wehrmacht committed itself in the places that were handed over to the Red Army "to take the necessary measures ... to avoid any provocations and acts of sabotage by Polish gangs". The Red Army committed itself to the "destruction of Polish units or gangs that are on the march of small German units".
After Poland was defeated militarily, the Polish government went into exile on September 17, 1939 in order to continue the fight against Germany from abroad.
German-Soviet border and friendship treaty
The Hitler-Stalin Pact did not remove mutual mistrust and suspicion. Both Hitler and Stalin suspected - both rightly so - that the other was seeking a separate agreement with the Western powers. After the foundations for the German occupation of Poland and the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland had been laid, both sides signed a border and friendship treaty on September 28, 1939 (the day the Polish capital Warsaw surrendered to the Germans), which, like the non-aggression pact, had already done consisted of a public part and a secret additional protocol and which completed the Hitler-Stalin pact.
The respective spheres of interest were readjusted. When negotiating the treaty, Stalin made sure that the new German-Soviet border in Poland essentially ran along the Curzon line . There were tough negotiations over the Warsaw region. In the secret additional protocol of August, this region was added to the Soviet Union. However, Stalin no longer wanted to burden the Soviet Union with the center of Polish resistance and instead wanted to keep Lithuania, with this demand he was able to prevail. Therefore, the new border line was moved to the Bug , giving Germany the entire Lublin Voivodeship and other parts of the Warsaw Voivodeship. In return, Germany renounced Lithuania, which was originally within its sphere of influence. During the hectic negotiations for the non-aggression pact, it was also overlooked that the agreed border line in the north remained imprecise. At the request of the Soviets on August 25, 1939, the Pisa was added as a further border river to close the gap between the Narew and the southern border of East Prussia. Stalin also succeeded in slamming the oil-rich areas around the Borislav- Drohobych district into the Soviet Union . The German Reich was to receive Soviet oil deliveries as compensation. Overall, Stalin emerged from the negotiations as the clear winner.
In the second secret additional protocol, the tried and tested joint action against the Polish resistance was also agreed: “Neither part will tolerate any Polish agitation in their areas that would affect the areas of the other part. They will prevent all approaches to such agitation in their fields and inform each other about the appropriate measures. "
As a further point, population relocations were agreed. The initiative for this came clearly from the German Reich, which wanted to bring the ethnic Germans home into the Reich on the territory of the Soviet Union . In the opposite direction, the resettlement of Ukrainians and Belarusians into the Soviet sphere of influence was agreed, even if Stalin's interest was essentially limited to the recruitment of workers and ensuring the arrest of opposition members of Ukrainian origin. Relocations should be on a voluntary basis and completed within a few months.
Reorganization of Eastern Europe
With the German-Soviet border and friendship treaty behind them, the Baltic states were forced to let Soviet troops into the country. Estonia signed the "Assistance Agreement" with the Soviet Union on September 28, 1939, Latvia on October 5, and Lithuania on October 10, 1939.
Because he feared an attack on Leningrad from Finnish territory, Stalin had already started negotiations with the Finnish government in April 1938 and demanded border corrections and bases on Hogland . Against the background of Finnish public opinion and also because it underestimated the Soviet military power, the Finnish government declined any concession against the advice of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim . For this reason, Stalin had already ordered plans to attack at the end of 1938. After Finland was completely isolated by the German-Soviet non-aggression pact and the Soviet Union had concluded the non-aggression treaties with the Baltic states, Stalin invited talks to Moscow on October 5, 1939. The Soviet Union demanded a pact of assistance, a strip of land on the Karelian isthmus , the entire islands in the Gulf of Finland off Leningrad and the Hanko Peninsula as a naval base with Lapphoja Bay as an anchorage. In return, territorial compensation was offered on East Karelia . Against the advice of Mannerheim and the negotiator Juho Kusti Paasikivis , the Finnish government refused again.
On November 30, 1939, the Red Army attacked Finland. While public opinion in the western world sympathized with the Finns and the Soviet Union was demonstratively excluded from the League of Nations on December 11, 1939, Hitler adhered to Article II of the German-Soviet non-aggression pact not to support any opponent of the Soviet Union. After the initial successes of the Finnish defenders in the winter war , the Finnish defeat loomed in February 1940. Not least in view of a possible confrontation with the Western powers, Stalin offered peace negotiations. In the Peace of Moscow of March 12, 1940, the Soviet Union was able to move its border in Karelia far west to the line of the Peace of Nystad in 1721. Hanko was left to the Soviet Union for 30 years. Finland lost 10% of its territory and 400,000 Finns were displaced. But Finland had preserved its independence and made the Red Army, which had lost between 130,000 and 150,000 men during the fighting, appear weak.
According to the provisions of the border and friendship treaty, 130,000 ethnic Germans left the Soviet occupation areas. In the opposite direction, 12,000 Ukrainians and Belarusians went from the General Government to the Soviet Union. Stalin used the National Socialists' ambition in terms of population policy to get rid of the ethnic Germans who were unpopular to him. Much to the annoyance of the Germans, the Soviet Union accepted relatively few Ukrainians and Belarusians in return. The Soviet NKVD hindered resettlers who wanted to move to the Soviet Union as best they could. If people have been registered at all, then healthy male people between the ages of 15 and 50 who are fit for work are preferred.
For Claudia Weber , the Hitler-Stalin Pact subjected Eastern Europe to an oppressive regime in which the National Socialist German Reich and the Stalinist Soviet Union not only acted side by side, but to a greater extent also with one another.
The terror ordered by Hitler affected members of all ethnic, religious and social groups, at the beginning above all the Polish elite (civil servants, military, landowners, police officers and intellectuals) as well as the Jewish population. Jews were subject to extensive repression, anti-Semitic discrimination and, from 1940, deportation to ghettos such as B. exposed to the Litzmannstadt ghetto . The Generalgouvernement officially set up on October 12, 1939 by Hitler's decree comprised the central Polish areas that Stalin had ceded to the German Reich in the negotiations on the border and friendship treaty. It served as a population-political catchment basin, as a manpower reservoir and place of deportation for all those who were released for extermination as racially inferior. In mid-March 1941 the deportations were stopped because of the march against the Soviet Union. According to calculations, the central office for migrants , in cooperation with the SS and police stations, had organized the mass deportation of 460,000 people (including around 100,000 Jews) from the incorporated areas to the General Government. Tens of thousands of people were victims of "wild evictions".
