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Soviet Information Bureau, Moscow
(The Soviet Information Bureau (Sovinformburo) was created on the third day of the war, on June 24, 1941, by a directive of the Soviet Council of People’s Commissioners and the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party “to bring into the limelight international events, military developments, and day-to-day life through printed and broadcast media.)
The Isolation of the Soviet Union. The Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact
After the seizure of Czechoslovakia fascist Germany proceeded with her preparations for war quite openly, before the eyes of the whole world. Hitler, encouraged by Britain and France, no longer stood on ceremony or pretended to favor the peaceful settlement of European problems. The most dramatic months of the prewar period had come. At that time it was already clear that every day was bringing mankind nearer to the unparalleled catastrophe of war.
What was, at that time, the policy of the Soviet Union on the one hand, and of Great Britain and France on the other?
The attempt of the falsifiers of history in the United States of America to avoid answering this question merely goes to prove that their consciences are not clear.The truth is that even during the fatal period of the spring and summer of 1939, on the threshold of war, Britain and France, supported by ruling circles in the United States, continued the former course of their policy. This was a policy of provocative incitement of Hitler Germany against the Soviet Union, camouflaged not only with pharisaical phrases about their readiness to cooperate with the Soviet Union, but also, with certain simple diplomatic maneuvers intended to conceal the real character of their policy from world public opinion.
Among such maneuvers were, in the first place, the 1939 negotiations which Britain and France decided to open with the Soviet Union. In order to deceive public opinion, the ruling circles in Britain and France tried to depict these negotiations as a serious attempt to prevent the further extension of Hitlerite aggression. In the light of all the subsequent developments, however, it became perfectly clear that so far as the Anglo-French side was concerned, these negotiations were from the very beginning nothing but another mote in their double game.This was also clear to the leaders of Hitler Germany, for whom the meaning of the negotiations with the Soviet Union, undertaken by the Governments of Britain and France, was certainly no secret. Here, for example, is what the German Ambassador to London, Dirksen, wrote in his report to the German Foreign Ministry on August 3, 1939, as is evident from documents captured by the Soviet Army during the defeat of Hitler Germany:“The prevailing impression here was that [Britain's] ties with other states formed during the recent months were only a reserve means for a real reconciliation with Germany and that these ties would cease to exist as soon as the one important aim, worthy of effort – an agreement with Germany – was achieved."This opinion was firmly shared by all German diplomats who watched the situation in London.
In another secret report to Berlin, Dirksen wrote:“By means of armaments and the acquisition of allies, Britain wants to gain strength and to catch up with the Axis, but at the same time she wants to try to reach an amicable agreement with Germany by means of negotiations."2727 Dirksen's memorandum On the Development of Political Relations between Germany and Britain during my Term of Office in London, compiled in September 1939.
The slanderers and falsifiers of history are trying to keep these documents .hidden since they shed a bright light on the situation during the last prewar months, without correct assessment of which it would be impossible to understand the true prehistory of the war. By undertaking negotiations with the Soviet Union and giving guarantees to Poland, Romania and certain other states, Britain and France, with the support of the ruling circles in the United States, played a double game calculated to lead to an agreement with Hitler Germany, for the purpose of directing her aggression to the East, against the Soviet Union.The negotiations between Britain and France on the one hand, and the Soviet Union on the other, began in March, 1939, and continued for about four months.The whole course of these negotiations showed with perfect clarity that whereas the Soviet Union was trying to reach a broad agreement with the Western Powers on the basis of equality, an agreement capable of preventing Germany, even though at the last moment, from starting a war in Europe, the Governments of Britain and France, relying on support in the United States, set themselves entirely different aims. The ruling circles in Britain and France, accustomed to having others pull their chestnuts out of the fire, on this occasion too attempted to foist obligations upon the Soviet Union under which the USSR would have taken upon itself the brunt of the sacrifice in repulsing a possible Hitler aggression, while Britain and France would not bind themselves by any commitment to the Soviet Union.If the rulers of Britain and France had succeeded in this maneuver they would have come much closer to attaining their basic aim, which was to get Germany and the Soviet Union to come to grips as quickly as possible. The Soviet Government, however, saw through this scheme, and at all stages in the negotiations it countered the diplomatic trickery and subterfuges of the Western Powers with its clear and frank proposals intended to serve but one purpose – the safeguarding of peace in Europe.There is no need to recall all the vicissitudes through which the negotiations went. We need only bring to mind a few of the more important points. It suffices to recall the terms put forward during the negotiations by the Soviet Government: the conclusion of an effective pact of mutual assistance against aggression between Britain, France, and the USSR; the granting of a guarantee by Britain, France, and the USSR to states of Central and Eastern Europe, including all the European countries bordering on the USSR, without exception; the conclusion of a concrete military agreement between Britain, France, and the USSR on the forms and volume of immediate effective aid to each other and to the guaranteed states in the event of an attack by aggressors.28
