Hitler and Stalin - Pact against Europe

Discussion in 'History & Past Politicians' started by Anonymous.Professor, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. Anonymous.Professor

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    Making of the pact

    Pact between two totalitarian regimes enabled Hitler to start WW2 with the help from Stalin. First victim of the pact was Poland which was divided between Germany and USSR and both regimes made horrible war crimes against humanity there already in 1939-41.
    Preparations for the pact started first on Soviet initiative. Already in May 1939 Molotov told to German ambassador that he does not see trade agreements between Germany and USSR as useful until they will get some new political background and added that both governments should think what that would be. So Molotov just replaced Litvinov and immediately signaled new political attitude. Then in June 1939 Bulgarian ambassador in Berlin told to Germans that Soviets told him that they are weighting between pact with the west and pact with Germany. They are still afraid because of Hitler's plans from Mein Kampf about so called Lebensraum in the east but if Germany would make a contract that it will not attack USSR then they will not sign any pact with the west. At first Berlin was sceptical, specially Hitler, but later when it was already obvious that war with Poland is near he became convinced that Germany should avoid war on two fronts for any cost. In August 1939 Ribbentrop was working very hard for a deal with USSR. When on 10th August 1939 he asked Moscow about possibility of talks about interests of both states in Poland he got quickly a positive reply.

    So called non-aggression pact was in fact just a facade for much bigger thing, that is how to divide Europe between two totalitarian regimes national socialism and communism. Molotov told to German ambassador Schulenburg on August 18th 1939 that Moscow would like to see non-aggression pact adapted with special agreement about political issues in foreign policy. Nazis were in a hurry because of the preparations for war with Poland and immediately agreed. When Ribbentrop came to Moscow on 22th of August 1939 pact was quickly signed by both sides. Negotiations were so easy because interest on both sides was so great. Non-aggression pact or its draft was written by Soviets and already accepted by Hitler in his personal letter to Stalin on 20th of August.

    Special and top secret protocol to non-aggression pact was signed together with the pact on 23th of August 1939. According to the protocol, Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland were divided into so called German and Soviet spheres of influence. In the north, Finland, Estonia and Latvia were assigned to the Soviet sphere. Poland was to be partitioned in the event of its "political rearrangement": the areas east of the Pisa, Narev, Vistula and San rivers would go to the Soviet Union, while Germany would occupy the west. Lithuania, adjacent to East Prussia would be in the German sphere of influence, although a second secret protocol agreed to in September 1939 reassigned the majority of Lithuania to the USSR. Because Soviet side showed interest for parts of Romania ( Bessarabia ) Germans confirmed that they have no interests there.

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    Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact - Wikipedia

    [​IMG] en.wikipedia.org

    Hitler and Stalin Pact against Europe, written by Johann Wolfgang Brugel, published in Ljubljana, 2019, pages 42-83 ( in fact translations of original documents ).

    to be continued...
     
  2. Anonymous.Professor

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    Dividing Poland accrording to the secret protocol

    When Germany felt secure it attacked Poland. At first German attack was planned for 26th of August so just after signing the pact with USSR. But because UK made an alliance with Poland a day before it was postponed for a few days. Hitler made some final offer to Poland in which he still demanded Danzing and corridor to east Prussia and tried to convince the British that he is ready to make a fair long term deal with their empire. That did not succeed so war started on 1. September. Already on 3th of September 1939 Ribbentrop ordered that ambassadors should learn from Molotov if Red army is ready to occupy eastern part of Poland according to the secret protocol. Molotov confirmed that they will act in that direction on the next day. Schulenburg reported during this early stage of war how communist Soviet newspapers completely changed their propaganda. Now they are using German sources when they are writting about foreign policy issues and books which were against Third Reich were removed from shops. Russian people are still worried that Hitler will not keep his promises but Soviet government is trying everything to calm them down.