The terror ordered by Stalin concerned real and supposed "enemies of Sovietization ". The NKVD special commandos led by Lavrenti Beria deported up to 325,000 former Polish citizens of various ethnicities in cattle wagons to Kazakhstan and Siberia to the special settlement areas monitored by the NKVD and to Gulag camps. Initially, this affected Polish war veterans, church representatives, civil servants and landowners, who were branded as class enemies and suspected of being potential rebels. Then there were people (especially people of Ukrainian origin) who voluntarily relocated to the Soviet occupation area according to the provisions of the border and friendship treaty, but were arrested by NKVD troops in mass actions at night. On March 2, 1940, a third wave of deportations mainly affected the relatives of Polish officers. Further deportations followed in June 1940 and May 1941, again affecting Ukrainian resettlers and refugees from the German occupied area as well as people from the Soviet-occupied Baltic States and Moldova.
As part of the "political land consolidation", which culminated in the preparations for the AB action , over 30,000 political opponents, alleged and actual members of the Polish resistance movement, were murdered by the German occupying forces by the spring of 1940. At around the same time, the NKVD carried out the Katyn massacre , in which 22,000 Polish soldiers, officers and reservists were shot.
Since the Western Allies stood by their obligations to Poland, it was important for Germany not only to have achieved the neutrality of the Soviet Union, but also to have won the gigantic empire as an economic ally. In addition, the Soviet Union was available as a trading partner and supplier as well as a transit country for important raw materials. By averting the serious consequences of a British naval blockade , which had helped to decide the First World War due to hunger and lack of essential war goods, the economic path to war was also free.
German-Soviet economic relations played a central role in the history of the Hitler-Stalin Pact. The economic talks had paved the way to the pact when Stalin and Hitler were still externally implacable enemies. Before the signing of the non-aggression treaty, a trade agreement was concluded on August 19, 1939.
Larger trade agreements were only concluded after the conclusion of the German-Soviet border and friendship treaties on February 11, 1940 and January 10, 1941.
In the treaty of February 11, 1940, the Soviet Union committed itself to deliveries of fodder grain, crude oil, cotton, chrome ore and platinum to the value of 500 million Reichsmarks, which corresponded to 52 percent of total Soviet exports. In return, the German Reich supplied industrial goods and military equipment. There were tough negotiations over the trade agreement. Both negotiating partners were aware that the economic supplies served to arm and prepare for war and could therefore also be directed against their own country. They met each other with suspicion. The Soviet supplies of raw materials were essential for the German warfare. In 1940 Germany obtained 74% of its imported phosphates , 67% of its asbestos , 64% of its chrome iron , 55% of its manganese , 40% of its nickel and 34% of its crude oil from the Soviet Union. The vast majority of the raw material and transit deliveries took place after the defeat of France.
Claudia Weber analyzes that the German Reich needed Soviet raw material supplies to realize its expansion plans, while Moscow was interested in technical know-how and in the German military industry. The trade is therefore an essential prerequisite for the successful campaigns in Eastern, Northern and Western Europe. Rainer Karlsch and Raymond G. Stokes come to the conclusion that German-Soviet trade was equally important to the plans of Hitler and Stalin. Germany urgently needed the Soviet supplies of raw materials and food (especially oil and grain) for its war economy, while the Soviet Union strengthened its armaments industry with German machine deliveries.
Dietrich Eichholtz on the other hand comes to the conclusion that the Soviet Union could not prevent its deliveries from strengthening the German war machine, but that in return it demanded products from mechanical engineering and other important branches of industry whose production tied up not insignificant capacities of the German armaments industry, so that the Effectiveness of the German-Soviet trade for the German war potential ultimately remained very limited. Wilhelm Treue criticized this conclusion, because the Soviet deliveries made the German victories possible in the first place. Andreas Hillgruber commented that Eichholtz, as a GDR historian, had at least tackled the taboo subject of Soviet economic supplies and arrived at acceptable theses, despite the inevitable embedding in given political guidelines.
The Soviet Union refused to recognize the Polish government-in-exile until Germany broke the non-aggression pact by invading the Soviet Union in 1941. She then concluded the Sikorski-Majski Agreement with the government-in-exile and declared that it recognized that the German-Soviet treaties "relating to territorial changes in Poland have ceased to be in force". After the Katyn massacre became known , the government-in-exile demanded an explanation broke off diplomatic relations with the government in exile. The government in exile was unable to enforce its demand against the Soviet Union to allow Poland to rise again within its old borders. At the Tehran Conference in 1943 , the Big Three did not refer to the Soviet Union's western border, which Churchill and Roosevelt were not yet familiar with, as laid down in the non-aggression pact, but rather to a proposal by former British Foreign Minister Curzon. At the same time, it was tacitly accepted that the Baltic republics would remain part of the Soviet Union. The extensive correspondence between the Curzon Line of 1919 and the boundary between the spheres of interest of the 1939 Pact and the Soviet western border after 1945 led to different cultures of remembrance.
After the conclusion of the German-Soviet border and friendship treaty, the Soviet Union called on Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to conclude assistance treaties that were intended to grant the Red Army stationing rights. Under Soviet pressure treaties were signed with Estonia (September 28, 1939), Latvia (October 5) and Lithuania (October 10). The Soviet Union handed over the disputed area between Lithuania and Poland around Vilnius to Lithuania. On the German side it was assumed that a Soviet occupation was imminent, and on the initiative of the Estonian German National Socialist Erhard Kroeger , Hitler was convinced to resettle the Baltic Germans . In agreement with the Soviet Union, the Baltic Germans were unprepared and improvised under the direction of the Reich Commissioner for the Consolidation of German Volkstum Heinrich Himmler im . After the conclusion of resettlement agreements with Estonia (October 15) and Latvia (October 30) under the motto Heim ins Reich Wartheland and settled in Danzig-West Prussia in order to raise the proportion of the population of German origin. The local Polish and Jewish population were expelled as foreigners .
After the incorporation of the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in June 1940, there were mass deportations , mainly of members of the bourgeois elite, to the forced labor camps of the Gulag. After the conquest of the Baltic region by German troops in 1941 , many Balts collaborated with the occupying power in the hope of restoring the independence of their countries. However, they were not given any co-determination rights in the Reichskommissariat Ostland . In 1944/45 the Red Army pushed the German troops back, which is why many Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians fled to the west, where they were classified as displaced persons .
In 1945 and 1949 there were new mass deportations in the Baltic States and hundreds of thousands of Russian-speaking Soviet citizens were settled with the aim of Russifying the new republics .
