Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Molotov-Ribbentrop 2

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Molotov-Ribbentrop 2

    Stalin’s expansionist designs blocked signing of second Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty EUROMAIDAN PRESS 2015/11/16

    Seventy-five years ago this weekend, Vyacheslav Molotov left Berlin without the second Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty Moscow and Berlin had sought (and that would have contained a second set of “secret protocols”) because Hitler refused to agree to the Soviet annexation of Finland and Moscow’s expansion into the Balkans and Turkey.

    That made war between the two totalitarian dictatorships inevitable, Boris Sokolov, a member of Moscow’s Free Historical Society, says, and that outcome, the result of unrestrained greed on the part of both, provides an object lesson to and about those who “strive for expansion” now.

    During the Soviet foreign minister’s visit to Berlin, Hitler and Ribbentrop proposed that the USSR join the axis and that they sign a second “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact” which formally would commit the members to respecting “the natural spheres of influence of each other” and secretly define Moscow’s focus away from Europe and toward the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea.

    Moreover, Hitler told Molotov that the Soviet Union did not need to do anything to get conquests in those areas because they could simply wait until Germany had defeated the United Kingdom and then would parcel out its empire to others, including to the USSR.

    Speaking for Stalin, Sokolov continues, Molotov said that the USSR was prepared to join the Axis but for that to happen, Moscow required that Germany pull its forces out of Finland and “permit the USSR to occupy this country,” end its guarantees of territorial integrity to Romania, and transfer Bulgaria to the Soviet sphere of influence.

    But perhaps most important, the Moscow writer says, Molotov required that Hitler agree to “the establishment of Soviet control over the Black Sea straits and the establishment of a [Soviet] naval base there. These demand were included “in the draft agreement among the USSR, Germany, Japan and Italy” that Molotov gave the German ambassador in Moscow.

    That document, Sokolov continues, also added another Russian demand that Germany recognize as part of the Soviet sphere of influence “’from the south of Batumi and Baku in the general direction toward the Persian Gulf,’ which would include within it Turkey and Iran.”

    Germany did not respond to this note, as Moscow almost certainly must have known it would not, the Free History Society writer says. “Already in Berlin,” he points out, “Hitler had categorically opposed a new war of Stalin against Finland, having indicated the importance for Germany of quiet in the Baltic region.”

    Hitler added that he would agree to the transfer of Bulgaria to Moscow’s sphere of influence only if Sofia agreed, something that wasn’t likely to happen. And as far as Turkey was concerned, the Nazi leader was prepared only to modify the Montreux Conventions on the use of the straits in the Soviet Union’s favor.

    After this, Sokolov argues, “a Soviet-German war became inevitable in the next few months,” something that memoirs and archival documents from both countries make clear. Both began preparing for attacks on one another. “Hitler didn’t trust Stalin… just as Stalin did not trust Hitler.”

    “What might have happened had Stalin and Molotov accepted the proposal of Hitler and Ribbentrop? It is likely that then Hitler would not have immediately attacked the USSR but shifted the axis of attack of the Luftwaffe to the Mediterranean and send there several of his best tank and motorized rifle divisions.”

    “But,” Sokolov argues, the German leader “would have lever the main part of his land army in the east in the event of a Soviet attack.”

    Had Stalin agreed to join the Axis, “the Soviet dictator would have had the chance to strike first, but he decided to play for larger stakes hoping that for his positive neutrality, Hitler would conceded Finland, Bulgaria and Turkey.” But from Hitler’s perspective, “such concessions had not sense.”

    “The Soviet occupation of Finland would have created a threat to Sweden from which iron ore, something vitally important for the Reich’s industries, came.” And making concessions to Stalin in the Balkans would call into question Hitler’s ability to pursue his plans in the Mediterranean theater.

    In this way, Sokolov concludes,“the expansion which the two dictators sought led to a bloody war. The Nazi Reich died, but even the Soviet Union, while remaining among the victors, lost millions of its residents and was so weakened that it could not long hold on to the territories it had acquired.”

    That is something that anyone thinking about expanding the borders of his country now should be reflecting upon. Stalin’s expansionist designs blocked signing of second Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty -- EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

    æ, !

    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

  • #2
    Five lessons for today from the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
    EUROMAIDAN PRESS

    https://i0.wp.com/euromaidanpress.co...oriz.jpg?w=486
    Beaming Stalin supervising the signing of the so-called Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact dividing Poland between Hitler's regime and his own, Aug 23, 1939. From left to right: Richard Schulze-Kossens, Waffen-SS officer; Boris Shaposhnikov, Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army; Alexey Shkvarzev, Soviet Ambassador in Germany; Joachim von Ribbentrop, German Minister of Foreign Affairs; Vyacheslav Molotov, Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs (sitting); Joseph Stalin, Soviet dictator; Vladimir Pavlov, First Secretary of the Soviet embassy in Germany (Image: TASS)

    Below is the text of a talk that was read out for me on August 23, 2018 at a conference in Tallinn on the 79th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of August 23, 1939.

