Felix Dyrek Investigation The Nazi – Soviet Pact: Why did Stalin make a Pact with Hitler rather than an Alliance with Britain?A. Plan of the InvestigationThe aim of this investigation is to find out why Joseph Stalin made a pact with Adolf Hitler ofGermany rather than an alliance with Great Britain in the 1930s. The investigation will coverthe aspects of the Nazi – Soviet Pact, such as the causes that led to the creation of it. I alsowant to research the advantages and disadvantages for both Stalin and Hitler when theysigned the agreement and also to explore the reasons why Stalin didn’t make an alliance withBritain. I would further like to investigate Stalins political motives for accepting the Nazi-Soviet Pact and thoughts of both leaders.B. Summary of EvidenceThe Nazi-Soviet Pact: The Nazi – Soviet Pact was signed on August 23, 1939 and its aim was to take care of relationsbetween Germany and the Soviet Union. The aim of the pact was to guarantee peace between both ofthese countries. It consisted of an official version and an unacknowledged secret protocol. The secretprotocol became known by other nations by 1945. The official commencement clause was mainly a peace treaty where both countries agreed not toaffiliate with any country which was at war with the contractual partner. Conflicts between thecontractual partners were agreed to be solved peacefully. The secret protocol divided territories betweenboth countries. This arrangement became valid in case of a territorial rearrangement of Polandand other Baltic countries as Finland, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. The pact was intended tobe intact for 10 years.The backgrounds of the Nazi-Soviet Pact: It had been evident by March 1939 that the relationship between Nazi Germany and theSoviet Union had become better than it was in the past. This was because of negotiations with theWestern powers had been terminated. The German ambassador to the USSR, Friedrich Werner von der Schulenburg, had planned atruthful peace treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union , which was supposed to solve theGerman – Polish conflict in a friendly way; however, Hitler was not interested. The contract with theUSSR was supposed to make sure that Polish territory would be taken over. His motives for thesettlement were power political motives. The USSR was to be neutral until the preparations forinvasion were made. The fear of war on Soviet territory made the USSR come into the Nazi –Soviet Pact, and it was also a chance for Stalin to extend Soviet territory.- Economical reasons: A trade convention was signed between Germany and the USSR in August 1938. Itwas the basis of a commercial agreement. The USSR was dependent on import of technology forthe large-scale offensive against Japan on August 28, 1939. Germany allowed a credit of 200million Reichsmark to the USSR, which was used to buy investment goods from theGermans. As a quid pro quo the USSR was obligated to deliver commodities worth 180million Reichsmark.
Felix Dyrek Hitlers power political deliberations: Hitlers most important strategic goal was freedom of action for the war against Polandand the Western powers. He never lost sight of the war against the USSR but he had to agreeto a pact with the communistic states in order to be able to defeat Poland and the Westernpowers. Hitlers decision to attack Poland was certain at the end of March in 1939. He wassure that Poland would strike him if he fought against the Western powers. The only way tofight against the Western powers was to conquer Poland before starting another war. Hepromised Stalin to support him in his war against Japan and also signed a trade agreement.Thanks to the pact signed with the USSR on August 23, 1939, Hitler felt ready for a militaryinvasion of Poland. Since the pact guaranteed that Germany could invade Poland alongsidethe Soviets, Hitler no longer had to worry about the USSR taking up arms and siding with thePolish. The pact also reassured Hitler that Polands western allies would be slow to help thecountry, since any hostile action against Germany would also mean war with the Soviets.C. Evaluation of Sources 1. Die Legende vom Hitler-Stalin-Pakt by Holger Michael (Book)This book analyzes the Nazi-Soviet-Pact of 1939 and its effects on wartime Europe. It shows a very indepth view of what happened behind closed door, during negotiations of German and Russiandignitaries. It was very interesting to read and also very detailed. I think that its worth buying thisbook because it actually contains all needed information about the pact and the secret protocol. Theauthor tried to show unknown facts and explain causal connections. He was successful inexplaining complicated facts and circumstances and simplifying the political motives for theleaders. 2. Der Hitler – Stalin Pakt by Jost von Morr (Documentation)The documentation „Der Hitler – Stalin Pakt“ by Jost von Morr was released in 1998. It isactually pretty interesting. It starts in August 1939 when Ribbentrop is on his way to Moskau .It is very detailed and informative even if its just a 45 minutes documentation. I would alsorecommend everyone who is interested in the Nazi – Soviet pact and its secret protocol towatch this movie.