    Also comintern ordered a new direction on 8th of September 1939. Gottwald in her name explained that war is like imperialistic and that communists and working class should resist it in all countries which are fighting. He underlined that USA, British, French and Belgian communists must immediately change their policy which was until that time still aimed against Nazism. Concerning German communists that was in fact irrelevant because already during the talks and preparations of the pact Nazis warned Soviet side that they will act harsh against any attempts in the derection to again increase communist influence in Germany. And Soviets confirmed they are not interested about this issue and that they know that power of communism in Germany was broken. On September 9th 1939 Molotov explained to German ambassador that Soviet operation against poland will start in a week. He also told Germans that USSR will try to cover up their attack on Poland with the excuse that Poland is destroyed and that Ukrainians and Belarussians in Poland are now in danger. Later Stalin himself told Schulenburg the exact day an hour of Soviet attack. Coordination of aggressors was perfect. Red army attacked Poland on 17.9.1939. Local communists and their sympathizer in eastern Poland were ordered to start rebellions.

    Molotov told Germans on 20.9. 1939 so very soon after Soviet invasion that Moscow is now taking a position that no Poland should be rebuilt. That's why Red army made on the same day an agreement with Third Reich that they will destroy the remains of Polish army and even help directly with joint forces in German attacks ( ! ) against remains of Polish army if that would be neccessary. German army will take care of completely cleaning some towns and areas of Polish resistance before they will hand them to Soviets.

    Warsaw felt eleven days after Soviet attack in the back and Poland capitulated a week later. City was shelled by Germans day and night with artillery and aerial bombardment. Around 18.000 civilians were killed in this siege.

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    Invasion of Poland - Wikipedia

    [​IMG] en.wikipedia.org

    Hitler and Stalin Pact against Europe, written by Johann Wolfgang Brugel, published in Ljubljana, 2019, pages 83-110.
     
  3. Anonymous.Professor

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    After Polish defeat Nazi-Soviet pact is upgraded

    Ribbentrop went again in Moscow on 28.9. 1939 just on the day Warsaw surrendered. They were recieved with all honours and much of prestige. As i already mentioned Lithuania was now reassigned to the USSR sphere of influnce and Soviets gave some more territory of Poland to Germany. This was done by another secret protocol which upgraded the first one from 23.8.1939. Third Reich and USSR also agreed in secret protocol that they will allow no Polish propaganda against one another on their territory and they will share inteligence concerning this issue.

    It was agreed also between Nazi Germany and USSR that they will both try to convince UK and France to stop war against Germany and accept that Poland was divided. In secret letter Ribbentrop also accepted Soviet proposal that USSR will give Germany more oil in return for black coal and steel products. Soviet newspaper Pravda immediately attacked France and England that only they will be responsible if the war will continue. Here i would like to add that later after WW2 Soviet propaganda again changed and for example Potemkin who was deputy foreign minister during 1938-40 wrote that Hitler made wrong calculation not counting how 'democratic public opinion' in the west will be enraged by his attack on Poland. And how 'instinct for self defense' in London and Paris will force them to go in war with Nazi Germany.

    Hitler and Stalin Pact against Europe, written by Johann Wolfgang Brugel, published in Ljubljana, 2019, pages 110-24; page 22.
     
  4. Anonymous.Professor

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    Soviet crimes in occupied Poland 1939-41

    After occupation and annexation of eastern Poland totalitarian communism was introduced by force on the country and its people. Communists nationalized private property and collectivized agriculture and banned all non-communist political activity. Red army captured 250.000 Polish soldiers. They started to release common soldiers soon already in October 1939 but 37.000 were sent in USSR to work as forced labourers. However officiers, border guards and policemen were sent in special concentration camps. Later in March 1940 head of NKVD Lavrentiy Beria proposed that they should be killed. Stalin, Molotov, Voroshilov and Mikoyan confirmed the proposal with their signatures. According to Soviet documents declassified in 1990, 21,857 Polish internees and prisoners were executed after 3 April 1940: 14,552 prisoners of war and 7,305 prisoners in western parts of the Byelorussian and Ukrainian SSRs. The head of the NKVD POW department, Maj. General P. K. Soprunenko, organized "selections" of Polish officers to be massacred at Katyn and elsewhere. The number is bigger than it was thought before ( ! ).

    People were deported from eastern Poland in four big operations. Soviets deported more than 1 milion people in four waves of mass deportations from the Soviet-occupied Polish territories. The first major operation took place on February 10, 1940, with more than 140.000 people sent to far north and east Russia, including Siberia. Many of them were so called kulaks or bigger farmers and members of intelligentsia. Around 70.000 Jews which escaped from German controlled Poland were deported in summer 1940 and sent in gulags. Family members of Polish officiers were deported in Kazakhstan in April 1940 and many died there because of famine and cold climate. 250.000 younger men were forced to work as forced labourers in Soviet industry and working battalions of Red amry.