On June 26, 1940, the Soviet Union ultimately demanded the cession of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from Romania and occupied these areas two days later without a fight. On August 2, the greater part was merged with parts of the Ukrainian Moldovan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to form the Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic , and northern Bukovina with southern parts of Bessarabia joined the Ukraine. A large part of the Moldovan elite and large farmers were then deported to the gulag or killed. Hitler never formally recognized the annexation of Bukovina and the Western powers did not pay much attention to the violation of international law. On September 5, 1940, a German-Soviet agreement on the resettlement of Germans from Northern Bukovina and Bessarabia was agreed. The majority of the 140,000 Bessarabian Germans and Bukowina Germans were settled in occupied Poland under the motto " Heim ins Reich " for Germanization.
On August 24th, Chamberlain sent a cabinet coordinated warning to Hitler personally and the Emergency Powers Act was passed in parliament. On August 25, 1939, the British-Polish Assistance Pact was signed, which affirmed Chamberlain's declaration of guarantee that had already been made in the British House of Commons on March 31, 1939. This clear reaction surprised Hitler and he postponed the attack issued for August 26th. After the German invasion, France and England declared war on the German Reich on September 3rd. Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and Canada followed shortly afterwards.
Relations with the Soviet Union deteriorated drastically in the face of Soviet expansion in Eastern Europe. In particular, the Soviet action against Finland sparked debate on military action against oil production in the area Baku from ( Operation Pike ) . The successful resistance of the Finnish armed forces prompted the preparations for military support, which was planned for the spring of 1940 and included the occupation of bases in Norway. These plans, some of which were very advanced, indirectly triggered the German invasion of Denmark and Norway in April 1940. Only after the fall of France in June 1940, when Great Britain faced Germany alone, were concrete steps taken towards an understanding with the Soviet Union, which after the German invasion of the Soviet Union led to a formal alliance between the two states.
For many communists in Western Europe (but not only for these) the news of the conclusion of the pact and the turnaround in Soviet foreign policy caused horror and uncertainty. The change of course of the Communist International , which now instructed the Communist parties to oppose the “imperialist” war and to sever all ties to socialist and other progressive parties, increased the unease, led to criticism, protests and numerous party withdrawals.
In France, the pact and the associated change of course provided a welcome pretext for the persecution of the French Communist Party (PCF), which culminated in its ban on September 26, 1939. While the communists had initially supported the war effort and voted for war credits in the National Assembly on September 2, after a brief phase of disorientation, the agitation against the war began in mid-September warring states equally guilty ”, was denounced. The PCF also condemned the alliance with Great Britain and the "reactionary Polish colonels". The agitation served as leaflets, chain letters and an underground edition of the party newspaper L'Humanité , which was distributed under the title "Les soldiers contre la guerre".
The deep political division in French society and a deeply rooted pacifist current reinforced the impact of the defeatist campaign of the PCF under the motto: “Mourir pour Dantzig?” (German: To die for Danzig? ) Drastic measures were taken for fear of infiltration and sabotage which led to additional alienation between government and people. Especially since in the further course of the seat war, the working conditions, especially in the armaments industry, increasingly deteriorated. Isolated cases of sabotage served to justify massive repression of the communist or communist sympathies of suspected workers and to discredit all attempts to improve working conditions. The actual decline in membership of the PCF was offset by an increase in acts of communist subversion and sabotage alleged by the authorities. When the German attack took place in May 1940 and the Allied forces suffered devastating defeats, the communists were also used as a scapegoat for the mistakes of the government and the military.
In 1936 Japan had concluded the Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany , which provided for mutually benevolent neutrality in the event of a conflict with the Soviet Union in the secret additional protocol. Japan, which at the same time as the conclusion of the German-Soviet non-aggression treaty was fighting a loss-making border conflict near Nomonhan with the Red Army, viewed the conclusion of the non-aggression pact as a violation of the Anti-Comintern Pact. The surprised Hiranuma cabinet resigned and relations with Germany temporarily cooled.
Deterioration in relationships
With the Weser Exercise company , the German Reich attacked and conquered the neutral states of Denmark and Norway in April 1940. The attack on the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in May 1940 led to the capitulation and occupation of these likewise neutral states within 18 days. Stalin gave the Comintern the directive to continue condemning Great Britain and France as the real warmongers. The French Communist Party received the directive to negotiate with the German occupiers in order to get out of illegality and outdo social democrats and other left forces. The German occupiers were open to this, but demanded in return that the French Communist Party call on the population to collaborate. In June France capitulated. In the summer of 1940 Hitler's triumphant march began to worry Stalin, the Comintern now demanded that the French Communists continue the balancing act, but the party now avoid any impression of too close cooperation with the Germans in everyday life. Conversely, Otto Abetz allowed the negotiations to continue so that the collaboration of the French Communist Party could continue, but internally he issued the directive that an end of the collaboration must be expected at any time. A little later there was no longer any talk of cooperation, now the occupying power passed a law that allowed administrative internment and triggered a wave of arrests against communist elected officials and trade unionists in the Paris region.
The quick surrender of France was a nasty surprise for Stalin; it upset the balance of forces and interests as it still existed in 1939. Stalin responded by increasingly arguing again ideologically. He also repositioned the Comintern as the European center of left resistance against Hitler. In France, however, this lagged significantly behind the work of the Resistance . However, there was no decisive communist resistance until after the end of the German-Soviet alliance. As a further reaction, Stalin immediately occupied the claimed territories in Eastern and Southeastern Europe. In June 1940 he overthrew the elected governments in the Baltic states, and the Sovietizations led to a further 70,000 political prisoners in NKVD camps. On June 27, 1940, Romania had to accept the cession of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union. A little later the Soviet Union received from Great Britain an offer of an alliance against Hitler and in return offered Stalin the entire Balkans, including control of the Bosporus. Stalin suspected, however, that Great Britain merely wanted to drive the Soviet Union into a war against the Axis powers without intervening on a large scale militarily. Nonetheless, he used the negotiations as a signal to Hitler that he had alternatives.
Talks between Hitler and Molotov in November 1940
With all the conquests and the Rome-Berlin axis behind him, Hitler supposedly had a much better negotiating position than in the negotiations of 1939. He told his generals that he intended not to let the Russians into Europe and to secure the Balkans and Finland as dangerous flanks . On November 10, 1940, Hitler tried to persuade the Soviet Union to make a three-way pact with Japan, this time dividing the whole world into spheres of interest. The discussion was preceded by a lengthy monologue by Hitler in which he "explained" to Molotov the "imminent victory" over Great Britain. Then he tried Molotov to make the conquest of Asia, especially the British colony of India, palatable. Molotov did not miss the fact that the Soviet Union was to be pushed out of Europe and driven into war with Great Britain. Instead, Molotov wanted to talk about conflicts in Europe. In particular, the military aid of the German Reich for Finland, which blatantly contradicted the Hitler-Stalin pact and which Hitler denied unbelievably. Another conflict was the German-Italian guarantee of territorial integrity for the Kingdom of Romania in the Second Vienna Arbitration Award of August 30, 1940, with which the Soviet claim to southern Bukovina, which had already been communicated, was blocked.
