Nazi-Soviet Pact 1939
The Nazi-Soviet Pact (sometimes called the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact after the respective foreign ministers) was signed on 28 August 1939. This pact was officially a non-aggression treaty between Russia and Germany. In signing the treaty Hitler was precluding the risk of war on two fronts, which had compromised Germany during the First World War. Secretly, the pact also divided Poland between the two protagonists, thus clearing Hitler's path for the invasion of Poland. The treaty was a strategic move on Stalin's part also; it was his attempt to protect his western border from German aggression by creating a buffer zone in Poland.
Cartoon item: DL1568
Stalin's half of Europe
Peace on Earth with knobs on
Hitler's half of Europe
To Adolf Communists in the West
To Joe Nazis in the East
From August 1939 until June 1941 Hitler and Stalin were ostensibly working together. The Molotov-Ribbentrop (Nazi-Soviet) Pact had originally secretly agreed to divide Poland between these two powers, and it also divided much of Europe into Soviet and Nazi spheres of interest. This provided HItler with the opportunity to advance Eastwards, pursuing his goal of lebensraum without contradiction. In return, Stalin received an extension to communist interests westwards.
- Hitler; Adolf (1889-1945)[more]Born in Austria. Politician and leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party). He served as German chancellor from 1933-1945 and head of state (Fuhrer) from 1934-1945. He established a single-party dictatorship based on the totalitarian and autocratic ideals of national socialism. He gained support for his views on German nationalism, anti-Semitism, anti-capitalism and anti-communism through his impassioned speeches and propaganda. He wanted to establish a New Order of absolute rule in Europe and pursued a policy of seizing land by force for the Aryan people.
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