- Delivering Truth Around the World
Custom Search

The Germano-Soviet Pact

Smaller Font Larger Font RSS 2.0

Hitler  came to power on January 30, 1933. Only the Soviet Union understood the dangers to world peace. In January 1934, Stalin told the Party Congress that `the ``new'' (German) policy ... recalls the policy of the former German Kaiser, who at one time occupied the Ukraine and marched against Leningrad, after converting the Baltic countries into a place d'armes for this march'. He also stated:

`(I)f the interests of the U.S.S.R. demand rapprochement with one country or another which is not interested in disturbing peace, we adopt this course without hesitation.'


Stalin, Works, vol. 13, p. 309.

Until Hitler's  coming to power, Great Britain had led the crusade against the Soviet Union. In 1918, Churchill  was the main instigator of the military invervention that mobilized fourteen countries. In 1927, Great Britain broke diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and imposed an embargo on its exports.

In 1931, Japan invaded Northern China and its troops reached the Soviet border in Siberia. The Soviet Union thought at the time that war with Japan was imminent.

In 1935, fascist Italy occupied Ethiopia. To oppose the danger of fascist expansion, the Soviet Union proposed, as early as 1935, a collective system of security for Europe. Given this perspective, it signed mutual assistance treaties with France and Czechoslovakia. Trotsky  made vicious attacks against Stalin who had, with these treaties, `betrayed' the French proletariat and the world revolution. At the same time, official voices of the French bourgeoisie were declaring that their country was not obliged to come to the aid of the Soviet Union, should it be attacked.

In 1936, Italy and Germany sent their élite troops to Spain to fight the legal republican government. France and Great Britain adopted a `non-intervention' policy, leaving free reign to the fascists. They were trying to placate Hitler  and to push him East.

In November of the same year, Germany and Japan signed the Anti-Cominterm Pact, which Italy joined soon after. The Soviet Union was encircled.

On March 11, 1938, Radio Berlin announced a `Communist uprising in Austria' and the Wehrmacht (German army) pounced on that country, annexing it in two days. The Soviet Union took up Austria's defence and called on Great Britain and France to prepare collective defence. `Tomorrow will perhaps be too late', underscored the Soviet leadership.

In mid-May, Hitler  concentrated his troops on the border with Czechoslovakia. The Soviet Union, with treaty obligations towards the threatened country, placed 40 divisions on its Western border and called up 330,000 reservists. But in September, Great Britain and France met in Munich with the fascist powers, Germany and Italy. Neither Czechoslovakia nor the Soviet Union were invited. The great `democracies' decided to offer Hitler  the Sudeten region of Czechoslovakia. Along with this treacherous act, Great Britain signed on September 30 a declaration with Germany in which the two powers stated that they regarded the agreement `as symbolic of the desire of our peoples never to go to war with one another again.'


Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R., Documents and Materials Relating to the Eve of the Second World War (New York: International Publishers, 1948). vol. 1, p. 271.

France did the same in December. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union offered its aid to Czechoslovakia in case of German aggression, but this offer was declined. On March 15, 1939, the Wehrmacht seized Prague. By cutting up Czechoslovakia, Hitler  offered a piece of the cake to the reactionary Polish government, which greedily gobbled up the bait.

A week later, the German army occupied the Lithuanian territory of Klaipeda, an important Baltic port. Stalin could see that the monster was advancing East and that Poland would be the next victim.

In May 1939, the Japanese army attacked Mongolia, which also had a military assistance treaty with the Soviet Union. The following month, Soviet troops, led by an unknown officer, Zhukov,  took up battle with the Japanese army. It was a sizeable military confrontation: Japan lost more that 200 planes and more than 50,000 of its soldiers were killed or wounded. On August 30, 1939, the last Japanese troops left Mongolia.

The next day, another Soviet border was set aflame: Germany invaded Poland.

Everyone knew that this aggression would take place: to ensure an optimal position and begin his war either against Great Britain and France or against the Soviet Union, Hitler  had to `resolve Poland's fate'. Let us look at the events of the previous months.

In March 1939, the Soviet Union began negociations to form an anti-fascist alliance. Great Britain and France allowed time to pass, maneuvered. By this attitude, the two great `democracies' made Hitler  understand that he could march against Stalin without being worried about the West. From June to August 1939, secret British-German talks took place: in exchange for guaranteeing the integrity of the British Empire, the British would allow Hitler  to act freely in the East. On July 29, Charles Roden Buxton  of the Labour Party fulfilled a secret mission for Prime Minister Chamberlain  to the German Embassy. The following plan was elaborated:

`Great Britain would express her willingness to conclude an agreement with Germany for a delimitation of spheres of interest ....