The final stage of the pact
Even before the November 1940 talks failed, Hitler was determined to go to war against the Soviet Union. The military preparations had already begun. Hitler denounced the completed and allegedly threatened Soviet expansions and through this and through the revisionist national self-interests of Finland and Romania, could oblige these countries previously left to Soviet interests to actively participate in the war against the Soviet Union through the additional protocol. As early as the summer of 1940, military units were being relocated from the west to the east and to Finland, which was a cause for concern for Moscow. Stalin was familiar with Hitler's war plans; at this point the Soviet Union only tried to delay the start of the war. On November 25, 1940, the Soviet Union agreed to form an alliance of four, but demanded the withdrawal of German troops from Finland and raised claims against Bulgaria. Stalin probably knew that Hitler did not agree. Another German-Soviet trade agreement was signed on January 10, 1941. At the same time, Stalin tried to improve the military position through diplomatic relations with Bulgaria, Japan and Yugoslavia. However, Bulgaria joined the Tripartite Pact on March 1st .
On April 5, 1941, the new Yugoslav government, which came to power shortly after Yugoslavia's accession to the Tripartite Pact on March 25, signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union through a coup d'état; one day later the Wehrmacht invaded Yugoslavia on the basis of Hitler's directive No. 25 of March 27, 1941. On April 13, 1941, Japan and the Soviet Union signed a neutrality pact.
With the attack by the Wehrmacht on June 22, 1941, the German Reich, led by Hitler, broke the non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union in order to wage the long-intended war of extermination against the USSR, motivated by power politics, economics, colonial-imperialist and racial ideology.
Before the German attack, the Soviet government and Stalin received information about Hitler's deployment plan and the likely date of the attack. That is why historians discussed whether and why Stalin did not seem to take seriously the various hints and warnings from the great Western powers, his own secret services, foreign scouts, spies and defectors. Thus, after a long held view of Hitler, Stalin had let himself be perfidiously deceived and hoped until the last moment to avert the war. According to more recent views, Stalin had deliberately launched the narrative of the surprising betrayal to shape the historical myth of the “ Great Patriotic War ”.
The justified criticism of Stalin's behavior, as Claudia Weber sums up these positions, must bear in mind that in the run-up to Hitler's attack, Stalin hardly had any other option than to wait. He could hardly have given orders to violate the German-Soviet border in front of the Wehrmacht on the basis of intelligence reports, since otherwise he would have presented Hitler with the political and historical legitimation for a counterattack justified as a defense. For this reason, the Soviet government took note of the warnings and forced all military preparations, which was difficult enough given the difficult situation of the Red Army. But Stalin was unable to anticipate the planned German attack, but had to wait for it.
Declaration of nullity in 1989 and collapse of the Soviet Union
The existence of the additional protocol to the German-Soviet non-aggression pact was long denied by the Kremlin, which was aware of the explosive device involved in the cohesion of the Soviet Union. Out of consideration for the Soviet Union, the Federal Government also avoided any clear statement on the protocol despite numerous initiatives from the Bundestag. In the 1980s, the Baltic politicians and Polish Solidarność unsuccessfully urged the German parliament to annul the Munich Agreement early and clearly, referring to the Prague Treaties .
The situation changed with perestroika and, at the urging of the Baltic Soviet Republics, a commission of the People's Deputies Congress was formed in June 1989 for the political and legal evaluation of the pact. At the same time, the secessionist forces strengthened not only in European but also in Asian Soviet republics, which were not affected by the provisions of the pact. The democratization movements ( Popular Front ) reached their climax in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and on the 50th anniversary of the pact, two million Balts formed a 600-kilometer human chain to protest against the additional protocol ( Baltic Way ). The supporters of the status quo, who wanted to limit themselves in the commission to an evaluation of the actual pact in order to avoid independence aspirations, territorial and minority issues, got into the minority and contradicting territorial interests, ethnic and legal aspects were discussed. Ukraine and Belarus feared for their territorial integrity and Lithuania fought for independence while at the same time holding on to the predominantly Polish-populated Vilnius area. The inclusion of Poland as the main loser of the treaty was therefore prevented as much as possible and the Karelian question was also excluded. The Moldovan delegates were divided by the Transnistrian conflict . On December 24, 1989, the Additional Protocol of the Second People's Deputies Congress, chaired by Mikhail Gorbachev, was declared null and void from the date of signature.
This made the propaganda lie that the Baltic states would voluntarily join the Soviet Union. State sovereignty was successfully regained. Poland and Lithuania, partly out of necessity and partly out of political prudence, renounced territorial claims and since the Western Allies had accepted the annexation of Eastern Poland and Bessarabia and the communist governments of Poland and Romania had contractually accepted them under Soviet pressure, the international community held out for security reasons and out of fear stuck to the borders established in 1939 and 1940 before endless border revisions. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990/91, new states with these borders emerged with Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.
Political evaluations and politics of the past
The original of the Secret Additional Protocol intended for the Soviet side was for decades in a safe in the Kremlin that only the general secretaries of the CPSU were allowed to open personally. When Mikhail Gorbachev had to vacate the Kremlin for Russian President Boris Yeltsin in December 1991 , he handed over this original, along with other secret documents. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union , Yeltsin had it published in 1992. Even after this publication, the majority of Russian historians stuck to their position from the Soviet era. They mentioned the existence of the Additional Protocol, but they kept silent about the connection to the annexation of the Baltic states.
Shortly before the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the German attack on Poland in 2009, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin described the pact as “immoral” in a “letter to the Poles”. He also paid tribute to the fact that the Poles were the first to oppose Nazi aggression. However, he accused Poland of having signed a non-aggression pact with Germany as early as 1934 and later, together with Hungary, participating in the defeat of Czechoslovakia by Germany and occupying and annexing the Olsa area. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attributed complicity to the Western Allies in 2009 and presented the treaty as a consequence of the Munich Agreement. In November 2014 and May 2015, Putin defended the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact as necessary from the perspective of the security and military policy considerations of the USSR at the time . The American historian Timothy Snyder wrote of Putin's remarks on the Hitler-Stalin Pact in 2014: “In fact, it was only the orientation towards the extreme European right and against the European mainstream that made the rehabilitation of the Hitler-Stalin Pact inevitable - I have predicted this development in May. "
Remembrance Day 23 August
On the initiative of the East Central European states in 2009 , August 23 was declared the European Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Stalinism and National Socialism , and Canada followed with Black Ribbon Day . While Sweden and the East Central and Southern European countries included the date in their national commemorative calendars, the date received little attention in Germany, France and Great Britain.
