Terms of the Soviet-German non-aggression pact.
The contract signed by the USSR and Germany consisted of 7 articles. The 3 and 7 articles are purely technical. Article 6 establishes the term of the contract - 10 years, followed by extension to 5 years in the case of the consent of the parties. The content of the contract is covered by the articles 1, 2, 4, 5.
Article 1 requires the parties to refrain from aggression against each other. Article 2 obliges not to support in any form the aggression of a third power, and Article 4 - not to participate in alliances directed against the contracting parties. At the same time, Article 5 stresses that differences between the contracting parties should be resolved by peaceful means. (Felshtinsky Yu. Dashichev V.: To be announced: USSR-Germany, 1939-1941 (Documents and Materials). Moscow worker. M., 1991. C. 42.).
From a legal point of view, the Soviet-German non-aggression pact does not constitute anything supernatural. Treaties similar in form and content were concluded by both the Soviet Union and Germany (non-aggression treaties with Poland from January 26 1934, with Latvia and Estonia from 7 June 1939), Great Britain (the pact between Poland and Great Britain on general protection from August 25 1939.).
The only feature of this treaty is the absence of a clause canceling the validity of the treaty in the event of aggression by one of the contracting parties in relation to the third state (this clause was present in many non-aggression treaties concluded by the USSR). The absence of this clause can be interpreted as an allusion to the division of spheres of influence between Germany and the USSR in Eastern Europe, which occurred during the 23 talks in August on 1939.
One of the most topical issues regarding the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty is the Secret Additional Protocol, which delineates the areas of interest of the contracting parties.
Immediately, we note that there is nothing reprehensible in the very existence of a secret protocol accompanying the main articles of the treaty. This is a normal practice in the international relations of states. So, the Russian-French contract 1884. and the Japanese-American agreement 1905. were completely secret. And the aforementioned non-aggression treaties concluded in 1939 also contained secret articles. In this case, we are interested in the content of the secret protocol, as well as история his publication.
The Articles of the Secret Protocol demarcated the spheres of influence of the contracting parties in Eastern Europe. According to them, Finland, Estonia and Latvia were in the zone of influence of the USSR; The border of the Soviet-German interests became the northern border of Lithuania. In addition, Western Belarus, Western Ukraine and Bessarabia (a region in northeastern Romania) were in the zone of influence of the USSR. In turn, Poland and Lithuania were in the zone of Germany’s interests. As for Bessarabia, Germany stressed its lack of interest in this issue. (Felshtinsky Yu. Dashichev V.: The following is to be announced: USSR-Germany, 1939-1941 (Documents and materials). Moscow worker. M., 1991. C. 43.).
The division of spheres of influence in Eastern Europe between the USSR and Germany in 1939-1940.
It should be noted that the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty was by no means the first treaty containing secret agreements on the division of spheres of influence. Thus, the aforementioned secret Japanese-American agreement 1905, known as the Katsura-Taft agreement, demarcated the interests of Japan and the United States in the Far East (Japan established a protectorate over Korea, and the Philippines remained a US influence zone). This once again shows that neither the Soviet-German non-aggression pact, nor its secret protocol, are unprecedented in the history of international relations. In terms of coordinating the geopolitical interests of the parties, the division of spheres of influence in Eastern Europe between the Soviet Union and Germany was a logical step.
The history of the publication of the Secret Additional Protocol deserves close attention. This document was first published in 1948. in the collection of the US State Department “Nazi-Soviet Relations. 1939-1941 years. The publication caused a wide public response and for a number of researchers served as the basis for comparing Soviet foreign policy with the Third Reich policy and accusing the USSR of unleashing World War II. We will return to the consequences of the treaty; here we note that the secret protocol was used as an ideological weapon in the cold war.
In the USSR, the question of the Soviet-German treaty and secret protocol was raised during Perestroika (before this, the existence of a secret protocol was denied). 24 December 1989. At the Congress of People's Deputies of the USSR, the existence of a secret protocol was recognized. The basis was the conclusions of a special commission headed by Alexander Yakovlev, secretary of the CPSU Central Committee. According to the findings of this commission, despite the absence of the original, a secret protocol existed. The resolution of the same congress condemned the protocol. The author’s task is not to find out how convincing the evidence was of a special commission, however, the activity of A. Yakovlev, the “architect” and “foreman” of perestroika, makes it possible to treat the recognition of the existence of a protocol as the fulfillment of a political order to denigrate national history.