Felix DyrekD. AnalysisStalin knew that Hitlers aim was to attack the USSR that’s why he wanted to ally with Britain.He invited the British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax to Russia but the negotiationsterminated and were not resumed. The British were terrified by the Russian Communism.Chamberline didn’t trust Stalin and he also believed that the Russians were to weak to beuseful in the war against Hitler. In August 1939 Hitler had sent one of his men to try to cometo terms with Stalin about a non-aggression treaty, which consisted of two parts. An officialone and a secret protocol., which split up territories of Poland, Finland, Latvia, Estonia andLithuania. between Stalin and Hitler and promised Stalin a credit of 200 million Reichsmark,which could be used to buy investment goods. Stalin decided to accept the contract.. He knewthat the British would never make such an offer and in case of an ally with Britain he wouldhave probably also had to go to war with Germany over Poland. It was the best solution forthe USSR. With his decision he bought time, because he knew that Hitler would also attackthe Soviets. He was hoping that the Germans would be weakened by the war over Poland. Hewas also hoping to reconstruct the boundary line from 1917 by conquering East-Poland. It isimprobable that Stalin would have attacked Poland without having signed the pact with Hitler.The polish army wasn’t weak during this time and was also supported by the British. He wasdependent on the Germans by weakening the Polish . So the pact was also a good deal forStalin. Hitler needed to expect that Britain would stick to the contractual commitments toPoland. His advantage of the pact with the Soviets was that he wouldn’t have to fight a twofront war after attacking Poland. When he invaded Poland the Soviets didn’t join the war and2 days later the British declared war and world war two had begun. Hitlers plan wassuccessful. The pact with Stalin was a economical and military collateralization for him. Hecould fight against the Western-Powers without being attacked by the USSR. It bought himtime to prepare a war against the Soviets. Stalin and Hitler trespassed against the law ofnations by signing the secret protocol. It was a means to an end for both. The Nazi-Sovietpact was only signed by Stalin because there was no support to expect from the Western-Powers. If Britain would have agreed to the ally with the USSR then there would have existeda strong ally against Nazi Germany but the fear of communism was stronger. The Western-Powers failed forming a strong ally and Hitler could perform his actions to gain more power.Stalin and Hitler haven’t seen the pact as a long term ally. It allowed them both to gain onpower before the final war between them would brake out. It was a contract between twototalitarian states, which allowed them to take huge power political and territorial profits.E. ConclusionI can conclude that the Nazi-Soviet-Pact has been a compulsory agreement for Stalin. He wantedto ally with Britain but the British feared him and the communism. I can not say if Hitler wouldhave attacked Poland or if Stalin would have risked to invade Poland without the Nazi-Soviet-Pact but the facts show that Stalin and Hitler cooperated and profited by these cooperation. Hitlerstarted the war and Stalin joined it and world war II broke out. I can say that the Western-Powersmissed an opportunity to stop Hitler before he was able to spread out his territory over Europe. Itwas a huge mistake not to ally with the USSR. The fear of the communism was bigger than thefear of Nazi-Germany. The political view of the world dilapidated the opportunity of forming anally, which would have been strong enough to defeat Hitler.
Felix DyrekF. List of Sources 1. Die Legende vom Hitler-Stalin-Pakt by Holger Michael 2. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutsch-sowjetischer_Nichtangriffspakt 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov%E2%80%93Ribbentrop_Pact 4. http://www.nazis.de/inidia/hitler-stalin-pakt.htm 5. Der Hitler – Stalin Pakt by Jost von Morr Name: Felix Dyrek Word Count : 1547