28 Report by V. M. Molotov to the Third Session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, May 31, 1939.
At the Third Session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on May 31, 1939, V. M. Molotov pointed out that some of the Anglo-French proposals moved during those negotiations had contained none of the elementary principles of reciprocity and equality of obligations, indispensable for all agreements between equals."While guaranteeing themselves," said V. M. Molotov, “from direct attack on the part of aggressors by mutual assistance pacts between themselves and with Poland and while trying to secure for themselves the assistance of the USSR in the event of an attack by aggressors on Poland and Romania, the British and French left open the question of whether the USSR in its turn might count on their assistance in the event of its being directly attacked by aggressors, just as they left open another question, namely, whether they could participate in guaranteeing the small states bordering on the USSR and covering its northwestern frontier, should these states prove unable to defend their neutrality from attack by aggressors. Thus, the position was one of inequality for the USSR."Even when the British and French representatives gave verbal consent to the principle of mutual assistance on terms of reciprocity between Britain, France, and the USSR in the event of a direct attack by an aggressor, they hedged it in with a number of reservations which rendered this consent fictitious.
In addition to this, the Anglo-French proposals provided for help on the part of the USSR to those countries to which the British and French had given promises of guarantees, but they said nothing about their own help for the countries on the northwestern frontier of the USSR, the Baltic States, in the event of an aggressor attacking them.
In view of the above-mentioned considerations, V. M. Molotov announced that the Soviet Union could not undertake obligations with respect to some countries unless similar guarantees were given with respect to the countries situated on the northwestern frontier of the Soviet Union.
It should also be remembered that when, on March 18, 1939, Seeds, the British Ambassador to Moscow, asked the People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs what the Soviet Union's position would be in the event of Hitler's aggression against Romania – concerning the preparation of which the British possessed information – and when the question was then raised by the Soviet side as to what Britain's position would be under those circumstances, Seeds evaded reply, stating that Romania was geographically closer to the Soviet Union than it was to England.
Thus, from the very first step, it was already quite clear that British ruling circles were endeavoring to bind the Soviet Union to definite obligations, while they themselves would stand aloof. This artless method was then again and again repeated regularly throughout the whole course of the negotiations.
In reply to the British inquiry, the Soviet Government suggested that a conference be called of representatives of the most interested states – namely Great Britain, France, Romania, Poland, Turkey, and the Soviet Union. In the opinion of the Soviet Government, such a conference would offer the best opportunities for ascertaining the real state of affairs and for determining the positions of all the participants. The British Government, however, replied that it believed the Soviet proposal to be premature.
Instead of calling a conference which would have made it possible to agree on concrete measures to combat aggression, the British Government on March 21, 1939 proposed to the Soviet Government the signing, together with it as well as with France and Poland, a declaration in which the signatory governments would undertake to "consult together as to what steps should be taken to offer joint resistance" in the event of a threat to "the independence of any European state."
In arguing that this proposal was acceptable, the British Ambassador laid particular emphasis on the point that the declaration was couched in terms which involved hardly any commitments.
It was quite obvious that such a declaration could not serve as an effective means of fighting the impending threat on the part of the aggressor. Believing, however, that even a declaration promising so little might constitute at least some step forward in the matter of curbing the aggressor, the Soviet Government consented to the British proposal. But already on April 1, 1939 the British Ambassador in Moscow communicated the information that Britain considered the question of a joint declaration as having lapsed.
After two more weeks of procrastination, the British Foreign Secretary, Halifax, through the medium of the Ambassador in Moscow, made another proposal to the Soviet Government to the effect that the Soviet Government should issue a declaration saying that "in the event of an act of aggression against any European neighbor of the Soviet Union, who would offer resistance, the assistance of the Soviet Government could be counted upon if desired.”