Alexander Yakovlev - “foreman” of perestroika; one of the main falsifiers and detractors of national history.
It is also worth noting that only Soviet and German documents were declassified from documents relating to the international relations of those days. English documents are classified to 2017, and the United States does not indicate the time limit.
The value of the Soviet-German non-aggression pact 1939 year.
To understand the significance of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty, we must first take into account the reaction of the leading world powers of that time.
In London and Paris, the signing of this treaty had the effect of a bombshell. “The reproaches and accusations in London and Paris against the two-faced Stalin were loud and angry,” writes William Shearer. “For many years, the Soviet despot loudly condemned the“ fascist beasts ”and called upon peace-loving states to unite in order to stop the Nazi aggression. Now he turned into her accomplice.
... About Stalin’s cynical secret deal with Hitler with the aim of dividing Poland and obtaining freedom of arms to absorb Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Bessarabia, no one knew outside of Berlin and Moscow, but it would soon become obvious thanks to Soviet actions and shocking many countries of the world now" (From Munich to Tokyo Bay: A View from the West on the tragic pages of the history of the Second World War: Translation. / Comp. E.Ya. Troyanovskaya. - M .: Politizdat, 1992. C. 78.).
Winston Churchill echoes the American historian: “Only totalitarian despotism in both countries could decide on such odious unnatural act” (Churchill U. World War II. M .: Voenizdat, 1991. T. 1. C. 119.).
The negative attitude of Western historians and statesmen to the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty is understandable, if you remember what policies these countries pursued during 1933-1939. in relation to Hitler's Germany, and what she eventually led.
From the content of the non-aggression treaty articles, it becomes clear that in the near future the war between the USSR and Germany, which the Great Britain, France and the United States counted on, ignored Hitler’s violations of the Versailles Treaty, financed the economy of the Third Reich and surrendered to him for position after position. This meant that the multi-path geopolitical combination of the Allies (the leading role in the implementation of which was played by the policies of Albion) eventually led to the re-establishment of Germany as their geopolitical rival. Moreover, they actually recreated this opponent with their own hands and on their heads.
In addition, in the event of aggravation of relations with Western countries, Hitler could fearlessly turn to face them, since now in the event of war with these countries, the Soviet Union will not support them and will take a very convenient position of non-intervention. That is, to fight with much stronger to 1939g. Third Reich will have on their own.
Thus, the entire foreign policy line of the Allies was crossed out by the signing of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty. As Winston Churchill writes, “the fact that such an agreement was possible marks the depth of the failure of British and French politics and diplomacy over several years.” (Churchill U. World War II. M .: Voenizdat, 1991. T. 1. C. 119.).
In the new situation, politicians in London and Paris needed to quickly decide which foreign policy to adhere to now: seriously fight with Germany or still try to turn Germany’s expansion to the east in order to return it to its former direction.
The treaty made no less impression on Japan, because at the time of signing the treaty between the Soviet-Mongolian and Japanese troops, there were fighting on the Khalkhin-Gol River, which ended in the encirclement and defeat of the Japanese group. In this situation, Japan, as Germany’s partner in the Anti-Comintern Pact, had every reason to count on support. Instead, Germany entered into a non-aggression pact with the USSR, which provoked a protest from Japanese Foreign Minister Arita Hatiro and eventually led to a government crisis in Japan, which resulted in August 28, 1939. the Japanese government, led by Kiichiro Hiranuma, who was a supporter of the joint Japanese-German war against the USSR, resigned. The new Japanese government Abe decided to sign an armistice agreement on September 15, 1939, and on April 13, 1941. and conclude a Soviet-Japanese neutrality pact altogether.
As for another of the countries participating in the Anti-Comintern Pact - Italy, Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini reacted positively to the conclusion of the non-aggression treaty:
“As for the agreement with Russia, I approve of its full rapprochement between Germany and Russia, which is necessary to prevent the encirclement of their democracies.” (Felshtinsky Yu. Dashichev V.: The following is to be announced: USSR-Germany, 1939-1941 (Documents and Materials). Moscow Worker. M., 1991. C. 47-48.).
What benefits did the contracting parties themselves get: Germany and the USSR?
