When Stalin was Hitler's ally | Eurozine
When Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived in the same place Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin spent a month in the city, meeting Trotsky lots of other interesting people then Vienna would be a good place to do it. . 7 New Year Honours: Famous faces on the list · 8 Iceland crash: Family. Stalin was 'prepared to move more than a million Soviet troops to the at a Kremlin meeting with senior British and French officers, two weeks before war not authorised to commit to binding deals - did not respond to the Soviet offer, treaty with the Soviet Union in the face of further German aggression. What does this revision of the history of World War II mean as Russia On 20 August Hitler asked Stalin for a meeting, and Stalin was more Soviet hands left their families to face the German occupation without them.
The front garden of Nazi party headquarters in Munich was quickly filled with party badges and insignia thrown there by party members appalled at the thought of an alliance with the communist enemy they had spent their lives fighting against.
1913: When Hitler, Trotsky, Tito, Freud and Stalin all lived in the same place
InStalin's troops marched into the Baltic states. His attack on Finland was initially repulsed in the "Winter War", but numbers told in the end, and an uneasy peace was reached, marked by Soviet annexations of Finnish territory in the east of the country.
Further south, the Soviets seized Bessarabia and northern Bukovina from the Romanians. These events are hardly "largely unknown", as Roger Moorhouse claims in his new book, nor are they "dismissed as a dubious anomaly" in the standard histories of the second world war.
And alliance indeed it was. For Hitler, the pact provided a guarantee that he could invade first Poland, then France and most of the rest of western Europe, without having to worry about any threat from the east.
For Stalin, it allowed a breathing space in which to build up armed forces that had been severely damaged by the purges of the previous years, as his botched invasion of Finland showed.
It also gave him the chance to expand the Soviet Union to include parts of the old Russian empire of pre-revolutionary times. Thus far, a minority of forty-five million Englishmen had ruled six hundred million inhabitants of the British Empire.
He was about to crush this minority. Under these circumstances there arose world-wide perspectives. All the countries which could possibly be interested in the bankrupt estate would have to stop all controversies among themselves and concern themselves exclusively with the partition of the British Empire.
German–Soviet Axis talks
A telegram Molotov sent to Stalin on the meeting with Hitler underscored "Hitler's great interest in reaching an agreement and strengthening friendly relations with the USSR with respect to spheres of influence.
The decisive factor in [evoking] the Soviet desire for peace is and remains the demonstrated strength of our army. In an unannounced November 25 visit in Sofia, the Soviets told the Bulgarian Prime Minister Bogdan Filov that, if Bulgaria permitted the Soviets troop transfer access, the Soviets were prepared to drop their objections to Bulgaria's entry into the Axis and, most surprisingly, stated that it likely would not be an issue as it would "very probably, almost certainly" lead to the Soviets' own entry into the Axis.The World Wars: Hitler Turns On Stalin (S1, E2) - History
Molotov's proposal regarding compensation for property claims in the Baltic states considerably exceeds our expectations. Fall Barbarossa On December 5, Hitler received military plans for the possible invasion, and approved them all, with a schedule to begin in May Speaking to his generals in December, Stalin referenced Hitler's references to a Soviet attack in Mein Kampfstated that they must always be ready to repulse a German attack, stated that Hitler thought that the Red Army would require four years to ready itself such that "we must be ready much earlier" and "we will try to delay the war for another two years.
Of course, in the West, Munich is generally seen as a mistake and a negative example. France was trying to come to an agreement with the Soviet Union during the first half ofbut its interlocutors kept disappearing into the maw of the Great Terror.
We will know more about this if and when the relevant archival collections are opened, but to all appearances the Munich crisis was evaluated at the time in the Kremlin as an opportunity to intervene in eastern Europe.
Even as London and Paris urged Prague to compromise with Hitler, the Soviets provided indications of their willingness to send their armed forces to central Europe to protect Czechoslovakia — which for simple geographical reasons would have required an invasion of Poland or Romania or both. Four Soviet army groups were in fact moved to the Polish border. On 12 September, Hitler gave a speech about the need to liberate Germans from Czech policies of extermination, and to do away with Czechoslovakia generally.