A quarter of a million people demonstrated on August 23, 1988 for the Soviet Union to publish the treaty. On August 23, 1989, a million demonstrators from Tallinn via Riga to Vilnius formed a 600 km long human chain ( Baltic chain ) against Soviet rule in the Baltic states.
On April 2nd, 2009 the European Parliament adopted a resolution “On Europe's conscience and totalitarianism” calling for August 23rd to be declared a common day of remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes .
On September 18, 2019, the European Parliament considered in a joint motion for a resolution that the Communist Soviet Union and the National Socialist German Reich jointly “set the course for the Second World War” with the pact. These statements were sharply criticized by the President of Russia , Vladimir Putin.
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- Christoph Koch (Ed.): Was there a Stalin-Hitler pact? Character, meaning and interpretation of the German-Soviet non-aggression treaty of August 23, 1939 . Peter Lang Edition, Frankfurt am Main 2015, ISBN 978-3-631-66422-3 .
- Claudia Weber : The pact. Stalin, Hitler and the story of a murderous alliance. CH Beck, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-406-73531-8 .
- RussGUS - Bibliographical Database; There are several hundred publications on the Hitler-Stalin Pact (search for forms / subject notations / 18.104.22.168.2.3.2).
- Literature on the German-Soviet non-aggression pact in the catalog of the German National Library
- Photo of the card with the signatures of Stalin and Ribbentrop
- Contract and additional protocol in full text with an introduction by Bianka Pietrow-Ennker in the portal " 100 (0) key documents on Russian and Soviet history (1917–1991) "
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- Declaration on the 70th anniversary of 140 German intellectuals - initiative by Marianne Birthler (BStU), Ulrich Mählert ( Federal Foundation for Work-Up ) and others. a.
- The German-Soviet non-aggression pact ("Hitler-Stalin Pact") (PDF), Scientific Services of the German Bundestag , August 19, 2014.
- Pact of dictators: The Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939 (Podcast "One Hour History", Deutschlandfunk Nova )
- Dietmar Müller, Stefan Troebst: The Hitler-Stalin Pact 1939 in European history and memory. An introduction . In: The Hitler-Stalin Pact 1939 in the cultures of remembrance of the Europeans . Wallstein, 2011, p. 22 f.
- Ingeborg Fleischhauer : Soviet Foreign Policy and the Origins of the Hitler-Stalin Pact . In: Sheldon Dick (ed.): From Peace to War: Germany, Soviet Russia, and the World, 1939–1941 . Berghahn, 1997, ISBN 1-57181-882-0 , p. 31.
- Manfred Messerschmidt : Foreign policy and war preparation . In: ders. Et al .: Causes and Requirements of German War Policy (= The German Reich and the Second World War , Vol. 1). Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart 1979, pp. 670-674.
- Richard J. Evans : The Third Reich. Volume 2 / II: Dictatorship . Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Munich 2007, p. 834 ff.
- Henning Köhler : Germany on the way to itself. A history of the century . Hohenheim-Verlag, Stuttgart 2002, p. 368.
- Michael Jabara Carley: Fiasco. The Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance That Never Was and the Unpublished British White Paper, 1939-1940. In: The International History Review 41, No. 4 (2019), pp. 701–728, here pp. 702 f.
- Michael Jabara Carley: Fiasco. The Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance That Never Was and the Unpublished British White Paper, 1939-1940. In: The International History Review 41, No. 4 (2019), p. 710.
- David E. Kaiser: Economic Diplomacy and the Origins of the Second World War. Germany, Britain, France, and Eastern Europe, 1930–1939. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ 1980, ISBN 978-1-4008-7571-9 , pp. 239 f.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Alliance that Failed. Moscow and the Triple Alliance Negotiations, 1939. In: European History Quarterly 16, No. 3 (1996), pp. 383-414, here pp. 386 f.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Alliance that Failed. Moscow and the Triple Alliance Negotiations, 1939. In: European History Quarterly 26, No. 3 (1996), pp. 388-391.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Alliance that Failed. Moscow and the Triple Alliance Negotiations, 1939. In: European History Quarterly 26, No. 3 (1996), pp. 392-395.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Alliance that Failed. Moscow and the Triple Alliance Negotiations, 1939. In: European History Quarterly 26, No. 3 (1996), p. 395 f.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Fall of Litvinov. A revisionist view. In: Journal of Contemporary History 27 (1992), pp. 639-657, here pp. 639 f.
- Sergej Slutsch: Stalin and Hitler 1933–1941. Calculations and miscalculations of the Kremlin. In: Jürgen Zarusky (Ed.): Stalin and the Germans. New research contributions. De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-486-70633-8 ( series of the quarterly books for contemporary history special issue ), pp. 59–88, here p. 80.
- Bianka Pietrow-Ennker: " Howl with the wolves ...". Stalinist foreign and Germany policy. In: Bianka Pietrow-Ennker (Ed.): Preventive War? The German attack on the Soviet Union. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2011, ISBN 978-3-596-19062-1 ( The time of National Socialism . 19062), pp. 80–98, here p. 82.
- Jonathan Haslam: The Soviet Union and the Struggle for Collective Security in Europe, 1933-39. Palgrave Macmillan UK, London 1984, ISBN 978-1-349-17603-8 , p. 213.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Fall of Litvinov. A revisionist view. In: Journal of Contemporary History 27 (1992), pp. 640 f., 654.
- Albert Resi: The Fall of Litvinov. Harbinger of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact. In: Europe-Asia Studies 52, No. 1 2000, pp. 33–56, here p. 51.
- Derek Watson: Molotov's Apprenticeship in Foreign Policy. The Triple Alliance Negotiations in 1939. In: Europe-Asia Studies 52, No. 4 (2000), pp. 695-722, here p. 695.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Alliance that Failed. Moscow and the Triple Alliance Negotiations, 1939. In: European History Quarterly 26, No. 3 (1996), p. 399.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Alliance that Failed. Moscow and the Triple Alliance Negotiations, 1939. In: European History Quarterly 26, No. 3 (1996), pp. 401 f.
- Jonathan Haslam: The Soviet Union and the Struggle for Collective Security in Europe, 1933-39. Palgrave Macmillan UK, London 1984, p. 221.
- Günter Rosenfeld : The coming about and the effects of the Hitler-Stalin Pact . In: Roland G. Foerster (ed.): "Operation Barbarossa": On the historical site of German-Soviet relations . Oldenbourg, Munich 1993, pp. 35-54, here p. 45.