    The number of Poles who died due to Soviet repressions in the period 1939-1941 is estimated as at least 150,000 ( 100.000 of them died in gulags ). The number is bigger as it was thought before the opening of NKVD files. ( ! ) Also mortality rates of deported and resettled Poles were very high as it was well established by Polish researchers.



    Black book of communism, written by group of authors, published in 1999, Ljubljana, pages 448-453.

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    Territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union - Wikipedia

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    Katyn massacre - Wikipedia

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    Soviet repressions of Polish citizens (1939–1946) - Wikipedia

    [​IMG] en.wikipedia.org
     
  5. Anonymous.Professor

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    The crimes against humanity of both totalitarian regime were coordinated

    USSR continued to support Third Reich during the rest of year 1939 and in 1940. To help Nazi Germany to avoid allied embargo Soviets increased their trade with Germany and were even ready to buy in the west different materials for their partners. On the other hand Comintern was spreading propaganda how 'American capitalists' support UK and France with selling weapons to both states. Communists in the west were ordered to sabotage the war. Not just with their propaganda. For example French communist leaders ordered in December 1939 that war material should be destroyed and communists should find cunning ways to achieve this goal. On 20.11. 1939 Pravda made a long report about how war is sabotaged and opposed in the west giving examples from different countries but did write nothing about sabotages in Nazi Germany.

    Yet things were going even deeper. We already showed how both sides agreed even before partition of Poland how they will repress Polish agitation in their occupation zones. Jews which were expelled from German occupation zone to Soviet zone were often sent back and Germans protested about this. Many Germans including Jews which were not supporters of Stalin were handed to SS by NKVD. Former German communist party member Margarete Buber-Neumann wrote a book about this titled Under two dictators. Her husband was killed in Stalin's purges and she was sent to Siberia. After NKVD turned her to SS she spent five years in Ravensbruck concentration camp.

    We can understand now why Stalin wrote to Ribbentrop on 27.12.1939 that their friendship is sealed with blood. And indeed USSR used the pact with Nazi Germany again in November 1939 when Finnland was attacked by Red army. According to the pact it was in the Soviet sphere of influence. So called winter war was not going ok for Soviets. Finns were fighting with much courage, but in the end they had to surrender large areas of their country to communist aggressors ( in March 1940 ). England and France were planning to send soldiers to Finnland that they will help Finns. That would mean open war with USSR now not just with its ally Nazi germany. Third Reich helped the Soviets and treatened Sweden with invasion if they will allow allied intervention or transit of allied troops.

    Hitler and Stalin Pact against Europe, written by Johann Wolfgang Brugel, published in Ljubljana, 2019, pages 125-148.


    Margarete Buber-Neumann - Wikipedia

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    Winter War - Wikipedia

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    Franco-British plans for intervention in the Winter War - Wikipedia

    [​IMG] en.wikipedia.org
     
  6. Anonymous.Professor

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    German westward offensive is approwed also by Soviets, communists started to collaborate with Nazis in occupied countries

    On the very day when German attack on France and neutral Low countries started Molotov said to German ambassador Schulenburg that he agrees that Germany should defend itself against Anglo-French attack. Soviet press followed completely that line, writting that German invasion was a counter and preemptive attack against the threat of allied invasion of Germany. Concerning neutral low countries of Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg Hitler in fact ordered that plans should be made for an invasion against them already in October 1939, the goal was to make them as a base for a war against France and UK and their joint peace offer to Germany was declined in November 1939. On 18th of June 1940 Molotov in the name of Soviet government sent the most warm congratulations to Third Reich for the success of Wehrmacht which just defeated France. USSR used the fall of France to occupy Baltic states and part of Romania as we will soon see. So it is not a surprise that French and Dutch communists immediately started to collaborate with Nazis.

    Dutch communists proclaimed just after occupation of Holland that people must resist their government in exile which made an alliance with England. And also people must not support any resistance against German occupation be it directly or even indirectly.
    Nazis understood that support of communists is important and allowed the official newspaper of Dutch communist party to continue its pro-Nazi propaganda. French communists proclaimed just after the capitulation of France that German imperialism was their ally in this war having the same goal as they had that is the destruction of French imperialism ( yet in fact Vichy France kept French colonies ), so workers should see Germans as their allies and should be kind toward them. Communists also promised Germans that if they will allow their newspaper L'Humanite they will attack so called British imperialism as their common enemy. The request was refused by Germans in this case because Petain was against it.