What this proposal meant was mainly that in the event of an act of aggression on the part of Germany against Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, or Finland, the Soviet Union would be obliged to render them assistance without any obligation on the part of Britain to render assistance – i.e., for the Soviet Union to become involved in a war with Germany singlehanded. In the case of Poland and Romania, too, who did receive Britain's guarantees, the Soviet Union was to render them assistance against an aggressor; but even in their case Britain refused to assume any obligations jointly with the Soviet Union, leaving herself a free hand and a field for maneuvers of any kind, not to mention the fact that, according to this proposal, Poland and Romania as well as the Baltic States assumed no obligations whatever with respect to the USSR.
The Soviet Government, however, did not want to miss any opportunity to bring about agreement with other Powers for a joint struggle against Hitler's aggression. Without the least delay it presented to the British Government its counterproposal which consisted of the following:
(1) That the Soviet Union, Britain and France should mutually undertake to render one another immediate assistance of every kind, including military, in the event of aggression against one of these states;
(2) That the Soviet Union, Britain, and France should undertake to render any kind of assistance, including military, to the states of Eastern Europe situated between the Baltic and the Black Seas and bordering on the Soviet Union, in the event of aggression against these states; and
(3) The Soviet Union, Britain and France were to undertake to determine within a short space of time the volume and forms of military assistance to be rendered to each of these states in both cases mentioned above.
These were the most important points of the Soviet proposal. It is not hard to see that there was a fundamental difference between the Soviet and British proposals, inasmuch as the Soviet proposal provided for really effective measures for joint counteraction to aggression.
No reply to that proposal came from the British Government for three weeks. This caused growing anxiety in Britain, owing to which the British Government felt constrained in the end to resort to a new maneuver in order to deceive public opinion.
On May 8 the British reply, or, to be more exact the British counterproposals, were received in Moscow. It was again proposed that the Soviet Government should make a unilateral declaration in which it "would undertake that in the event of Great Britain and France being involved in hostilities in fulfillment of these obligations" [to Belgium, Poland, Romania, Greece, and Turkey] "the assistance of the Soviet Government would be immediately available if desired and would be afforded in such manner and on such terms as might be agreed."
Once again the Soviet Union was expected to assume unilateral obligations. It was to undertake to render assistance to Britain and France who on their part assumed no obligations whatever to the Soviet Union with regard to the Baltic Republics. Britain thus suggested that the USSR be placed in an unequal position, unacceptable to and incompatible with the dignity of any independent state.
It is easy to see that actually the British proposal was addressed not so much to Moscow as to Berlin. The Germans were invited to attack the Soviet Union, and were given to understand that Britain and France would maintain neutrality if only the Germans attacked through the Baltic States.
On May 11 the negotiations between the Soviet Union, Britain, and France were further complicated by a statement made by the Polish Ambassador in Moscow, Grzybowski, to the effect that "Poland does not consider it possible to conclude a pact of mutual assistance with the USSR..."
Naturally, such a statement could only be made by the Polish representative with the knowledge and approval of the ruling circles of Britain and France.
The behavior of the British and French representatives in the Moscow negotiations was so provocative that even in the ruling camp of the Western Powers there were some who sharply criticized this crude game. Thus, Lloyd George published a sharp article in the French newspaper Ce Soir in the summer of 1939 directed against the makers of British policy. Referring to the causes of the endless procrastination in which the negotiations between Britain and France on the one hand, and the Soviet Union on the other, were stuck, Lloyd George wrote that there could be only one answer to that question: "Neville Chamberlain, Halifax, and John Simon do not want any agreement with Russia whatever."
It goes without saying that what was obvious to Lloyd George was no less obvious to the bosses of Hitler Germany, who understood perfectly that the Western Powers had no intention of reaching a serious agreement with the Soviet Union, but were pursuing an entirely different aim. That aim was to spur Hitler on to hurry with his attack upon the Soviet Union, guaranteeing him a premium, as it were, for such an attack by placing the Soviet Union in the least favorable conditions in the event of a war with Germany.
Furthermore, the Western Powers dragged out the negotiations with the Soviet Union endlessly, seeking to drown major issues in a swamp of minor amendments and innumerable versions. Each time the question of some real obligations came up, the representatives of these Powers pretended not to understand what it was all about.
Toward the end of May, Britain and France made new proposals which somewhat improved the previous version, but still left open a question of essential importance to the Soviet Union – namely, the question of guarantees for the three Baltic Republics situated on the northwestern frontier of the Soviet Union.
Thus, the rulers of Britain and France, while making certain verbal concessions under the pressure of public opinion in their countries, stuck to their previous line and hedged in their proposals with such reservations as they knew would make them unacceptable to the Soviet Union.
