The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, – review | Books | The Guardian
Adolf Hitler was dictator for Germany and Joseph Stalin was dictator for Soviet Union. Both countries were very powerful and highly centralized. After Nazi Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia, Britain had to decide to what extent it would intervene should Hitler continue German. Within days Hitler invaded Poland, starting World War II. The pact between Hitler and Stalin that paved the way for World War II was signed.
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.
Relationship between Adolf Hitler and Joeseph Stalin by Troy Proffitt on Prezi
It also gave him the chance to expand the Soviet Union to include parts of the old Russian empire of pre-revolutionary times. Moorhouse is right, therefore, to insist that for Stalin the pact was not merely defensive, though he goes too far when he claims it was a golden opportunity for the Soviet leader "to set the world-historical forces" of revolution in motion.
Moorhouse tells a good story and, though it has been told before, notably in Anthony Read and David Fisher's The Deadly Embracehe is able to add interesting new details. Yet for all its virtues this is a deeply problematic book. Page after page is devoted to a detailed description of the horrors inflicted by Stalin and his minions on the territories the pact allowed him to occupy, with mass arrests and deportatations, shootings, torture and expropriation.
Invasion of Poland and Soviet invasion of Poland One week after the Molotov—Ribbentrop Pact's signing, the partition of Poland commenced with the German invasion of western Poland.
Two weeks after the German invasion, the Soviet Union invaded eastern Polandcoordinating with German forces.
Nazi—Soviet economic relations — and German—Soviet Commercial Agreement Hitler's pressing for a German invasion of Poland in placed tremendous strain on the German war machine, which had been gradually gearing up for total war in or Nazi—Soviet economic relations — and German—Soviet Commercial Agreement In the summer ofGermany grew even more dependent on Soviet imports.
The suspension created significant resource problems for Germany. German officials indicated that they would be willing to give the Soviet Union freedom to operate east of the Dardanelles. The pact contained an explicit provision Article 5 stating that it did not concern relations with the Soviet Union. Roosevelt won the presidential election four days later after promising there would be no foreign wars were he elected, Goebbels noted "after his statement, Roosevelt will hardly be able to enter the war in an active capacity.
The beginning of the end has now arrived for the British empire. This is no military problem at all.
German–Soviet Axis talks
Stalin did not play an active role in the October Revolution that elevated the Bolsheviks to power. He held this post until when he became General Secretary of the party.
It was a seemingly insignificant position that no other leading Bolsheviks wanted — however it allowed Stalin to build a power base by recruiting allies and appointing them to government positions. By the death of Lenin inStalin wielded significant power at the highest levels and was in a position to push for control of the party. Stalin was a ruthless and often cruel personality, obsessed with the idea that those around him were plotting his downfall.
To hinder these threats and enforce his will, Stalin placed himself at the centre of a cult of personality. Propaganda and Soviet culture portrayed him as the saviour of Russia: Stalin expanded Soviet secret police agencies, setting up a global network of agents and spies to report both on domestic opponents and the intentions of other nations. Within Russia, he instigated purges and show trials to eradicate potential opponents.
Unlike Hitler, Stalin did not preach racial and national intolerance openly.
The Devils' Alliance: Hitler's Pact with Stalin, 1939-1941 – review
In public, he spoke of friendship and equality between peoples. Hitler enjoyed the loyalty of his subordinates; Stalin motivated support through arbitrary terror.
Hitler never brought Germany to a position of autarky; in Russia Stalin began to achieve it. Either we do it, or they will crush us. These programs brought rapid progress — but also significant death and suffering.