    Hitler and Stalin Pact against Europe, written by Johann Wolfgang Brugel, published in Ljubljana, 2019, pages 179-191


    World War II - The invasion of the Low Countries and France
    World War II - World War II - The invasion of the Low Countries and France: France’s 800,000-man standing army was thought at the time to be the most powerful in Europe. But the French had not progressed beyond the defensive mentality inherited from World War I, and they relied primarily on...
    www.britannica.com
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  7. Anonymous.Professor

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    War in France was followed by Soviet occupation of Baltic states and part of Romania both with support from Third Reich

    After the fall of France Soviet union quickly reacted with agression against Baltic states which were in their sphere of influence according to Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. Already after the division and occupation of Poland by USSR and Third Reich Soviets pressed hardly all three Baltic states ( Estonia, Litvia and Lithuania ). They felt weak and allowed Red army to establish military bases on their territory. But in summer of 1940 Moscow made final move. Soviets gave an ultimatum to Baltic states that they should change their governments in pro-Soviet ones plus allowing an unlimited number of troops to enter the three countries.The Baltic governments had decided that, given their international isolation and the overwhelming Soviet forces on their borders and already on their territories, it was futile to actively resist and better to avoid bloodshed. The occupation of the Baltic states coincided with a communist coups in each country, supported by the Soviet troops. Puppet governments then accepted annexation of Baltic states by USSR. Widespread nationalization of private businesses followed and also preparations for total collectivization of agriculture. One party rule was introduced by force. Even organizations like Boy scouts were banned. However communists made an exception for local Germans. They were allowed to sell their property and go to the Third Reich. Many of them went in Poland where they got property from expelled Poles. Nazis annexed western Poland to Third Reich. More than 350.000 Poles were expelled from there. And thousands were killed in purges, specially former government officials, military officers in reserve, landowners, clergy, and members of the Polish intelligentsia. Country was subjected to forced Germanization. Some Poles however collaborated with Germans, most of those people were in fact bilingual. Germans which left Baltic states after Soviet occupation helped in Germanization process of Poland.

    Sovietization of Baltic states was followed by large scale terror. In the first year of Soviet occupation, from June 1940 to June 1941, the number of confirmed executed, conscripted by force, or deported is estimated at a minimum of 124,467: 59,732 in Estonia, 34,250 in Latvia, and 30,485 in Lithuania. This included eight former heads of state and 38 ministers from Estonia, three former heads of state and 15 ministers from Latvia, and the then president, five prime ministers and 24 other ministers from Lithuania. Many of them later died in captivity because of poor conditions. Thousands of Jews were between those deported too. Those expelled were allowed to take with them just very a little of their property and men were later separated from their families and used as force labourers. The mortality rate among the Estonian deportees for example was estimated even at 60%.

    Concerning Romania

    Berlin approved Soviet aggression against Romania already on 25. 6. 1940. Ribbentrop confirmed on that day that Molotov should be told how Gremany will respect that Bessarabia belongs to Soviet sphere of interest as it was agreed in secret protocols of so called non-aggression pact. But they had reservations about Soviet occupation of Bukovina because many Germans were living there. And indeed Moscow accepted they will occupy just north part of Bukovina and leave southern part to Romania. On June 26, Molotov presented an ultimatum note to Romanians, in which the Soviet Union demanded the evacuation of the Romanian military and civil administration from Bessarabia and the northern Bukovina. On the next day Molotov declared that in case the Romanian side rejected Soviet demands, the Soviet troops were going to cross the border. On the morning of June 28, 1940, following advice by both Germany and Italy, the Romanian government, agreed to submit to the Soviet demands.

    Romania was and old ally of France but after Soviet occupation of parts of its territory it got pro-German and antisemitic leadership of Ion Antonescu. Soviet action halped to put down pro-western government. It was followed by annexations of former Romanian territory by Hungary and Bulgaria.

    Soviet occupation was followed by annexation to USSR and by widespread nationalization of private property and also here preparations for final collectivization of agriculture were made. During 1940–1941, political persecution of certain categories of locals took the form of arrests, executions, and deportations to USSR. Around 32.000 people received a politically motivated sentence, of which thousands were sentenced to death.


