Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact 1939

On this day: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union establish a secret non-aggression treaty

On this day: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union establish a secret non-aggression treaty – the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact (August 23rd 1939)

Gathered around a table, under the watchful eye of Joseph Stalin, the foreign ministers of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov, placed their signatures on a secret document outlining the intentions the two powers had over European ‘spheres of interest’. Territorial agreements would decide the future of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Romania. Although commonly known as the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact, this agreement was officially known as the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The two forces of National buy metformin 850 mg usa Socialism and Soviet Bolshevism were now aligned, having only just fought against each de-facto, aiding opposing sides in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).

As Russian revolutionary writer and exile Victor Serge would assert, the “midnight of the century” had arrived.

Nine days later, Nazi Germany invaded Poland, soon followed by the advance of Soviet forces. By October 6th 1939 the dismemberment of the entire Second Polish Republic was complete.

The Molotov Ribbentrop Pact would remain in force until two years later, with the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union – ‘Operation Barbarossa’. Although the British had declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939, it would take until 1941 for the Soviet Union to begin the ‘Great Patriotic War’ – as World War Two/the Second World War is known in Russia to this day.

That the two world powers of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union would choose to cooperate in 1939 and form a deadly alliance is often featured only as a footnote in contemporary history books. Precluding as it did the Allied configuration to fight Hitler’s regime, as the British and American forces found common ground with the Soviet Union.

To learn more about the relationship between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during the Second World War – have a look at our Third Reich Berlin Tours.

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