Over at Nooman’s increasingly bizarre ‘Socialist Unity’ blog, the unpleasant Stalinist and antisemite Jon Wight rehashes the standard Stalinist “explanation” for the Molotov – Ribbentrop non-aggression pact (aka the ‘Stalin-Hitler pact’), finally ended seventy years ago by Hitler’s ‘Operation Barbarossa’ invasion of the USSR.
“Under no illusions about the motives of the fascist dictator, the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact, signed two years earlier between both countries, wasn’t so much a pact cementing friendly relations between two rival powers as a temporary deferment of future hostilities. Soviet strategy in signing the pact was to buy the time necesssary to prepare for the inevitable war to come…”
In fact, the Pact was the only international agreement that Stalin never broke, and he consistently refused to believe NKVD and GRU (military intelligence) warnings that Hitler intended to invade in 1941.
Karl Dietricht Bracher’s ‘The German Dictatorship’ (Penguin, 1973) gives a rather more credible assessment:
“The union of interests of the two mortal enemies, celebrated with toasts by Stalin to Hitler and accompanied by the about-face of propaganda and the belief that dictatorships ‘do not have to pay heed to vacillating public opinion’ [Ribbentrop to Sculenburg 3 August 1939] was, at least on the part of Germany, totalitarian diplomacy of the purest water. Future war booty was distributed, complete turns could be made in a matter of hours, agreements could be torn up and new ones made. To be sure, there were reservations and dismay, not only in the German Foreign Office but also amongst National Socialists [ie Nazis -JD] and Communists…Yet Moscow’s unequivocal support of Htler’s aggression is no more justifiable than the West’s sacrifice of Czechoslovakia the years before. The Russian occupation of Eastern Poland and the invasion of Finland made it quite clear that an ‘aggression’ pact had been concluded. To Hitler, it broughty temporary protection; to Stalin, territorial gains and the prospect of the ‘inevitable’ internecine war of capitalism and its ‘fascist afterbirth’; to Poland, a death sentence: the fourth partition.”
Here’s what we at ‘Shiraz’ wrote on the seventieth anniversary of the Pact.
And here’s how the left-wing cartoonist Low depicted the Pact at the time:
(Above) Hitler: “The scum of the earth, I believe?”; Stalin: “The bloody assassin of the workers I presume?”