    Hitler and Stalin Pact against Europe, written by Johann Wolfgang Brugel, published in Ljubljana, 2019, pages 187-191.



    Soviet occupation of the Baltic states (1940) - Wikipedia

    [​IMG] en.wikipedia.org

    Sovietization of the Baltic states - Wikipedia

    [​IMG] en.wikipedia.org


    Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and northern Bukovina - Wikipedia

    [​IMG] en.wikipedia.org


    Nazi crimes against the Polish nation - Wikipedia
     
  8. Anonymous.Professor

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    French communists offered themselves to Petain to testify in court against Daladier and Leon Blum their former ally in Popular Front before the pact between Nazi Germany and communist USSR

    Already just after the capitulation of France communists from Paris in their local newspaper called for public trial against politicians which 'brought France to war'. Leon Blum was mentioned by name. When in August of 1940 communists learned that Petain will establish a court to try former politicians communists offered to testify against them. Communist propaganda at that time was filled with calls against so called British agents, like De Gaulle which are 'still trying to bring war in France'. Their refrain was still the same even in June 1941 just before the start of German invasion against USSR. 'Down with imperialistic war! De Gaulle... is killing the children of France for the sake of England.' Communists protested when Petain released 'traitors' like Marx Dormoy or Vincent Auriol both members of Popular Front.


    Between the Junes: The French communists from the collapse of France to the invasion of Russia. Article published in Journal of contemporary history, vol. 3, 1993, pages 465-485.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/260642?read-now=1&seq=1

    David Wingeate Pike, Between the Junes: The French Communists from the Collapse of France to the Invasion of Russia, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 28, No. 3 (Jul., 1993), pp. 465-485
    [​IMG] www.jstor.org

    Hitler and Stalin Pact against Europe, written by Johann Wolfgang Brugel, published in Ljubljana, 2019, pages 188 and 198.
     
  9. Anonymous.Professor

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    When the war on western front was over Hitler turned his attention toward USSR. Already in July 1941 it was decided that Soviet union should be attacked in spring of 1941. Hitler was thinking that Soviet union was the last hope for Britain after the fall of France. If USSR is destroyed England will lose all its hopes and Third Reich will be the master in Europe and in Balkans. Yet despite this because war with UK was still going on, Hitler and Ribbentrop still thought that Soviet union may be able to help them in dividing and destroying British empire. That's why Ribbentrop invited Molotov to Berlin in October 1940 and he really came in November for the very important talks how to divide new spheres of influence.

    Meanwhile the relations between USSR and Third Reich were still pretty much good. Their main common enemy was still so called British imperialism. British communists were blaiming for example their government for the alliance between Third Reich and Japan in September 1940, because they are receiving help from USA. They were also proclaiming to the public that all talk about Hitler's aggressive mood toward USSR is a lie, the truth is that he was forced by powerful Soviet Union to concentrate its war efforts on weak capitalistic England. That was in the time when UK was under rain of German bombs.

    Hitler and Stalin Pact against Europe, written by Johann Wolfgang Brugel, published in Ljubljana, 2019, pages 192-208.

    The rise and fall of the Third Reich, book 2, written by William Shirer, published in Ljubljana, 1969, pages 1142-1143.

    Negotiations in Berlin how to divide new spheres of influence, November 1940.

    Molotov arrived in Berlin on 12.11. 1940. On the same and during the next day he had very important talks with both Hitler and Ribbentrop. Ribbentrop underlined how both sides benefited much after they divided spheres of influence in eastern Erurope. Nazi leaders wanted that USSR will join their pact with Italy and Japan so that this alliance would become pact of four totalitarian states. They insisted that now is the time to divide British empire. Soviet union should get land toward Persian gulf and Indian ocean as its new spheres of influence. Germany would create new lebensraum in Africa for itself. Molotov did not decline this but he was more interested in Europe. He was not glad that Germany sent some troops in Finnland claiming Finnland is in Soviet sphere according to secret protocol of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. When he was asked what they would like to do with Finnland Molotov answered that the same as they did with Bessarabia, so annexation to USSR. Hitler was not glad about this answer. Soviet foreign minister was also interested in security alliance with Bulgaria and in Soviet influence in Turkey specially concerning sea straits Bosporus and Dardanelles.