    Some anniversaries are marked because they are so important historically that one cannot understand the present without returning to them. Others are commemorated because they contain lessons that remain important for today. Marking the anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of August 23, 1939, is about both. The world would not be in the shape in which it is were it not for that horrific deal by two dictators 79 years ago:

    -- Without that now long-ago accord, there would not have been the war in Europe at least in the shape that it took,
    -- The Baltic countries would not have been occupied for so long, and
    -- The Soviet Union wouldn’t have lasted and then fallen apart as it did.

    Those consequences are so obvious that it seems to me that I can make a bigger contribution to our discussions here by focusing instead on the lessons of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact for the world today. I want to offer five, not because there are not others but rather in the hopes that no one will ignore these lessons and thus act in ways that will have some equally or even more negative consequences to that agreement between Hitler and Stalin, a possibility many dismiss because they believe that since we no longer live in “the age of dictators” and therefore cannot possibly act in ways resemble what they did.

    https://i1.wp.com/euromaidanpress.co...size=950%2C797
    David Low named his political cartoon describing the German-Russian invasion of Poland that started the WW2 – “Rendezvous.” The cartoon depicts a meeting by the two allied Nazi-Soviet dictators over the corpse of a Polish defender. Hitler says to Stalin while smiling, lifting his hat and bowing: “The Scum of the Earth, I believe?” and Stalin responds to him “The Bloody Assassin of the Workers, I presume?” while smiling, bowing and lifting his in kind. The secret agreement on the division of Poland that was part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was not yet known, but nonetheless, Low recognized what happened and drew it in this work. (Image: The Evening Standard (UK), September 20, 1939 issue)

    The first lesson is that open covenants must be openly arrived at. The pernicious quality of Molotov-Ribbentrop was its secret protocols that divided Europe between Hitler and Stalin. In fact, Germany and the USSR already had a friendship accord and the formal part of Molotov-Ribbentrop did nothing to add to its provisions. It was the secret protocols that are the center of what the two dictators did, and they agreed to those precisely because they were secret, the basis for action but not for discussion.

    It is often observed that democracies do not go to war against each other. That isn’t strictly true. But it is the case that democracies require a public process that generally but not always precludes the kind of secret deals dictators can and as in 1939 do make. Had there not been any secret protocols to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, one of two things would have happened: Either there would have been extreme difficulties in both Germany and the Soviet Union in accepting the pact or there would have been a wave of Western revulsion that would have led to action before Hitler and Stalin could begin the war by carving up Poland.

    Unfortunately, today, there are both dictators and democrats who think that the only way to achieve breakthroughs is via secret diplomacy; and consequently, there is a great danger of new secret agreements that will have negative consequences. Those who remember Molotov-Ribbentrop should be on the front lines in opposing that kind of negotiation, that kind of agreement, and that kind of risk.

    https://i0.wp.com/euromaidanpress.co...size=800%2C589
    German (L) and Soviet (R) commanders in Poland discuss the Soviet-Nazi demarcation on a map of the conquered country in September 1939. At the time, German troops advanced farther than was agreed in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and had to cede the extra territory to the Soviets.

    The second lesson of Molotov-Ribbentrop is one that has long been enshrined in Baltic thinking: nothing about us without us. Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians insisted in their drive to the recovery of their independence that no deals should be made about them without their participation. Molotov-Ribbentrop would have been impossible if the countries most affected by it had been present during the talks. But they weren’t: they were cast as pawns and victims rather than participants. And the consequences were disastrous.

    Unfortunately, again, there are many in the world today who think that the proper way to get agreement about difficult cases is for the big powers to meet and make decisions about others without the participation of the latter be it about Ukraine, Syria or anywhere else. It is of course the case that the great powers have a responsibility to take decisions but they have an equal responsibility to ensure that they do not try to do so over the heads of those about whom they are making such decisions. That is something Vladimir Putin wants everyone to forget, and tragically, there are all too many ambitious or fearful leaders in the West who are willing to go along.

    The third lesson of Molotov-Ribbentrop is that no border changes are permissible without the agreement of all parties concerned. Hitler and Stalin assumed that they could change borders with impunity. History at great cost showed them to be wrong: Hitler lost his war, and Stalin’s heirs lost much of their empire and will in time lose the rest as well. The age of empires is over. But unfortunately, the age of imperialism and the imperial temptation is not.

    https://i2.wp.com/euromaidanpress.co...size=960%2C653
    T-26 tanks of the Soviet 29th Tank Brigade enter Brest. On the left – German motorcyclists and Wehrmacht officers next to Opel Olympia car, Sept. 22, 1939 (Image: Bundesarchiv)

    æ, !

    Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

    Comment


    • #3
      Five lessons Pt 2



      In the last decade, we have seen Moscow change the borders in Georgia and change the borders in Ukraine unilaterally and by military force alone. Many people are now saying that the West simply has to accept this because Moscow will never back down. But again Molotov-Ribbentrop contains a lesson: It sparked American non-recognition policy, a policy that remained in place for 50 years, giving hope to the citizens of the three occupied Baltic countries and ultimately helping them recover their independence de facto and establish a post-occupation future de jure.

      US non-recognition policy, which had its roots in the Stimson Doctrine of 1930, remains the right way to go even if it isn’t going to lead to quick results. As Loy Henderson pointed out in his classic memorandum, the US can’t recognize aggression by anyone regardless of their status with regard to Washington on any other issues.

      The fourth lesson of Molotov-Ribbentrop is that in the world today, citizenship, not ethnicity, is the paramount value. Underlying the policies of both Hitler and Stalin was a view that nationality, German or Russian, was more important than the citizenship of others. That led to the 1939 accord and that led to war. In many ways, the founding principle of the United Nations was that citizenship always takes precedence over ethnicity: otherwise, the world will remain in conflict forever.

      https://i0.wp.com/euromaidanpress.co...size=800%2C558
      German general Heinz Guderian and Soviet brigade commander Semion Krivosheyin during the transfer of Brest to Red Army troops. Front – Horch 901 Typ 40, Sept. 22, 1939 (bundesarchiv.de)

      In the last decade, we have seen Moscow change the borders in Georgia and change the borders in Ukraine unilaterally and by military force alone. Many people are now saying that the West simply has to accept this because Moscow will never back down. But again Molotov-Ribbentrop contains a lesson: It sparked American non-recognition policy, a policy that remained in place for 50 years, giving hope to the citizens of the three occupied Baltic countries and ultimately helping them recover their independence de facto and establish a post-occupation future de jure.

      US non-recognition policy, which had its roots in the Stimson Doctrine of 1930, remains the right way to go even if it isn’t going to lead to quick results. As Loy Henderson pointed out in his classic memorandum, the US can’t recognize aggression by anyone regardless of their status with regard to Washington on any other issues.
      The fourth lesson of Molotov-Ribbentrop is that in the world today, citizenship, not ethnicity, is the paramount value. Underlying the policies of both Hitler and Stalin was a view that nationality, German or Russian, was more important than the citizenship of others. That led to the 1939 accord and that led to war. In many ways, the founding principle of the United Nations was that citizenship always takes precedence over ethnicity: otherwise, the world will remain in conflict forever.

      https://i0.wp.com/euromaidanpress.co...size=800%2C558
      German general Heinz Guderian and Soviet brigade commander Semion Krivosheyin during the transfer of Brest to Red Army troops. Front – Horch 901 Typ 40, Sept. 22, 1939 (bundesarchiv.de)

      Tragically, many in the world today have forgotten that. Putin has elevated Russian ethnicity over the citizenship of people in Ukraine, Georgia and elsewhere, and other countries focus on co-ethnics or co-religionists abroad as if they had special rights with regard to them. The settlement of 1945 held that this was wrong. And Molotov-Ribbentrop is again a useful reminder that citizenship and the countries on which it is based must be respected rather than ignored. If it isn’t, then the world will again enter a very dark time.
      And the fifth lesson of the 1939 pact is that might does not make right. For most of human history, those who had the power made the rules and ignored the rules when it suited them. But beginning in 1648 and in fits and starts since then, the world has moved toward one based on rules and laws. Molotov-Ribbentrop was an effort to turn back the clock, to go back to a world where the strong imposed their will on the less strong. Ultimately, that sparked a revulsion which led to the destruction of the systems of the two leaders who signed that agreement.

      But today, there are many who say that in an increasingly chaotic world, realism requires deferring to the strong rather than following the rules. That attitude affects not only dictators like Putin but authoritarians like Donald Trump. They too want to turn back the clock, to go back to a world in which their countries did what they wanted because they could, not because they had any right to do so.

      Consequently, I want to congratulate those who convened this conference not only because it is important to remember the history of Molotov-Ribbentrop but because it is even more important to remember its lessons, lessons that have never been more important than they are now. Five lessons for today from the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

      æ, !

      Hannia - Hania - Mighthelp

      Comment

      Working...
      X