The behavior of the British and French representatives in the negotiations at Moscow was so intolerable that on May 27, 1939, V. M. Molotov had to tell British Ambassador Seeds and French Charge d'Affairs Payard that their draft agreement for joint counteraction to an aggressor in Europe did not contain a plan for the organization of effective mutual assistance of the USSR, Britain, and France, and that it did not even indicate that the British and French Governments were seriously interested in a corresponding pact with the Soviet Union.
It was further plainly stated that the Anglo-French proposal led one to think that the Governments of Britain and France were not so much interested in the pact itself as in talk about a pact. Possibly Britain and France needed this talk for some aims of their own. The Soviet Government did not know what these aims were. The Soviet Government was interested, not in talk about a pact, but in organizing effective mutual assistance of the USSR, Britain, and France against aggression in Europe. The British and French representatives were warned that the Soviet Government did not intend to take part in talk about a pact, the aim of which the USSR did not know, and that the British and French Governments might find more suitable partners for such talk than the USSR.
The Moscow negotiations dragged on endlessly. The London Times blurted out the reasons for this inadmissible procrastination when it wrote:"A hard and fast alliance with Russia would hamper other negotiations."2929 Sayers and Kahn, The Great Conspiracy: The Secret War against Soviet Russia, Boston, 1946, p. 329.
In referring to "other negotiations" the Times apparently implied the negotiations which Robert Hudson, Minister of Overseas Trade, was conducting with Dr. Helmut Wohltat, Hitler's economic adviser, on the possibility of a very large British loan to Hitler Germany, of which more anon. Besides, as is known from press reports, on the day that Hitler's army entered Prague, a delegation of the Federation of British Industries conducted negotiations in Dusseldorf with a view to concluding an extensive agreement with big German industries.
A circumstance that attracted attention at the time was that men of secondary importance were sent to conduct the negotiations on behalf of Great Britain in Moscow, while Chamberlain himself went to Germany to carry on negotiations with Hitler, and that on several occasions. It is also important to note that the British representative for the negotiations with the USSR, Strang, had no authority to sign any agreement with the Soviet Union.
In view of the demand of the Soviet Union that the parties should proceed to concrete negotiations concerning measures to fight a possible aggressor, the Governments of Britain and France had to consent to send their military missions to Moscow. But it took those missions an unusually long time to get to Moscow, and when they did get there, it transpired that they were composed of men of secondary importance who, furthermore, had not been authorized to sign any agreement. That being the case, the military negotiations proved to be as futile as the political ones.
The military missions of the Western Powers demonstrated at once that they even had no desire to carry on serious conversations concerning means of mutual assistance in the event of aggression on the part of Germany. The Soviet military mission proceeded from the fact that, since the USSR had no common border with Germany, it could render Britain, France, and Poland assistance in the event of war only if Soviet troops were permitted to pass through Polish territory. The Polish Government, however, declared that it would accept no military assistance from the Soviet Union, thus showing that it feared the growth of strength of the Soviet Union more than Hitler's aggression. Both the British and French missions supported Poland's position.
In the course of the military negotiations, the question also came up as to the strength of the armed forces which should be put in the field at once by the parties to the agreement in the event of aggression. The British named a ridiculous figure, stating that they could put in the field five infantry divisions and one mechanized division. That was what the British offered at a time when the Soviet Union declared that it was prepared to send to the front against the aggressor one hundred and thirty-six divisions, five thousand medium and heavy guns, up to ten thousand tanks and whippets, more than five thousand war planes, etc. The above shows with what an utter lack of seriousness the British Government treated the negotiations for a military agreement with the USSR.
The facts cited above fully bear out the conclusion that suggests itself, and this conclusion is as follows:
(1) Throughout the negotiations the Soviet Government strove with the utmost patience to secure agreement with Britain and France for mutual assistance against an aggressor on a basis of equality and on the condition that the mutual assistance would be really effective, i.e., that the signing of a political agreement would be accompanied by the signing of a military convention establishing the volume, forms, and time limits of the assistance, as all the preceding events had shown clearly enough that only such an agreement could be effective and might bring the Hitlerite aggressor to his senses, encouraged though he was by complete impunity and by the connivance of the Western Powers during the course of many years.
(2) Britain's and France's behavior during the negotiations with the Soviet Union fully confirmed that a serious agreement was farthest from their thoughts, since British and French policy was guided by other aims which had nothing in common with the interests of peace and the fight against aggression.
