Tuesday, June 22, 2021

#OTD in 1941 the Stalin - Hitler Alliance ended when Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union

 "Fascism was the shadow or ugly child of communism… As Fascism sprang from Communism, so Nazism developed from Fascism. Thus were set on foot those kindred movements which were destined soon to plunge the world into more hideous strife, which none can say has ended with their destruction." - Winston Churchill, The Second World War, Volume 1, The Gathering Storm (1948)

Soviet and Nazi soldiers fraternize in Poland. Their alliance ended 80 years ago today

On August 23, 1939 the world was shocked to learn that Communist Russia and Nazi Germany had signed a non-aggression pact, the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. It was named after their respective foreign ministers, Vyacheslav Molotov and Joachim von Ribbentrop. Observers would have been even more horrified had they known of the secret protocols that divided Eastern Europe between the two totalitarian powers. What they called a "peace treaty" in reality was a war treaty.

On September 22, 1939 the German Nazi army joined with the Soviet Communist army in a military parade in Brest-Litovsk (Poland) and celebrated together.  

On March 5, 1940 Joseph Stalin ordered his secret police to execute 22,000 Polish army officers and civilians in 1940, and the order was carried out. 

Stalin deported hundreds of refugees to Nazi authorities. Most of them were German anti-fascists, communists, and Jews who were seeking asylum in the Soviet Union. 

Secret protocols of the Hitler-Stalin Pact not only partitioned Poland but also divided up Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland & Romania into Nazi and Soviet "spheres of influence."

This alliance ended on June 22, 1941 when Hitler double crossed Josef Stalin and launched Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union.     

"Stalin was shocked; he had received a plethora of warnings of an imminent invasion – notably from Winston Churchill, informed by British intelligence briefings. The communist dictator had refused to believe them," reported Agence France Press. Stalin refused to listen to Churchill, and had relied on Hitler's assurances. 

It is important to recall that for the first 18 months of WW2 that the Soviet Union was allied with Nazi Germany.  Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov in a October 31, 1939  speech spoke candidly about this alliance, and ridiculed its victims.

"The ruling circles of Poland boasted quite a lot about the ‘stability’ of their state and the ‘might’ of their army. However, one swift blow to Poland, first by the German Army and then by the Red Army, and nothing was left of this ugly offspring of the Versailles Treaty which had existed by oppressing non-Polish nationalities." 

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