- Jonathan Haslam: The Soviet Union and the Struggle for Collective Security in Europe, 1933-39. Palgrave Macmillan UK, London 1984, p. 221.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Alliance that Failed. Moscow and the Triple Alliance Negotiations, 1939. In: European History Quarterly 26, No. 3 (1996), p. 403.
- Michael Jabara Carley: 1939. The Alliance That Never Was and the Coming of World War II. Ivan R. Dee, Chicago 1999, ISBN 978-1-4616-9938-5 , pp. 155 f.
- Keith Neilson: Britain, Soviet Russia and the Collapse of the Versailles Order, 1919-1939. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2006, ISBN 978-0-521-85713-0 , pp. 306-309.
- Michael Jabara Carley: End of the 'Low, Dishonest Decade'. Failure of the Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939. In: Europe-Asia Studies 45, No. 2 (1993), pp. 303-341, here p. 323.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Alliance that Failed. Moscow and the Triple Alliance Negotiations, 1939. In: European History Quarterly 26, No. 3 (1996), p. 404.
- Zara Steiner : The Triumph of the Dark. European International History 1933-1939. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford 2011, ISBN 1-283-09904-7 , p. 899.
- Zara Steiner: The Triumph of the Dark. European International History 1933-1939. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford 2011, pp. 901 f.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Alliance that Failed. Moscow and the Triple Alliance Negotiations, 1939. In: European History Quarterly 26, No. 3 (1996), pp. 406 f.
- Jean-Baptiste Duroselle: La décadence 1932–1939 . Imprimerie nationale 1979, pp. 417-435.
- Sławomir Dębski: Polish Perceotions of the Strategic Situation on the Eve of the Second World War. In: Michael H. Clemmesen and Marcus S. Faulkner (eds.): Northern European Overture to War, 1939–1941. From Memel to Barbarossa. Brill, Leiden 2013, ISBN 978-90-04-24908-0 ( History of Warfare 87), pp. 189–208, here pp. 195, 203 f.
- Ingeborg Fleischhauer: Soviet foreign policy and the genesis of the Hitler-Stalin pact . In: Bernd Wegner (Ed.): Two ways to Moscow. From the Hitler-Stalin Pact to "Operation Barbarossa" . Piper, Munich 1991, p. 23 f.
- Ingeborg Fleischhauer: Soviet foreign policy and the genesis of the Hitler-Stalin pact . In: Bernd Wegner (Ed.): Two ways to Moscow. From the Hitler-Stalin Pact to "Operation Barbarossa" . Piper, Munich 1991, pp. 25-31.
- Manfred Hildermeier : History of the Soviet Union 1917-1991. The rise and fall of the first socialist state . CH Beck, Munich 1998, p. 593 f.
- Ingeborg Fleischhauer: Soviet foreign policy and the genesis of the Hitler-Stalin pact . In: Bernd Wegner (Ed.): Two ways to Moscow. From the Hitler-Stalin Pact to "Operation Barbarossa" . Piper, Munich 1991, cit. P. 32.
- Roland G. Forster: Operation Barbarossa. On the historical site of German-Soviet relations between 1933 and autumn 1941 , 1993, p. 49.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 5: “Castles in the air - economic cooperation”, items 2888–2899.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance, Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 2: “The last steps”, position 1162.
- Horst Möller , Europe between the World Wars, Volume 21 of Oldenbourg Grundriss der Geschichte, Oldenbourg Verlag, 2010, ISBN 9783486701357 , p. 73.
- The chronology of events according to Geoffrey Roberts: The Soviet Union and the Origins of the Second World War , London 1995, pp. 79-90.
- Ingeborg Fleischhauer: Soviet foreign policy and the genesis of the Hitler-Stalin pact . P. 32 f.
- Geoffrey Roberts: Stalin's Wars. From World War II to the Cold War. Patmos, 2008, ISBN 978-3-491-35019-9 , p. 45.
- Kurt Pätzold : German-Soviet non-aggression pact . In: Wolfgang Benz , Hermann Graml and Hermann Weiß (eds.): Encyclopedia of National Socialism . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1997, p. 430 f.
- Sergej Slutsch: September 17, 1939: The entry of the Soviet Union into the Second World War. A historical and international legal assessment. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 48 (2000), pp. 219–254, here p. 249 f. ( online , accessed April 13, 2020).
- Werner Röhr : War in East or West? In: Christoph Koch (Ed.): Was there a Stalin-Hitler pact? , Peter Lang, 2015, p. 178.
- Bernhard Marquardt, Totalitarism - a failed system of rule. An analysis of the Soviet Union and other states in East Central Europe , Bochum 1991, pp. 159, 161 ; Gerd R. Ueberschär , Hitler and Finland 1939–1941. Steiner, 1978, p. 61 .
- Heinrich August Winkler : The long way to the west , Vol. 2: German history from the “Third Reich” to reunification. CH Beck, Munich 2000, p. 68 .
- Martin Broszat : National Socialist Poland Policy 1939–1945 . De Gruyter, 1961, p. 12.
- Ingeborg Fleischhauer: The German-Soviet border and friendship treaty of September 28, 1939. The German records of the negotiations between Stalin, Molotov and Ribbentrop in Moscow (= quarterly journals for contemporary history , volume 39, issue 3). Institute for Contemporary History, 1991, ISSN 0042-5702 , p. 447-470 ( online [PDF; 1,2 MB ]). P. 448 ff.
- Jan Lipinsky: The Secret Additional Protocol to the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Treaty of August 23, 1939 and its history and reception history from 1939 to 1999 . Peter Lang 2000, ISBN 3-631-52322-X , p. 319 ff.
- Pawel Gutianow: Molotow, Ribbentrop, Iwanow , Novaja Gazeta, July 10, 2019: "Soviet diplomacy and propaganda vehemently denied their existence for the entire 50 years."
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 2: “The Pact”, position 1252; dies., book edition, CH Beck, Munich 2019, pp. 70–72.
- Jan Lipinsky, Six Decades of Secret Additional Protocol to the Hitler-Stalin Pact: Soviet Russian Historiography between Denial and Truth , Eastern Europe, Vol. 50, No. 10 (October 2000), pp. 1123-1148
- Włodzimierz Borodziej : The matter with the additional protocol , NZZ , November 17, 2014.
- Valery Boldin: Kruschenije s pjedestala. Strichi k portretu Gorbacheva. Moscow 1995, p. 256.
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- Jonathan Haslam: Soviet-German Relations and the Origins of the Second World War. The jury is still out. In: The Journal of Modern History 69, No. 4 (1997), pp. 785-797, here p. 787.