For Germany, the signing of a non-aggression treaty meant the division of spheres of influence in Eastern Europe and, consequently, the possibility of seizing Poland, which became 1939 in March. hostile to the Third Reich state, without fear of military intervention of the USSR. In addition, in the event that Britain and France declare war, the non-intervention of the Soviet Union gave Germany the opportunity to use the main forces on the western front without fear of a stab in the back.
For the Soviet Union non-aggression pact 1939g. also had a number of positive points:
- The signing of a non-aggression treaty made it possible for the time being to avoid a war with Germany and remain aloof from the war (the very position of non-intervention that Britain and France wanted to take).
- Change the direction of expansion of Japan. Under the impression of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty, Japan began to consider the southern direction a priority.
- The non-aggression treaty demarcated the spheres of influence in Eastern Europe and made it possible to return part of the territories that were lost by the Russian Empire after the First World War and the Civil War almost unhindered.
- The trade agreement concluded on 20 in August was the undoubted success of the Soviet Union, as it made it possible to purchase the latest technological equipment, paying for it with raw materials.
Consequences of the Soviet-German non-aggression pact 1939 year.
The events that followed the signing of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty showed that under the conditions of the new reality, the politicians of Albion did not have enough flexibility to radically restructure their foreign policy line. This is clearly demonstrated by the so-called Strange War - a declaration of war in the actual absence of hostilities (with the exception of hostilities at sea).
1 September 1939. Germany attacked Poland. Under the terms of the Anglo-Polish alliance, the United Kingdom pledged to provide military assistance to Poland in the event of war with Germany. This assistance was all the more necessary since, shortly after the start of the war, Poland’s situation became critical: by September 9 1939. German troops approached Warsaw.
However, declaring war on Germany 3 on September 1939, Great Britain and France did not undertake any significant military actions, with the exception of the war at sea, the Saar offensive on land and "truth raids" in the air - British bombers bombarded Germany with propaganda leaflets (From Munich to Tokyo Bay: A look from the West at the tragic pages of the history of the Second World War: Translation. / Comp. E.Ya. Troyanovskaya. M .: Politizdat, 1992. From 82.). The only combat operation of the British Air Force was a raid on Wilhelmshaven - the Kriegsmarine base, which was carried out on September 4. Meanwhile, the Polish army was quickly defeated. 1939 September the Polish government fled the country. September 17 fell Warsaw, and October October 28 capitulated the last units of the Polish army.
However, there was no change on the western front. The French army and the English expeditionary force continued to maintain their former positions, without taking any offensive actions. And despite the fact that the main part of the Wehrmacht at that time was on the eastern front, and the second-class units located on the so-called "Siegfried Line" had a supply of ammunition for the 3 of the day (From Munich to Tokyo Bay: A look from the West at the tragic pages of the history of the Second World War: Translation. / Comp. E.Ya. Troyanovskaya. M .: Politizdat, 1992. From 85.).
The raid on Wilhelmshaven is one of the few Allied operations during the "strange war".
It is significant that if Western historians and statesmen somehow try to explain the “policy of appeasement” by “disunity”, “isolation” and “timidity”, then the “phenomenon” of the Strange War is still considered inexplicable. Although in fact there is nothing inexplicable here: The strange war was an imitation of hostilities to persuade Hitler to return to the old foreign policy line that he adhered to during the 1933-1939gg period, up to the conclusion of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty. Especially since after the partition of Poland, Germany and the USSR finally had a common border.
However, by 1939g. Germany's capabilities already allowed Hitler to play his game (as can be seen from the March crisis of 1939). The conclusion of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty allowed him after the end of the Polish campaign to transfer troops to the western front, without fear of a stab in the back. However, in his speech from October 6 1939. Hitler proposes the convening of a peace conference, which will bring together representatives of all major powers to resolve the existing contradictions in Europe. But even after this undertaking failed, and the first term of the attack on France was assigned to 12 on November 1939, Hitler constantly underwent the onset of attacks a total of 20 times under various pretexts. As a result, active hostilities on the western front began on May 10. 1940. Their result was the capitulation of France 22 June 1940, signed in Compiègne. Thus, the Allied foreign policy led France to a national catastrophe and significantly worsened the position of Great Britain, which by the middle of 1940. had to fight with Germany alone.
Dunkirk, 1940. After the evacuation of the English Expeditionary Force.