    When Molotov went back in Moscow Soviet government agreed to consider joining the great alliance of four totalitarian states proposed by Hitler but under its own conditions. Soviets demanded that German troops should leave Finnland but Soviet union will not attack it. Germans will still receive wood and nickel from this country. However in secret protocol the question of Finnland should be again solved taking it into account that it lies in the Soviet sphere of influence. Second condition was that USSR will make a security alliance with Bulgaria and establish military base in Bosporus and Dardanelles. Soviet union was ready to take the land toward Persian gulf as its sphere of influence, but did not say nothing about India.

    Hitler was not glad with this answer. He tried to put Soviet union out of Europe so that it will concenrate on British colonies in Asia. But apparently Stalin insisted Europe is in his domain too. Because of this Hitler ordered his generals should speed up preparations for the attack on USSR.


    Hitler and Stalin Pact against Europe, written by Johann Wolfgang Brugel, published in Ljubljana, 2019, pages 210-226. .

    The rise and fall of the Third Reich, book 2, written by William Shirer, published in Ljubljana, 1969, pages 1146-1161.
     
  10. Anonymous.Professor

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    Despite many warnings that Third Reich will attack USSR Stalin continued with his alliance with Hitler. Why did Stalin ignore the yearlong military buildup in eastern Europe and by one count 87 separate, credible intelligence warnings of the German invasion that he received during 1940–41 is still until today an open question? Some suggested that Stalin was so sure that alliance with Germany is strategically important that it should last as long as possible. Some communists were saying during the time of alliance and later that Stalin enabled division and fighting between so called capitalist world making it weaker, but at the right time he was ready to react. Stalin's daughter Svetlana confirmed later how much was Stalin convinced that alliance with Third Reich is neccessary claiming even after WW2 before her and others that together with Germany Soviet Union would be invincible. It is a fact that USSR was building its war industry and heavy weapons very fast during the time of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, but it was not yet prepared for big scale war in spring of 1941. In May 1941 general Zhukov proposed preemptive strike against Germany, because German attack is imminent but as we know his proposal was not accepted. So was Stalin deluded that he will be able to buy time if he will continue to support Hitler? To postpone a war for a year, hoping that Hitler will first deal with England? In February 1941 German communist Walter Ulbricht told his comrades that Comintern discussed some scenarios about the end of WW2. They thought at that time war could end with communist revolution in Europe supported by USSR, but on the other hand it is also possible that war will end with compromise between England/USA and Third Reich if no side would see the possibility of winning over the other. It seems possible that Stalin was feeding Hitler with materials needed for war because he did not want that the war would end with compromise, but rather it should make both sides weak and USSR as strong as possible so that communist revolution in Europe will happen in near future. We know Herman Goering who was second man in Third Reich was thinking that war with Soviet union should start only after England is defeated, such scenario would benefit Stalin and Comintern. That I will argue is a credible theory.

    Be it one way or another the fact is that USSR supplied Germany with great amounts of materials neccessary for war during the first months of 1941. German report from May 1941 is saying that they received during the last months from Soviets 632.000 tons of grain, 232.000 tons of oil, 23.500 tons of cotton, 50.000 tons of mangan ore, 90.000 tons of phosphates, 900 kg of platinum. Even when Bulgaria signed Tripartite Pact on 1 March 1941 and joined the Axis bloc this trend did not change. We saw before how Soviet union wanted Bulgaria in its security alliance. Molotov said to German ambassador that he is sorry that this happened but nothing more.



    Hitler and Stalin Pact against Europe, written by Johann Wolfgang Brugel, published in Ljubljana, 2019, pages 229-236; 248.

    The Icebreaker controversy: Did Stalin plan to attack Hitler? Slavic Review Vol. 58, No. 3 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 626-643

    What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa — Central Intelligence Agency
    What Stalin Knew: The Enigma of Barbarossa
    www.cia.gov
     