- Jonathan Haslam: Soviet-German Relations and the Origins of the Second World War. The jury is still out. In: The Journal of Modern History 69, No. 4 (1997), p. 792.
- Teddy J. Uldricks: Debating the Role of Russia in the Origins of the Second World War. In: Gordon Martel (Ed.): The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered. AJP Taylor and the Historians. Routledge, London 1999, ISBN 0-415-16324-2 , pp. 135-154, here p. 139.
- Alexander Tschubarjan: The German-Soviet Non-Aggression Treaty 1939 . In: Helmut Altrichter , Wiktor Ischtschenko, Horst Möller, Alexander Tschubarjan (eds.): Germany - Russia . Vol. 3: The 20th Century . Oldenbourg, Munich 2014, pp. 131-140, cited above. 140
- Manfred Hildermeier: History of the Soviet Union 1917-1991. The rise and fall of the first socialist state . CH Beck, Munich 1998, p. 591 f.
- Manfred Hildermeier: History of the Soviet Union 1917-1991. The rise and fall of the first socialist state . CH Beck, Munich 1998, p. 586.
- Manfred Hildermeier: The Soviet Union 1917–1991 . 3rd edition, De Gruyter Oldenburg, Munich 2016 ( Oldenbourg floor plan of history , vol. 31), p. 137 f.
- Teddy J. Uldricks: Debating the Role of Russia in the Origins of the Second World War. In: Gordon Martel (Ed.): The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered. AJP Taylor and the Historians. Routledge, London 1999, pp. 140 f.
- Hermann Graml: Europe's way to war. Hitler and the Powers 1939. R. Oldenbourg, Munich 1990, ISBN 978-3-486-55151-8 , pp. 256, 265.
- Sergej Slutsch: Stalin and Hitler 1933–1941. Calculations and miscalculations of the Kremlin. In: Jürgen Zarusky (Ed.): Stalin and the Germans. New research contributions. De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, p. 80.
- Sergej Slutsch: Stalin and Hitler 1933–1941. Calculations and miscalculations of the Kremlin. In: Jürgen Zarusky (Ed.): Stalin and the Germans. New research contributions. De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, p. 64.
- Sergej Slutsch: Stalin and Hitler 1933–1941. Calculations and miscalculations of the Kremlin. In: Jürgen Zarusky (Ed.): Stalin and the Germans. New research contributions. De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Munich 2006, p. 82.
- Lars-Broder Keil and Sven Felix Kellerhoff : German Legends. About the "stab in the back" and other myths of history. 2nd edition, Ch. Links Verlag, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-86153-257-3 , p. 74.
- Manfred Hildermeier: The Soviet Union 1917–1991 . 3rd edition, De Gruyter Oldenburg, Munich 2016 ( Oldenbourg floor plan of history , vol. 31), p. 139.
- Jonathan Haslam: Soviet-German Relations and the Origins of the Second World War. The jury is still out. In: The Journal of Modern History 69, No. 4 (1997), p. 791.
- Teddy J. Uldricks: Debating the Role of Russia in the Origins of the Second World War. In: Gordon Martel (Ed.): The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered. AJP Taylor and the Historians. Routledge, London 1999, p. 140.
- Manfred Hildermeier: History of the Soviet Union 1917-1991. The rise and fall of the first socialist state . CH Beck, Munich 1998, p. 585 f.
- Manfred Hildermeier: The Soviet Union 1917–1991 . 3rd edition, De Gruyter Oldenburg, Munich 2016 ( Oldenbourg floor plan of history , vol. 31), p. 138.
- Manfred Hildermeier: The Soviet Union 1917–1991 . 3rd edition, De Gruyter Oldenburg, Munich 2016 ( Oldenbourg floor plan of history , vol. 31), p. 138 f.
- Manfred Hildermeier: History of the Soviet Union 1917-1991. The rise and fall of the first socialist state . CH Beck, Munich 1998, pp. 585-587.
- Manfred Hildermeier: History of the Soviet Union 1917-1991. The rise and fall of the first socialist state . CH Beck, Munich 1998, p. 595 f.
- Bianka Pietrow-Ennker: " Howl with the wolves ...". Stalinist foreign and Germany policy. In: Bianka Pietrow-Ennker (Ed.): Preventive War? The German attack on the Soviet Union. Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verl., Frankfurt am Main 2011, pp. 84–86.
- Gerhard Wettig: Stalin and the Cold War in Europe. The Emergence and Development of East-West conflict, 1939–1953. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham 2008, ISBN 0-7425-5542-9 , p. 18.
- Stefan Creuzberger: Stalin. Power politician and ideologist. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2009, ISBN 978-3-17-018280-6 , p. 231 f.
- Manfred Hildermeier: History of the Soviet Union 1917-1991. The rise and fall of the first socialist state. CH Beck, Munich 1998, p. 586 f.
- Andreas Hillgruber : Germany's role in the prehistory of the two world wars. 3rd edition, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 1986, p. 97 f .; Helmut Altrichter: A Brief History of the Soviet Union 1917–1991 . CH Beck, Munich 2013, ISBN 978-3-406-65215-8 , p. 98.
- Teddy J. Uldricks: Debating the Role of Russia in the Origins of the Second World War. In: Gordon Martel (Ed.): The Origins of the Second World War Reconsidered. AJP Taylor and the Historians. Routledge, London 1999, p. 141.
- Teddy J. Uldricks: Soviet Security Policy in the 1930s. In: Gabriel Gorodetsky (Ed.): Soviet Foreign Policy, 1917–1991. A retrospective. Cass, London 1994, ISBN 978-0-7146-4112-6 ( The Cummings Center series . 1), pp. 65-74, here p. 72.
- Geoffrey K. Roberts: The Soviet Union and the Origins of the Second World War. Russo-German Relations and the Road to War, 1933-1941. St. Martin's Press, New York 1995, ISBN 978-0-312-12603-2 , p. 71.
- Geoffrey K. Roberts: The Soviet Union and the Origins of the Second World War. Russo-German Relations and the Road to War, 1933-1941. St. Martin's Press, New York 1995, ISBN 978-0-312-12603-2 , p. 73.
- Geoffrey Roberts: The Alliance that Failed. Moscow and the Triple Alliance Negotiations, 1939. In: European History Quarterly 16, No. 3 (1996), p. 407.
- Michael Jabara Carley: End of the 'Low, Dishonest Decade'. Failure of the Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939. In: Europe-Asia Studies 45, No. 2 (1993), p. 324.
- Michael Jabara Carley: End of the 'Low, Dishonest Decade'. Failure of the Anglo-Franco-Soviet Alliance in 1939. In: Europe-Asia Studies 45, No. 2 (1993), p. 333.