At the same time, while in the West there was a strange war, the Soviet Union successfully solved its geopolitical tasks. 17 September 1939. Soviet troops entered the territory of Eastern Poland. September 28 between the USSR and Germany signed an agreement on friendship and border, delimiting the zone of influence of the parties in Poland. In November of the same year, limited contingents of Soviet troops were introduced into the territory of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with the permission of their authorities. The final accession of the Baltic countries to the USSR took place in 1940.
In this case, it is appropriate to talk about accession. In fact, the “annexation” of the Baltic countries, which the leaders of these countries so much like to recall, was the return to the USSR of territories that were lost by the Russian Empire during the First World War and the Civil War. In addition, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had a number of ports necessary for the deployment of the Baltic fleet; otherwise, the territory of these states could be used to deploy the forces of the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine. Thus, the territorial expansion of the Soviet Union was caused by specific geopolitical considerations.
The situation was similar with Poland. Emerged on the ruins of the Russian and German empires, this state during the Soviet-Polish war 1919-1921. under the terms of the Riga Peace Treaty 1921. included in its territory the lands of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. The return of these territories to the Soviet Union made it possible to significantly move the border to the west. Bessarabia is in 1918g. was annexed by Romania, which, like Poland, took advantage of the Russian Civil War. Bessarabian Protocol, signed on October 28 1920. in Paris, recognized the accession of Bessarabia to Romania legal. At the same time, the RSFSR did not participate in the signing of this agreement, and the decision on the accession of Bessarabia to Romania was made without it.
Like Poland and Romania, Finland pursued a similar policy during the Civil War, repeatedly attempting to seize Eastern Karelia. Under the terms of the Tartu Peace Treaty, on October 14 from 1920, in the north of Finland, the Pechenga Territory and part of the Rybachy Peninsula were transferred; in response, the Finns refused claims to Eastern Karelia. At the same time, the border between the two countries passed in 30 km from Leningrad. The desire to push the border away from Leningrad and was due to the Soviet-Finnish (Winter) War 1939-1940, during which this task was accomplished. Thus, all territorial acquisitions of the USSR in the period 1939-1941. were not caused by “aggression” or “thirst for world domination”, but by quite specific geopolitical interests. It is worth noting that these acquisitions were made possible thanks to the Soviet-German non-aggression pact 1939. It is worth noting that, with the exception of the Winter War, the territorial expansion of the USSR was not condemned by the world community. Here is what Winston Churchill wrote about this:
“In favor of the Soviets, it must be said that it was vital for the Soviet Union to push as far as possible west to the original positions of the German armies, so that the Russians could gain time and could gather forces from all ends of their colossal empire. The minds of the Russians with a hot iron imprinted the catastrophes that suffered their armies in the 1914 year, when they launched an offensive against the Germans before they had finished mobilizing. And now their borders were much east than during the first war. They needed to occupy the Baltic states and most of Poland by force or deceit before they were attacked. If their policies were coldly calculated, then they were also highly realistic at that moment. ” (Churchill U. World War II. M .: Voenizdat, 1991. T. 1. C. 120.). In spite of future researchers, the British statesman recognizes the expediency of the foreign policy of the Soviet Union.
At the same time, the negative attitude of Western historians to the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty is due precisely to the benefits that the Soviet Union and Germany received when signing it and the disadvantages that Great Britain and France received. Therefore, they made a number of attempts to discredit this treaty. In particular, it was suggested that the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty led to the breakdown of the formation of a united anti-fascist front, unleashed Hitler’s hands and thus allowed him to start a war. However, the above facts suggest that this version is not true.
The Second World War did not start because of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The Second World War was the result of the policies that the leading Western countries pursued in relation to Germany in the period of 1933-1939, and deliberately carried out. No “united anti-fascist front” in 1939. There was no trace, because the creation of the anti-Hitler coalition was not part of the plans of the Western countries. This confirms both the “policy of appeasement” and the Moscow talks in the summer of 1939. The goal of Britain and France was to leave the Soviet Union in international isolation and not allow it to reach an agreement with Germany. In this case, after the seizure of Poland, the two hostile states would have a common border, without having any agreements. If we consider that even after the conclusion of the non-aggression pact, England did not render Poland any real assistance, it is logical to assume that in the absence of such a treaty, assistance would not have been rendered even more likely.