(3) The perfidious purpose of Anglo-French policy was to give Hitler to understand that the USSR had no allies, that the USSR was isolated, that he could attack the USSR without running the risk of encountering the resistance of Britain and France.
It was no wonder, therefore, that Anglo-French-Soviet negotiations ended in failure.
There was, of course, nothing fortuitous about that failure. It was becoming ever more obvious that the breakdown of the negotiations had been planned beforehand by the representatives of the Western Powers in their double game. The point was that, along with open negotiation with the USSR, the British conducted backstage negotiations with Germany, and they attached incomparably greater importance to the latter.
Whereas, by their negotiations in Moscow, the ruling circles of the Western Powers sought primarily to lull the vigilance of the public in their countries, to deceive the peoples that were being drawn into war, the negotiations with the Hitlerites were of an entirely different nature.
The program of the Anglo-German negotiations was formulated plainly enough by the British Foreign Secretary, Halifax, who was addressing unequivocal appeals to Hitler Germany at the very time his officials continued negotiations in Moscow. In a speech at a banquet of The Royal Institute of International Affairs on June 29, 1939, Halifax expressed a readiness to come to terms with Germany on all the problems "that are today causing world anxiety." He said:"In such a new atmosphere we could examine the colonial problem, the problem of raw materials, trade barriers, the issue of Lebensraum, the limitation of armaments and any other issue that affects the lives of all European citizens.”3030 Viscount Halifax: Speeches on Foreign Policy 1934-1939, Oxford University Press, London, 1940, p. 296.
If we recall how the conservative Daily Mail which is close to Halifax, treated the problem of Lebensraum as far back as 1933 when it suggested to the Hitlerites that they should wrest Lebensraum from the USSR, there remains not the slightest doubt as to what Halifax really meant. It was an open offer to Hitler Germany to come to terms for a division of the world and of the spheres of influence, an offer to settle all the questions without the Soviet Union and mainly at the expense of the Soviet Union.
As early as June, 1939, British representatives inaugurated strictly confidential negotiations with Germany through Hitler's Commissioner for the Four Year Plan, Wohltat, who had come to London. Conversations were carried on with him by the Minister of Overseas Trade, Hudson, and Chamberlain's closest adviser, G. Wilson. The substance of those June negotiations is still buried in the recesses of diplomatic archives. But in July, Wohltat paid another visit to London and the negotiations were resumed. The contents of that second round of negotiations are now known from captured German documents in the hands of the Soviet Government, which will soon be made public.
Hudson and G. Wilson suggested to Wohltat, and later to the German Ambassador in London, Dirksen, the starting of secret negotiations for a broad agreement, which was to include an agreement for the division of spheres of influence on a world-wide scale, and for the elimination of "deadly competition in the general markets.” It was envisaged that Germany would be allowed predominating influence in southeastern Europe. In a report to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dated July 21, 1939, Dirksen pointed out that the program discussed by Wohltat and Wilson comprised political, military, and economic issues. Among the political issues a special place, along with a pact of non-aggression, was assigned to a pact of non-intervention which was to provide for a "delimitation of Lebensraum between the great Powers, particularly between Britain and Germany."31
31 Memorandum of the German Ambassador to Britain, Dirksen, of July 21, 1939. Archives of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During the discussion of the questions involved in these two pacts, the British representatives promised that, in the event these pacts were signed, Britain would renounce the guarantees she had just given Poland.
In case an Anglo-German agreement was signed, the British were prepared to let the Germans settle the Danzig problem and that of the Polish Corridor with Poland alone, undertaking not to interfere in the settlement.Further – and this too finds a documentary confirmation in Dirksen's reports which will shortly be published – Wilson reaffirmed that in case the abovementioned pacts between Britain and Germany were signed, the British policy of giving guarantees would be virtually abolished."Then Poland," says Dirksen on this point in his report, "would be left, so to say, alone, face to face with Germany."All this meant that the rulers of Britain were prepared to surrender Poland to Hitler as his prey, at a time when the ink with which Britain's guarantees to Poland had been signed had not dried. At the same time, if the Anglo-German agreement had been concluded, the purpose which Britain and France had set themselves in starting the negotiations with the Soviet Union would have been achieved and the possibility of expediting a clash between Germany and the USSR would have been further facilitated.
Lastly, it was proposed to supplement the political agreement between Britain and Germany by an economic agreement which would include a secret deal on colonial questions, on the distribution of raw materials, on the division of markets, as well as on a big British loan for Germany.