- Ingeborg Fleischhauer: The Pact. Hitler, Stalin and the Initiative of German Diplomacy 1938–1939. Ullstein, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-550-07655-X , pp. 422-436, cit. P. 429.
- Gabriel Gorodetsḳi: Grand Delusion. Stalin and the German Invasion of Russia. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven 1999, ISBN 0-300-07792-0 , pp. 6-8.
- Zara Steiner: The Triumph of the Dark. European International History 1933-1939. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford 2011, pp. 878, 886.
- Zara Steiner: The Triumph of the Dark. European International History 1933-1939. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford 2011, pp. 906, 908.
- Zara Steiner: The Triumph of the Dark. European International History 1933-1939. Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford 2011, pp. 887, 894, 896.
- Jonathan Haslam: Soviet-German Relations and the Origins of the Second World War. The jury is still out. In: The Journal of Modern History 69, No. 4 (1997), pp. 795, 791 f.
- Georges Bonnet : Before the catastrophe . Cologne 1951, p. 219.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 2: “We are in need and are eating flies like the devil”, position 1333.
- Adam Tooze : Economy of Destruction. The history of the economy under National Socialism. Siedler, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-88680-857-1 , p. 374.
- Adam Tooze : Economy of Destruction. The history of the economy under National Socialism. Siedler, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-88680-857-1 , p. 374 f.
- Rolf-Dieter Müller: The enemy is in the east. Hitler's secret plans for war against the Soviet Union in 1939 . Links, Berlin 2011, ISBN 978-3-86153-617-8 , pp. 149–175 (chapter From the Hitler-Stalin Pact to " Operation Barbarossa" ), in particular pp. 149 f., 153 (1st quote), 157 (2nd quote), 175.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 2: "The Pact", item 1211.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: “As among party members”, position 1396.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: “As among party members”, position 1474.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "As among party comrades: The Red Army in Poland", position 1490.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: “As among party comrades”, position 1417–1438.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: “As among party members”, position 1466.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: “As among party members”, position 1535.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "As among party comrades: The German-Soviet border and friendship treaty", position 1546.
- Federal Center for Political Education, 80 years ago: Hitler-Stalin Pact
- Historical Commission (Berlin), Institute for Contemporary History (Munich, Germany), 1939, on the threshold of World War II: the unleashing of the Second World War and the international system , Walter de Gruyter, 1990, ISBN 9783110125962 , Wacław Długoborski , Der Hitler-Stalin -Pact as a “living past” , pp. 161–163
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "As among party comrades: The German-Soviet border and friendship treaty", position 1546.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "As among party comrades: The German-Soviet border and friendship treaty", position 1596.
- Lev Besymensky : Stalin and Hitler. The dictators' poker game. Aufbau Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-351-02539-4 , p. 242 ff.
- Ingeborg Fleischhauer: The German-Soviet border and friendship treaty of September 28, 1939. The German records of the negotiations between Stalin, Molotov and Ribbentrop in Moscow. ( PDF ) In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 39, 1991, pp. 447–470, here pp. 455 f.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "As among party comrades: The German-Soviet border and friendship treaty", item 1610.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "As among party comrades: The German-Soviet border and friendship treaty", item 1617.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "As among party comrades: The German-Soviet border and friendship treaty", item 1644.
- Patrick Salmon: Scandinavia and the Great Powers 1890-1940. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1997, ISBN 9780521411615 , pp. 350-355; Fred Singleton: A Short History of Finland. 2nd Edition. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge 1999, ISBN 0521647010 , pp. 122-124; Gerd R. Ueberschär: Hitler and Finland 1939–1941. German-Finnish relations during the Hitler-Stalin pact. 1st edition. Steiner, Wiesbaden 1978, ISBN 3515028064 , p. 76.
- Fred Singleton: A Short History of Finland. 2nd Edition. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge 1999, ISBN 0521647010 , pp. 125-127.
- Henrik Meinander: Finland and the Great Powers in World War II. Ideologies, Geopolitics, Diplomacy. In: Tiina Kinnunen and Ville Kivimäki (eds.). Finland in World War II. History, Memory, Interpretations. Brill, Leiden 2011, ISBN 978-9-0042-0894-0 ( History of Warfare 69), pp. 49-92, here p. 61.
- Gerd R. Ueberschär: Hitler and Finland 1939–1941. German-Finnish relations during the Hitler-Stalin pact. 1st edition. Steiner, Wiesbaden 1978, p. 115.
- Henrik Meinander: Finland and the Great Powers in World War II. Ideologies, Geopolitics, Diplomacy. In: Tiina Kinnunen and Ville Kivimäki (eds.). Finland in World War II. History, Memory, Interpretations. Brill, Leiden 2011 ( History of Warfare 69), pp. 49–92, here pp. 60–66.
- Harold Shukman: Introduction. In: Oleg Aleksandrovich Rzheshevskii et al. (Ed.). Stalin and the Soviet-Finnish War, 1939-1940. Routledge, London 2013, ISBN 1138011142 ( Cass series on the Soviet (Russian) study of war ), pp. Xix – xxvi, here pp. Xxii-xxiv; Pasi Tuunainen: The Finnish Army at War. Operations and Soldiers, 1939-1945. In: Tiina Kinnunen and Ville Kivimäki (eds.). Finland in World War II. History, Memory, Interpretations. Brill, Leiden 2011 ( History of Warfare 69), pp. 139–188, here p. 173.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 4, item 1846-1853.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 4, item 2096.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 4, item 2453.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "Occupation violence", position 1739.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "Occupation violence", position 1753.
- Klaus-Peter Friedrich: Poland September 1939 - July 1941 . Oldenbourg, 2011, ISBN 978-3-486-58525-4 , p. 38.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "Occupation violence", position 1785–1793.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "Occupation violence", position 1798.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 3: "Occupation violence", position 1811–1833.
- Manfred Zeidler: German-Soviet Economic Relations during the Hitler-Stalin Pact . In: From Peace to War. Edited by Dick Sheldon, Berghahn 1997, ISBN 978-157181-882-9 , pp. 98 f.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 5: “Castles in the air - economic cooperation”, items 2888–2899.
- Manfred Zeidler: German-Soviet Economic Relations during the Hitler-Stalin Pact . In: From Peace to War. Ed. Dick Sheldon, Berghahn 1997, p. 103 ff.
- Claudia Weber, The Pact: Stalin, Hitler and the Story of a Murderous Alliance , Kindle edition, CH Beck, 2019, chap. 5: “Castles in the air - economic cooperation”, items 2888–2899.
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