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    War in Balkans

    In this last post about the pact between Stalin and Hitler i would like to talk about war in Balkans in spring of 1941. War can be seen as prelude to operation Barbarossa. It was started because Italy under Mussolini attacked Greece in October 1940, but Italians were not doing well. So they asked help from Hitler who was not glad about their attack. He wanted Balkans as quiet place so that he could be able to concenrate on planned operation Barbarossa. Germany tried to lure kingdom of Yugoslavia to join tripartite pact by promising to prince and regent Paul that they will respect country's borders and that port city of Solun/Thessaloniki can go under Yugoslavia after Greece is defeated. UK promised on the other hand correction of border between Yugoslavia and Italy if Yugoslavia will join their side. Prince Paul felt Yugoslavia is weak and indeed signed pact with Germany but that caused great revolt between people specially in Serbia, but also in Slovenia then British supported coup followed on 27th of March 1941. General Dušan Simovič took over government and young king Peter II was proclaimed old enough to rule without regent. Simovič sent some representatives to Greece and some to Soviet union. To talk possible joined operations with the allies if Greece would be attacked by Germany and to make an alliance with USSR which would guarantee Yugoslavia's borders. He realized Yugoslavia is indeed completely surrounded by enemies and to weak to go in war with Germany at this point of time. Alliance with Soviet union could buy time and protection he hoped.

    We saw already how important was Balkan for Soviets. They prefered to spread their influence in this region during November 1940 talks with Third Reich. Soviet union at first promised an alliance which will include a security guarantee that if Yugoslavia was attacked that would mean also Soviet union is attacked. Yet USSR and Yugoslavia at end signed just so called treaty of friendship between two states, which had in fact no real value. Molotov informed German side in advance that such contract will be signed claiming Soviet Union 'wants peace like Germany in Balkans'. Treaty was signed on 5.4. 1941. Communist party of Yugoslavia tried to organize big manifestation in Belgrade before Soviet embassy on 6. April celebrating this treaty, but at that day German aggression started. Molotov again said he was sorry about this developement but did not even protest. Comintern apparently ordered to German and Austrian communists that they should tell Hitler what Soviet government was afraid and not ready to do. So they proclaimed how they support 'just fight of people of Yugoslavia against German imperialist aggression'. Schulenburg reported how Soviet leaders were thinking war in Balkan will be longer because of terrain. That would explain why probably also Tito was at first calculating that the war will be longer. He was thinking with the line of Comintern as its old agent.

    But when war in Yugoslavia and Greece was finished Soviet union was ready to do further steps to convince Third Reich that they are loyal partner. Yugoslavia was declared completely destroyed by aggressors yet its government still existed in exile in London and its territory was divided between Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary and collaborators from Croatia so called ustashe. Annexation of large parts of territory were made and large new ustasha puppet state was established even before the end of war what was contrary to international law. Soviet union accepted this new situation and broke diplomatic relationship with Yugoslav government on 8.5.1941.


    Communist of Yugoslavia started with collaboration with axis forces before 22.6.1941

    During the time of war communist party in its propaganda supported war efforts and some communists joined the royal army trying to get positions in armed forces and later communists were hiding weapons of disbanded royal army to use it in planned future Soviet revolution. But very soon it was decided that so called British imperialism together with Yugoslav government in exile and its supporters at home are their main enemies. At the end of April 1941 communist leaders met in Zagreb and decided that they will fight against the government of Simovič and against the British. Communist leader Milovan Djilas who later became dissident confirmed how at the same meeting they decided also to fight against pro-western, non-communist resistance movements and that it is allowed to betray them to occupation authorities. In Slovenia for example in May 1941 members of resistance group called TIGR were betrayed to Italians by local communist. In Serbia in June 1941 before war between USSR and Nazi Germany started communists made propaganda leaflet calling people to fight with force against non-communist resistance movements, because they are like fighting against future soviet regime in Yugoslavia.

    As Yugoslav communists also other communists continued with their fight against 'imperialistic war' until 22. 6. 1941 when they completely changed their propaganda. Togliatti for example claimed at the end of May 1941 that the real goal of Italian communists is that people in Italian and British colonies will become free. Communists from Belgium were claiming in June 1941 that Belgians should not look at UK and USA as possible liberators. Soviet news agency TASS reported a few days before German attack how movements of German forces from Balkans to eastern Europe do not have any connections to relations between USSR and Germany.

    Hitler and Stalin Pact against Europe, written by Johann Wolfgang Brugel, published in Ljubljana, 2019, pages 237-254.

    Bermanov dosje, written by dr. Aleksander Bajt, published in Ljubljana, 1999, pages 774, 822-824.


    Yugoslav coup d'état - Wikipedia
     

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