Thus, the rulers of Britain saw an alluring picture of a stable agreement with Germany and the so-called "canalization" of German aggression toward the East, against Poland to whom they had but recently given a "guarantee" and against the Soviet Union.
Is it to be wondered at that the slanderers and falsifiers of history carefully hush up and try to conceal these facts of decisive importance to an understanding of the situation in which war was thus becoming inevitable?
By this time there was already no doubt left that, far from intending to make any serious attempt to prevent Hitler Germany from starting the war, Britain and France, on the contrary, were doing everything within their power, by means of secret deals and agreements, by means of every possible kind of provocation, to incite Hitler Germany against the Soviet Union.
No forgers will ever succeed in wiping from history or from the consciousness of the peoples the decisive fact that under these conditions, the Soviet Union faced the alternative: either to accept, for purposes of self defense, Germany's proposal to conclude a non-aggression pact and thereby to ensure to the Soviet Union the prolongation of peace for a certain period of time, which might be used by the Soviet State better to prepare its forces for resistance to a possible attack on the part of an aggressor; or to reject Germany's proposal for a non-aggression pact and thereby to permit war provocateurs from the camp of the Western Powers immediately to involve the Soviet Union in armed conflict with Germany at a time when the situation was utterly unfavorable to the Soviet Union and when it was completely isolated.
In this situation, the Soviet Government found itself compelled to make its choice and conclude a non-aggression pact with Germany.
This choice was a wise and far-sighted act of Soviet foreign policy under the conditions which then obtained. This step of the Soviet Government to an enormous extent predetermined the favorable outcome of the Second World War for the Soviet Union and for all the freedom-loving peoples.
It would be a gross slander to assert that the conclusion of a pact with the Hitlerites was part of the plan of the foreign policy of the USSR. On the contrary, the USSR strove at all times to have an agreement with the Western non-aggressive states against the German and Italian aggressors for the achievement of collective security on the basis of equality. But there must be two parties to an agreement.
Whereas the USSR insisted on an agreement for combating aggression, Britain and France systematically rejected it, preferring to pursue a policy of isolating the USSR, a policy of concessions to the aggressors, a policy of directing aggression to the East, against the USSR.
The United States of America, far from counteracting that ruinous policy, backed it in every way. As for the American billionaires, they went on investing their capital in German heavy industries, helping the Germans to expand their war industries, and thus supplying German aggression with arms. They might as well be saying: "Go on, Messrs. Europeans, wage war to your hearts' content; wage war with God's help; while we, modest American billionaires, will accumulate wealth out of your war, making hundreds of millions of dollars in super-profits."
Naturally, with this state of affairs in Europe, there only remained one way out for the Soviet Union: to accept the German proposal for a pact. This was, after all, the best of all the possible ways out.
Just as in 1918, owing to the hostile policy of the Western Powers, the Soviet Union was forced to conclude the Brest Peace with the Germans, so in 1939, twenty years after the Peace of Brest, the Soviet Union was compelled to conclude a pact with the Germans, owing to the same hostile policy of Britain and France.
The claptrap of slanderers of all hues to the effect that the USSR should in no case have allowed itself to conclude a pact with the Germans can only be regarded as ridiculous. Why could Poland, who had Britain and France as allies, conclude a non-aggression pact with Germany in 1934, and the Soviet Union, enjoying less favorable conditions, could not conclude a similar pact in 1939? Why could Britain and France, who were the dominant force in Europe, issue jointly with the Germans a declaration on non-aggression in 1938, and the Soviet Union, isolated because of the hostile policy of Britain and France, could not conclude a pact with the Germans?
Is it not a fact that of all the non-aggressive great Powers in Europe the Soviet Union was the last to make a pact with the Germans?
Of course, the falsifiers of history and other reactionaries are displeased with the fact that the Soviet Union succeeded in making good use of the Soviet-German pact to strengthen its defenses; that it succeeded in moving its frontiers far to the West and in barring the way of the unhampered eastward advance of German aggression; that Hitler's troops had to begin their offensive to the East, not from the Narva-Minsk-Kiev line, but from a line hundreds of kilometers farther west; that the USSR was not bled to death in the Patriotic War, but emerged victorious from that war. This displeasure, however, should be regarded as a manifestation of the impotent rage of bankrupt politicians.
The vicious displeasure of these gentlemen can only be regarded as a demonstration of the indubitable fact that the policy of the Soviet Union has been and remains a correct policy.