Three days later the Soviet regime accelerated the ethnic cleansing of its own borderlands with Poland. Beginning on 15 September, Soviet authorities carried out swift mass executions of Soviet citizens found guilty of espionage for Poland, most of them ethnic Polish men. Throughout the territory of Soviet Ukraine, Polish men were shot in huge numbers in September.
In the city of Voroshilovgrad today Luhanskfor example, Soviet authorities considered cases in the Polish Operation during the Czechoslovak crisis, and ordered executions. In the regions of Soviet Ukraine adjacent to the Polish border, Soviet units went from village to village as death squads in September.
Polish men were shot, Polish women and children were sent to the Gulag, and reports were filed later — over and over again. In the Zhytomyr region Soviet authorities sentenced a hundred people to death on 22 September, more on 23 September, and on 28 September.
DID HITLER AND STALIN EVER Meet face to face? - Axis History Forum
That was the day that Hitler had set as the deadline for an invasion of Czechoslovakia. The Red Army was standing at the Polish border; and the NKVD had cleared the hinterland of suspicious elements by massive shootings and deportations of Poles, regarded as the enemy nation. But instead the crisis was resolved. At Munich the leaders of Britain, France, Italy and Germany decided that Czechoslovakia should cede the territories that Hitler wanted. This was a shameful action and is remembered as such today not only in Prague but in London, Paris and Washington.
Soviet policy during those weeks is entirely forgotten.
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But the terror and mobilization provides a useful bit of background to Soviet policy after the next European crisis generated by Hitler did create the opportunity for a Soviet invasion of Poland. The Soviet deportations of Polish citizens in repeated, on a smaller scale, the methods of the Great Terror.
German–Soviet Axis talks - Wikipedia
Beria, the head of the NKVD, established a special troika to deal rapidly with the files of all of the Polish prisoners of war. He established a quota for the killings, as had been done in and In the Polish Operation of the Great Terror ofPolish men had been shot and the families deported to be exploited and denationalized. This was repeated in If the families of the executed men were in the Soviet zone, they were deported to the Gulag. After the invasion of Poland, the next major Soviet act of aggression during the period of alliance with Nazi Germany was the invasion of Finland in November The winter war was a very costly victory for the Soviet Union, although the losses were much greater, in relative terms, for the much smaller target of invasion.
A rehabilitation of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is also a rehabilitation of that war. After sham referenda they were annexed to the Soviet Union. These three small countries lost tens of thousands of citizens to deportations, including most of the elites. They were declared by Soviet law never to have existed, so that service to the state became a crime under Soviet law.
They remember not only the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, but also the Nazi-Soviet Treaty on Borders and Friendship that followed, and the sham elections and propaganda in the Soviet zone that so resemble recent Russian actions in occupied Ukraine.
In the first variant, Moscow invites Poland to play the historical role of Germany, and partake in a division of Ukraine. No one in Warsaw took seriously such proposals. In the second variant, Moscow suggests to Berlin that Germany would be better suited if it acted as a great power, ignoring the new rules of the European Union and following the old rules of the interwar period. Although this would be strategic idiocy for Germany, whose admirable power position depends precisely upon European integration, important German statesmen such as Gerhard Schroeder and Helmut Schmidt have taken meaningful steps towards endorsing this position.
What is happening is the shift from one possible Russian memory of the war to another, a memory mutation with implications for all of Russia and all of Europe. From to the Soviet Union was a German ally, fighting in the eastern theatre and supplying Germany with the minerals, oil and food needed to make war against Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and most importantly France and Britain.
During this stage of the war Stalin was eager to please Hitler, and in general fulfilled not only obligations of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and the Treaty on Borders and Friendship but also specific requests of his German ally.
There was one major exception. Stalin was perfectly aware of the plight of Jews in the German zone of Poland.
Unsurprisingly he was completely uninterested in helping them.