The actions of the Soviet Union were aimed at determining the choice of an ally. To this end, negotiations were conducted with both parties. Stalin agreed to Ribbentrop’s arrival only when it finally became clear that it would not be possible to reach concrete mutually binding agreements with Britain and France. It is important to understand that these events took place during the fighting on Halkin-Gol, and the threat of conflict with the countries of the Anti-Comintern Pact was real. In the light of the above, the signing of a non-aggression pact with Germany and the delineation of interests in Eastern Europe fully corresponded to the geopolitical interests of the USSR.
As for the "proximity of totalitarian regimes" and "kinship of souls of dictators," which also attempt to explain the conclusion of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty, these statements are designed to influence emotions and do not take into account a number of important facts. One of these facts is that in the West, Hitler was considered a "brazen aggressor" after the March 1939 crisis, when events went wrong. Characteristics of Hitler as a madman and a maniac appeared in Western historiography after World War II and were designed to justify the "policy of appeasement" and other unattractive facts. Before Hitler began his game, he was considered to be a fully respectable politician, just like the Nazi regime itself.. Nuremberg racial laws 1935g. did not interfere in 1936g. to hold the summer Olympiad in Berlin, and such Jewish pogroms 1938 as the Crystal Night did not prevent the American magazine “Time” from declaring Hitler the person of the year. Similarly, the use of chemical weapons by the Italian troops in Abyssinia in 1935. did not cause any sanctions from the international community, and the Nanking Massacre 1937. did not prevent the International Olympic Committee to invite Japan to hold the 1940 Olympiad. in Tokyo.
Adolf Hitler is the person of the year according to Time magazine (the only issue in which the chosen person is not depicted on the cover).
Allegations that "Stalin believed Hitler," and so on, are also untenable. The conclusion of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty did not affect the further increase in the Red Army and the mass production of military equipment. Hitler's statements about wanting to make peace with France and England, the actual amnesty of the English expeditionary corps under Dunkirk and the collapse of Operation Sea Lion showed that the turn of the Third Reich’s foreign policy was temporary, and Germany remains a potential opponent of the Soviet Union.
The task of this work does not include an analysis of the causes of the 22 tragedy of June 1941. However, it is important to note that until the very beginning of the war the situation remained extremely confusing. Back in 1939, after the conclusion of the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty, the military-political leadership of Britain and France did not rule out the outbreak of hostilities against the USSR (see the documentary “Black Blood”). In particular, air strikes were planned on the Baku oil fields, but after the defeat of France, these plans had to be put aside. Britain’s refusal to make peace with Germany and (together with the United States) Soviet support during the Great Patriotic War was due to the fact that after the defeat of France, Germany was becoming too strong. The existence of the Third Reich, the sphere of influence of which now covered Western, Northern and Central Europe, did not correspond to British geopolitical interests. Therefore, after 22 Jun 1941g. Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, Britain and the United States took the side of the latter.
It is noteworthy that the Americans and the British did not immediately provide real assistance. The first convoy with military equipment arrived in Arkhangelsk only on October 12 1941, when the situation of the Soviet Union was critical. At the same time, the assistance was not free of charge and was paid in advance by the Soviet side. As for the opening of a second front in Europe in 1944, this operation was not due to the desire to help the USSR and end the war as soon as possible, but to the fear that the Red Army would make Central and Western Europe a zone of influence of the Soviet Union.
In any case, the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty of 1939. It is not the cause of the outbreak of World War II and the disaster of 1941. Germany’s attack on the Soviet Union was due to the fact that Hitler could not abandon the idea of conquering living space in the east; contrary to common sense, he started a war on two fronts, about the death of which he himself wrote, and which ultimately turned Germany from a contender for world leadership into a secondary state. As for the Soviet-German non-aggression treaty of 1939, he not only redirected the aggression of Germany (albeit temporarily) and Japan, but also allowed him to gain time, return a number of territories, and also receive a number of economic benefits. And most importantly, the Soviet-German non-aggression pact completely erased the scenario of the Second World War planned by Western countries, eventually forcing them to fight against the geopolitical rival that they themselves recreated in the person of Germany. This agreement was an unconditional victory for Soviet diplomacy.
So is it worth it to repent of defending their geopolitical interests?
31 August 2013
31 August 2013